A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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Lofwick, 1202; Lowyk, 1256.
Lowick extends across the parish from the hills which bound it on the west to the Crake on the east. It is divided into two main portions, Upper and Lower, with Lowick Common in the centre. The respective areas are 1,412½, 543½ and 305 acres— 2,261 in all. (fn. 1) The common occupies a hill which rises to 684 ft. above sea level, and is crowned by a cairn. Lower Lowick extends along the bank of the Crake, with Lowick Green in the centre and Lowick Bridge near the north end. Upper Lowick has two parts; that to the north of the common contains the hall, and occupies the higher land above it, that to the south occupies the valley west of the common and the hill-side beyond, where a height of 1,092 ft. is attained at the boundary. Hawkswell lies at the southern end of the valley named. The population in 1901 numbered 279.
The principal road is that up the Crake valley; at Lowick Green it is joined by two, from Ulverston by Broughton Beck and from Broughton by the Duddon. Another road goes north through the western valley, by Hawkswell and Lowick Hall to Lowick Bridge, where the Crake may be crossed. From the bridge there is a good view northward over Coniston Water to the lofty Fells beyond.
The soil is loamy, overlying gravel. A large part of the area is used for pasturage, but barley and oats are grown. An agricultural show was held from 1857 to 1884 and revived in 1896.
The township has a parish council of five members.
William de Lancaster (II) is recorded to have granted LOWICK to one Robert de Turribus or Towers in the 12th century. (fn. 2) At that time, therefore, Lowick was in the lordship of Ulverston. William de Lowick son of Robert de Towers granted to the monks of Furness a rent of 6s. from Lowick for the benefit of his father Robert and mother Avice. (fn. 3) William was perhaps a younger son, for in 1202 he acknowledged his plough-land in Lowick and Ulverston to be the right of one Gilbert de Towers, receiving it from him to be held by a rent of 20s. yearly, payable to Gilbert and his heirs at Hutton Rocelin. (fn. 4) William de Towers in 1246 withdrew a claim he had made against William de Lancaster respecting a tenement in Lowick and Stannerley. (fn. 5) Ten years later Alan de Towers was in possession, and made an agreement with Alan de Stainton respecting the common of pasture which the latter claimed in Lowick. (fn. 6) Alan occurs also in 1292, (fn. 7) but was followed by William de Towers, who occurs from 1300 to 1320. (fn. 8) John his son married Joan Fleming in 1333, (fn. 9) and is named in 1367. (fn. 10)
In the time of Henry VI it is said that John Ambrose (fn. 11) married Isabel daughter and heir of William Towers. (fn. 12) Joan widow of Robert Ambrose in 1500 recovered the custody of Robert's land and heir and her dower in Lowick against Thomas Marquess of Dorset and Anne his wife. (fn. 13) In 1517 it was found that Lowick was held of Henry Earl of Wiltshire, in right of Cecily his wife, by Elizabeth widow of John Ambrose and his son Richard Ambrose; Richard died that year, leaving a son and heir Henry, one year old. (fn. 14) Henry Ambrose died in 1555 holding the manor of Lowick of the king and queen by reason of the attainder of the late Duke of Suffolk, as of the manor of Aldingham, by the twenty-fourth part of a knight's fee and a rent of 18d.; his son and heir James was nineteen years of age. (fn. 15) James Ambrose made a settlement of the manor, with two water mills, dovecote, &c., in 1576. (fn. 16) He died in 1591, holding as before, and leaving a son John, aged twenty-four. (fn. 17) John, having refused knighthood, paid £10 in 1631 as composition. (fn. 18) He died in 1638 holding the manor of Lowick, (fn. 19) and was succeeded by his eldest son William, who at the outbreak of the Civil War took part with the king, but surrendered to the Parliament very soon (in 1644), and afterwards took the National Covenant and Negative Oath. (fn. 20) William was still living in 1665, when a pedigree was recorded, (fn. 21) but was the next year succeeded by a younger brother John, a senior fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and rector of Grasmere. He died in 1684, (fn. 22) having conveyed the manor to his nephew John Latus of Millom. (fn. 23) By a granddaughter it was conveyed in marriage to the Blencowe family, and afterwards descended to the Everards, James Everard being lord in 1842. (fn. 24) Miss Everard married the Rev. Isaac Gaskarth, incumbent of Lowick, and was eventually succeeded by the late Colonel I. V. H. Montagu. The trustees are at present in possession; Mr. Arthur Montagu, son of the Colonel, and Miss C. E. Montagu of Lowick Hall are tenants for life in equal moieties.
The customs of the manor were in 1774 similar to those of Kirkby Ireleth, where twenty years' quitrent was paid to the lord by a tenant on his admission. There was a running gressom or town term of a year's rent due to the lord every seventh year. There were four house-lookers annually appointed for reviewing and assigning timber for necessary repairs. (fn. 25) Most of the old customs remain in force, and courts are regularly held. (fn. 26)
HAWKSWELL, (fn. 27) an old estate in Lowick, was the home of the Fells before they settled at Swarthmoor. (fn. 28) Conishead Priory had mills and land in Lowick. (fn. 29) Leonard Askew died in 1625 holding two messuages, &c., in Lowick of John Ambrose as of his manor of Lowick by the rent of half a rose yearly. His heir was a grandson Hugh, who in 1626 sold the estate to Peter Briggs. (fn. 30) Two mills on the Crake in the lordship of Lowick were among the appurtenances of Nevill Hall Manor in Ulverston, forfeited in 1569, and were sold by the Crown in 1610. (fn. 31) This may be another indication that Lowick originally belonged to the barony of Ulverston and not to the lordship of Aldingham or Muchland, as recorded in the 16th-century inquisitions.
Alan de Towers in 1292 alleged that he was wont to find his own chaplain to celebrate divine service daily in his chapel of St. Andrew in Lowick, the chaplain receiving the oblations and the candles given at the baptism of children and churching of women in return for 12 acres of land which the Prior of Conishead held of the grant of Alan's ancestors; the prior on the other hand alleged that the chapel belonged to his church of Ulverston, and the profits should go to him and not to Alan, a layman, and the jury decided in his favour. (fn. 32) The chapel probably remained in use till the Reformation, but it is difficult to say what happened after the fall of Conishead and the rapid changes of religion under Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth. In 1626 the 'reader' in possession appointed and paid by the inhabitants claimed that he had been ejected with violence by John Askew and others. (fn. 33) In 1650 the minister had an allowance of £5 a year from the people. (fn. 34) The income was under £10 a year in 1717, partly derived from the gift of £200 by John Ambrose, 1684. (fn. 35) The chapel was rebuilt in 1817, (fn. 36) and this was replaced by the present St. Luke's, built on the old site in 1885. The parochial chapelry was made into a district chapelry in 1866. (fn. 37) The lords of the manor have for a long time presented the incumbents; the net value is given as £165 a year.
The following have been curates and (since 1856) vicars:—
|1674||James Fell (fn. 38)|
|1682||James Pickstall (fn. 39)|
|1703||James Watterson (fn. 40)|
|1756||Matthias Forrest (fn. 41)|
|1786||John Borrowdale (fn. 42)|
|1831||Thomas Hartley (fn. 43)|
|1846||Isaac Gaskarth (fn. 44)|
|1904||John Piper (fn. 45)|