Parishes (West Ward): St Laurence, Crosby Ravensworth

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 (West Ward): St Laurence, Crosby Ravensworth', The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby, (Kendal, 1932), pp. 302-324. British History Online [accessed 17 June 2024].

John F Curwen. "Parishes (West Ward): St Laurence, Crosby Ravensworth", in The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby, (Kendal, 1932) 302-324. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

Curwen, John F. "Parishes (West Ward): St Laurence, Crosby Ravensworth", The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby, (Kendal, 1932). 302-324. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024,

In this section


Including the Manors of Mauld's Meaburn and Reagill.


Within this parish we have:—Stone Circles, (1) called the "Druid Circle" half a mile W. of S. from Oddendale; (2) another half a mile N.N.E. of Hardendale; (3) a circle and tumulus at Iron Hill, threequarters of a mile S. of W. from Harberwain.

Tumuli:—"Penhurrock" on Coal Pit Hill; (2) "Seal howe," half a mile S. of Oddendale; (3) a long barrow, quarter of a mile west of Oddendale; (4) another north of Iron Hill circle; (5) another a quarter of a mile south of Harberwain; (6) one on Dale Moor; (7) another half a mile N.N.W. of Meaburn Hall; (8) one on Bank Moor, one and a half mile south-east of the church; (9) two east of Gilts; (10) one on Crosby Gill three-quarters of a mile south of Crosby Lodge; (11) another a quarter of a mile W.N.W. of the last at an altitude of 1156 feet; (12) another one mile E. of S. from Gilts.

British Settlements:—(1) "Ewe Close"; (2) "Ewe Locks" onethird of a mile south of Ewe Close; (3) "Burwans" a quarter of a mile north-east of Crosby Lodge; (4) "Howarcles" a quarter of a mile S.S.E. of Woodfoot; (5) another on Wickerslack Moor; (6) "Burmont" between Reagill and Sleagill. Collingwood, Ancient Monuments.

Roman Road:—"Wicker Street" came up from the fort at Low Borrow Bridge, but instead of crossing the Lune eastward to the village of Tebay as the modern Turnpike does, it continued straight northward following more or less in the line of the railway as far as Sproat gill, it then passed Howe Nook and made a straight line for three miles over Crosby Ravensworth Fell to Ewe Close where the line is well marked. From the British Settlement of Ewe Close the road led on to Harberwain, Wickerslack, Reagill, Sleagill and Sandwath Bridge to Brougham.

Crosby Ravensworth Dyke:—There are the remains of a dyke, some three-quarters of a mile long, running parallel with the Lyvennet beck north and south, and lying midway between the British Settlements of Ewe Locks on the west and Burwans on the east.


The Church dedicated to St. Laurence was granted to and appropriated by the Abbot and Convent of Whitby. For some cause their title to it was questioned and we append the Award of the arbitrators.

"To all to whom this present writing shall come, the abbots of Rievaulx and Byland, and the priors of Gisburne, Bridlington, Newburgh and Merton, send geeting in our Lord everlasting. Be it known to all that we have inspected diligently and examined under our hands the charters and instruments which the Venerable the Abbot and monks of Whitby have respecting their title to the church of Crosby Ravensworth in the diocese of Carlisle, etc." Finally they issued their Award in favour of the abbey by reason of the following charters. See Levens Hall Deeds.

1. Grant in frankalmoign by Thorphin de Alverstain of co. York, and his heir to the church of St. Peter and St. Hilda of Whitby and to the monks serving God there of the church of Crosby Ravensworth together with two carucates of land, for the salvation of his lord William de Romara and his wife, sons and daughters and for the welfare of their souls and the souls of their parents. Henry Murdac, archbishop of York, who occupied the See from 7 December, 1147 to 14 October, 1153, confirmed this grant which therefore must have been made during or before that period.

2. Charter of Athelwold, Bp. of Carlisle, addressed " to Elias, Archdeacon, and the Chapter of St. Mary at Carlisle and to all the parishioners of the same, greeting and the blessing of God. It pertains to episcopal solicitude to protect with pastoral care lands and ecclesiastical possessions, especially those bequeathed to religious houses, and by authority of its charter to strengthen the same to everlasting continuance." He therefore confirms to the monastery of St. Peter and St. Hilda at Whitby the church of Crosby Ravensworth, saving the right of the church of Carlisle and episcopal customary dues. Witnesses, Robert, dean of Appleby; Brichtrich the priest of St. Laurence at Appleby; Eudo the priest at Kirkby Thore and others. This Charter is dated between 7 December, 1147 and 25 May, 1156.

3. Confirmation by Roger, Archbishop of York, between the years 1156 and 1160.

4. Robert, archdeacon of Carlisle, to all the sons of mother church, notifying that he has delivered to the abbot and monks of Whitby seisin of the church of Crosby Ravensworth, according to the grant and confirmation of the lord Roger, archbishop of York; of Athelwold of blessed memory, bishop of Carlisle; and of Thorphin son of Ughtred, as read in the general Chapter of Carlisle. This must date during the vacancy of the See of Carlisle, after the death of Athelwold in 1155 and before his own death in 1186.

5. When Alan son of Thorphin became of age it was necessary for him to confirm the grant. Addressing himself to Roger, Archbishop of York, legate of the Papal See, and to the Chapter of St. Peter's at York, he fully acknowledged his father's gift which had been made during his minority. "In the month of September next after the capture of William, King of Scotland, he, Alan, gave the church to God, St. Peter and St. Hilda and the monks of Whitby laying the gift upon the altar of that place in the presence of much people. Finally he desired all to have a full assurance that he deprived himself and his heirs of all advowson, gift or claim to the said church, reserving nothing but prayers or such things concerning free alms which befit a layman." William the Lion was captured 12 July, 1174.

6. Confirmation by Bernard, bishop of Carlisle, to the said monks of the said church and granting them licence after the decease, surrender or removal of Odo, the parson thereof, to enter into the said church and keep the keys thereof, without awaiting or requiring the licence of any parson, and to direct all the issues thereof to their own use assigning nevertheless out of the issues one hundred shillings for the maintenance of a vicar to officiate there, who being presented to the bishop by the said monks shall answer to him and his successors respecting the episcopal dues. It is probable that the date of this charter lies about the year 1209.

