MELLING WITH WRAYTON
Mellinge, Dom. Bk.; Mellinges, 1195; Mailing,
1229; Melling, 1285.
Wraiton, 1229; Wratton, 1292.
Melling proper is situated in the lower ground
between the hills of Hornby to the south and
Wrayton to the north-east, and looking west and
north over the Lune valley, with higher land on the
eastern side. The constituent parts of the township
measure—Melling 613 acres, and Wrayton 449, the
whole being 1,062 acres. (fn. 1) There was a population
of 170 in 1901.
The principal road is that from Lancaster through
Hornby to Kirkby Lonsdale. It passes through the
village close to the parish church, and has branches
going west to Wennington and to Wrayton. The
Furness and Midland Companies' railway from
Wennington to Carnforth crosses the township, which
it enters by a tunnel, and has a station at the village
The Castle mount and the ancient crosses have
been noticed above. (fn. 2)
The land is mostly used for grazing; the soil is a
loam, with clay subsoil.
The village contains some picturesque 17th-century
houses, with well-designed doorways.
In 1066 Ulf held nine plough-lands in
MELLING, Hornby and Wennington,
and Orm had a plough-land and a-half
as a berewick, which has been identified as Wrayton. (fn. 3)
After the Conquest these were parts of the king's
land in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and later came
to Roger de Montbegon. Hornby became the chief
seat of the lord, and the manor of Melling was from
that time an appurtenance of Hornby. (fn. 4)
There is little to record of the place, (fn. 5) though the
lord claimed right of gallows there. (fn. 6) In the 17th
century the chief resident family was that of
Thornton (fn. 7) ; a few other landowners occur in the
inquisitions. (fn. 8) Some of the inhabitants had their
estates sequestered by the Parliament during the
Civil War. (fn. 9)
WRAYTON (fn. 10) gave a surname to a local
family. (fn. 11) A moiety of the manor was acquired from
the Procters (fn. 12) by John Redmayne of Thornton in
1548–9, (fn. 13) and descended to Mary widow of Colonel
William Forbes, who compounded for it in 1649. (fn. 14)
The manor was in 1801 held by Thomas Fenwick of
Burrow. (fn. 15) Another estate in the township was about
a century ago held by J. Guy; it descended to his
grandson, Robert Burrow of Wrayton Hall, after
whose death it was in 1901 offered for sale.
The hospital or cell of Hornby had some land in
Wrayton. (fn. 16)
The right of customary tenants to take wood for
repairing their houses, &c, from lands assigned by
the lord of the manor of Hornby was in dispute in
1697. (fn. 17)
The copyhold tenure was changed by an Act
passed about 1770, enabling the lord to sell and the
tenants to purchase the freehold. Hence the copyholders or customary tenants became freeholders, and
the land is much subdivided.
The parish church, already described, is the only
place of worship in the township.