A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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TUNSTALL (fn. 1)
Tunstall; Cantsfield; Burrow with Burrow; Leck
The parish of Tunstall, which occupies the extreme north-east corner of Lancashire, extends from the comparatively level ground on the left bank of the Lune in a north-east direction up the steep side of Leck and Greygarth Fells. It has a total area of 9,360½ acres, but in 1901 there was a population of only 624.
An ancient Roman road to Carlisle runs north through the parish, and there was a station at Overburrow called Galacum, where various remains have been found. (fn. 2) Leland about 1535 wrote of it thus: 'Burrow now a village, set in Lunesdale a vi. miles beneath the foot of Dentdale, hath been by likelihood some notable town. The ploughmen find there in "ering" lapides quadratos and many other strange things; and this place is much spoken of of the inhabitants there.' (fn. 3) Camden noticed this place, and mentions Thurland Castle also. (fn. 4) Brian Tunstall of Thurland fell at Flodden in 1513. The castle was in 1643 gallantly held for the king by Sir John Girlington, its owner, but the Royalists having failed to relieve it was surrendered after a seven weeks' siege. This is the only incident in the history of the parish connecting it with the general story of the country, but the admirers of Charlotte Bronte (fn. 5) are interested in the school at Cowan Bridge founded about 1820 by the Rev. W. Carus Wilson, then rector of the parish, for the education of clergymen's daughters. It was to it that she and her sisters were sent in 1824 and her impressions of 'Lowood School' are recorded in Jane Eyre. Brocklebridge Church takes the places of Tunstall Church, to which the pupils went every Sunday, eating their dinners in the parvise between the services. Mrs. Gaskell, writing in 1857, thus describes the house:—
It is a long, bow-windowed cottage, now divided into two dwellings. It stands facing the Leck, between which and it intervenes a space, about 70 yds. deep, that was once the school garden. This original house was an old dwelling of the Picard family, which they had inhabited for two generations. They sold it for school purposes, and an additional building was erected, running at right angles from the older part. This new part was devoted expressly to schoolrooms, dormitories, &c.; and after the school was removed to Casterton, it was used for a bobbin-mill connected with the stream, where wooden reels were made out of the alders which grow profusely in such ground as that surrounding Cowan Bridge. The mill is now destroyed. The present cottage was, at the time of which I write, occupied by the teachers' rooms, the diningroom and kitchens and some smaller bedrooms.
The relative values of the parish and its townships are shown by the old assessments. In 1624 the county lay required the parish to find £3 3s. 5¼d. when the hundred had to raise £100. The separate parts contributed thus: Tunstall, 6s. 11d.; Cantsfield, 6s. 11¼d.; Burrow, £1 6s. 10¼d.; Leck, £1 2s. 8¾d. (fn. 6)
Agriculture has always been the chief industry, but the land is now used almost entirely for grazing, and is at present occupied thus:—arable land, 299½ acres; permanent grass, 5,137½ woods and plantations, 178. The following are the details (fn. 7) :—
|Arable land ac.||Permanent grass ac.||Woods and plantations ac.|
|Burrow with Burrow||153½||1,645||128|
In 1825 there was some flax-spinning at Leck.
The church of ST. MICHAEL, now ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, (fn. 8) stands amongst fields to the north-east of the village and consists of a chancel with north organ chamber and vestry and south aisle, nave with north and south aisle, south porch and west tower. The building is of 15th-century date, said to have been rebuilt c. 1415, but the windows of the chancel and south chancel aisle appear to be a century later, and the east end may have been reconstructed at the same time, or the windows may be insertions. There are some remains, however, of a 13thcentury structure, fragments of which have been used in the rebuilding in the responds of the north arcade, and a sepulchral slab 6 ft. 5 in. long with a border of dog-tooth ornament was found in 1907 when the church was restored and the organ chamber and vestry built. There had been a renovation of the interior in 1847.
