Sectional Preface

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.

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'Sectional Preface', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland, (London, 1936), pp. lviii-lxvi. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

. "Sectional Preface", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland, (London, 1936) lviii-lxvi. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

. "Sectional Preface", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland, (London, 1936). lviii-lxvi. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,

In this section


Sectional Preface

(i) Earthworks, Etc., Pre-Historic and Later.

The pre-historic earthworks of the county are fully dealt with in Dr. Wheeler's special article on p. xxviii. The later and mediæval earthworks are few and comparatively unimportant. The motte at Kendal has been much altered, but the ditch of the later castle there is both imposing and well-preserved. The earthwork defences of Brough and Brougham castles are complicated by the presence of the earlier Roman banks and ditches. The earthworks of Appleby castle seem to have formed originally a motte and bailey but the intervening ditch was subsequently filled in and the whole area thrown into one enclosure. There are traces of one or perhaps two castle-earthworks at Tebay and a well-preserved ditch at Pendragon. Homestead-moats are of only occasional occurrence. Mention must be made, finally, of the enigmatic earthwork at Little Asby, the date of which is at present indeterminate.

(ii) Roman Remains.

These are fully dealt with in Dr. Wheeler's special article.

(iii) Ecclesiastical and Secular Architecture.

Building Materials.

The building-material almost universally employed in both ecclesiastical and secular architecture of the county is the local stone. Brick and timber-framing occur only very occasionally and in any general consideration of Westmorland architecture they are negligible. The local stone is of three chief types, the carboniferous or mountain limestone of the southern and north-eastern parts of the county, the granite of Shap fells and the millstone grit of the Appleby district. The first two are of little use except for rubble walling and the Shap granite is hardly employed in any but the comparatively modern periods. The millstone grit, however, forms a serviceable sandstone for dressings and ashlar-work. The roofing is universally of local slates when of any antiquity.

Ecclesiastical Buildings.

In the Middle Ages the present county of Westmorland contained only 32 parish-churches, (fn. 1) but there were in addition a considerable number of mediæval chapels, many of which have since become parochial. The presence of Anglian cross-shafts at Kendal and Heversham indicates the establishment of churches in these places before the Danish invasions and there was a known early monastic establishment at Heversham; the later pre-Conquest shafts and hog-backs no doubt indicate churches of a later period. In addition to these, two churches retain structural remains of the period immediately before or after the Conquest; Crosby Garrett has the head of a tall and narrow chancel-arch of this date and the tower at Morland, with mid-wall shafts to the belfry windows, is either a pre-Conquest work or belongs to that group of structures assigned by Baldwin-Brown to the Saxo-Norman overlap.

In addition to these, Ormside and Long Marton present features which seem to place them within the limits of the 11th century and Long Marton has two early carved tympana. A high proportion of the ancient parish churches retain evidence of an origin at least as old as the 12th century, though in several instances, such as Dufton, Shap and Ravenstonedale, this evidence is reduced to a few stones. The finest 12th-century work is to be found at Kirkby Lonsdale, where the nave was designed with alternating piers of the Durham type. At Barton are the remains of a three-compartment church with a central tower, and there may have been a similar church at Warcop. Arcades of the same century survive at Lowther, Crosby Garrett, Heversham and Beetham, the two latter belonging to the close of the century. There are enriched 12th-century doorways at Bongate Appleby, Brough and Bolton, the last with a contemporary inscription and carving above it. At the end of the 12th or early in the 13th century a fairly ambitious cruciform church was built at Crosby Ravensworth, followed by one at Orton and a similar conversion of an earlier building at Lowther.

Apart from these the 13th century is poorly represented. There is, however, a rather elaborate E. end at Kirkby Lonsdale. The 13th-century work at Shap Abbey has been robbed of practically all its dressed stonework. The later mediæval work of the 14th, 15th and early 16th centuries is likewise undistinguished, but there is a good E. window at Heversham and a fine tower at Shap Abbey is still standing. Several of the later parish-church towers exhibit a local feature in the coupling of two windows in each wall of the bell-chamber. This is to be seen at Appleby St. Lawrence, Brough, Kendal and Kirkby Stephen and just over the countyboundary at Penrith.

