Saturday, 10 October 2015

Spotlight turned on history homes

EVERY home is more than four walls and a roof – if you’re lucky it might have a fascinating tale to tell.

NEW BOOK: Kirkby Fragments, Volume 6

Two such properties are investigated in Kirkby Fragments, Volume 6, one of a new group of books from the History of Kirkby Group.

In this one Charles Rowntree turns the historical spotlight on Low Mill and Bell Hall using a wide range of archive material – including old deeds, maps and plans, photographs and census details.

The starting point for research on Low Mill was papers in the Kirkby Archives held at the stately Chatsworth House, home of the Duke of Devonshire.

It seems the Kirkby area used to have two manorial corn mills – Beckside and the one known as Grizebeck Mill which no longer exists.

Low Mill, about 100 years downstream from Beckside Mill, is first mentioned in 1770 and harnessed water power to make first cotton and then wooden bobbins for the textile industry.

Bell Hall is first mentioned in 1687 when the Kirkby Ireleth parish registers note the burial of John Barker of Belhaw.

By 1708 the property was sold for £80 to blacksmith John Browen and for much of its working life Bell Hall had tenants and a series of owners such as thePostlethwaite, Mason and Phizacklea farming families.

During much of the first half of the 20th century it was owned by Kirkby Ireleth Co-operative Society.

l The book Kirkby Fragments, Volume 6 by the History of Kirkby Group costs £4 from Moorland Stores in Kirkby.

It can also be purchased (plus £1.50 postage and packing) from Charles Rowntree, Old Mill, Beckside, Kirkby-in-Furness, Cumbria LA17 7TH.

You can call Mr Rowntree for details on this and other Kirkby publications on 01229 889373 or you can send an email to

Look out for details of two other new Kirkby books in the next few days.


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