button to main menu  Camden's Britannia, edn 1789

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Page 152:-
about 7,000, chiefly engaged in manufacturing of linseys, worsted stockings woven and knit, and a coarse woollen cloth called cottons, sent to Glasgow and thence to Virginia for the use of the negroes. These manufactures employ great quantities of wool from Durham and Scotland [x]. As early as Richard II. and Henry IV. we find special laws enacted on purpose for the regulating of Kendale-clothes [y]. Kendal has a large weekly market. Elizabeth a. r. 18 erected it into a corporation by the name of aldermen and burgesses. Charles I. incorporated it with a mayor, 12 aldermen, and 20 burgesses [2]. This charter was surrendered to Charles II. who regranted it with a few alterations. Here was an hospital founded for lepers by Henry II. valued at £.6. per annum [z], and still called the Spittle, and here is a freeschool. The church is large, divided into five ailes, and has an altar-tomb with arms in a garter for sir William Parr, grandfather to the marquis of Northampton and queen Catherine, who was born here. The parish comprehends 24 townships or constablewicks, and was antiently larger. North of the church is Abbot hall, formerly belonging to the abbot of St. Mary's abbey, York, patron of the living. Here were also four chapels [a]. A chapel of ease was erected 1754, by the legacy of the most benevolent Dr. Stratford, commissary of the archdeaconry of Richmond, with the residue of whose property 58 small livings were augmented in this and adjoining counties, and other charities performed [b]. The ruins of the castle are on the top of a high hill west of the town [c], and opposite to it is a large exploratory mount called Castlehow hill [d]; whether Roman or not is uncertain: it is flat at top, surrounded by a ditch crossed by another. Round the base a deep foss and high dike strengthened by two bastions on the east side. Dr. Stukeley [e] calls it Saxon. Immediately below it is a spot called Battle place [f].
Charles Stuart 3d son of James duke of York after king James II. was created duke of Kendal 1664. Prince George of Denmark was created duke of Cumberland and earl of Kendal; and Melusina Erengart Schulenburg, who had before been created duchess of Munster in Ireland, was further honoured with the title of duchess of Kendal, countess of Glassenbury, and countess of Faversham [3].
Kendal gave birth to Dr. Barnaby Potter bishop of Chester, Dr. Christopher Potter, provost of Queen's college, Oxford, and Dr. Thomas Shaw the traveller and principal of Edmund hall.
  Sizergh Castle
In Helsington chapelry is Sisergh hall, the seat of the Stricklands from the time of king John, a venerable old building embattled, with a tower and guard-room. In it is a room called the Queen's with the royal arms, probably a retirement of Catherine Parr [g].
  roman fort, Watercrook
CONCANGIOS is to be placed in Natland chapelry, below Kendal, at Watercrook, so called from a remarkable bend in the river; on the east side of which is a square fort, whose ramparts are very discernible, though the ditch has been levelled. It has been a large station, six chains from north to south and eight from east to west, and contains near five acres, the angles rounded [h]. Urns have been found in a bank laid open by the river, also coins and seals, a lamp, and the inscription below [i]: also an hypocaust, miscalled by Mr. Machel an oven [k].
The town seems to have stood between the fort and river, where they still plough up foundations of freestone and cement. Two or three tumuli are near the station, and the round artificial mount called Castle hill, on the west of Kendal is in sight. Dr. Gale [l] has no ground for placing Brovonacae here because one copy of the Itinerary spells it Broconaco [m]. Here was a numerus vigilum in the Notitia.
In Mr. Guy's yard Dr. Stukeley saw a large altar with festoons and grapes on three sides [n], and the top of an altar in the stable: at the end of the house a headless statue, on whose head was formerly a crown, now lost [o]; a portable altar seven inches and an half high, defaced by being used as a whetstone; a Faustina large brass, an intaglio of Mercury in a gold ring, another triple headed, and a third. He was told of a large brass urn found with bones in it. Mr. Horsley has engraved a stone vase, most probably a font (No XI.) The latter antiquary gives this inscription built up in the end of a barn here:

which he thus reads,

Publius Aelius Publii filius Sergia [tribu] Bassus quaestor designatus legionibus vicesimae valentis victricis vixit annos ... et Publius Privatus liberti & Hero ... miles legionis sextae victricis faciundum curarunt. Siquis [in hoc] sepulcrum alium mort(uum intul)erit inferit fisco dominorum nostrorum ...
Mr. Ward [p] reads the end of the 1st and beginning of the 2d line, Bassus praefectus equitum designatus; and the last word in l.3 heredes. Perhaps the last line expressed the fine [q]. Gale [r] read it Sergio Basso decurioni legionis [s] -- & privatus libertu & herm - miles emeritus &c si quis sepulcro, and in the last line only two or three strokes as for the sum.
Before the entrance of the fort is a tumulus [t]:
Above the station nearer Kendal a little below the bridge is a place very suitable for the purpose and still called the Watchfield [u].
About a mile and an half from this fort was the castrum exploratorum, now called Castle Steeds, 60 feet by 120, having two ditches on the south end and three on the north; the other sides steep. At the bottom of the hill a large spring [x].
[x] Pennant, I. 259. Stuk. II. 42.
[y] 13 R.II. c.10. 9 H.IV. c.2.
[2] G.
[z] Tan. 588 Burn, 75.
[a] Burn, 74, 75.
[b] Ib. 80.
[c] Pennant ubi sup.
[d] Horsl. 484. Burn, 81.
[e] II. 40.
[f] Penn. 261.
[3] G.
[g] Burn, 103. West, 195.
[h] Stukeley, 14. Burn, 105.
[i] Stuk. II. 39, 40.
[k] Burn, I. 105.
[l] P. 40.
[m] Horsl. 484. Penn. 261.
[n] Horsl. Westm. ix.
[o] Ib. xii. Mr. Gale calls this a fine figure of a Cupid or Genius. MS. n. It is still here. West's Guide to the Lakes, p.191, calls it Silenus.
[p] MS. n.
[q] Horsl. 300.
[r] Ant. p.40.
[s] Quaestori ducenariorum or Duplariorum. Optioni decur. V. Pitisci Lex. v. Optio. Gale MS. penes me.
[t] Stuk. 41.
[u] Burn, I. 106.
[x] Stuk. II. 41-42.
gazetteer links
button -- "Abbot Hall" -- Abbot Hall Art Gallery
button -- "Castlehow Hill" -- Castle Howe
button -- "Castle Steeds" -- Castlesteads
button -- Holy Trinity Church
button -- "Kendale" -- Kendal
button -- "Concangios" -- (roman fort, Watercrook)
button -- "Sisergh Hall" -- Sizergh Castle
button -- "Spittle" -- Spital
button -- "Watchfield" -- Watchfield
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