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Church Street Milnthorpe. Church Street led to St Peter's Church in Heversham, Milnthorpe's main place of worship before St Thomas' Church was built in 1837. The road was constructed by John Macadam as part of the Kendal to Lancaster Turnpike in 1819 and the terraced houses were built in 1820's by the Kendal Union Building Society to provide '40 shillings freehold' properties which gave male householders the right to vote. They were called Blue Row after the local colour for the Whig Party which sponsored the Society. The bank building was the King's Arms Inn from 1820-1881.

Church Street, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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Main Street Milnthorpe. Main Street connected the port of Milnthorpe on the Kent estuary, a mile to the west,with the ancient main road which ran through Crooklands three miles to the east. Until 1924 the street's buildings extended as far as the traffic island, Flowerden House, now on the corner, was designed by Eli Cox and built, in 1880, for Mrs Agnes Bindloss whose husband William was five times Mayor of Kendal. A date stone in the backyard inscribed 'E+Kitchen 1807' refers to Mrs Bindloss' grandfather who erected an earlier property on the site. Following the death of the last private resident Mrs Ethel McLeod in 1955, Flowerden became the venue for the Bela and Heversham Freemasons' Lodges.

1 Main Street, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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Pre-historic Milnthorpe. In 2005 the cremated remains of four Bronze Age burials were unearthed here during the construction of a new entrance to Dallam School. Also found were two burial urns dating from c1000 BC and a pottery shard from the New Stone Age period of c2700 BC. Their discovery 'doubled the history of Milnthorpe' as the earliest artefacts previously found in the area dated from the Iron Age c500 BC. Other archaeological evidence suggested that the burial ground was used for many centuries and had been adjacent to a small tarn. In the eighteenth century two fields on the site were called Harper Barn and William Close.

Ackenthwaite Road, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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The Cross Keys Milnthorpe. Dating from the sixteenth century, the inn was rebuilt following a fire in 1821. As 'the largest hostelry' between Kendal and Lancaster it served 20 Stage Coaches a day and also the 'carriage trade' of the nobility and gentry. Royal visitors included the King of Saxony, the Csarevitch of Russia and, on 24th July 1840, Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV. Though the coaching trade was ruined by the coming of the railway in 1846, the Cross Keys remained a centre of social life, having a ballroom to accommodate 70 dancers.

Park Road, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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Milnthorpe Methodist Church. Nonconformists have worshipped in Milnthorpe since the seventeenth century. Around 1809, Stephen Brunskill, a Wesleyan Methodist local preacher, held services in his home. When he left the village, house meetings continued elsewhere until the early 1850s. For a while the Primitive Methodists held services. About 1870 the Wesleyans, who had recommenced services in what became Rigney Bank House, began using the Independent Chapel, Haverflatts Lane, now 'The Pillars'. The present building was opened on 27th September 1904. Built in the former garden of the White Lion Inn at a cost of £1075, it was designed in the 'Queen Anne' style by JF Curwen. Its eight foundation stones were laid on 3rd September 1903.

Beetham Road, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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Milnthorpe Parish Church. St Thomas Church was built in 1837 as a Chapel of Ease to St Peter's Heversham to which Church Street leads. It was designed by George Webster to hold '600 hearers' and named as a tribute to Mrs Thomasin Richardson who gave £1000 towards the building costs of £2,200. The first Vicar Nicholas Padwick stopped the Sunday Hiring of farm labourers as their drunken revelry on The Green disturbed the congregation. The Chancel and north porch were added in 1883 and the Church Centre with an upper hall replaced the gallery area in 1982. Milnthorpe became a separate ecclesiastical Parish in 1924 but was reunited with Heversham in 1993.

The Square, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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THE OLD BRIDGE. This bridge over the River Bela was built in 1763 at a cost of £90. The contractors were Robert Robinson, a free mason, and Robert Bindloss, a waller. It replaced a bridge 20 yards upstream near the steps built in 1542 from a bequest of Edmund Pearson, a tanner, for 'the supportation and making of a bridge at the end of Milnthorpe'. Until 1813 the road to Arnside crossed the bridge and took the line of the public footpath across the Park to Dallam Tower and then over the hill to Sandside. Horse troughs were formerly on the west side of the bridge.

Park Road, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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THE CROSS ROADS MILNTHORPE. The Cross Roads were created in 1922-1924 when the east side of Church Street and the west end of Main Street were cleared away to straighten the A6 road. The seventeenth century Royal Oak Inn on the corner of Main Street and Beetham Road was also demolished along with a shelter known as 'the penters' (penthouse), formerly a popular place for Milnthorpe's 'standers' and for labourers seeking employment during the Spring ad Autumn Hiring Fairs. The Bull's Head Inn was built on the site of the Royal Oak's garden. The traffic lights, the first in the old county of Westmorland, were installed in 1937.

