A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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In this section
Daltune, Dom. Bk.; Dalton, 1160. Chiluestreuic, Dom. Bk. Cliuerton, Dom. Bk.; Criuelton, 1155. Fordebodele, Dom. Bk.; Fordebotle, 1155; Fortebothle, 1190. Hietun, Dom. Bk. Meretun, Dom. Bk.; Merton, 1160. Ouregriue, Dom. Bk.; Oregrave, Houegrave, 1235. Rosse, Dom. Bk.; Ros, 1155. Sourebi, Dom. Bk. Suntun, Dom. Bk. Warte, Dom. Bk.
The parish of Dalton occupies the south-west corner of Furness, having at its outside limit the Isle of Walney as a breakwater to protect the harbour of Barrow from the storms of the Irish Sea. This long island seldom attains a height of 50 ft. above sea level, though Beacon Hill rises to 78 ft.; it serves as a pleasure resort for the people of Barrow, the beach facilitating sea-bathing. The James Dunn Park, opened in 1902, is in private ownership. At Hawes Point, at the south-east end, is a lighthouse, built in 1790. Opposite Barrow is Vickerstown, a model town constructed by the Vickers Maxim Company for their workmen.
The entrance to the harbour at the south-east is guarded by Piel Island, formerly called Foudray, with the ruins of its castle. (fn. 1) Nearer the mainland is Roa Island, the original terminus of the Furness railway in 1846, the pier there being the place of discharge and loading of the trading steamers. Later the terminus was fixed at the south-east end of the town, opposite St. George's Church. Several coasting services are maintained — to Liverpool, Fleetwood, Morecambe, and daily to Belfast. Further up the harbour are other islands. The most considerable of them, Old Barrow, has now, like the small outlying Ramsey, been connected with the mainland, the intervening waters having been formed into docks and the land utilized for great shipbuilding works. The huge cantilever cranes are a characteristic feature. On Old Barrow in 1842 was the residence of the owner, T. Y. P. Michaelson, who died in 1855; the family had lived there from 1746, but sold it in 1862 to the Furness Railway Company. (fn. 2) The artificial harbour was accordingly constructed in 1863; Devonshire Dock and Buccleuch Dock were opened in 1867 and 1873, a graving dock in 1872 and Ramsden Dock in 1879. On Old Barrow is Cavendish Park.
The town of Barrow lies on the mainland, on the comparatively level surface of this corner of the parish. Being of recent origin, it is laid out with regularity, its streets being wide and straight. Through the shore side of the town Duke Street runs from south-east to north-west, having at the lower end the town hall, distinguished by a tall clock tower, and in the centre Ramsden Square (fn. 3); from this square Abbey Road ascends north-east through the residential suburb of Newbarns towards the Furness Abbey ruins, which are some 2 miles from the water side. At the south end of Duke Street, in the open space called Schneider Square, (fn. 4) stand the post office, built in 1891, (fn. 5) and the government offices, 1903. From this point a street leads in one direction across the high level bridge to Old Barrow, and in the opposite direction, as Dalton Road, it curves round to Abbey Road. A bridge from Old Barrow across the channel to Walney Island was opened in 1908. The primitive passage was by fords, passable at low water, from Barrow to Biggar (the Doufa Haw ford) (fn. 6) and to North Scale. The ford, assisted by a small bridge, is still in use. There is also a steam ferry.
Among the chief buildings of the town are the two banks, two clubs, and the Working Men's Institute, built in 1870. The Ramsden Hall, built in 1871, is now used for educational purposes, and the Temperance Hall (1860) is now the St. George's Institute. A theatre was built in 1862; the present Royalty Theatre dates from 1894, and there are music-halls.
The ruins of Furness Abbey, as already stated, are on the northern boundary of the town in a ravine or gill, beautifully clad with trees. A little above them stands Abbot's Wood, the seat of the late Sir James Ramsden and now of his son Mr. F. J. Ramsden. An adjacent seat is Millwood. (fn. 7)
Nearly 2 miles further north is the little town of Dalton, which gives a name to the parish and was till sixty years ago the only town in it. It is built mainly upon a long and wide street, running east and west and having side-streets going off on the north. The west end is the older part; it stands upon a slight hill, rising to about 200 ft. above the sea, and is crowned by the tower, the court-house for the lordship of Furness; the parish church is close by. To the north a range of hills begins, which before reaching the boundary of Kirkby Ireleth attains 850 ft. above sea level. Down the valley at the east side of this range flows the beck, known as Poaka Beck at first and later by various other names as it passes by Dalton and the abbey on its way south. The upper portion of the valley has been formed into a large reservoir for the Barrow waterworks.
The total area of Dalton is 17,961½ acres, (fn. 8) of which the modern borough and township of Barrow has 11,023, (fn. 9) and the rest forms the new township of Dalton. The population in 1901 numbered 70,606, the greater part—viz. 57,586 persons—being in Barrow. In 1911 the figures were 74,540 and 63,775 respectively. Formerly the parish was not divided into townships, though there were four wellrecognized quarters called bierleys (fn. 10) —Above Town in the north; Hawcoat, including Walney, on the south-west; Yarlside, which embraced the abbey, on the south-east; and Dalton proper, round the town and extending to the eastern boundary.
Above Town, 5,362 acres, had two parts—viz. Ireleth and Lindal with Marton, separated to west and east by the beck above mentioned. Ireleth, or Kirkby Ireleth as it was called in the 17th and 18th centuries, (fn. 11) had the central hamlet and chapel; the area measured 4,196 acres, and it contained Marsh Grange and Dunnerholme on the north-west, Stewnor on the north-east, Greenscow and Mousell on the north, Askam on the west, Roanhead and Park in the south-west and Elliscales on the southern border, close to Dalton. In the other portion ot the bierley Marton was at the north end and Lindal on the south-east, while Titeup or Tytup lay near the middle of the western border.
Dalton proper had an area of 1,045 acres. The turning point at the eastern border, between Dalton, Lindal and Urswick, is marked by Standing Tarn. To the south of Dalton town is Anty Cross.
Yarlside includes many ancient sites, as Billingcote, Waltoncote and Parkhouse, Newton (anciently Crivelton), Stank, Holebeck, Roose, Roosecote, Newtown and Rampside. The last-named hamlet was in 1825 resorted to for sea-bathing; 'the accommodations,' it was stated, 'are good but not sumptuous, and the expense nearly as moderate as in the Isle of Man.' (fn. 12) Yarlside had an area of 4,010½ acres, including a small detached part west of Dalton.
