Townships: Subberthwaite

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

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'Townships: Subberthwaite', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, (London, 1914), pp. 357-358. British History Online [accessed 20 June 2024].

. "Townships: Subberthwaite", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, (London, 1914) 357-358. British History Online, accessed June 20, 2024,

. "Townships: Subberthwaite", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, (London, 1914). 357-358. British History Online. Web. 20 June 2024,

In this section


Sulbithwayt, 1346; Sulbetwayth, c. 1520.

Subberthwaite occupies part of the hill country on the western boundary of the parish. There are three or four ridges or spurs divided by valleys through which run brooks east or north-east to join the Crake. The northernmost point is marked by a cairn called White Borran, a little to the south of which the hill called Blow Knott or Blawith Knott attains 812 ft. above the sea. On the centre of the west border 900 ft. is attained, and over 800 ft. on the southern hill ridge, a hill marked by two stone circles. Upper and Lower Subberthwaite, with areas of 840½ and 396½ acres, occupy the north and south-east portions of the township, the south-west being Gawthwaite Moor, 330 acres, over which the inhabitants of Lowick claim intercommonage with those of Lower Subberthwaite. (fn. 1)

The country is desolate and the hamlets are few and small. Subberthwaite and Tottlebank are in the upper part; High and Low Stennerley and Gawthwaite in the lower part. The total population in 1901 was 99. The road from Broughton to Lowick Green crosses the hills in this township, and at Gawthwaite is joined by a road from Ulverston.

There are slate quarries.


The name of SUBBERTHWAITE scarcely occurs in the records, but Christopher de Broughton in 1346 had a rent of 6 marks from it, (fn. 2) and the 'manor' is named in a Sawrey settlement in 1769–70, so that it may be regarded as an appurtenance of Broughton. (fn. 3) In 1717 Subberthwaite was called a fifth part of Blawith. (fn. 4) It is still part of the Broughton estate.

There is, however, something to be said of STANNERLEY (fn. 5) or Stennerley, which in the 13th and 14th centuries gave a surname to a local family. (fn. 6) They and their estate then disappear, but it must have been acquired by the Broughton family, perhaps merging in the manor of Subberthwaite, for in 1378 Christopher de Broughton held Stannerley of the Abbot of Furness by knight's service and a rent of 2½d. (fn. 7) Other manors of Upper and Lower Stannerley are named in 1813. (fn. 8)

A school was built about 1778. (fn. 9)


  • 1. The area, including Gawthwaite, was in 1901 given as 1,236 acres; Census Rep.
  • 2. Q. R. Memo. R. 122, m. 89 d.; it is called a hamlet of the vill of Ulverston. It is named also in 1521 among the Earl of Derby's Broughton lands; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 68.
  • 3. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 384, m. 56; Plea R. 610, m. 9.
  • 4. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc), ii, 538.
  • 5. Steyneslith, Staynerlith, 1246.
  • 6. William son of Gilbert de Lancaster in 1246 withdrew a claim against William de Lancaster regarding a tenement in Stannerley; Assize R. 404, m. 12. Roger de Stannerley occurs in 1249; Furness Couch. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 408. In 1277 Simon the Tailor and Beatrice his wife claimed the custody of the land and heir of Adam de Stannerley, who had been abducted, they said, by Alexander de Hasellack (alias Eskeslak), Agnes his wife and others; De Banco R. 18, m. 27. Roger son of Adam de Stannerley in 1291 complained that Simon the Tailor of Ulverston, Beatrice his wife and others had disseised him of his tenement in 'Ulveston,' but defendants said the right name was 'Ulvreston'; Assize R. 1294, m. 10; 408, m. 21, 32, 93, 46, 5 d. Simon le Tailor was defendant in other suits; ibid. m. 61, 46 d., 96 d. Roger de Stannerley was living in 1333; Furness Couch, ii, 425.
  • 7. Lansdowne MS. 559, fol. 41. Somewhat later, in 1392, Christopher de Broughton purchased messuages, &c, in 'Ulverston' from William Daudson and Alice his wife; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 41. The position of this estate is not further indicated, but it may have been in Subberthwaite.
  • 8. In a recovery in Pal. of Lanc. Assize R. Sept. 53 Geo. III, rot. 12, no. 5; William Alexander Mackinnon and his wife were vouchees. Robert Close in Over Stannerley was in 1582 held by James Kirkby, who about the same time sold messuages, &c, to James Bellingham; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 44, m. 58, 181. This was perhaps the same James Kirkby against whom the Earl of Derby made a claim in Stannerley in 1559 (Ducatus Lanc, ii, 211), and who was a freeholder in 1600; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 231.
  • 9. Note by Mr. Gaythorpe, from the Rep. of the Select Committee of Education of the Poor, 1818.