A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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Chellet, Dom. Bk.; Kellet, 1193.
Occupying an elevated tract of undulating ground, this township has an area of 2,082 acres, (fn. 1) and the population in 1901 was 273. The village, which is of considerable size, occupies a central position in the western half; at the eastern end is Addington; on the north-west boundary is Worless Moss. To the north the hill called Kellet Seeds divides Nether from Over Kellet.
The principal road is that from Skerton north and north-east to the village, and then north again to Over Kellet. To the west of the village it is joined by a road from Bolton, while other roads lead south to Halton and north to Carnforth.
The most peculiar natural feature is Dunald Mill Hole, about a mile and a half east-south-east from the village. It is a natural cavern of some extent, the sides coated with stalactite; the mill-stream runs through it, reappearing near the border of Camforth. (fn. 2) In dry weather the cave may be explored for about 150 yards.
Agriculture is practically the only industry, though there are a number of quarries, and lime burning was formerly an important occupation. The soil is a loam, overlying limestone, gravel and clay.
In 1066 KELLET was part of Earl Tostig's Halton fee, (fn. 3) and later appears to have been included in the demesne of the honour of Lancaster until John when Count of Mortain granted three plough-lands in Nether Kellet to Adam son of Orm, who was in return to act as master serjeant or bailiff of the hundred of Lonsdale. The grant was confirmed in 1199 when John became king, (fn. 4) and the manor continued to be held by the same tenure until the 17th century. Cowmale was payable also.
Adam de Kellet gave 30 marks for the confirmation of his serjeanty and lands in 1199. (fn. 5) He died in 1222 and was succeeded by his son Orm, (fn. 6) who died in 1229. (fn. 7) Adam de Kellet, (fn. 8) son of Orm, (fn. 9) in 1246 held the three plough-lands in Kellet by warding the wapentake; in Furness he was to have one horse servant and one foot servant, but in the body of the wapentake two of each. (fn. 10) He was before 1278 (fn. 11) succeeded by his son Orm, who granted a plat of land in Middleton to the Prior of Lancaster (fn. 12) and in 1297 came to an agreement with the prior as to 12 acres in Longland in the townfields of Nether Kellet which his father Adam had acknowledged to be the prior's right, being held by him by the service of 2s. and a pound of wax yearly. (fn. 13) Orm de Kellet is mentioned in other ways, (fn. 14) and in 1299 he sold the manor to Thomas Banastre. (fn. 15) Very soon afterwards Robert de Holland, the lord of Upholland, is found in possession. (fn. 16) In 1307 he obtained a charter of free warren for Nether Kellet. (fn. 17) This manor descended like Upholland (fn. 18) to the Lovells, (fn. 19) and on forfeiture in 1487 was granted to the Earl of Derby. (fn. 20) In 1604 the manor and lands in Nether Kellet were sold by the representatives of Ferdinando, the fifth earl (fn. 21); Robert Bindloss seems to have secured the manor, while parts of the lands were purchased by various others, some of whose names appear in the inquisitions. (fn. 22) Cecily daughter and heir of Sir Robert Bindloss married William Standish of Standish, (fn. 23) and they with their son Ralph sold the manor in 1692 to John and Edmund Cole. (fn. 24) It has since descended with the estates of the Coles of Beaumont Cote, (fn. 25) and is now held for life by the Rev. Henry Clarke of Torquay. (fn. 26)
The records have few allusions to the township. (fn. 27)
Heversham School has some land in Nether Kellet.
Thomas Whitehead obtained a licence for a Presbyterian meeting at James Dickenson's house in Nether Kellet in 1672. (fn. 30) George Benson's house was certified as a Presbyterian meeting-place in 1689. (fn. 31) In connexion with the Church of England there is a chapel of ease, St. Mark's, built in 1879. The Congregationalists have a chapel, built in 1869, the result of work begun ten years before. (fn. 32)