A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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Lower Allithwaite; Upper Allithwaite; Lower Holker; Upper Holker; Broughton; Staveley; Cartmel Fell
The parish of Cartmel (fn. 1) is well defined physically, its southern end lying between the wide estuaries of the Kent and Leven, and its northern end between the Winster on the east and the Leven and Windermere on the west. The latter portion consists of the mountainous ridge known as Cartmel Fell, attaining a height of 1,050 ft. at Gummers How; at the southern end it falls away, and then rises again as Hampsfell, 727 ft. at its highest point. To the west of this ridge is the wide and level valley in which the town of Cartmel lies, watered by a little stream called the Eea or Ay, and opening out into a plain southward towards the sea. West of the valley are the minor elevations of Holker, extending from Newby Bridge to Cark, and attaining in one place a height of 670 ft. above sea level. The hill country is well wooded, and the scenery is almost everywhere pleasing and often beautiful. Grange, on the south-east side, has within the last half-century attained a high reputation as a health resort. The area of the parish is 28,747½ acres, and in 1901 there was a population of 6,270, and in 1911 of 6,644.
The history of Cartmel has few striking incidents. The earliest record of the place by name occurs in 677, when the Northumbrian king Egfrid, having just conquered the district, granted to St. Cuthbert the whole of the lands called Cartmel with all the Britons therein. (fn. 2) What result the gift had is unknown, but it probably led to the foundation of a church there or the rebuilding of an old one, for at the Norman Conquest the southern part of Cartmel was known as Kirkby. In 1066 this Kirkby, as 6 ploughlands, was held by Duuan, while the remainder of the parish—Walton on the north-west and Newton on the north-east, each six plough-lands—was part of the great Hougun lordship of Earl Tostig. (fn. 3)
After the Conquest Cartmel remained in the king's hands (fn. 4) till about 1186, when Henry II granted it to William Marshal Earl of Pembroke, (fn. 5) who about 1189 gave the whole territory of Cartmel—Kirkby, Walton and Newton —to canons regular to maintain divine worship in the church. The ancient assessment had been reduced to nine plough-lands. (fn. 6) Till the Reformation the history of the parish is that of the priory, which has been told elsewhere in the present work. (fn. 7) The parish suffered severely in the Scottish raids of 1316 and 1322.
The priory was suppressed in 1536, but at the Northern Rebellion later in the year the commons restored the canons to their house, (fn. 8) and in consequence several of the canons and ten laymen of the district were next year executed, after the revolt had been suppressed. (fn. 9) The lordship of Cartmel was then annexed to the duchy of Lancaster, and the site of the priory and its lands were in course of time granted out. The rectory was by Philip and Mary appropriated to the new bishopric of Chester. (fn. 10)
After the lesson taught by Henry VIII no opposition seems to have been made to the Reformation, but one or two of the local families are known to have been hostile, and the poor provision for divine worship by the new service in a fragment of the roofless church cannot have been inspiring. There is some dubious evidence of the secret maintenance of the proscribed Roman Catholic worship in Cartmel, (fn. 11) but for lack of teaching the religion of the general body of the people had a tendency to degenerate into superstition. The Puritan minister John Shaw thus relates his experience of a visit:—
I went to Cartmel about the latter end of April 1644 and about the beginning of May following my wife came to me to Cartmel, where I found a very large spacious church, scarce any seats in it; a people very ignorant, yet willing to learn, so as I had frequently some thousands of hearers. I seeing my work great, a large field and looking something white towards harvest, and knowing my stay must be but short, and finding also four chapels in the parish, I preached and catechised often—seven or eight times in one week; I preached and catechised in season and out of season at every one of the chapels, and usually the churches were so throng by 9 o'clock in the morning that I had much ado to get to the pulpit. I also preached at other churches round about in the week day. One day an old man, about 60, sensible enough in other things and living in the parish of Cartmel but in the chapelry of Cartmel Fell, coming to me about some business . . . I told him that the way to salvation was by Jesus Christ God-man, who as He was man shed His blood for us on the cross, &c. Oh sir, said he, I think I heard of that man you speak of, once in a play at Kendal called Corpus Christi play, where there was a man on a tree and blood ran down, &c. And after, he professed that though he was a good Churchman—that is, he constantly went to Common Prayer at their chapel—yet he could not remember that ever he heard of salvation by Jesus Christ, but in that play. . . . I then judged that Common Prayer would not serve. (fn. 12)
Soon afterwards the people had experience of a preacher of a different kind, for George Fox writes in his journal of 1653: 'Priest Bennet of Cartmel sent a challenge to dispute with me. Hereupon I came to his steeple house on a First-day and found him preaching. When he had done I spoke to him and his people, but the priest would not stand the trial but went his way. After he was gone I had much discourse with the people.' (fn. 13) He was assaulted, but persisted, and from that time there have been Quakers in Cartmel, with a meeting-house on the Fell. A census taken by the curate in 1679 showed that of the 1,389 inhabitants there were '1,329 Protestants, 29 Papists, and 31 Dissenters.' (fn. 14)
On the secular side the suppression of the priory led to the subdivision of the land among a number of yeoman families, with a few of higher rank. (fn. 15) In 1609 an Act was passed for the encouragement of the people of Cumberland, Westmorland, Cartmel, Hawkshead and Broughton-in-Furness to make cogware, Kendals, Cartmcls, and coarse 'cottons,' freedom from the official sealing being allowed. (fn. 16) The district seems to have been well affected to the royal cause at the outset of the Civil War, and a number of Cartmel men were brought into the king's forces in 1643. (fn. 17) The estates of Thomas Preston of Holker and others were sequestered by the Parliament.
