Parishes (East Ward): St Peter, Asby

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


John F Curwen, 'Parishes (East Ward): St Peter, Asby', The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby, (Kendal, 1932), pp. 85-93. British History Online [accessed 20 June 2024].

John F Curwen. "Parishes (East Ward): St Peter, Asby", in The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby, (Kendal, 1932) 85-93. British History Online, accessed June 20, 2024,

Curwen, John F. "Parishes (East Ward): St Peter, Asby", The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby, (Kendal, 1932). 85-93. British History Online. Web. 20 June 2024,

In this section


Including the Manor of Garthorne.


Within this parish we have Tumuli (1) at Asby Mask, (2) one mile S.S. W. of Little Asby, (3) Asby Winderwath Common one mile south of Gathorne Hall. British Settlements (1) ¾ mile south of Great Asby and (2) one and half mile S.S.W. of Great Asby. An oblong enclosure with great ramparts on three sides S.E. of St. Leonard's and a stone walled enclosure called 'Castle Folds' 3 miles S.W. of Great Asby. The site of St. Leonard's Chapel at Little Asby in which Richard L'Engleys, parson of Asby, endowed a chantry in 1298 with one messuage and six acres of land in Great Asby.


In the "Antique Taxatio Ecclesiastica" of Pope Nicholas IV made in 1291, the church is valued at £20; but in the "Novo Taxatio" of 1318 this full value is reduced to £3. See page 22. The "Valor Ecclesiasticus" made by order of Parliament, 26 Henry VIII, 1535, gives the following:—

Asby Rectory, St. Peter, Richard Scott is incumbent.
The aforesaid rectory is worth in Glebe 2 0
Tithes, oblations and the lesser things as in the Easter Book £23 17 0
£23 19 0
Reprisals to wit:—
Synodals 4s. and Procurations is. 8d. 5 8
Clear annual value £23 13 4
A tenth part whereof £2 7 4

The estate of Asby Hall laid claim to an exemption from paying tithes to the Rectory on the ground that it was a part of the possessions of Byland Abbey. It appears to have been the privilege peculiar to the Cistercians to hold their lands, possessed prior to the Lateran Council of 1215, exempt from tithes whilst in their own proper occupation.

In 1299 a chantry to St. Mary was founded within the church by Robert de Askeby.

The foundation stone of a new church was laid by Miss Hill of Appleby on 11 July, 1866.

The following is a list of the Incumbents whose names have been met with during the present research.

1374 Thomas de Anandale
1378 Stephen de Meaburn
1535 Richard Scott
1563–r.1572 Percival Kirkbride
1572– John Barnes
1578–r.1593 Thomas Fairfax
1593– Oswald Dykes
1607 Gerard Hudson
1618–d.1653 Lancelot Dawes
1654–r.1661 Thomas Fawcett
1661–d.1694 George Theobald
1694–d.1728 Henry Fleming
1728–d.1739 Joshua Burrow
1739–1742 Richard Machel


By Indenture dated 21 June, 1682, between Thomas Smith, D.D., dean of Carlisle of the one part and the Rev. George Theobald and others of the second part. Dr. Smith for his good will which he had for the poor people of Asby and towards the keeping of a school and the maintenance of a master, granted to the feoffees his messuage and tenement at Raisebeck, Orton, that one half of the rent should be given yearly to the poor and the other half should be employed for the continuance of the school and maintenance of the master. On 13 July, 1688, George Smith, citizen and merchant tailor of London, granted his messuage and tenement in Asby for the maintenance and continuance of the school. The school house, as the inscription over the door head sets forth, was built by this George Smith. He also left a legacy of £10 which was worth an annuity of 12s. of which 6s. was to go to the poor, 5s. to be spent by the feoffees on ale and gingerbread and is. to purchase a football for the scholars every year. Up to the time of Charles II the game of football was considered unlawful, a fact which makes this encouragement of the game the more interesting.


The Grange was the immediate successor to the motte and bailey stronghold; it consisted of a flat area cut off from the surrounding land by a deep and stockaded ditch, within was built up a common hall from the sides of which a number of small cubicles led off for private use. The whole was built of timber and mostly of one storey. They were occupied by the possessors of the land or by their bailiffs. And when there were at least four of these Granges within the parish of Asby and when each possessor referred to his own particular one as the Grange of Asby, it has become somewhat difficult to rightly separate the items to each.