7. Before 28 May, 1207, King John had seized the temporalities of the abbey of Whitby, and upon the death of Odo, intended to put one of his own favourites into the living of Crosby; whereupon the monks realising their position, applied to the bishop of Carlisle to safeguard their rights. This explains the following Letter Patent.

Letters of Bernard, Bishop of Carlisle, reciting that " King John, by reason of his custody of Whitby Abbey to which the church of Crosby Ravensworth belonged, had presented Master Ernald to him for institution upon the decease of Odo, who had held that church for a long period, and notwithstanding that the monks of Whitby, hearing of the death of Odo, had come to him with their charters and instruments declaring that the church had been given to them by the true patrons and confirmed to them in frankalmoign by Bernard's predecessor, Athelwold, of blessed memory and again confirmed by Roger, Archbishop of York, into which also they had been instituted by Robert, Archdeacon of Carlisle, to whom during the vacancy of the See of Carlisle such institution belonged . . . yet the peace of the Church of England being mournfully distraught on account of the discord between the Kingdom and the clergy for the Canterbury proceeding, and the said monks having no power to prosecute their right as they ought and wished to do, as being without a shepherd and remaining in the custody of the king, therefore in pursuance of the king's command, he had instituted the said Master Ernald to that church, saving the right of the monks after the decease or removal of the said Ernald."

To this institution at the king's behest the monks consented, nevertheless protesting and supplicating that this act should not hereafter prejudice or injure their right. The Bishop therefore grants these letters patent desiring to preserve their rights and the rights of all religious men. Date, between April 1209 and May, 1212.

8. Confirmation by Hugh, Prior of Carlisle, to the monks of St. Peter and St. Hilda of Whitby of the church of Crosby, confirmed to them by Bernard formerly bishop of Carlisle. This would be after King John gave the custody of the See of Carlisle to the Prior on 26 May, 1215, and before the consecration of Hugh, abbot of Beaulieu, to the bishopric on 24 February, 1219.

9. Letters of Hugh, Bishop of Carlisle, confirming to John, abbot of Whitby, upon the death of Master Ernald de Auckland, the church of Crosby Ravensworth; and likewise confirming the charters of Archbishop Roger and Robert archdeacon of Carlisle. He also acknowledges the illegal institution of Master Ernald during the period in which the custody of the Abbey was in the hands of King John. The date lies between the consecration of the bishop on 24 February, 1219, and his death at the abbey of La Ferte in Burgundy on 14 June, 1223.

10. Certificate of Master Adam, Official of Carlisle, by order of Hugh, Bishop of Carlisle, concerning the induction of John, Abbot of Whitby to the church of Crosby Ravensworth, on the 8th Kalends of December. Date, 1219–1223.

11. Confirmation by Thomas de Hastings of the grants made by Thorphin de Alverstain and Alan his son, grandfather of the said Thomas, to the church of St. Peter and St. Hilda and the monks of Whitby, of the church of Crosby Ravensworth in Westmaria[land]. Thomas was eldest son and heir of Hugh de Hastings by his wife Helen, daughter and heir of Alan de Alverstain. Date, between the years 1212 and 1222.

12. Confirmation by Bartholomew, Prior of Carlisle, and the Chapter of the Canons of that place to the Abbot and convent of Whitby, of the charters of Bishops Athelwold and Hugh, and of the restoration made to them of the church of Crosby Ravensworth by the latter. Date, 1223–1231.

13. Bull of Pope Honorius confirming the Abbot and Covent of Whitby in possession of the church of Crosby Ravensworth. Given at the Lateran, the 4th of the Nones of May in the sixth year of his pontificate, 4 May, 1222.

At some time previous to the year 1120 Ranulph de Meschines granted to St. Mary's of York, two parts of the tithe of the demesne lands of Meaburn. Then shortly afterwards the abbot leased to Alexander son of Roger, chaplain of Crosby Ravensworth, these two parts upon the payment of 2s. annually. About the year 1200 a convention was entered into concerning these tithes between Robert de Longo Campo, the abbot and convent of St. Mary, and Peter the abbot and convent of Whitby to whom the church of Crosby Ravensworth belonged; the former giving a perpetual lease of the tithes for an annual payment of ten quarters of wheat. This payment appears to have been commuted afterwards for a payment in money, and at the Dissolution we find that a pension of £4 was paid by the rector to the Priory of Wetherhal, a cell of St. Mary's abbey. Prescott, Register of Wetherhal.

Walter Malclerk, fourth bishop of Carlisle 1223–1246, constituted a perpetual vicarage for Crosby, allotting a more sufficient stipend for his maintenance, "the abbot and convent spontaneously and absolutely consenting to his ordering the taxation." The vicar was to have the altarage and 20 acres of land with two tofts, paying to the monks of Whitby 20s. per annum; while they were to have the tithe of wool and lamb of the whole parish with two parts of the tithe of hay of the lordship of Meaburn; the vicar to bear all ordinary burdens, synodals and archdeaconal procurations, and the abbey the extraordinary.

There was a decree or award of William and Robert de Pickering, canons of York, and John prior of Bolton in Craven, made on 4 August, 1310, upon the dispute between the abbot and convent of Whitby and the prior of Conishead, respecting the boundaries and tithes of the parish of Crosby Ravensworth. The award was given in the Chapter of the Church of St. Peter's at York. Duchy of Lancaster Ancient Deeds, n. 414. On the 2 June, 1311, the dispute as to the tithes of Orton which were claimed by the abbot of Whitby in right of the abbey's impropriation of Crosby Ravensworth, having been amicably settled with the prior of Conishead, the Bishop of Carlisle absolves him from the sentences of excommunication and interdict which the abbey had incurred. Register of Bp. Halton.

