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A tour from Downing to Alston-Moor online

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Printed, at the Oriental Press, by Wilson <§• Co.



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The Tour from Downing to Alston Moor, now
presented to the Public, was performed by Mr. Pen-
nant in 1773. At the conclusion it connects with
his Scots Tour, and forms an introductory Volume to
that excellent Work, equally if not more interesting
to the English Reader and to the Antiquary. The
Author, in his Literary Life, p. 18, thus describes
the Work : " The subject of part of this Journey will
be found among my Posthumous Works, illustrated
with Drawings by Moses Griffith. This; will take in
the space from Downing to Orford ; from thence to
Knowsley, Sefton, Ormskirk, Latham, and (crossing
the country) to Blackburn, Whalley-abbey , Roches-
ter, Mitton, Waddington-hall and Clithero, most of
them in the County of Lancashire. In that of York
I visited Salley - abbey , Solton-hall, Malham Coves,
Settle, Giggleswick and Ingleton. I then crossed the
Lune to Kirkby -Lonsdale, and visited all the parts of




Westmoreland and Cumberland omitted in my printed
Tours of 1769 and 177£; arid, finally, I finished this
MS. Volume at Alston, near the Borders of Durham ."

Notwithstanding his former determination, (see Lit.
Life, p. 17,1. 19,) the Editor has the satisfaction to
find, that Mr. Pennant, in the last years of his active
life, not only prepared for the Press the Tour now
offered, but also its Continuation by Hackfall and
Fountains Abbey to Harrogate and Brambam Crags.
This Work, he hopes, at some future period, to have
permission to add to the List of Publications of that
valuable Author.



Rock Savage, page 1
Runcorn Canal, 2
Norton, 4
Mere, 5
Warrington, 9
Gropen-hall, 12
Thelwall, 13
Lymme, 14
Milbank, 15.


Warrington, 9
Bewsey-hall, 19
Prescot, 21
Knowsley, 21
Croxteth, 47
Sefton, 47
Lydiate Chapel, 51
Ormskirk, 5 1
Burscough Priory, 53
Latham, 54
Ley land, 61
Brindle, 63
Houghton Tower, 64
Blackburn, 65
Whalley Abbey, 68
Clithero, 75
Standen-hall, 81
Mitton, 82
Stoneyhurst, 82

Bashal, 86

Waddington-hall, 87
Waddow-hall, 89
Salebury-hall, 91
Ribchester, 92.


Salley- Abbey, 100
Bolton -hall, 103
Gisburn Park, 106
Swindon, 107
Malham, 108
Settle, 111
Giggleswick, 112
Ingleton, 114.


Kirkby- Lonsdale, 117
Kendal, 119
Kirkby-Stephen, 123
Wharton-hall, 129
Lamerside-hall, 131
Pendragon-castle, 131
Brough-castle, 136
Helbec-hall, 137
Warcop-hall, 138
Appleby, 139
Clippergate, 148
Crakenthorpe, 148
Kirkby-Thor, 149

Burwens, or Whelp-
Castle, 150
Temple-Sowerby, 151
Three-brother Tree, 152
Anne Clifford's Column,

Brougham-castle, 155
Eimont-bridge, 158.


Penrith, 158
Eden-hall, 160
Long Meg, 164
Deadman's Stack, 166
Kirk-Oswald, 167
Croglin, I69
Brampton, 171
Naworth-eastle, 1 73
Llanercost, 177
Askerton-hall, 180
Beucastle, 180
Stapleton, 182
Netherby, 182
Long-town, 183
Burgh Marsh, 183
Corbie-castle, 186
Castle- Carrock, 186
Cumrew, 186
Carlatton, 186
•Alston-Moor town, 187-



Painted Glass at Warrington Page 1 1

Orford-hall 12

Tomb of Sir Thomas Boteler 20

Edward Earl of' Derby 26

Charlotte Countess of Derby 37

Sefton Church 48

Lydiate Chapel 51

Houghton Tower 64,

Sir Edward Osbadiston • • • 66

Clithero Castle 76

Ancient Altar at Ribchester 93

Kirkby-Lonsdale Bridge 117

Dr. Shaw 120

Overton Church 122

Tomb of Sir de Musgrave, &c 124

Wharton Hall 129

Philip Duke of Wharton 130

Lamerside-hall 131

Pendragon Castle 131

Brough Church 137

Appleby Castle 1 39

Tomb of the Countess of Cumberland 144.