Hawcoat took its name from a hamlet a mile and a half to the west of the abbey. It had Cocken, Ormsgill and Sowerby close to it, to south, southwest and north-west; Sandscale further to the north, with the sandy district of Sandscale Haws to the north-west of it; Barrow, Hindpool and Salthouse to the south and south-east on the shore. Hawcoat also included Walney Island, of 3,065 acres extent, with two parts—North Scale (including North End), 1,598 acres, and Biggar (including South End), 1,467 acres; and the various islets in the harbour. The total area of Hawcoat was 7,544 acres. Considerable changes have taken place in the area and shape of Walney Island owing to the action of the tides. Field plans have been published of Cocken (fn. 13) and North Scale. (fn. 14) 'Tangling' was the local word for getting the sea-weed for manure; at one time it was used for making kelp. A curious field-name was Jowle or Jowel, to the west of North Scale. (fn. 15)
The district is now well supplied with roads. A century ago the chief roads were those from Dalton and Ireleth to Ulverston, minor trackways diverging from Dalton to west and south. Of the existing roads, one of the chief extends from Barrow to Dalton and goes on to Ulverston, with branches to Kirkby Ireleth in the north and to Aldingham and Bardsea in the east. Another begins at Roa Island, and goes by Rampside and Roose to Dalton. The history of the Furness railway has already been told in outline. Its terminus is at the side of Walney Channel, where passengers land and embark on the various steamers plying to Fleetwood and other places. The line then crosses Barrow Island, and passing the south end of the town, where was the former terminus, turns north to Furness Abbey and Dalton, and thence north-east to Ulverston and Cartmel; there are stations at Roose, the Abbey, Dalton and Lindal. The Whitehaven branch, coming from the north, enters the parish near Marsh Grange and proceeds south by Askam, where there is a station, until about a mile from Dalton, at Park (fn. 16); there it turns westward, and, going south through Sowerby, inclines more to the east so as to skirt the town of Barrow. Here is the Central Station (1882), now the principal one for the town. The line is thence continued east to join the older line (described above) near Cavendish Dock. A loop-line goes round the town on the shore side to serve the docks and the iron and steel works, and there is a single-line branch to Roa Island, representing the first railway constructed here. There are also several mineral railways for the use of the iron mines. For Barrow a tramway service began in 1885; steam was at first used as motive power, but electricity was adopted in 1904. The tramways are in the hands of a private company.
The iron mines are scattered all around Dalton, but the principal workings now are at Lindal to the north-east of that town and at Askam to the west. These last were discovered in 1851. In 1836 there were no manufactures in the parish except hand-loom weaving at Dalton, at which place there was also some malting. (fn. 17) The Haematite Iron and Steel Works at Barrow were constructed to utilize the local ore on the spot; they were founded in 1859, and have been greatly enlarged from time to time. The existing Haematite Steel Company was founded in 1864, and purchased the iron works in 1866. The Naval Armaments Company was established in 1888, and this has been absorbed since 1897 by the Vickers Maxim Company, so that Barrow has become famous as the place of construction of great battleships. Many other industries have, with more or less success, been attempted at Barrow, such as flourmilling, flax and jute works (now partly closed) and the chemical wood-pulp works. Grain, timber and petroleum are imported and stored. Ship-repairing, ropemaking and brewing are also carried on. There is some brewing at Dalton also. The valuable saltbeds at Walney are not at present worked.
Low Furness has long been famous for its fertility. A writer in 1825 stated that 'a rich corn country intervenes between Hawcoat and the Isle of Walney,' and on this island 'the land is well cultivated; sea sand, or rather ooze, is used for manure; and plentiful crops of wheat and other grain are produced. . . . Many of the fresh water wells . . .are intermitting and have their flow and their ebb regulated by the advance and recession of the tide.' (fn. 18) Agriculture is still important. The soil and subsoil are clay in the north, sandy and loamy in the south. The land is now occupied as follows (fn. 19) :—
|Arable land ac.||Permanent grass ac.||Woods and plantations ac.|
These figures account for two-thirds of the area.
There were several ancient crosses and wells in and near the town of Dalton. (fn. 20)
The older history of the parish is largely that of Furness Abbey, to which it belonged. The Romans are said to have made a road across Furness through Dalton, but this is doubtful. Martin Schwartz landed at Piel in 1487 with soldiers who were to assist the Yorkists to place Lambert Simnel on the throne. The Civil War was marked by brief conflicts near Dalton and Hawcoat in 1643–4. Some thirty years later the laws proscribing the Roman Catholic religion were used to divert the abbey estate from the purpose intended by its owner.
Hunting was a favourite recreation in the district, and the hunt at Dalton led in the 18th century to an annual festival called the Rout, a day occupied by sports being ended by a ball in the assembly rooms which were built for the purpose. The Rout was discontinued in 1789. (fn. 21)
At funerals there was a curious custom called the Arval. A full meal of bread and cheese and ale was served at the house of mourning before the interment. Afterwards the company met at a publichouse appointed, sitting down by fours. A cake was supplied to each guest, to be taken home, and another cake to each four, to be divided equally and eaten with the ale supplied at the same time. (fn. 22)
In 1624 the county lay, founded on the older fifteenth, ordained that the parish should raise £5 14s. 4¾d. towards each £100 levied upon the hundred. (fn. 23)
The Territorials are represented by battalions at Dalton and Barrow.
Three newspapers are published at Barrow: the Herald (founded in 1863) on Tuesday and Saturday, the News (1881) on Saturday, and the North-Western Daily Mail (1898) each evening. (fn. 24)
Apart from the creators of its modern industries, the most famous name connected with the parish is that of George Romney the painter. He was born at Beckside, Dalton, in 1734, and afterwards lived at High Cocken, working with his father, a cabinetmaker and farmer. In 1745 he became apprentice to an itinerant portrait painter named Steele, and ultimately settled in London, where in time he acquired fame and fortune as a portrait painter. In 1798, in poor health and almost mad, he settled in Kendal, dying there on 15 November 1802. He lies buried at Dalton. (fn. 25) Margaret Fell (1614–1702), wife of Judge Fell of Swarthmoor and then of George Fox, was a daughter of John Askew of Marsh Grange. (fn. 26) Thomas Lawson, a herbalist and botanist, was born at Rampside in 1630 and became minister at the chapel there. He became a Quaker in 1653 and published some religious works. He died in 1691. (fn. 27)
Before the Conquest the district of Dalton comprised a number of manors, assessed in all from 31 to 37 ploughlands. All were held by Earl Tostig in 1066 as part of Hougun, as follows:—DALTON, 2 plough-lands; 'Chiluestrewic' or Killerwick, 3; Sowerby, 3; 'Hietun,' 4; 'Fordebodele' or Fordbootle, 2; Roose, 6; 'Clivertun' or Crivelton (now Newton), 4; Orgrave in Lindal, 3; and Marton, 4. Possibly Ireleth, 2; 'Warte,' 2; and 'Suntun,' 2, should be added. (fn. 28) Some of these names are lost altogether, and others have long ceased to be used. (fn. 29) Afterwards they were united to the honour of Lancaster, and it would seem that Dalton was chosen as the head or manor seat. (fn. 30) Part was granted to Michael le Fleming of Aldingham, and the remainder was in 1127 given in alms to found the abbey at Furness. Afterwards, in part by an exchange, the Fleming vills of Fordbootle, Roose and Crivelton were acquired by the monks, (fn. 31) who thus secured the whole of the later parish of Dalton. (fn. 32) The courts were held at Dalton, where there was a fortified manorhouse as well as the parish church, and a borough was formed there; the abbey was about 2 miles to the south. The history of the manor of Dalton or Plain Furness has been given with that of the liberty of Furness, and the customs have been described. So far as a difference has grown up in the use of the terms, the manor of Dalton refers to the town with burgage or copyhold tenure, and Plain Furness to the rest of the parish with customary freehold tenure.