In the "Antique Taxatio Ecclesiastica" of Pope Nicholas IV made in the year 1291, the church is valued at £40 and the vicarage at £5; but in the "Novo Taxatio" of Pope Clement v made in 1318 the whole value is reduced to £5. The "Valor Ecclesiasticus" made by order of Parliament, 26 Henry VIII, 1535, gives us the following—

Crosby Ravensworth, Arthur Baynes, incumbent.
The Vicarage is worth in—
Oblations £2 6 8
Tithes in hay, flax and hemp 13 4
Calves and the lesser fees as in the Easter Book 5 0 0
£8 0 0
Reprisals to wit
Synodals 4s. and Procurations 2s. 8d. 6 8
Clear annual value £7 13 4
A tenth part whereof 15 4

The living was augmented by the Commonwealth Commissioners on 10 June, 1646:—"Crosby Ravenswath a yearly sum of £50 out of rents, profits and revenues belonging to the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle for the increase of the maintenance of William Curwen, minister. The Vicarage in peaceful times did not exceed £30 per annum and now is not worth £20." William Curwen was sequestered for a short time when Charles Kipling was appointed. In 1655 Charles Kipling made petition that the profits of the vicarage did not exceed £35. 13. 0. and that to pay a fifth part, or £7. 2. 0. to William Curwen for three years was impossible. The Commissioners therefore ordered that he be discharged from this burden and issued an order to the parishioners not to pay him (Curwen) any more of the profits.

The Commonwealth Survey of 1657 gives the following:—

"That the right of presentation to the church is in Alan Bellingham. That there is no settled minister there but the cure is supplied by Charles Kipling who hath for his pains the Glebe land there worth £5 by the year and some other small tithes worth £7 by the year."

At the Restoration William Curwen regained the living and remained here till his death, at the age of 95, in April, 1685.

Bishop Nicolson at his Visitation on 20 August, 1703, records that "the fabric of the church looks well on the outside . . . In the quire which belongs to Col. Graham the present impropriator, the north wall looks nasty and black and indeed the whole wants whitewashing. Here are no rails. The body of the church is well seated. Here is a large north aisle which belongs to R. Lowther of Meaburn, who has lately purchased the demesne and tenants."

After the Dissolution of the monasteries the rectory and the advowson were purchased by the Bellingham family of Levens and Gathorne. Alan Bellingham sold them to Col. James Graham whose daughter, Catherine, brought them in marriage to Henry Bowes Howard, earl of Berkshire. He sold the rectory to the Lowther family, but the advowson he kept and this has passed down through Sir Josceline FitzRoy Bagot to the present owner.

The church was reconstructed between the years 1809 and 1816, with the assistance of Sir Robert Smirke, the architect recently engaged upon the rebuilding of Lowther Hall. The ancient walls and windows were replaced by others in the plainest style. Fortunately the tower was saved but the upper stage received a new battlement being "a poor imitation of that at Magdalen College, Oxford." It was left to the Rev. George Frederick Weston to restore the once lovely structure to its ancient size and beauty. He obtained the services of J. S. Crowther, an architect of Manchester, and from 1850 to 1886 the work was gradually taken in hand and lovingly completed; Wilkinson Dent of Flass, being a most generous supporter. Considering the cost incurred and the labour bestowed upon it, the work is almost unprecedented in a small country parish.

The ancient font is inscribed:—"NIΨON. ANOMHMATA. MH. MONAN. OΨIN.," which reads the same both ways, and in English means "Wash not only my face, but my sins." It is rather interesting to compare this with the Greek inscription concluding with the date A. Ψ. B. for 1702, above the door at Reagill School, and wonder whether or no the same ingenious hand wrote them both in that year.

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

c.1132–c.1161 Alexander
        –c.1209 Odo
        c.1209– Ernald
        –1361 John de Linton
1380– John de Reagill
1535– Arthur Baynes
1564–1572 Rowland Thwaites
1572– Christopher Whitton
        –d.1576 Rowland Thwaites
1576–d.1597 Edward Smith
1597–1617 William Willan
1617– William Willan, jun.
1643–r.1657 William Curwen
1657–r.1660 Charles Kipling
1660–d.1685 William Curwen
1685–d.1708 William Wilkinson
1708–d.1747 James Watson
1747 George Williamson
Joseph Briscoe
J. Wilson
1783– Samuel Beveley
1812–1829 Joseph Briscoe
1834– Salisbury Everard
1837– Edw. Carus Wilson
1848–1888 Geo. Frederick


There was anciently a chapel or oratory at Reagill but there are now only the field names of "Chapel garth" and "Chapel lands" to remind us of it. Robert de Veteripont gave to Shap abbey the whole of Reagill, where the canons had a grange, and a chapel served by one of their number. The abbot and convent of Whitby despatched a messenger to Rome to complain to the Pope that the abbot and convent of Shap over-exacted their tithes of Renegill Chapel in the parish of Crosby Ravensworth. His Holiness appointed certain persons to examine into these grievances and wrote in 1224 settling that "the abbot and convent of Shap were to pay to the church of Crosby six skepfuls of merchantable oatmeal for the tithes of their land at Renegill, and that they should have power to celebrate divine service in the Chapel, saving harmless to the mother church of Crosby Ravensworth with regard to oblations, obventions, confessions, communions and burials." A deed to this effect was drawn up on 20th Kalends of May, in the year of Incarnation, 1225.


Crosby Ravensworth School.

There was in 1600 a School Stock of £30, but the source from which that sum was derived is unknown. It was augmented with £100, about the year 1630, by the Rev. William Willan, vicar. This nucleus with other small benefactions was laid out in the purchase of six and a half acres of land at Street near Orton in 1789. The old school was rebuilt at Crosby Church Steel by the inhabitants in 1666, and the Trust Deed declares that the master is to teach and keep a free school for all such as shall come thither to be taught from what place soever they shall come, and to teach such good literature as is taught in other grammar schools. The number of free scholars was afterwards fixed by the Trustees at 25, and since the establishment of an endowed school at Mauld's Meaburn, the number has been limited further to 10 free scholars.

In 1703 Thomas Pattinson was the master and at Whitsuntide 1705 a young man named Cragg was licenced by the Bishop to the school. In 1749 Richard Hodgson was schoolmaster when Edward Thwaites left 20s. a year to the master and 10s. a year for books for the poor children. See under Miscellaneous Items, 1749.

