Parishes (West Ward): St Michael, Shap

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 Michael, Shap', in The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby( Kendal, 1932), British History Online [accessed 20 July 2024].

John F Curwen, 'Parishes (West Ward): St Michael, Shap', in The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby( Kendal, 1932), British History Online, accessed July 20, 2024,

John F Curwen. "Parishes (West Ward): St Michael, Shap". The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby. (Kendal, 1932), , British History Online. Web. 20 July 2024.

In this section


Including the Manors and Townships of Rosgill, Thornthwaite, Mardale, Swindale, Mossdale, Wet Sleddale, Hardendale and Wasdale.


Within this parish we have (1) the "Shap Stones" described as an avenue more than half-a-mile long terminated by a circle 18 feet in diameter. (2) Six large stones remain of the circle at Shapsey, half-mile south of the railway station close to the line on the west; (3) and great stones at Bracken byre near the Greyhound Inn and at "Karl Lofts" west of the station and thence in a line running west of north to the Goggleby stone, west of the Grammar School. The "Thunder Stone" one-and-a-quarter miles north-west of the station.

Tumuli:—(1) West of the church; (2) "Staneraise" near Selside Pike; (3) one in Ralfland Forest, three-quarters of a mile south of Tailbert; (4) another at 2465 feet above Whelter Crags. A double circle, 106 feet in diameter, with tumulus and cist in the centre south-west of Gunnerkeld. Ring mounds and enclosures west of Shap Wells.

Castle Crag hill fort with fosse and rampart and hut floors found in 1922. Collingwood, Ancient Monuments.


Shap Abbey of the Premonstratensian Order and dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, was founded by Thomas de Workington at Preston Patrick, c. 1191. See Records of Kendale, ii, 298. But in order to find a more secluded habitation the monks removed their quarters to Shap between 1197 and 1200, where the said Thomas de Workington granted to them all that his land which was Karl, by these bounds:—

From the ford of Karlwath [over the river Lowther a little south of the abbey] ascending by the river on the south as far as Langeshabeck, and so ascending by Langeshabeck to the road which comes from Kendal [where the beck crosses the road from Keld to Swindale] and so following that road northward till it comes to Stanirase nigh Rafland [a tumulus still known as Staneraise in Ralphland], and so by that road unto Rasate, and so going down on the other side of the hill to the great stone where they were wont to stand to watch the deer as they passed [called the Buckstone by the river side], and so going down to the river Lowther and further as far as the division of Rosgill towards the east [up the stream and across it to the boundary of Rosgill] and so all along southward by the top of the hill of Creskeld and so to Alinbalike [a field called Almbank on the left of the lane that leads off the main road to the abbey]. He grants to them also the vale with brush-wood in the eastern part over against their own, stretching along by the top of the hill to the house which formerly was William King's, and so to the land which belonged to Matthew de Hepp [Hall Garth], and so going down westward to the said ford of Karlwath.

Thomas de Workington also granted to the abbey pasture in common with his tenants at Rasate, and pasture at Thamboord and at Swindale on both sides [to the top of Binbarh on one side and on the other side beyond Thengeheved] for 60 cows, 20 mares to run in the woods and 500 sheep with their young till the age of three years, and for 5 yoke of oxen; and wood also for the abbey for timber, fire, hedging and other necessaries, without the control of his foresters.

Thomas de Workington likewise gave to the canons the Rectory of Shap and the church of Bampton was also confirmed to them; Johanna de Veteripont gave them 9 acres in Shap; Robert de Veteripont the vill of Reagill where they had a grange and chapel; John de Veteripont gave them the Hospital of St. Nicholas near Appleby to maintain three lepers, also a parcel of land in Knock Shalcock. Very many other possessions were readily granted. Then later Robert de Clifford granted the church of Warcop in consideration of the ruined condition to which the canons were reduced by the incursions of the Scots; Margaret, widow of Hugh de Lowther, gave all her estates in Westmorland; and the Curwens, besides giving the manor of Shap, were constant benefactors. So that it is not surprising to find at the Dissolution their revenues were estimated at £154. 7. 7½. a year, or equal to ten times as much now-a-days.

Its surrender took place on 14 January, 1540–1, the last abbot being Richard Evenwode or Baggot as he signed himself, an absentee as he was rector of the rich living of Kirkby Thore. However he secured for himself a pension of £40 per annum while those canons who really served the abbey only rceived from £4 to £6 each.

The possessions of the abbey were granted to Sir Thomas Wharton, governor of Carlisle. They remained in the Wharton family till the time of the notorious duke, when on their forfeiture in 1728 they were purchased by Richard Lowther of Mauld's Meaburn, and are now part of the Lowther estate.


