It is hoped that Westmorland village history
may be collected and published in book form in the near future, and for
this purpose the County Federation of Womans Institutes has asked all
Institutes to write their individual histories. In Storth, a small
committee was appointed to do this and the following account is the
outcome of its efforts. Much information has been obtained from the
Beetham Repository compiled by the Rev. Wm. Hutton, who was Vicar of
Beetham from 1762 to 1811, also from many residents of Storth and
district to whom thanks are due for their help in gathering material.
Storth is an old Norse name signifying a woody place.
whole surrounding district appears to have gone under the name of
Woodland at one time, but this name, in later, years, applied only to
Storth and eventually died out. Included with Storth are:
lying along the estuary to the north, and formerly of some importance
as a port.
for long known as Holslack,
lying about a mile to the south of the main part of the village and
consisting of an old ruined tower and a cluster of farm buildings.
Slack is an old word meaning a gully or ravine while hazel bushes are a
common feature of the district.
Bank, a residential district
situated between the village centre and Hazelslack and of such recent
origin as to possess little of separate historical interest.
was originally "Scar Bank", the name being taken from the
ridge lying behind it and running from north to south.
a name familiar to local
people as that of the wooded hillside which lies to the east of the
village, but belonging more properly to an ancient manor which included
most of Sandside and extended through Dallam into Beetham village. It
contained much farm land, and "haver", a Saxon word meaning oats, seems
to indicate that this was a chief crop.
All the above were part of the ancient parish of Beetham,
bounded "on the north by Heversham, south by Warton, east by Burton and
west by the sea and part of Cartmel". It had a circumference of twenty
four miles and included the surrounding villages of
Farlton, Hale, Arnside, Witherslack and Meathop. Storth
today a part of the civil parish of Beetham, though for ecclesiastical
purposes, most of it has now been placed under Arnside.
In prehistoric times, the whole area must have lain below the
and some of the limestone on which it lies is rich in fossil shells.
Ice pressure, at a later period, must be held to account for the many
ups and downs of the district and at Fishcarling Head, half a mile
north of "Summerhouse Point", may be seen the last in a line of glacial
mounds which can be traced up the valley to Kendal and thence to the
summit of Shap. Among the boulders found here, are pink granite, dark
porphyry, blue slate and grey limestone. The country around is now
largely woodland and pasture, but
more land must formerly have been cultivated, probably up to about
1900, as evidenced by the number of small farmhouses now used only as
Dallam Park was planted about 1720 when the first part of
the present house was built.The estuary was once much narrower and
deeper and the
tells us that in 1700 a stone could be thrown from Fishcarling Head to
the opposite shore. "Summerhouse Point" was once known as "Bowling
Green Point" and near this spot once stood a little house on a rock
with a good bowling green near it. Later, there was built a round stone
tower which is said to have been an early custom-house. This has been
demolished. Between St. John's Cross and Briar Cote lay a small inlet
known as "Bummesha" or "Bummesha Bay".
Little is known of the early inhabitants. After the
of the Romans in 410, Danes and Norsemen, in turn, held sway in this
part of England where the present counties of Cumberland, Westmorland
and Lancashire formed a district known as Cumbria. By the time of the
Norman Conquest, the Saxons had gained an upper hand and the Saxon word
"ham", meaning a village, is found in Heversham, Beetham and Dallham
(Dallam). They lived in small self-contained communities, raising
cattle and sheep with a few crops. Trade was largely by barter of goods
From the earliest recorded history, we learn that Tostig, Earl
Northumberland, owned land in Beetham at the time of the Conquest.
Tostig, however, was in rebellion against his brother Harold, Saxon
king of England and was defeated and killed by Harold at the battle of
Stamford Bridge in 1066. In the same year, Harold was defeated and
killed at the battle of Hastings and William the Conqueror came to the
throne. William parcelled out the country amongst his followers and
Roger of Poictou became owner of most of Westmorland and Lancashire,
taking up his residence at Lancaster Castle. Roger, however, soon fell
from favour and his lands were forfeited. A large part of Westmorland
and part of Lancashire down to the Lune passed to Ivo de Tailbois, an
Angevin, who became first Baron of Kendal. Westmorland, at this time,
was divided by the Normans into four wards, one of them being Kendal
Ward which included all this part of the country.
