Townships: Osmotherley

Page 357

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

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In this section


Asmunderlauhe, c. 1240; Asemunderlauwe, c. 1270; Asmunderlowe, 1299; Asmondrelaw, c. 1320.

This township occupies part of the eastern slope of the range of hills dividing Ulverston from Kirkby Ireleth. At the level ground near the beck, which forms the eastern boundary, the height above sea level is less than 200 ft., while the hills on the western side rise to over 1,000 ft. The southern end of the township adjoins the town of Ulverston, and contains the residence called Stone Cross. Further north in the valley is the Old Hall, to the west of which is Gamswell, 600 ft.; north again is Newbiggin, with Higher Laith on the hill-side to the west, and a small tarn in the hill-side beyond; still further north, at the head of a little valley, is Hollowmire. Broughton Beck, the principal hamlet in the township, occupies the extreme north-east corner, on a brook known lower down as Newland Beck. The acreage is 1,929 (fn. 1) and in 1901 the population was 391.

There are several roads. One crosses the southern end of the township, going over the hills to Kirkby Ireleth; another goes north along the valley by Newbiggin to Netherhouses at the north end, and afterwards joins the Ulverston-Broughton road.

There is a parish council of five members.


The manor of OSMOTHERLEY was held of the Lancasters by the family of Redmayne of Levens, (fn. 2) and of these by a family assuming the local surname, who had a small estate also in Roshead in Ulverston. Little is known of them, (fn. 3) but one Lawrence de Asmunderlaw (fn. 4) died in 1343 holding a capital messuage with garden, &c, at Osmotherley of Matthew de Redmayne of Kendal by knight's service and a rent of 3s. 2½d. His son William was nineteen years of age. (fn. 5) The family occurs down to about 1485, (fn. 6) and the manor is next found in the possession of the Earls of Derby, who retained it all through the 16th century. (fn. 7) It then disappears from the records. Probably the lands were purchased by the occupiers.

Gamel son of Bevin gave a plat of land in Osmotherley to Conishead Priory. (fn. 8)

St. John the Evangelist's was built in 1874 as a chapel of ease to Ulverston parish church. In 1831 there was a Wesleyan chapel. (fn. 9)

A school was founded at Broughton Beck in 1770. (fn. 10)


  • 1. 1,931 acres, including 10 of inland water; Census Rep. 1901.
  • 2. This appears from the notices recorded below.
  • 3. Gilbert de Asmunderlaw (son of Avice) in 1266 gave land in Egton to Furness Abbey; Furness Couch. (Rec. Soc), ii, 417. Walter de Asmunderlaw occurs ten years later; ibid. 385. William de Asmunderlaw claimed reasonable estovers in Ulverston against John son of Roger de Lancaster in 1292, but was non-suited; Assize R. 408, m. 42. In 1301 Matthew de Redmayne was required to acquit William de Asmunderlaw of the suit of court at Ulverston demanded by Roger (sic) de Lancaster and of the puture for Roger's forester, in respect of a messuage and 100 acres of land in Osmotherley and Ulverston held of the said Matthew. It appeared that in 1288 Matthew de Redmayne had acknowledged that he ought to acquit him of these services; De Banco R. 138, m. 59. About the same time William was farmer of the manor of Bardsea; Furness Couch, ii, 449. William de Asmunderlaw and Amice his wife in 1311 obtained half a ploughland in Ulverston against John deUrswick; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 7. In 1312–13 William Walston or Walson unsuccessfully claimed two messuages, &c, in Ulverston against William de Asmunderlaw and Alice his wife; De Banco R. 195, m. 250. This or a later William occurs again in 1330 and 1332; Furness Couch, ii, 309, 498.
  • 4. He occurs in 1333–6; ibid, ii, 425, 482.
  • 5. Inq. p.m. 18 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 24. The account of Roshead shows that William was succeeded about 1350 by a son John. John was dead in 1375, when his widow claimed dower in the manor of Osmotherley against Sir Matthew de Redmayne of Levens; De Banco R. 457, m. 341. Probably the heir was a minor in ward to the lord.
  • 6. Evan de Asmunderlaw occurs in 1397, but did not do homage to the Abbot of Furness for Roshead until 1404; Furness Couch, ii, 508, 351. In 1468 Giles Redmayne, clerk, had licence to agree with Thomas Asmunderlaw concerning the manor of Osmotherley and its appurtenances in Ulverston; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 33, m. 7. In 1483 Edward Redmayne claimed the manor against Isabel widow of Thomas Asmunderlaw, and in 1483–4 against Rowland Thornburgh and Agnes his wife; ibid. 57, m. 5 d.; 58, m. 6.
  • 7. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 45, m. 94 (1583); 59, m. 38 (1596); 58, m. 283—nominally a grant in 1597 for 1,000 years at a peppercorn rent to Edward Rigby and Francis Troughton. About that time there were a considerable number of disputes respecting the Earl of Derby's mill and lands (Snubbe, Suable), in which Francis Troughton, John Gardner and others took part; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 226; iii, 323, 344, &c.
  • 8. Dugdale, Mon. vi, 556.
  • 9. Lewis, Topog. Dict.
  • 10. End. Char. Rep. for Ulverston