Townships: Arkholme with Cawood

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.

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'Townships: Arkholme with Cawood', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, ed. William Farrer, J Brownbill( London, 1914), British History Online [accessed 14 July 2024].

'Townships: Arkholme with Cawood', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Edited by William Farrer, J Brownbill( London, 1914), British History Online, accessed July 14, 2024,

"Townships: Arkholme with Cawood". A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Ed. William Farrer, J Brownbill(London, 1914), , British History Online. Web. 14 July 2024.

In this section


Ergune, Dom. Bk.; Argun, 1229; Hergun, 1242; Ergum, 1285; Erghum, 1292; Erwhum, 1343; Erwom, 1441; Argholme, xvi cent.

Cawode, c. 1350.

Arkholme proper is placed on a little eminence or bluff, overlooking the Lune, which is there crossed by a ferry and a ford towards Hornby and Melling. The village consists mainly of one street leading down to the ford across the river, and retains many picturesque 17th and 18th-century houses with welldesigned doorways, many bearing dates and initials. (fn. 1) Cawood was the forest of the lords of Hornby and no doubt occupied most of the area of the township. Its surface may be described as a hill, attaining 466 ft. above sea level at Cragglot, and descending with many outlying spurs to the Keer on the north-west, the Lune on the south-east, and their tributaries on the north. Storrs is to the south-west of Arkholme, Locka and Kitlow to the west, and Gunnerthwaite to the north-west, near the Keer. The area is 3,016 acres, (fn. 2) and there was a population of 286 in 1901.

The principal road is that from Lancaster to Kirkby Lonsdale on the western side of the Lune; it has a branch east through the village to the river side, and north-west towards Docker and the Keer valley. The Furness and Midland Railway Companies' branch line from Wennington to Carnforth crosses the northern end of the township and has a station called Arkholme near the village. An omnibus runs to Kirkby Lonsdale.

The township is governed by a parish council.

The soil is a loam, overlying sand; the land is chiefly in pasture. There is some basket-making.

The base of the churchyard cross remains, and there was probably a market cross also. (fn. 3) There is an ancient artificial mound on the north-east side of the church.


In 1066 ARKHOLME, assessed as six plough-lands, was part of Earl Tostig's fee of Whittington. (fn. 4) It was afterwards a member of the lordship of Hornby, and in 1279 Geoffrey de Nevill obtained a charter for a market at Arkholme every Wednesday and a fair on the vigil, feast and morrow of St. John Baptist, 23–25 June. (fn. 5) At his death in 1285 Sir Geoffrey had free services of £9 5s. from the vill, (fn. 6) and his widow Margaret de Nevill in 1 319 received £15 1s. 8d. from free tenants and tenants for terms. (fn. 7) The manor has continued to be held with Hornby. (fn. 8) Arkholme, Cawood, Melling and other parts of the inheritance of Sir Thomas Harrington were in dispute in 1508 (fn. 9) and again in 1530. (fn. 10)

The land seems to have been much divided, and some of the tenants used the local surname. (fn. 11) The pleadings (fn. 12) and the later inquisitions (fn. 13) give various particulars, but in most cases no continuous story is possible.

CAWOOD, to judge from its name, was probably part of the wood of Melling for which William de Albini in 1196 and later paid £4. a year. (fn. 14) The wood called Cawood was granted to Thetford Priory by Roger de Montbegon. (fn. 15) In Cawood is Storthes or STORRS, (fn. 16) which was in 1420 divided between Alice and Margaret, sisters and heirs of John of the Storthes. (fn. 17) Part descended in a family named from it, who acquired further lands, (fn. 18) and in 1619 Adam Storrs was found to have held Storrs in Arkholme and Cawood of Lord Mounteagle as of his manor of Hornby by a rent of 2s. 4d. His son Henry, aged nine, was heir. (fn. 19) Henry's son Adam left the Storrs estate to his son-in-law Dr. Anthony Askew, (fn. 20) from whose descendants (fn. 21) it was in 1848 purchased by Francis Pearson, who built the hall in the Gothic style, and from him descended to his son the present owner, Mr. Francis Fenwick Pearson.