Surveys (fn. 33) and ministers' accounts (fn. 34) made just before and after the Dissolution show what rents were received. The abbot occupied the site and several adjacent granges; other lands were in the hands of customary tenants. In Hawcoat there were on Walney the hamlets of Biggar and Northscale and tenements called North End and South End, yielding money rents and provisions amounting to about £44 a year; and on the mainland Hawcoat itself and Newbarns, with the hamlets of Cocken, Salthouse and Barrowhead, yielded over £47. In Yarlside, Roose House, Rampside and dependencies, the hamlets of Roosecote, Newton and Stank gave about £65. Above Town yielded £36 from the hamlet of Ireleth, the vill of Lindal, Scalebank and Martin, Ireleth Park, Marsh Grange, Irelethside Cote and Elliscales. There were four ancient water-mills and eight herdwicks and sheepcotes for the flocks. (fn. 35)
DALTON TOWER stands at the west end of the town on high ground immediately to the north-east of the parish church. It is a rectangular structure of 14th-century date, 44 ft. long by 29 ft. 6 in. wide externally, the greater length being from north to south, built of rough rubble limestone with red sandstone quoins and dressings, a good deal restored and the interior entirely modernized. Whether the building was originally part of a larger structure it is impossible to say, the evidence of the walling not being conclusive. It is often called 'Dalton Castle' locally. (fn. 36) On the west side at the height of about 16 ft. 9 in. is an external row of stone corbels, probably marking the position of a lean-to building; the plinth, however, is carried round the building on this side as well as on the north and south, but the door and window openings are later than the walling. The building had originally three floors above the ground level, the positions of which are indicated inside by stone corbels and by the doorways opening from the stone staircase in the west wall, which is thickened out at its north end. The walls are 5 ft. thick in the lower story, giving an internal space of 34 ft. by 19 ft. 6 in., which was divided into two by a cross wall immediately south of the stairs. (fn. 37) The entrance is at the south-east corner facing south, the staircase being originally approached only from the inside; but at a later date, probably early in the 18th century, an external door to the staircase was cut through the wall on the west side. In 1545–6 the tower was in 'great ruin,' and was reported likely to fall into ' still greater ruin if speedy remedy be not shortly provided.' (fn. 38) It was then described as consisting of' three several chambers from the ground, one above another, all the floors whereof have been made of timber.' The floors and joists were, however, then rotten with water that had rained on them, 'the roof was decayed for lack of thatch,' the lime of the walls washed out, and the walls themselves partly decayed at the corners and other places. (fn. 39) The tower was repaired with material from Furness Abbey, (fn. 40) and was afterwards used as a prison. At the beginning of the 18th century the ground floor was converted into a stable, the original doorway to the staircase being then made up and the outer one inserted. About this time also the first and third floors were raised and the second floor partly taken out, the remainder at the north end being raised and made into a gallery with access from a doorway in the staircase. From the evidence of the corbels the height of the ground story was originally 7 ft. 4 in. and that of the first and second floors respectively 7 ft. 10 in. and 9 ft. 3 in.; the upper floor, which was probably the original courtroom, being 11 ft. 3 in. to the ceiling. The 18th century alterations, however, raised the height of the ground story to 9 ft. and introduced a middle room 16 ft. high. The top floor remained unchanged, but before the end of the century all its windows had been built up. The new middle story was used till 1856 as the court-room, and was lit at the south end by a large new window of three lights with semicircular head. In 1856 it underwent a thorough restoration when the interior was practically gutted, the three stories being further reduced to two by the insertion of a single floor at mid-height. The ground floor was reconstructed, a wooden staircase being inserted at the north and approached by a corridor from the main entrance, and a new slated gabled roof erected, the building then assuming its present appearance. The 18th-century window on the south side was done away with and the upper window, which is of four lights with elliptical traceried head and external hood mould, was lengthened 3 ft. (fn. 41) At the same time a new pointed two-light window with traceried head was inserted on the west side to the ground floor, two squareheaded windows on the north side to the ground and first floor were restored, an elliptical-headed window at the south end of the east front to the top floor was replaced by a new pointed one of two lights, and other parts of the stonework, including the parapet, were renewed. The parapet, which is of red sandstone and 5 ft. in height, is quite plain except for a roughly carved human figure at each corner, with a quarter-round moulding below and setting back in three receding courses at the top, the height of which is 40 ft. above the ground. On the north and west sides is a string course at half height below the parapet, but the south and east sides are unbroken horizontally, the east being quite plain in the lower portion. This side of the building had, however, for some years previous to 1856 built up against it two rough-cast gabled houses carried on columns, probably of 18th-century date, the open lower part of which served as a covered market hall. The original aspect of the tower on this side can therefore only be conjectured. (fn. 42) The upper part of the wall, however, retains an original pointed window of two trefoiled lights with quatrefoil over which lit the original top floor, and two square-headed lights below. The houses on the south side were pulled down in 1850 and in 1851 their place was taken by a new building, used subsequently down to 1885 by the Dalton Local Board, and in its turn demolished in 1896, since when the tower has been open on the south side. The south door has a semicircular head of two chamfered orders with external label and doublechamfered jambs, the lower parts of which are new. The ground floor is now used as an armoury for the local Territorial force. The lower interior doorway to the old stone staircase has a pointed arch with chamfered jambs and head, but the heads of those above, now built up and showing in the walls of both rooms, are ogee in shape, and there are fireplace openings with segmental heads in the east wall, one above another. At the foot of the staircase is an arched passage 3 ft. 6 in. wide in the thickness of the wall running northwards to a doorway now built up. In December 1906 another passage 2 ft. 4 in. wide was found in the north wall immediately above the dungeon, extending about 3 ft. on either side of the window, but it was not explored. A number of houses which formerly stood against the north side of the tower were pulled down after 1858. The roof was reconstructed with hipped ends in 1907. The upper room is used by a Masonic lodge, and is approached by the wooden staircase at the north-east corner of the building.
