An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.
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73 NEWBIGGIN (E.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)IV, S.E., (b)V, S.W.)
Newbiggin is a parish on the N. border of the county 6 m. N.W. of Appleby. The church and Newbiggin Hall are the principal monuments.
b(1). Parish Church of St. Edmund stands in the W. part of the parish. The walls are of sandstone rubble, ashlar-faced, with dressings of the same material; the roofs are slate-covered. Some portions of the structure may date from the 12th century, but the greater part was re-built in the 14th century and consists of a Chancel and Nave. The North Chapel was added early in the 16th century. The church was repaired in 1804 and is said to have been re-built in 1853–4; it seems more probable, however, that the rebuilding was only partial.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (18¾ ft. by 19½ ft.) has an E. window of c. 1330 and of three trefoiled ogee lights with net-tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded label. In the N. wall are two modern windows. In the S. wall are two 14th-century windows each of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square head with a moulded label. There is no chancel-arch.
The Nave (35 ft. by 19½ ft.) has, in the N. wall, an early 16th-century four-centred arch to the N. chapel; further W. are two windows similar to the S. windows of the chancel. In the S. wall are three modern windows. In the W. wall is a modern doorway and there is a modern bell-cote on the gable.
The North Chapel (10¾ ft. by 11 ft.) has, in the E. wall, a re-set 14th-century doorway with hollow-chamfered jambs, segmental-pointed arch and moulded label. The N. and W. walls have each a 16th-century window of three and two elliptical-headed lights respectively, in square heads with moulded labels.
Fittings—Chair: In N. chapel—with turned front legs, panelled back with shaped head, early 18th-century. Churchyard-Cross: S. of chancel, lower part of shaft on square base and step, mediæval. Coffin-lid: In chancel—with ornamental cross and stem on trefoiled base, 14th-century. Glass: In chancel—in E. window, head of bearded king, shield-of-arms of Clifford, head of female saint and various fragments, shield late 14th-century, heads 15th-century, fragments mostly 17th-century. In N. chapel—in N. window, modern shield incorporating some old glass. Monument: In chancel—in S. wall, tomb-recess (Plate 46) with moulded jambs, cinque-foiled segmental arch and moulded label; in middle foil, shield-of arms of Crackanthorpe, late 14th-century. Panelling: In chancel—round E. end, dado of 17th-century panelling; similar panelling incorporated in modern seating. Piscinæ: In chancel—recess with trefoiled head, late 14th-century, drain modern. In N. chapel—pillar-piscina (Plate 47) with eight attached shafts, grouped in a square, with moulded base and scalloped or simple foliated capital and moulded abacus, two of the middle shafts enriched, round foiled drain, late 12th-century. Sundial: On S. face of S.W. buttress—square stone with projecting semi-circular dial, mediæval. Miscellanea: Re-set on head of modern screen to N. chapel, board with trefoiled and trefoil-headed piercings alternately, trefoils set in circles and having central bosses, 14th or 15th-century. Set on wall above arch to N. chapel —cartouche-of-arms of Crackanthorpe, perhaps 17th-century.
a(2). Newbiggin Hall (Plate 90), N.E. of the church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of sandstone rubble and ashlar, and the roofs are slate-covered. The house has belonged to the family of Crackanthorpe since the 14th century. It is built on the normal mediæval plan with a hall-block and cross-wings carried up as towers at the E. and W. ends. The hall (and probably also the E. wing), according to an inscription, was built in 1533 by Christopher Crackanthorpe. A lower wing, called "Jerusalem," was added on the N. of the E. wing in the second half of the 16th century, the main block and the W. wing were entirely re-built in 1844 and there is a modern wing on the E. side of "Jerusalem." The early 16th-century E. wing or tower is finished with an embattled parapet carried up as embattled turrets at the angles; the S.W. turret projects on a double range of corbels; on the angle merlon is a stone figure of a man with the arms of Crackanthorpe impaling a lion on his breast; there is a similar figure, but without a coat of arms, on the S.E. turret; at the base of the S.W. turret is a shield of the Crackanthorpe arms. The windows are 18th-century or modern except for some small square-headed openings in the turrets and two low down in the E. and W. walls cut into by later windows. In the W. wall is a re-set panel with the black-letter inscription "Cristofer Crakanthorp thus ya me calle, Wiche in my tym dyde bylde this halle, The yer of owr lorde who lyst to se, a. M. fyve hundreth thyrty and thre"; the moulded label has one head-stop and one with a shield-of-arms of Crackanthorpe. On the S. wall, a few feet above the ground, are two stone corbels. Inside the tower, the ground-floor room or hall, is lined with re-set 16th and 17th-century panelling including four panels with enriched arches and carved human heads; the modern fireplace incorporates a four-centred head with the initials and date H.C. (for Henry Crackanthorpe) 1564, and shields-of-arms of Crackanthorpe and Dalston quartering a pierced molet; this appears to have come from Bank Hall, Kirkland, in Cumberland; higher up is a stone panel with the Crackanthorpe arms and the initials and date I.C. 1544; the overmantel, at the N. end of the room, incorporates late 16th and early 17th-century woodwork, including shields-of-arms of Crackanthorpe im paling Sandford and Carnaby for the first two wives of Henry Crackanthorpe. This room, in the middle, rises into the second floor and round the opening is a balustrade of late 17th-century turned balusters. The wing, called Jerusalem, has an embattled parapet and retains two small 16th-century windows and a doorway, in the basement, with a triangular arch in a square head; near it is a fireplace of c. 1700 with corbelled jambs and cornice. The main block has a roof of king-post type, presumably re-set. In the parapet of the modern porch is a re-set late 16th-century panel with the arms of Crackanthorpe impaling Carnaby quartering another coat. In the S. wall of the main block is a re-set 17th-century window and a stone with the date 1613. Incorporated in the W. wing is a 16th-century four-centred window-head with the initials I.C. In the garden are some worked stones including a 13th-century voussoir.
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.
Condition—Good or fairly good.
a(3). Home Farm, house, 130 yards S. of the church, retains several original windows with moulded architraves. The front doorway has the initials and date T.P.A. 1695 on the lintel (Plate 30), with a cornice above. Inside the building is a spice-cupboard with the initials and date L.P. 1696. The fireplace in the S. room has a moulded surround and cornice.
a(4). Cottage, 60 yards S.S.E. of (3), has a later 17th-century addition at the S. end. Several original windows remain.
a(5). Outbuilding at Town Head Farm, 380 yards S.S.E. of the church, has loop-lights in the side walls.
b(6). Outbuilding at Mill House, 1 m. E.N.E. of the church.
b(7). Hale Grange, house, 1¼ m. S.E. of the church, has been re-built but incorporates a door-lintel with the initials and date I.H., L.H. 1695.
b(8). Earthwork (called Camp on the O.S.) E. of Moorland Head and over ½ m. E.S.E. of the church, occupies the top of a ridge (600 ft. above O.D.). It consisted of an irregular enclosure of about ½ acre, surrounded by a ditch. The ditch is now filled in and only slight traces of the work now survive.
b(9). Earthwork at Loscars (called Camp on the O.S.) nearly 1 m. N.E. of the church, occupies a fairly level site (568 ft. above O.D.). It apparently consisted of a roughly square enclosure of about ¾ acre, surrounded by a ditch. There are slight traces of an outer rampart and of walls within the enclosure.