Three-brother Tree 152

Anne Clifford's Column i54

Naworth Castle 173

Llanercost Priory 1 77

Beu Castle 1 80





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j ,>_,»" *"

.Desire of health from exercise, and thirst after informa-
tion respecting the almost latent curiosities of our island*
induced me this year to undertake another journey, into the
North of England.

I left my own house the 3d of August, passed through
Chester, the village of Traffbrd, and over Dunham on the
hill, and from thence to Frodesham. After crossing the
We-ver, and passing over a small common, I turned into a
by-road, and visited, on an eminence on the left, the recent
ruins of the once noble seat of Rock-Savage, built in the Rock Savage.

b reign


reign of Queen Elizabeth, by Sir John Savage. By the
marriage of Lady Elizabeth Savage, daughter and heir of
Richard earl Rivers, with James earl of Barrymore, the
house and estate passed into that family.. The possession
was very transient; for, by the run-away mateh of his
daughter, the Lady Penelope Barry, with General Cholmon-
deley, they were transferred into a new race, and are now
possessed by the Earl of Cholmondeley, the General's great
nephew. . After the marriage, the place was neglected, and
so fell; into: sad decay : a gentleman, who was born in the
house, lived to draw a pack of fox-hounds through it in
quest of game.

H alton. From hence I made another visit to Halton Castle, to
hang over, once more, the much admired prospect; from
Runcorn, which I descended about a mile to Runcorn, to see the
grand termination of the Duke of Bridgewaters Canal,
which there falls into a broad bay of the Mersey, a little
way below the pretty peninsula which juts from the Lan-
cashire side, and forms the narrow gut called Rwicorn-gap.
The fall into the river is sixty-nine feet, which is eased by
the help of a series of five double locks and a single one ;
and through these passes the commerce between the Ger-
man ocean and Irish sea.



This vast undertaking arose from a small beginning : the
original intention of that useful Peer was to get an Act of
Parliament, in 1 758 and 1 759, only to cut a Canal from the Canal.
collieries at Worsley to Manchester, with a branch extend-
ing to Cheshire. As soon as the practicability of this
was ascertained, a design was formed of continuing the
canal from Manchester to the Mersey, below Warrington,
not only for the purpose of enlarging the sale of the JDuke's
coals, but to furnish the country with a cheaper conveni-
ency of water-carriage than that on the Irwal and Mersey..
After some variations in the plan, it was executed in the
following manner:

From . Manchester a canal is made in a direction from
South-west, and from near Altringham goes almost West
to the Mersey below Runcorn-gap. The length of this
course is twenty-eight miles and a half, and is carried over
the Mersey and Bollan. This canal is joined about four
miles from Manchester, by a branch which crosses the Ir-
wal, by the fine aqueduct at Barton-bridge, and extends to
the great collieries at Worsley, in all about six miles : the
only locks are at Runcorn.

I must not leave that place without mentioning, that

b 2 the


the heroine Ethelfleda, in Q 1 6, founded here a town and
castle: its glory is now passed away, and only an inconsi-
derable village remains. The scite of the castle is very evi-
dent in a piece of land which juts into the river exactly at
Runcorn Cas- the gap, and still bears the name of the Castle-rock, being


protected on the water side by ledges of rocks and broken
precipices: the area is of a triangular form, flat, but sur-
rounded with a mound of earth, and on the land side
v guarded by a ditch at least six yards wide. Nothing could
be more judicious than the situation ; for it is placed at the
mouth of the gap, and must have been an effectual check
to the naval inroads of the Danes up the Mersey, at a pe-
riod in which they were such a pest to the kingdom.

Church. The church lies above the Castle-rock; its foundation

was perhaps coeval : it was certainly prior to the Conquest,
for Nigel, baron of Halton, bestowed it, in the reign of the
Conqueror, on his brother Wolfwith, a priest. It became
afterwards the property of Norton Abbey, and on the dis-
solution was bestowed on Christ-church, Oxford. An abbev
of Canons regular or Angus tines, was originally founded
here by JVilliam the son of Nigel, in 1133; but it was

Norton, removed by his son William, constable of Chester, to Nor-
ton, about two miles to the East. On December 10, 1545,



Richard Brook, esq. purchased the manor and its appurte-
nances from the king # . The present Sir Richard Brook
rebuilt the house in a very handsome style, and having the
good fortune to lie in the course of the Duke of Bridge-
water's canal, his grounds are most beautifully improved
by the meandering of the water in view of the house.