Thomas de Workington, founder of the abbey, gave the Rectory of this church to the monks serving God there. Bishop Bernard (1155–1186) confirmed this grant saving to the vicarage the revenues of the altarage; and in 1263 bishop Robert de Chauncy again confirmed it together with a grant to the abbot and convent in consideration of the smallness of their revenues, that the canons might officiate in the churches of Shap and Bampton by two or three of their number, one of whom was to be presented to the bishop as vicar to be answerable to him in spiritual matters, while the other was to be answerable to the abbot and convent in temporal matters; yet so that in each church they should have one secular chaplain to hear confessions and execute such other matters as cannot so properly be done by their regular canons.

In 1397, Robert, the abbot, appealed to the Pope against Richard Pyttes, vicar-general of the bishop of Carlisle who had sequestred the profits of the parish church of Shap, alleging that the said benefice, except only the altarage settled on the vicar, was appropriated to the abbey, and had been so for time whereof the memory of man was not to the contrary.

In the "Antique Taxatio Ecclesiastica" of Pope Nicholas IV, made in the year 1291, the church is valued at £20; but by the "Novo Taxatio "of Pope Clement v, 1318, the value is reduced to £2. 13. 4. The "Valor Ecclesiasticus" of 26 Henry VIII, 1535, gives the following:—

Shap Vicarage, William Penrith, incumbent.
The Rectory is appropriated to the abbey of Shap.
The said Vicarage is worth in—
Tithes of flax and Hemp 3 4
Oblations £3 1 8
Other lesser fees £5 15 0
£9 0 0
Reprisals to wit—
Synodals 4s. and Procurations 5d. 4 5
Clear annual value £8 15 7
The tenth part whereof 17

After the Dissolution of the Abbey, namely on 2 July, 1543, Richard Washington of Grayrigg, for the sum of £738. 5s. 4½d. received a grant in fee of Shap rectory, which belonged to the monastery, together with the advowson of the vicarage. Cal. Letters and Papers, Henry VIII, vol. 18, p. 531.

The Commonwealth Survey of 1657 is as follows:—

The right of presentation to the church is in Sir John Lowther. That Mr. John Dalton is present incumbent there and hath for his maintenance the tithes of hemp and flax, and the Easter reckonings which is worth in all £4 by the year, and that there is no glebe land belonging to the Vicarage excepting one house and barn which are not worth reparation.

The following terrier of 1749 is interesting.

A churchyard, garth and gardens, but not a vicarage.

Pensions yearly of 30s. from Lord Viscount Lonsdale; of 3s. 6d. from Lord Berkshire for an estate called "High House"; and a pension from Edward Hassel for that part of Thornthwaite demesne which lay within the parish of Shap. Modus decimandi for tithe of hay in Hardendale from Jonathan Pooley 7d., Anthony Garnett 10d., William Winter 7d., Henry Rigg 10d., Thomas Summer 7d., Thomas Gilbanks 5d., and William Sanderson 9d.

Easter dues; 1½d. for every communicant; 3d. for every calved cow; 1½d. for every stripped milk cow; 2d. for every new calved heifer; 1d. for every stripped milked heifer; smoke or chimney money 1d.; garth or garden 1d.; a foal 1d.; hemp rigg 1d.; tithe honey throughout the parish.

Surplice Fees, 8d. for every churching; 1s. 6d. for a wedding by publication; 10s. for wedding by licence; 10s. for every funeral; and 2s. 8d. for every inventory. The whole profits of the vicarage are worth £15 by the year.

The church was reseated in 1805 and from 18 April 1898 to 1 June, 1899, it was very thoroughly restored at a cost of some £3300.

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

1263–1295 Walter de Ditton
1295– William de Kirkedal
1319– Thomas de Wynton
        –r.1342 John de Richmond
1342– John de Langeton
        –1514 Alexander English
        –r.1517 Thomas Durham
1517–1526 Richard Wynwode
1535– William Penrith
        –d.1574 John Whinfell
1574–d.1605 John Brockbank
1605– Miles Bousfield
1643–d.1672 John Dalton
1672–d.1709 Henry Dalton
1709– Michael Sommers
1712– Richard Bowness
1725– Edmund Noble
1731– William Smith
1741–1757 John Watson
1759–d.1775 William Langhorn
1776–d.1818 James Holme
1819–1857 John Rowlandson
1858–r.1863 James Simpson
1863–d.1896 Stephen Whiteside


This is a post-Reformation chapel of Shap, and without any special dedication. The earliest date that we have is contained in a note of the death of Randall Brockbank in 1596, he being the "Reader of Mardale" and son of Sir John Brockbank, vicar of Shap.

