Townships: Tunstall

Page 231

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.

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Tunestalle, Dom. Bk.; Tunstall, 1202; Tunstal, 1227. The spelling with one l is still in use. Tunestall occurs in 1292.

This township occupies comparatively low-lying and level ground in the valley of the Lune, the highest point, near the eastern border, attaining about 230 ft. above sea level. The parish church stands near the centre, and has the village somewhat to the south-west. The area is 1,076½ acres, and the population in 1901 numbered 122. (fn. 1)

The principal road is that from Lancaster to Kirkby Lonsdale, which passes north through the village. The Lune is crossed by two fords. The soil is a loam, with gravel subsoil.


In 1066 TUNSTALL was one of the four manors in Bentham held by Chetel. (fn. 2) In the following century it was included in the fee of Hornby held by the Montbegon family. (fn. 3) The lordship of Tunstall was granted to a family which used the local surname, but, as they fixed their residence at Thurland in Cantsfield, the account of them is given there. (fn. 4) There was probably also a rectory manor, held by the Abbots of Croxton, (fn. 5) and another estate once called a manor in the hands of John de Hornby of Ireby and his successors. (fn. 6) In later times a few other families appear in the records. (fn. 7) John Burton of Tunstall in 1631 paid £10 for declining knighthood. (fn. 8) John Turner of Garston had house and lands in Tunstall which were declared forfeit by the Commonwealth and sold in 1653. (fn. 9)

An inclosure award was made in 1825. (fn. 10)

The parish church has been described above. There is no other place of worship in the township.