There were visitations of plague in 1597, 1623 and 1670. (fn. 18)
The Restoration and Revolution did not greatly affect Cartmel, but while there is no record of the 1715 Jacobite invasion, except that Thomas Walton of Winder, a 'Papist,' joined it and so forfeited his estate, (fn. 19) an amusing account has been preserved of the terror caused in the district by that of 1745. (fn. 20) Soon afterwards the encroachments on the commons became a burning question, (fn. 21) but it was not till 1796 that an Inclosure Act (fn. 22) was passed; the awards took several years to make, and the whole business was not completed till 1810. Under the Act some 8,000 acres of common land were dealt with, a number of excellent roads were made, with the necessary bridges, deep drains were cut through the mosses and low-lying lands, and a long line of embankment was constructed to protect the marsh lands of Wyke, Bank Moor and Winder Moor from encroachment by the sea. (fn. 23) A result not anticipated was the banishment of the ague. A further embankment was made at West Plain in 1808, but this was destroyed by an incursion of the Leven in 1828. (fn. 24)
Agriculture remains the chief industry of the parish, with some fishing, chiefly for cockles and mussels, in Morecambe Bay. Stockdale, writing in 1872, says:—
Wheels with naffs (naves), spokes and felloes, turning round
on the axle-tree . . . first began to be made at Cark and
Flookburgh about the end of last [18th] century. . . . I
have heard my father and other old persons say that it was in
their early days quite common to cut suitable pieces of wood
for ploughs out of the woods and hedges in the morning, and to
iron [them], and plough with them before night. . . . As
the furrows in ley ground made with so imperfect an instrument
as a plough of this kind could with no certainty be turned over
men with pitchforks, hacks and spades followed, and completed
what the plough had left undone. Very little grain except oats,
rye, and barley was ever sown in Cartmel parish. Fields likely
for grain crops were ploughed year after year until they were
wholly exhausted, when others were selected and treated in the
same way; the exhausted lands being left to grow what they
might until they in time came round again and were ready to
be subjected to the like process. No grass seeds were ever
sown on any ploughed land. . . . The common turnip was
the only plant grown as green crop. . . . The poor of Cartmel parish ate no kind of bread but oatcake; neither was any
beef killed except at Martinmas, when all the cattle which had
become fat on the grass lands in summer were slaughtered and
the carcases sold by the butchers or the owners to those who
wanted them; some taking a whole beast or more, and some
less, according to their wants, the meat being stowed away in
large pickling tubs
from which it was taken as required. (fn. 25) Salt was made at the saltcotes on the coast of the bay. (fn. 26)
The following is the present application of the agricultural land in the parish: arable land, 4,151½ acres; permanent grass, 16,896½; woods and plantations, 5,488½. (fn. 27) The following are the details:—
In general the soil is loamy overlying gravel, with some sandy land in the south and west. Wheat, barley and oats are grown.
There is an ancient sandstone quarry at Holker, from which came the stone for Cartmel Church (fn. 28); slate or flagstone was obtained at Burnbarrow in 1678 and at Newton Fell in 1785. (fn. 29) As stated above a fabric called Cartmels is mentioned in 1609 (fn. 30); a fulling mill existed all through the 17th century, (fn. 31) and in 1782 a cotton mill was opened at Cark, but was afterwards a corn mill. (fn. 32) The registers show that there was a paper mill at Cark about 1620. Small vessels were built at Cark in the 18th century, (fn. 33) and an iron boat was used on the Winster by the Wilkinsons, who there established a forge for making flat smoothing irons about 1748. (fn. 34) The men brought into the parish to carve the church stalls, supposed to have been Flemings, are thought to have formed a school of carving in the district, which endured for part of the 17th century. (fn. 35)
The three divisions of the parish found in Domesday Book—Kirkby, Walton and Newton—appear under fresh names in 1332 (fn. 36) and 1624, (fn. 37) viz. Allithwaite, Holker and Broughton. In 1825 these were the three constablewicks of the parish, the first containing the townships of Lower and Upper Allithwaite, the second those of Lower and Upper Holker and the third those of Broughton East, Staveley and Cartmel Fell. One result of the comparative unity of the parish was that allotments of the common lands were made to one township within the boundaries of the others. Thus the map showed some score of small detached parts of Lower Holker, Lower and Upper Allithwaite and Staveley lying within Broughton East. Under recent rearrangements the boundaries have been simplified by the inclusion of the detached portions, (fn. 38) and a new township has been created for Grange. (fn. 39) There are at present, therefore, eight townships in the parish.
