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Ulverston

Gazetteers

1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland

"ULVERSTON, a parish in the hundred of Lonsdale North of the Sands, in the county palatine of Lancaster; an extensive parish which comprises the town and hamlets of Ulverston, which may be termed the capital of Low Furness, and contains the parish church and the district church of Holy Trinity, and the chapelries or churches of Egton-cum-Newlands, Lowick, Blewith, Torver, and Coniston; also the townships of Osmotherly, abutting on the town, Mansriggs at a short distance, and Satterthwaite a little further from it. The parish is a very large one, extending from Coniston on the N. to that of Urswick on the S., measuring in its length about 17 miles. It is bounded on the E. by the beautiful shores of Coniston lake and the river Crake flowing out of it as far as the sands at Greenodd, a small port on the estuary; westward by the parishes of Pennington and Urswick. It is said to have derived its name from Ulpha, a Saxon lord, and in old records is written Olvestona. In 1127 it was conferred on the powerful abbey of Furness, in the neighbourhood, by Stephen, afterwards King of England. From the monastery it came into the possession of Gilbert, who had succeeded to the barony of Kendal. The whole parish contains a population of 11,440 souls, of which 7,392 live within the limits of the town and hamlets. It is one of the numerous polling places for the election of members of parliament in North Lancashire. Petty sessions are held here weekly every Thursday. In 1795 a canal was constructed by Rennie, in communication with the tidal waters flowing into the bay, but the railways N. and S. have rendered this in a great measure useless, more especially since the opening of Barrow as a large seaport. The parish church is dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, and a district one to the Holy Trinity. Within the last few years the parish church has been wholly rebuilt, with the exception of the old tower and a Norman arch in the south-western end, at an outlay of many thousand pounds. The windows on the S. side, as well as those on the eastern and western ends, have been filled with stained glass, executed by various artists. The windows in the E. and W. ends are memorials of Mr. Benson Harrison, and the wife and daughter of Mr. Denny. The clerestory windows, 14 in number, are the gift of the Rev. Canon Gwillyn. Those on the S. side are in memory of the late Mr. Roper, the late Rev. W. H. Fell, Colonel and Mrs. Wage, Messrs. John and James Jackson of Ulverston, and to Colonel and Mrs. Braddyll, their sons and daughters; the windows on the E. end are placed there by the tradesmen of Ulverston, to the memory of the same family; the other window in the W. is in testimony of the value in which the parishioners hold the Rev. Canon Gwillyn, who has laboured among them for more than 33 years. The whole of the windows on the N. side are the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Schneider. The church, as restored, ranks among the finest in North Lancashire. It possesses a fine organ, having fifty stops and three rows of keys, contributed in a great measure by the present honorary organist, Mr. Daniel. The district church of Holy Trinity was erected about forty years since. Ulverston is one of the polling places for North Lancashire, and the petty sessions are held in the magistrates' office, in Union-street, on Thursdays, and other days when found requisite for the administration of justice. There are two banks, that of Messrs. Wakefield, Crewdson, Kendal, and a branch of the Lancaster Banking Company, also a well-supported savings-bank. Some years back there was an extensive trade carried on in checks and linens, gingham and calico, and fine cotton twist was manufactured and sent to the E. during the cotton famine. This latter trade was wholly suspended, it has now been renewed with every prospect of success, and will employ when in full work nearly a hundred hands. There is also a manufactory lately established at Rosshead, an old established spade manufactory, and a tannery at Bragley Brook. At Barrow are extensive iron and steel works where railway wheels and bars are made. The town is lighted with gas and supplied with water from the high grounds. The houses are principally of stone, covered with a dash of lime and small gravel, and, though not regularly arranged, are well and substantially built. There is a National school for girls and boys, with certificated master, mistress, and pupil teachers, and an infant school, with certificated mistress and four pupil teachers, and Sunday schools. There is likewise an endowed grammar school. The Wesleyans, Independents, and Roman Catholics have schools and chapels, which are well attended. A meeting-house for Quakers is situated at Swarth Moor, the residence of their founder, George Fox. The rated value of the property in the township of Ulverston is £24,424. On the E. side of the town rises the hill of Hoad, on the summit of which a tower was erected in 1850 by public subscription to perpetuate the successful career of the late Sir John Barrow, a native of Dragley Beck, a village near this town, who rose to the highest post in the admiralty by his zeal, ability, and perseverance. The Poor-law Union contains 27 parishes or places, and the house is situated in the Gill. The Duke of Buccleuch is lord of the manor. Fairs are held in Ulverston on the Tuesday before Easter Sunday for cattle and the hiring of servants, on Whit-Thursday for pedlery and hiring of servants, on the first Thursday after the 23rd October for the same purposes, on the first Thursday after 11th November for hiring servants, on the Tuesday preceding the first full week in January for horses, and fortnightly, on every alternate Monday, for fat and lean cattle and sheep. Conishead Priory, erected nearly on the site of the old monastic building by the late Colonel Braddyll, is in the immediate neighbourhood of the town, and was for a long number of years the residence of that family, but has recently passed into the bands of Henry W. Askew, Esq. It is much admired for the beauty of its situation, and has been called the Mount Edgcombe of the North."