  • 1. 1,077 acres, including 43 of inland water; Census Rep. 1901.
  • 2. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 289a.
  • 3. Ibid, ii, 319, n. 10. Tunstall and Cantsfield are named in the grant of the Hornby manors to Hubert de Burgh in 1227 (Cal. Chart. R. 1226–57, p. 60), also in 1229; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 56. In 1285 the lord of Hornby was said to receive £4. 4s. from the free tenants of Tunstall; Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 261. William de Tunstall held the manor of Margaret de Nevill in 1319, rendering 17s. 4d. yearly; ibid, ii, 37. There are few traces of the Hornby overlordship. In 1285–92 John de Tunstall was non-suited in a claim he made against Margaret de Nevill; Assize R. 1271, m. 11d.; 407, m. 1; 408, m. 38 d. He recovered a rent of 13s. 5d. against William le Bremur, held by the same Margaret; ibid. 1294, m. 8. He also claimed a fulling mill in Tunstall against Margaret and others; ibid. m. 8 d. In 1416 the manor of Tunstall was held of Thomas Earl of Dorset as of his lordship of Hornby by a rent of £5 11s. 6d.; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 115. Tunstall Manor was included in the Hornby fee held by the Lords Mounteagle (Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 64; xi, no. 1), and in the 17th century various lands were said to be held of them, as will be found recorded later.
  • 4. William son of Thomas de Tunstall in 1227 claimed 7s. 7½d. yearly from Roger son of William de Tunstall in respect of 2 oxgangs of land held of him. It was agreed that Roger should hold for life by that rent; Final Conc. i, 48. In 1235 William de Tunstall obtained a release of a plough-land in Tunstall from Gilbert de Kellet; ibid. 59. See Cal. Close, 1227–31, p. 228. In 1246 it was alleged that Thomas de Tunstall, deceased, had granted to William de Tunstall, also deceased, the service of Roger his brother from 2 oxgangs of land, so that if Roger died without issue the land should remain to William son of William to hold of Thomas and his heirs. William son of Thomas refused at first to acknowledge the title of William son of William, but afterwards they agreed; Assize R. 404, m. 6 d. Adam son of Nicholas de Tunstall claimed an oxgang of land against William son of William, alleging that the term of demise had expired; ibid. m. 14. Ellis son of John son of Eve de Tunstall made a journey to Jerusalem and died on the way. He had held an oxgang of land in the township which his brother William claimed in 1292, but John son of William de Tunstall held it by grant of plaintiff's father and obtained a verdict; Assize R. 408, m. 26 d., 68 d. William son of William de Tunstall claimed land against John son and heir of William de Tunstall, but was nonsuited; ibid. m. 25 d. In 1304 Isabel and Alina daughters of John de Tunstall recovered plats of meadow against Matthew de Redmayne, John son of John de Tunstall and others; ibid. 419, m. 9. At the same time Thomas de Gressingham and Maud his wife (in her right) claimed dower against Alina and Joan daughters of John de Tunstall; De Banco R. 151, m. 96. Robert de Shurvington claimed land against Thomas de Tunstall; ibid. 152, m. 19. This may connect the township with the Leyland Tunstalls. Thomas son of John de Tunstall recovered land in Tunstall against John son of John, and Matthew de Redmayne, who warranted, was ordered to compensate the defendant; ibid. 173, m. 167; 178, m. 80.
  • 5. See the account of the church.
  • 6. In 1317 John de Hornby acquired an oxgang of land and 6d. rent in Tunstall from Gilbert de Mirewray and Isabel his wife; Final Conc. ii, 23. He alleged overburdening the common pasture in Tunstall against the vicar and many others in 1318; De Banco R. 221, m. 173 d. Three years later he purchased an oxgang and a half from John Bonny and Margery his wife; Final Conc. ii, 44. Lands in Tunstall were included in the Hornby settlement of 1338; ibid. 108. Edmund son of John de Hornby in 1341 charged William de Wrayton with making illegal distress, but it was alleged that John de Hornby had granted an annuity of 100s. a year from two messuages in Tunstall to Joan wife of Robert de Culwen and her sons Edmund and Robert, and that the rent was in arrears; De Banco R. 328, m. 65. A little later (1342–7) Margery widow of John Bonny, as daughter of Roger son of Roger de Tunstall, claimed the oxgang and a half of land above named against Edmund de Hornby, Margaret his wife, Margery daughter of Ellis de Wrayton and Cecily her daughter; Assize R. 1435, m. 48,44, 51 d. Edmund Redmayne died in 1511 holding three messuages, &c., in Tunstall of Sir Edward Stanley as of his manor of Hornby by the rent of half a pound of cummin; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iv, no. 42. His son Thomas Redmayne in 1536 held the same of Sir Marmaduke Tunstall and Robert Cansfield by rents of 13s. 8d. and 2s.; ibid, vii, no. 2. Peter Claughton in 1540 held his estate in Tunstall of Isabel Tunstall widow and Robert Cansfield by fealty and a rent of 8s. 8d.; ibid, viii, no. 14. His son John in 1561 held of Francis Tunstall and Thomas Cansfield by a rent of 8s. 7d.; ibid, xi, no. 45. Part of the estate was in 1594 purchased by Brian Tunstall from Ambrose Pudsey and Frances his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 56, m. 36.
  • 7. In a pleading of 1246 it was alleged that William le Engleys held 2 oxgangs of land, two-thirds of the mill, &c., formerly held by Thomas de Preston, uncle of Henry (de Preston), son of Helewise, and brother of Isabel wife of Henry de Stutevill. William son of Roger de Preston was under age and in ward to William de Fortibus Earl of Albemarle; Assize R. 1045, m. 42, 45, 46. Alice widow of Adam le Toller of Tunstall in 1304 recovered an oxgang of land against William son of the said Adam; she had had it from her father Richard; Assize R. 419, m. 6. Margaret widow of Geoffrey Tatham in 1538 claimed land in Tunstall against William Leeming; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Cum.), ii, 60. Richard Smithies died in 1609 holding land in Tunstall and Burrow of Lord Morley and Mounteagle by a rent of 3s. Thomas his son and heir was thirty-two years old; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 174. John Smith in 1619 held of the same by a rent of 2s.; his heir was his son John, aged twenty; ibid. 192. Thomas Cook of Ireby in 1620 also held land of Lord Morley; ibid. 193. A similar tenure is recorded in the case of Richard Bordrigge in 1638; Towneley MS. C 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), 64. In the case of James Bordrigge, who died in 1641, holding a messuage, &c., in Tunstall and Burrow, the tenure is not stated. His heir was his son William, aged thirteen; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxx, no. 5.
  • 8. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 221.
  • 9. Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 3141. The name is given as Turvor in the Index of Royalists (Index Soc.), 44.
  • 10. Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 56.