Post-Reformation church architecture has numerous examples in the county though few are of any general distinction. Brougham church and chapel, Mallerstang and parts of the churches at Appleby were re-built by Lady Anne Clifford in the 17th century and preserve a semi-Gothic character. Witherslack was built by Dean Barwick in 1664 and, although altered, preserves much of its original appearance. Lowther church was reconditioned in 1686 and externally appears to be largely of this period. Other late churches such as Martindale and Troutbeck are largely featureless. Two 18th-century churches may be mentioned as simple but dignified examples of their period—Bampton built in 1726 and Ravenstonedale built in 1744.

Monastic and Collegiate Buildings.

The only monastic establishment of any consequence in the county was the Premonstratensian Abbey of Shap. Its remains are still considerable and the site was extensively excavated by the late Sir William Hope in 1888. There are also some remains of the cell or grange of the Gilbertine Canons of Watton at Ravenstonedale. The Carmelite Priory at Appleby has been completely destroyed and if there be any remains of the Templar and Hospitaller establishment at Temple Sowerby they are unrecognisable among the later alterations of the house called Acorn Bank.

There were mediæval hospitals at Appleby and outside Kendal, and some walling at Spital, Scalthwaiterigg may represent the latter establishment.

Both Kendal and Appleby Grammar Schools have been re-built, though the much altered earlier building survives at Kendal and some details of the latter have been incorporated in the modern building. A number of humble school-houses still survive as at Heversham (1613) and Measand (1713) Hawes Water; neither now serves its original purpose. Reagill school, Crosby Ravensworth, bears the date 1684.

The only almshouse included in the inventory is that founded by the Lady Anne Clifford at Appleby in 1651–2. It is a quadrangular building and retains its original chapel.

Secular Buildings.

Westmorland contains four important castles at Appleby, Brougham, Brough and Kendal. The first three of these each retains a late 12th-century keep and that at Brough probably stood on the base of a destroyed and much earlier keep. In addition to the keep, Brough at this early period appears to have had a masonry curtain on the lines of the existing walls. The three later keeps are similar both in form and dimensions, but Appleby has no evidence of a forebuilding and was certainly heightened before the end of the 12th century. Normally these keeps were covered with a gabled roof, below the level of the parapet; at Appleby, however, two pent-roofs were used, instead of the gable, with a central valley between them. Originally a mount and bailey castle, the dividing ditch at Appleby seems to have been filled up and the whole area surrounded by a curtain, late in the 12th century. Kendal castle was probably not established on its present site before the 13th century and consists of an oval enclosure with buildings against its internal face; the remains are shattered and fragmentary. The later work at Brougham castle includes an elaborate and well preserved system of gateways, hall and chapel-blocks and a square angle-tower. There is a 14th-century hall-block at Brough also, but the domestic portions at Appleby have been largely re-built in the 17th century.

Minor military or at any rate defensive architecture is poorly represented. Pendragon Castle and Arnside Tower are perhaps the only examples of isolated pele-towers, so called, in the county. Both consist of square towers with the whole of the living accommodation contained within them. The tower at Pendragon dates from the end of the 12th century and is an unusually early example of the type. In contrast to this isolated form, there survives a large number of 14th-century and later manor-houses, built on the normal mediæval plan with a central hall and cross-wings at the two ends; one or other of the cross-wings was carried up as a tower and was evidently intended to be defensible, the ground storey being commonly roofed with a stone vault and the parapets embattled. The best examples of this type are Middleton Hall, Preston Patrick Hall, Burneside Hall, Sizergh Castle, Beetham Hall, Askham Hall, Kentmere Hall and Yanwath Hall. Middleton, Beetham and Burneside have remains of a fortified enclosure or court, adjoining the house itself. In a few instances, as at Hazelslack Tower and Clifton Hall, the fortified tower-wing alone remains standing, but evidence is preserved of the destroyed hall-block on one or other of the sides. The buttery-wing of several of these houses is entered by the usual doorways from the hall-screens and the central doorway often opens into a corridor carried completely across the wing, evidently to give access to the kitchen. It is curious that most commonly there is no actual trace of the kitchen itself and one is obliged to conclude that it was often of timber, however illogical this practice may appear. Otherwise these mediæval houses differ little from the contemporary houses in other parts of the country. The hall was commonly of one storey only and the upper storeys of the wings were most often approached by straight staircases in the thickness of the walls. Castle Dairy, Kendal is a purely domestic example of this type.

