The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
"THORNTON-IN-LONSDALE, a parish partly in the W. division of Staincliffe wapentake, West Riding county York, and partly in the hundred of Lonsdale South of the Sands, county Lancaster, 6 miles S.E. of Kirkby-Lonsdale, 17 N.E. of Lancaster, and 4 N. of the Bentham railway station. The parish, which is extensive, includes the townships of Thornton, Burton-in-Lonsdale, and Ireby, in the first of which is the hamlet of Westhouse. It is situated at the head of the river Greta, and contains in its upper part the high valley of Kingsdale. The soil is generally a rich loam alternated with clay, upon a subsoil of clay and gravel, and in the northern part of the parish limestone rock, which is quarried. The population of the parish, which in 1861 was 1,151, is chiefly located in the villages of Westhouse and Burton, the latter being a place of considerable manufacturing industry. There are a cotton-mill, several potteries, where both black and brown ware is made, and an extensive manufactory of stone bottles. In the township of Thornton is Thornton Scar, a precipitous rock, rising to the height of 300 feet, at the foot of which a mountain stream rushes with considerable violence, forming several cascades. At a short distance from this is Thornton Force, a cataract falling 90 feet, the greater part in one unbroken sheet of water, and at the northern extremity of Kingsdale is Yordas Cave, formed by nature in a solid rock of black marble, called Gray Garth, and resembling the interior of a cathedral. The roof of the cavern is hung with stalactites. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ripon, value £119, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. The church, dedicated to St. Oswald, is an ancient structure, partly Norman, with a tower and three bells. There is also the district church of Burton-in-Lonsdale, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value £94. The church is old. The Wesleyans have a chapel at Westhouse and Burton. There is an endowed school for boys, and a school for girls, at which a Sunday-school is also held, and at Burton is a free school, founded and endowed by Richard Thornton, Esq., in 1853, for 46 boys and the same number of girls. The Earl of Lonsdale is lord of the manor. The principal residences, in addition to the Vicarage, are Halsteads, and in Burton, Lowfields, Stone Bower, and Hill House. Faire are held at Burton-in-Lonsdale on Whit-Monday, and on the 6th November for cattle and sheep."