Parishes (East Ward): St Edmund, Newbiggin

The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby. Originally published by Titus Wilson and Son, Kendal, 1932.

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John F Curwen, 'Parishes (East Ward): St Edmund, Newbiggin', in The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby( Kendal, 1932), British History Online [accessed 25 July 2024].

John F Curwen, 'Parishes (East Ward): St Edmund, Newbiggin', in The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby( Kendal, 1932), British History Online, accessed July 25, 2024,

John F Curwen. "Parishes (East Ward): St Edmund, Newbiggin". The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby. (Kendal, 1932), , British History Online. Web. 25 July 2024.

In this section


Gamel, son of Whelp, granted the manor to Robert Dapifer de Appleby who assumed the name of de Newbiggin. The descendants of this Robert continued to hold the manor till about the year 1331, when Emma de Newbiggin brought it in marriage to the Crackanthorpes, in which family it still remains.


Within this parish we have round enclosures of earthwork at Loscars and Moorland Head.


The first mention of a church here appears to be in a charter of Hugh de Temple Sowerby which is witnessed by Walter, rector of Newbiggin. This Walter appears in the Coram Rege Rolls in 1258–9 on an action brought against him and Walrand de Soureby by Robert de Veteripont because they entered his park of Whinfell and there took stags and bucks without his leave.

In the "Antique Taxatio Ecclesiastica" of Pope Nicholas IV, 1291, the church is taxed at nothing because it did not exceed six marks—nor hath the rector a benefice elsewhere. Neither is it valued in the "Novo Taxatio" of 1318.

John son of Roger de Lancaster by his will dated January, 1353/4, left a bequest to the church of St. Edmund de Newbiggin and Robert, rector of Newbiggin, was one of the witnesses.

The "Valor Ecclesiasticus" made by Parliamentary authority 26 Henry VIII, 1535, gives the following:—

Newbiggin Rectory. John Wrey incumbent.
The said rectory is worth in—
Mansion with glebe 10 0
Tithe of grain £2 0 0
" hay 3 0
" lamb and wool 1 6 8
Oblations and the lesser fees as in the Easter Book 15 0
£4 14 8
Reprisals to wit—
Pension to the rector of K. Thore 3 0
Synodals, 12d; Procurations, 4d. 1 4
4 4
Clear annual value £4 10 4
A tenth part whereof 9

The Commonwealth Survey of 1657 is as follows:—

That the right of presentation to the church of Newbiggin is in Richard Crackanthorpe, esquire. That Mr. Christopher Barrow is incumbent there and hath for his maintenance the Tithe corn, hay, wool and lamb of the said parish worth £12 by the year. That the Glebe land belonging to the said Rectory is worth £6 by the year.

The church was repaired in 1804 and rebuilt in 1853–4.

It was during the incumbency of the Rev. John Robinson, that is after 13 July, 1818, that a dispute arose between him and Mr. Crackanthorpe respecting tithes. The latter, who owned the greater part of 600 acres of inclosed lands in the parish, declared that his ancestors had from time immemorial received the tithes of corn, geese and pigs throughout the parish and that no tithes, great or small, had ever been paid for his demesne lands of Newbiggin, but that in lieu of the tithe of corn throughout the parish the rector was paid yearly £9. 6. 8. as a prescriptive payment and Mr. Crackanthorpe had allowed him grassing for a horse. Mr. Crackanthorpe being anxious to protect himself by the payment of the aforesaid £9. 6. 8 consulted the Augmentation Office in London when John Caley replied that there is no comparison between this figure and the stated value of the tithes in the last official Survey of 1535, so that the composition though styled prescriptive cannot be an immemorial payment. If any evidence could be shown that between the taking of the Survey and the enactment of the Statute 13 Elizabeth this alteration had taken place by the consent of Rector, Patron and Ordinary then the payment of this sum would be legally maintainable, but according to the Rule of the Courts of Equity the requisite consent of these parties must be shown and will not be presumed.