The walling throughout is of rubble with gritstone dressings and has been at one time covered with plaster, but this now only remains on the north side. There is no structural division between the chancel and nave and the aisles run the full length of the building, the body of which forms a parallelogram measuring 71 ft. by 36 ft. internally, under a single wide spanned slated roof. The aisle walls are surmounted by an embattled parapet of large proportions and the east end has a low wide gable with moulded coping and modern apex cross. The chancel, which is 18 ft. by 17 ft., has a three-light squareheaded east window with pointed lights and external hood mould and is open on the north and south sides by modern arches to the organ chamber and aisle. On each side of the east window is a carved angel bracket, but the fittings are all modern, and the roof, a continuation of that of the nave, is a modern timber one erected in 1907 of king-post type plastered between the principals. (fn. 9) The nave, which is 53 ft. by 17 ft., has an arcade of four pointed arches of two chamfered orders springing from octagonal piers and responds with moulded capitals 9 ft. 3 in. in height. The west respond of the north aisle has some early 13th-century stiff-leaved foliage in the capital, and the capital of the middle pier on the same side preserves a fragment carved with a patera, with modern repetitions. The east respond has also a fragment of early work much hacked, but with these exceptions and that of the west respond of the south aisle, which is original 15th-century work, all the capitals are new, and the first pier from the east on the south side together with the arch and respond on the south side of the chancel were rebuilt at the time of the last restoration. The north aisle is only 6 ft. 6 in. wide and is lit by three pointed windows of two trefoiled lights with quatrefoils in the head and external hood mould terminating in carved heads, but the mullions have been restored. There are also a small single light at the west end and a pointed north doorway now built up. The south aisle is 8 ft. wide and is lit by three windows, the westernmost of which is similar to those of the north aisle. The middle one has three trefoiled lights with perpendicular tracery and hood mould, and the third is a later opening of three trefoiled lights under a depressed head, without tracery. The east end of the south aisle is inclosed by a modern oak screen and was once a chapel. A piscina with pointed head but without bowl remains in the south wall, to the west of which at the floor level is a low recess 7 ft. long with segmental arch 2 ft. 6 in. high formerly containing a stone effigy. The effigy, which is supposed to be that of Sir Thomas Tunstall and is much mutilated, has lain since the raising of the floor in front of the recess. The east window of the chapel is squareheaded and of three pointed lights without hood mould, and on the south side is a three-light window with depressed head, both windows being late and poor in detail. The priest's door has a pointed head with hood mould and is on the west side of the modern screen opposite the first bay of the nave. The aisles and east chancel wall have each two wide buttresses of four stages but are without plinth. The porch, which measures internally 9 ft. by 10 ft. in width, has a pointed outer arch of two hollow chamfers and a quarter round between and external hood mould, and an upper story lighted on the south originally by a square-headed window of two trefoiled lights. The window has, however, been built up and a sundial inserted at a later time, a smaller square window being pierced through the wall above, which terminates in an embattled parapet. The inner doorway is pointed, with double hollow-chamfered jambs and head, and the door to the chamber, high up in the aisle wall, is now accessible only by means of a ladder. (fn. 10)
The west tower, which is 12 ft. square internally, has diagonal buttresses of four stages and a projecting vice in the north-east corner. The west door is pointed, with hollow-chamfered jambs and head and external hood mould and above is a pointed window of three cinquefoiled lights, perpendicular tracery, and external hood mould. The belfry windows are of two trefoiled lights with stone louvres under a square labelled head, immediately above which the wall sets back with a plain splay. Above each window in the short space between the set-back and the embattled parapet is a carved stone with an angel holding a shield. The north and south sides of the tower between the belfry windows and the moulded plinth are quite plain, and there is no clock. The tower arch is of two chamfered orders dying into the wall at the springing.
The interior walls were stripped of plaster in 1907 and now show the rubble masonry. The seating appears to be of early 19th-century date, (fn. 11) but one square pew at the east end is dated 1738 and has the initials, T/I I. The font is of white marble, oval in shape, on a circular stone pedestal and belongs to the 18th century. The royal arms of George III are on the south wall over the porch door. In the east window is some stained glass in a wood frame brought from Flanders by Major Toulmin North, who died in 1853. The outer lights, representing St Mary and St. Anthony, show a trace of the Renaissance and probably belonged to a window of late 15th-century date. The middle light, which represents Christ and St. Peter, is later, probably of the middle of the 16th century.
There is a ring of three bells, the first dated 1710 with founder's initials W. S.; the second 1729; and the third by S. Smith of York, 1731. (fn. 12)
The plate consists of a chalice and small paten of 1708, the chalice inscribed 'Ex dono Ri. Tatham Edmundi filij hujus Ecclesiae Vic. a.d. 1708,' with the mark of Richard Bayley; a paten of 1709–10 with the same inscription and the mark of Henry Jay; a chalice inscribed 'Tunstal 1713'; and a flagon and paten of 1718–19, both inscribed 'Donum Edmundi Tatham hujus Ecclesiae olim Vicarij,' with the mark of Thomas Mason.
The registers begin in 1631.
The tithe maps are kept in the chest in the vestry.