William Croft of Claughton, who died in 1606, was stated to hold messuages in Gressingham of the king by the serjeanty of being forester in Cawood and Quernmore. (fn. 22)


The church stands at the end of the village close to the river and consists of chancel with vestry on the north side, nave with south aisle and south porch. There is a bell-cote over the west gable containing one bell. Down to the year 1897, when the chancel was added, the building, which appears to be of late 15 th or early 16th-century date, was in plan a plain rectangle about 50 ft. long by 25 ft. 6 in. wide internally, comprising nave and south aisle under one roof with the sanctuary at the east end. The building was repaired in 1788, assuming then more or less the aspect it retained till the last restoration, and a small vestry added on the north side. Most of the windows were altered and a doorway made at the west end. The present bell-cote belongs to the 1788 reconstruction. In 1897 the building was thoroughly overhauled, a new and larger vestry being built, the porch reconstructed, and all the windows except that at the east end of the aisle being replaced by modern Gothic ones. The roof was renewed and covered with stone slates, and the sanctuary lengthened 15 ft. 6 in. to the east as a chancel, projecting that distance in front of the aisle. All the fittings are modern. The organ was given in 1906.

The east window is of four lights with perpendicular tracery in the head, and part of the hood mould of the old window with carved head terminations has been retained. The whole of the walling is of rubble masonry without plinth or string, but there are buttresses on the south side, at the ends of the aisle and against the west respond of the arcade. The old window at the end of the aisle is of two lights with rounded head, and is perfectly plain in character. The arcade consists of four pointed arches of two chamfered orders without hood moulds springing from octagonal piers with moulded capitals and bases and from similar responds at either end. The arcade occupies the whole length of the original building without any portion of blank wall at the ends, and the arches rise slightly from west to east, there being a difference of 3 in. in height between the capitals of the first and third piers from the west. The capital of the easternmost pier has some rough carvings on five of its sides, and the other capitals may have been also ornamented, but they have been roughly used and perhaps rechiselled. One of the carvings on the eastern pier represents a dog chasing a hare, another is a blank shield reversed, and a third a slung horn. The horn also occurs on a stone now built into the south wall of the chancel.

The aisle is 7 ft. 6 in. wide, the width of the nave being 16 ft. The west doorway was built up in 1897 and a three-light Gothic window inserted in its place. There is no structural division between the chancel and the nave, the chancel fittings occupying part of the first bay westward. The font is modern, but the 18th-century one is in the churchyard. There is a wooden collecting box with the initials and date W.S., 1751.

The registers begin in 1626.


The origin and dedication of the chapel at Arkholme are unknown. In the list of 1610 it is joined with Hornby as served by a ' stipendiary reader, Mr. Mann. (fn. 23) In 1650 it was reported that the minister there had £4 13s. 4d., 'anciently paid by the inhabitants of the chapelry'; this had been augmented by £40 a year out of the sequestered estate of Lord Morley. The minister at that time was Mr. Foster. (fn. 24) Curates are mentioned in 1674 and 1677. (fn. 25) In 1717 it was recorded that the curate preached every Sunday and read prayers every holy day; the' priest's wages' amounted to £8 10s. paid in small sums by the people. (fn. 26) Afterwards some augmentation was obtained (fn. 27) and perpetual curates, now vicars, were appointed. The income is now given as £106.

A district chapelry was formed in 1863. (fn. 28) The vicar of Melling presents.

