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Bums on Pews in 17th C Warton

Bums on Pews in 17th C Warton

Worries about church attendance are not new. In the Lancashire village of Warton more than 300 years ago the new vicar quickly learned that many parishioners had better things to do on Sunday than attend St Oswald’s.  Others showed a level of disrespect for church […]

Music While You Work – 18th Century Style

Music While You Work – 18th Century Style

Eighteenth century North Lancashire farmers clearly knew a thing or two about productivity. Schoolmaster John Lucas explains in this extract from his ‘History of Warton Parish’  how they invested in a mobile ‘Music while you Work’ system to get the most from workers at harvest time. […]

John Lucas and Nature

John Lucas and Nature

Warton’s 18th century parish historian John Lucas was – on the whole – more interested in history than in natural history.  It would certainly be a stretch to suggest that he was an early naturalist in the mould of Selborne’s Gilbert White. But in his History […]

Plum Famous

Plum Famous

Yealand Storrs, writes the eighteenth century historian John Lucas, is famous for its “excellent plumbs”. It seems like a faint claim to fame. Storrs is the smallest of the three Yealands —  a Yealand reprise in the south-to-north sequence of settlements: Yealand Conyers, Yealand Redmayne […]

A Foundling Archbishop?

A Foundling Archbishop?

Matthew Hutton who became Archbishop of York under Queen Elizabeth is probably the most significant national figure to emerge from the small North Lancashire village of Priest Hutton (pop. 185). But confusion still surrounds the details of his birth, as I discovered when I gave […]

Shipbuilding Near Warton

Shipbuilding Near Warton

          “I being at this time much out of business, I was persuaded by some neighbours to stand a sixth part share in a new ship of about 80 tons now building near Warton.” (1) These words come from the memoirs of […]

Sir Marmaduke de Thweng: An Apology

Sir Marmaduke de Thweng: An Apology

In my introduction to the new edition of John Lucas’s ‘History of Warton Parish’ I suggested  that some readers might be put off the book by the author’s obsession with the family trees of long-dead aristocrats. Such roll-calls – I wrote, rather flippantly  –  were […]

Which side of the River?

Which side of the River?

These days, every time I see an old map of Warton and Carnforth my eye is drawn ineluctably towards the bridge over the River Keer and the nearby mill. This is the neighbourhood where John Lucas was born in 1684. “About a Hundred Yards West from […]

V is for Viking

V is for Viking

Like thousands of others I hugely enjoyed the spectacle of Vikings crossing swords, spears and axes with Saxons in the energetic and well-performed battle reenactments at Heysham’s Viking Festival in July. I was also impressed by the cultural reconstructions in the so-called Viking Village — where […]

Changing Flora on the Moss

Changing Flora on the Moss

  Tormentil growing at Myers Allotments, above Leighton Moss. Back in the eighteenth century Leighton Moss — the North Lancashire wetland now owned by the RSPB — was known as Warton Moss. From the description given by John Lucas,  the local historian of the day, […]