A later and simpler type of house is represented by such buildings as Grange Hall, Asby, Cliburn Hall and Barwise Hall, Hoff. The first of these dates from the 15th century but the others are of the following century. The type consists of a single block or two or three storeys, containing both the hall and the other apartments. Smardale Hall, Waitby, is of similar type but the angles are provided with round towers in the Scottish manner.

Bewley Castle (Bolton) deserves a passing mention as a 14th-century house of the Bishops of Carlisle. Its remains are so reduced as to render it impossible to recover the original plan without excavation.

The larger houses of the later 16th and the 17th centuries are not extensively represented in the county. Levens Hall, however, is an unusually complete and little altered example of the age of Elizabeth. It is based upon the mediæval plan but all its distinctive features are of the later age. The house retains much of its original fittings and plaster-work and the formal gardens with cut yew-trees and hedges, laid out c. 1700, are amongst the most remarkable survivals of their type in the country. Much refitting of the same age took place at Sizergh Castle and the craftsmanship of the woodcarver and plaster-worker in these two houses spread to many of the lesser houses of the southern district. This craftsmanship is of unusually high quality and is fully abreast of the most advanced taste of the period. The remarkable inlaid panelling of a room at Sizergh is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. An important 16th-century enlargement of an earlier house existed at Wharton Hall, but with the exception of the great kitchen the building is much ruined. The surviving Jacobean houses are of a smaller type but Calgarth Hall, Windermere, has several features of interest of this period. The great builder of the second half of the 17th century was the Lady Anne Clifford whose activities are dealt with elsewhere. The full Renaissance was hardly introduced until after her death in 1676, but to the closing years of the century belong the rebuilding of the main block of Appleby Castle and the front at Crackenthorpe Hall; both these buildings are of severely classical type. A smaller example is to be found at the Mansion House, Yanwath.

The lesser houses of the county form two groups—the dwellings of the yeoman or 'statesmen' and the cottages. The statesman's house has a number of distinctive features which call for special notice and which are all amply illustrated in a large number of houses throughout the county. Some of these features furthermore are typical of the north-western region and are not to be found in the midlands or the south. The living-room of the house was entered from a passage or 'hallan' into which opened the front-door. In many of the smaller houses this hallan was a section of the living-room, screened off by a partition or 'heck' either of stone or timber. In this case the heck also acted as a screen on one side of the open fireplace-recess which extended in width to the opposite wall of the living-room and in depth to the first of the main cross-beams of the ceiling. When of timber the heck generally terminated in a heavy post supporting the first cross-beam of the ceiling. The fireplace had an open hearth and the recess was commonly loftier by a foot or two than the rest of the room. The smoke of the fire was generally collected above in a timber, lath and plaster hood which discharged into a stone flue only near the head of the gable. Most of these hoods have now been destroyed but a certain number survive, as at High Birk House, Langdales (4), Boundary Bank, Underbarrow (3) and Scalegate, Askham (38). At one side or other of the fireplace was a small square hutch or cupboard, sometimes called the 'spice-cupboard'; it had a panelled door often carved with initials and date. In the outer wall flanking the fireplace-recess was a small window, called the fire-window, giving light to the recess itself. Built into one of the other walls of the living-room there was commonly a large panelled cupboard; it forms a distinctive local type, described under fittings. These cupboards nearly always bear the initials and date of their original owners. The arrangement of the rest of the house depends largely upon its size and importance. Small bedrooms are generally found adjoining the living-room and on the upper floor. These rooms are often enclosed by a local type of wooden partition consisting of heavy battens alternately moulded and plain and extending from the floor to the ceiling. These partitions are generally referred to in the inventory as muntin and plank partitions. The upper floor was often approached by a semi-spiral staircase of stone set in a semi-circular or rectangular projection from the main wall of the house. The upper floor was almost always open to the roof. Various outbuildings such as byres, bake and brew-houses often formed a continuous range with the main building of the house.

The cottages of the district are commonly a much simplified form of the statesman's house, the living-room having the same type of fireplace-recess, partitions, etc.