The following is a list oi incumbents (fn. 29) :—

1758 John Wilson (fn. 30)
1792 Robert Cort (fn. 31)
1793 Jacob Fletcher
1797 John Dobson
1800 Henry Halliwell, M.A. (fn. 32) (Fellow of Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)
1801 Henry Sill, M.A. (fn. 33) (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)
1826 Robert Dunderdale, M.A. (fn. 34)
1828 Richard Mallinson
1866 Thomas Machell Remington, M.A. (fn. 35) (Trinity Coll., Camb.)
1873 Joseph Hunter, B.A. (Christ's Coll., Camb.)
1883 Thomas Robinson (fn. 36)
1893 Richard Hamilton Horsfall, M.A. (Dur.)
1907 William Shepherd, M.A. (Dur.)

There is a Wesleyan chapel built in 1890.


  • 1. The following dates occur, 1614, 1690, 1693, 1700, 1743, 1748.
  • 2. a The Census Rep. 1901 gives 3,018 acres, including 71 of inland water.
  • 3. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq, Soc. xxi, 107.
  • 4. V.C.H. Lancs, i, 288b.
  • 5. Chart. R. 73 (8 Edw. I), m. 11, no. 75. In 1345 Robert de Nevill complained that a new fair at Lancaster was injuring his fair at Arkholme; De Banco R. 342, m. 375. The market and fair were sometimes said to be at Hornby and were perhaps transferred thither; Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 380.
  • 6. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 261.
  • 7. Ibid, ii, 37; there were twenty-three messuages, 18½ oxgangs and 130 acres of arable land in the hanos of free tenants; also three messuages, 1 oxgang and 32 acres of land in the hands of tenants for terms of years.
  • 8. The manor of Arkholme is named as part of the Hornby fee in the Mounteagle inquisitions.
  • 9. Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 106, m. 4. d.; Beaumont v. Stanley.
  • 10. Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 147; Swift v. Mounteagle.
  • 11. Andrew de Argun (or Argum), 1194–5, may nave been of this township; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 90, 93. Benedict, Robert son of Waldeve, Thomas son of Alan, Gilbert son of Uctred and Simon son of Thomas de Arkholme were jurors at Hornby in 1242; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 155. In 1246 Tunoka widow of Roger de Arkholme sued John de Arkholme for dower in 2 oxgangs of land there, but it was found that Roger had not held in demesne; Assize R. 404, m. 14. In 1292 the following had suits respecting tenements in Arkholme: Richard son of Robert de Arkholme v. Henry son of John de Arkholme; ibid. 408, m. 67. Hugh son of Gilbert de Arkholme v. Alan le Walsh of Lupton; ibid. m. 96. John son of Godith de Arkholme v. Henry son of Gamel and Amabel his wife, William son of Ralph and Ralph son of John de Leighton; ibid. m. 59 d. In 1301 John (the elder) son of John le Stapper claimed land by descent against Hugh son of Gilbert de Arkholme; ibid. 418, m. 6a; 419, m. 5 d. Walter son of Alan de Arkholme claimed land in 1306 against Mabel and Agnes daughters of John de Shellay of Arkholme and Amabil his wife; De Banco R. 161, m. 373. 351 d. Agnes widow of Roger son of Hamon de Kirkby in 1313 claimed dower in an oxgang of land against Walter son of Alan de Arkholme and Ingreda his wife; De Banco R. 201, m. 302. A claim for four messuages, and 2 oxgangs of land was in 1345 put forward against John son of Walter son of Alan de Arkholme by John son of Gilbert the Cowherd in right of his mother Agnes (daughter of Benedict son of Richard de Arkholme), who he said had demised to Walter son of Alan while she was of unsound mind; ibid. 344, m. 165; 356, m. 323. The defendant in 1349 called Walter son and heir of Walter son of Alan de Arkholme to warrant him; ibid. 358, m. 162 d. The claim seems to refer to a settlement made in 1319 by which Walter the Clerk of Arkholme and Agnes his wife caused an oxgang of land there to descend to a younger son named John, with remainder to a brother William; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 32. Agnes was in 1337 the wife of John de Romundby and was claiming dower as Walter's widow; De Banco R. 310, m. 221; 314, m. 163 d. William Erghumor Arkholme of Preston in 1402 appears to have sold an oxgang .of land; Add. MS. 32108, no. 1526.
