button to main menu  Clarke's Survey of the Lakes, 1787

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Page 97:-
The parish of Bassenthwaite, which was an entire manor granted by Waldeof Lord of Allerdale above Derwent, (and son of Gospatric Earl of Dunbar in Scotland,) to his bastard son Gospatric; his posterity were very flourishing, took the name of Bassenthwaite, and remained owners of it in that name, till Adam de Bassenthwaite divided it between his two daughters; it continued in this family till one of the descendants of the younger sister forfeited his part to the crown, viz. Roger Martindale. It was afterwards granted by the crown to the Earl of Derby, who gave it with his daughter Lady Henrietta Stanley, as a child's portion. to Lord Ashburnham; he sold it to the tenants, reserving a small quitrent, now paid to the Earl of Egremont, though not as part of his great Barony of Copeland aforesaid. The other part came by purchase to a family in Northumberland of the name of Lawson, in which family it continues, and the present owner is Sir Gilfrid Lawson, Baronet, of Brayton Hall, in this county. In this manor are about twenty customary tenants who pay arbitrary fines, and about thirty freeholders who pay to him a small quitrent.
We now leave Armathwaite, and proceeding towards Keswick, meet with a very perplexed road; to this, however, the plan will be a sufficient guide. The road leads through rich inclosures, with serpentine hedges; these, though both beautiful and fashionable, are by no means profitable, for they are a very great obstruction to the plough.
We now come to Bassenthwaite chapel, a little, mean, low building; the salary is proportionable, and the curate usually officiates at both church and chapel. Several of the inhabitants of the lower side of Bassenthwaite, commonly called the Halls, or Hawes, were at a great distance from the church; on this account they petitioned Edward Storey Bishop of Carlisle, for leave to build a chapel of ease at this place. He granted their request; the chapel was built, and covered with thatch A.D. 1472, but has since been slated. The Bishop obliged the inhabitants to set out, for the curate's use, an acre of land, and to raise L.50 for the purchasing of more lands for the same purpose. Bassenthwaite paid tithes of corn, hay, &c. till the year 1773, when an act was obtained for dividing and inclosing the common and waste grounds within this parish. By this act the commissioners were empowered to set out lands upon the common, in lieu of all manner of tithes, moduses, oblations, prescriptions, surplice-fees, &c. which was accordingly done. This method has, on all late divisions of waste lands, been pursued in these northern counties: as there have been many such commons divided within these last 25 years, the convenience of it has been sensibly felt. Both tithe-gatherers and land-holders have been eased, not to mention the avoiding of disputes and trouble with those people called Quakers.
We now approach Skiddow, and Bassenthwaite-high-side; and passing a few houses, come to Dyke-Nook, a fanciful little cot; here is an excellent view of Bassenthwaite Halls, and the greatest part of the Lake; it does not, however, seem so proper for the painter; but that may be only a trifling objection to the traveller. The road we now travel is very agreeable and well-finished, about 200 yards excepted, which leads from Sawyer-Cragg to Peel-Wike. Since the division of the common, every thing shews the marks of improvement, joined with natural beauty, and some remains of its primeval wildness.
A little below this is Scarnhouse, very beautiful promontory, whose end juts into the Lake; on it are two or three good houses, the principle of which belongs to Mr Wane, a gentleman who goes a hunting three times a week in that season, if the weather is favourable, and often on foot; he runs stoutly when the dogs are in full cry, though he is 87 years of age: he is one proof of the salutary air, and healthful diet, of this county; and was remarkable for his breed of otter hounds, one of which being sold to Salisbury found its way home again.
gazetteer links
button -- "Bassenthwaite Chapel" -- Bassenthwaite Church Room
button -- "Bassenthwaite" -- Bassenthwaite
button -- Bassenthwaite Lake circuit
button -- "Scarnhouse" -- Scarness
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