An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.
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65 MIDDLETON (E.g.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XL, S.W., (b)XLIII, N.E., (c)XLIV, N.W., (d)XLIV, S.W.)
Middleton is a parish on the left bank of the Lune 5 m. N.N.E. of Kirkby Lonsdale. The Roman milestone and Middleton Hall are the principal monuments.
b(1). Roman Milestone, 70 yards W. of the road and 340 yards S. of the church, is a cylindrical shaft (Plate 4) of stone 5½ ft. high and 1½ ft. in diameter. It bears the inscription M.P.L. III (53 miles, perhaps, from Carlisle). It was discovered buried near its present site in 1836 and re-erected, when the original inscription was perhaps touched up.
b(2). Parish Church of the Holy Ghost, formerly a chapel of Kirkby Lonsdale, stands on the W. side of the parish. The chapel was built in 1634 and dedicated in 1635, but was entirely re-built in 1879. It retains the following:—
Fittings—Brass: In churchyard—S.E. of chancel, to Agnes, wife of Joseph Baylie, 1678, inscription only; on same slab inscription cut on stone to Joseph Baylie, 1712–3. Monuments: In churchyard—S.E. of chancel, (1) to William Rodsfell (?), 168(7?), flat slab; (2) to Margaret Bland, 174 (1704–5 ?), also to Nathan, 1699 and Eleanor, 1709, her children, low table-tomb. Miscellanea: In churchyard-wall, N.W. of church, stone with the date 1634.
d(3). Foundations, etc., at Gawklands nearly 2 m. S.S.E. of the church, include a rounded sinking in the S.W. angle, thought to have been a cock-pit. There was formerly an inn to the E. of the site.
c(4). Middleton Hall (Plate 142), over ¾ m. N.N.E. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. The house was built probably late in the 14th century on the usual mediæval plan, with a hall and cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. In the 15th century the two E. extensions of the wings were added, the curtain-wall built for greater security and additional windows inserted in the hall. In the first half of the 16th century the chimney-stack was inserted in the hall and the outbuilding added against the N. curtain. The hall-roof was reconstructed probably in 1647, the date remaining on the W. front. A former kitchen N. of the house is said to have been pulled down c. 1850 and before that date part of the house had become ruinous. It belonged to the Middleton family at least till the 17th century.
The house is an interesting example of a mediæval manor house with an outer defensive wall.
The W. side of the Hall-block (Plate 143) has an original doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and label with a blank shield at the apex and defaced headstops; of the two windows on this side the first is original and of two trefoiled and transomed lights in a square head with a moulded label; the second window is of the 15th century and of two trefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a square head with a label. The altered top of the wall has a stone with the initials and date I.M. 1647. The E. side of the hall-block has an original doorway with hollow-chamfered jambs, two-centred head and moulded label; the windows are similar to those in the W. wall but in reverse order and set close together. The S. or Solar-wing has, at the W. end, a modern window, with an original window above, of two lights in a square head with a label; the former cusps have been cut away. The N. or Buttery-wing has been largely pulled down, the S.W. angle, however, is standing to some height, and the E. end forms part of the later extension to the wing; this extension retains no ancient features. The corresponding extension of the S. wing has in the E. wall a 15th-century window of one trefoiled light and in the N. wall a doorway of the same period, with a pointed head. The S. side of the S. wing has a large chimney-stack and to the W. of it two 16th-century two-light windows, the lights of the upper window are four-centred and those below rounded; both windows have moulded labels; E. of the chimney-stack is a 17th-century window.
Inside the building the Hall has the screens-passage at the N. end and in the N. wall are three original doorways with chamfered jambs and two-centred arches; the middle doorway no doubt communicated by a central passage through the N. wing with the kitchen beyond. The inserted 16th-century chimney-stack has a doorway of the same age, to the W. of it; the fireplace had a segmental arch, now filled in. In the S. wall of the hall is an original doorway with a shouldered lintel; near it in the E. wall was a doorway opening into a staircase. In the S.W. window are four roundels of late 15th-century painted glass—sun, star, MR monogram and the initials ihc. The main room in the S. wing (now used as a Methodist Chapel) is lined with 17th-century panelling of two periods, with enriched frieze-panels; over the fireplace is an overmantel made up of 17th-century carved woodwork including enriched panels and cresting, turned pendants and a rail with the initials and date I.M. 1670; above the E. doorway is a board with the inscription "Venturum exhoresco diem." The upper floor of the wing has a mid 16th-century fireplace (Plate 41) with moulded jambs, flat four-centred arch with enriched spandrels carried up as square panels at the sides; these panels have shields-of-arms of (a) Middleton and (b) Middleton impaling Tunstall. In the E. wall is a doorway with a shouldered arch.