The following Terrier of 1749 was put forward as evidence, which after setting forth the eleven acres of glebe land states:—

"Item, 5s. 6d. for prescription for tithe Hay due at Mich' Day. Item, Richard Crackanthorpe esq., pays £9. 6. 8 and an Horse grass yearly to the said rector for the tithes of his demesne lands and in lieu of the Tithe corn, geese and pigs within the parish. Item, tithe wool and lamb, calves, foals and bees are due to the said rector throughout the whole parish, the demesne lands of the said Richard Crackanthorpe and the Town End estate of Adam Jackson excepted. Item, the white or Martinmas Book, 1½d. for every communicant, 3d. for every new calved cow under five, 1d. for every barren cow, 2d. for every new calved heifer, a 1d. for every barren heifer, 2d. for every foal, and 2d. for every cast of bees under six, 5s. for every tithe calf, 2s. 6d. for every half-calf. Item Surplice Fees, 6d. for every christening, 1s. 6d. for every wedding in publication and 5s. for every one by licence, 10d. for every funeral and mortuaries according to custom. The Glebe Tithes and Profits of the Rectory of Newbiggin are worth at the improved value about £38 per annum."

A list of the Incumbent whose names have been met with during the present research.

1258 Walter
1354 Robert
1535 John Wrey
1580–d.1626 Rowland Vaux
1626–d.1655 John Morland
1658–1673 Christopher Barrow
1679–d.1698 Thomas Dawson
1698–d.1730 Thomas Jackson
1731– Richard Smith
1766– George Danson
1813– John Murray
1818–1829 John Robinson


When Robert de Crackanthorpe married Emma the heiress of the de Newbiggins, c. 1332, they removed to a defensive tower here. For the next two centuries the Crackanthorpes held high positions in the district. Knights of the Shire in many Parliaments, Sheriffs of Cumberland on other occasions, fighting for the House of Lancaster at Towton Field, and, during the whole period, marrying into such families as the Briscos, the Lancasters of Howgill, the Leyburns, Sandfords and Musgraves of Eden Hall. That they reared and held a strong tower of the late XIVth century therefore cannot be doubted and a few traces of it may still be found in the present pele. Vide, a newel stair with its entrance door at the foot, a garderobe and shaft within the thickness of the wall at the north-east angle, and fireplace flues behind and not beside one another.

The last of the series of John Crackanthorpes was living here in 1527 and from the Court Rolls, contained in the Boke of Ric. Crackanthorpe, dated 1631, we find that his successor, Christopher, was in residence 23 Henry VIII, 1531. The famous inscription bears the date 1533.

Cristofer. Crakanthorpe. Thus. Ye. Me. Calle.
Wiche. In. My. Tym. Dyde. Bylde. This. Halle.
The. yer. of. owr. Lorde. who. lyst. to. se.
A.M. fyue. hundreth. thyrty. and. thre.

Upon a beam found during the rebuilding of the West Tower in 1844, was inscribed, "Xtopher Crackanthorpe of N. Hall this worke began in the 2nd yer of Eliz. our Queen in the yer of our Lord God 1559." Again, another inscribed beam found over the entrance to the dining hall when it was pulled down in 1759, gives the following:—"Mr. Henry Crackanthorpe of this Newbiggynge this worke in the XI yer of Elizabeth our Queen and in the yer of our Lord Gode 1569."

Probably owing to the break in the direct male line the Hall was occupied by a farmer as caretaker for many years and allowed to fall into a great state of dilapidation, however, with the succession of Mrs. Dorothy Cookson-Crackanthorpe the decay was arrested. On the outside there is a small stone inscribed with the initials D.C. and the date A.D. 1759.

The west tower was taken down and rebuilt in 1844 by William Crackanthorpe, under the direction of Anthony Salvin. He placed an inscribed stone on the southern face, as follows:—"William Crakanthorpe rebuilt this Tower, A.D., M.D.C.C.C.X.L.I.I.I.I."

