Winter 2011/12 newsletter
IN THIS ISSUE:-
A Short History of “Lunefield” and the Casterton Estate
Land Allocations – the final stages
Letter from a member
INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE by Mike Kingsbury
The excellent course run by Andy Lowe attended by 26 members of the Civic Society on the “Industrial Heritage of the Lake District” has now finished. The course covered all aspects of the Lake District area including mining and quarrying; the iron industry; woodland crafts and industries; water powered industries; transport and trade; industrial buildings and settlements; and local research and studies together with field trips to see the Coniston Copper Mines area and to the Duddon Iron Furnace.
This course inspired me to find out about the Industrial Heritage of the Kirkby Lonsdale area – to see what clues can be found of what industries were once carried out and what physical evidence has survived to the present day. I was assisted in this research by several of the course participants and this culminated in an extra session when I revealed what evidence had been found so far.
This is the start of a much more detailed project and at this stage I am calling for members to:-
• carry out further research into specific industries and / or areas within the Rainbow Parish
• lend us any old photographs, paintings, drawings etc of buildings, industrial processes or people involved which we could scan or photograph
• lend us any old records or maps you may have
• let us have access to extracts of family trees if several generations were involved in a certain business or industry
• provide contact details of anyone else who may be able to help
The ultimate aim is for the Civic Society to publish the findings in a book which I have offered to coordinate. In the meantime once sufficient material is available I intend to give a series of talks to members on our local industrial heritage possibly themed as follows:-
• Mills and Water Powered Industries – there is evidence of these in every area within the Rainbow Parish
• Coal Mining and Quarrying including Lime Kilns
• Transport including Roads, Canal and Railway
There will also be a series of articles on the subject in this newsletter.
Any help you are able to provide with this project would be appreciated. I can be contacted by telephone on 015242 76434 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
As far as the next Course is concerned the Committee would welcome any ideas for a subject and also details of someone who could deliver it.
A Short History of ‘Lunefield’ and the Casterton Estate
Little now remains of “Lunefield”, once one of the grandest houses in Kirkby Lonsdale, whose grounds were roughly bounded by Mill Brow, Devil’s Bridge, Bridge Brow and Main Street (see map) and which was set on a high point of what is now Ruskin Drive with a magnificent view over the River Lune.
The old Lunefield estate - comprising more than 28 acres - was bought in 1812 By Roger Carus for £5587. The only known image of the house he built on the site is the rather poor etching shown below.
His son, Rev. Canon Carus, sold the estate to Alfred Harris of Bradford, a member of a wealthy banking family. Harris commissioned a new house from the well-known architect Alfred Waterhouse, better known for his designs for Manchester Town Hall and the Natural History Museum in London. This was a splendid house, completed in 1869, in the Gothic Revival style (see photograph), built in stone with a corner tower with pinnacles, steeply pitched roofs, ornate barge boards, dormers and crenellations and amongst other things had two stained glass windows by William Morris of Lancelot and Elaine, each with a panel 34 by 10 inches, set in quarries. One of these is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, but the Lancelot panel seems to be lost. The main carriage entrance, through a long avenue of trees, was at the junction of Main Street and what is now Lunefield Drive, and went through the upper park before crossing back Lane via a bridge. The gateposts at the entrance are replacements for the ornate originals which can now be seen at a house in Milnethorpe. A second entrance went off at the Kirkby end of Devil’s Bridge following the riverbank for a 150 metres before turning left up the hill to the house. There was also a service access from somewhere off Horsemarket, and a track giving access to the Lune near Mill Aire. The map below shows the great extent of the property. The Harris family who lived in Kirkby until 1901, took a great interest in local affairs, for example starting classes in various arts and crafts. They were responsible for much other building in the town, and the initials “AH” can be seen on the doorhead of the Old Courthouse in Horsemarket and above the premises of Carr and Bleasedale on Main Street.
In addition to Lunefield, the Harris family owned what is now Jubilee Park, a large tract of land to the west side of the Lune towards Whittington, and the “Casterton Estates” all of which are shown on the map below as shaded areas. The latter comprised the majority of the land in High Casterton and many farms and other houses including Bee Nest, Old manor, Cragg House, Town End, Rock Smithy House, and the old Toll House. Also included was a large tract of Casterton Fell, at that time said to be one of the finest grouse moors in the north of England.
The whole estate was broken up and sold in 1899 and the Harris family moved to Frimley in Surrey, where Alfred died in 1901. Lunefield was bought by Lady Henry Bentinck’s mother, the Countess of Bective, who lived there until her death in1928. It was later leased to the Cooperative Holiday Association who used it as a hostel. Lunefield was requisitioned by the army during the second world war, after which began a period of steady deterioration until its demolition in 1958. Lunesdale Drive, Lonsdale Rise, Lune Close, and Ruskin Drive were all built on the site in the 1960’and 1970’s.
The pair of gateposts into the cricket ground at Devil’s Bridge (listed, and recently restored) and a few short sections of garden wall are all that remain of what was once one of Kirkby Lonsdale’s most magnificent houses.
The number of new planning applications remains at a low level, and we considered none contentious.
Land Allocations – The final stages
Following earlier consultations South Lakeland District Council has now set a timetable for the formal and legal processes leading up to the Independent Examination of the Land Allocations document by a Planning Inspector.
The council plans to approve the final Land Allocations Document for publication at a special meeting of Full Council on 18 January 2012. And this will include SLDC’s final list of proposed land allocations as well as the policies that will guide development.
Once the document is published, there will be a formal six-week consultation period between February and March 2012. During this period, members of the public will be able to make representations on whether the proposals in the document are justified, effective and in line with strategic local and national policies. This is called ‘soundness’ and includes issues such as:
• Have the correct procedural steps been followed ?
• Is the document is backed up by sound evidence ?
• Does the document comply with the policies in the council’s Core Strategy?
• Are the proposals deliverable and do they represent the most sustainable option?
Note that consultation on specific sites is already completed, and this stage of consultation is solely for the soundness issues above.
Following the consultation period, SLDC will submit the Land Allocations Document to the Secretary of State in April 2012, who will then appoint the Planning Inspector to examine it.
The Inspector will set the timetable for the Examination and it is anticipated that examination hearings will take place in late June and July 2012, with the Inspector’s Report being received in September 2012.
If the Inspector finds that the Land Allocations Document is ‘sound’, the council will be able to adopt the document in October 2012.
Letter from a member
“I have been reading the front page of the Civic Society News Letter (concerning the National Planning Policy Framework). This is just a quick note to congratulate you on your analysis and clear summary. It is the first ‘non-hysterical’ summary I have seen. I have simply no idea why the National Trust have got their knickers in such a twist about it – as a developer when I read the press I thought that it may be time to start to build again but when I read the NPPF I thought there would be almost no change. There are of course some rather obscure technical points about the evidence base for planning policies (the difference between need and demand and the importance of deliverability) – but they really won’t make any difference to the way applications are determined. Anyway – 10 out 10 from me!”