Asby Hall.

The pele tower, that now forms a part of the present Rectory, undoubtedly stands upon the site of an earlier Grange that belonged to the abbot and monks of Byland Abbey, who held a considerable quantity of land round about from at least the year 1215. And when more than one hundred years later, the order was issued that all who held possessions to the south of the Border were to protect the same by building towers of stone, it is reasonable to suppose that the abbot instructed his bailiff, who was left in charge to manage and protect the estate, so to do.

Unfortunately the ancient entrance and newel stairway have been removed, but the Countess of Pembroke's large wooden lock, which bears her initials and date, A.D. 1670, has been replaced on the outer door. The Lady Anne with her full retinue took refuge here during a "terrible storm" and in commemoration of the event gave this lock to the owner. There is an item in her account book for 1673 which says:—" Payed to George Dent of Appleby for two great large stock locks he made for me to give away, Two Pounds."

Grange Hall.

At the head of Asby Beck there is an early 15th century Hall of considerable merit. A long building consisting of a basement and two storeys above, with walls 3½ feet thick and which were surmounted originally by a parapet and rampart walk. The circular turret at the north angle is a very unusual feature in our district; it is boldly corbelled out at the first floor level in order to enclose a newal staircase that mounted upward to give access to the rampart. Built into the wall there is a fragment of an armorial slab showing the Bellingham bugles. It is suggested that during the reign of James 1 a Bellingham purchased the property from Sir Christopher Pickering of Ormside and Killington.

Asby Grange.

A few hundred yards higher up the valley is a building bearing this name, and which doubtless has been built upon the site of an early dwelling and presumably on a still earlier Grange. Over the door is a sculptured stone bearing the Musgrave shield with the initials and date, E.M. 1694. That the Musgrave family held possessions in the district as early as 1292 is shown by a dispute between the King and the abbot of Byland regarding the right of possession of certain lands in Tebay and Asby. The jury, of whom Nicholas de Musgrave was one, are all described as holding land in the neighbourhood of the dispute. Ragg, Charters of Byland Abbey. And if a Musgrave lived on this site, the dwelling at this date must have been of the Grange type.

In 1420 Richard de Musgrave of Hartley, knt., by his attorney appeared against John Marshall of Crackenthorpe and John Scafe of Asby Grange, co. Westmorland, in a plea of trespass and conspiracy. Coram Rege Rolls, Ebor., 1420, Michaelmas, m. 55.

Gathorn Hall.

This was the Grange of the Hospital of St. Leonard at York and where the brethren had a mill. For some time it was the residence of a branch of the Bellinghams of Levens. Elizabeth Bellingham, a widow, was living here in 1534. On 23 January, 1544-5, James Bellingham granted to farm the Grange of Garthorne to Alan his elder brother for a term of 80 years. On 23 April, 1547, James made his will leaving the Grange, of which he had made a lease to Alan, to the "child of his wife who is now pregnant if the same should be a son when such son shall be of the age of 21 years." Sir James Bellingham is said to have built the present Hall as early as 1604. In 1650 Alan Bellingham entertained a number of Scotch officers here during the Civil War. See under Crosby Ravensworth.


Patrick's Bridge, over Asby Beck.

Thomas de Anandale, rector of Asby, left by his will, dated 18 November, 1374, "ponti Patrici de Askeby unam marcam." Seeing that he was the rector, surely this must have occupied the site opposite to the church where the present bridge now stands.

On 27 May, 1897, an application was made to the County Council for a grant towards the cost of a bridge over the stream which crosses the street in the village. The Council deemed such a bridge to be very necessary to the safety and convenience of the public and recommended that a grant should be made.

Bowbridge over Asby Beck on the road between Appleby and Great Asby.

This bridge appears upon the list of public bridges made on 28 April, 1679. On 19 April, 1680, Quarter Sessions ordered that the bridge being in decay should be repaired forthwith by the High Constables of the East and West Wards, who have undertaken to repair the public bridges of the county. On 25 April, 1695, the Court ordered that 5d. in the pound should be levied for the erection of a large stone bridge for all carts and carriages at a place called Bowbridge. In relating details concerning the great flood of 2 February, 1822, the Westmorland Advertiser says that, with many other bridges, "Asby Bridge is also demolished." This can only refer to this bridge.