The parish has produced scarcely any men of distinction. Christopher Rawlinson, the antiquary, 1677–1733, though son of Curwen Rawlinson of Cark, was born in Essex; he resided at Cark for some time, and made collections for the history of Lancashire and Westmorland. He died in London and was buried at St. Albans. (fn. 40) Edmund Law, 1703–87, was a son of the curate of Staveley, and was born at Buck Crag; he became Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, in 1756, and Bishop of Carlisle in 1769; one of his sons, Edward, was created Lord Ellenborough in 1802. (fn. 41) John Wilkinson, the great ironmaster, is assoicated with the parish by his works at Backbarrow and his seat at Castlehead, near Grange; here he was buried in 1808. (fn. 42) Mrs. Ann Wheeler, the authoress of Westmorland Dialect, was born in 1735 at Cartmel, her parents being Edward and Eleanor Coward; she died at Arnside Tower in 1804. (fn. 43) William Close, 1775–1813, was born at Field Broughton, and became a surgeon at Dalton; he studied the history of Furness, and brought out a new edition of West's Antiquities of Furness in 1805. (fn. 44) James Stockdale of Cark, whose work, the Annals of Cartmel, is frequently cited in the present account, died in 1874, and has a monument in the church. William Senhouse Kirkes, 1823–64, born at Holker, attained eminence as a physician in London; he wrote a Handbook of Physiology. (fn. 45)
More recently the parish has had two residents of distinction in the seventh Duke of Devonshire, who was associated with Holker, his favourite residence, from 1834, when he succeeded his grandfather as Earl of Burlington, until his death in 1891, and showed himself a liberal benefactor of industrial and scientific enterprises (fn. 46); and in Sir John Tomlinson Hibbert, who died at his house near Grange in 1908, after long years spent in the public service, including the chairmanship of the Lancashire County Council from its institution in 1889 till shortly before his death. (fn. 47)
The manor of CARTMEL was that owned by the canons of the priory; it extended over the whole parish, though some few estates, also called manors, existed within it, being the freehold tenements older than the foundation of the priory. A market on Thursdays existed somewhere within the parish in the time of William Marshal, as appears from pleadings in 1292, (fn. 48) but whether it was maintained or not is unknown. The canons do not appear to have procured any further charter for it or for a fair or free warren. Their connexion with Ireland led to some trade with that country, so that there was a port probably at Flookburgh or Cark. (fn. 49) They had the duty of providing a guide or 'carter,' across the Kent Sands. (fn. 50) After the suppression of the house the manor was held by the Crown for many years. (fn. 51) Parts of the lands were granted out, and in 1610 the manor of Cartmel with all its rights and appurtenances, the site of the priory and various lands, including Frith Hall, was sold to Thomas Emerson and Richard Cowdall, who at once transferred to George Preston of Holker, the price paid being stated as £2,200. (fn. 52) This manor has since descended with Holker. (fn. 53) The old priory gateway was the seat and court-house of the manor; it was sold to the parishioners in 1624 for a schoolhouse. (fn. 54) In 1636 all the lands, rents and services in the graveship of Cartmel and the bailiwicks of Cartmel Fell, Broughton, Walton and Barngarth were granted to William Elphinstone and John Croft, (fn. 55) who, after four years' contention, made a composition with the tenants by which the whole was put into the hands of trustees for the tenants, (fn. 56) among whom it was divided. (fn. 57) Each of the tenants paid his share of the expenses, and was liable for a proportion of the lord's rent, or 'fee-farm rent,' as it was called. Under this arrangement the whole body of landowners was regarded as owning the manor, though the word is not named in the Letters Patent, and in 1716 the Twenty-four appointed trustees 'for taking account and disbursing of the fines and amercements of the courts within the manor of Cartmel,' and further ordered that 'Mr. Knipe shall by himself or his sufficient deputy keep all the courts of this manor of Cartmel till further orders,' undertaking to indemnify him from all costs and damages and allowing him a guinea yearly for keeping the courts. (fn. 58) A Cartmel wapentake court is mentioned in 1681. (fn. 59)
The sidesmen, the Twenty-four just named, here, as in other North Lancashire parishes, had the control of parish business. Extracts from their books from 1597 onwards are printed in James Stockdale's Annals of Cartmel.