In the churchyard to the south of the porch is a circular stone sundial shaft without plate on three octagonal steps.
The church existed in 1066, as appears from Domesday Book. (fn. 13) The patronage would belong to the lord of the manor, and, being thus transferred to the lords of Hornby, Adam de Montbegon in the time of Henry II granted Tunstall to Croxton Abbey in Leicestershire. (fn. 14) In 1272 John de Tunstall, who seems to have claimed the advowson, came to an agreement with the Abbot of Croxton. (fn. 15) There was church land in Tunstall and other parts of the parish which probably constituted a rectory manor. (fn. 16) The abbot was in 1292 called upon to show his right to the assize of bread and other liberties in Hornby, Leck and Tunstall. (fn. 17)
The church would be served by a stipendiary priest or by one of the canons removable at the will of the abbot, but before 1230 a vicarage was ordained. (fn. 18) Even then it was the rule for one of the canons to be appointed.
In 1375 the Abbot of Croxton had to defend his right against William de Tunstall, who alleged that his namesake and ancestor had presented a certain Roger Pety in the time of Henry III, and that institution had been given. The abbot, in defence, said that he and his predecessors had held the church from a time beyond the memory of man, and the case was withdrawn. (fn. 19) At the Dissolution the rectory with the advowson of the vicarage was retained by the Crown for a time, (fn. 20) but in 1588 was sold to Edward Downing and another, (fn. 21) who quickly transferred it to Francis Tunstall of Thurland. The advowson continued to be an appurtenance of Thurland until 1885, but was then retained by Mr. North North, who, however, sold it in 1894 to the Rev. J. A. Burrow, now vicar.
In 1291 the value of the rectory was estimated at £26 13s. 4d., but this was reduced to £6 13s. 4d. after the destructive invasion of the Scots in 1322, (fn. 22) and in 1341 the ninth of sheaves, wool, &c., was estimated to produce the lower amount—£6 13s. 4d. (fn. 23) The vicarage had been assessed at £8, reduced to £2 13s. 4d. after 1322, and in 1341 was exempt on account of its poverty. (fn. 24) In 1527 the rectory was valued at £20 a year and the vicarage at £13 6s. 8d. (fn. 25); but in 1535 the profits were estimated at £25 6s. 8d. (fn. 26) and £6 3s. 11d. (fn. 27) respectively. In 1650 the rectory was supposed to be worth £120 or thereabouts, while the vicarage, which had lately been worth £30, had declined to half that sum owing to 'the decay of sheep. (fn. 28) The certified income of the vicar in 1717 was £21, (fn. 29) and at present the net value is stated to be £260. (fn. 30)
The following have been vicars:—
|Instituted||Name||Patron||Cause of Vacancy|
|oc. 1230||Richard (fn. 31)||—||—|
|oc. 1318||John Burdet (fn. 32)||—||—|
|—||Bro. Adam de Widmerpool (fn. 33)||—||—|
|28 Feb. 1345–6||Bro. John de Misterton||Croxton Abbey||d. A. de Widmerpool|
|13 Dec. 1364||Bro. Hugh de Dalby||"||—|
|22 Feb. 1368–9||Bro. Robert de Gaddesby (fn. 34)||"||—|
|6 Dec. 1397||Bro. James de London||"||d. R. de Gaddesby|
|31 Jan. 1398–9||Bro. John de Leicester (fn. 35)||"||d. J. de London|
|22 Apr. 1437||Bro. William Ridale||"||—|
|—||Bro. John Erwan||—||—|
|9 Dec. 1473||Bro. Thomas Within (fn. 36)||Croxton Abbey||prom. J. Erwan|
|— 1526||A canon of Croxton (fn. 37)||—||—|
|oc. 1535||Thomas Batty (fn. 38)||—||—|
|— Aug. 1573||Robert Batty (fn. 39)||—||—|
|22 Dec. 1592||George Birkett (fn. 40)||Francis Tunstall||d. R. Batty|
|20 Nov. 1612||John Williamson, B.A. (fn. 41)||Robert Fish||res. G. Birkett|
|3 Jan. 1632–3||John Leake, M.A. (fn. 42)||Edward Wilson||res. J. Williamson|
|13 Sept. 1664||Edmund Tatham, M.A. (fn. 43)||John Girlington||d. J. Leake|
|21 June 1699||Edmund Tatham, M.A. (fn. 44)||John Borrett||—|
|1718||William Withers (fn. 45)||The King||[d. E. Tatham]|
|19 Dec. 1737||James Cock (fn. 46)||John Borrett||d. last inc.|
|29 Mar. 1756||William Wray||Susanna Borrett and others||res. J. Cock|
|8 Sept. 1790||Robert Procter (fn. 47)||Miles North||d. W. Wray|
|23 May 1800||Frederick Needham, M.A. (fn. 48)||Richard Toulmin North||res. R. Procter|
|18 Apr. 1816||William Carus Wilson, M.A. (fn. 49)||"||d. F. Needham|
|14 June 1828||Henry Currer Wilson, M.A. (fn. 50)||Matthew Wilson||res. W. C. Wilson|