The Drawing Room wing was the work of Montague Hughes Crackanthorpe in 1891, under the direction of C. J. Ferguson, who also took down the partition that divided the Justice's Room from the entrance passage, so as to form the present hall.


Newbiggin Bridge.

This bridge appears upon the list of public bridges made on 28 April, 1679, one half belonging to the co. of Westmorland and one half to co. Cumberland. On 14 October, 1738, a complaint was made to Quarter Sessions that the bridge is one of the public bridges and that the same is in need of reparation. It was therefore ordered that the High Constables of the East and West Wards should view the bridge and report the condition thereof to the next Sessions. On 30 April, 1739, it was further ordered that 2d. in the pound should be assessed and levied for the repair of Warcop and Newbiggin bridges and that the High Constables do contract with some able and experienced workmen for the speedy amendment of this bridge. This may simply refer to the Westmorland portion of the bridge.

On 2 October, 1809, Quarter Sessions ordered that the Bridge Master do meet the Bridge Master of the Leith Ward of Cumberland in order to adopt such measures for widening and repairing or rebuilding Newbiggin Bridge, as may be deemed most proper upon a survey to be taken by one or more experienced workmen, and that a report be made before the Bench at the next Sessions. On 2 February, 1811, it was ordered that that portion which belongs to Westmorland should be rebuilt; and on 13 July, 1812, there was an Order to pay Messrs. Gowling £127. 10. 0 out of the County rates for the rebuilding. In November, 1904, complaint was made that when stone was being hauled from the Culgarth quarry to the railway station, both the bridge and the Rectory which abuts on the road, felt the vibration to a great extent. The bridge has a span of 30 feet and a rise of 6 feet from the springing line.



Robert de Newbiggin presented Sir Thomas de Newbiggin to the rectory, saving to the church of Kirkby Thore the yearly pension of 3s. of old time due and accustomed.


Robert de Newbiggin held the manor under de Clifford when the cornage was 20d. and the wardship worth £5 yearly. In 1388 William de Crackanthorpe held it when the cornage was 20d. but the wardship worth only 40 shillings yearly.


Newebygynge paid a fifteenth as a subsidy to the king amounting to 20s. Excheq. Q.R. Miscell. Books, vol. 7.

1669–1772 Hearth Tax Roll

1669–1772 Hearth Tax Roll, Lay Subsidy 195, n. 73.


Abraham Crackanthorpe 10
Christopher Wikman 1
George Goulin 1
Barnard Crackanthorpe 1
Elizabeth Harper 1
Rowland Gasker 1
Thomas Parker 1
Thomas Tinkler 1
Nicholas Crosby 1
Christopher Barrow 2
John Thompson 1
Christopher Thompson 1
Hugh Stable 1
William Hudleston 1
William Blaymire 1

Seventeen householders were exempted from paying the Tax by Certificate.

1742 24 April.

It was presented to Quarter Sessions that Samuel Storey of Melmerby, co. Cumberland, and Thomas Parker of Westmorland did, by hushing for lead ore at Silverband, poison and pollute Newbiggin Beck so that the said water thereby became unwholesome and corrupt, by reason whereof divers of his majesty's liege subjects and their cattle were hurt and became greatly distempered to the common nuisance of all. This method of hushing for lead ore was done by collecting water behind a dam and then allowing it to rush forth down a sloping surface in order to uncover ore and separate it from the earth and stones in which it was embedded.

1810 1 October.

At this Sessions a certificate was filed setting forth that a certain building belonging to Joseph Breaks in Newbiggin was intended to be used as a meeting place for religious worship.

1822 15 July.

John Allen of Newbiggin for stealing a cart saddle, a horse neck-collar, a bridle and one pair of horse-stays was committed to the gaol for three months and to be publicly whipped, being naked from his waist upward, at the market Cross in Appleby upon a market day about the mid-time of his imprisonment.


The Wesleyan Chapel was erected in this year.