Sir Thomas Lowther in 1730–1 obtained a charter for a market at Cartmel. (fn. 60) The market was only held for a time; though resumed on Tuesdays in 1820, (fn. 61) it has since been discontinued. There are four fairs: Wednesday before Easter, Whit Monday (with races), Monday after 23 October, and 5 November. (fn. 62)
The town of Cartmel, formerly Churchtown, (fn. 63) has no township of its own, but lies partly in Lower Allithwaite and partly in Upper Holker, the church being in the former and in the latter the marketplace. In this irregular open space stands the market cross, (fn. 64) with fish stones and town pump adjoining; to the north is seen the gateway tower of the priory, already mentioned as having been courthouse and then school. Through it a narrow lane leads round to the north side of the church. North from the market-place goes the road to Low Wood, and west a road goes through the race-course and then by Holker to Cark. Eastward from the same point a narrow street leads across the Eea Brook, the division between the townships, towards the church, the dominating feature of the town. From the open space in front a road goes south, which soon divides into the roads leading to Grange and to Cark. There is a building called the Institute, containing a meeting room, reading room and small library. (fn. 65)
That the town had some little trade before the fall of the priory seems evident from the mention of several shops in a rental compiled in 1509. (fn. 66)
The priory (fn. 67) of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN at Cartmel (fn. 68) was founded in 1188 for Augustinian canons. The conventual buildings have all disappeared except the gatehouse, a little to the west of the church, and some vestiges of buildings now incorporated in the structure of later houses. It appears, however, that the original cloister lay in the usual position on the south of the nave, and that in the 13th or 14th century a new cloister was built on the north side of the nave.
The church is cruciform, consisting of a quire with north and south aisles and a north-east vestry, a central tower, north and south transepts, and nave with north and south aisles. There is also a porch in the angle of the nave and south transept walls.
The church was originally much the same in plan. The quire, north quire aisle, central tower and transepts, the north wall of the nave and the south doorway of the nave next the transept are all of the original work of the end of the 12th century, and afford a good example of the transition. About 1340 the south quire aisle was rebuilt, being increased in width and lengthened to line with the east wall of the quire. In the 15th century the nave was wholly rebuilt, with the exceptions mentioned, and a chamber added at the east of the north quire aisle to line with the east wall of the quire. All the existing windows, with the exception of one 13thcentury lancet in the west wall of the south transept and the 14th-century windows of the south quire aisle, were inserted in the 15th century, when the upper stage of the central tower was built. This peculiar feature is square in plan, but is set diagonally; the effect is striking but unpleasant.
In 1618 a general restoration was undertaken by Mr. Preston of Holker Hall, and the chancel, which had been roofless for more than a century, was roofed, and the upper part of the stalls and the quire screen were erected by the same benefactor. At the same time or a little later the south porch was built.
The east window of the church is of the 15th century, of nine lights in a high pointed head. The third and sixth mullions are thicker than the rest, dividing the window into three main compartments. Under the transom are trefoiled heads, and the elaborate tracery springs from the cinquefoiled heads of the second tier of lights, of which the centre light in each compartment has an ogee head, the remainder being two-centred.
The eastern bay of the chancel originally projected beyond the aisles and had a lancet on either side. These are now blocked. The quire has an arcade of two bays of semicircular arches on the north and south, supported on a central column and responds of clustered shafts with simply foliated capitals and square abaci. The inner faces of the arches have dog-tooth and cheveron ornament, but the faces towards the aisles are plain chamfered. The triforium, running the whole length of the chancel on each side, has an arcade of pointed arches with bell-capitals and square abaci. The arcade is interrupted by plain masonry up to the spring of the arches for two bays over the central column and east respond of the main arcade on either side of the quire. Above this on each side the three 15thcentury clearstory windows, of two traceried lights in a square external head and with a segmental rear-arch blocking the tracery, have between them two pairs of shallow square recesses and one at either end.
To the east of the main arcade on the north is a late 14th-century tomb recess, and to the east of this a 15th-century doorway, now blocked. Immediately to the east again is the recess formed by the blocking of the 13th-century lancet.
The corresponding lancet on the south side is blocked flush, and is cut into by the segmental-headed archway which is cut through the wall to the south quire aisle, and which contains the elaborate 14thcentury Harrington tomb; close to the floor to the east of the tomb is a 13th-century piscina with a pointed head and mutilated drain-bowl. To the west of the tomb and partly destroyed by the cutting of the archway are the remains of the fine 13thcentury sedilia, of which only the western arch and the western two-thirds of the next arch eastward, with one respond and one shaft, survive. The pointed heads of these sedilia are boldly moulded and have a hood mould with carved stops. The shaft is detached and has a rich bell-capital and a water-holding base. The heads are simply trefoiled within the mouldings. The seat is chamfered back underneath.