PIEL CASTLE was a stronghold of much more importance. It was in 1537 described as standing on 'a little island hard upon the seaside and on the mouth of a fair haven that draweth 6 fathom deep at a low water, and at a full sea the water environeth the same isle and eight other isles thereto adjoining, so that there may be landed in the said isles at a full sea a great number of men and the country not able to withstand them except the said peel be kept and furnished with men and ordnance for the purpose; which castle and peel is now sore decayed.' On Foulney, one of the neighbouring isles mentioned, there were 'bred innumerable fowl of divers kinds, upon the earth, among the grass and stones, for there is neither tree nor bush growing there, and the nests in the breeding time are so thick and so near together that neither man nor beast can pass through it without great destruction of the eggs; and at such time as they be feathered and able to go a man or two entering the same isle shall drive afore him thousands of the same fowls, whereof he may take with his hands what he will at his pleasure at all times during the breeding time.' (fn. 43)
Piel Castle, (fn. 44) or the Pile of Fouldray, standing at the south end of Piel Island, has perished to a large extent by the encroachment of the sea. Enough remains to show that it was an Edwardian castle of the concentric type, consisting of a keep with inner and outer baileys surrounded by ramparted walls, towers and broad ditches. The building agrees in all respects with the date of the licence to fortify (1327), and is of one period, except perhaps for the chapel, but it probably replaces an earlier fortification. (fn. 45) The walling consists of boulder stones from the beach grouted with liquid mortar and forming an almost solid concrete mass. The ground, however, on which the castle stands, being of boulder clay, yielded readily to the action of the sea, which has encroached on the island at the south-east and reduced the area originally occupied by the castle to a very considerable extent, finally attacking the keep itself, the whole of the eastern side of which has fallen. The amount of destruction that has taken place within the last 150 years may be estimated to some extent from old drawings. Buck's view (1727), for instance, shows the north-east tower complete on its sea side and an outer entrance which has entirely disappeared, while a drawing by T. Hearne in 1781 shows the extent of the destruction of the keep at that date. Another drawing dated 1822 (fn. 46) shows the north-east corner of the keep still standing, but a later one by Philips in 1824 indicates that a considerable portion more had fallen in the interval, and before 1860, the date of another rough sketch, the entire east wall of the keep had gone, as well as part of the northern end.
Until 1856 the walls gradually crumbled away, but in that year the Duke of Buccleuch constructed outworks which have since effectually protected the building from further inroads by the sea, and during 1877–8 other works of preservation and restoration were carried out in the fabric itself.
The curtain wall to the outer bailey is 8 ft. thick, but exists now only on the north and west sides, with the ruins of three towers upon it, one at each of the two extremities and one at the angle. The ditch outside this wall is higher at the north-east than at the north-west tower, so that unless the formation of the ground has undergone considerable change it could scarcely have been intended to hold water. The north-east tower has lost its sea wall, but was originally 15 ft. 6 in. square internally with walls 5 ft. 6 in. thick, and was of two stories, the floor being of wood. The upper story communicated with the north rampart walk, from where another stair, protected by a thin parapet wall, led up to the roof. There was an ascent to the rampart by narrow flights of steps in the thickness of the curtain wall, and about midway in its length are the foundations of some buildings that stood within the curtain.
The north-west tower, the quoins of which have all been removed, is also of two stories and about 15 ft. 6 in. square internally, but the walls are 8 ft. thick and are without plinth or offset of any kind. The entrance to the ground floor is on the south side, and from the first floor a door with a garderobe leading from the south-west jamb communicates with the west rampart. Only the foundations of the curtain wall remain on the west side, and the southwest tower is similar in almost every respect to that at the north-west corner, the entrance, however, being on the east side, and some 20 ft. of the south curtain wall runs from it at an angle to the southeast.
Close to the south side of the north-east tower are the ruins of a small chapel 31 ft. long by 15 ft. in width. Only three of the walls are left standing, but the foundations of the west wall can still be traced, and at the east end the base of the altar and its two steps can still be seen. The walls are 2 ft. 8 in. thick, but all the red sandstone dressings are gone, and the mortar contains a very much larger admixture of shells than in any other part of the castle.
There is no sign of a gateway in either of the existing curtain walls, so that it seems probable that the castle was entered by a water-gate direct from a landing on the east side.
The wall to the inner bailey is 8 ft. thick with a ditch 25 ft. wide on the outside, and upon it are the remains of three towers. That at the north-west corner is an irregular pentagon with a doorway, but no window, in the lower story, its walls above being set back and pierced with cross-shaped loopholes towards the outer bailey. From the upper floor a doorway leads to the north rampart, from where a stair leads to the battlements of the tower. The south tower has lost its sea side, but there are still three 14th-century doorways left and a portion of a corbelled parapet. The north-east tower, on the extreme edge of the cliff, has a wide splayed loop through the west wall of the ground floor, and from the room above there is a mural passage leading to the ramparts and to a garderobe in the south-west angle. The gateway to the inner bailey is on the west side, opposite which the stone abutment upon which the drawbridge rested when down may still be seen. Above the gateway is a room with a fireplace and a door on either side leading to the rampart walks, from which stairs led to the battlements above.
The entrance to the keep faces north through a long porch raised a little above the ground level, with a gate at each end in which is a groove for a portcullis. The keep itself, which measures externally 76 ft. by 74 ft. and has a total height of 45 ft., has been divided longitudinally into three compartments of three stories each; but the whole of the east side of the building has fallen, so that only two of the compartments now remain. At the south-east angle there was a projecting bay 33 ft. long, the west part of which still stands, in which a series of rooms about 27 ft. by 9 ft. in size, one above another, seem to have been constructed, the floors of which do not correspond with those of the keep proper. The three compartments into which the building is divided vertically are each 60 ft. 3 in. long, the two outer ones being 24 ft. wide and the middle one 20 ft., but their original use can now only be conjectured. The west one may have contained the principal living and guest rooms, there being a fireplace to each floor, that in the lower room being a good specimen of 14th-century work. In the north-west corner there is a vice 5 ft. in diameter leading from the basement to the top floor, but missing the ground floor, and to the angle turret above. There is also a vice from the top floor to a south-west turret on the battlements, the doorways at the bottom of both staircases being of the shouldered or Carnarvon type. All the floors have been of wood, and the basement was lighted by narrow loopholes with wide internal splays. The upper floors have each four two-light pointed windows with quatrefoil tracery and a stone seat on either side. Externally the building has diagonal angle and intermediate buttresses, with a double splayed plinth and a bold ogee string at the first floor level. The battlements have disappeared, but upon them were four corner and two intermediate octagonal turrets corbelled out from the buttresses, with groined roofs. The turret at the north-west corner now alone remains in its original state.
The porch or gateway projects 25 ft. on the north side and is 16 ft. in width externally, with an outer pointed archway flanked by octagonal corner turrets. On the keystone of the arch is a carved grotesque female figure, which, before it was so much worn away, was seen to be holding a human head, and may have represented Salome dancing before Herod. The entrance between the two portcullises is 20 ft. by 10 ft., and is lighted by two slits on each side, beyond which in the thickness of the wall within the inner doorway is a vaulted bay, from the east side of which a doorway opens to a vice leading to the various rooms on the east side of the keep and to a vaulted ante-chamber over the inner doorway, from which access is gained by a passage to a guard-room over the porch.
