Townships: Burrow with Burrow

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

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'Townships: Burrow with Burrow', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, (London, 1914) pp. 238-240. British History Online [accessed 11 April 2024]

In this section


Borch, Dom. Bk.; Burg, 1212; Burgh, 1251.

This township has an area of 2,426 acres, (fn. 1) a large part of it lying in the level country bordering on the Lune, which forms the western boundary. To the east the country soon becomes hilly, and in the north-east corner attains 900 ft. above sea level on the side of Barbon Fell. Leek Beck runs down near the south-east border till the more level ground is reached, passing under Collen or Cowan Bridge, by which is Overtown, and then it goes south-west to join the Lune, thus dividing Over Burrow on the north from Nether Burrow on the south. The population in 1901 was 188.

The principal roads are those from Lancaster and Settle to Kirkby Lonsdale coming from the south and south-east respectively and joining in Westmorland just beyond the northern boundary. A minor road branches off to the north-west from Nether Burrow to Overton and Leck. The Ingleton branch of the London and North-Western Railway crosses the township, and has a station called Kirkby Lonsdale a mile and a half from that town.

Among the names occurring in 17th-century deeds are Burrow Breck, Leck Breck, Hartgrave, Gibholme, Seggs, Skawbottom, Stangs, Park and Yannam (Avenam).


In 1066 BURROW was held in moieties, one part belonging to Earl Tostig as a member of his fee of Whittington and the other to Orm as part of Thornton in Lonsdale. The former portion was assessed as three plough-lands, and probably the latter was so too. (fn. 2) Later they were granted to the Gernets as part of the forester's fee, (fn. 3) and were subdivided among younger branches of the family, one or more taking the local surname. (fn. 4) Richard de Burgh and Matthew de Burgh seem to have held Nether Burrow and Over Burrow respectively in 1252, and their descendants occur from time to time (fn. 5) down to 1370, when William de Tunstall acquired both manors, (fn. 6) which have since remained part of the fee or lordship of Thurland and Tunstall. (fn. 7) The Botelers of Warrington had some lordship in Burrow, but its origin and extent are unknown. (fn. 8)

Fenwick of Burrow. Per bend indented argent and azure six martlets, three and three, barwise counterchanged within a bordure wavy of the second.

Richard Richmond obtained a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of Burrow and Tunstall in 1373, and also in the lands in Burrow which he held jointly with Elizabeth his wife. (fn. 9) Burrow was included in the grant of free warren to William de Tunstall in 1376.

Various minor estates occur from time to time, (fn. 10) but the principal one has for long been that of Burrow Hall. It is said to have been sold by the Girlingtons about 1650 to a Tatham, (fn. 11) whose heiresses Jane and Alice carried it in marriage to John Fenwick of Nunriding in Northumberland (1687) and Thomas Robson of Bishop Auckland (1686), the former eventually succeeding to the whole. (fn. 12) By the marriage (1841) of Sarah Fenwick Bowen, (fn. 13) granddaughter and heiress of Thomas Fenwick (formerly Lambert) of Burrow, with Edward Matthew Reid, who afterwards took the surname of Fenwick, (fn. 14) the estates, which included also the manor of Claughton in Lonsdale, have descended to their grandson Mr. Robert Edward Fenwick. (fn. 15) No manor is claimed. The Batty family was of long continuance, and one of them had his estate sequestered as a Royalist during the Civil War. (fn. 16)

The tolls of Collen (fn. 17) or Cowan Bridge, on the boundary of Burrow and Leck, were in and before 1511 held by the burgesses of Lancaster. (fn. 18) In 1562 William Redmayne of Ireby held them by grant of Francis Tunstall of Aldcliffe. (fn. 19)