The Commonwealth Survey of 1657 says, "That there is one chapel within the said parish of Shap called Mardale Chapel lying five miles distant from the parish church and that there is no maintenance belonging to the same."

On 24 November, 1663, a licence to teach school and read prayers was given to Edward Stephenson "liberatus in Capella de Mardale." On 24 May, 1703, Michael Sommers was licensed as curate and schoolmaster. On 19 December, 1726, Thomas Baxter was licensed as Reader and schoolmaster at Mardale, but in 1728, when the chapel was made parochial and the churchyard consecrated for burials, he was ordained deacon and licensed as curate. Up to this time the dead were strapped to the backs of horses and taken up the "Corpse Road" past Hopgill, through Swindale, and thence by the Kirkgate over the Moor to Talebert and across the river Lowther to the parish church, a laborious route some seven miles in length.

The Rev. Thomas Holme became curate on 26 March, 1858, and with the co-operation of others he built the parsonage at the foot of Castle Crag, and restored the chancel in 1860. He died here on 23 April, 1880.

Mardale is not the smallest church in Lakeland although it only measures internally 31 feet in length and 16½ feet in width. Six ancient yew trees that have grown up taller than the tower give to the holy place an air of antiquity.


This Chapel measures internally 45 feet long by 14½ feet wide and 9½ feet high to the ceiling. It was built before 1703 by the inhabitants to answer the purpose both of a school and a chapel. It was re-roofed in 1855 and further restored and reopened by Canon Weston on 17 September, 1874.

In 1728 the inhabitants petitioned the Bishop of Carlisle saying that " for some years last past there has been and now is an House or Oratory built in Swindale which was intended by the founder thereof for a chapel for religious worship, that the said House or Oratory is very commodious for a chapel and is situate at Truss Gap in Swindale and would be of very great use, service and benefit to the inhabitants and to the adjacent houses at Talebert, Rawside, Tothman, Woodnook and Naddal to frequent and resort to to attend divine service, the said inhabitants being very numerous and most of the said Townships being distant from the church of Shap (three or four miles) and the same are situated in a low and watery country and that the roads are very ruinous and bad, and that the same will in all respects be made decent and commodious for the service of Almighty God and that the same is endowed with land to the value of £10. May it therefore please your lordship . . . to separate the said building from all profane uses and dedicate the same to the honour and worship of Almighty God and assign it to be perpetually a chapel for the inhabitants of Swindale aforesaid and that it may be used as an oratory for the performance of divine service therein until your lordship shall have leisure and opportunity to consecrate the same." We understand that this ceremony has never taken place.

On 12 August, 1730, William Stephenson, deacon, was licensed to the office "Praelectoris sive curati in Oratorio de Swindale." He was followed by John Lancaster on 14 October, 1742, and by Henry Harrison in 1750. On 20 September, 1767, Thomas Hudson, literate, was ordained deacon and licensed to Swindale and took the usual oaths and subscribed the same on 11 July, 1769. Between 1829 and 1849 Stephen Walker officiated and in 1860 Thomas Sewell was curate.


This chapel appears to date back to the 15th century. About 1650 it was occupied as a dwelling house. On 18 November, 1698, John Bownass of Kemp-how for the sum of £5. 10. 0. sold to Grace Hayton and Margaret her daughter of Oxley Bank"all that his now dwelling house and appurtenances commonly called and known by the name o'th Keld Chappell." In 1860 it is described as "the ruins of a small chapel which serves as a cow-house."

In 1918 the building was presented by Sir Samuel H. Scott to the National Trust for places of Historic Interest.


Shap School.

Bishop Nicolson in his Visitation of 20 August, 1703, records that "the seats and Communion Table of the church are miserably abused by the scholars that are taught in it. The present schoolmaster is one Edmund Noble, who has no certain salary more than £6 which is a voluntary gift of the Lord Wharton's. That noble lord will undoubtedly be easily prevailed upon to allow the teaching of these poor scholars and others in the Town Hall lately built for a Mercate House by his father, but now of no other use than for the keeping of the Manor Courts, which would be little or no interruption to the school."