The site of Furness Abbey and various portions of the land (fn. 47) were before 1549 leased to John Preston of Preston Patrick. (fn. 48) He and his descendants resided there. (fn. 49) The estate was known as THE MANOR. His son Thomas Preston died in 1604, leaving a son and heir John, who recorded a pedigree in 1613. (fn. 50) He about 1608 acquired the abbey estate in fee. (fn. 51) In religion he was an avowed Roman Catholic (fn. 52) and founder of the Preston charity still surviving in part in Urswick. His son John, who succeeded in 1643, took an active part on the king's side in the Civil War and was in 1644 created a baronet. (fn. 53) As being 'a Papist in arms' (fn. 54) his estates were sequestered and by a Parliamentary ordinance in 1646 were assigned to raise £10,000 to discharge the debts of the late John Pym, and £4,000 for his two younger children. (fn. 55) Sir John is said to have died of wounds received in a conflict in Furness. (fn. 56) His son John, born about 1642, had part of the estates released to him in 1653; if he were not brought up a Protestant he was to be convicted of recusancy as soon as he became sixteen, (fn. 57) when of course two-thirds would be sequestered. He died in April 1663, (fn. 58) soon after the Restoration, and was succeeded by his brother Thomas, aged twentyone in 1665, when he recorded a pedigree. (fn. 59) He had made a settlement of his manor of Furness, the rectory of Dalton, &c., in 1664. (fn. 60) Sir Thomas was twice married and had a son Francis, who died unmarried in 1672. His wife died a few months afterwards. Leaving his two daughters, he determined to enter the religious life, and in 1674, then aged thirty-one, was received into the Society of Jesus at Watten in Holland as a novice. Though well qualified, he would never receive the priesthood, having scruples arising from his double marriage, in spite of the assurance that a dispensation from the impediment of bigamy would be granted without difficulty. He was employed in teaching and died abroad in 1709. (fn. 61)
Having provided for his daughters, (fn. 62) he had before leaving England given the Furness Abbey estate, probably in consideration of its ancient consecration, to trustees for the Jesuits for the endowment of an English novitiate. This could not be carried out in the circumstances of the time, and a very few years later, during the excitement of the Oates Plot, the trust was revealed to the government and the estate was declared forfeit. (fn. 63) It was afterwards granted on lease and then in fee to Thomas Preston of Holker, as the nearest Protestant heir (fn. 64); it has since descended with Holker, Lord Richard Cavendish being the present owner.
The other families in Dalton were mostly customary tenants of the lord of the liberty, and ranked as yeomen. (fn. 65) The following, however, were summoned to receive knighthood and in 1631 compounded by fines of £10 each for their refusal: John Askew of Marsh Grange, Miles Brownrigg, William Garner of Bankend, John Rawlinson of Sandscale, and Matthew Richardson of Roanhead. (fn. 66)
In 1648 Captain Leonard Rawlinson, who had been in the Parliament's service and, having been captured at Liverpool by Prince Rupert, had sustained great losses, asked to be allowed to compound for the estate of his uncle, Robert Rawlinson of Marsh Grange, sequestered for recusancy. (fn. 67)
A Joseph Carter of Furness had his estate confiscated and sold by the Parliament in 1652, (fn. 68) as also had John Roscoe of Barrow. (fn. 69) The Prisoe or Presow family, as recusants, came under notice about the same time. (fn. 70) John Knipe of Rampside had two-thirds of his estate sequestered for his recusancy and about 1653 desired to contract therefor. (fn. 71)
RAMPSIDE HALL is a late 16th or early 17thcentury threestory rough-cast building, now a farmhouse, roofed very simply with end gables east and west and overhanging eaves to front and back. It stands near the beach, and is rather quaintly described by Dr. Close in a MS. written about 1810 as 'built upon a square plan with the sides towards the four cardinal points and the angle [ridge] of the roof with its corners surrounded by a long row of twelve square chimneys very near each other and its front originally perforated by fourteen windows of which ten have been walled up in some recent alterations.' There are now five windows in the front of the building, each of two lights, with mullions and transoms of grey sandstone, two to the lower and middle stories and one to the top floor. The doorway has a good ornamental head of a type common in the district, but is without date or initials. Built into the attic walls are some moulded red sandstones of debased Gothic form, pointing to the existence of an older building probably on the same site. The four windows formerly in the east and west walls would also be built up shortly before 1810, at which time the building was reroofed and a parapet which then existed removed. The original red sandstone floors were boarded over or reflagged in 1885. The most remarkable feature of the building is the row of twelve chimneys (fn. 72) referred to by Close, which extend the full length of the roof along the ridge and are set diagonally. A thick wall runs across the house from west to east, in which were originally twelve fireplaces, two for each of the front rooms and one each for the six back rooms. The wall varies in thickness from 7 ft. in the kitchen to 3 ft. 6 in. in the attics. (fn. 73)
In 1665 George Hilton of Millwood registered his pedigree. (fn. 74)
The ancient borough of DALTON (fn. 75) may have been founded before the creation of the monastery. No charter has been preserved, as might have been the case had the monks granted it. A royal charter was in 1239 obtained for a fair there on 31 October and 1 and 2 November, (fn. 76) and in 1246 for another fair 12–14. October. (fn. 77) The burgages are mentioned from time to time, but the borough as such never seems to have acquired any independence and sank out of notice. In 1646 it was recorded that a tenant in the town of Dalton on succession or alienation paid 3s. 4d. as fine on admission for each whole burgage with its appurtenant lands, and 1s. 8d. for each halfburgage. (fn. 78) The name of burgage tenure still remains, but practically the customary freehold tenure prevails here as elsewhere in Furness. (fn. 79) For the modern township of Dalton, comprising the old town and the northern half of the parish, a local board was formed in 1873 (fn. 80); this became an urban district council in 1894. There are four wards—East, with two members, Central, North and South, (fn. 81) with six members each. The council has control of the cemetery, formed in 1860, and of the free library, 1900. The library building was given by Mr. Carnegie in 1905, and there are branches at Askam and Lindal. A school board was formed in 1876. (fn. 82) The county police-station, built in 1878, contains the courtroom for the district. Fairs are held on 28 April, 6 June and 23 October. (fn. 83)
The growth of BARROW, now a county borough, has already been noticed. (fn. 84) The place received a charter of incorporation on 13 June 1867, and was made an independent township in 1871. (fn. 85) The bounds were afterwards altered, and the borough and civil parish in 1881 made conterminous. (fn. 86) The town is now divided into eight wards, each with an alderman and three councillors: Central, Ramsden, Hindpool, Salthouse, Newbarns, Hawcoat, Yarlside and Walney. (fn. 87) In 1885 Barrow became a Parliamentary borough, returning one member. A commission of the peace was granted in 1890, and there are a borough police force and a fire brigade. A school board was formed in 1872. The Free Libraries Act was adopted in 1881; the library is accommodated in the town hall, (fn. 88) and there are technical schools, opened in 1903. A market and town hall had been built in 1866 and were afterwards purchased by the new corporation; a fish market, now used for fruit, was added in 1903, and a new cattle market in 1908. In 1869 the gas and water works were purchased from a private company. (fn. 89) The water works supply various places outside the borough, as Dalton and Ulverston. There are public baths, a park in Abbey Road and a recreation ground on Walney Island called Biggar Bank. A cemetery was opened in 1873 and infectious diseases hospitals in 1882 and 1903. The North Lonsdnle Hospital, founded in 1866, is supported by subscriptions, (fn. 90) and there are other charities. A coat-of-arms was granted in 1867. Barrow was made a separate port in 1872.