In 1076, Ivo of Tailbois gave the Church of Beetham and
in Haverbrack to the monks of St. Mary's Abbey, York. From
time onwards, they were held, in turn, by various Religious
Houses until the Dissolution of the Monasteries
VIII, about 1539.William of Haverbrack, to quote the "Repository",
- "granted to Conishead Priory the privilege of grinding corn
his Miln, Multure Free, with as much Sand as they pleased and a House
for erecting a Salt Work between the two Roads below the Wood."(This
must have been about Dixies). It should, perhaps, be explained that the
"Sand" would be required in the recovery of salt from sea water.
"Multure Free" means free of all charges. Under Crown ownership, the
above properties were dealt with under two headings, - the "Manor",
mainly land in Haverbrack; and the "Rectory" with an income derived
from tithes, rents and other similar rights and privileges obtained
from a much wider area covering the old parish of Beetham. The "Manor"
passed through various hands and a large part of it was eventually
purchased by Edward Wilson of Nether Levens in whose family it still
remains, the present owner being Sir Maurice Bromley Wilson of Dallam
The "Rectory" was first let by the Crown at £25 per annum in
one year leases, but in 1612, it was granted by James the First to Sir
Francis Duckett, the said £25 per annum to be paid to the Crown for
ever. Later members of the Duckett family seem to have met with
financial difficulties and sold many of the tithes to farmers and other
land owners of the district. Amongst these were the "tythes of Corn,
Grain and Sheaves, Hemp and Line and Hay yearly arising etc. within the
Fields, territories and precincts of Helslack and Storth". These were
sold in 1646 by Anthony Duckett, a son of Sir Francis, to John
Thomlinson of Helslack for £140 and a yearly rent of 10/-. About 1750,
what was described as the "skeleton of the
once opulent Rectory of Beetham" was sold for £2,500 to Daniel Wilson
of Dallam Tower by Thomas Shepherd who had married a great
grand-daughter of the above Sir Francis. In 1756, certain
Tythes" were purchased for £120 to augment the salary of the Beetham
vicar, the amount being raised by public subscription. The
"Repository" gives the names of fourteen inhabitants of Storth, Arnside
and Helslack who gave in all £2.19s. 6d towards the above. It should,
perhaps, be stated that the vicar's share of income from the "Rectory"
was originally only £13 per annum.As an indication of the value of
money at this time, the
following items are of interest:-
3d.per lb.(of 18
About six a penny.
Beef and mutton
2.5d per lb
1d to 2d per lb.
A labourer earned 4d. a day with food or 10d. a day without. A
carpenter earned 6d. a day with food or 1/- without.As is usual in a
limestone area, streams are almost non-
and early inhabitants relied for their water supplies upon a number of
springs and wells. Among the latter, were School Tarn Well near the
site of the present school; a well in Through's Lane described as
having many steps down to it and being sixteen feet deep from the road.
Kell Well in the garden of "Kellet Cottage" used to give great
quantities of water and the Rev. Wm. Hutton relates that he once saw it
run up to "Bowling Green Point" and there join the River Bela: the name
may be taken from the Saxon word "kell" or "keld" meaning a well, or it
may be just an abbreviation of St. Michael's. Many of these
dried up in the summer, but there was a never failing source of supply
in a well at the foot of Guard Hill at the spot where it joins the main
Up to about two hundred years ago, pack horses were used for
transport. There were no roads such as exist today, but
rough tracks and pathways, many of which survive in the footpaths of
today. From Storth, people went by Throughs Lane over the stile on the
right of the Beetham Road across the Fairy Steps and so to Beetham
where there was a shop. There was an iron ring in the rock face near
the Steps and to this was attached a rope by means of which sacks of
flour and other parcels were lowered on the return journey. The old
"church path" from Arnside to Beetham passed close to Hazelslack Tower
and from there to Underlade Wood and on by Fairy Steps and Windy Scar.
The timber for the building of Beetham Church is said to have been
taken from Underlade.
Many changes were brought about by the building of the Arnside
railway viaduct about 1857. The railway company undertook to
maintain a swing bridge over the Kent Channel but in consideration of
not having to fulfil this obligation, it agreed to make and maintain a
road from Arnside to the Dixies. The first part of this road was
constructed in 1859 from Arnside to St. John's Cross. The second part
from Sandy Bank (Storth Road End) to the Dixies followed in 1867. The
remaining part was not built until 1880 and agreement had to be reached
with Mr. Holden of Arnbarrow, around whose land it lay. The Arnside to
Hincaster branch railway line with its station at Sandside was also
built about 1867, road and rail thus cutting off what had been part of
the estuary. Owing to the development of the bus service, this branch
line ceased to carry passengers in May 1942, but still has a
considerable goods traffic.