In 1784 the school house was rebuilt at the expense of William Dent, who, with his brother Robert assisted Anne, Viscountess Andover, to increase the revenues by the gift of £500 of old South Sea annuities.

George Gibson of Kendal by deed dated 5 June, 1866, gave £1000 to be equally divided between this boys' school and a Dames' school in Crosby Ravensworth.

The school buildings were re-erected in 1873.

Crosby Ravensworth Dame's School.

Indenture made 10 August, 1836, between John Sewell of Upper Thames Street, London, distiller, and Frances his wife the only child and heiress of George Gibson, late of Crosby Ravensworth, husbandman, deceased, of the one part, and the Rev. Salisbury Everard, vicar of Crosby, George Sewell son of the said John and Frances, Thomas Gibson of Oddendale, esquire, and George Gibson of Kendal, esquire. Whereas the said late George Gibson about 1830 with his own money and subscriptions from others, erected a dwelling house on his land to be used as a dame or mistress's school for female children, and appointed Mary Langhorn, mistress, and by his will of 7 March, 1834, bequeathed his right in the same to the vicar of Crosby Ravensworth, the said George Sewell his grandson, Thomas Gibson his nephew and George Gibson his nephew, and died 12 October last and his will was proved in the Consistory Court of Carlisle; and whereas the said legacy is void in law as being a devise to a charitable use, the said John and Frances Sewell wishing to carry out the said bequest, now assign the same to the said Trustees to carry on as the said George Gibson desired. Close Roll, 11609, pt. 197, n. 16.

Reagill Grammar School.

The school was founded and endowed in the year 1684, by the Rev. Randal Sanderson, a native who became a Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford. He gave £120 for the maintenance of a schoolmaster within the Township of Reagill. This benefaction was augmented by Thomas Harrison giving £10 and Joseph Wilkinson giving £5 to the school stock. By a deed of agreement, made 3 January, 1733, this sum was settled upon the school for the maintenance of a master to teach gratis any children of the inhabitants.

In 1805 the Commissioners of the Inclosure Act allotted 28 acres to the school. William Thwayts, who died in 1834, left £500 to increase the endowment, but unfortunately the money was deposited in an Appleby bank which failed, so that only £310 were available for the purchase of a small estate at Reagill.

Over the inner door appear the initials R. S. for Randal Sanderson and the date 1684. The incised Greek inscription beneath concludes with the date A=1000, Ψ=700, B=2, or 1702.

Mauld's Meaburn School.

A mixed Elementary School established in 1834 and enlarged in 1892. Over the door is the following inscription: "This School built by voluntary subscription for the encouragement of learning and true religion was endowed by the following benefactors:—John Salkeld, esquire, Mauld's Meaburn, £100; Thomas Wilkinson, esquire, London, £100; Mrs. Thwaytes, London, £100; John Pennyfather, Whitehaven, £100."


Crosby Ravensworth Hall.

The site of Thomas de Hastings' house in 1286. "On Whit Sunday of that year Richard le Fraunceys of Mauld's Meaburn sent William de Harcla, John le Fraunceys, Robert de Appleby and others to Crosby Ravensworth. There they found Nicholas de Hastings, leaning on his bow, outside the gate of his brother's house, and immediately they attacked him. John le Fraunceys struck him with a staff and pushed him in the breast and by pressing upon him with his horse thrust him into a ditch. Seeing this William de Harcla leapt at him with his sword drawn intending to run it into him but the sword fell from his hand and so he failed. Whereupon John le Fraunceys bade Robert de Appleby shoot him with an arrow and Robert did as he was asked and shot him in the breast and Nicholas very quickly died." After which the murderers returned in a body towards the manor house of Mauld's Meaburn. "At once the villagers of Crosby followed them with hue and cry and with intent to arrest and seize the felon, Robert, who shot the arrow. But John le Fraunceys and William de Harcla and the others drove them back and by use of weapons rescued Robert de Appleby and took him away into the manor house of Richard le Fraunceys, who sent them forth, at Mauld's Meaburn, shut the gates after them and allowed no one to go in. Thereon came Alice, wife of Nicholas de Hastings, the slain man, she climbed on to a wall and raised hue and cry and sought to obtain entrance for the people with her that they might arrest them, but those inside the manor house prevented anyone from gaining ingress." This incident, somewhat abbreviated here, is given very fully in Trans., N.S., xi, pp. 326–332, and is of great interest as the mention of two 13th century manor houses is very rare.

Henry de Threlkeld held this Grange in 1304 and portions of the surrounding ditch or moat are still visible in the courtyard of the present Hall. William de Threlkeld received a licence in 1336 to impark some 700 acres of his woods and glens at Crosby Gill and on the road side between Crosby and Gilts can be seen the remains of the great park wall. Then about 1350 a pele tower was erected here.

A Threlkeld heiress brought the estate by marriage to the family of Pickering, and it was a Pickering who, about the year 1550, erected the manor house up against the Pele. Over the door the Pickering arms are displayed with eight quarterings and supporters. From the last of the Pickerings the manor was purchased by Sir John Lowther who gave it as a marriage portion to his daughter Frances and John Dodsworth. They are known to have been in residence here in 1682 and to have made repairs to the building. Finally it was purchased by Robert Lowther, whose son became the head of the family and the earl of Lonsdale of the first creation.

The ruins of the Pele Tower were taken down about the year 1750.

Mauld's Meaburn Hall.

King's Meaburn and Mauld's Meaburn were anciently one manor and continued undivided until the time of Hugh de Morville's rebellion in 1173–4. The king then escheated the manor, saving a portion which was allowed to remain to de Moreville's only daughter, Maud. Maud married William de Veteripont and about 1230 Ivo de Veteripont granted to his daughter, Joan, for her homage and service one toft with a croft "with all my garden across the stream and opposite my Hall in the vill of Meaburn". . . and of my ploughland "the half towards the north of my whole croft by my Hall in the part belonging to Meaburn."

