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Natland and Oxenholme

The Story of a Westmorland Village

Winifred Inglesfield


The author Whin Inglesfield was born and brought up at Gowrey Farm, Kirkby Lonsdale. She used to spend some of her holidays as a child at Natland Abbey with her aunt and uncle. In 1945 her husband Sam became Headmaster at the village School, and in 1948 they moved with their young family into the School House on the Green. With a keen interest in archaeology, history, walking, wildlife and fauna, Whin researched, collected and collated information, listening carefully to older members of the community and noting down its rich tapestry of social history which otherwise would have been lost.

Whin goes as far back as possible through to the twenty-first century: we learn of the Iron Age Hill Fort on Helm that the Romans used later as a ‘lookout post’; the Corn Rent map of 1836, giving field numbers, names and tithes obtained; the Horse and Farrier Inn (now the Post Office); and illicit cock fighting!

We learn how people lived, their way of life, occupations – the farming community, trades and recreation; the important partt played by the School and Church; the Gypsies who came and sold their pottery; the laundry and many big Victorian houses and staff; the canal and railway (Oxenholme) that passed through; the men employed at the local gunpowder works at Sedgwick; the Treacle Mines and the lovely local song ‘Bonny Jane of Natland’!


Helm Press



Publication Date:



Paperback; 240 x 164mm




Black and white photographs throughout