button to main menu  Clarke's Survey of the Lakes, 1787

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Page 16:-
The Antiquarians say that this town takes its name from the red-hill out of which it hath been built, and on which the Beacon now stands: this they found on the etymology of the name, Pen-rith, signifying Red-hill, or Red-head. Upon the whole, this seems a more probably conjecture, than that this Penrith was built out of the ruins of the Ala Petriana which Horsley and others call Old Penrith; for Ala Petriana, or Camlic Fort, is at the distance of five miles; and I cannot suppose any one would fetch stones five miles, when he has as good within half a mile.
  school, Penrith
This town has a free school, founded by Queen Elizabeth, and by her endowed with many privileges. This school she founded at the petition of the inhabitants, which was presented by Sir Thomas Smith, then Dean of Carlisle, and Secretary of State. Accordingly we find, that she did, by her letters-patent, dated 18th of July, in the sixth year of her reign, found and erect a free Grammar-School with the Forest of Inglewood, in this, being the signory and chief town in that Forest, under the style and title of, THE FREE GRAMMAR SCHOOL OF QUEEN ELIZABETH IN PENRITH. The endowments are six pounds per annum, the ancient salary of the Chantry Priest; to have one Master and one Usher; to be governed by five of the most discreet persons of the town and parish of Penrith; with power to choose both Master and Usher, and to elect new Governors upon the death of any of their members. The present Master is the Curate of Penrith.
  St Andrew, Perith
The church of Penrith is vicarial, and is worth, (as appears from the table of donations,) about L.100 per annum; it is in the gift of the Bishop of Carlisle, having been annexed to that See at its first erection by King Henry the I. It is a very handsome modern structure, having been rebuilt A.D. 1721, the tower excepted, which is of a much older and uncertain date. It consists internally of 112 pews on the ground, and 90 in the galleries, which are supported upon 20 beautiful stone pillars, well worth the notice of travellers: each pillar consists of one single stone, veined like mahogany, or stained fir; insomuch that they seem rather to have grown like wood, than to have been cut out of a solid block.
The whole inside of the church is elegantly neat, the pews being made in a variegated English oak, and the altar decorated all round with paintings, which will be a lasting testament of the abilities of Mr Reid. From the roof of the Church depend two handsome gilt chandeliers, with the following inscription upon them: "These chandeliers were purchased with the 50 guineas given by the most noble William Duke of Portland to his tenants of the honour of Penrith, who, under his Grace's encouragement, associated in defence of the Government and town of Penrith against the rebels in 1745." The rebels, after their retreat from Derby, were put to flight from Clifton and Penrith, by his Royal Highness William Duke of Cumberland, after a short skirmish near Clifton-Moor, which began about four o'clock in the afternoon of Wednesday December 18th 1745: The rebel prisoners taken by the tenants of Penrith and the neighbours were upwards of 80.
  Giants' Grave
In the church-yard is a curious monument of antiquity, generally called the Giant's-Grave: it consists of two pillars, about four yards high, and 40 inches in circumference, placed parallel to the side of the church, and distant about five yards from each other: on these is the remains of carved work, and from one to the other are two rows of large stones cut into segments of circles, likewise bearing marks of sculpture, and inclosing a small area. The origin of this, like most of our northern antiquities, is obscure, some affirming it to be the burying-place of one champion, some of another: most of them however agree, that his sirname was Caesarius, though one calls him Sir Owen, another Sir Hugh, and a third Sir Ewan.
Dr Burn tells us, upon the authority of Mr Sandford's manuscript history, that Sir Hugh Caesario had an hermitage in that neighbourhood called Sir Hugh's Parlour: of this he, Mr Sandford, was informed by a Mr Page, Schoolmaster at Penrith from the year 1581 to 1591; and this intelligence Mr Page had from a stranger, who came so early
gazetteer links
button -- "Sir Hugh's Parlour" -- Giant's Caves
button -- "Giant's Grave" -- Giant's Grave
button -- "Penrith" -- (Penrith (CL13inc)2)
button -- "Ala Petriana" -- Voreda
button -- "Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth in Penrith" -- (school, Penrith)
button -- St Andrew's Church
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