Lowther (St. Michael)

LOWTHER (St. Michael), a parish, in West ward and union, county of Westmorland, 4¾ miles (S.) from Penrith; containing, with the townships of Hackthorpe, Melkinthorpe, and Whale, 470 inhabitants, of whom 216 are in the township of Lowther. The parish is bounded on the west by the river Lowther, and comprises 3515 acres. It formerly contained a village of the same name, which was demolished in 1682, by Sir John Lowther, who soon afterwards built another, called New-town, where carpet and linen manufactories were established, but without success. The Lancaster and Carlisle railway runs through the parish; and in the immediate vicinity is the Lowther viaduct, 100 feet from the rocky bed of the Lowther river. Here a fine view opens, embracing Ullswater Lake, and the mountains of Helvellyn, Seat Sandal, Saddleback, and Skiddaw, on the left; and on the right, Cross Fell and the Yorkshire and Durham range. The viaduct consists of seven semicircular arches of 60 feet span, the entire length being 500 feet. Lowther Castle, the residence of the family of that name, stands majestically in a park of 600 acres, and combines the grand effect of a fortification with the splendour of a palace; the fabric is modern, having been commenced in 1802, upon the site of the ancient Hall, which was nearly destroyed by fire in 1720. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £25. 7. 3½., and in the gift of the Earl of Lonsdale: the tithes have been commuted for £95, and the glebe contains 260 acres. The church was almost wholly rebuilt in 1686, and the tower underwent considerable repairs and alterations in 1824. Richard Lowther, in 1638, gave £100 in support of a school; and subsequently, Mr. Allgood left a rent-charge of £10, for a similar purpose. Two schools for girls have together an endowment of 20 guineas a year.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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