ST. MARY'S, Dalton, stands on high ground on the edge of a steep brow at the west end of the town, and is a handsome building of red sandstone in the style of the 14th century erected in 1885. The former church, which stood on the same site, is described by Close in 1805 (fn. 91) as 'a plain edifice neatly finished in the inside,' but before its demolition it had been much altered and modernized, the north side being rebuilt in 1826 and additions made in 1830. Glynne in 1833 states that the church then consisted of a chancel and nave without distinction, with north and south aisles, the latter extending 'quite to the east end,' west tower and north porch of two stories containing a plain Norman doorway. (fn. 92) The exterior was covered with rough-cast and all the windows were new, apparently of 1830 date, and illustrations of the building shortly before its demolition show a comparatively modern-looking structure under three parallel gabled roofs of equal length and a low embattled tower.
The present building (fn. 93) consists of a chancel, with north organ chamber and vestry and south chapel, nave of five bays with north and south aisles, lofty west tower, and north and south porches at the west end. The interior is lined with red sandstone, and is a good example of modern Gothic work. Some of the windows of the former building are retained in the south side of the quire setting a smaller scale to the morning chapel, which is under a low lean-to roof separate from the lofty gabled roof of the nave aisle.
The font is a relic of the old church, and is of late 15th or early 16th-century date, octagonal in shape and of red sandstone. It is very much weathered, and has two blank shields with quatrefoils above on each face, except on the east side, where there is a larger single shield with the arms of Furness Abbey. A number of mural tablets from the old church have also been preserved, including an inscribed brass plate at the west end of the north aisle to George Hilton (d. 1669) and one in the chancel to the Rev. W. Lodge, vicar (d. 1756).
There are a few fragments of old glass, probably of 16th-century date, in the north porch.
The churchyard is principally on the south and east sides, the ground falling towards the south. The road passes close to the building on the north, and the principal entrance to the churchyard from the town is at the north-east corner, close to which is an octagonal sundial shaft on a square base with three steps, probably used as a mounting block. The plate is broken and half is missing, but it is apparently of 18thcentury date. On the south side is the grave of George Romney.
There is a ring of six bells (fn. 94) by John Warner & Sons, 1866.
The plate consists of a chalice and cover paten of 1570–1, with the date 1571 engraved on the button of the paten; a chalice and cover paten of 1716–17, the chalice inscribed 'Dalton 1717,' and the paten with the maker's mark of James Smith; a paten of 1819–20 given in 1820 by Mr. William Atkinson of Dalton; a chalice of 1846–7 inscribed 'Vir Reverendus Joannes Baldwin A.M. Ecclesiae de Dalton hoc Poculum in Coenae Dominicae celebratione utendum D. D. A.D. 1848'; a flagon of 1843–4 inscribed 'Ecclesiae de Dalton in agro Furnescensi hoc Œnophorum D. D. Vir Reverendus Joannes Baldwin A.M. Coll. Chr. Cant.: olim Socius A.D. 1844'; and a paten of 1868–9, 'presented to the Parish Church of Dalton by Wm. Baldwin esq. A.D. 1868.' There is also a rat-tailed spoon of 1728–9, 'The gift of E. Morgan to Dalton Parish Church. Vicarage, Easter, 1888.' (fn. 95)
The registers begin in 1565. The tithe maps are in the vicar's custody.
The remains of St. Helen's Chapel near Furness Abbey have been turned into a cottage, and the only architectural feature left is a built-up pointed window of 14th-century date in the end wall. It is of two lights with the mullion bifurcating in the head, but the lights are uncusped and there is no hood mould. (fn. 96)
The church of Dalton was from the first record of it in the hands of the monks of Furness. (fn. 97) It was formally appropriated in 1228 and a vicarage was ordained. (fn. 98) Accordingly in 1291, while the rectory was estimated as worth only 12 marks a year, the vicar had the regulated stipend of 15 marks; after the destruction made by the Scots in 1322 the rectory estimate was reduced to 40s., and the vicarage was excused altogether on account of its poverty. (fn. 99) In 1341 the ninth of the sheaves, wool, &c., was returned as 6 marks; the glebe was in addition worth 1 mark, and the destruction by the Scots accounted for the remainder of the decline—5 marks. (fn. 100) A fresh ordination of the vicarage was made in 1423 by which the vicar was allowed the vicarage-house, the churchyard, tithes of bread and ale, the candles offered at Candlemas, and a yearly pension from the abbey of £17 6s. 8d. The vicar was bound to reside and provide for all the services of the church and pastoral offices. Nothing is mentioned concerning chapels of ease. The abbot had all the tithes and other revenues of the church, and was bound to maintain the chancel and pay all civil and ecclesiastical charges. (fn. 101) In 1527 the rectory was said to be worth £40 a year (fn. 102); in 1535 it was valued at £33 4s. 4d., (fn. 103) and the vicarage at £17 6s. 8d., in which sum the house and garden were included as worth 13s. 4d. (fn. 104)
At the suppression of the abbey Roger Peel, the abbot, in consideration of his exertions in securing the surrender of it to the king, was rewarded with the rectory of Dalton. (fn. 105) At his death in 1541 (fn. 106) the rectory was treated as a lay fee, being sold in 1610 to Joseph Hudleston, (fn. 107) and a vicar was appointed to be paid out of the rectory; his stipend was fixed in 1577 at the old amount, £17 6s. 8d. (fn. 108) The rectory was acquired by the owner of Furness Abbey, and has descended with it. (fn. 109) The advowson of the vicarage was retained by the Crown in right of the duchy of Lancaster, but was in 1872, by an exchange, granted to the Bishop of Carlisle, the present patron. (fn. 110) The value of the benefice has greatly augmented, (fn. 111) the net income being now £334 a year, (fn. 112) while the district in the direct care of the vicar has been reduced to small proportions.