The earlier road from Arnside followed the sands and went by
Green Lane up to Kellet Close Hill from where it passed through Crow
Wood and between Dallam Tower and the kennels to join an old turnpike
road which followed the course of the river on its south side and reach
Milnthorpe by the old bridge at the entrance to the village. This
bridge is almost the only surviving remnant of the old road and still
serves as a way into Dallam Park.
The principal roads leading into and out of Storth have nearly
been constructed within the last hundred years. The one
is the road passing from north to south through the centre of the
village and on past Hazelslack Tower, a road which was much used at one
time for the carting of iron ore from the pier at Sandy Bank to the
Leighton Furnace. Along this road, must have passed in 1745 a
detachment of the Young Pretender's army which was bound for London but
destined to reach only as far as Derby, from where it returned to
Scotland in some disorder. They seized a number of horses belonging to
Leighton Furnace and, to their credit it must be said, paid a sum of
money by way of compensation at a later date.
Some of the roads were quaintly named, the present Shaw Lane
known as "Auld Cockle Loan" and the road from the "Old House" past
Thorny Hill was "Jan's Loan". There were several thatched
and one of these, "Hazel Bank", has been re-roofed and still stands.
Many of the old houses bear the names of former residents, such as
"Bouskell Cottage", "Crozier Cottage", and "Dixies". The village pound
is said to be behind the cottages which lie alongthe main road near the
centre of the village and opposite to the garden of the "Old House". Up
to a hundred years ago, the centre of the village was a group of farm
buildings with a very few old cottages. The head of Green Lane near
where "Green Bank" now stands, was known as "Hatler's Close" and was
the site of a farmhouse.
On land to the right of the Post Office, now partly occupied
houses, was a yard with peat store, barn and stables. Opposite to the
Post Office was another large barn now converted to a house. It seems
likely that the road here ran through what must have been a farmyard. A
considerable piece of land enclosed by the angle formed by Storth Road
and Green Lane was known as "Storth Meadow" and the building
is of recent origin.
As to the population of those days, the Rev. Wm. Walker makes
following interesting comment on that part of his parish:- "In the year
1750 A.D. it contained 164 Houses, 766 Souls and buries its inhabitants
in about fifty years. On this Account I make the general Reflection:-
Our Parish is far more opulent than formerly, the houses neater and
better supported and maintained but 100 Years ago the Parish was far
more populous. In times of Vassalage, there were more
and Beggars". Included in the above figures were Sandside,
and Hazelslack with 36 houses and 156 inhabitants.
It has been found difficult to account for St. John's Cross.
parties, on their way to Beetham may well have forded the estuary here,
at some far distant time, and would probably halt at St. John's Cross
for rest and refreshment. It is said that they used to kneel
to give thanks for safe arrival after what must have been, at times, a
difficult and dangerous crossing. It seems likely that a cross stood
here at one time and also
had some connection with the old Saxon chapel of St. John's at Beetham.
This chapel stood near the River Bela, a few hundred yards south-east
of where St. Michael's now stands. That it had a burial ground is
evident from the great quantity of bones dug up on the site many years
ago. There was another St. John's Cross which stood between the chapel
and the river. Little more is known of this old chapel beyond the fact
that it fell to ruin about nine hundred years ago. It is known that the
dead were, for many years, brought over
Witherslack to Beetham for burial at St. Michael's, but in this case,
the crossing would probably be made by ford or boat from Foulshaw to
the Dixies at Sandside. Such interments went on until about 1669 when
Witherslack obtained its own church burial ground, thus bringing to an
end the need for any crossing of the river.
Arnside and Hazelslack Towers, also a former Dallam Tower were
described as "military holds". Traditionally, they are said to have
been built between 1370 and 1500 by Lucy, Margaret, and Katherine,
sisters of Thomas de Throeng, a wealthy family who shared amongst them
a fourth part of the Barony of Kendal, Thomas being also at one time
"Parson of Beetham". Some modern antiquarians class them with fifteenth
and sixteenth century towers, while others believe them to belong to a
much earlier time. All that is definitely known about Hazelslack is
that it was never completed, and was in ruins by 1811. Dallam is said
to have been ruiness in the reign of Henry VIII, that is before 1541,
and a manor house was built on its site in front of where the present
house stands and looking down the Bela towards Whitbarrow Scar.