In 1241 Robert, son of Ivo, granted his whole manor of Mauld's Meaburn together with all its rights and services to John le Fraunceys for his homage and the payment of one pound of cummin yearly. Then in 1286 came the incident, as mentioned above, when Richard le Fraunceys sent forth a party to murder Nicholas de Hastings. For some 300 years the manor seems to have remained with the le Frauncey or Vernon family, but whether they resided here or laid the foundations for the present Hall it is difficult to say. The Hall then became the residence of a junior branch of the Lowther family.

Craik Trees.

A tower house and the residence of a cadet branch of the Lancaster family; Ambrose the 6th son of Lancelot Lancaster of Sockbridge was living here in 1591.

Reagill Grange.

The ancient Grange occupied a site a little to the north of the present house, immediately on the edge of a deep and rocky ravine. After the Dissolution the Grange became the property of the Whartons and a branch of the family resided at it. One Anthony Wharton "of Reagill Grange" died in 1590. The Whartons sold Reagill Grange and half of the demesne to Dr. Lancelot Dawes rector of Barton (1608–1653) and the other half to Sir John Lowther. The Hall remained in the Dawes family up to at least 1700, at which time an addition was made to the north side where there is an inscribed lintel of a doorway bearing the initials T.E.D. Soon after this the Grange with the half of the demesne was sold to Sir John Lowther who thus obtained the whole.

Flass House.

Mr. Wilkinson Dent, who was such a great benefactor to the church, built this house in 1851 of white limestone from the high ground near Orton Scar.


Dent Bridge, over the Lyvennett in Mauld's Meaburn.

This bridge was erected at the sole cost of Wilkinson Dent of Flass in a substantial and commodious manner. On 31 December, 1860, it was taken over as a public county bridge.

Holme Bridge.

This bridge appears upon the list of public bridges made on 28 April, 1679. On 12 January, 1690–91, Quarter Sessions ordered that it should be surveyed and an estimate made for its rebuilding. On 11 January, 1691–2 it was ordered that a 1d. in the pound should be assessed and levied within the Bottom of Westmorland for the repair or rebuilding of Holme Bridge.

Howebeck Bridge, over the Howe Beck which flows into the Lyvennett.

Quarter Sessions ordered on 12 January, 1690–1, that this bridge should be surveyed and an estimate made for its rebuilding. On 12 January, 1778, a presentment was made that the bridge was a public one belonging to the County and that it with 300 feet of the road at each end was in great decay, whereupon it was ordered to be repaired and widened at the county expense. On 4 July, 1839, Quarter Sessions ordered that Howbeck Bridge be rebuilt and that the road at the end be improved.

Mauld's Meaburn Bridge, over the Lyvennett.

This bridge appears upon the list of public bridges made on 28 April, 1679. Upon petition of the inhabitants of Mauld's Meaburn that 300 feet of causway adjoining the west end of the bridge was so bad and founderous that travellers could not pass, it was ordered that the High Constables of the East and West Wards should contract with all speed for its repair. On 1 July, 1853, it was ordered that this county bridge should be widened and repaired according to a plan and estimate of £47.

Monk Bridge, over the Lyvennett to the north of the Vicarage.

Quarter Sessions ordered on 13 April, 1702, that the High Constables do view Monk Bridge near the church at Crosby Ravensworth, and give an estimate for its repair. On 6 October, 1788, there was a presentment that it was a public bridge belonging to the county and that it with 300 feet of the road at each end ought to be repaired at the public expense. It consists of two arches each of 17 feet 9 inches span, having a rise of 4 feet from the springing line which is 2 feet above the mean water level. The central pier is 6 feet 2 inches wide. The bridge measures 8 feet 11 inches over all, with a road clearance of 7 feet 9 inches.


c. 1160

Grant by Thorphin de Alverstain and Alan his son and heir, to God and St. Peter and St. Leonard and the poor of the Hospital of St. Peter at York, of forty acres of land in Crosby Ravensworth lying near the mill in one holding, where the buildings of the tenants of the Hospital stand; and nine acres at Blasker where the brethren's buildings stand; and twenty-four acres of land immediately adjoining; together with common of pasture of the whole town of Crosby and an approach six perches wide, for their use and the use of their men dwelling there, as in the time of Hugh de Morvil from the first they had an approach. All which gifts in frankalmoign they laid upon the altar of St. Peter for the use of the poor of that Hospital, and for the health of the soul of Hugh de Morvil, their own souls, and their lords' and ancestors' souls, that both in life and death they might be partakers of all the benefits and prayers to be made in that holy house.

They also granted to the brethren of the Hospital six oxgangs of land being the whole of the land extending from the said forty acres along the brow of the hill called Brunbank to the old ditch which goes down from Brunbank to the Asby path, along that path to the highway which runs from Appleby to Tebay, and so by the bounds of Meaburn to land of Crosby church, and so by that land back to the aforesaid forty acres; together with twelve acres of land in Blaskerside; rendering yearly sixteen shillings to the grantor and his heirs. They undertake not to receive any monks into the townlands of Crosby, nor any rich man to the hurt of the brethren.

a. 1239

Grant of Gathorne by Ivo de Veteripont, who died in 1239. "Know ye that guided by charity, for the safety of my soul . . . I have given and granted . . . to God and the poor (brethren) of the Hospital of St. Leonard of York, Garethorn with its belongings according as the underwritten limits and boundaries show: that is to say, from the older mill pond of Garethorn to the Ghil next the ploughland as far as the great dyke, and then across the way which comes from Kendal, up to the great stone, and then to the end of the four stones; thence descending to the lower head of Windecoteghil and thence going to Rudekeldsike; in Rudekeldsike descending by the stream of Driabecghile to the bounds of Hof; thence transversely to the boundary between Asby and Garethorn to the stream of Asby, and thence ascending to the aforesaid old pond."


John son of Hugh le Fraunceys had received, c. 1240, a grant of Mauld's Meaburn from Robert son of Ivo de Veteripont, rendering homage and a pound of cummin for the manor. Now at Easter 1243, the aforesaid John complained that Robert had come with other men armed while he was away in the service of the king and had forcibly ejected John's men and had driven away his beasts and trampled down his crops to the damage of £40. Robert denied that he had done anything to break the peace and said that he had made no intrusion, but came simply for hospitality and stayed peacefully without doing any damage to John or his men. However, John was given back full seisin of his lands. Curia Regis Roll, 125, m. 2.