|— 1857||Willoughby John Edward Rooke, M.A. (fn. 51)||North North||res. H. C. Wilson|
|14 Apr. 1868||Henry Viveash Burton, B.A. (fn. 52)||North North||res. W. J. E. Rooke|
|—1898||James Atkinson Burrow, B.A. (fn. 53)||J. A. Burrow||d. H. V. Burton|
Before the Reformation a normal staff of four priests would be required to fulfil the duties of the vicar, the chantry priests at Tunstall and Thurland and the chaplain at Leek, and five names are recorded in the visitation list of 1548. (fn. 54) In 1554 there were still three, and in 1562 the same number may be intended, for the vicar appeared by a deputy. (fn. 55) Afterwards there was probably only the vicar, or, in case of non-residence, his curate, to supply the parish, for the chapel of Leek had no endowment, and even in the Commonwealth time had no minister. It may have had a lay 'reader,' with occasional visits from the vicar. About 1620 Tunstall Church appears to have fallen into a bad state, and the vicar had disputes with the parishioners as to repairs and maintenance. The Bishop of Chester appointed commissioners to make inquiry, and in 1621 they made their award, ordering various furniture to be provided, and concluding with the observation that 'the said poor vicar's living depends for the most part on small tithes, and all suits in law about them will be troublesome; therefore no further cause of cavil shall be given on either side.' (fn. 56)
From a report to the Bishop of Chester in 1693 it appears that the church was in proper order and furnished according to the requirements of the time, including the king's arms, which were 'set up in a convenient place.' There was a perfect terrier of the houses, garden and glebe belonging to the vicarage. There was no hospital, almshouse or public endowed school in the parish. In 1699 there was a private schoolmaster duly licensed, and in 1712 'a youth taught some small children.' The perambulations in Rogation week had been discontinued before that time. In 1755 there were 118 families in the parish, of which 110 were Church of England, six Dissenting (three of Quakers and three of Methodists), and two 'Popish.' The Quakers were of old standing there, but it is remarkable that Methodism had already been introduced. (fn. 57)
John de Hornby of Ireby in 1334 obtained the king's licence to alienate lands in Leek and Ireby to provide £4 a year for a chaplain to celebrate daily in Holy Trinity chapel in Tunstall Church for the founder's soul, &c. (fn. 58) This chantry was founded accordingly, (fn. 59) and in 1547 the incumbent, who appears to have been a canon of Croxton, was celebrating daily and aiding the curate 'in ministering of the blessed Sacrament to the parishioners there. (fn. 60)
There was a school with some endowment in 1621 (fn. 61); its existence is denied in the return of 1693 above quoted, and in 1717 it was described as 'a petty school,' having an endowment of only 20s. to 30s. a year. (fn. 62) It was re-founded about 1753 by John Farrer, John Fenwick and others.
Official inquiries into the charities of the parish were made in 1826 and 1898; in the report of the later one, issued in 1899, is reprinted the earlier report. The principal endowments, about £80 in all, are those of the schools at Tunstall and Leek. Small gifts to the poor amounting to £2 a year had been lost before 1826, and £100 bequeathed by Thomas Forton in 1817 was gradually dispersed by gifts of capital and interest. There are no charities remaining for the parish in general or any of the townships except Leek. Here an unknown benefactor (before 1741) left two cattlegates for the poor; these now produce £3 a year rent. (fn. 63) An old poor's stock of £16 was in 1764 augmented by Elizabeth and Anne Welch, so as to provide two cottages to be occupied rent free by poor persons; a piece of land also was purchased, yielding £4 a year in 1826. The cottages have been sold and are represented by £39 consols, and the land is now rented at £2 10s. These charities, with a gross income of £6 11s. 4d., are administered by the Leek Charity Trustees; the money is distributed in gifts of £1 to £2 in amount. Edward Yeats of Ireby in 1887 left £50 for the poor of Leek and Ireby; the capital was invested in consols and produces £1 8s. a year. This is given to poor persons in sums of 2s. 6d. to 10s. each.