1 Main Street, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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THE FOUNTAIN. The Fountain is a natural spring seen below the grating. It supplied Milnthorpe's water until 1906 when piped water was laid on. To draw the water a 'pump-stick' had to be thrust up the fountain head to dam a flow strong enough to fill a bucket. The protecting stones were placed here in 1880 after Miss Rawlinson fell in the fountain when returning from Evensong. In 1941 the fountain was concreted over after a circus elephant slipped and hurt herself. The Fountain was restored in 2000 as part of the Millennium Improvement scheme for The Square.

The Square, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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GRISLEYMIRES LANE (also Grisley Myres). The name is derived from an Old English word 'gris' for swine and 'mire' meaning muddy place. Until c1920 piggeries belonging to the Royal Oak Inn were situated near here and until c1960 there was a pond and stream, now culverted, close to the present entrance to Park House Coachworks. The lane which now leads just to Park Road originally had a western extension providing access to common pasture on Milnthorpe Marsh at Fishcarling Head. Close to Dallam Chase was a pinfold for stray stock which was provided with its own water pump. Later the site became wasteland known as 'Grisley Tip'.

Church Street, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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Harmony Hall. Harmony Hall was built over a 30 year period starting in c1790 by Joseph Fayrer a Milnthorpe sea captain and slave trader. The name may have come from Harmony Hall in Jamaica which was linked with the slave trade from the north-west ports. In the 1840s the Hall and a demolished adjacent house became a girls' school run by Eleanor Blewart and her daughter Sarah Ann Mason. In the 1880s it was the residence of Dr Carden who cultivated 'oranges and other exotics' in the conservatory. For much of the twentieth century a Milnthorpe transport operator RO Hodgson lived here before it became the home of travel author Walt Unsworth and his wife Dorothy, founders of Cicerone Press.

Harmony Hill, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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Haverflatts Lane. The lane leads to Lower and High Haverflatts Lane a mile away. Its name derives from the Norse Viking word 'haver' for bread or oats and 'flatts' meaning farmland. The Coach and Horses dates from the eighteenth century when Milnthorpe had eleven inns. The shop on the corner once called Thorpe Cottage possessed a deep well until it became the premises of Rushtons' Chemist s in 1852. The site of the present chemist's shop, built in 1992, was occupied formerly by a mill and then from c1930 by the transport firm of RO Hodgson. In 1966 the bank replaced a building dated 1707 which was named Fleet House by a ninteenth century owner, Lewis Elburn, who had been born in Fleet Street, London.

1 Haverflatts Lane, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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The Market Square. In 1334 King Edward III granted a Charter to Alexander de Wyndesore permitting a weekly market on Wednesdays and a fair on St. Peter's Day 29th June. Later Friday became Market day and the Petertide Fair was replaced by a Cattle Fair held on the 12th May and a 'back end fair' in the autumn. The cattle fairs ceased in 1929 but Spring and Autumn fun fairs can still be held. In 1931 the Dallam Tower and Levens Hall estates as joint Lords of the Manor granted 'controlling the conduct of the Square' to the Parish Council.

The Square, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OF CHRIST THE KING. Catholic worship revived in Milnthorpe in the 1940's with the arrival of evacuees and Italian Prisoners of War. Mass was celebrated in the Cookery Rooms, now the Library, and in Stoneleigh Surgery garage. In 1947 the Malt Kin behind Haverflatts Lane was adapted as a church serving a Parish stretching from Levens to Beetham. The present Church, designed by Weightman and Bullen of Liverpool, was built in 1970 at a cost of £45,000. Its seven-sided shape is 'derived from a pattern of movement turning in a facetted spiral to a point of stillness in the round interior'. Adam Kossowski made the ceramic plaque by the door, the Stations of the Cross and the Madonna and Child inside.

Haverflatts Lane, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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THE PLAYING FIELD. In 1900 Maurice Bromley-Wilson of Dallam Tower 'made over the Strands Meadow to the village for use as a playing field at a nominal rent'. To mark the Coronation of King George VI in 1937 Sir Maurice extended the lease for a nominal rent of £10 'stipulating only that the management should be in the hands of persons holding permanent office in the Parish'. In 1983 Brigadier Tryon-Wilson reduced the Parish Council's annual rent to £5. Traditionally the building to the west was the Customs House for the Port of Milnthorpe.

