Townships: Blawith

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

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, 'Townships: Blawith', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, (London, 1914) pp. 362-363. British History Online [accessed 21 May 2024].

. "Townships: Blawith", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, (London, 1914) 362-363. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024,

. "Townships: Blawith", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, (London, 1914). 362-363. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024,

In this section


Blawith, 1346.

Blawith has an area of 2,995 acres (fn. 1) on the west side of the Crake and the lower end of Coniston Water. Along the Crake there is a narrow strip of open and comparatively level land, and about the centre of it, pleasantly seated, is the hamlet of Blawith. The remainder is hilly, divided into two systems by a beck running east to the Crake near the centre of the township. To the south are a number of minor hills, rising at the west to 700 ft. above the sea; to the north are the Blawith Fells, the Beacon in the middle attaining 836 ft. On its southwest side is Beacon Tarn. About a mile and a half north of Blawith Coniston Water is reached; here there is a ferry used by the steamers navigating the lake in the summer. The chief road is that up the Crake Valley and by the west side of the lake towards Coniston; it passes through the hamlets of Blawith and Water Yeat. The township contained a population of 148 in 1901.

There are two bridges over the Crake, one at the south end called Birkrow Bridge and one at Water Yeat called Bouldrey or Bouthray Bridge.

The soil is gravel, overlying stone and slate. Agriculture is almost the sole industry, the land being used for pasture.


The district or township of Blawith was apparently a woodland or forest district within the barony of Ulverston. (fn. 2) The land was afterwards held in conjunction with neighbouring estates (fn. 3); what in later times was known as the manor of BLAWITH was the estate once held by Conishead Priory, (fn. 4) but there appears to have been another nominal manor held in the 18th century by Thomas Bibby, Mary his wife and others. (fn. 5) One or two other estates are known. (fn. 6)


The chapel of Blawith is of unknown origin, but it is marked on the 1577 map of the county. The present church of St. John the Baptist was built in 1863, near the old site. In 1650 it had no maintenance, but the inhabitants allowed £5 a year to John Gibson, their reader. (fn. 7) In 1717 the inhabitants allowed £4 a year to the curate, who also taught school in the chapel, and claimed a right to nominate. (fn. 8) Afterwards the right of presentation was held by the Braddylls of Conishead, (fn. 9) but the Duke of Buccleuch became patron by purchase in 1862. The value is given as £180 a year. (fn. 10) The registers begin 1728–46.

The following have been incumbents and vicars (fn. 11) :—

1764 Matthias Forrest (fn. 12)
1786 Henry Seatle (fn. 13)
1805 John Jackson
1817 William Atkinson
1841 Thomas Hartley (fn. 14)
1846 Isaac Hodgson
1847 Joseph Patch
1878 John Ashburner


  • 1. 2,998 acres, including 153 of inland water; Census Rep. 1901.
  • 2. The dead wood in Blawith, for making charcoal, was allowed to the canons of Conishead by William de Lancaster (III); Dugdale, Mon. vi, 557. In 1276 the forest of Blawith was held by Roger de Lancaster; Furness Couch. (Chet. Soc), ii, 385.
  • 3. Robert de Leyburne in 1340 had a share in the forest of Blawith; ibid, ii, 271. In 1346 it was found that William de Coucy had had a profit called Gresmale in Plumpton and Blawith, also certain tenements in Blawith worth 10s. 9d. a year; Inq. p.m. 20 Edw. III (2nd nos.), no. 63. See Brydson, Two Lakeland Townships, 82.
  • 4. The Conishead rental of 1536 shows 41s. 8d. from Blawith, the place-names being Gledhaw, Waterend and Knot; Duchy of Lanc. Rentals and Surv. bdle. 5, no. 11. The following was written in 1842: 'Conishead continues still a manor; for though no court has been held at the priory for many years, a court has continued to be held for it united with Blawith. The River Crake, with all its rights and royalties, forms at this day a part of the said manor'; F. Evans, Furness, 97.
  • 5. This was probably the Ulverston part of Blawith, for among the manors and lands held by the Fell family in 1691 was the manor of Blawith; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 227, m. 108. In 1703 Thomas Bibby and Mary his wife were deforciants in a fine of the manor of Blawith; ibid. bdle. 251, m. 7. Again in 1723 the deforciants were Adam Sadler, Elizabeth his wife, George Metames, Elizabeth his wife, Thomas Saul and Hannah his wife; ibid. bdle. 289, m. 97. No courts were held for Blawith in 1774; West, Furness, 143. By Daniel Abraham, while he held the manor, many of the customary tenements had been converted into freehold; an example at Stable Hervey in 1725 is printed by Brydson, op. cit. 88. For further particulars of Stable Hervey, an ancient hamlet, see ibid. 138–9.
  • 6. John Fleming of Rydal was in 1522 found to have held messuages and lands in Blawith (part called 'Furnebuthetwayt') and 2 acres of wood called Cockscales of the king as duke; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 42. In 1557 the Fleming estate in Blawith was held of the queen as of the late Earl of Wiltshire in socage by a rent of 7d.; ibid, xi, no. 49. A name given resembles the Thornebuthwait or Thornubythuieitht (one plough-land) held by Herbert de Ellel in 1202–8; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 13, 26. For the Fleming land in Blawith see Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 11, m. 65. A John Hudson died in 1588 holding eight messuages, &c., in Blawith of the queen as of her manor of East Greenwich; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvi, no. 45. This may be Blawith in Cartmel. John Kirkby the elder in 1591 purchased a messuage in Blawith from John Billing and Richard his son; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 53, m. 44. Before this, in 1564, Henry Kirkby and Matthew his son appear in connexion with Birkrow and Blawith; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 289. Matthew Kirkby of Birkrow was a freeholder in 1600; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 231. William Curwen and Ellen his wife in 1591 had a considerable estate in Blawith, Newland, Ulverston, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 53, m. 205. William Curwen was in 1590 concerned in a dispute as to Appletreeholme; Exch. Dep. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 7. Lists of owners and inhabitants in 1763, 1782 and 1907 are printed in Brydson, op. cit. 188–91.
  • 7. Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 141. Thomas Cowper was curate in 1684, being in deacon's orders; Visit. List of 1691. He was buried at Ulverston in 1696; Reg. The chapel was reported to be in good repair in 1692; the Lord's Supper was then administered at Ulverston, but in 1711 there was 'a decent communion table' in the chapel. A font was inserted between 1737 and 1754. The chapel was rebuilt in 1749. These details are from the chapelwarden's replies to visitation inquiries.
  • 8. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 538. Part of the stipend was lost by division of land and by the poverty of some of the people. The chapel was then 'served by an industrious and learned curate.' He was William Richardson, about whose appointment there was a dispute; ibid, in note.
  • 9. Ibid.
  • 10. Carlisle Dioc. Cal.
  • 11. For a fuller list, from which the names in the text have been taken, see A. P. Brydson, op. cit. 120–32.
  • 12. Also at Lowick.
  • 13. Incumbent of Finsthwaite 1805–22.
  • 14. Also at Lowick.