I kept along a flat and wet country, leaving on the left
the fine meadows washed by the Mersey ; and went through
the hamlet of Mere, a. fee of Halton, bestowed by Roger Mere.
Lacy, baron of Halton, on his brother Richard, who died
leprous, and was buried at Norton. I then quitted Cheshire,
after crossing the bridge at Warrington, and entered the
County of


This county, with those of Westmoreland, Cumberland,

Durham and Yorkshire, formed, at the coming of the Ro-

mans, the country of the Brigantes, a warlike people, and

much distinguished by their queen Cartismandua, who,

after betraying Caractacus to the Romans, dethroned her

husband, and took his armour-bearer to her bed; which

occasioned the restoration of her husband by her foreign

friends, and her disgraceful abdication-^.

* Leicester, 325. f Tacit. Hist. lib. iii.


After the Saxon invasion, this county was called Lancas-
terscire, from the capital Lancaster or La?icaster, the castle,
on the river Lone or Lune. The new conquerors divided
it into six hundreds, altered since in names, but not in
numbers. That which I enter is Derby, which takes its
title from a small village, once a regal manor, and before the
arrival of the Normans held (with Leyland) by Edward the
Confessor. This hundred comprises the track between the
Ribble and the Mersey, and was granted by the Conqueror
to Roger of Poictiers, who was styled Lord of the Honour
of Lancaster. This nobleman was son of Roger of Mont-
gomery, and received the addition to his name on account
of having a wife out of Poictiers : his reign was short,
being deprived on account of his disloyalty.

Thanes. The Tains, Thanes, or gentry, who held of the king dur-

ing the Saxon period, in this track, held their teinland, by
payment of two orte for every plough-land; by assisting in
building the houses of the king, in the same manner as if
they had been villeyns \ in making the fisheries, and the
* inclosures and toils within the woods : if they failed, they
forfeited two shillings, and after that were obliged to
attend till the work, whatsoever it was, was completed.
They were also to send, for one day in the month of Au-
gust, men to cut the royal corn, or forfeit the like sum.
3 The


The royal manor was at that period at Derby, and con-
tained six berewicks or townships; had fifteen caracae*, or
plough-lands, a forest two leagues long and one broad, and
an aerie of hawks.

If any of these Thanes committed a theft, or foresteM,
i. e. obstruct any one on the way, probably for the purpose
of forestalling, or committed heinfar, i. e. flies his country
on the commission of any crime, or broke the peace of the
king, he forfeited forty shillings.

If any of them either drew blood from, or ravished a
woman, or did not attend the Scyre-mote, or County-court,
without a reasonable excuse, they were fined in ten shil-
lings ; and if they departed out of their hundred, and did
not answer at the Court, on being summoned by the Pro-
positus^, or Hundred-greve, forfeited five shillings. This
Court appears to me to have been the Folc-mote, where all
the freemen of the kingdom were obliged to appear an-
nually, with their arms, according to their degrees, for the
inspection of their officer, who was to examine whether
they were in good order.


* Verstegan, 233. f Doomsday-book.


- . If the Hundred-greve directed any of them to do his
service, and he refused, a fine was imposed of four shil-

If any of them was desirous of quitting the royal lands,
he might, on payment of forty shillings, be at liberty to go
wheresoever he pleased. If any wished to succeed to the
lands of his father, he must pay an acknowledgment of
forty shillings; which if he refused to do, both land and
money fell to the king.

These Thanes were the gentry of the Saxon times. —
They were not created, but received rank according to in-
crease of property. At that period there were Eorls and
C earls, (Earls and Churls,) Thegn and Theode?i, Thanes and
IJnder-Thanes. " For, if a Churl thrived so as that he had
" fully five hides of his own land, a church, a kitchen, a
44 bell-house and a gate, a seat and several offices in the
I* king's hall, then was he henceforth the Thein's right
4t worthie. And if a Thein so thrive that he served the
44 king, and on his progresse ryd in his housholde ; if then,
44 he had a Thein that followed him; the which to the king's
44 five hides (ploughlands) had, and in the king's palace his

44 lord


" lord served, and thrice with his errand had gone to the
" king, he might afterwards, with his fore othe his Lord's
" part play at any great need. And if a Thein did thrive
" so that he became an Earl, then was he afterwards wor-
" thie the rights of an Earl; and if a Merchant so thrived
" that he passed thrice over the wide sea by his own crafe,
" he was thenceforth a Thein right worthy*." Let me
add, that, so late as the reign of Henry I. they were placed
in rank immediately after earls, and before the knights -j*.