After the estates of Philip, Duke of Wharton, were forfeited in 1728 they were purchased by Richard Lowther of Mauld's Meaburn and afterwards became a part of the Lowther estates. Thus we find an Indenture made on 20 November, 1840, beteen William, earl of Lonsdale of the 1st part; Adam Potts of Shap, gent. of the 2nd part; and Henry Cecil Lowther of Lowther Castle, Edward William Hasell of Dalemain, John Hill of Bankfoot, Rev. William Jackson D.D. of Lowther, Rev. Robert Milner of Orton, Richard Burn of Orton Hall, and James Salmond of Waterfoot, co. Cumberland, esquire, of the 3rd part. That whereas the said earl of Lonsdale is lord of the manor of Shap and has erected a commodious school house on land granted to the said Adam Potts and has subscribed £500 towards the endowment of the said school, and others in the parish £300, and the said earl has also fitted up a certain house in Shap called the Market House for children of Shap to be also educated there, and given £10 a year for a mistress teaching there; he now conveys the same to the Trustees being those mentioned in the 3rd part for the said purposes, viz., the children to be taught reading, writing, arithmetic, Greek and Latin classics and mathematics by the master, and the mistress competent to teach reading, writing, arithmetic and needlework. Close Roll 12638, pt. 172, n. 4.

In 1874 the girls and infants were accommodated in a new building which was enlarged about 1900.

Swindale School.

It was annexed to the western wall of the chapel. By indenture dated 14 December, 1703, Thomas Baxter of Truss Gap, in consideration of his great affection towards the inhabitants of Swindale and to promote virtue and piety by learning and good discipline, granted to certain feoffees a messuage and 260 acres, 3 roods and 33 perches at Wastdale Foot, and another of 31 acres, 2 roods and 9 perches at Lang Green in the manor of Crosby Ravensworth, that they as trustees might build a school house and make convenient desks and seats and maintain a well qualified person to teach the English and Latin tongues. It would appear that up to the year 1756 these feoffees had appointed the schoolmasters to be also the curates in charge of the chapel.

The Wastdale Foot Estate was sold by the trustees in 1750 to John Brown of Wastdale Head, subject to a rent-charge of £10 a year; he sold it, along with his own estate of Wastdale Head, to Mrs. Katherine Lowther. From about the year 1775, the payment of this £10 a year was stopped, but when William earl of Lonsdale came to the Lowther estates in 1802, he agreed with the trustees henceforth to allow £25 a year out of the Wastdale Foot estate, instead of paying up the arrears due from his predecessor.


Hardendale Hall.

Here was born Dr. John Mill about 1645. He entered Queen's College, Oxford, as a servitor in 1661, and took his M.A. in 1669. Soon afterwards he was chosen fellow and tutor of his college. In 1676 he became chaplain to the bishop of Oxford and in 1681 he obtained the rectory of Blechingdon, Oxon. and was made chaplain to Charles 11. From 1685 till his death he held the appointment of Principal of St. Edmund's Hall; and in 1704 he was nominated by Queen Anne to a prebendal stall in Canterbury. He died on 23 June, 1707, just a fortnight after the publication of his Greek New Testament, which was an historically important and critical edition. It was the labour of thirty years and is admitted to mark a great advance on all that had been achieved previously.

Sleddale Grange.

In 1360 complaint was made of persons riotously breaking into Sleddale Grange and other houses belonging to Shap Abbey, and therein committing several disorders. The bishop issued a mandate to the vicar of Shap and neighbouring clergy to denounce the offenders with the great excommunication of bell, book and candle. The anathema was read in the church and at the close the bell tolled, the Bible was cast on the ground, and all the candles were extinguished. The instrument became a terrible one in the hands of the medieval church for the excommunicate were outlawed and, in certain cases, were handed over to the secular arm to be punished with death.

The subsequent Hall became at one time a pretentious dwelling. Over the door is a stone inscribed R.M.N.1691.

Thornthwaite Hall.

Thomas de Workington must have held the manor of Shap and the forest of Thornthwaite when he granted land for the abbey of St. Mary Magdalene in 1197. In the Court of Requests there is a curious petition, dated 25 May, 1576, as follows:—Thomas Langhorne and others showing that whereas they and their ancestors time out of memory of man have quietly had and enjoyed possession of certain tenements according to ancient custom, in consideration of their service to be in readiness with horse, harness and other furniture to serve her majesty the Queen at their own cost and charges in defense of the realm against the Scots; but so it is that Sir Henry Curwen, lord of the lordship of Thornthwaite hath expelled twelve tenants and taken their land from them and hath enclosed it into his demesne and hath surrendered over the same lordship to Nicholas Curwen his son and heir."

Have we not in this petition the first record of Thornthwaite Hall? Sir Henry providing an estate for his son whereon he could build for himself a home in imitation of a Border Pele. Nicholas was then 25 years of age and about to take to wife Anne, the daughter of Sir Simon Musgrave of Hartley Castle. Sir Nicholas died in 1604 and his son Sir Henry sold Thornthwaite to Lord William Howard, before 1612. Lord William used the Hall for convenience when hunting and he it was who built the banquetting hall. Francis Howard, who died in 1702, left the manor to his three daughters, the eldest of whom bought out the other two shares after marrying John Warwick, and their son Francis Warwick sold the manor to Edward Hasell of Dalemain, reserving to himself the Hall of which he died seised in the year 1772. The battlements were taken down last century and the tower, 31 by 27 feet, roofed over.