These towers were no doubt intended as a protection against
incursions of the Scots and would afford a temporary shelter at such
times for the people with their cattle who lived around them.
Storth Sea Bank was built about 1776 along the lower part of
estuary in order to preserve the mosses from the sea and protected a
considerable area of land out towards Silverdale. Its first cost of
£120 which was paid, in proportion to their holdings, by the owners of
"march, moss and turbary grounds within Storth, Arnside and Helslack".
Owing to a fall in the level of the estuary, it no longer serves any
purpose, but a part of it may still be seen on the left of the bus
route from Carr Bank to Arnside.
In 1500, a sum of money was raised for the founding of a
at Beetham but must have proved inadequate. A
list dated 25 April 1620 gives the names of
inhabitants of Storth and Helslack who contributed the sum of £1. 6s.
3d towards a total of £32. 19s. 1d for the "Building of a school and
the use of the master". The school was eventually built,
some further donations had been acquired, in the year 1663, and must
have served a wide area.
Certain "Tythes of Wool and Lamb", including those
Sandside, Storth and Helslack went to its upkeep. In 1735 Richard Fell
of Storth left £20 to the school. The name survives in "Dick
Cottage" at the foot of Guard Hill Road. It is said that this
cottage was occupied by a railway guard who worked on the
Ulverston-Carnforth railway when it first opened, and not liking the
name "Dick Fell", changed it to "Guard Hill" and thus, unintentionally,
gave a name to the road.
The school at Beetham was rebuilt in 1841. Storth itself, in
seventeenth century, was no more than a small fishing village with a
few farms lying around it. The "Repository" gives a fairly
general picture of life in this and the following century. Occupations
were fishing and the gathering of cockles and mussels. Salmon was noted
for its quality. We are told "there are shrimps in the sands
they would get proper nets to take them", also that "herrings sometimes
visit this coast". Oats were extensively grown, while hemp and flax
were raised for cloth, twine and rope making.
Potatoes and other root crops were unknown and hay had to be
carefully saved to feed the cattle during the winter, though it is
worth noting, in a district where there is so much holly, that the less
prickly leaves from the upper part of this tree proved quite a useful
source of food for cattle. Most of them, however, had to be slaughtered
in the autumn and some of the beef was salted down for use in the
winter. Sheep were all important and the spinning and
weaving of wool
were carried out by the woman who provided all the clothing. Clogs were
the universal footwear. Fuel was peat and wood. Main foods were
haverbread and poddish (i.e. oatcakes or oatbread and a sort of
porridge), whilst home brewed ale was drunk at all meals. Other
occupations were quarrying and wood and peat cutting. Much of
wood was used for charcoal burning and many of the woods around were
bought by the owners of the Leighton Furnace which lies a little to the
south of Hazelslack. The furnace site does not show evidence
very ancient origin, but it is thought that there may have been a
primitive "bloomery" or charcoal furnace on this spot for some
To quote again from the "Repository" - "Near St.
at the side of the sand, there was an attempt made some years ago to
get copper. It was renewed lately and what they did find was very good
but it lies in small veins and the shafts go below the level of the
tides, so that the expense was great and the scheme frustrated". This
place appears to have been below where "Waterdale" now stands in the
region of "Bummesha Bay". The time would probably be between
From the coming of the Normans, ownership of land and property
in comparatively few hands, including the Crown and various Religious
Houses. Wars and political events resulted in it changing hands very
frequently, but in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, there evolved
a new type of landowner in the yeoman or statesman who became
enfranchised by the purchase of the rights of ownership, including
titles, etc. The death roll from the bubonic plague (the
Death) had caused a great shortage of labour and many owners found
themselves obliged to sell their land, having no labour to work it.
These yeomen played an increasingly important part in the
of the country, particularly in the north. Much land, however, was
still owned by the lord of the manor and continues to be up to the
Among popular pastimes of these days were cockfighting and
wrestling. The site of the old cockpit is believed to be in a
field by "Kellet Cottage". This
was formerly uncultivated and part of the fell. A
type of football was also played and card games were enjoyed in the
There was much intermarriage and little communication with the
of the country, hence the dialect retains a greater number of Saxon
words. Though it now appears to be little spoken, a goodly number of
dialect words survive in the familiar speech of today. Many old family
names still exist, amongst them being:- Burrow, Fell, Hudson, Newsham,
Nicholson, Pearson, Wilson, and Woof.