The following have been vicars:—
|Instituted||Name||Patron||Cause of Vacancy|
|c. 1200||William de Norhamton (fn. 113)||—||—|
|—||Andrew (fn. 114)||—||—|
|1243||Robert de Wath (fn. 115)||Furness Abbey||d. Andrew|
|oc. 1309||William de Cockerham (fn. 116)||—||—|
|oc. 1359||John Sharp (fn. 117)||—||—|
|12 Jan. 1369–70||Thomas Hansey (fn. 118)||Furness Abbey||—|
|5 Oct. 1376||John Sharp (fn. 119)||Furness Abbey||exch. W. Golding|
|oc. 1423||Richard Spofforth (fn. 120)||—||—|
|1 Mar. 1450–1||Robert Harrington (fn. 121)||Furness Abbey||d. R. Spofforth|
|c. 1535||Roger Walker (fn. 122)||—||—|
|1551||Roland Wright (fn. 123)||—||—|
|5 Jan. 1558–9||Thomas Besbrowne (fn. 124)||The Crown||d. last incumbent|
|17 Feb. 1573–4||James Leece (fn. 125)||"||d. T. Besbrowne|
|29 Apr. 1577||Richard Gardner (fn. 126)||—||—|
|9 June 1617||William Bowett, B.A. (fn. 127)||The Crown||d. last incumbent|
|26 Mar. 1631||Richard Tomlinson (fn. 128)||"||—|
|12 Aug. 1663||Anthony Turner||"||—|
|4 Sept. 1707||William Lodge, B.A||The Crown||d. A. Turner|
|23 June 1756||John Walker||"||d. W. Lodge|
|2 Aug. 1772||Christopher Couperthwaite||"||d. J. Walker|
|5 July 1823||Joseph Thompson Kirkbank, M.A. (fn. 129)||"||d.C. Couperthwaite|
|1849||James Morrison Morgan||"||d. J. T. Kirkbank|
|1898||Frank Byard, M.A. (fn. 130)||Bishop of Carlisle||d. J. M. Morgan|
|28 Nov. 1905||John Grainge Leonard, M.A. (fn. 131)||"||res. F. Byard|
In addition to the abbey and parish churches the monks appear to have provided other chapels, the originals of those at Walney, Ireleth and Rampside, (fn. 132) so that four priests would be required for the service of the parish. No endowed chantry is known. The visitation list of 1548 contains five names; those of 1554 and 1562 three each. (fn. 133) After this time it is probable that any regular ministrations ceased at the three chapels, for there was no maintenance, (fn. 134) and even in 1650 there was no minister in the parish except the vicar, Walney having apparently a 'reader' paid by the inhabitants. (fn. 135) There appear to have been curate-schoolmasters usually at Ireleth and Walney. (fn. 136) In 1717 two of the chapels seem to have had resident curates. At Ireleth, where the people paid £3, the only settled maintenance, the curate, chosen by them, was also schoolmaster; at Walney the inhabitants had 'time out of mind' paid £9 14s. by a tax of 13½d. on each tenement; at Rampside too the inhabitants had 'time out of mind' taxed themselves to provide £8 3s. 4d., and a curate nominated by the vicar and the people taught some children freely, though there was no school. (fn. 137) The school at Ireleth was founded in 1612 and that at Dalton in 1622. (fn. 138)
In 1699 the church seems to have been decently furnished; the stone font had a cover, and the communion table its carpet and linen cloth; there was 'a large communion cup of silver with a cover, and one large flagon of pewter.' The vicarage-house was in good repair; the minister had lately built it. In 1702 there were four schools—at Dalton, Ireleth, Rampside and Walney. In 1717 the vicar celebrated the Lord's Supper every month; the three chapels were supplied by curates nominated by the vicar, prayers being read every Sunday and sermons preached once a quarter. In 1793 a 'small parochial library' is mentioned. (fn. 139)
The affairs of the parish were managed by the Twenty-four, i.e. the sidesmen.
More recently, under the new conditions of secular life shown by the rise of Barrow, the ecclesiastical conditions have changed also. Dalton parish church has two chapels of ease—St. Margaret's, Ulverston Road, 1904, (fn. 140) and St. Barnabas, Newton, 1900. St. Mary's, Ireleth, rebuilt on a new site in 1865, had a district assigned to it in 1874 (fn. 141); the incumbents are presented by the vicar of Dalton. St. Peter's, Lindal, built in 1885, is in the gift of five trustees. (fn. 142)
Within the borough of Barrow the old chapel of St. Michael at Rampside did not have an independent parish granted to it until 1887; the vicar of Dalton is patron. The present church was built in 1840 and a porch and vestry added 1866. The previous chapel is supposed to have been erected in 1621, the date being found on a stone when the building was pulled down. (fn. 143) The bell is by Luke Ashton of Wigan, and is inscribed 'The gift of Iohn Gardner to St. Michall's Chappell Sepr 26th 1739.' In the town proper the first place of worship for the Church of England was a school at Newbarns, built in 1843. (fn. 144) St. George's, at the south-east end, was built in 1861, and is in the gift of the Bishop of Carlisle. It has been attached to the archdeaconry of Furness, the archdeacon being its vicar, and the vestry contains a library open to the clergy of the archdeaconry. (fn. 145) St. James's, at the other end of the town, followed in 1867; it is in the gift of trustees. (fn. 146) In 1877 districts were assigned to four new churches built at that time, and named after the Evangelists (fn. 147); trustees present to these— St. John's, Barrow Island; St. Luke's, Salthouse Road, with a chapel of ease called St. Andrew's, and another at Roose, St. Perran's; St. Mark's, Rawlinson Street, with a mission room (1897); and St. Matthew's, Harrogate Street. At Newbarns St. Paul's had a district assigned to it in 1869. (fn. 148) The old chapel of St. Mary on Walney Island was rebuilt in 1853, and became a parish church in 1899; a new and larger building has recently been erected to replace it. There is a chapel of ease at Biggar.
Barrow gives a title to the suffragan or assistant Bishop of Carlisle, appointed in 1889. (fn. 149) The Church Congress was held there in 1906. (fn. 150)
In 1872 there was a branch of the Free Church of England at Barrow; it still meets in the Temperance Hall.
The Presbyterian Church of England had a lecture hall in Barrow in 1868; Trinity Church succeeded in 1875. (fn. 151) There is also a meeting-place at Vickerstown (1902). The Welsh Calvinistic Methodists formerly met at Dalton, and built a chapel in Barrow in 1863. (fn. 152)
English Methodism secured a hold at Dalton by 1823, when a chapel was built in Skelgate, replaced by that in Wellington Street in 1860. (fn. 153) In addition the Primitive Methodists (1868) and Bible Christians (United Methodist Church) have now chapels there. (fn. 154) The same three branches have chapels at Askam, built about 1875–80, and the Wesleyan Methodists are represented also at Lindal, Marton and Newton. In Barrow town the Wesleyans opened their first church in 1862, having previously occupied a room in Church Street; they have now six, the latest being a large one in Abbey Road, built in 1899; and there is another in Vickerstown (1905). There are mission rooms at Hawcoat and Piel. The Primitive Methodists have three chapels, the first built in 1866; and the United Methodist Church three, viz. the Bible Christians in Roose Road (1877), the Free Church (1895), the New Connexion in Barrow (1875). (fn. 155)
Congregationalism at Dalton is comparatively recent, originating from Ulverston in 1867; a chapel was opened there in 1869. (fn. 156) At Barrow a chapel in Hindpool Road was opened in 1857, replaced by a larger one in 1862–3. (fn. 157) Ten years later services in the old town hall led to the erection of a schoolchurch in Ainslie Street, opened in 1877, (fn. 158) and this has been followed by Emmanuel Church. There is a mission room at Vickerstown.
The Baptists have churches at Dalton (1868–73), Askam and Barrow. (fn. 159) The other places of worship include those for the Plymouth Brethren at Dalton, 'Christians' at Lindal, and for the Salvation Army, the 'Church of Christ,' and Catholic Apostolic (or Irvingite) Church at Barrow. In this town also are a Gospel hall and meeting-places for the Sailors' Home and Mission.
The Society of Friends has an ancient interest in the parish, the families of Askew and Lower of Marsh Grange being connected with it through the Fells of Swarthmoor. (fn. 160) George Fox preached in the district in 1652, and Thomas Lawson, the minister of Rampside, (fn. 161) above-mentioned, was one of his adherents. The Society does not seem to have had any meeting-place nearer than Swarthmoor.