The 17th-century screen work begins immediately to the west of the sedilia and at a corresponding point on the north. It continues rather more than halfway across the eastern bay of the arcade, and a doorway is left at this point between its western end and the eastern end of the stalls, of which the seats with their arms, misericordes and poppy heads date from the priorate of William de Walton in the late 14th century and bear his initial; they have suffered much from the exposure due to the former roofless condition of the quire. The stalls number twentysix, ten on each side, with three return stalls on each side forming the quire screen with its central doorway. The upper part of the stalls is of 1640, of extremely fine work, with much pierced work in ogee-headed panels disposed in pairs between cylindrical columns and flat pilasters richly carved with vine clusters and foliage. The pillars between the seats support a broken architrave, and a carved frieze with a plain upper edge surmounts one of the finest examples of early 17th-century wood carving in the kingdom.
The chancel arch is pointed and of three plain chamfered orders. It is supported by grouped shafts and a pilaster, with plain capitals and square abaci, which are cut away and corbelled back about 4 ft. from the ground, where the face of the pier is flush with the line of the quire arcade. The arches of the crossing are like it, but have slightly foliated capitals with moulded abaci, and the middle order of the three in each arch is moulded. The shafts and pilasters also are carried down to the ground and have bases. The spring of the chancel arch begins at a point about 5 ft. above that of the crossing arches.
The north quire aisle, commonly known as the 'Piper choir,' consists of two bays of quadripartite vaulting supported at the south centre by the central pillar of the north quire arcade; at the south-east the groining descends to a detached shaft in the angle of the east wall of the aisle and the north wall of the chancel, and on the north-east to a similar shaft in the angle of the north and east walls. At the west end it is supported by the capitals of the arch to the transept, and on the north centre by a corbel between the two 15th-century north windows, which are of three lights with tracery in pointed heads. The east wall separates it from the 15thcentury extension, which consists of two chambers, one above the other. The upper of these, which is used as a vestry, is entered by a plain doorway at the head of a flight of six steps in the middle of the wall, and the lower by a modern shouldered doorway to the south of the steps with an internal stair to a half-basement, which is a store for fuel. The vestry has an original three-light eastern window with tracery in a segmental head.
The south quire aisle, or 'Town choir,' extends to the full length of the chancel and is about 11 ft. wider than the corresponding aisle on the north. The north and west sides are formed by the chancel wall and quire arcade, and by the east wall of the south transept respectively. The east and south walls date from about 1340 and have boldly projecting buttresses, two on the south wall and one placed diagonally at the south-east angle with a pinnacle and crocketed finial, and one reaching only to the sill level at the east end. A string course runs round the walls and buttresses at the sill level. The aisle is lighted by four windows, three in the south wall, each of three trefoiled lights with fine original tracery differing in each window, in equilateral pointed heads. The east window has five trefoiled ogee-headed lights with tracery of a slightly later type in a higher pointed head. There are sedilia to the west of the south-east window, and beneath this window is a piscina.
Both the arches leading from these aisles to the transepts are of the original date of the church and are pointed. That on the north has a cheveron moulding in the outermost order, the middle order is moulded, and the innermost has a double stitch moulding. That on the south has a plain chamfered outer order, a moulded middle order, and dog-tooth ornament on the innermost order. Both are supported on triple clustered shafts with foliate capitals and square abaci. The bases are raised on two plinths, and are of a late transitional type.
The north transept has one 13th-century lancet in the west wall, and two lancets in the north wall, of the same date, were probably blocked when the monastic buildings were added on the north side. There is a large 15th-century four-light window with shafted jambs and modern tracery in the east wall. A door in the north-west angle opens to a vice. Externally the buttresses are broad and flat.
In the south end of the east wall and in the corresponding position on the west side at a level two courses above the top of the arch to the quire aisle are round-headed doorways from the triforium. The clearstory windows, two on the east and two on the west side, are of the 15 th century.
The south transept has similar doorways with pointed heads over the apex of the arch to the quire aisle and opposite, in the west wall. The clearstory is like that of the north transept of the same date. In the south wall are two large pointed windows of the 15 th century, one above the other, the upper of five and the lower of four lights, both having tracery in the heads. A 13th-century window in the east wall was blocked at the enlargement of the south quire aisle in the 14th century, and a blocked doorway is visible to the west of the lower south window, with its sill some 15 ft. from the ground, possibly the night door to the dorter. There is a small square-headed loop in the east wall above the blocked window.
A stairway starts in the middle of the south wall and turns eastward into the thickness of the wall, where a passage leads to a vice in the south-east angle, formerly communicating with some part of the eastern range of the original cloister. Another trace of the position of the original buildings is a shallow external recess at the south end of the west wall of this transept, which may have been a book cupboard.
The arches from the transepts to the nave aisles are similar to those leading to the quire aisles. They are supported on the sides next the nave by five clustered shafts forming part of the western piers of the crossing, and on the sides next the outer walls by similar groups of shafts abutting on the ends of the transept walls. The western piers of the crossing form fine masses of masonry, with groups of five shafts on the north-east and south sides, and extended westward about 2 ft. with a group of three shafts for the eastern respond of the nave arcade. The 15thcentury nave has a short arcade of three wide bays of pointed arches of three plain chamfered orders on octagonal columns and western responds with capitals of the same plan. The clearstory is of the same date as that of the quire and transepts.