The walls of these buildings are invariably of the local rubble and are roofed with local slates, where the covering is ancient. Here and there a primitive form of crutch-truss has survived well into the 17th-century, but the roof-trusses are commonly of the ordinary collar-beam type. The windows from the 16th to the early part of the 18th century are generally of stone with chamfered mullions and square heads; the more sophisticated have moulded labels and the remoter and simpler buildings often have a rough stone drip-course between the storeys and drip-stones over the windows. A local type of doorway, common also to the other northern counties, has an enriched lintel on which the jamb-mouldings are carried up to form an embattled or curvilinear decoration on the face of the lintel; the flat space below the enrichment generally contains the initials and date of the builder. The initials are commonly set out in triangular form, the lower pair representing the Christian names of the husband and wife and the top initial the surname; this practice is, however, not universally followed. The chimneys of houses of the 16th and 17th century particularly in the southern district very often take an oval or round plan and the cylindrical shafts are sometimes grouped in twos and threes.

Numerous bridges are scheduled in the inventory and of these by far the finest is the Devil's Bridge over the Lune at Kirkby Lonsdale. It is a three-span structure probably dating from early in the 16th century and is amongst the finest bridges in the north of England. The bridge over the Eden at Warcop and that over the Eamont, near Penrith, are both good examples of a rather later date. Most of the other bridges noted are plain rubble structures dating probably from the 17th century and often widened on one side or the other in later times. There are also a number of narrow pack-horse bridges generally with a steep camber. Their date is quite indeterminate but few seem earlier than the 17th century.


Altars: A slab at Brough retains two of its consecration crosses. Other slabs at Shap Abbey and Orton may also have served this purpose.

Bells: The proportion of mediæval bells in the county is unusually high, numbering some nineteen in all. Of these three of the long-waisted type at Appleby St. Michael, Crosby Garrett and Mallerstang are uninscribed but date probably from the 13th century. Assigned to the 14th century are Appleby St. Michael (2nd), Crosby Garrett (2nd), Crook and Long Marton (3rd). The rest are probably of the 15th century. Of the inscribed bells one is dedicated to the Trinity, four to St. Mary, one to All Saints, two to St. Michael and one each to St. Andrew, St. Gregory, St. Paul, St. Thomas and St. Peter. A bell at Patterdale has an alphabetic inscription, and the inscription of the 4th at Brough is so corrupt as to be unreadable; the 3rd at Ormside records the name of the donor. Little can be said as to the founders of these bells, but the 2nd at Appleby St Michael was cast by William of Norwich and Mr. H. B. Walters ascribes one at Kirkby Thore to a York foundry and one at Orton to Nottingham. Among the post-Reformation bells there are single examples of the work of William Eldridge of Chertsey (at Lowther), of Christopher Hodson (at Ravenstonedale) and two of Abraham Rudhall at Killington). More local founders are represented by two bells at Bolton by W. Scott of Wigan, 1694, two at Kendal by Thomas Stafford of Penrith, 1631, one at Morland by Lancelot Smith of Penrith, 1687, and three at Witherslack by William Seller of York, 1669 and 1670.

Brasses: The brasses of Westmorland are few in number and poor in quality. Two only have figures—that of a rector of 1500 at Musgrave and an armed figure of Alan Bellingham, 1577, at Kendal. The earliest inscription is one, now at Lowther Castle, of 1430. An inscription of 1562 at Morland is of interest as being palimpsest with parts of two earlier figures on the back. At the beginning of the 18th century or even earlier it became a local practice to place brass inscriptions on tomb-stones in the churchyard, probably owing to the rapid disintegration and obliteration of lettering cut on the stone.

Chairs: A certain number of enriched chairs of 17th-century type survive in the churches. Two at Barbon and Burton should be noted in regard to their close similarity in design, the one being dated 1662 and the other 1712.

Chests: One dug-out chest has been preserved at Orton and there are massive early framed chests at Long Marton, Brougham and Heversham, the latter heavily iron-bound. Examples of the 17th century may be seen at Barbon, Beetham (1689), and Cliburn (1696).

Coffin Lids: The county, in common with the north country in general, possesses an extensive series of enriched coffin-lids, many of which are works of considerable elaboration and high quality. Among the numerous examples mention may be made of those at Kendal, Morland, Musgrave, Newbiggin and Warcop. A slab with a crozier survives at Shap Abbey, and one with an inscription to Christopher de Lancaster at Barton. The slab at Burton is remarkable as having the surface completely covered by a rendering of the arms of Harrington. A slab at Appleby St. Lawrence has a cross combined with a half effigy of a woman, a motif not uncommon in the northern counties.