No records seem to have been preserved of those, if any, who remained faithful to Roman Catholicism at the Reformation. (fn. 162) Some revival took place under the Prestons; in 1629 it was reported that 'Mr. Preston of the Manor hath two priests at his house, viz., Michitt and Sefton,' (fn. 163) and Fr. Hudleston, a Benedictine, is said to have ministered there about 1640. (fn. 164) After the Restoration the Jesuits had charge, one of them (Anderton) being searched for at the time of the Oates Plot. (fn. 165) The story of another at the time of the Revolution may be recited:—
In December last the house in which Fr. Clement Smith lived was beset by a mob of nearly 300 men out of whose hands he managed to escape through the special providence of God. . . . He passed that night in a little hut. At daybreak, however he betook himself to the woods, where he remained fasting the whole of that day, suffering much from intense frost and the snow which covered the ground. Night coming on the people of the neighbourhood refused through fear, or from the reviving hatred towards Catholics, to allow him to take shelter in their barns or hovels. Compelled therefore to seek some other place of refuge for the night he crept into a little deserted hut, and at early dawn next morning betook himself again to the woods, his pursuers still following close upon his track. . . . Frequently in the darkness of the night he was obliged to cross on foot through fords or passes rendered exceedingly dangerous by reason of the ebb tide, so that even travellers on horseback were unable to make the passage by daylight without considerable risk of life. (fn. 166) . . . For three months he was compelled to lie so closely hidden that he was unable even to pace about his room, nor durst he for a whole year together use either fire or candle, lest he should be betrayed by the light. Indeed for the space of two years he was unable to leave the house where he was charitably harboured. (fn. 167)
The later seat of the mission was Titeup Hall, north of Dalton, one of the farms given by Sir Thomas Preston for the benefit of the Jesuits. Here lived Fr. Thomas West, vere Daniel, the author of The Antiquities of Furness, published in 1774, and of a Guide to the Lakes, first issued in 1778 and frequently republished. He was of Scottish origin, born in 1720, and for some time acted as a commercial traveller. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1751, and was sent on the mission about 1770, labouring in 1773 in Furness (after the suppression of the order) and then at Sizergh, where he died in 1779. (fn. 168) He was much esteemed by the people of the district, and Lord George Cavendish, then owner of the Abbey, is said to have offered him the use of a 'crypt' there for the accommodation of the Roman Catholics of the neighbourhood; but, however tempting it must have been, he was not able to accept it. (fn. 169) The seat of the mission was removed to Ulverston in 1779, and Titeup was afterwards sold. (fn. 170) Returns made to the Bishops of Chester show that in the whole parish there were only seven 'Papists' in 1717 and twenty-three in 1767. (fn. 171)
A new beginning was made when Barrow was growing to a port. About 1858 the priest at Ulverston said mass occasionally in rooms of private dwellings, and from 1865 a large room over a shop was used till St. Mary's, Duke Street, was opened in 1867. Ten years later St. Patrick's mission was begun on Barrow Island; the school-chapel was enlarged in 1885, and a resident priest took charge in 1900. In 1902 the Sacred Heart school-chapel was opened in Roose Road At Dalton itself the school-chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary, opened in 1879, became an independent mission in 1893, and an attempt has been made from 1896 to establish a mission of the Holy Family at Askam, mass being said once a month in the public school. At Barrow is a house of Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, who teach in the schools. (fn. 172)
The Jews had for a time a synagogue in Barrow. There are meeting-places for Spiritualists.
For the old schools at Dalton and Ireleth the endowments amount to £81 a year, and for religious purposes £46 a year is available. Official inquiries into the charities were made in 1819 and 1900, and the report of the latter, issued in 1901, contains a reprint of the earlier report. The great benefaction is that known as the Billincoat Charity, founded by Richard Gaitskill (1626) and Sir Thomas Preston (1674), which now yields £331 13s., applicable under schemes made in 1825 and 1899 as to a moiety for the benefit of the poor, as to a fourth part for apprenticing boys and giving marriage portions to poor girls, and as to the other fourth for pensions. The whole parish, including Barrow, shares in it. Richard Gaitskill's endowment consisted of land at Newbiggin in Hutton Roof and a little house at Bowbridge in Dalton; this last was to be given to the use of three poor people, and was known as the Bowbridge Hospital till at last it fell down, and the land was sold in 1804. The Newbiggin estate was sold in 1792 and the money invested in the purchase of a moiety of the estate at Billincoat (or Billingcote), from which the charity derives its name. The other moiety was purchased with £650 given for the use of the poor by Sir Thomas Preston of the Manor. The charity appears to have been in danger in 1819, but was secured to the poor by means of the inquiry. At that time Billincoat was let at a low rent to the master of the poor-house, which was built on the estate, on condition that he charged for the paupers there at no more than £3 per head. Of the rent about £26 was distributed to the poor, and the remainder given to the rates. A scheme was made by the Court of Chancery in 1825, which was varied in 1899 by a modification of the governing body. Part of the land was sold to Sir James Ramsden in 1873 for £4,200, which was invested in consols; for the remainder a customary rent of £2 11s. 2d. is paid to the Duke of Buccleuch, and a 'greenhew rent' of 4d. The money for the poor is distributed half-yearly to thirty-six 'pensioners,' who receive £1 to £5 each. The use of the apprenticeship and marriage-portion fund is unsatisfactory. (fn. 173) The fourth part applicable to pensions, in lieu of the old Hospital, is divided among three aged persons.
John Preston's charity failed about 1810, as explained in the account of Urswick. Gabriel Fell in 1638 left 10s. a year to the poor of Dalton; it was to be distributed at his house door each Christmas Eve. The money is now paid by the Furness Railway Company, which owns the land, and is on Easter Monday given by the churchwarden to twenty poor widows who have attended church. One Robert Sudgener left £10 for the poor of the bierleys of Above Town, Hawcoat and Yarlside, but this has been lost long since. William Matson about 1760 left 20s. a year, half for the vicar for a sermon on Whit Monday and half for poor people of Above Town bierley who 'should resort to the church and receive the sacrament.' William Atkinson in 1819 left £50, half the interest for the vicar, who was to preach a sermon on Easter Monday, and half for bread to poor housekeepers of Dalton Town attending service on that day. The two charities are now administered together, bread being given on Easter Monday. No inquiry is made as to the religious beliefs of the recipients, nor are they now required to take the sacrament.
George Banks Ashburner of Elliscales in 1873 bequeathed £300 for the poor of Dalton (excluding Barrow), to be distributed on Easter Monday in money or bread. The gross income is £8 12s. 4d., and it is given in sums of 10s. each. Ellen Robinson in 1855 left £100 for the poor at Christmas; by Chancery proceedings the estate was much reduced, and only £25 9s. 8d. was received. A distribution was made in 1877, but the fund has entirely disappeared without record.
The Town field at Dalton has long been held for the use of the parish, the records going back to 1737, and the yearly rent of it—£12— is applied in relief of the rates.
The town of Barrow has no special endowments. For the poor of Walney a small fund of unknown origin exists; the capital is only £6, and the interest, 1s. 9d. a year, is applicable in moieties to the hamlets of Northscale and Biggar. (fn. 174)