Temple Sowerby

Pages 226-227

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

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In this section


(O.S. 6 in. IV, S.E.)

Temple Sowerby is a parish and village on the main road, 6 m. N.W. of Appleby. Acorn Bank is the principal monument.


(1). Milestone (Plate 4), on the N.E. side of the main road 1,170 yards S.E. of the church, is a roughly cylindrical monolith, 4½ ft. high and 1¼ ft. average diameter. There are now no traces of any inscription and its form and position are the only evidences of its former purpose.



(2). Parish Church of St. James, formerly a chapel of Kirkby Thore, stands in the village. It was re-built in 1770 and again partly in 1873. In the churchyard is the following:—

Fitting—Monument: S. of chancel—to John Hodg . . ., 1703, table-tomb.


(3). Acorn Bank or Temple Sowerby Manor-house, ¾ m. N.E. of the church, is of three storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. The property belonged successively to the military orders of the Temple and the Hospital and passed at the dissolution to the family of Dalston. There is no definite evidence that any of the existing building is mediæval. The S.W. wing and part of the larger of the two N. wings were built probably late in the 16th century and the main block was perhaps re-built early in the 17th century. The smaller N. wing is dated 1656. The house was much altered in the 18th century when the S. side was refronted, the S.E. wing added to balance the S.W. wing, the main staircase added and the main block probably extended towards the E. The S. front is entirely of the 18th century. The W. side of the S.W. wing has recently been stripped of plaster and a number of original mullioned and square-headed windows exposed; these had moulded labels cut back to the wall-face; there is also an original doorway with a triangular arch in a square head; it is now transformed into a window. On the N. front the smaller N. wing has a stone with the initials and date I. and L.D. (for John and Lucy Dalston) 1656. The larger N. wing has some original windows and a doorway similar to that on the W. front. Between the wings, the main block has an early 17th-century window of four lights with a moulded label. Inside the building some of the ceiling-beams are exposed. The hall, in the main block, has a stone fireplace with a segmental head and bearing masons' marks; the room has a dado of early 17th-century panelling with higher panelling on the E. wall; on this wall is a re-set early 17th-century overmantel with a large central panel, coupled Ionic columns at the sides and an enriched entablature and base; the panel has a cartouche and four shields of Dalston heraldry. The kitchen has a fireplace similar to that in the hall and a circular staircase to the N. of it. On the first floor of the main block, two rooms are partly lined with early 17th-century panelling. The staircase in the smaller N. wing has an early 17th-century painted glass panel and two strapwork cartouches of Dalston heraldry. The S.W. wing has two original doorways and three fireplaces, all with triangular arches under square heads. On the first floor is a circular staircase with a central octagonal newel and a timber and plaster enclosure. The roof of the wing is original and has tie-beams, collars and curved wind-braces.


(4). Black Swan Inn, 50 yards N.W. of the church, is of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. The remains of a crutch-truss in the N. part of the house may indicate a 16th-century or earlier date. The tenement at the S. end is a 17th-century addition. In the W. wall is a stone with a defaced inscription. Inside the building is an early 18th-century fireplace with a moulded surround and cornice and on the first floor is a fireplace with an eared architrave and carved key-block, perhaps of the same date.

Condition—Fairly good.