Park Road, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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THE RED BARN MILNTHORPE. Traditionally this building, dating from c1750, was a 'bonded warehouse', associated with the Port of Milnthorpe. Being situated on the route connecting the port's activities on the Kent Estuary to the old main road which ran through Crooklands, it was close to Carr's Yard, the home of a family of carriers, and to Harmony Hall built by Joseph Fayrer, a sea captain and slave trader. In 1840 the barn was occupied by George Whittaker who made a fortune importing guano from South America for use as fertilizer. At this period 'its woodwork was always painted red', hence the name.

Main Street, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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LABURNUM HOUSE. Dating from c1828 the house, possibly designed by George Webster, is said to have contained Milnthorpe's first water closet. In the 1830s the Misses Burrow ran a girls' school here. Later residents included Dr Wilson in the 1850s, Dr McLeod c1910 and, in the interwar period, the Kendal brewer A J Miles whose son Richard won the DFC in 1941. In 1954 the house attracted worldwide attention when its tenant, Dr Edward Hopkinson, claimed, after his electricity had been cut off, to have illuminated his house by generating power from an 'atomic egg'. Eventually, after a sensational trial, 'Dr Hoppy' was found 'guilty of stealing electricity from the public supply'.

Main Street, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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THE MEMORIAL HALL MILNTHORPE. The front part was built as the Market House in 1843. It had an open arched trading area on the ground floor and The Agricultural Hall for meetings upstairs. In 1880 The Milnthorpe Public Rooms Company erected a large assembly hall behind the premises at a cost of £1200, financed by the sale of £5 shares. It had a 'sprung dance floor' and also accommodated Milnthorpe Cinema from the 1920s to the 1960s. The Royal British Legion Club was based here 1975-1992. In 1945 the buildings were bought by public subscription as a village war memorial and rental income is distributed by the Memorial Hall Management Committee to village causes. Until 1924 the 'old' Bull's Head was attached to the west side of the hall. The bell on the gable end was installed in 1940 for use as an air raid warning in case the electric siren failed.

Beetham Road, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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THE INSTITUTE. Originally called the Kitching Memorial Reading Rooms, the Institute was provided at a cost of £2,000 in 1881 by Mrs Elizabeth Bindloss to commemorate her brother Dr John Kitching, a distinguished London Surgeon, who had been born in Milnthorpe. Designed by Eli Cox it was adorned with elaborate internal plasterwork, barley sugar twisted drainpipe and the busts of Shakespeare and Milton on either side of the entrance. The accommodation included a library, magistrate's court, chess and billiards rooms. In 1921 the property was purchased from the Bindloss family by a village committee for use as a 'Working Men's Institute'. When membership declined the property was converted into flats in 2007. Inset in the rear wall is Milnthorpe's oldest date-stone inscribed C R A 1691 rescued from a previous building on this site.

Beetham Road, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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LOW MILLS. In 1701 there was a spinning mill here using 'cotton wool' brought from Barbados by a Milnthorpe merchant, Joseph Grigg. Later the site was occupied by Richard Crampton's and Potter Fletcher's paper mills. The present house was erected in 1860 for the manager of Milnthorpe Gas Works and extended in 2003. The gasholder and retort, just to the east, were demolished in the 1970's and taken to the Beamish Museum in County Durham. Milnthorpe Gas Works were said to be the last in England to be stoked by hand and to measure their supply in cubic feet and not in therms. One of the last remaining gas lamps, now electrified, still stands in Mill Lane.

The Strands, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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THE CLOUGH. This is the name given to the former millpond created by damming the River Bela at this point. Close to the surviving stump of the dam a millrace ran alongside the Playing Fields to serve Low Mills. Around 1800, between the Old Bridge and the present Comb Mill, there were two forges, two paper works and spinning mills for wool, cotton, flax and hemp needed by Milnthorpe's hand loom weavers and rope makers. By 1870 all had been put out of work by competition from steam powered industry based on the Lancashirfe coalfields.

The Strands, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom

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THE COMB MILL. Also called Milnthorpe Mill or the Bela Mill, lies 100 yards upstream from here. Milnthorpe's name, dating from c900AD, derives from the old English word 'Mylen' or the later Norse 'Mylna' and refers to a water mill near this site on the swiftest flowing reaches of the River Bela. The mill was given in 1094 to St Mary's Abbey at York by Ivo de Taillebois. In 1460 William Booth, Archbishop of York, granted it to Heversham Church. Originally used for grinding corn, the mill later spun flax, hemp, wool and cotton. Here in 1866 John Dobson began the manufacture of combs from animal horns using a water wheel 14 feet in diameter which still exists.

The Strands, Milnthorpe, United Kingdom