  • 1. 2,425, including 43 acres of inland water; Census Rep. 1901.
  • 2. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 289a, 288a.
  • 3. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 4.3. Roger Gernet of Halton was in 1252 found to have held six plough-lands in Burrow by service of the forest, his undertenants being Richard and Matthew de Burgh, holding by knight's service; he also had a mill there; ibid. 187.
  • 4. Roger Gernet of Burrow was acting in 1212; ibid. 2. The custody of the land and heir of Matthew Gernet of Burrow and Leek was in 1215 granted to Roger Gernet (of Halton); Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i, 222. In 1251 Roger Gernet of Caton held a plough-land in the vill of Burrow of Matthew de Burgh by knight's service, also a third part of the mill there of the said Matthew; ibid. 185, 224–5. A Roger Gernet of Burrow was a benefactor of Cockersand Abbey; Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), iii, 834–9. Matthew de Burgh gave land in Caton to the Hospitallers and to Cockersand; ibid. 854, 878.
  • 5. John and Godith, son and daughter of Richard de Burgh, made grants to Cockersand; Chartul. iii, 898–9. John de Burgh the younger and Ellen widow of John le Engleys had a dispute as to dower in 1258–9; Curia Regis R. 164, m. 35. In 1272 William son of Richard de Burgh, being of full age, sought the manor of Little Burrow from William le Boteler; ibid. 206, m. 5. Matthew de Burgh occurs in 1291; Assize R. 407, m. 4. In the aext year he resisted a claim for 2s. rent from Great Burrow, said to be due to the priory of Conishead till William le Boteler refused it. Matthew said that he had entered through William de Burgh to whom William le Boteier demised; ibid. 408, m. 73. He also resisted with success claims by William son of John de Burgh, a minor, in Burrow, and by Katherine sister of John de Caton in Great Burrow; ibid. m. 44, 11 d. John delreby claimed a messuage by inheritance in 1301 against Matthew de 'Overburgh,' but having become a Dominican friar he did not pursue his suit; ibid. 419, m. 3. Agnes widow of William de Burgh in 1318 claimed dower in Burrow against the following: Roger son of William de Burgh and Denise his wife, William son of John de Burgh (1 oxgang of land), Juliana widow of John de Burgh (2 oxgangs, &c.), William son of Hugh (1 oxgang), Richard son of William son of Richard (1 oxgang), Alice widow of William son of Richard (1 oxgang), Alice daughter of John de Burgh (1 oxgang); also against Roger son of Matthew de Burgh (fire messuages, two mills, 1 oxgang of land, &c.), and against Master Roger de Whittington; De Banco R. 221, m. 229 d., 219 d. The Abbot of Croxton made a claim against John son of Matthew de Burgh in 1323–4; Assize R. 425, m. 2. At Burrow in November 1324 the abovenamed Roger son of Matthew de Burgh made a feoffment of the manors of Over Burrow and Nether Burrow with the water mills and fulling mills thereto belonging, and all his lordship in Leek with the inclosure called Fairthwaite (Fagherthwayt); Anct. D. (P.R.O.), A 8524. Matthew son of Roger de Burgh had succeeded by 1329, when Maud widow of Gilbert de Burgh had a suit with him; Assize R. 427, m. 3 d. He was defendant again in 1334 when John son of Robert the Clerk recovered a rent of 13s. 4d. from the manor of Burrow, which had formerly been assigned to him by Roger son of Matthew de Burgh (Coram Rege R. 297, m. 17 d.), also in 1337, Henry de Croft and Isabel his wife being plaintiffs; Assize R. 1424, m. 11 d. About the same time William de Burgh, harper, claimed an oxgang of land against Adam son of Matthew de Burgh and an acre against Richard son of William son of Richard Hughson, which acre he said was given to his parents, John de Burgh and Juliana his wife, by William son of John de Burgh; De Banco R. 304, m. 490 d.; 309, m. 329 d. Matthew and Adam de Burgh in 1337 attested a release by Hugh son of Richard son of William son of Hesberne to John son of William son of Wille of a toft near Ellerbeck, on the west side of the highway, as far as 'Tollingkrig' (? Collen Bridge) in Newbigging in the vill of Great Burrow in Lonsdale; Levens Hall D. Matthew son of Roger de Burgh occurs again in 1346, but was dead in 1350; De Banco R. 347, m. 33; 362, m. 86 d. The wardship of Roger son and heir of Matthew de Burgh was claimed by William de Tunstall in 1367; it had been granted by William de Dacre to Geoffrey de Wrightington, who had demised to the claimant; ibid. 427, m. 96. William son of Gilbert de Grantham complained of waste by William Smith of Newbigging in 1356; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 25. Gilbert de Burgh claimed a messuage and an oxgang of land against Thomas son of John de Tunstall in 1358; Assize R. 438, m. 8.