We find in the "Repository" that "Helslack gave to the writer
this book a good wife, Mary the daughter of Mr. John Hutton.
took her from him in 1768. She and her only Son died Martyrs of
Consumption". Mary died at the age of twenty-nine. Her memorial may be
seen in Beetham church.
The estuary has been a source of interest from the earliest
and one quaintly worded description of long ago, reads:- "Beetham Sands
are well adapted for bathing and though there is only water sufficient
for this healthy recreation during three or four of the highest tides
of each fortnight, many visitors come hither in summer, the air being
remarkably salubrious and the scenery in the neighbourhood beautifully
diversified. The sands are about one mile in length, and are
sometimes covered with carriages and pedestrians, though at regular
intervals, old Neptune assumes his sway and vessels of varied burthen
ride on the flowing tide!".
There was a road over the sands at low tide from Foulshaw to
Dixies Inn which was situated at the end of the road from Milnthorpe
and was owned by the Misses Wilson of Dallam Tower. Horses and carts
crossed regularly and were sometimes caught by the tide with loss of
life. An old saying runs......... "Kentand Keer have parted many a man
and his mere". A ferry also ran at this point, probably for some
hundreds of years and wedding and funeral parties from Witherslack came
by this route on their way to Beetham. A ferry-man was employed by the
Wilsons of Dallam Tower and the charge for crossing, when last in
regular use, was 3d at low tide and 6d at full tide. In September 1905,
a disaster occurred here when the boat carrying ten passengers was
swamped, resulting in the loss of six lives. It was heavily loaded and
the sea was rough at the time. The victims were members of a
party of holiday makers who had been staying at Low Foulshaw and were
returning to Oldham.
There was also a ford at St. John's Cross connecting with
and Ulpha. Presumably, this would be made unusable by the erection of
the Arnside Viaduct in 1857. There was an alternative right
way provided for pedestrians over the viaduct but this right was
abolished many years ago owing to the danger from increased rail
traffic Sandside, sometimes known as the port of Milnthorpe, was the
only seaport that Westmorland ever had. It existed as early as the
reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, and there are records of a customs
officer, - one Barnabye Bennison, - as early as 1558.
There were two piers, one near the Dixies, the head of which
seen in the bank which projects from the roadway towards the river and
is often used for the parking of cars, whilst the head of the other
pier can be seen in the narrow roadway projecting from the front of the
little shop at Sandy Bank, Storth Road End. An old building which lies
about half way between the piers and now on the quarry road was the
custom and warehouse and is now all that remains of the port. In the
eighteenth century, coal was brought here by sea
Whitehaven, largely for the use of factories in Kendal.
The first half of the nineteenth century was a busy time and
with Liverpool and elsewhere was so brisk, that Walter Berry, the
carrier of Milnthorpe kept about twenty-five horses to cope with the
delivery of goods. Flour was brought from Liverpool and other
Lancashire ports. The outgoing vessels carried agricultural
produce, hempen, cloth, ropes, etc., and in the early days, before the
salt works of Cheshire absorbed the industry, they also took salt from
the "salt steads" at the south end of the estuary, one of which was
near Guard Hill. At Plantation Cottages were a small cottage
barn known as"Powder House" used for storage in connection with the
gunpowder works at Sedgewick and Gatebeck. The vessels brought in the
saltpetre for its manufacture and took out the finished powder. Iron
ore was also brought in considerable quantities from Lindal to be
smelted at Leighton Furnace.
Some of the vessels were of fully a hundred tons burthen and
the names long remembered were "Tickler", "Hope", "Old John",
"Elizabeth" and "Wild Duck". A description of the port in 1824 tells of
three fine vessels containing St. Helens coal coming to Milnthorpe,
Sandside near the Dixies Inn. It also states "there is great
competition in the coal trade at Milnthorpe, and coals are selling as
low as 7d per cwt". Another paragraph reads, - "From this time forward,
for many years, Milnthorpe Regattas were held". The Innkeeper at St.
John's Cross was interested in various ways in the trade of that part
of the estuary. He made a charge for anchorage and was once found to
have a store of contraband in a hiding place in the rock behind his
house. The old inn sign, of which Mr. Holden of Arnbarrow took
possession, bore the following inscription:-
Pay me down me ankerage,
Or else I'll tell you plain,
You'll never cast your anker down
In Bummeshire Bay again".