The valley in which Haweswater lies is formed by the junction of a number of tarn-fed mountain streams at the base of Harter Fell, and runs between the steep slopes of High Street on the west and Naddle Forest on the east.

Mardale Beck flows in at the southern end and the waters pass out through a beck into the river Lowther at Bampton and thence into the Eden at Brougham. The altitude of the lake surface is given as 694 feet above sea level.

The lake is 2.33 miles in length and is practically divided into two portions by the Measand delta which abruptly narrows it down to little more than 100 yards in width. For a mile and a half from the head of the lake to the delta it is known as "High Water" and has an average width of a quarter of a mile. The greatest depth of 103 feet lies opposite to Nook Syke.

"Low Water" is three-quarters of a mile in length from the Delta, with an average breadth of 300 yards and depth of from 10 to 25 feet. The great delta, which forms the only arable land of the district, may ultimately separate the two waters as Buttermere is cut off from Crummock and Derwentwater from Bassenthwaite.

We are indebted for this information to Dr. Hugh Robert Mill who made his survey of the lake on behalf of the Royal Geographical Society on 24 and 26 March, 1894.


Arnold over a tributary of Mardale Beck, just north of Dun Bull Inn.

On 6 October, 1788, this bridge was presented as being a public bridge belonging to the County and that the said bridge, with 300 feet of the road at each end, ought to be repaired at the expense of the County.

Bleabeck, over the Blea Beck on the old road between Shap and Kendal.

This bridge is shown on John Ogilby's Survey of 1675 and appears upon the list of public bridges made on 28 April, 1679. On 3 January, 1748–9, it was presented to Quarter Sessions as being in great decay and that it ought to be repaired at the expense of the County. On 6 April, 1812, the High Constable of the West Ward was authorized to contract for the taking down and rebuilding, it being one of the public bridges belonging to the County, and for that purpose to advertize the same to be let by public auction or otherwise. It became disused for main traffic when the Turnpike Road was diverted about the year 1822.

Chapel over Mardale Beck, close to the church.

On 18 April, 1757, Quarter Sessions ordered that John Holme should be paid £1. 6. 0. for the repair of Chapel Bridge in Mardale.

Elinfoll in Mardale.

On 18 April, 1757, the like order for the repair of this bridge.

Force Beck.

This bridge appears upon the list of public bridges made on 28 April, 1679.

Riggindale, over Riggindale Beck in Mardale.

On 18 April, 1757, Quarter Sessions ordered that John Holme be paid for the repair of this bridge.

Rosgill Bridge.

This bridge appears upon the list of public bridges made on 28 April, 1679, and on 12 April, 1686, it was ordered to be repaired. On the complaint of the inhabitants of Rosgill on 13 July, 1697, that it was very much in decay, and that by reason of its being only a wooden construction and subject to many hazards by the great inundation of the waters and a continual charge upon the county in repairing the same, Quarter Sessions ordered the High Constable of the West Ward with some substantial gentleman in Rosgill, to take a view of the bridge and give an estimate to the next Sessions what the charge would amount to if a stone bridge were erected in the place of the wooden one.

On 6 November, 1756, the High Constables were ordered to contract for the repair of Rosgill Bridge it being presented as out of repair. On 27 June, 1887, the bridge was reported as being in a dangerous condition. It consists of three arches 110 feet long, the width of the roadway over it is only 7 feet in width and the parapet walls do not average 2 feet in height; there are two embrasures on each side for foot passengers to step into. The report continues that during the present month two foals have jumped over the parapet wall into the river 12 feet below, one of which was killed; it is known that cattle have been pushed over by others and sheep very frequently. The cost of widening the bridge by 6 feet and raising the parapet walls would amount to £266. 10. 0.

Wasdale Old Bridge, over Wasdale Beck on the old road between Shap and Kendal.

On 18 July, 1649, at the Assize held at Appleby, sixteen bridges were presented as in decay, Wastell Bridge being one of them, when it was ordered that 4s. in the pound should be assessed and levied upon the whole County towards the repair of the same. It is marked on John Ogilby's survey of 1675 and appears upon the list of public bridges made on 28 April, 1679. On 5 October, 1691, Quarter Sessions ordered that 2d. in the pound should be assessed and levied within the Bottom of Westmorland for the rebuilding of Wasdale Bridge.