Communion Tables and Rails: The earliest Communion table is one with enriched bulbous legs of late 16th-century type at Beetham. An early 17th-century table at Kendal may be noticed and late 17th-century examples at Appleby St. Lawrence, Kirkby Thore, Witherslack (c. 1670) and Lowther (1687). The last has twisted legs similar to the balusters of the Communion rails at the same place. The rails at Kirkby Thore have a refixed inscription of 1683–4. The rails at Barton, Brougham (c. 1660), Morland and Brough (dated 1704) may also be mentioned.

Cupboards: One form of domestic cupboard is common throughout the county and is generally fixed into one of the walls of the living-room. It is of two or three panelled stages, the upper part being set back and finished with a carved projecting fascia with pendants or balusters at the ends. The fascia often bears the initials of the owner and the date of erection. These cupboards extend throughout the 17th and into the 18th century with little or no alteration in type. A smaller type of domestic cupboard, often called a spice-cupboard, is equally common. It is formed by a square recess in the wall near the fireplace and is closed by a panelled door often bearing initials and a date.

Doors: Very few doors are of any particular interest, but there is early ironwork, probably of the 13th century, on a door at Heversham and an elaborate panelled and traceried early 16th-century door at Yanwath Hall. At Collinfield, Kendal, and at Great Asby rectory are door-locks given by Lady Anne Clifford.

Fonts: Few of the mediæval fonts are of any great interest. The example at Ormside is probably of the 12th century. Barton has a simple font of the 13th or 14th century and Kendal a more imposing one of the 15th century. The great majority of fonts in the county, however, date from the 17th century and present much variety in form. Those at Askham, Bampton (added date), Brougham, Morland and Orton are dated 1661 or 1662; others of the same period survive at Bolton, Lowther and Witherslack, and one at Selside is dated 1709. The example at Lowther is the only one of baluster-form.

Glass: One highly important example of late 15th-century painted glass survives in the E. window of Windermere church; it was formerly in the priory-church at Cartmel and has, besides the larger figures of saints, etc., a series of kneeling donors at the base of the window. Other mediæval figures may be noted at Brough, Clifton, Swindale (Shap Rural) and Beetham (Haverbrack). There is mediæval and later heraldic glass at Appleby St. Lawrence, Levens Hall, Rydal Hall, Rosgill Hall, Shap Rural, and Tolson Hall, Strickland Ketel. The inscribed quarries at the last-named place should also be noted.

Monuments: The county is poor in mediæval effigies; of the nine noted in the Inventory, those at Bolton, Milburn and Warcop are defaced and weather-worn almost out of recognition. The best-preserved effigy is the early 15th-century armed figure of a member of the Musgrave family at Kirkby Stephen. There are mutilated figures of a man in armour and his wife at Beetham, the figure of a woman of the Clifford family at Bongate Appleby and of a man of the Middleton family at Kirkby Lonsdale. The half-figure at St. Lawrence Appleby has already been noted under Coffin Lids. There are mediæval altar-tombs, without effigies, at Kendal and Kirkby Stephen, and in the churchyard at Morland. Tomb-recesses, of the 14th century, are represented at Newbiggin and Burton.

The best groups of post-Reformation monuments are to be found at St. Lawrence Appleby and Lowther. The former place has a handsome tomb with effigy of Margaret Countess of Cumberland, 1617, and another with a display of Clifford heraldry to her daughter Lady Anne Clifford, 1676. At Lowther is a table-tomb with an effigy of Sir Richard Lowther, 1607, a wall-monument with busts of Sir John Lowther, 1637, and his son John, 1675, and an elaborate monument with a reclining effigy of John 1st Viscount Lonsdale, 1700. The clumsy effigies and ornament of the monument of Thomas 1st Lord Wharton, 1568, at Kirkby Stephen are presumably evidence of local work. Amongst the smaller monuments the tablet to Dorothy Bellingham, 1626, at Heversham and later tablets at Askham, Grasmere and Lowther may be mentioned. Two painted hatchments of Dean Barwick and Dr. Peter Barwick survive at Witherslack.

Organs: The remarkable organ-case at St. Lawrence Appleby with the instrument itself was formerly in Carlisle Cathedral; it dates probably from the earlier part of the 17th century.