The west window is a large one of five cinquefoiled lights with a transom, and with tracery in the pointed head. The north wall of the north aisle is of the original date of the church and has no windows. On its exterior are the corbels of the 14th-century cloister and at its eastern end the original doorway with shafted jambs. The aisle roof was originally supported on corbels, of which two remain at the east end, one in the angle between the north wall and the respond of the arch to the transept and one in the angle formed by the responds of the same arch and of the easternmost bay of the nave. In the west wall is a three-light 15th-century window with tracery.
The south aisle retains of original 12th-century work only the doorway at its eastern end, which is enriched externally with dog-tooth and cheveron moulding, and has three detached shafts on either side. In the corresponding position to that of the corbels in the north aisle are shafts which originally carried the groining of the aisle roof. The present south aisle, westward from the south doorway, is wholly of the 15th century. It is lighted by two four-centred windows of three trefoiled lights with tracery, and at the extreme south-west is a plain pointed doorway. There is a three-light window in the west wall of the same date. Externally between the windows is a boldly projecting buttress, and at the south-west angle is another, set diagonally. On the west wall of the church on either side of the nave window is a very deep buttress.
In the Piper quire are three coffin-shaped 13th-century tomb slabs, a large one under the north-east window and a smaller one near to the north of the steps leading to the vestry, and another. They have floreated crosses accompanied by emblems, a sword in one case, and in the other two a chalice. A fourth slab of similar date and design is placed under the eastern arch of the north quire arcade. The slab of William de Walton lies under the tomb recess on the north side of the chancel, and has an incised cross and the marginal inscription 'Hic jacet frater Wilelmus de Waltona Prior de Kartmel.'
The Harrington monument, (fn. 69) in the arch cut through the south chancel wall, shows evident signs of having been reset in its present position, and it seems likely that an eastern portion is lost. It is an elaborate canopied altar-tomb of the 14th century, with the figures of a knight and his wife. The former is in armour and has a large shield on his left arm. His feet rest on a lion, and those of the lady on a lap-dog. The figures are flanked on either side by rows of diminutive figures of angels or weepers. Those at the head are seated and the rest are kneeling to the east. All are much mutilated. An elaborately foliated string runs along the overhanging chamfer of the altar slab on both sides, and on the north or chancel side a rich diaper of quatrefoils in lozenges covers the altar, and below it, immediately above the plinth, is a wide hollow with seated figures of chanters. At the four corners of this hollow are the symbols of the Evangelists. The canopy consists of a broad ogee arch on the north and south with a central square panelled shaft supporting two trefoiled inner lights and a quatrefoil in the head. The ogee is richly crocketed and has a large finial spreading into the cornice, which is a wide hollow filled with foliage. In the apices of the ogees are the souls of the deceased, suspended in cloths held by angels kneeling on either side of the finials. On the north side both the jambs of the ogee and the central shaft are heavily enriched with figures under canopies, and with shields of the arms of Harrington, and the lower portions of the central shaft and western jamb are diapered. The lower member of the cornice is also diapered, and has four Harrington shields upon it. On the inner side of the central shaft is a small figure of an angel. The south side was doubtless originally the same, but has suffered much from restoration. Above the cornice on the north side is a canopy containing the coronation of our Lady, with adoring figures on either side. The corresponding canopy contains a majesty, but the flanking figures are fragmentary.
In the 'Town choir,' immediately below the Harrington tomb, is a recumbent figure of a lady of approximately the same date on a low chamfered plinth. The hands are very well rendered, and the workmanship is good though very simple.
There are several other mediaeval monuments, and some more recent, worthy of notice. (fn. 70)
There is an elaborate tomb of Lord Frederick Cavendish at the west end of the north aisle.
There are a few fragments of contemporary glass in the east window of the 'Town choir,' of which the two outer lights are now blocked. The other three and the tracery contain fragments of a fesse, one figure in the centre being in a vesica, but of the inscription only the word 'Rex' remains. In the tracery is the figure of an angel censing.
In the east window of the chancel the upper part of three lights contains three large figures in canopies, of the 15th century, and one of the north quire aisle windows contains two small figures and some fragments of canopy work of the same date.
The only remnant of the monastic buildings now standing is the gatehouse, which is of the 14th century. It stands a short distance to the westward of the church, and opens to north and south with a plain two-centred arch and a vaulted passage. In the north and south walls are ogee-headed pairs of lights, with the separating mullion gone, on the south side, while the window on the north is longer and transomed. On either side of the windows on the south side is a carved mask-corbel. There are several smaller windows. The lower part of the structure has been converted into a shop.
