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Old Corpse Road, Shap Rural
Old Corpse Road
locality:-   Selside Pike
locality:-   Mardale Common
locality:-   Mardale
civil parish:-   Shap Rural (formerly Westmorland)
county:-   Cumbria
locality type:-   corpse road
locality type:-   track
coordinates:-   NY492122 (etc) 
1Km square:-   NY4912
10Km square:-   NY41

BZW69.jpg (taken 10.2.2014)  
BZT14.jpg  At the Mardale end,
(taken 28.12.2013)  

evidence:-   old map:- Jefferys 1770 (Wmd) 
source data:-   Map, 4 sheets, The County of Westmoreland, scale 1 inch to 1 mile, surveyed 1768, and engraved and published by Thomas Jefferys, London, 1770.
track to Swindale 
item:-  National Library of Scotland : EME.s.47
Images © National Library of Scotland

evidence:-   old map:- Cary 1789 (edn 1805) 
source data:-   Map, uncoloured engraving, Westmoreland, scale about 2.5 miles to 1 inch, by John Cary, London, 1789; edition 1805.
track, from Mardale, towards Shap 
item:-  JandMN : 129
Image © see bottom of page

BZT15.jpg  At the Mardale end,
(taken 28.12.2013)  

Before 1728 the chapel at Mardale was not licenced for baptisms, marriages or burials. The dead of Mardale had to be taken to Shap, and the corpse road was the route over Selside Pike into Swindale, and thence to Shap. This is a rough path; foot and horse only.
The corpse of one man from Mardale, said to have been a bad character, was being taken over the fell road when a thunderstorm frightened the horse on which his coffin was tied. The horse bolted, and evaded capture for three months. Eventually it was caught and the man buried at Shap.
The last man carried over the corpse road was John Holme of Brackenhow, 17 June 1736.

continues as:-    Kirkgate, Swindale

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