John de Linton, vicar of Crosby Ravensworth, made his will in which he desires to be buried in his church. He left 6s. 8d. for the repair of the choir. Testa. Karl., 37.

1377 Michaelmas.

William de Threlkeld by Adam Crossby his attorney appeared against Robert Marshal of Kirkeby in Kendale, in a plea that when the same Robert had undertaken to cure a certain horse belonging to the said William of a certain weakness by which it was hindered in the right leg and the said Robert at Crosby Ravensworth so negligently and incautiously cut the veins and sinews that the same leg became withered, whereby William altogether lost the profit of the said horse. Defendant did not come. Case adjourned until the octave of S. Hilary. De Banco Roll, 468, m. 139.

1378 Easter.

Alice who was the wife of John de Threlkeld, executrix of the will of the said John, by Adam Crosseby her attorney, appeared against Thomas de Rokeby, knt., in a plea that he render unto her 20 marks which he owes. De Banco Rolls, 470, m. 225; 471, m. 185.

1378–9. Hilary.

The abbot of Heppe by Thomas Dannay his attorney appeared against John Richardson in a plea wherefore with force and arms the corn and herbage belonging to the said Abbot at Reagill with certain beasts they depastured, trod down and consumed. De Banco Roll, 473, m. 38d.

1380 Trinity.

William de Stirkeland appeared against Robert de Disford in a plea of assault on his servant Isabel Taylor at Meaburn and wounding her so that the said William had long to do without her service. De Banco Roll, 479, m. 378.

1380 Michaelmas.

John de Regill, vicar of Crosby Church against John de Drybeck and Adam his son in a plea that they with violence depastured his corn and herbage at Crosby Ravensworth to the value of 100s. Ibid., 480, m. 417.


Crosby Ravensworth paid a fifteenth as a subsidy to the king amounting to 67s. 8d. and Mauld's Meaburn with Reagill 100s. Total of £8. 7s. 8d. Excheq. Q. R. Miscellaneous Books, vol. 7.

1543 4 July.

Letters Patent whereby the whole Grange of Garthorne, parcel of the late monastery or Hospital of St. Leonard in the city of York, is granted unto Richard Andrewes and Nicholas Temple, to be holden in capite by the twentieth part of a knight's fee, and rent of 16s. 2½d.

1543 6 July.

Henry VIII to all etc. greeting. Be it known that we of our special grace and for 48s. 7½d. to us paid in our Hanaper, have granted and given licence to our well beloved Richard Andrewes of Hayles, co. Gloucester, esquire, and Nicholas Temple, to give, sell and alienate to James Bellingham, gent., all the Grange of Garethorne and all buildings, lands etc. in Garethorne, recently belonging to the late Monastery or Hospital of St. Leonard within the City of York, now dissolved. To hold to the said James and his heirs of us and our heirs and successors by the services and rents therefor due.

1543 3 August.

Letters Patent whereby five messuages and tenements with their appurtenances in Crossby Banck, late parcel of the dissolved Monastery or Hospital of St. Leonard are granted unto the said Richard Andrews and Nicholas Temple to be holden in capite by the sixtieth part of a knight's fee and the rent of 3s. 3½d.

1543 10 September.

Be it known that we of our special grace have granted and given licence to Richard Andrews and Nicholas Temple to alienate to James Bellingham, gent., five tenements and one cottage called Crosbybanke in the parish of Crosby Ravensworth with all their members and appurtenances, to the late Monastery of St. Leonard in the City of York recently belonging, to hold to the said James Bellingham his heirs and assigns in perpetuity of the king and his heirs, by the services due and reserved. Given at Westminster, 10 September, 35 Henry VIII.

1543 21 October.

Letters patent whereby the Rectory of Crosby Ravensworth, with all glebe, tithes, etc. and the advowson of the vicarage are granted unto John Bellowe and Robert Brockelsby to be holden in capite by the twentieth part of a knight's fee.

1543–4 17 February.

Richard Andrews of Hayles, co. Gloucester, esquire, sends greeting. Be it known that I have given, granted, released and for me and my heirs absolutely quit-claimed to James Bellingham of Garthorne, gent., all my right, estate and interest in all the lands and tenements in Crosby Bank, late parcel of the possessions and revenues of the late Monastery or Hospital of St. Leonard within the city of York, to have and to hold to the said James Bellingham, his heirs and assigns in perpetuity.

1544–5 23 January.

James Bellingham granted to farm the Grange of Garthorne to Alan, his brother, for a term of eighty years.

1547 23 April.

James Bellingham of Garthorn made his will as follows: "Being sick in my body and knowing the time of death to every man uncertain, ordain and make this my last will and testament in manner and form following. First I commend my soul unto Almighty God my maker and redeemer, etc. Item, if the child now being in the womb of my wife be a son then . . . devise and bequeath by the consent of my brother Alan unto whom I made a lease of Garethorne, all my said grange of Garethorne with the appurtenances and as much of mine other lands and tenements, rents and services which I may lawfully devise unto my brother Alan Bellingham until my said son come to the age of one and twenty years towards the payment of my debts and . . . of my said son and mine other children after his discretion, and . . . the said Garethorne and the said lands and tenements wholly to remain to my son and to the heirs male of his body and for default of such . . . remain to my brother Alan and the heirs male of his body . . . begotten and for default of such issue to remain to my right heirs."

At the inquisition taken after the death of James Bellingham [taken at Shap 1 September 1 Edw. VI, 1548], it was shown that James died 29 April following and that he was then seised of three messuages and divers lands in Little Strickland; of one messuage and divers lands in Orton; and of six messuages and divers lands called "Crosbybank" now in the several tenures or occupations of Michael Fayrrer, James Smithson, William Fayrrer, Elizabeth late the wife of Richard Fayrrer, William Sill and Gilbert Bell. And the Grange or Manor of Garthorne in his demesne as of fee. The jurors further say that Thomas Bellingham is son and heir of the said James Bellingham and of the age of 17 weeks and 3 days. Chanc. Inq. p.m., Series ii, Vol. 85, n. 80.

