button to main menu  Camden's Britannia, edn 1789

button title page
button previous page button next page
button start of Westmorland
Page 153:-
  Godmond hall.
  Strickland Roger
In Strickland Roger another chapelry of Kendal remains at Godmond hall the tower in its original state. The walls are upwards of two yards thick and strongly cemented; the windows small and crossed with strong iron bars: the lowest floor is arched over; and the next above laid with massy boards or planks groined into each other to prevent assaults from above: for the predatory parties did not proceed by way of sap, but by compendious method strove to unroof the building and let themselves down by ropes and ladders [x].
At Kentmere was settled from the reign of John the antient family of Gilpin, from whom descended the pious Bernard, rector of Houghton le Spring, born here about 1517 [y]. Their antient hall still remains with a tower [z].
  Burton in Kendal
  Burton in Kendal
In cleaning a field called The Quamps in Dalton hall demesne near Burton in Kendal 1774, were discovered foundations of large stones with door-ways in them, a copper pan, some small stone mortars, and a great number of stone hand mills. Within a mile of these ruins are two old halls. A quarter of a mile south-west of this spot was lately a small mound and trench; and at about an equal distance to the north were dug up at the same time foundations of a like inclosure near 40 yards square [a].
At Levens, the seat of the Redmans from John till Henry VII. is a fair stone bridge over the Kent, on the south side of which river are ruins of an antient building now called Kirkstead, said to have been a temple of Diana, and near it are ruins of another building, which seems to have belonged to the same place. In the park well stocked with fallow deer and almost equally divided by the river is a spring called the Dropping well, that petrifies moss, wood, leaves, &c [b].
In the river Betha is one of the two catadupae or waterfalls mentioned by Mr. Camden. The rock which crosses the bed of the river 66 feet in breadth is 16 feet perpendicular, down which the water falls with a mighty noise. But in the summer season the whole of the river is employed in carrying two corn mills [c].
  weather signs
The phaenomenon of Levens and Betham fall is thus to be explained. When that which is to the north sounds more loud and clear, the inhabitants look for sour weather; when that to the south, for rain; the south-west winds blowing from the sea bring the vapors with them, and from the north-east have the contrary effect [d].
  Witherslack. Betham. Milthorp.

West from hence lies Witherslack, in which manor a fair parochial chapel was built and endowed by Dr. John Barwick dean of Durham and St. Paul's 1664, a native of the place, and consecrated 1671 by bishop Wilkins, and dedicated to St. Paul [e]. Betham, the parish church, is at a great distance. "By Bitham is a greate park, and a goodly place in it of the earle of Darby. By Bytham runneth Byth water, a pretty river [f]." Below at the mouth of the river Betham is Milthorp, the only seaport in the county, to which the commodities imported are brought from Grange in Lancashire [4]. Here are two paper mills, as there was one near a century ago [g].
Bytham hall, now in ruins, is thus described by the vicar of the place 1762. "By an easy ascent from the river we come to a gateway, being the grand entrance into the castle yard. Entering there we find ourselves in a fine open area, 70 yards long, by 44 in breadth. On the right appear to have been some buildings as low as the walls of the yard to the length of 98 feet, like barracks for soldiers. On the left we have a charming view of the castle standing at the south end of the area. The walls of the yard are three feet and an half thick, with loopholes for the archers at proper distances, 12 feet high below the parapet. The loopholes are about three feet from the ground, two feet and an half in height and breadth sloping outwards to two inches and an half. The front of the house is in length 87 feet, of which the east wing is 22, and the west 26; the remaining space of 39 feet makes the hall, which is in breadth 25 feet. The windows in the hall are high up in the wall, and small in proportion to the room, with much Gothic work about them. Indeed in all the old houses in the country the windows, for the sake of defence, have been small, and strongly secured with cross bars of iron. The doors of the rooms are all little, and one above another through each story. Up one pair of stairs there hath been a chapel with a back staircase to it, whereby the tenants and neighbours might come to the chapel without disturbing the family. Southward from the castle there is a fine descent, at the foot of which is a good spring that supplies two large ponds with water. Behind the house was the park, and in one of the walks there are the remains of a lodge, and near it a spring of good water, which Camden says had a petrifying quality, but there is little or no appearance of such quality at present [h]."
  Helslack. Arnside
Within this manor also is Helslack tower, now in ruins. Helslack mosses are remarkable for the ant or pismire. About the middle of August, when they take wing, 1000 sea maws may be seen here catching these insects. The neighbours call them the pismire fleet. In these mosses are found, as in many others, large trees lying in all directions at five feet depth. In this division likewise is Arnside tower, the walls thereof not yet much decayed. These towers seem to have been erected to guard the bay; as there are on the opposite side the vestiges of Broughton tower and Bazin tower, so there is Castle head upon the island in Lindal Pow, and higher up the moses of Methop, Ulva, and Foulsham were inaccessible. In the centre of the bay is Peel castle.
In Haverbrack park is a small hill, on the top of which was formerly a circular castle, whence it is still called Castle hill, and the side thereof Castle bank [i].
  Windermere water.
  Windermere lake
The large lake called Windermere water is in Applethwaite division. The islands within it are all in Windermere parish. The rector hath for time immemorial had a pleasure boat upon it; and he hath a prescription of so much a boat, in lieu of all the tithe fish that are caught in the lake.
This lake is from one to two miles broad, and extends with crooked banks for the space of about thirteen miles, but in a straight line drawn from one end to the other, perhaps not above eight or nine miles, being in some places of a wonderful
[no footnotes found on my copy of the text]

gazetteer links
button -- "Arnside Tower" -- Arnside Tower
button -- "Bitham Hall" -- Beetham Hall (?)
button -- "Betham Fall" -- Bela Falls
button -- "Byth Water" -- Bela, River
button -- "Dalton Hall" -- Dalton Hall
button -- "Dropping Well" -- Dropping Well
button -- "Godmond Hall" -- Godmond Hall
button -- "Haverbrack" -- Haverbrack
button -- "Helslack Mosses" -- Hazelslack Moss
button -- "Helslack Tower" -- Hazelslack Tower
button -- "Kentmere Hall" -- Kentmere Hall
button -- "Kirkstead" -- Kirkstead
button -- Levens Bridge
button -- "Levens Fall" -- Levens Force
button -- "Levens" -- Levens Hall
button -- "Milthorp" -- Milnthorpe
button -- "Cartmel Bay" -- Morecambe Bay
button -- "St Paul's Church" -- St Paul's Church
button -- "Windermere Water" -- Windermere lake
button next page

button to main menu Lakes Guides menu.