By this we may see a wise policy in those early times,
by the great encouragement given to industry; that pro-
motion attended frugal ambition, and sloth was punished
with a continuance in a low and servile state.

Verstegan, p. 233, translates Theyn or Thegn, as free
servants. " Hence," says he, " cometh Thyen or Thiene,
To serve ; and that the Prince of Wales's motto, Ich dien,
I serve, is derived from the word Ik thian, d and th in
our more ancient language being indifferently used,"

The few things omitted in my former account of War- Warrington.

ringto?i, may be mentioned here. If this place had been the

head of the Saxo?i hundred, Walling t on % mentioned in the

c Doomsday-

* Lambard's Peramb. Kent, 551. f Madox's Antiq. Exch. 1. 8.


Doomsday-book, the patron saint must have been changed :
that ancient record makes it St. Elfin ; the present is St.
Helena, noted in British story. The chief manor belonged
to the king, and had dependent on it thirty-four other ma-
nors, and the same number of Drenghs, i. e. vassals who
held their manors by military services, and also, as Spelman
conjectures, might have been the king's body-guard when
called out into actual service*. This hundred was after-


wards incorporated with the present hundred of West Derby*

I say nothing of the Roman antiquity of this place ; the
proofs rest on the probability of there having been a station
at the head of Latcliford, the usual passage, at low water,
into the town, before the building of the bridge, a place
no longer fordable. It is said also, that vestiges of Roman
roads have been seen in digging near the west end of the
town : and of late the conjecture has been strengthened
by the discovery of many hundred of brass coins in a pot
at Statham near Tlielwall, many of them of Claudius ; so
that it is possible here might have been a station, and,
from the similarity of sound, that station might have been
the Veraiins of the Ravenna chorographer. I must reject
the learned Whitaker\ proof of a Roman road passing over
the river at Latckford, drawn from a rampart flung up, as


* Spelman's Glossary, 184.

• ...

• • • • . . > .

Painted Gt,a.££ at Warhingt


■ ■■;•/„■ I/.,,,,-,,,, .*„ ,.„,/ mr/i


he says, by the Romans on the Warrington side, the said
rampart having been thrown up by my honest friend, Mat-
thew Lyon, to form an elevated retreat for sheep in time of
high floods, as his worthy son, John Lyon, esq. is ready to
aver upon oath if any doubts exist. But a little north-
west of the church is a much stronger evidence — a mount
of a circular form, with a considerable area in the middle,
and a ditch round the base, which probably had on it a
castellum to protect the road.

Among Holme $ manuscripts, in the British Museum, I
discovered some drawings relative to the church of War-
rington. It represents three figures on the painted glass
of the windows, probably benefactors. The first is a Ba-
nister, with a shield in one hand, with his arms, a cross fleury
sable in field argent. The next has a sword in one hand,
a flag in the other ; which, by the arms, shew him to be
a Holland, a once potent family in this county*. Round his
head is a baronial fillet, which makes it probable that this
personage was designed for Robert Holland, who was sum-
moned to Parliament in the reign of Edward II. The
third is his unfortunate master, Thomas earl of Lancaster,
to whom he proved so treacherous : this Earl has likewise
a flag. All are armed in mail, clothed with long robes.

c 2 During


Tour Scotl. 1773, Part 1, 19.


During my stay at Orford, I made an excursion across
Warrington-bridge into Cheshire.. At the foot, in a suburb
called Latchford, is now building a good street, and church
Gropen-hall. dependent on Gropen-halL This beginning might possibly
have grown into a new town, had it not been checked by
the evil times.

I passed over Gropen-hall, and Latchford heaths, re-
cently inclosed, and now made worth 31. the Cheshire
acre. On the right is Gropen-hall church, dedicated to
St. Wilfrid, a rectory in the gift of the Rev. Edmund Taylor ',
both patron and incumbent; but the advowson is upon sale.

This manor, and several others, was held, after the Con-
quest, by Osborn Fit%-Tezzo?i, bestowed on him by Hugh
hupus. This Osborn was ancestor of the Boydels, of Dod-
dleston, whose posterity held it for some centuries. In
1312, the sixth of Edward II. the king granted to William
Boydel, free warren in his lands of Doddleston and this pa-
rish. His grand-daughters, co-heiresses, conveyed it to Owen
Voel and Sir John Daniel; but How el ap Owen released his
share to Sir John. From him it passed, in the female line,
in moieties, to several other families, which I decline men-
tioning, in pursuance of my rule to avoid a minute detail
of parochial antiquities.

