A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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POULTON, BARE AND TORRISHOLME
The total area of this composite township is 1,725½ acres, (fn. 1) of which Poulton in the north-west has 811½ acres, Bare in the northern corner 249 and Torrisholme in the south-east 665. The name of Poulton—to which the distinguishing epithet of 'le Sands' was added—has since the opening of the railway been superseded by Morecambe, (fn. 2) which now applies to the whole township. It was the opinion of antiquaries that the bay was the estuary called Moricambe by Ptolemy, but the old local name appears to have been merely 'the Sands' or 'Kent Sands.' The surface is flat and lies very low, but there is near the eastern boundary a small hill which has a tumulus upon it. Anstable in Torrisholme and Hestham in Poulton are old names. The population in 1901 numbered 11,798 and 12,133 in 1911.
The principal road is that from Skerton west to Morecambe; it has branches north to Bare and south to Heaton and Heysham. A wide road, two miles and a half in length, has been formed along the edge of the bay as a promenade for the visitors to Morecambe. The first railway to the place was opened in 1848; it was then called the NorthWestern, and is now part of the Midland system. (fn. 3) The old company formed a dock with a lighthouse at Morecambe, but this has been abandoned by it for those recently opened at Heysham, to which there is a branch line. Electric traction has been introduced and a new station has been built at Morecambe. The London and North Western Railway Company's line to Morecambe branches from the main line north and has an intermediate station at Bare Lane, in a detached part of Skerton. This line was opened in 1861. There are tramway services worked by Morecambe Corporation and by private companies running along the sea front from Heysham to Bare, and also from Morecambe through Torrisholme to Lancaster.
The place became a popular sea-bathing resort about a century ago, and after the opening of the railway in 1848 rapidly advanced, the attractions being, in addition to the open bay, the view of the mountains to the north, Helvellyn, Skiddaw and Coniston Old Man being visible, and the facilities for visiting the Lake district. There are all the usual means of entertainment in the town, which has grown up along the shore—piers with pavilions, (fn. 4) winter gardens, assembly room and ball-room, theatre and golf links. Steamers ply in the summer.
The old village of Poulton is near the shore to the north-east of the railway station. It has been greatly altered by modern conditions, but retains the old house now known as Poulton Hall and some 17th-century dwellings. The village of Bare is less changed. Torrisholme consists of a cluster of dwellings lying around a small triangular green, part of which is inclosed. Bare Hall is said to be haunted.
A cottage hospital was built in 1900 as a memorial of Queen Victoria's jubilee. (fn. 5)
In 1066 there were three manors in the township—Poulton, Bare and Torrisholme—each rated as two ploughlands and pertaining to Earl Tostig's Halton fee. (fn. 6) After the Conquest the manors were separated and subdivided and were held by different tenures. The assessment was reduced to one plough-land each.
The manor of POULTON was held in thegnage by a rent of 10s., increased before 1200 to 15s. (fn. 7) It was the inheritance of Godith wife of Hugh son of Efward, (fn. 8) and their daughter Maud carried it in marriage to Walter de Parles, so that in 1212 it was recorded that Walter held one plough-land in Poulton by the king's charter and paid 15s. yearly. (fn. 9) The Gentyl family succeeded before 1297, when John le Gentyl held the plough-land by the same rent, (fn. 10) and it descended in them for about a century, (fn. 11) when it became divided, probably between co-heirs, into two or three portions. Richard Berborn and Thomas Lamplugh were two of the lords in 1458–9. (fn. 12) In 1483 John Lamplugh held the third part of the manor of the king as duke by knight's service. (fn. 13) The Lamplugh third was sold in 1559 to Sir Hugh Askew (fn. 14) and was afterwards purchased by Croft of Claughton. (fn. 15) The Berborn part descended to Curwen (fn. 16) and Nicholson, (fn. 17) but the Bellinghams of Levens had another share of the manor, (fn. 18) and seem to have acquired the whole, being holders till 1728. (fn. 19) The manor occurs in the records again in 1771, a feoffment being then made by William Atkinson, Margaret his wife, Miles Pennington, Mary his wife, James Wilson and Mary his wife. (fn. 20) The land had become divided among a large number of freeholders. A fourth part of the manor was included in Jane Arthington's settlement on her marriage with Benjamin Jowitt of Leeds in 1831, and was sold in 1844. to Roger Taylor. (fn. 21)
Little is said of this part of the township in the records. (fn. 22) The Prior of Conishead held in alms half an oxgang of land there, (fn. 23) and the Prior of Lancaster had a grange. (fn. 24) Thomas Benison was a freeholder in 1600. (fn. 25) Francis Nicholson the younger, previously 'well affected to the Parliament,' took part with the forces raised for the king in 1648, and compounded for his offence by a fine of £133 3s. 4d. (fn. 26)
BARE was included in Count Roger of Poitou's demesne in 1094. (fn. 27) Later it was divided. One moiety or half a plough-land was in 1212 held by Gilbert de Kellet in thegnage, and his ancestor Bernulf son of Orm had granted it to Adam de Yealand at a free rent of 8s. (fn. 28) The other half plough-land was held by Maud de Kellet. (fn. 29) In 1226 this part of the township paid 16s. in all to the king. (fn. 30) Half an oxgang of land was about 1262 granted to Lancaster Priory by Thomas de Coupmanwra. (fn. 31) The manor or a moiety of it was acquired by the Dacres of Halton, (fn. 32) descending with Halton till the 16th century. In 1346 Sir William de Dacre held the moiety of a ploughland in socage, paying 8s. a year. Thomas de Walton and Simon de Bolton held the other half, also paying 8s. (fn. 33) Robert Bindloss of Borwick purchased land in Bare in 1594, the vendors giving a warranty against the heirs of Lord Dacre, (fn. 34) and after his death in the following year this tenement was found to be held of the queen as of her manor of East Greenwich in socage. (fn. 35) Few references to Bare occur in the records. (fn. 36) William Leyburne as a Royalist had his leasehold estate sequestered by the Parliament. (fn. 37) More recently the Lodge family held a large estate there, their house being called the Hall.