William Pearson quotes from a diary written by a volunteer who served in the Duke of Cumberland's army as follows:—"The Deputy Lieutenants of Westmorland on the 14 December, 1745, in obedience to the command of the Duke, raised a party of the county to demolish Wastel Bridge and also break up the road down to Grayrigg Hawse in order to make the road from Kendal to Shap impassable for artillery and wheel carriages." On 3 January, 1748–9, Wasdale Bridge with 300 feet at both ends was presented as being in great decay and that it ought to be repaired by the County. On 8 January, 1759, Quarter Sessions ordered the High Constables to contract for the rebuilding of Wasdale Bridge it being one of the public bridges and presented as being dangerous and inefficient. On 13 July, 1798, a presentment was made to the Sessions that the bridge and 300 feet of the road at each end was in great decay and ought to be repaired at the expense of the county. It became disused for main traffic when the Turnpike road was diverted about the year 1822.

Wasdale New Bridge.

Erected about 1822 when the Turnpike road was made. In April, 1876, it was reported as being in a very insecure condition and a great portion will have to be taken down in order to repair it. In October it was deemed advisable not to waste further money upon it but to build a new bridge on iron girders with a roadway of 16 feet, at a cost of £320.



A dispute arose as to the boundary between Rosgill and Thrimby, and the trial was made more interesting because the disputed boundary lay between the Barony of Appleby and the Barony of Kendal—Rosgill being in Shap and therefore in the former, while Thrimby being in Morland was in the latter.

Sir John de Rosgill claimed that the boundary should begin at the Faldenedyk at Heppebek, follow the Faldenedyk westwards to the Whytepot and from thence go westward to Rossegillesker and so on to the bounds between Rossegill and Bampton.

The Thrimby owners counter-claimed that it should begin at a certain dyke between Shap and Thrimby towards the south and go to the head of Redmire north-westwards across Schappebeck and through the middle of the head of Redmire towards the north to Cokesgyllsike towards the north-west; then go up the sike by the border of the turbary of Rosgill towards the west and follow the sike towards the north to a spring called Caldekeld north-westwards, then follow the valley north-eastwards to the Micklewygtescher towards the north-east and then go up the Wytescher to the dike between Bampton and Thrimby towards the west. They affirmed that Sir John de Rosgill had usurped 300 acres of moor and pasture inside this line as belonging to him.

As was usual the jury split the difference and awarded a fresh boundary altogether. No doubt if we could trace the land-marks we should find them to be the boundary as existing to-day. Beginning at the beck which runs from the township of Heppe to that of Little Stirkland then crossing in a direct line westwards to the Gyseburnan Keld, and then in a direct line to the Tottestane and thence to the lower part of Harecragge. Thence in a straight line to le Setebuske and thence straight to le Mossehule, then again straight to the summit of Claterendsker, then straight to the cross placed for a boundary-mark opposite the wooden cross of Bampton, that is to say between Odegraffe (or Odegrasse) and Gnypette (? Knype head). South of this line they said the ground ought to be in possession of John de Rosgill, and north of it in possession of the Thrimby owners. Assize Roll, 981.


In a list of the wool sold by religious houses in England, showing the quantities sold and the price paid for it in Flanders, we find, "The Monks of Shap sell their wool just as it comes from the fold, at 9 marks [£6] a sack, and they have usually ten sacks a year."


Nicolson and Burn tell us that the abbot and canons of Shap abbey had licence from John Kirby, bishop of Carlisle, to remove the body of Isabella, wife of William de Langleigh de Appleby, which was famed for having miracles done by it, to some proper place within the church or churchyard of Shap, in that the relics might be reverenced by a larger number of people and with freer and greater devotion.

1378 Easter.

The abbot of Hepp, by Thomas Dannay his attorney, appeared against John de Crosseby, in a plea that he render unto him a reasonable account of the time when he was his bailiff in Shapp and receiver of money for the said abbot. De Banco Roll, 470, m. 267.

1378 Trinity.

Gilbert de Culwenne as well for himself as the king appeared against William Rogerson of Bampton and Richard Waller in a plea that whereas by Edward, late king of England, and grandfather of the present king it was ordained that if any servant was retained in the service of anyone by agreement and withdrew without reasonable cause or licence he should be subject to imprisonment. The aforesaid William and Richard late servants of the said Gilbert and being in his service at Thornethwayt withdrew from his said service before the end of the term of the agreement made between them without cause to the grave damage of the said Gilbert. De Banco Roll, 471, m. 351d.


Shap and its townships paid a fifteenth as a subsidy to the king amounting to £6, and Rosgill, 24s. A total of £7. 4s. 0d. Excheq. Q. R. Miscell. Books, vol. 7.