Overmantels: The oak overmantels at Levens and Sizergh form a remarkable series of late 16th-century examples, many of them dated. One of these at Levens has interesting allegorical carvings and inscriptions and those at Sizergh have elaborate heraldic enrichments. There is a handsome re-set overmantel at Dallam Tower and others at Middleton Hall and Casterton Old Hall. The oak overmantel is sometimes replaced by a modelled plaster panel.

Panelling: Many of the minor houses of the county have been largely denuded of their panelling in recent times. Levens and Sizergh, however, have retained much of their original late 16th-century fittings, though at Sizergh the finest panelling has been removed to the Victoria and Albert Museum. This particular panelling is inlaid and is perhaps as advanced in character as any contemporary work in the country. The smaller houses retain a small amount of ordinary panelling and numerous partitions of the local muntin and plank type. An enclosure complete with bed-recesses survives intact at Waitby (4) and a fixed bed in a recess existed till recently at Northfold Troutbeck.

Piscina: There is a late 12th-century pillar-piscina at Newbiggin, but it is doubtful if it belongs to the building. Of later piscinæ the best examples are those at Kirkby Stephen, Orton and Warcop of the 13th century, and at Long Marton and Appleby St. Lawrence of the 14th century.

Plaster-work: The county contains an unusual amount of enriched plaster-work in ceilings, friezes and panels, and much of it is of unusually high quality. The series of late 16th-century ceilings at Levens and Sizergh are the most important in the county, the hall at Levens being provided with an elaborate geometrical ceiling with pendants, a rich heraldic frieze and the royal arms of Elizabeth over the fireplace. At Helsington Laithes is a geometrical panel, which seems to have served as a pattern for some slightly later work at Levens. It is dated 1538, an error for 1583. Other ceilings of geometrical type survive at Low Hall, Little Strickland; Church Farm, Barton; and Burneside Hall, Strickland Roger; the two first are of identical design. At Blease Hall, Old Hutton, is a ceiling with an elaborate design of scrolled vineornament. The latter work of the 17th century is of inferior quality as is indicated by the rich plaster-work at Calgarth Hall and the friezes and panels at Borrowdale Head, Fawcett Forest, Pool Bank, Crosthwaite, Collinfield, Kendal, and Wood Farm, Troutbeck.

Plate: The only piece of mediæval plate in the county is the chalice at Old Hutton; it dates from c. 1495 and is of the normal form for that period. Eight Elizabethan cups are noted in the Inventory, the earliest being that at Crosthwaite of 1567; three of 1571 survive at Kirkby Lonsdale, Langdales and Longsleddale. Ambleside and St. Nicholas Appleby possess handsome secular steeple-cups of 1618 and 1612 respectively. At Brougham Chapel is a secular standing-cup of Nuremberg make of the same period. The best of the later pieces is a cup of 1682 at Windermere.

Pre-Conquest Carved Stones: The pre-Conquest fragments from Westmorland are to be found on six individual sites and represent about sixteen separate crosses or tomb-stones. The Anglian or pre-Danish period is represented by the two crosses at Heversham and Kendal and one of the cross-heads at Kirkby Stephen. The shaft at Heversham is the finest work in the county; it has a well-executed double vine-scroll, with "Anglian" beasts, on the front, which is in the same descent and not greatly inferior in quality to Acca's cross, now at Durham. It forms a group with the cross-shaft at Lancaster, the fragment at Kendal and one of the shafts of unknown provenance now at Lowther Castle, but is the best and perhaps the earliest of these and may be assigned to the middle of the 8th century. The fragment at Kendal is generally similar but has no beasts in the scrolls and the workmanship is less sure. The shaft at Lowther Castle was presumably found on the Lowther estates either in Cumberland or Westmorland; it has a double vine-scroll, without beasts, on the front. One of the cross-heads at Kirkby Stephen is also Anglian in character though the arms of the cross have the single instead of the double curve of the earlier Anglian cross-heads of Ruthwell and Hoddom; it may be assigned to the latter part of the 8th century. A second cross-shaft of unknown provenance at Lowther Castle may here be mentioned as probably belonging to the end of the period, perhaps the early part of the 9th century. It has a degraded vine-scroll with two beasts and a bird in the scrolls.