  • 12. William son of Ranulf de Dacre in 1292 claimed certain woodland in Arkholme against Margery widow of Geoffrey de Nevill, alleging that his father had bought it; Assize R. 408, m. 72 d., 77 d. Joan widow of Ranulf was also involved; ibid. m. 39. In 1305 William son of Ralph de Leighton claimed a toft against Ralph de Leighton, Ingreda del Hurst (in possession) and others. It appeared that Ralph had granted it to William son of Simon, whose son Adam had granted it to Ingreda; ibid. 420, m. 6. Nicholas the Chapman of Melling in 1322 acquired the reversion of half an oxgang of land in Arkholme from Roger Pachardi and Maud his wife; Final Conc. ii, 47. Richard the Serjeant and Agnes his wife held a messuage with 1½ oxgangs of land in 1345; De Banco R. 345, m. 393. John Gurnel or Gronel appears in suits of 1350–4; ibid. 364, m. 19d.; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 2, m. 1; 3, m. 2. Agnes daughter of Thomas Henryson obtained the third part of an oxgang of land in Arkholme, through her guardian Adam de Arkholme, chaplain, from Robert Beck and Ellen his wife, whose dower it was; Final Conc, iii, 52. In 1469 a partition was sought by the heirs of John Fryre of his estate in Arkholme — six messuages, &c. The heirs were his daughters Margaret wife of William Fox of Millom and Isabel wife of Robert Rede; Pal. of Lanc. Writs Prothon. file 9 Edw. IV a.
  • 13. In 1384 William de Tunstall obtained the reversion of two messuages, an oxgang of land, &c., in Arkholme from William de Austwick and Joan his wife; Final Conc. iii, 23. The Tunstalls afterwards held land in the township of the lord of Hornby, but the tenure is not specially defined; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 37, &c. Marmaduke Burrow in 1564 claimed a messuage in Arkholme and Cawood in right of his wife Anne daughter of William Tunstall; Ducatus Lanc. ii, 276. Francis Tunstall and Elizabeth his wife in 1597 sold two messuages, a water mill and various lands in Arkholme, Storrs, Newton and Docker to Christopher Bindloss; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 58, m. 85. Christopher was the younger son of Robert Bindloss of Borwick, who died in 1595 holding various messuages in Arkholme of Lord Mounteagle as of his manor of Hornby by knight's service, suit of court twice yearly and a free rent of 11s.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, no. 6, 7. He also had a messuage called the High Cawood. Christopher's estate in Arkholme was held similarly at his death inj.600; ibid. no. 52. The Morleys of Wennington held land in Arkholme of the lord of Hornby by services unknown; ibid, iii, no. 60, &c. In 1587 Thomas Morley and Anne his wife sold a messuage, &c., in Arkholme and Cawood to Christopher Thornton; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 49, m. 64. The Washingtons of Warton held land of the lord of Hornby as stated in 1483; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), ii, 116. Later they were said to hold of the king as of his duchy by knight's service; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 10. Thomas Blackburne of Capernwray held of the lord of Hornby; ibid, iv, no. 84. George Hesketh of Poulton-le-Fylde in 1571 held in Arkholme of Lord Mounteagle in socage; ibid, xiii, no. 15. John Brabin of Docker in 1623 held ten messuages, &c, in Arkholme of Lord Mounteagle by knight's service; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 415. Robert Green of Arkholme in 1631 paid £10 on declining knighthood; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 221.
  • 14. Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 93, &c.
  • 15. Dugdale, Mon. v, 150. Nothing further is known of this gift.