The Curtain Wall encloses a large courtyard on the W. side of the house. The W. wall had a parapet of which the corbelling still remains; near the middle is a wide gateway (Plate 74) with chamfered 15th-century jambs and a later segmental arch; above it are two 15th-century windows each of one trefoiled light in a square head with a moulded label; they indicate the former existence of a two-storeyed gatehouse at the back of the curtain; a fireplace of this building still remains in the rear face of the curtain-wall. At the S.W. angle of the curtain was a square tower, now destroyed. The corbelling at the N.W. angle of the curtain indicates that here the wall was carried up as a turret; probably in the 16th century the existing building was added in the N.W. angle of the curtain. It contains some windows of this period. There is a further length of ruined curtain connecting the two extended wings on the E. side of the house and forming a small courtyard.
Condition—Of inhabited parts, good.
b(5). Grimes Hall, ¼ m. N.W. of the church, has been almost entirely re-built except perhaps for parts of the E. wing; this retains a blocked window probably of c. 1700. The house belonged to the Moore family and contains some original woodwork re-set. The fireplace in the Drawing Room is flanked by pilasters and enriched panelling with the initials and date T. and I.M. 1695; the overmantel bears the date 1680 on the lintel and the initials and date I.M. 1688 on the frieze; it incorporates various carved woodwork including a panel with the death of Absalom. The hall has a dado of early 17th-century panelling and a fireplace with fluted pilasters and an overmantel of three bays with enriched rails, entablature and brackets. The 18th-century staircase incorporates a late 16th-century panel with a figure-subject and two terminal figures; on the top landing is a dado of late 16th-century enriched panelling.
b(6). Hawking Hall, 600 yards S.S.W. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. It was perhaps built by Dr. Bainbridge early in the 17th century, though parts of the house may be earlier. The W. front has been much altered but above the middle ground-floor window is a re-set achievement-of-arms of Bainbridge. The N. end and back of the house retain some original stone windows. Inside the building, the late 17th-century staircase has turned balusters and panelled newels with ball-terminals; there is a doggate of oak-slats. There are also two old stone fireplaces and a 17th-century panelled door.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams.
Condition—Good or fairly good.
d(7). Sowermire, house nearly 1¼ m. S.S.E. of the church and N.E. of the modern house, retains an original panelled door and a fragment of enriched panelling.
d(8). Borrens, house 720 yards S.S.W. of (7), has an addition on the N.E. dated 1718. Inside the building is an original panelled door and a table with the initials and date R. and A.W. 1714.
d(9). Barwick Hall, 280 yards S.E. of (8), has been largely re-built but retains a panel with the initials and date I.W. 1692 and a shield with a cross paty.
a(10). Beckside Hall, about 1½ m. N.N.E. of the church, belonged at one time to the Otway family and formerly contained panelling with the initials and date R. and A.O. 1616. There is still a late 17th-century stone fireplace with architrave and entablature and a little earlier panelling.
a(11). Hollins, house 100 yards N. of (10).
c(12). Earthwork, perhaps village-site, 400 yards S. of (4), has retained little trace of its original form or character. All that now remains are traces of a slight bank for 24 yards along the N. side with faint traces of a rounded angle on the N.E. On the S. a scarp for 36 yards shows the outer line of the bank and it continues for another 43 yards with both outer and inner scarps. The bank is quite indefinite on the E. and has entirely gone on the W. These banks together with the disturbed state of the ground between them suggest that this was the site of some settlement but the internal arrangements are too faint to determine their original form. The width of the settlement from N. to S., would appear to have been about 71 yards. There are now no traces of stones on the site. A stream runs along the base of the outer scarp of the N. bank. There was formerly a mound or tumulus adjacent and no discoveries were made during its removal.
d(13). Earthwork at the N. end of a slight spur 200 yards N. of (8), now consists only of a slight sinking of irregular round form, with traces of a bank on part of its circumference. It is about 40 yards in diameter.