The later pre-Conquest or Scandinavian period is represented by two cross-shafts at Burton and four at Kirkby Stephen, by two stones at Lowther Church and a number of hogbacks. The earliest is perhaps the semi-cylindrical shaft at Kirkby Stephen with degraded scrolls and remains of a wheel-head. This form of head seems to have made its appearance in this country about the close of the 9th century. The two stones recently discovered at Lowther have heavy interlacement and key-pattern; they were probably tomb-stones intended to lie flat and date from the latter part of the 10th or the early part of the 11th century. Two other shafts at Burton and Kirkby Stephen have figure-subjects. On the former the lower subject appears to be the Harrowing of Hell and the sketchy design on the back seems not earlier than the early part of the 11th century though the figures appear to be in the Anglian tradition. On the other hand the "bound devil" on the shaft at Kirkby Stephen is more Scandinavian in character. It has been thought to be derived from the bound Loki of northern mythology. The wheel cross-heads at Burton and Kirkby Stephen belong to the same period and perhaps to the shafts already mentioned. Two fragments from Kirkby Stephen not now in the church also belong to the same period. A fragment of a very degraded cross-shaft at Burton, ornamented with zig-zag lines and a crude worm-cast ornament, dates probably from the close of the pre-Conquest age.

The late form of tomb-stone known as the hog-back is represented by one example at Kirkby Stephen and at Bongate Appleby and by three at Lowther. The first two are much worn and of no great importance. The three at Lowther, on the other hand, are of considerable interest. Two of them have carved figures on the long sides, both sides of one and one side of the other having a sort of frieze of men's or women's busts; the remaining side has a scene of a long-boat full of warriors on the left and a body of warriors standing on the shore on the right; between them stands a single figure. This scene is closely paralleled on a hog-back at Gosforth (Cumberland). The third hog-back at Lowther is simpler and has isolated knots, a bird and other indeterminate ornament. The hog-back commonly takes the form of a chest with a gabled top steeply cambered from end to end; the ends of the ridge are often represented as terminating in the mouths of bears or other animal forms and remains of these beasts survive on one of the examples at Lowther. The general date of this type of memorial is the second half of the 10th or the first half of the 11th century.

Pulpits: There is a plain stone pulpit at Brough with the date 1624. The best 17th-century wooden pulpits with enriched panels are at Burton, Kirkby Lonsdale (1612) and Witherslack; the last retains its later sounding-board.

Royal Arms: Royal Arms painted on wooden panels are to be found at Mallerstang (1663), Appleby St. Lawrence (Charles II), Orton (1695) and Witherslack (1710). The arms of Elizabeth in modelled plaster-work form part of the decoration of Levens and Yanwath Halls and those of Charles II (1667) at Low Poundwick, Strickland Ketel.

Screens: None of the mediæval screens of Westmorland are of any great interest, but late mediæval parcloses survive at St. Lawrence Appleby and Kendal. The chancel-screen at Brougham is an interesting example of mixed Renaissance and Gothic detail dating from 1661, and there is a Jacobean screen of 1605 in the N. chapel at Heversham.

Sedilia: The best example of this class of fitting is at Kirkby Stephen. It has trefoiled and gabled heads to the three seats and is a good example of 13th-century detail. Other examples may be mentioned at Warcop, Long Marton and Brougham Castle Chapel.

Staircases: A considerable number of timber staircases have been noted, chiefly in the minor houses of the county. The great staircases at Levens and Sizergh have been altered or re-built, but Appleby Castle and Crackenthorpe Hall retain their late 17th-century staircases with twisted balusters. Of the Jacobean type an example is to be found at Collinfield, Kendal, with pierced slat-balusters and a dog-gate. The best examples of later 17th and early 18th-century staircases, apart from those mentioned above, are at Howgill Castle, Abbots Hall, Kirkby Lonsdale, Maulds Meaburn Hall, Crosby Ravensworth, Askham Hall, Morland Hall, Yanwath Mansion House and the back staircase at Levens Hall.


  • 1. Appleby St. Lawrence and St. Michael, Asby, Askham, Bampton, Barton, Beetham, Brough, Brougham, Burton, Cliburn, Clifton, Crosby Garrett, Crosby Ravensworth, Dufton, Grasmere, Heversham, Kendal, Kirkby Lonsdale, Kirkby Stephen, Kirkby Thore, Lowther, Long Marton, Morland, Musgrave, Newbiggin, Ormside, Orton, Ravenstonedale, Shap, Warcop and Windermere.