1669–1672 Hearth Tax Roll

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


widow Robinson 1
John Clousdall 1
Tho. Dent 1
Tho. Whinfeild 2
John Jon 1
Jo. Airey 1
Tho. Whinfeild 1
Tho. Docker 1
Geo. Hayton 4
Gyles Robinson 1
William Airey 1
John Clarke 1
widow Whitehead 2
John Atkinson 1
Rich. Alexander 1
Tho. Kendall 1
Geo. Hucke 1
Hen. Dalton 2
Tho. Hayton 1
Tho. Mill 1
James Clousdall 1
widow Clousdall 1
widow Robinson 1
William Fothergill 1
John Robinson 1
Tho. Fothergill 1
Nich. Steward 1
Geo. Langhorne 1
Hen. Airey 1
Rich. Smith 2
Geo. Whinfeild 1
Rich. Barwicke 1
widow Stewardson 1
Rob. Well 1
Widow Barwicke 1
Mich. Jackson 1
John Sanderson 1
William Lowes 1
Tho. Robinson 1
William Kitchine 1
Roger Hayton 2
Lanc. Burrow 1
William Holme 1
William Whitehead 1
Rich. Sysson 1
William Meason 1
Tho. Holme 1
William Barwicke 1
Rich. Meason 1
Geo. Hayton 4
John Dalton, vicar 2

Twenty-eight householders were exempted from paying the Tax by Certificate.


Richard Smith 2
John Waller 1
Richard Cooper 1
Henry Alexander 1
Humphrey Whanbelt 1
John Horne 1
William Stewardson 1
Richard Castlehow 1
Richard Lowes 1
James Hinde 1
John Bland 1
William Stephenson 1
Thomas Harrison 1
James Robinson 1
Henry Burton 1
John Hoggard 1
widow Cooper 1
William Noble 1
Richard Walker 1

Eleven householders were exempted from paying the Tax by Certificate.


Edward Noble 1
William Noble 1
William Jackson 1
John . . . thew 1
Thomas Noble 1
Rowland Noble 1
John Perlay 1
Thomas [Thom]pson 1
George Cooper 1
Thomas Noble 1
Thomas Dockeray 1

Five householders were exempted from paying the Tax by Certificate.


Mr. Rawlinson 2
Tho. Warryner 1
Tho. Atkinson 1
William Whitehead 1
Robert Barbon 1
Anthony Watson 1
Thos. Powley 1
John Airey 1
Henry Lowes 1
Tho. Rigg 1

Four householders were exempted from paying the Tax by Certificate.


John Holme 1
William Jackson 1
Hugh Baxter 1
Thomas Jackson 1
Richard Stewardson 1
James Baxter 1
John Ellyson 1
William Hoggard 1
Henry Plummer 1
Peter Wilson 1
William Tinkler 1

Three householders were exempted from paying the Tax by Certificate.

1670 29 November.

John Dalton, curate of Shap, was presented to Quarter Sessions for not usually bidding prayer on holy days and for not observing such days.

1685 24 July.

Upon the petition of the Minister and Churchwardens of Shap setting forth that John Whitelock of Shap, an ale-house keeper doth suffer great disorder in his house, Quarter Sessions ordered that the said John Whitelock be suppressed from brewing till he can give security to keep good order in his house.


Philip, lord Wharton, procured a charter in 1687 for a weekly market at Shap on Wednesday and three fairs yearly, viz.: on 23, 24 April, 1, 2 August, and 17, 18 September. In the same year, in consideration of the tenants of the manor paying one year's customary rent, he freed the market and fairs of toll. In 1860 the market is described as almost obsolete but in 1861 Lord Lonsdale built a new market house which was opened on 11 January, 1862.

1702 13 April

13 April, Quarter Sessions licensed the house of Thomas Atkinson of Gand Busk as a house for public assembly for religious worship.

1750–1 14 January.

Presentment that Thomas Hayton of Swindale without any lawful authority or licence granted to him at any Quarter Sessions of the Peace, did take upon himself to keep a common ale house and in the same publicly did sell or cause to be sold ale and beer. It was therefore ordered that he be fined one shilling and remain in the custody of the Sheriff until further order and that his house should be suppressed.


The Act for dividing and inclosing the waste grounds and open commons in the manor of Shap, called upon Rev. Richard Burn, LL.D., George Wheatley and Thomas Gibson, the Commissioners, to undertake the work on or before 20 May, 1767, or as soon after as conveniently could be done. This Act was repealed on account of the death of all three commissioners, and a fresh Act obtained in 1813

1788 6 October.

