A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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Kirkby Ireleth; Broughton; Dunnerdale With; Seathwaite; Angerton Moss (Extra-Parochial)
The parish of Kirkby Ireleth, together with the small extra-parochial district of Angerton Moss, occupies the western half of Furness for a distance of 14 miles from the northern boundary of the county to the border of Dalton. The northern half is mountainous and solitary, the fells in places rising to over 2,500 ft. above the level of the sea; the southern half, though hilly on the east, has some plain country along the margin of the Duddon and its estuary and the Lickle and Steers Pool, which flow into it. There was a population of 2,857 in 1901. The area of the parish is 27,257½ acres, including 1,211½ acres of tidal water, and these figures become 29,452½ and 2,332 respectively by adding Angerton. (fn. 1)
The Broughton and Kirkby families connect the parish with the general history of the country by their share in the Wars of the Roses and the Civil War. The local history, however, is without noteworthy events. The slate industry of Kirkby continues to flourish; the greater part of the agricultural land is devoted to pasture, the following being the details (fn. 2) :—
|Arable land ac.||Permanent grass ac.||Woods and plantations ac.|
|Dunnerdale and Seathwaite||317½||2,191||211|
Egeon Askew, a Puritan divine who became rector of Great Hampden, Bucks., in 1609, is supposed to have been a brother of Thomas Askew, vicar of Kirkby in 1606, and may have been a native of the parish, where the surname was long well known. He was educated at Queen's College, Oxford; M.A. 1600. There is a notice of him in the Dictionary of National Biography.
The church of ST. CUTHBERT (fn. 3) is situated at Beckside, half a mile from the coast, on the lower slope of the hill-side, about 125 ft. above the sea level. The building consists of a chancel 38 ft. 9 in. by 19 ft. 3 in., nave 51 ft. by 23 ft. 9 in., north aisle 51 ft. 10 in. by 15 ft. 3 in., south porch and west tower 14 ft. by 11 ft. 3 in., all these measurements being internal. It has been a good deal rebuilt and restored. Externally it has little architectural interest except for a 12th-century south doorway; internally a restored 12th-century window on the north side of the chancel and the remains of another on the south side, which has been built up, are the chief indications of the antiquity of the building, so little ancient work otherwise remaining that nothing can be said of the development of the plan. If the south doorway is in its original position, the 12th-century church would appear to have been of much the same extent as the present chancel and nave, but this is somewhat doubtful, as the doorway is said to have been taken from the west end of the chancel, and placed where it now stands on the south side, when the nave was erected. (fn. 4) If this is correct, the chancel may represent the original 12th-century church, to which a nave was afterwards added. The chancel and nave are apparently substantially of 15th-century date, the north aisle having been added in the reign qf Henry VIII, but the process of restoration has left little of the original work except in the masonry of the walls. The chancel is built of local blue slate stone in thin courses, and the nave and aisle of rough rubble and boulders, originally rough-cast, with red sandstone quoins and dressings, and the roofs are covered with modern blue slates and have overhanging eaves. All the red sandstone dressings to windows and doors are modern, but the quoins belong to the original masonry. A former tower is said to have fallen in 1657, but there is some doubt as to whether this was really a tower or merely a bell-turret at the west end of the nave. However that may be, a turret appears to have been afterwards built, and remained till 1829, when it fell in its turn and was replaced by the present tower. The chancel was restored in 1881 and the nave in 1884, and there was a further restoration of the building in 1903.
The chancel has a five-light elliptical-headed east window with internal segmental rear arch and modern tracery, mullions and sill. The original splayed jambs and head and external label remain, the label terminating in a head on the south side and a plain return on the north. On the south side of the chancel are two modern windows, probably restorations—the easternmost square-headed of three cinquefoiled lights and the other pointed of two lights. Between the windows is a square-headed modern priest's doorway, to the west of which are the remains of a semicircular-headed window, the internal opening of which has been about 8 ft. high by 4. ft. wide, now built up and encroached upon on its west side by the later two-light window. On the north side is a modern two-light square-headed window, and further west the 12th-century windowopening already referred to, entirely rebuilt on the outside, but retaining its original wide opening within, the light, which is 3 ft. 6 in. high by 12 in. wide, splaying out to 8 ft. by 5 ft. Between the windows is a blocked-up square-headed doorway, and to the west of the 12th-century window there has been a plain squint from the north aisle, now blocked up on the north side, but partly open on the chancel side, where it measures 3 ft. 3 in. in width. There is no chancel arch, but the division of chancel and nave is marked by an ornamental roof principal with arched braces below. The chancel roof is modern, of three bays, the walls plastered, and the floor, which is only one step above that of the nave, is flagged.