  • 16. William son of Reginald de Stordis (Storrs) occurs in 1242; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 155.
  • 17. The account of this estate is drawn from an old abstract of title and information of Mr. A. Pearson. It appears that Alice married Adam Thompson and Margaret Robin Thompson.
  • 18. Including Kitlow and Locka. The former place, as ' Kydloo in Cawood,' occurs in a grant from William son and heir of Thomas Newpage of Kellet to John Myre in 1445. In 1619 John Widder of Kitlow and Christopher his son and heir-apparent gave land there to Bryan Widder, who in 1646 sold to William Storrs, by whom it was transferred in 1649 to Henry Storrs. These and other deeds relating to Kitlow and Storrs are in the possession of W. Farrer. In 1597 William Barker of Cawood sold a messuage called 'Lockey' to James son of Thomas Pearson of Halton, and in 1609 James sold the same to Adam Storrs. It was held ' according to the custom of tenant right' used in Hornby manor at a rent of 13s. 4d. In 1664 William Storrs and Jane his wife (she was a widow in 1674) granted to Adam Storrs land called Cailgaith in Arkholme, for which a free rent of 10s. 10½d. was payable.
  • 19. Ibid. Adam, who was a son of Henry Storrs, was in 1601 admitted to a tenement in Storrs for which a rent of 7s. 4d. was due; it is later called tenantright ground lying in the ayre. This with his messuage and Locka he settled in 1616. Henry was admitted in 1617 and again in 1623 and his son Adam in 1661–2. Henry Storrs was a member of the classis in 1646. Adam in 166; complained of depasturing on his land of Lower or Little Ayre, which had been good land but was washed away and then restored again.
  • 20. Adam Storrs of Storrs Hall occurs in 1698, but Dr. Askew in right of his wife Cecily had succeeded by 1705.
  • 21. Burke, Commoners, ii, 293; Foster, Lancs. Pedigrees. The descent is thus given: Anthony -s. Adam, d. 1773 -s. Anthony, d. 1774 -s. Adam, s.p. -bro. (Rev.) Henry, rector of Greystoke, d. 1852 -s. Henry William. Of the second Anthony, physician and classical scholar, there is a notice in Dict. Nat. Biog. The principal seat of the family was at Redheugh in Durham.
  • 22. –22 Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc), i, 56. Cawood is named in error as a royal forest; it had always belonged to the Hornby fee, as recorded in a former part of the present work (ii, 462).
  • 23. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 8.
  • 24. Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc Lancs, and Ches.), 124. The £40 aug mentation was made in 1646, when the 'present maintenance' was only £3; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 20. Mr. John Ayckridge seems to have been appointed in 1654; ibid, ii, 139. James Talbot is said by Calamy to have been ejected for nonconformity in 1662, but no particulars are given, and nothing further is known.
  • 25. Anthony Lund, also at Gressingham, in 1674; Anthony Procter in 1677; Visit. Papers at Chester.
  • 26. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc), ii, 484–5. It was 'parted from the parish church by a great river which [was] often unpassable.'
  • 27. £600 royal bounty; Lewis, Topog. Dict.
  • 28. Lond. Gaz. 15 Sept. 1863.
  • 29. From the Church Papers at Chester Dioc. Reg. In 1753 Alexander Bagot was curate of Gressingham and Arkholme; Claughton Church Papers.
  • 30. Schoolmaster of Kirkby Lonsdale.
  • 31. See Formby and Kirkby. He wished to found a charity at Arkholme, his birthplace, and his daughters gave an endowment of £15 a year to the school. Thomas Cort in 1719 had left 8s. a year for teaching children; End. Char. Rep.
  • 32. Rector of Clayton, Sussex, 1803–35.
  • 33. Rector of Dean, in Cumberland, 1804.
  • 34. Incumbent of Leck 1837.
  • 35. Rector of Claughton 1873–85.
  • 36. Vicar of Muncaster 1844–72, of Farsley 1873–5, and Grinton 1876–8.