James Farrer, innkeeper of Shap, was indicted for keeping a brown lurcher bitch which had been bitten by a mad dog and thereby had become liable to be infected and run mad; and did suffer it to go at large to the great terror and common nuisance of his majesty's subjects and to the evil example of all others. At the same time John Airey of Shap was indicted for the same offence. Each were fined six pence.

1796 26 November.

For the provision of soldiers to serve in the army, the parish of Shap having 256 inhabited houses had to provide five men or pay a penalty of £20 for each man missing from that quota.

1813 11 February.

A "Westmorland County Meeting" took place at Shap to consider the claims of the Roman Catholics for the removal of civil and political disabilities, and to adopt such resolutions as might be then found expedient. About 30 gentlemen, of whom the majority were clergymen or Justices of the Peace, assembled when Daniel Wilson of Dallam Tower was called to the chair. Mr. King of Askham produced a petition to both Houses of Parliament against the claims of the Catholics, which upon being read the chairman was requested to sign in the name of the meeting. Mr. Crackanthorpe of Newbiggin then rose and in a very energetic speech opposed the petition. The motion, however, was carried by the show of hands but as no one had seconded it, it became void. From this time forward numerous petitions were sent up to the Houses until the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel carried the Catholic Emancipation Bill in April, 1829.


The original Act of 1767 for inclosing some 2000 acres of Common was so greatly delayed by the Commissioners that it had to be replaced by a new Act in 1813. "Whereas all the said Commissioners have departed this life without having done any act or thing for carrying the said Inclosure into effect and without having appointed any other persons in their stead," and whereas the Rt. Hon. William, earl of Lonsdale hath succeeded to the late Sir James Lowther, and is now lord of the manor and Impropriator of the Rectory and Vicarage of Shap, and the Rev. James Holme is vicar; may it please your majesty that Thomas Wakefield of Yealand in co. Lancaster and John Machell of Low Plains in co. Cumberland be appointed the new Commissioners. And be it further enacted that James Parnell of Askham, land surveyor, shall be and he is hereby appointed surveyor for the purposes of the said division and inclosure. The Act received the Royal Assent on 21 May, 1813.

1822 May.

At the Shap fair in this year the show of cattle was more numerous than ever remembered. The business in long horned cattle was rather dull but was very brisk in the short horned breed.

1822 June.

John Brown late of the Blacksmith's Arms in Morland informed the public that he had entered upon the old established and well known Spa at Shap Wells.

1830 1 May.

The neglected Spa at Shap Wells was made beneficial to the public again by the earl of Lonsdale who ordered a new Inn to be erected close to the old well.

The waters are supposed to be similar to those at Leamington and efficacious in cases of rheumatism and gout. The following analysis was obtained in 1881. One imperial pint containing, besides an appreciable quantity of sulphuretted hydrogen in solution:—

Chloride of calcium 27.22 grains.
Chloride of magnesium 36 "
Chloride of sodium 24.23 " grains.
Sulphate of lime .48 "
Sulphate of soda 1.72 "
Oxide of iron and alumina .08 "
Silica .12 "

1842 30 June.

This date saw the completion of the monument on a hill northward of the Spa to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria. The polygonal column stands 23 feet in height with a statue of Britannia 6 feet, making a total height of 29 feet 8 inches.

On each side of the base are sunk panels—the inscription to the south, emblems of peace and plenty with the Lowther arms to the north, the British Lion to the west, while the panel to the east shows a graceful figure of the goddess Hygeia pouring medicinal waters into a shell held by an aged invalid. The whole work was designed and executed by Thomas Bland of Reagill.

1845 7 May.

Indenture made between William Garnett Johnstone of Shap, yeo. of the first part; Thomas Hindson of Rosgill Hall, farmer, and many others of the second part; and the Rev. Samuel Rowe, Superintendent Preacher of the Circuit, of the third part. Whereas those of the second part having money in their possession for the purchase of land and for the erection of a Chapel thereon, this Indenture witnesses that for £5. 11. 7. the said William Garnett Johnstone has sold to them a parcel of ground in Shap being 57 by 31 feet, bounded on the south and east by other land of the said Johnstone, on the north by an occupation road and on the west by the turnpike road leading to Penrith. To hold as by conditions declared by deed poll of Hugh and James Bourne and William Clowes, dated 5 February 1830, and enrolled in the High Court of Chancery setting forth the tenets and doctrines of the Primitive Methodist Chapel at Skircoats. Close Roll 13247, pt. 94.


The Shap Agricultural Society held its first Show on 3 September, 1861. Fell ponies have been always a feature of the Show.

1872 4 July.

It was reported to Quarter Sessions that the Police Station at Shap had been completed satisfactorily.