  • 6. Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 178. The deforciants were Robert de Dykehead and Isolda his wife; it is not known how they acquired possession. In 1377 William de Tunstall granted a piece of land in Nether Burrow to Sarah widow of Matthew de Burgh for life; Dods. MSS. lxii, fol. 2b, no. 26.
  • 7. See the account of Cantsfield. In 1415 Sir Thomas Tunstall was said to hold the manors of Burrow and Leck of Thomas Lord Dacre by the rent of a rose; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 115. In 1500 the manors were held of Lord Dacre, but the services were not known; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 37. Later Over Burrow and Nether Burrow were called separate manors held of Lord Dacre in socage; ibid, x, no. 5. Three manors were named in 1605, viz. Over Burrow, Nether Burrow and Overtown; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 68, no. 42. In 1680 at the court leet of the manor of Tunstall, John Girlington being lord, a dispute as to a cartway in Over Burrow was decided; Batty D.
  • 8. a In 1356 William Boteler of Warrington granted a rent of 40s. from the manor of Little Burrow in Lonsdale to John de Winwick, treasurer of York Minster, and he gave it to Norton Priory; Close, 32 Edw. III, m. 6, 15. See note 5 above.
  • 9. Charter R. 162 (47–51 Edw. III), m. 10, no. 24. The surname does not occur again.
  • 10. Adam Gibson of Old Wennington and Anabil his wife held a messuage and land in Nether Burrow in 1380; Final Conc. iii, 10. A John Gibson of Over Burrow died in 1661 under age; he was son of Francis Gibson and the inheritance was divided among three sisters. One of them married Brian Batty in 1665, and he afterwards acquired a further part of the estate; Batty D. Anthony Edmundson died in 1631 holding lands in Over Burrow of John Girlington as of his manor of Over Burrow. His heir was a son William, aged four; Towneley MS. C 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), 401. Another William Edmundson died in 1636 holding Burrowfield of John Girlington, and leaving a son and heir William, aged nineteen; ibid. 400. William Edmundson of the Cragg, in Botton, heir of Anthony Edmundson of Nether Leck, is named in the Batty deeds in 1638. In the same deeds there occurs 'Colonel Edward Briggs, of Overburrow, esquire,' in 1654; he was living in 1661.
  • 11. Nicholas Tatham occurs in 1649; Royalist Comp. Papers, i, 155. His will was proved in 1671.
  • 12. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1870), ii, 624; Jane and Alice are styled daughters and co-heirs of Nicholas Tatham of the Old Hall of Nether Burrow. John Fenwick acquired the manor of Claughton by purchase. John Fenwick of Burrow Hall made a grant to John son and heir of Francis Batty in 1700, and in 1711 made another in conjunction with John his son and heir-apparent by his deceased wife Jane daughter of Nicholas Tatham; Batty D. Robert son of John Fenwick of Burrow entered St. John's Coll., Camb., in 1706, aged seventeen; Mayor, Admissions, ii, 180. He represented Lancaster in Parliament from 1741 to 1747, being described as of the 'Country Party'; Pink and Beaven, Parl. Repre. of Lancs. 125. He rebuilt and enlarged Burrow Hall. He died in 1749, being succeeded by his brother Nicholas, who died the following year. A nephew, John Wilson, succeeded, and in 1751 a Private Act was passed 'to enable John Fenwick lately called John Wilson to take the name and arms of Fenwick, in accordance with the wills of Robert and Nicholas Fenwick'; 24 Geo. II, cap. 31. On John's death in 1757 his brother Thomas followed, taking the name of Fenwick. Then Nicholas Tatham, son of their sister, succeeded, being followed by the son of a second sister, viz. Thomas Lambert, who took the name of Fenwick; Baines, loc. cit. Thomas Fenwick made a settlement of his estates in 1801. The story of the above John and Thomas Wilson, or Fenwick, has a remarkable passage, thus related by Mr. Joseph Gillow: 'Mrs. Anne Fenwick, only child of Thomas Benison of Hornby Hall . . . in 1752 married a neighbouring squire, John Fenwick of Burrow Hall. It was a marriage of affection, though he was not a Catholic, and to enable him temporarily