Grant by Gerard de Lascelles to the monks of St. Mary at Byland of part of his land at Asby by these bounds, to wit, "as Maizongill goes down from the Skerres [? the Scars] and from the lower head of that gill in a straight line to the thorn tree standing upon the how of stones, which is on the lower side of Laithgrim, and thence in a straight line acrss Laithgrim to little Lingwal, and from thence eastward to the how of stones upon Widkerne fell, and by that ridge to another how, thence to a third, and so unto the ditch, and beyond the ditch eastward [? southward] the width of eight perches, and so going down southward unto the tarn [? Sunbiggin Tarn], and thence to the boundary of land belonging to the Hospital and by that boundary unto Skerres and thence as far as the arable land of Asby extends on that side towards Tebay." Beyond these bounds he also gave them common of pasture of the whole of that part of the town which was of his fee, with other easements such as the taking of materials for roofing their houses and right of turbary. For which grant the monks will render yearly to him and his heirs two marks of silver, namely one mark at Pentecost and the other at the feast of St. Martin. Alan de Lascelles, brother of the grantor, gave his consent. The date of this grant lies between 1160 and 1170.

c. 1180

The above grant to the Abbey of Byland was confirmed by Richard de Cotesford, lord of Asby Cotesford, whose charter adds, "Furthermore the monks were to have common of pasture on the arable land wheresoever Richard's cattle or those of his heir's or his tenants feed, and all easements of pasturage, roofing and thatching of houses, and of turbary, wherever to be found. All cultivations and meadow land, except those existing in the time of Robert the priest and Alan de Lascelles, to remain untilled and lie common pasture. Nor should Richard or his heirs build or set any houses on land in Asby, except in their own tofts of Asby Town. And the sheep-fold and swine-stall which Alan de Lascelles made should remain in the place where he set them unless Richard wished to remove them away, which he might do, to set them between the Vivary and Asby Town. All which things Richard swore putting himself in the hands of Lord Roger, Archbishop of York, both for himself and his heirs, faithfully to keep with the said monks of Byland.


Thomas de Anandale, rector of the church of Asby, made his will on 18 November, in the octave of St. Martin, 1374. He desires to be buried in the choir of his own church and faithfully remembers the need for the due maintenance of the bridges. To the eight bridges of Carlisle, Kirkoswald, Salkeld, Temple Sowerby, Appleby, Warcop, Amot and Lowther he left 8 marks to be distributed in equal portions. Likewise to the bridge of Patric of Askeby he left one mark. Testa. Karl., 106.

1377–8. Hilary.

Stephen, parson of the church of Askeby, by Adam Crosseby his attorney, appeared against John Pereson in a plea that he render unto him 40s. which he owes. De Banco Roll, 469, m. 307d.

1378 Easter.

The abbot of Hepp, by Thomas Dannay his attorney, appeared against Robert de Bowefell of Kelleth and others in a plea wherefore with force and armes they broke into the close of the said abbot at Parvam Askeby and his trees and underwood lately growing there they cut down and carried away to the value of 20 marks. De Banco Rolls, 470, m. 267.

1379 Trinity.

Stephen de Meburn, parson of the church of Askeby, by Adam Crosseby his attorney, against John Malkynson in a plea that he render unto him 60s. which he owes. De Banco Rolls, 475, m. 224; 479, m. 315.

1379 Michaelmas.

Stephen de Meburn, parson of the church of Askeby is in mercy for may defaults. The day given to Thomas de Quytryg, knt., plaintiff by Thomas Karlel his attorney, and the aforesaid Stephen by Adam Croseby his attorney in a plea of trespass and contempt is the octave of St. Hilary. De Banco Roll, 476, m. 496d.


Askeby magna paid a fifteenth as a subsidy to the King amounting to 56s. 8d.; and Askeby parva, 40s. A total of £4. 16s. 8d. Excheq. Q.R. Miscell. Books, vol. 7.

1669–1672. Hearth Tax Roll


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

Geo: Tibles 4
Geo: Parker 1
Tho: Wharton 1
John Jackson 1
Chr. Rudd 1
Tho: Parkin 1
Lanc: Hayton 1
Edw: Goodhall 1
Tho: Stable 1
John Machell 1
Hen: Richinson 1
Willm: Ubanke 1
Tho: Robertson 1
Lane: Green 2
Tho: Smith 1
John Robertson 1


Tho: Pratt 1
Willm: Busfeild 1
Mich: Busfeild 1
Chr: Ellyson 1
John Smith 1
John Knewstopp 1
John Wilson 1
Lanc: Holme 1
Willm: Farrow 1
John Atkinson 1
John Robertson 1
Tho: Spooner 1
Chr: Midcalfe 2
Tho: Gibson 1
Robt. Airey 1
Chr. Jackson 1

Eight inhabitants were exempted from payment by Certificate.