The nave windows are all modern, of two cinquefoiled lights with quatrefoil in the head and external labels, and the arcade is also modern and consists of three pointed arches of two chamfered orders on octagonal piers and responds with moulded caps and bases. The west window of the north aisle is similar to those of the nave, but on the north side the windows are square-headed and retain their original segmental rear arches. Two of these windows, of three and two foliated lights respectively, are restorations; but the middle one is original, of two plain lights with chamfered jambs and head. At the west end of the north wall there is an original single-light trefoil-headed window of red sandstone, 5 ft. high by 18 in. wide, splaying internally to 2 ft. 10 in., with chamfered jambs and head, the latter in three stones. The nave roof is a modern one of open timber in three bays, and the aisle is under a separate gabled modern roof of similar type. All the interior walls are plastered.
The 12th-century south doorway is 3ft. 10 in. wide by 9 ft. high, the semicircular arch being of three orders springing from angle shafts with scalloped (fn. 5) and carved capitals. The inner order has a square chamfer, the middle one plain beak-heads, while the outer one is moulded. The inner shaft on the west side is circular, but the others are octagonal in section, though very much worn, and all the detail has suffered at some not very remote period from paint.
The porch is modern, with a plain pointed outer doorway and slated roof with overhanging eaves.
The tower is of two stages, very plain in character, without buttress or vice, access to the belfry stage being by a ladder. It is built of blue slate stone in thin courses, with long stones of the same as quoins, but with occasional red sandstone pieces towards the top; the dressings are all of red stone. The west door has been built up and made into a two-light pointed window, and the lower story is now used as a vestry. The old west window has also been built up and a narrow single light inserted in its place. The top of the tower was entirely rebuilt in 1903, and terminates in an embattled parapet and low pointed slated roof. The belfry windows are of two trefoiled lights under a pointed head with tracery and hood moulds. There is no tower arch, a new doorway giving entrance from the nave to the vestry.
The font may be of 15th-century date and is of red sandstone, octagonal in plan and in two pieces. The upper part, which is 2 ft. in diameter, is quite plain, but on the base facing east is a small shield on which is a cross. The pulpit and fittings are all modern, the seating of the nave dating from 1884. The organ is at the east end of the north aisle.
At the east end of the nave near the pulpit is a sepulchral slab with raised cross, sword, and shield with the arms of Kirkby.
In the chancel are two 18th-century brass chandeliers, and there are fragments of ancient stained glass in two of the windows, north and south.
On the south side of the churchyard is a mounting block, on which is a modern sundial shaft.
There is a ring of six bells, four by William Dobson of Downham, Norfolk, 1831, and two by Taylor of Loughborough, 1908. (fn. 6)
The plate consists of a small 17th-century silver chalice without stem, made at Hull, inscribed 'The giuefte of Elianor Crowle to the Parishe church of Kirkbye Aireleth' (fn. 7); a small silver plate without marks, with a cylindrical handle soldered on like a collecting dish, inscribed 'The gift of Coll. Richard Kirkby to ye Parish Church of Kirkby in Furnace, Lancashire, 1698,' and round the rim on the lower side 'Taken from the French who had Plunder'd Cartagena in New Spain'; a chalice and cover paten of 1737, inscribed 'The gift of Mr. Roger Askew Citizen & Painter Stainer of London for the use of the Communion Table of the Parish Church of Kirkby Ireleth. Anno 1737,' and with the maker's mark ' S B '; a chalice, paten and flagon 'Presented by His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch K.G. 29 June 1865'; and another modern chalice without date or inscription. (fn. 8)
The registers (fn. 9) begin in 1681.
From the name of the place it is probable that there was a church here in the nth century, (fn. 10) but apart from the witness of the building the earliest positive mention of it is in a release of any claim to the advowson made by William son of Roger to the monks of Furness about 1190 (fn. 11); it was stipulated that Roger, the rector (fn. 12) then in possession, should retain the church as long as he lived. Alexander de Kirkby gave a further quitclaim in 1227, (fn. 13) but in the following year Walter Gray, Archbishop of York, intervened, and while allowing the monks the churches of Dalton and Urswick he reserved that of Kirkby with its chapels and appurtenances to his own disposal, (fn. 14) on what ground does not appear. In 1230 the archbishop gave it to York Minster, (fn. 15) and it has since belonged to the Dean and Chapter of York, (fn. 16) the present patrons of the vicarage. The rectory is now in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.