It seems likely
that this little bay would provide shelter for the smaller boats and
fishing vessels. The channel of the Bela was also used at some time by
the smaller boats which were moored between the bend in the river,
known as Dallam Wheel and the old bridge at Milnthorpe.
It is said to relate that the second half of the nineteenth
brought a decline in all this activity and the end came with the
building of the Arnside Viaduct which completely closed the estuary to
shipping of all kinds. Since then, there has been much silting up and
the sand has taken on a rather muddy appearance. A further
is that the bore or head of the tide which used to reach a height of
three and a half feet now seldom rises to eighteen inches. It may
appear that the building of the viaduct had much to do with this
decline, but the chief causes were no doubt the development of road and
rail traffic and the concentration of industry in bigger centres.
A further cause was the replacement of the small sailing
by the larger steamships which could not have used the estuary.
Storth seems to have been, at one time noted, if not notorious
its drinking houses. The Dixies Inn must have been one of the earliest
while others were "Swine Cheek" at Storth Road End where "Woodlands"
now stands, "The Dutchman" at Carr Bank, and one at St. John's Cross.
The "Ship", the only one to survive, has been much modernised in recent
years. There were many others which were known as "jerries" and
"Crozier Cottage" was one of these. Much ale was brewed locally and at
"Rose Hill" there are still indications of the production of home brew.
There would be no lack of custom in the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries with shipping at Sandside and the bringing in of navvies at a
later date for the building of the railway. Many tales have
told of the fights which took place almost nightly in some of these
There are also stories of smuggling, though no records have
traced. "Ivy Cottage" at the upper end of Guard Hill Road is often
spoken of as "Smugglers' Cottage". Poaching, especially for
salmon, has gone on continuously for some hundreds of years. In 1699, a
man was fined 2/6d for poaching a salmon valued at 2/-d.
Until the end of the first World War, the village was quite a
one. A number of small houses were then erected until the second World
War stopped further building. Between 1947 and 1950 the Rural District
Council built an estate of eighteen houses which have provided
comfortable homes for many young people and their families.
The present population is made up of approximately five
adults and one hundred children occupying about two hundred houses.
Many of the inhabitants are employed locally in quarrying, lime
burning, lorry driving, garaging and repair of motor transport, farming
and egg production. Among other businesses are builders'
merchants with yards, warehouse and saw-mill, a small printing works
and a workshop for making swills. Weather-worn limestone from the
nearby fells is sent to all parts of the country for the making of rock
This industrial development has taken place very largely
last fifty years, though quarrying and lime-burning have been carried
out for a great number of years. There are the remains of a
number of very old quarries and lime kilns scattered about the
district. Mr. Woof of "Crozier Cottage", now aged eighty-five, started
quarrying at nine years of age and earned 1/-d a day. All drilling was
then done by hand and the rate paid for it was 4d per foot. Mention
must be made of one Frederick Burrow, who was an artist in stained
glass. he lived and worked at Sandside round about 1875, and one fine
window in Chester Cathedral is entirely his work.
Storth Primary School was opened on January 25th
a Church of England School, the cost being raised by public
subscription. It began with one teacher and with thirty to
thirty-five scholars in attendance. Between 1880 and 1890, numbers rose
to over sixty and in 1890, an assistant teacher was appointed. There
are now two teachers with fourteen juniors in the school and thirteen
infants in the Village Hall. The fall in numbers is no doubt due to the
lower age limit fixed by the last Education Act, and to the increased
travelling facilities permitting a wider choice of school. Owing to the
growing difficulty of providing for its upkeep, the school was handed
over to the Education Authority in 1953. In the Mission Church of All
Saints, there is a brass plaque bearing the following inscription:-
This Building was originally an Institute provided
Storth by Harry Arnold of Arnbarrow. Ruth Ramsbottom, his daughter,
presented the building to the Parish for Church use. Her
Mary Elizabeth Gough Seagrave acted as organist herein for many years.
The Institute was a combined reading and billiard room. So far
can be ascertained, the Church began about 1920 by the holding of
services in this room and continued thus until 1929 when the Village
Hall took the place of the institute. The building was then
refurnished and has since been used exclusively as a church.
will seat about fifty.
