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placename:- Old Corpse Road
site name:- Selside Pike
locality:- Mardale
parish Shap Rural parish, once in Westmorland
county:- Cumbria
corpse road; track
coordinates:- NY492122
10Km square:- NY41

1Km square NY4912

old map:- Jefferys 1770 (Wmd)

Map, The County of Westmoreland, scale about 1 inch to 1 mile, surveyed by J Ainslie and perhaps T Donald, engraved and published by Thomas Jefferys, London, 1770.
thumbnail J5NY41SE, button to large image
thumbnail J5NY51SW, button to large image
track to Swindale
county:- Westmorland
date:- 1770
period:- 18th century, late; 1770s

story 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 frightenned 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.

Old Cumbria Gazetteer - JandMN: 2013

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