button to main menu   Old Cumbria Gazetteer
place:- Lancaster Sands road
county:- Lancashire
parish Grange-over-Sands parish, once in Lancashire
site name:- Kent Estuary
county:- Cumbria
sands road; route
10Km square:- SD47
road code:- LnSn

old map:- Garnett 1850s-60s H

Map of the English Lakes, scale about 3.5 miles to 1 inch, published by John Garnett, Windermere, Westmorland, 1850s-60s.
thumbnail GAR2SD47, button to large image
Road across the Sands at Low Water
double dotted line to Kents Bank
thumbnail GAR2SD46, button to large image
from Hest Bank
date:- 1850=1869
period:- 19th century, late; 1850s; 1860s

old print:- Jopling 1843

Book, Sketch of Furness and Cartmel, by Charles M Jopling, published by Whittaker and Co, Ave Maria Lane, London and by Stephen Soulby, Ulverston, Cumberland, 1843.
thumbnail JP1E12, button to large image
Print, sands road, Lancashire Sands, by Charles M Jopling, published by Whittaker and Co, Ave Maria Lane, London and by Stephen Soulby, Ulverston, Cumberland, 1843.
A horse and cart crossing in the waves.
On p.60 of a Sketch of Furness and Cartmel, by Charles M Jopling.
date:- 1843
period:- 19th century, early

old map:- Ford 1839 map

Map of the Lake District, published in A Description of Scenery in the Lake District, by William Ford, published by Charles Thurnham, London, 1839.
thumbnail FD02SD46, button to large image
from Hest Bank to Kent's Bank
thumbnail FD02SD47, button to large image
county:- Lancashire
date:- 1839
period:- 19th century, early; 1830s

descriptive text:- Ford 1839 (3rd edn 1843)

Description of Scenery in the Lake District, by William Ford, published by Charles Thurnham, London, et al, 1839; published 1839-52.
Page 2:-
From Lancaster to Coniston, the more circuitous but safer road, is by Milnthorpe to Ulverstone, thence to Dalton and Furness Abbey. Bold and adventurous spirits may cross
From Lancaster. Over these extensive and dangerous wastes, covered by every succeeding tide, travellers are conducted by guides appointed by government. The first guide, who is on foot, conducts parties over the Keer; the next guide, who is on horseback, and is familiarly styled 'the Carter,' leads them over the Kent. The Priory of Cartmel was formerly charged with the maintenance of this guide, and had Peter's-pence and synodals allowed towards their reimbursement. It
Page 3:-
is now held by the Duchy of Lancaster, by patent, and the Carter receives twenty pounds per annum, besides what trifling remuneration people choose to give towards the encouragement of welcome civility. The views in crossing are very extensive: the principal and most interesting feature is the Sands themselves, bounded by the low promontories and sloping shores that are enlivened by villages, backed in the distance by the Cumberland and Westmorland mountains. ...
person:- sands guide : Carter, The
date:- 1839
period:- 19th century, early; 1830s

source:- Otley 1818

New Map of the District of the Lakes, in Westmorland, Cumberland, and Lancashire, scale about 4 miles to 1 inch, by Jonathan Otley, engraved by J and G Menzies, Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland, published by J Otley, Keswick, Cumberland now Cumbria, 1818; pblished 1818 to 1850s.
image OT02SD47, button   goto source.
thumbnail OT02SD47, button to large image
Drawn by a double dotted line across the estuary. The long route from Hest Bank to Kents Bank is shown.
sands road

descriptive text:- Baker 1802

Perspective road map with sections in Lancashire, Westmorland, and Cumberland through Kendal and Penrith ending at Carlisle, by J Baker, London 1802.
Travellers of extensive curiosity, and whose ardour leads them more immediately to the lake scenes of these counties, next to be approached, may make their way from hence [Lancaster] by Hest Bank and Lancaster Sands, and through the abundant beauties that are also to be found on the more western coast of Lancashire.
Lancaster Sands first passed in this way are 5 miles in breadth, for which a guide should be taken from Hest Bank, and whom it may be proper for the traveller to retain for like services ...
date:- 1802
period:- 19th century, early; 1800s

road book:- Cary 1798 (2nd edn 1802)

Road book, Cary's New Itinerary, by John Cary, published by G and J Cary, 86 St James's Street, London, 1798-1828.
thumbnail C38317, button to large image
page 317-318
[LONDON to Whitehaven.] Another Road across the Lancaster Sands.
part of
thumbnail C38319, button to large image
page 319-320
[LONDON to Whitehaven.] Another Road across Lancaster Sands.
part of
date:- 1802
period:- 19th century, early; 1800s

old text:- Camden 1789 (Gough Additions)