The library in the vestry contains a number of ancient books.
There are four bells, two dated 1661 and the others 1726 and 1729. (fn. 71)
The plate consists of cup and cover-paten of 1668–9, a cup and paten of 1694–5, plate of 1668–9, and two flagons, of 1736 and 1739 respectively.
The registers date from 1559. The first portion to 1661 has been printed. (fn. 72) A noteworthy feature is the number of deaths by drowning.
Inventories of the church goods in 1642 and 1661 have been preserved. (fn. 73)
The church was, together with the manor, granted to the canons, (fn. 74) who served it down to the Suppression. So far as the parishioners were concerned it was ordained that there should be an altar of St. Michael at which they were bound to hear mass and receive the sacraments; to minister to them one of the canons or else a hired secular priest, removable at pleasure, might be appointed by the prior and convent. (fn. 75) A report on churches made to the Crown in 1527, after stating that the rectory of Cartmel was worth £40 a year, added: 'There is a chapel upon the north part of the said town of Cartmel which [was] edified in the honour and worship of Mary Magdalene and now is in decay.' (fn. 76) In 1536 there were in the house a prior, sub-prior and eight canons, (fn. 77) with various officers and husbandmen. There were three large bells and four small ones, besides three claimed by the parishioners, who also claimed a share of the lead on the church roof. The plate, chalices and jewels were valued at £27 and the 'ornaments' at £9, in addition to certain copes, &c., belonging to the parish. (fn. 78)
Some twenty years later, in 1557–8, the rectory was appropriated by Philip and Mary to the bishopric of Chester, (fn. 79) and a resident curate, responsible for the parish church and the outlying chapels, was appointed. The Prestons of Holker and their successors, as lessees or farmers of the rectory, acquired the right of nomination, (fn. 80) and thus the patronage has descended to the present owner of Holker, Lord Richard Cavendish. At first the curate's stipend depended on the lessee's good pleasure, but in 1649 Thomas Preston agreed to pay £80 a year. (fn. 81) Further endowments have been secured, and the net yearly value is now said to be £290.
|oc. 1506–36||Oliver Levens (fn. 84)|
|oc. 1548–85||Brian Willan (fn. 85)|
|1592||Thomas Parker (fn. 86)|
|bef. 1623||Richard Gregg, B.A. (fn. 87)|
|1624–9||Richard Tomlinson (fn. 88)|
|oc. 1632–5||Daniel Bulfell (fn. 89)|
|oc. 1637–47||John Brook or Brooks (fn. 90)|
|oc. 1646||John Marigold (fn. 91)|
|oc. 1648–9||Christopher Hudson (fn. 92)|
|oc. 1650||Philip Bennet, M.A. (fn. 93)|
|1665||John Armstrong, B.D. (fn. 94) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1698||Thomas Proddy, M.A. (fn. 95) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1708||Thomas Brookbank, M.A. (fn. 96) (Queen's Coll., Oxf.)|
|1732||James Thompson (fn. 97)|
|c. 1740||Sir William Lowther, bart., M.A. (fn. 98) (Trin. Coll., Camb.)|
|1768||James Walker (fn. 99)|
|1781||James Peake (fn. 100)|
|1803||George Preston, M.A. (fn. 101) (Trin. Coll., Camb.)|
|1835||Thomas Remington, M.A. (fn. 102) (Trin.Coll., Camb.)|
|1854||Robert Curteis Hubbersty, M.A. (fn. 103) (Peterhouse, Camb.)|
|1874||Edward Keatinge Clay, B.A. (fn. 104) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1878||William Barber Lightfoot, M.A. (fn. 105) (Trin. Coll., Camb.)|
|1881||Francis Henry Paley, M.A. (fn. 106) (Christ's Coll., Camb.)|
|1889||George Rubie, M.A. (fn. 107) (Worcester Coll., Oxf.)|
|1900||Frederick Halsey, M.A. (fn. 108) (Magdalen Coll., Oxf.)|
|1907||Richard Busk Paterson Wells, M.A.|
|1910||Godfrey Scott Smith, M.A. (Magd. Coll., Oxf.)|
The service of the parish church and its chapels would normally require the attendance of five priests, and in the visitation list of 1548 seven names are entered. In 1554 there were four names, increased to five in 1562. At this last visitation, however, only two of the clergy appeared, so that it may be assumed that the working staff had been reduced to two. (fn. 109) Brian Willan, acting curate from before 1548, was one of the canons regular at the Suppression, being then twenty-five years of age and reported as of good conversation. At that time he desired to continue in religion at Cartmel or elsewhere, (fn. 110) but in fact he conformed to all the changes of the time. He married, (fn. 111) and remained in charge till 1585, (fn. 112) and probably till 1592. (fn. 113) What happened for this half-century in the maintenance of the church and services is uncertain. By a lease of the rectory (fn. 114) to George Preston of Holker in 1609 the lessee was 'at his own cost to maintain with wages one or more sufficient minister,' (fn. 115) but a report made a year or two later states that the church was 'meanly served only with a reading minister,' and nothing is said about any of the chapels. (fn. 116) From the list given above it appears that there were usually two ministers in the parish early in the 17th century. The apportionment of one of the four king's preachers to the district about 1600 may have improved matters, (fn. 117) but even about 1650, when the Parliamentary authorities had made allowances from the revenue of the suppressed see of Chester, there were only three ministers stationed at the parish church and the chapels of Staveley and Cartmel Fell. (fn. 118) As such allowances would cease at the Restoration, (fn. 119) this standard was probably not maintained, and the names of the curates in charge from 1660 to 1665 are not known. In 1691 the incumbent had curates at the parish church, Staveley, and Cartmel Fell, two being in deacons' orders only. (fn. 120) In 1723 the church was reported to be in good order and well furnished (fn. 121); the roof was undergoing repair. The incumbent was resident, prayers were read twice every Sunday and once every holy day, Wednesday and Friday, and the Lord's Supper was administered about twelve times a year besides Easter and Christmas. (fn. 122) Another chapel was built at Broughton in 1745, and within the last half-century churches have been built at Grange and Allithwaite.