1564 27 October.

Here are a few specimen extracts of the Court of Alan Bellingham held at Garthorne, for two years last past.

For not rendering suit of Court the following were fined 8d. each:—Henry, earl of Cumberland for lands in Musgrave upon le Hill; and the heirs of Henry Thornburgh, knt., Thomas Cliburn, John Brougham, John Oxenthwait, Thomas Salkeld and John Warriner for free rents. For Crosbybanck and Rawe:—Lancelot, Thomas, Anthony and James Farrer were each fined 4d. for cutting green wood. Rolland Thwaites, vicar of Crosby, and seven others likewise. For Meaburn:—eleven inhabitants were fined 2d. each for cutting green wood.

Edward Wharton was fined 6s. 8d. because he cut and carried away two ash trees without licence.

John Thwaites and the relict of Thomas Thwaites were each fined 3d. because they did not make their hedge upon their kiln according to order of the Court.

Martin Shereman, the relict of Thomas Thwaites and Roland Robinson were fined 6d. each because they kept their oxen upon the land of another man against the order. Sibella Robinson was fined 6d. because she broke James Smythson's hedge and put a mare into his close.

William Adderson of Meaburn Green was fined 6s. 8d. because he wrongly accused John Smythson of Banck.

Anthony Teisdall was fined 12d. because he illegally cut a hedge.

Anthony Farrer was fined 6s. 4d. for not making his hedges in due time of the year and for allowing several breaches.

Gilbert Bell because he slandered Christopher Nicholson calling him a thief, and the wife of the said Christopher because she slandered the said Gilbert, were fined 6s. 8d. each.

1566 17 October.

The Court of Alan Bellingham was held at Garthorne on this day, for the two years last past.

Thomas Farrer was fined 12d. because he put his cattle in the fields of Banck before due and accustomed times.

The jurors of this Court say and present upon their oath that the house called Munckhaule is in great ruin by default of Thomas Whaites, deceased, therefore it is ordered by the Inquest that the executors of the said Thomas shall pay or cause to be paid to William Cumpston, now tenant of the said house, for repair of the same, 6s. 8d.

John Smythson was fined 2s. because he made two "hubbleshowes" upon Lancelot Smythson, his brother. That is an angry dispute between them causing considerable commotion.

The wife of Edward Robynson for unlawful words spoken against John Dent was fined 20d.

Thomas Farrer and several others were fined 6d. each because they did not mow the end of their lands within the territory before the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene.


Final Concord at Westminster on the octave of St. Michael, 8 James 1. Between Sir James Bellingham, knt. plaintiff, and James Bellingham, gent. and Elizabeth his wife, and Charles Bellingham, gent. deforciants, of eleven messuages, six gardens, 260 acres of land, 130 acres of meadow, 460 acres of pasture, 100 acres of heath and gorse and 400 acres of moor, with the appurtenances in Garethorne, Lingwell, Crosby-bank, Meaburn, Musgrave, Orton, Asby and Crosby Ravensworth; and of the Rectory of Crosby with the appurtenances and all manner of tithes of sheaves of corn, hay, lambs, wool, milk and hemp and other tithes whatsoever yearly renewing and growing in Crosby Ravensworth; and also the advowson of the church of Crosby. James Bellingham, Elizabeth and Charles acknowledged the tenements, etc. to be the right of Sir James Bellingham, as those which he has by their gift and those quit-claimed to him and his heirs in perpetuity. With warranty. For this release Sir James gave them £160 sterling.


After Thomas Pickering sold the manor and part of the demesne to Sir John Lowther, an interesting dispute as to tenant-right arose. The lord claimed an absolute estate in the tenements, while the tenants claimed an inheritance therein, according to the customs of the manor. The dispute between Sir John and his tenants was brought to issue in the High Court of Chancery and a decree obtained in 1624; whereupon a grant was made to the tenants that their estate should descend as of old upon payment of certain fines, reserving nevertheless the freehold estate therein and suit of court and mill. Cf. N. & B. i, 307.

Subsequently Sir John gave the manor and estate in marriage with his daughter Frances to John Dodsworth of Thornton Watlass in Yorkshire.


On Meaburn Hill is a small stone obelisk, erected by Thomas Bland of Reagill on the site of the house in which resided for many generations the ancestors of Joseph Addison. It is inscribed, "On this spot dwelt the paternal ancestors of the celebrated Joseph Addison; his father, Lancelot Addison, Dean of Lichfield, was born here A.D. 1632." Lancelot was the son of a clergyman, received his education at the Free Grammar School at Appleby, and at Queen's College, Oxford, where he was first on the foundation; after taking his M.A. degree he remained at the University till the Restoration. He entered into Holy Orders and was appointed chaplain to the garrison of Dunkirk, then in possession of the English, and afterwards to the garrison at Tangier. Soon after his return in 1670, he was appointed to the rectory of Milston in Wiltshire—Prebendary of Salisbury—Archdeacon of Coventry—and Dean of Lichfield, where he died 20 April, 1703.

His son, Joseph, was born at Milston 1 May, 1672. He became one of the most distinguished writers, keeper of the Records, Secretary to the Lords Justices who assumed the Government on the death of Queen Anne, and finally one of His Majesty's Secretaries of State. In August, 1716 he married the Countess-Dowager of Warwick, who brought him little but the occupancy of Holland House at Kensington, where he died 17 June, 1719.


Charles 11 with his army returning southwards and intent on regaining his throne rested for a time at a place called "Black Dub" near the head of Crosby Ghyl from whence springs the river Lyvennet. The Lady Anne thus relates the incident, "On 8 August, 1651, His Most Gracious Majesty King Charles 11 with his army on his way from Scotland passed Appleby about 7 miles to the West." Black Dub, now surrounded on all sides by an unenclosed heath, as solitary and dreary as can well be imagined, was at this time on the King's highway from Scotland through Lancashire to the south. In 1840 Thomas Bland of Reagill erected a rustic obelisk here with an inscription commemorating the occasion; it was renewed in 1861 by Mr. Gibson.