2 AJittle
























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A little farther is the hamlet of Thelwall, noted in Saxon Thelwall.
days for the town built by Edward the elder, in Q20 # , and
fortified with a precinct made of stakes^, from which it
took its name; Thell signifying a stake, and wall its pre-
sent meaning. This he garrisoned, and committed to the
custody of his knights, as a security to his new conquests.

Roger of Poictiers gave the fishery, on the Lancashire*
side of the Mersey, to the Abbot of Shrewsbury ', in the reign
of Henry I. That on the Cheshire side was bestowed by
William, third baron of Halton, on the Prior of Norton. —
This place was of the fee of the Honour of Halton : the
same William gave one-third of it. to the Abbey of Salop,
with all its appurtenances.

The other two-thirds were granted in the reign of Hen-
ry III. by Edmund Lacy baron of Halton, to Galfrid de
Dutton ancestor of IVarburton of Arley, and also all the
land he had of the Abbey of Evesham in Thelwall, by the
service of yielding annually a pair of gloves, lined with the
fur of a stag, on Michaelmas-day. After passing through
various successions, it was purchased, in 1622, by Robert
Pickering counsellor at law, and now belongs to Henry
Pickering esq. one of his descendants. Near the house is

a small
* Saxon Chr. 110. f Polychron. ccxxxiii.


a small ruinous chapel, which, with many others in this
diocese, are said never to have been consecrated; were ori-
ginally only domestic, and have often fallen into disuse*.
In this township are very considerable powder-mills.

The little town of himme is a relief to the dull unvaried
flat from Warrington to this place, being seated on a pretty
inequality of sand-stone, and commanding a picturesque
view down a dell. The living is a rectory dedicated to
St. Mary, and under the patronage of Sir Peter Warburton
and Egerto?i Leigh esq. — each presents a minister, who
serve alternately, Sunday by Sunday. This division has
existed ever since the days of the Conqueror, when Gilbert
Venables, baron of Kinderton, had one half of the town,
held before by one TTfoiet ; and Osborn, son of Tezzon, the
other. They also divided the patronage of the church,
which, served by a Presbyter, existed in the time of the

From whence I descended to a flat congenial with the
former, and reached Warburton, a village and chapel. The
first, on the Conquest, divided between William Fitz-Nigel
baron of Halton, and Osborn son of Tezzon. About the
time of Richard I. Adam, younger son of Hugh Dutto7i,

* Ecton, 571.


of Dutton, became possessed of the whole; part in right of
his wife, part by the gift of John baron of Halton. This
Adam was ancestor of the Warburtons of Arley. Peter, a
descendant of his, residing here in the reign of Edward II.
assumed the name of the place, which they have retained
to this day. From hence I rode along the steep sandy
banks of the Mersey, and passed some agreeable hours with
my worthy friend John Lyon esq. at his neat house, Mill-
bank, near Hollin s-ferry , a horse passage into the county of


Near the house are two mills; one for the manufacture
of paper, the other for slitting and rolling of iron.

The Mersey is by no means a pleasing water, running
usually far beneath its banks. It takes its rise in the very
extremity of Cheshire, near the borders of Yorkshire, and is,
as the name imports, the march or boundary between the
kingdoms of Northumberland and Mercia, and divides the
counties of Lancashire and Cheshire-, notwithstanding, it
does not take the name of Mersey till it has passed Stock-
port, above which it is called the Tame.

It flows useless for navigation till it reaches the Irwal,
five miles below Manchester, when both streams receive



artificial depth by the help of nine locks between that town
. and Warrington. They were made navigable under pow-
ers of an Act of Parliament obtained in 1 720, when it was
undertaken successfully by several adventurers. The na-
vigation is never interrupted by droughts, as it can be sup-
plied with water between lock and lock, by flushing or let-
ing off back-water reserved for that purpose : floods and
frost often render it unnavigable. It carries vessels of
thirty-five to forty tons burden; and such is the increase
of manufactures at Manchester, there are more . employed
than ever, notwithstanding the completion of the Duke of
Bridgewaters Canal to that town. But the public receives
great benefit, not only by the choice of conveyance, but by
the fall of the freight from ten shillings to six shillings and
eight-pence a ton On the Mersey.

The fish of this river are salmon, smelts, a few trout, pike,
perch, bream, chub, dace, graining, gudgeons, sticklebacks,
lampries, lamperns, and eels.

After crossing the river I resumed my journey and re-
turned through Warrington: at the western end of the
town passed by Bank, the seat of Thomas Patten esq. a

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