James Wilson 1
Bernd. Smith 1
Willm: Robinson 1
Tho: Benson 1
John Benson 1
John Busfeild 1
Symond Bowman 1
Tho: Preston 1
Myles Preston 1
Steph: Preston 1
Tho: Lawe 1
Geo: Varey 1
John Richinson 1
Phillip Rudd 1
John Busfeild 1
Tho: Ellyson 1

1683 1 October.

The highway called Wygill Lane for about sixty yards that is in the parish of Great Asby is in decay and ought to be repaired by John Langhorn upon pain of £2.

1696 31 July.

Henry Fleming, rector of Asby and Grasmere, signed the anti-Jacobite "Association" that was formed throughout the Kingdom for the protection of William III.

1811 3 April.

William Fairer of Asby by his will bequeathed a piece of ground at the top of his garth, 14 yards long adjoining to the lane and 9 yards deep and money sufficient to build three small good houses, under one roof, with one room below and one room above, for three poor widows or widowers who have been born in the parish " but none of the Carlton's or Ion's families to have any benefit." The ground bequeathed, however, was not suitable or convenient for the purpose wherefore it was sold and permission was gained from Sir Frederick Fletcher Vane to build upon the waste, close adjoining to the church and to a fine spring of water called St. Helen's Well. From a deed poll, dated 31 July, 1818, reciting the will of William Fairer we gather that in pursuance thereof three cottages had been built and that three widows occupied the same and that there was in the hands of the Trustees £244 surplus; and further that Joseph Fairer, a brother of the testator, had built an additional cottage and proposed to give £100 if the interest could be applied as before, so that the fourth inmate should share the charity jointly with the other three. St Helen's Almshouses therefore started with an endowment of £344, which has been augmented since by another £100 left by the will of Henry Guy.

1859 8 August.

Indenture between John Metcalfe of Asby Coatsforth, shoemaker, of the one part, and John Crosby of Breeks Hall, Ormside, farmer, William Wakefield of Birklands, Kendal, esquire, and others of the second part. Those of the second part being possessed of divers sums of money for erecting a Chapel, the said John Metcalfe for the sum of £11, grants to them the plot of freehold land, measuring in length from east to west 13 yards and in breadth 9 yards. being a portion of a garth in Asby Coatsforth, bounded on the northwest and north-east by the rest of the garth, on the south-east by the public road and on the south-west by the public green, which land was formerly the property of John Clemmett, to have and to hold to them for the purpose of building a chapel for the worship of "Christians sound in the Faith." Close Roll, 15429, 1860, pt. 5.

1862 28 August.

Indenture between John Penrith of Crosby Garret, farmer, and Mary his wife of the one part and William Fawcett of the same, gent. and many others of the second part. Those of the second part being possessed of money to buy land to build a Chapel for the use of the Primitive or Calvinistic Baptists, the said John and Mary Penrith for the sum of £10 have sold to the said parties a piece of freehold ground in Bell Garth in the township of Asby Coatsforth, forty-five by thirty feet, bounded on the north-west by the public road, and on the other sides by lands of Mary Penrith, to be used by the said dissenters who are now meeting in a room in the premises of Robert Yare Fairer at Asby. With power to erect a school or schoolroom there. If the same Chapel be discontinued at any time, the said premises to be used for such purposes as the managers of a Society called the Baptist Building Fund, established in London in 1824, shall direct. The said Bell Garth was conveyed to Mary Penrith by George Jackson on 17 November, 1841. Close Roll, 15988, 1862, pt. 259.

The Baptists were early divided into two sections,—those who in accordance with Arminian views held the doctrine of "General Redemption," and those who, agreeing with the Calvinistic theory, held the doctrine of "Particular Redemption"; and hence they assumed respectively the names of General Baptists and Particular or Primitive Calvinistic Baptists. The latter became less Calvinistic as time went on, a result largely attributable to the writings of Andrew Fuller. These two communions existed side by side till 1891, when the General Baptist Association resolved to amalgamate with the greater Calvinistic body.