A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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MELLING WITH WRAYTON
Mellinge, Dom. Bk.; Mellinges, 1195; Mailing, 1229; Melling, 1285.
Wraiton, 1229; Wratton, 1292.
Melling proper is situated in the lower ground between the hills of Hornby to the south and Wrayton to the north-east, and looking west and north over the Lune valley, with higher land on the eastern side. The constituent parts of the township measure—Melling 613 acres, and Wrayton 449, the whole being 1,062 acres. (fn. 1) There was a population of 170 in 1901.
The principal road is that from Lancaster through Hornby to Kirkby Lonsdale. It passes through the village close to the parish church, and has branches going west to Wennington and to Wrayton. The Furness and Midland Companies' railway from Wennington to Carnforth crosses the township, which it enters by a tunnel, and has a station at the village of Melling.
The Castle mount and the ancient crosses have been noticed above. (fn. 2)
The land is mostly used for grazing; the soil is a loam, with clay subsoil.
The village contains some picturesque 17th-century houses, with well-designed doorways.
In 1066 Ulf held nine plough-lands in MELLING, Hornby and Wennington, and Orm had a plough-land and a-half as a berewick, which has been identified as Wrayton. (fn. 3) After the Conquest these were parts of the king's land in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and later came to Roger de Montbegon. Hornby became the chief seat of the lord, and the manor of Melling was from that time an appurtenance of Hornby. (fn. 4)
There is little to record of the place, (fn. 5) though the lord claimed right of gallows there. (fn. 6) In the 17th century the chief resident family was that of Thornton (fn. 7); a few other landowners occur in the inquisitions. (fn. 8) Some of the inhabitants had their estates sequestered by the Parliament during the Civil War. (fn. 9)
WRAYTON (fn. 10) gave a surname to a local family. (fn. 11) A moiety of the manor was acquired from the Procters (fn. 12) by John Redmayne of Thornton in 1548–9, (fn. 13) and descended to Mary widow of Colonel William Forbes, who compounded for it in 1649. (fn. 14) The manor was in 1801 held by Thomas Fenwick of Burrow. (fn. 15) Another estate in the township was about a century ago held by J. Guy; it descended to his grandson, Robert Burrow of Wrayton Hall, after whose death it was in 1901 offered for sale.
The hospital or cell of Hornby had some land in Wrayton. (fn. 16)
The right of customary tenants to take wood for repairing their houses, &c, from lands assigned by the lord of the manor of Hornby was in dispute in 1697. (fn. 17)
The copyhold tenure was changed by an Act passed about 1770, enabling the lord to sell and the tenants to purchase the freehold. Hence the copyholders or customary tenants became freeholders, and the land is much subdivided.
The parish church, already described, is the only place of worship in the township.