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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, […]

Fort for the Day

Fort for the Day

  Ever since I was a child I’ve known what was on top of Warton Crag. Everyone round here knew. The four neat gothic letters on the Ordnance Survey map merely confirmed that knowledge: fort. More precisely, it was an Iron Age hill fort. Three concentric […]

ROBIN GREAVES: SWEET RATIONS

ROBIN GREAVES: SWEET RATIONS

An audio blog with Yealand Conyers resident Robin Greaves, who first came to this part of the world in 1933. She talks about how the village has changed, her experience of the war and the village mole catcher!       The sound can take […]

Beware the Poo!

Beware the Poo!

If there’s one local place name that sends a shudder down the spine it must be “Quicksand Pool”. We’ve all heard the chilling stories of deaths on the sands of Morecambe Bay — the hidden channels, the racing tide and the treacherous quicksands that trap and […]