to raise money she had made over her estates to him and his heirs. When later he would have reconveyed the property he found difficulty in doing so owing to the penal laws against Catholics, and before it could be done, on one fatal morning in 1757 his lifeless body was brought home to his wife from the hunting field. As Mr. Fenwick died without issue his widow was left to the tender mercies of his brother and heir, Thomas Fenwick, a lawyer of Gray's Inn, who took full advantage of the disabilities under which Catholics lay to deprive his sister-in-law of her property. After some years it was decided by arbitration that she should have Hornby Hall for her use. her debts paid, and an annuity of £250. . . . . The payments awarded by the arbitrators were withheld by her brotherin-law, and Mrs. Fenwick was obliged to bring an action for recovery, when she obtained a verdict for £18,000. Thomas Fenwick procured a stay of execution, and the good widow, owing to her religion, was at a deadlock. However, being a woman of great spirit, and having good introductions, she obtained the ear of Lord Chancellor Camden and through his powerful pleading a Private Act was passed in 1772 which partially rescued her from the injustice of the statutes and indeed was the forerunner of the first Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1778'; Misc. (Cath. Rec. Soc.), iv, 322. She died in 1777. The relief Act passed in 1772 embodied the widow's statement of her wrongs; in particular ' that the said Thomas Fenwick availing himself of the disability which your said subject is under on account of her religion, of the personal protection he is entitled to as a member of Parliament, and of the total insufficiency of his personal estate, has already reduced your said subject to a state of the greatest distress and obliging her (by refusing payment of the several sums so secured to her and laying her under a necessity of engaging in many expensive suits concerning the same, and of borrowing money for her subsistence and support) to contract debts which she is wholly unable to pay, and is in daily fear and apprehension of a gaol and of wanting the necessities of life.' The Act reimbursed her to the extent of £6,873 cash and secured £400 annuity. The estates included West Hall in Whittington, lands, &c., in Hornby, Roeburndale, Farleton, Botton, Tatham and elsewhere; Pal. Note-bk., iii, 262.
  • 13. Only child of William Shattock Bowen, surgeon.
  • 14. Mr. E. M. Fenwick, son of Edward James Reid of Jamaica, was M.P. for Lancaster (Liberal) 1864–70. He died suddenly in 1877. Mrs. Fenwick died in 1882. Their son and heir Thomas Fenwick Fenwick died at Burrow Hall, 12 Oct. 1907, aged sixty-five. His younger brother Edward Nicholas Fenwick Fenwick, magistrate at Bow Street, London, died in May 1908. This information is due to Mrs. (Mary) Fenwick, widow of the Iste T. F. Fenwick.
  • 15. Burke, Landed Gentry.
  • 16. In 1469 an agreement was made between John and William Batty respecting a messuage and land in Burrow; the remainders were to the male issue of John and in default to William's sons, Alexander and William, and their male issue; Pal. of Lanc. Writs Prothon. 9 Edw. IVb. Richard and George Batty had a dispute concerning lands in Overtown and Netherburrow in 1581; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 107. Leonard Batty and Elizabeth his wife were deforciants and Francis, Richard and Simon Batty among the plaintiffs in fines respecting lands in Overtown and Netherburrow in 1595–7; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 57, m. 95; 58, m. 11. The pedigree can be traced from Christopher Batty (1574) to Thomas Batty, who died in 1781, having bequeathed his estate to Agnes wife of John Addison of Preston, whose descendants retain it; note by Mr. H. T. Crofton, to whom are due other particulars of the family. Leonard Batty died at his house at Nethergale in 1627, leaving a son and heir William, aged thirty-one; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxix, no. 39. Richard Batty of Netherburrow had his estate sequestered by the Parliament because he 'took part in the first war' on the side of Chas. I. He compounded by a fine of £7 10s.; Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 155.
  • 17. 'Collingbrigke' is named in a charter of about 1200; Cockersand Chartul. iii, 895.
  • 18. Roper, Hist, of Lanc. (Chet. Soc.), 141.
  • 19. Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz., xlvi, R 4.