The origin of the grammar school is unknown. (fn. 123) It began in the church, but was housed in the priory gate-house in 1624. Other schools at Browedge, Cartmel Fell and Staveley existed about 1680. (fn. 124)
Apart from educational and church purposes, the endowed charities of the parish (fn. 125) have an income of over £300, of which a large part is given in doles of money. Inquiries were made officially in 1820 and 1899, and the report of the latter, including a reprint of the older one, was issued in 1900. The following account is derived from it.
The General Parish Charities are due to a number of ancient bequests amounting to £567, (fn. 126) invested in £959 consols in 1820, to which were added a tenth part of the proceeds of Henry Bigland's bequest to the grammar school (1689) and the interest on £100 left by Anne Preston for apprenticing poor children. (fn. 127) The income now amounts to £40 11s. 3d., distributed as nearly as possible in accordance with the wishes of the benefactors under four heads—for the poor, apprenticing, bread and sundries. (fn. 128) The poor's money is divided among the townships according to a fixed scale, while the apprenticing fund is assigned in rotation to the three ancient divisions of the parish—Allithwaite, Holker and Broughton. Other charities are those of Dr. Daniel Wilson (1768) for the poor, £5 15s. 8d. (fn. 129); Richard Taylor (1729) for apprenticing and the poor, £3 10s. (fn. 130); Isabella and Emma Elleray (1868) for the poor, £14. 17s. 8d.; and the Rev. Thomas Burton Holgate (1870) for coal, £11 17s. 6d. (fn. 131) The Cartmel Institution has an income of £17 17s. 6d.; its foundation was due to Mr. Holgate.
For Lower Allithwaite are the gifts of Joseph Fletcher (1692) for apprenticing and the poor, £8 11s. 7d. (fn. 132); Peter Kellett for the poor, £1 10s. (fn. 133); and Mary W. Lambert (1858) for the poor, £17 4s. (fn. 134) The Poor Close brings in £10, which is applied to the relief of the rates. (fn. 135) Upper Allithwaite has two large funds given in doles to the poor, viz. those of Lawrence Newton (will proved 1676) £16 12s., (fn. 136) and Myles Taylor (1714) £82 14s. (fn. 137)
Lower Holker has £3 7s. 6d. for the poor, given in doles at Christmas, and £1 6s. in bread, from the gifts of James Simpson (1687) and others (fn. 138); also £10 3s. 5d., partly for apprenticing, from the poor's land, part of which has been sold, (fn. 139) and £3 10s. for the poor from John Pollard (1881). (fn. 140) The foundations of Henry Bigland (1691) and others in Upper Holker yield £16 5s. 7d. for the poor and £8 2s. 9d. for apprenticing, while £10 9s. 8d. goes to the poor rate. (fn. 141) The last amount is derived from land called the 'Beggar's Breeches,' because it was purchased with money (185½ guineas in gold) found in the pocket of a travelling beggar. (fn. 142) At Flookburgh was a house called Bond's Almshouses, but no endowment is known. (fn. 143)
In Broughton East the poor's money, £5 7s. a year, is given in kind. (fn. 144) The Bryan Beck estate yields £15 8s. 5d. for the poor of Cartmel Fell, with 7s. 11d. additional for the highways. (fn. 145) The charities of Richard Hutton and others, administered with it, provide £4 13s. 6d. for the poor and 10s. for bread. (fn. 146) In Staveley £6 18s. 11d. is available for doles for the poor, chiefly from an unknown benefactor, (fn. 147) and £5 8s. for general uses, but applied in doles, from the gift of Mary Dixon (1818). (fn. 148)