Broughton in Furness

Chapelry and market town in Kirkby Ireleth parish, Lonsdale hundred, Lancashire North of the Sands.


7,298 acres [2,953 ha], including 3,226 acres [1,306 ha] of commons and moss land enclosed 1847.


rising from around 1,000 in early 19th century to 1,375 by 1831; then fell gradually to stand at 1,117 by 1901 and 995 in 1951 with steeper decline across later 20th century to 529 in 2011.


manor of Broughton held by Broughton family from 12th century until forfeited by Sir Thomas Broughton who supported Lambert Simnel’s revolt 1487. Granted to earl of Derby c.1490; sold to Edward Leigh 1653/4, who sold it to Roger Sawrey 1658; it then descended in his family, who rebuilt Broughton Tower 1744, until bequeathed to James Cookson 1881.


market centre for surrounding rural hinterland: charter said to have been granted later 16th century. Described by Thomas West 1774 as ‘a weekly market on Friday and a fair for all sorts of merchandise on the 1st day of August. The principal commodities are woollen yarn spun by the country people’. Market Hall built 1766. Market day changed from Friday to Wednesday c.1830; fairs noted for cattle and sheep by 19th century. Wool spinning had declined by mid-19th century, by which time hoop, brush and basket making were principal trades. Slate quarrying, notably at Broughton Moor in 20th century. Lead, copper and iron mining, recorded 18th and 19th centuries.

Places of worship:

medieval chapel of ease of St Mary Magdalene; new nave built 1873-4; tower replaced 1900. Wesleyan Methodist chapel built 1837; rebuilt 1875. Baptist chapel at Scroggs built 1701; closed c.1823 (when meetings started at Ulpha); deserted by 1842. For church of Holy Innocents at Broughton Mills, see Dunnerdale & Seathwaite.

Schools and other institutions:

endowed school founded 1650s by Leonard Towers of London. School building on Church Street (19th century) replaced by modern Broughton CE Primary School at Kepplewray. Schoolhouse at Aulthurst Side, built by subscription 1828; closed 1947. Broughton Tower used as residential school for children with special needs 1947 to 1997. Victory Hall built 1929; enlarged and refurbished 1999-2002. Reading room (now village hall) at Broughton Mills.