TORRISHOLME was in 1212 held in serjeanty by John de Torrisholme, who was larderer of the castle of Lancaster. (fn. 38) By 1233 the manor had passed by marriage to the Parles family, (fn. 39) and in 1297 Alan de Paries held one plough-land (except 80 acres) there, rendering 6s. 4d. to the earl, who himself held the 80 acres in demesne. (fn. 40) Robert de Holland purchased it from Alan in 1310. (fn. 41) In 1323 the manor was in the king's hands through Holland's forfeiture; it had paid 8s. free rent. At the same time Walter de Torrisholme and Agnes his wife held 20 acres there by a rent of 6s. 8d (fn. 42) The Parles family tried to regain possession, (fn. 43) and in 1346 John de Parles held the plough-land in socage, rendering 8s. a year. (fn. 44) In spite of this the Hollands continued to be lords of the manor until forfeited by the Duke of Exeter in 1461. (fn. 45) It was perhaps granted to Lord Stanley, for the Earl of Derby held it in 1521, paying the 8s. rent to the king. (fn. 46) A century later it was in the possession of Thomas Covell of Lancaster, (fn. 47) thus descending to John Brockholes. (fn. 48) It occurs again in 1812, (fn. 49) and is now held by Mrs. Lawson and her sister Miss Lodge. (fn. 50) The Prior of Lancaster (fn. 51) and some other holders are named from time to time. (fn. 52)
Certain Royalists had their estates sequestered and confiscated by the Parliament in the Civil War time. (fn. 53) Two brothers, Francis and John Gate of Poulton, registered estates as 'Papists' in 1717. (fn. 54)
The rents of certain lands in the township and a parcel at Anstable Holme have from time immemorial been divided among the ratepayers of Torrisholme proportionately to their holdings. (fn. 55)
The borough of MORECAMBE, incorporated by charter in 1902, extends over the whole township. Before that it had been governed by a local board established in 1852. (fn. 56) A school board was formed in 1874. (fn. 57) The council consists of a mayor, six aldermen and eighteen councillors, elected from six wards. (fn. 58) The corporation in 1901 purchased the gasworks established in 1858 and erected electric light works in 1897. Water is supplied by Lancaster Corporation. The cemetery, opened in 1875, is managed by the corporation. An infectious diseases hospital has been built at Bare. The western part of the foreshore is owned by the corporation; the rest—east of the central pier—is held on lease from the duchy. (fn. 59) The corporation owns and works the tramway from Bare to the Heysham boundary. There is no coat of arms, but the corporation uses the device of a three-masted ship in full sail.
The places of worship are all modern. The oldest is Holy Trinity, built for the Church of England in 1745 and rebuilt in 1841. A district was assigned to it in 1860. (fn. 60) The incumbents, appointed by the vicar of Lancaster, are styled rectors, (fn. 61) the tithes of Poulton and half of Bare being held for them by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 62) Two other churches—St. Lawrence's, 1878, and St. Barnabas', (fn. 63) 1898—rank as chapels of ease; there are temporary mission churches at Bare (St. Christopher's) and Torrisholme. A school was founded in 1732–45. (fn. 64)
The various bodies of Methodists are well represented. The Wesleyans have two churches in Morecambe, one at each end of the town, built in 1875 and 1897, and a third in Torrisholme; the Primitive Methodists have two, and the United Free Church (1876) and Independent Methodists each one.
The Congregationalists have a church built in 1863, (fn. 65) the Baptists one called Zion (1882), the Plymouth Brethren have a meeting-place, as also has the Society of Friends, and the Salvation Army has a barracks.