A vicarage was ordained, but the particulars have not been preserved; apparently there was a vicaragehouse and a small piece of glebe provided, with a revenue from part of the tithes and oblations. The vicarage was taxed at £6 13s. 4d. in 1291, but after the destructive raid of the Scots in 1322 was excused entirely. (fn. 17) The value of the ninth of sheaves, &c., in 1 341 was 100s.; the parish was not then divided into townships. (fn. 18) In 1527 the value of the rectory was estimated at £28, and that of the vicarage at £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 19) The gross income in 1535 was estimated at less than this, viz. £5 16s., derived from the house, garden and glebe, 8s.; the offerings on the three principal days, £1; the minor tithes and Easter roll, £4 8s. (fn. 20) The rectory was valued at £60 a year in 1650, out of which 13s. 4d. was given to the poor, and the vicarage was worth £12, the vicar taking the churchyard as part of his payment. (fn. 21) Very little improvement was recorded in 1717, though £3 a year had been given by John Kirkby in 1680; the certified value of the vicarage was £13 10s. The vicar and part of the parish were subject to the peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean and Chapter of York. By an award of 1565 the people of Dunnerdale and Seathwaite paid 3s. 4d. every three years, instead of 11s. 4d. known as Bread Silver, for bread and wine for the sacrament; they and the people of Broughton were to pay half-charges for all reparations of the mother church; but flagging was excepted, and they were also excused from contributing to the parish clerk. (fn. 22) The present net value is stated as £280. (fn. 23)
The peculiar jurisdiction above mentioned at one time extended over Kirkby Ireleth proper, Heathwaite, Woodland and Seathwaite. In virtue of it the vicar held a court there. (fn. 24) It was abolished by Order in Council in 1846. (fn. 25)
The following is a list of the vicars (fn. 26) :—
|Instituted||Name||Cause of Vacancy|
|oc. 1277–95||William (de Kercroft) (fn. 27)||—|
|c. 1320||Richard Waberfield (fn. 28)||—|
|oc. 1332||John Tristram (fn. 29)||—|
|oc. 1357||Henry Wainscarth (fn. 30)||—|
|15 Dec. 1376||John de Bretby||d. H. Wainscarth|
|20 Sept. 1377||Robert de Waghen||—|
|—||William de Gilling||—|
|31 July 1389||John Adamson||res. W. de Gilling|
|14 Apr. 1390||William de Burton (fn. 31)||d. J. Adamson|
|22 Dec. 1428||Robert Keswick||d. W. de Burton|
|1 June 1434||John Fuyston||depr. R. Keswick|
|24 July 1446||William Langton||res. J. Fuyston|
|4 Sept. 1453||John Lese||res. W. Langton|
|6 Mar. 1463–4||Walter Thornton||res. J. Lese|
|23 Aug. 1466||William Gedney (fn. 32)||d. W. Thornton|
|7 Mar. 1497–8||Robert Askew||res. W. Gedney|
|6 June 1506||George Lucas||d. R. Askew|
|5 Mar. 1517–18||William Staveley||d. G. Lucas|
|27 Apr. 1522||Robert Bossall||d. W. Staveley|
|8 Sept. 1533||Christopher Bolton (fn. 33)||res. R. Bossall|
|oc. 1548||Thomas Askew (fn. 34)||—|
|4 Mar. 1559–60||Richard Greenwood (fn. 35)||—|
|4 Aug. 1579||Richard Dodgson (fn. 36)||d. last incumbent|
|28 Feb. 1606–7||Thomas Askew, M.A. (fn. 37)||res. R. Dodgson|
|5 Feb. 1661–2||Richard Broadley||d. last incumbent|
|20 Sept. 1671||John Parker (fn. 38)||—|
|9 Dec. 1676||Robert Thompson||d. J. Parker|
|1 Dec. 1680||James Muncaster (fn. 39)||res. R. Thompson|
|9 Dec. 1727||Thomas Holme||—|
|15 Aug. 1738||Stephen Sutton||—|
|1773||Thomas Pearson (fn. 40)||—|
|Mar. 1832||Charles Ryves Graham||d. T. Pearson|
|1879||Charles Henry Lowry, M.A. (fn. 41)||—|
|July 1895||Charles Frederick Husband (fn. 42)||res. C. H. Lowry|
|22 Aug. 1906||Arnold Partridge, M.A. (fn. 43)||d. C. F. Husband|
Before the Reformation the due service of the parish church, its chantry and the chapels of Woodland, Broughton and Seathwaite would require a staff of five priests. Seven names appear in the visitation list in 1548, but that of the old chantry priest is not among them. (fn. 44) Only three appear in that of 1554, but in 1562 four names are recorded. (fn. 45) What happened later is unknown, but in 1610 the parish church and the chapel at Broughton alone are named (fn. 46); the others were perhaps served by 'readers.' This was the case in 1650, when Woodland and Seathwaite had ' no maintenance, but only what the people there inhabiting please to contribute to a reader.' (fn. 47) Seathwaite afterwards had a resident curate, and then Woodland.
