Lowther  Westmorland


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Lowther like this:

LOWTHER, a township, a parish, and a sub-district, in West Ward district, Westmoreland. The township lies on the river Lowther, 1¼ mile SW of Clifton r. station, and 4 S of Penrith; contains the villages of Lowther and Newtown-Lowther; and gives the title of Viscount to the Earl of Lonsdale. ...

Both villages are small; and the new one was founded in 16 82, by Sir John Lowther, at the demolition of a portion of the old one.—The parish contains also the townships of Hackthorpe, Melkinthorpe, and Whale; and its Post town is Clifton, under Penrith. Acres, 3,520. Real property, £1,228. Pop., 427. Houses, 93. The manor belonged to the Machels, the Cliffords, and the Stricklands; and passed to the Lowthers, who became Earls of Lonsdale. Lowther Castle, the seat of the Earl of Lonsdale, occupies the site of an ancient manorial mansion, nearly destroyed by fire in 1726; was built in 1802-10, after designs by Smirke; is a magnificent pile, in the castellated and decorated English style; measures 420 feet along the N front, 280 feet along the S front; presents a pyramidal outline, the wings adorned with turrets, the centre rising aloft in a massive, turreted, quadrangular tower: contains a staircase 60 feet each way and 90 feet high, a hall 60 feet by 30, a saloon also 60 feet by 30, a library 45 feet by 30, and other apartments of corresponding size; is magnificently adorned and furnished with all sorts of products of art; commands very splendid and extensive views, over the Lake region, away to Seat Sandal, Helvellyn, Saddleback, and Skiddaw; and stands amid one of the most beautiful and richly embellished parks in England. Southey, after deploring the comparatively meagre style of most modern mansions, says-

With other feelings now
Lowther ! have I beheld thy stately walls,
Thy pinnacles, and broad embattled brow,
And hospitable halls.
Fair structure ! worthy the triumphant age
Of glorious England's opulence and power,
Peace be thy lasting heritage,
And happiness thy dower !

The living is a rectory in the diocese of Carlisle. Value, £283.* Patron, the Earl of Lonsdale. The church was rebuilt in 1686; was recently restored, with addition of a porch; is a cruciform structure, with a central tower, surmounted by a lantern; and contains numerous brasses, tablets, and other monuments of the Lowthers. A new mausoleum of the Lowther family is in the churchyard. An edifice in the neighbourhood was built to be a college for gentlemen's sons, and was used for a time as a carpet factory. Endowments exist to the amount of about £400 a year, chiefly for educational purposes, but including £90 for the poor.—The sub-district contains also five other parishes. Acres, 61,109. Pop., 3,860. Houses, 767.

Lowther through time

Lowther is now part of Eden district. Click here for graphs and data of how Eden has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Lowther itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Lowther, in Eden and Westmorland | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 19th September 2021

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