The Methodist Church was erected and furnished by Joseph
Drewett, who was a member of the Society of Friends and a master at the
Quaker School in Kendal. Although intended as a Quaker Chapel, it was
conducted as an undenominational church and Mr. Drewett was honorary
secretary and treasurer from its commencement in 1884 until his death
in 1898. His successors continued it until 1935, when it was
purchased by the Ulverston Methodists to be handed over first to the
Lancaster Circuit for a brief period and then to the Kendal Circuit of
which it now forms a part. Its seating capacity is about sixty.
The Village Hall was opened in 1929. It has an assembly room
excellent dance floor which is also used for badminton and it will seat
about two hundred people. There is also a billiard room not at present
in use and a kitchen which is much used, being part of the feeding
centre for the Education Authority. The hall also provides
accommodation for infant children. The site was given by Mrs. M.E.G.
Seagrave of Arnbarrow and the cost of building was raised by public
For a considerable length of time, there has been a lending
available in the schoolroom on one evening each week, maintained by
voluntary effort and supplied with books from Kendal Public Library.
The War Memorial, a monument in the form of a cross in the centre of
the village, gives the names of those who lost their lives in the two
great wars. Eight men died in the 1914-1918 war and one woman and six
men in that of 1939-1945.
The piped water supply from Lupton reservoirs was brought into
village about 1907 and a balancing tank on the top of Haverbrack was
introduced in 1934, and since 1954, there has been public lighting to a
very limited extent.
Many types of people have been attracted by the surrounding
countryside with its estuary, wooded hillsides and interesting
limestone formations. A considerable number of retired people have made
their homes here and many visitors have come during the summer months
when camping and caravanning are popular.
Before the closing of the railway line to passenger traffic,
people came out here to hold their "Gala Days" and on such occasions, a
special train would bring in several hundred people who roamed the
shores and scrambled over Haverbrack.
Fishing for fluke has long been popular and on one occasion in
Autumn of 1955, as many as three hundred anglers were counted along the
shore of the estuary from the Dixies to the salt marshes opposite Carr
In 1954, the myxomatosis affecting the whole country reached
district, and, it is believed, wiped out the whole rabbit population, -
a very large one. Red squirrels are still seen from time to time, but
less frequently as the number of houses grows. For many years, there
has been a herd of fallow deer in Dallam Park. The herd at present
numbers about twenty.
Ash, yew, hazel and spindle grow well over the limestone and
blackthorn often makes a good show in the hedges and elsewhere in the
early spring. Perhaps what may be termed the outstanding feature of
springtime in Storth is the abundant show of apple and damson blossom
which rarely fails to materialise. The small wild daffodil, once
plentiful, is unfortunately growing rarer owing to over-gathering.
Amongst other rare wild plants to be found in the neighbourhood are -
basil, thyme, bird's eye primrose, casline thistle, drop wort (rice
flower), green hellebore (felons grass), gromwell and
One of the members, Mrs. M.E.
, has kindly contributed the following note
on bird life.
One of the delights of living near to an estuary is, to a bird
lover, the fact that there are birds to observe all the year round. The
Kent Estuary is singularly fortunate in autumn and winter as so many
migrants come here, e.g. greenshanks, barred and black tailed godwits,
golden plovers, mergansers and goosanders. Huge flocks of curlews, red
shanks, oyster catchers, knots, ringed plovers, dunlin and lapwings are
seen on the shore when the tide begins to ebb and are a source of
In the winter of 1947, waxwings were seen in large numbers in
neighbourhood, feeding on berries, and the following year, the great
grey shrike stayed for a week in Carr Bank. Five species of
are common in this district, the blue, great, marsh and cole are easily
attracted to a bird table and thus close observation can be made. The
spring visitors are a joy, and it is pleasant to here the dawn chorus
in April and May at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. March brings the missel thrush's
song at its best. The "storm cock of March" as it is named, loves to
get on to the top of a tree on a windy day and sing so loudly that it
can be heard for a long distance. About the 14th
one listens for the first song of the chaffinch. As spring approaches,
summer migrants arrive, cliff-chaff, willow wren, common and lesser
whitethroat, and occasionally the red-starts and treepipits song is
In recent years, the green woodpecker has established himself
neighbourhood and his laughing call is one of the pleasures of spring.
One of the largest heronries in the district is in Dallam
census is taken every year of the number of nests, and the average over
a period of years is about fifty.
During the last few years, several rare birds have been seen,
spotted redshanks, little gulls, spoonbills, avocets and black tern.
The haw finch, common and pied flycatchers have all been seen in the