Britannia, or A Chorographical Description of the Flourishing Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, by William Camden, 1586, translated from the 1607 Latin edition by Richard Gough, published London, 1789.
Page 142:-
The three sands mentioned by Mr. Camden are very dangerous to travellers by the tides and the many quicksands. There is a guide on horseback appointed to Ken or Lancaster sand at £.10. per ann. to Leven at £.6. per ann. out of public revenue, but to Dudden, which are most dangerous, none; and it is no uncommon thing for persons to pass over in parties of 100 at a time like caravans, under the direction of the carriers, who go to or fro every day. The sands are less dangerous than formerly, being more used and better known, and travellers never going without the carriers or guides.
date:- 1789
period:- 18th century, late; 1780s

descriptive text:- West 1778 (11th edn 1821)

Guide book, A Guide to the Lakes, by Thomas West, published by William Pennington, Kendal, Cumbria once Westmorland, and in London, 1778 to 1821.
image WS21P026, button   goto source.
Page 26:-
From Lancaster to Hest-bank, three miles, set out with the Ulverston carriers at the stated hour, or take a guide for the sands that succeed, called Lancaster Sands [1], and which are 9 miles over [2]. On a fine day there is not a
[1] (Morecambe, Ptol.)
[2] Along with the proper guides, crossing of the sands in summer is thought a journey of little more danger than any other. But those who wish to evade them may easily go, in one day, round to Ulverston, by the head of the aestuary.- ...
image WS21P027, button   goto source.
Page 27:-
more pleasant sea-side ride in the kingdom. On the right, a bold shore, deeply indented in some places, and opening into bays in others; valleys that stretch far into the country, bounded on each side by hanging grounds, cut into inclosures, interspersed with groves and woods, adorned with sequestered cots, farms, villages, churches, and castles; mountains behind mountains, and others again just seen over them, close the fore scene. Claude has not introduced Socrate on the Tyber in a more happy point of view than Ingleborough appears in during the course of this ride. At entering on the sands, to the left, Heysham-point rises abruptly, and the village hangs on its side in a beautiful manner. Over a vast extent of sands Peel-castle, the ancient bulwark of the bay, rears its venerable head above the tide. In
image WS21P028, button   goto source.
Page 28:-
front appears a fine sweep of country sloping to the south. To the right, Warton-cragg presents itself in a bold style. On its arched summit are the vestiges of a square encampment, and the ruins of a beacon. Grounds bearing from the eye, for many a mile, variegated in every pleasing form by woods and rocks, are terminated by cloud-topt Ingleborough. A little further, on the same hand, another vale opens to the sands and shows a broken ridge of rocks, and beyond them, groups of mountains towering to the sky, Castle-steads, a pyramidal hill, that rises above the station at Kendal, is now in sight. At the bottom of the bay stands Arnside-tower, once a mansion of the Stanleys. The Cartmel coast, now as you advance, becomes more pleasing. Betwixt that and Silverdale-nab (a mountain of naked grey rock) is a great break in the coast, and through the opening the river Kent rolls its waters to join the tide. In the mouth of the aestuary are two beautiful conical isles, clothed with wood and sweet verdure. As you advance toward them they seem to change their position, and hence often vary their appearance. At the same time a grand view opens of the Westmorland mountains, tumbled about in a most surprising manner. At the head of the aestuary, under a beautiful green hill, Heversham village and church appear in fine perspect-
image WS21P029, button   goto source.
Page 29:-
[perspect]ive. To the north of Whitbarrow-scar, a huge arched and bended cliff, of an immense height, shows its stern beaten front [1]. The intermediate space is a mixture of rocks, and woods, and cultivated patches, that form a romantic view [2]. At the side of the
[1] A little to the left of Whitbarrow is Castlehead, which is now in the possession of the executor of John Wilkinson, Esq. The house is seen to advantage as you cross the sands, and greatly enlivens the part of the coast where it is situated.
[2] The above description of this curious and pleasing ride is, as far as it goes, just, but not characteristic. What most attracts the notice of the traveller is not the objects of the surrounding country (though they are fine) but the sands themselves. For when he has got a few miles from the shore, the nature of the plain on which he treads cannot but suggest a series of ideas of a more sublime kind than those of rural elegance, and which will therefore gain a superior attention. The plain is then seemingly immense in extent, continued in a dead level, and uniform in appearance. As he pursues his often trackless way, he will recollect, that probably but a few hours before, the whole expanse was covered with some fathoms of water, and that in a few more it will as certainly be covered again. At the same time he may also perceive, on his left hand, the retreated ocean ready to obey the mysterious laws of its irresistable movement, without any visible barrier to stay it a moment where it is. These last considerations, though they may not be sufficient to alarm, must yet be able to rouse the mind to a state of more than ordinary attention; which, co-operating with the other singular ideas of the prospect, must affect it in a very sublime and unusual manner. This the bare appearance of the sands will do. But when the traveller reaches the side of the Eau, these affections will be greatly increased. He there drops down a gentle descent to the edge of a broad and seemingly impassable river, where the only remains he can perceive of the surrounding lands are the tops of distant mountains, and where a solitary being on horseback (like some ancient genius of the deep) is descried hovering on its brink, or encountering its stream with gentle steps, in order to conduct him through it. When fairly entered into the water, if a stranger to this scene, and he does not feel himself touched with some of the most pleasing emotions, I should consider him destitute of common sensibility. For, in the midst of apparently great danger, he will soon find that there is really none at all; and the complacency which must naturally result from this consideration, will be heightened to an unusual degree by observing, during his passage, the anxious and faithful instinct of his beast, and the friendly behaviour and aspect of his guide. All the fervors of grateful thankfulness will then be raised, and if, with the usual perquisite to his venerable conductor, he can forget to convey his blessing, who would not conclude him to want one essential requisite for properly enjoying the tour of the lakes?
Having crossed the river, the stranger traveller, (whom we will suppose at length freed from any petty anxiety) will now have more inclination to survey the objects around him. The several particulars peculiar to an arm of the sea (as fishermen, ships, sea-fowl, shells, weeds, &c.) will attract his notice and new-model his reflections. But if the sun shine forcibly, he will perhaps be most entertained with observing the little gay isles and promontories of land, that seem to hover in the air, or swim on a luminous vapour, that rises from the sand, and fluctuates beautifully on its surface.
In short, on a fine summer day, a ride across this aestuary (and that of Leven mentioned little further on) to a speculative stranger (or to any one who is habituated to consider the charms of nature abstractedly) will afford a variety of most entertaining ideas. Indeed, the objects here presented to the eye are several of them so like in kind to what will frequently occur in the tour of the lakes, some of them are so much more magnificent from extent, and others so truly peculiar, that it seems rather surprising that this journey should not often be considered by travellers from the south, as one of the first curiosities of the tour, in beauty as well as occurrence. And if the reader of this note be of a philosophic turn, this question may here offer itself to him, and to which it is apprehended he may found a satisfactory answer on every evident principles, viz. 'Why a view so circumstanced as this, and, when taken from the shore at full sea, so very like a lake of greater apparent extent than any in the kingdom, should never be brought into comparison with the lakes to be visited afterwards, and generally fail to strike the mind with images of any peculiar beauty or grandeur?' X.
image WS21P030, button   goto source.
Page 30:-
Eau [1], or river of the sands, a guide on horseback called the carter, is in waiting to conduct passengers over the ford. The prior of Cart-
[1] Pronounced commonly Eea.
image WS21P031, button   goto source.
Page 31:-
[Cart]mel was charged with this important office, and synodals and peter-pence allowed towards its maintenance. Since the dissolution of the priory, it is held by patent of the duchy of Lancaster, and the salary, twenty pounds per annum, is paid by the receiver-general.
person:- : Carter, The
person:- : Lancaster, Duchy of
date:- 1778
period:- 18th century, late; 1770s