The origin of the chantry of St. Mary Magdalen in the parish church is somewhat uncertain. Henry Kirkby, who died in 1524, is said to have given Hallsteads and other lands in Kirkby and Ulverston to found a perpetual chantry, and William Fleming was appointed the chaplain. (fn. 48) In 1531 he was dispossessed by Richard Kirkby and others, and in 1547 the existing chantry was stated to have been founded by Anne Kirkby and her ancestors. Richard Kirkby had taken all the revenues since 1536; they amounted to £6 15s. a year. Robert Burrow was the incumbent, but did not celebrate, on account of Richard Kirkby's interference. It appears that the Crown confiscated the endowments, and in 1553 a pension of £6 was paid to Burrow. (fn. 49) The chantry lands were sold to Thomas Stanley in 1 548, (fn. 50) and thirty years afterwards were dispersed. (fn. 51)
There was no endowed school, but Samuel Wilson in 1769 left £30 towards the stipend of a schoolmaster. (fn. 52)
Official inquiries into the parish charities were made in 1820 and 1901; the report of the latter, published in 1903 and containing a reprint of the earlier one, affords the following particulars. For education and church purposes there are available £63 8s. 7d. and £26 8s. 8d. respectively; for the poor in general about £121, practically the whole of it being given in money. There are no endowments for the parish as a whole.
For Kirkby Ireleth John Kirkby in 1680 left £100 partly for the minister and partly for the poor; to this various other sums given at different times by several benefactors were added, and the total of £220 was invested in the purchase of Hallsteads. This was in 1820 let at a low rent to a tenant who undertook to provide for the parish paupers at £3 a head, or at £5 a head if there should be more than six; but this system was altered soon afterwards. The rent of the farm is now £90 a year, and the purchase-money of a piece of the land sold brings in £1 3s. 8d. a year; after expenses are paid, threeelevenths of the income are paid to the vicar, and the rest is given to the poor in sums of 2s. to 12s. Samuel Wilson in 1769 left £20 for the poor of Nether and Middle Quarters, and Thomas Holme in 1774 left £50 for an annual bread distribution in May. These sums, with some addition, were used to buy a field called Toddas, now bringing in a rent of £6. Four-fifths of the income is applied to the poor, doles of 3s. and 3s. 6d. being given in May each year, mostly to widows. A scheme made in 1898 allows clothes, fuel, &c, to be given. John Postlethwaite of Ulverston in 1844 bequeathed £300 for a sum to be divided on Christmas Day between deserving widows who attended church regularly; the income is £13 6s. 4d., and is given in sums of 10s. 6d. to 15s. each. John Dodgson of Beanthwaite in 1824 left £300, half for education and half for four poor persons; the gross income is now £11 0s. 11d., and half is divided among four aged persons, usually widows. Margaret Postlethwaite of Woodland in 1841 bequeathed £200 for the poor of Woodland and Heathwaite divisions. The gross income is £6 15s. 5d., which is distributed about Christmas time in sums of 6s. to 25s.
In Broughton there is a fund of £200; about half of this came from an agreement between the lord of the manor and the tenants in 1731 as to the wood growing upon their estates, by which it was agreed that the tenants should purchase the wood upon their respective holdings, seven-twelfths of the money being given to trustees for the general benefit. (fn. 53) The other half came from various benefactions, for the poor, for education, and for sermons. The gross income is now £6 5s. It appears to have been the custom to give £1 1s. to the poor, and this is still their share; it is given in Easter week in sums of 2s. and 3s. Jane Taylor, widow, in 1825 bequeathed £300, two-thirds for a distribution to the poor on Christmas Eve and one-third for education; the income of the former part of the charity is now £5 12s. 6d., and is distributed in sums of 2s. to 8s. 6d. Agnes Dixon in 1826 conveyed to trustees a dwellinghouse on the north side of the square in Broughton, to which an allotment on White Moss accrued in 1847; two-thirds of the income was to go to poor householders. The gross income is £19 14s., out of which a lord's rent of 6s. is paid. Doles of 7s. or 8s. are usually given. (fn. 54) Jane Ramsay, widow, in 1888 gave £100 for keeping her husband's tomb at Broughton in due repair; the surplus income is to go to 'the principal Protestant clergyman' of Broughton Church for distribution among the poor at his discretion. This surplus amounts to about £3 10s. yearly, and is distributed by the vicar.
For Dunnerdale a sum of £20 left by Pritt, a cordwainer, was reduced to £15 by a bankruptcy, and has been lost entirely since 1883. A sum of 2s. 6d. from an estate called Green Bank, (fn. 55) of unknown origin, was by custom spent upon a Bible or Testament for a poor person in Dunnerdale, Seathwaite, and Aulthurstside in Broughton in rotation, but more recently it has been given in money. Thomas Tyson and others gave sums amounting to £30 for pious books for Seathwaite Chapel and for books for the poor of the chapelry; the present income, 17s., is used accordingly.