An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.
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72 NATLAND (D.g.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXXVIII, S.E., (b)XXXIX, S.W.)
Natland is a small parish adjoining Kendal on the S. The Roman station at Watercrook and the earthworks at Castlesteads are the principal monuments. The church is modern.
a(1). Fort at Watercrook is situated on low-lying ground 60 yards N. of Watercrook Farm on a small peninsula formed by the River Kent. It has the appearance of a low platform measuring about 130 yards (N.E. to S.W.) by 120 yards, with an area of about 3 acres. The rampart is greatly reduced by robbing and ploughing, but is still prominent on the S.W. side; the ditches are largely filled up, but one ditch may still be clearly seen on the N.E. and S.W. sides and is visible, though obscurely, towards the N.E., on the other two sides. Excavations in 1930 uncovered the N.E. gate, which had a double entrance with a guard-chamber on either side, and the adjacent rampart to the N.E. which had an external facing of dressed stone with a plinth. A plan made in 1887 (when a hot summer produced clear markings of roads and rampart on the turf) shows that the main gate was in the N.E. side. Machell (Chapter Lib. Carlisle) records what appear to have been bath-buildings to the N. beside the river and also to the S. at Watercrook Farm, where Mr. W. G. Collingwood saw remains in one of the outbuildings though none is now visible there. Remains of kilns have been reported at a site across the river S.W. of the fort. In regard to the pottery, the evidence available shows a second century occupation beginning under Hadrian and continuing up to the Picts' War of 368.
The following chance finds of coins have been recorded: Augustus, Vespasian, Lucilla and Faustina.
[See C. and W. Trans. O.S. XII, 60; N.S. XIII, 102; XXX, 104; XXXIII, 116; XXXIV, 35; C. Nicholson, Annals of Kendal, p. 8. Inscriptions: C.I.L. VII, 291–2; Eph. Epig. IX, p. 565; 1123; C. and W. Trans. N.S. XXX, 106. Pottery: C. and W. Trans. N.S. XXXIV, 36.]
a(2). Cock Pit, ½ m. W.S.W. of the church, consists of a circular sinking 10½ ft. across with a surrounding bank 18½ ft. wide and rising some 5 ft. above the floor of the pit.
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.
a(3). Natland Hall, 130 yards W.N.W. of the church, has been heightened in the 18th or 19th century. The central chimney-stack has three detached diagonal shafts. Inside the building is an original fixed table with turned legs and enriched top-rail, a panelled screen and some panelled doors. The late 17th-century staircase has turned balusters and square newels.
a(4). Natland Abbey, house, 50 yards S.E. of the church, was built probably in the middle of the 16th century and is of H-shaped plan with the cross-wings at the E. and W. ends. Inside the building are some 17th-century panelled doors and a doorway with a flat four-centred head. The late 17th-century staircase has turned balusters and square newels with ball-terminals. The roofs of the main block and the E. wing are original and have curved principals and collars.
a(5). Cottage, 200 yards S.S.E. of (4), contains a small cupboard with an original panelled door and ornamental hinges.
a(6). High House, 70 yards S.E. of (5), had on the ground floor of the E. front, two doors and seven windows and as many windows on the first floor; many of these are blocked, but two in the upper floor retain their original solid frames behind the blocking. The two chimney-stacks have oval shafts. Inside the building is a small cupboard with the initials and date T.W.E. 1666. The staircase has a late 17th or early 18th-century balustrade at the top, with symmetrically turned balusters. There is also some original panelling and panelled doors.
a(7). Watercrook, house nearly 1 m. N.N.W. of the church, is of L-shaped plan. The W. wing is perhaps of the 16th century and the S. wing is probably an early 17th-century addition; the block between the two is of later date. One of the chimney-stacks has twin cylindrical shafts. Inside the building are two late 17th-century staircases with turned balusters and grip-handrails. There is a small cupboard with the initials and date I. and E.S. 1631, and some 17th-century panelling. The roofs of both the wings have curved principals, but the collars of the roof of the W. wing have been removed.
b(8). Castlesteads, earthwork on the S. end of Helm hill, 1,150 yards S.E. of the church, was perhaps a hill-fort. At the N. end of the work protection is afforded by two ramparts formed by cutting a ditch in the rock across the line of the ridge and, to the E. of the modern wall, a rough outer ditch has been cut. Within the inner rampart at this end is a further very small rampart or possibly the foundations of a wall. The inner rampart is carried along the western side of the enclosure but there is no ditch, the slope on this side being considerable. There are now no traces of any rampart along the E. side which is also steep, though it seems possible that both these side scarps may in places have received some slight artificial cutting to increase the steepness of the fall. At the S. end there is a single rampart with a wide top and no ditch. From the S. rampart the ridge begins to slope downwards, but a tongue-shaped projection appears to have had an artificial scarp formed round it before the ground again slopes downwards (see plan). Within the enclosure a curved scarp about 50 ft. S. of the N. inner rampart forms a kind of mound at the N. end of the enclosure. Outside the ramparts, at each end of the camp are two small rock basins which it is suggested were cut for rain-water.
a(9). Sattury, mound 300 yards S. of (7), is of oval form, about 188 ft. across at the widest point and some 17 ft. high. Without excavation it is impossible to say that the mound is not the natural feature that its appearance suggests.
Nether Staveley, see Staveley, Nether New Hutton, see Hutton, New