old guide book:- Waugh 1860

Guide book, Over Sands to the Lakes, by Edwin Waugh, published by Alexander Ireland and Co, 22 Market Street, Manchester, 1860.
thumbnail WU01T, button to large image
Guide book, Over Sands to the Lakes, by Edwin Waugh, published by Alexander Ireland and Co, 22 Market Street, Manchester, and London, 1860.
The title page has a scene of a coach setting off from Hest Bank, Lancashire to cross the Lancaster Sands to Kents Bank, Grange-over-Sands, Lancashire, drawn by T H Wilson.
date:- 1860
period:- 19th century, late

old print:- Waugh 1860

Guide book, Over Sands to the Lakes, by Edwin Waugh, published by Alexander Ireland and Co, 22 Market Street, Manchester, 1860.
thumbnail WU0101, button to large image
Print, engraving, Over Sands, published by Alexander Ireland and Co, 22 Market Street, Manchester, 1860.
On p.4 of Over Sands to the Lakes, by Edwin Waugh.
printed at bottom:-
date:- 1860
period:- 19th century, late

The regular stage coach service between Lancaster and Ulverston.
courtesy of Lancaster Museums.
tiny photograph, 
button to large sands road, Lancaster Sands -- Kent Estuary -- Grange-over-Sands -- Lancashire -- Cumbria / -- Crossing the Sands. -- 6.9.2013

mapping:- Hest Bank, Lancashire
Kents Bank, Grange-over-Sands

Old Cumbria Gazetteer - JandMN: 2013

button to lakes menu  Lakes Guides menu.