William Curwen, a strong royalist, was vicar of Crosby at the time of the king's visit and doubtless met and did homage to his sovereign there. He was born in the year 1592 and graduated M.A. at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he met his wife, Susan, the daughter of Thomas Orton of Cambridge. In 1635 we hear of him as Curate and Schoolmaster of Over Kellet near Carnforth. On 28 August, 1643, he was inducted into the living of Crosby Ravensworth. On 10 June, 1646 he received from the Commonwealth Commissioners an augmentation of £50, as stated before, but his royalist tendencies evidently did not please the Parliamentary party for he was ejected from the living in 1657. However, with the return of Charles 11 to the throne, he was restored to Crosby in 1660. He died here on 5 April, 1685, being ninety-five years of age and having served this church for thirty-nine years.

1669–1672 Hearth Tax Roll

1669–1672 Hearth Tax Roll, Lay Subsidy 195, n. 73.


Oliver Richardson 1
Thomas Speddin 1
Thomas Kitchine 1
John Dennyson 2
Thomas Wilkinson 1
William Dawes 1
Richard Waller 2
John Varey 1
Mr. Curwen, vicar 2
James Lambe 2
Mr. Tho. Gebatis 4
Lancelot Varey 1
John Varey 1
William Wilkinson 1
widow Richardson 1
William Waite 1
James Wright 1
John Wilkinson 2
William Addyson 1
James Robinson 1
John Dennyson 1
Edward Thwaites 1
Thomas Nicholson 1
Rowland Smith 1
widow Gibson 1
James Atkinson 1
Thomas Wilson 2
Richard Ion 1
Edward Gibson 1
Thomas Rigg 1
William Thwaites 1
Robert Gibson 1
William Richardson 1
Edward Thwaites 1
James Langhorne 1
William Farrow 1
Anthony Smith 1
Richard Ion 1

Twenty-seven householders were exempted from paying the Tax by Certificate, but there were 47 paid for which at 2s. each represented a tax of £4. 14. 0. to the king.


Thomas Langhorn 1
William Barwis 1
John Richinson 1
Anthony Dent 1
Thomas Atkinson 1
Edward Richinson 1
Thomas Parkin 1
Thomas Farrow 1
Christopher Moss 1
Anthony Parkin 1
Nicholas Ward 1
John Mitchell 1
Thomas Waits 1
Christopher Jacke 1
Richard Winter 1
Thomas Winter 1
Thomas Willan 1
John Addison 1
widow Garnett 1
James Salkeld 1
William Salkeld 1
William Harrison 1
William Langhorn 1
Rowland Parkin 1
John Richinson 1
Robert Dent 1
James Moss 1
James Teasdale 1
John Winter 1
John Ion 1
widow Richinson 1
James Wharton 1
Thomas Richinson 1
widow Winter 1
Mr. Dawes 5

Eleven householders were exempted from paying the Tax by Certificate, but there were 39 paid for which at 2s. each represented a tax of £3. 18. 0. to the king.


John Furnass 3
William Thompson 2
Edward Birbecke 1
John Hebblethwaite 1
William Wilkinson 1
John Baxter 1
William Harryson 1
John Hewgill 1
Robert Atkinson 1
Rowland Smith 1
Anthony Robinson 1

Sixteen householders were exempted from paying the Tax by Certificate.

1678 24 July.

John Moore was presented to Quarter Sessions for not paying towards the repair of the parish church at Crosby Ravensworth.

1696 25 July.

William Wilkinson, vicar of Crosby Ravensworth, signed the anti-Jacobite "Association" for the protection of William 111.

1699 2 October.

Whereas it appeared to the Court that a way leading from Mauld's Meaburn to Crosby Ravensworth is and hath this long time been in decay, it was ordered that the way betwixt Mauld's Meaburn and the hill tenements be repaired by the surveyor who should be reimbursed by whom he should find to be liable for the upkeep.

1706–7 2 January.

John White of Reagill was indicted for keeping a gun, he not being qualified so to do.

1749 4 July.

Indenture between Edward Taylor, junior, of Great Asby, yeo., nephew and devisee of the real estate of Edward Thwaites, late of Crosby Bank, deceased of the 1st part; John Collinson of Crosby, and Thomas Gibson of Oddendale yeo., of the 2nd part; George Williamson, vicar, James Langhorn and John Burrel, churchwardens, Thomas Robinson and William Thwaites overseers of the poor, and Richard Hodgson schoolmaster of the free school of the 3rd part. That the said Edward Thwaites by his will dated 16 April last past devised to the said Edward Taylor his freehold estate of Mauld's Meaburn in order that he should pay yearly to the poor of the parish of Crosby Ravensworth £2. 10s. 0d.; to the vicar 5s. a year for a sermon; 20s. a year to the master of the free school there; and 10s. a year for books for the poor children. He died on 20 April last and now for securing the same the said Taylor grants to Collison and Gibson the sum of £4. 5s. 0d. a year out of the said lands [described] for payment of the same. Close Roll 5827, pt. 14, n. 3.


The Act for dividing and inclosing the open commons and waste lands, of some 600 acres in extent, in the manor of Reagill, called upon the Rev. Richard Burn, LL.D., Thomas Gibson and George Wheatley, the commissioners, to undertake the work on or before 20 May, 1767, or as soon after as conveniently could be done.

1796 26 November.

For the provision of soldiers to serve in the army the parish of Crosby Ravensworth having 103 inhabited houses had to provide two men. A fine of £20 for either man missing from the quota was to be levied upon the parish in default.

1799 18 January.

William Dent of Crosby Ravensworth was fined £5 for keeping and using a greyhound for the destruction of game within the parish of Orton.


Whereas an Act was passed in 1767 for dividing and inclosing the open commons in the manor of Reagill; and whereas all the Commissioners have since departed this life without making any division or allotment, may it please your majesty that the Act may be repealed and that it may be enacted that James Wilson of Kendal and Thomas Harrison of Long Marton be appointed as Commissioners for carrying the Act into execution.


The Wesleyan Chapel at Crosby was built in this year and the one at Mauld's Meaburn in 1878.