Holker, Lower

Township in Cartmel parish, Lonsdale hundred, Lancashire North of the Sands, containing villages of Cark, Flookburgh and Holker.

Acreage:

2,387 acres [966 ha]. Commons enclosed 1809 under Cartmel enclosure award.


Population:

in range 1,000-1,200 across 19th century, with peak of 1,225 in 1851. Rose to 1,835 in 1921, with development of Ravenstown in 1917 as proposed airship station (which was never built); fell back to 1,425 in 1931, remaining at that level across mid-20th century; rose again to stand at 1,808 in 2001.


Landownership:

t of manor of Cartmel (see Lower Alllithwaite). Preston family acquired estate at Holker after Dissolution, building Holker Hall as their seat. Passed by marriage successively to Lowther and Cavendish families; Holker Hall was rebuilt by 7th duke of Devonshire 1838-41 and again (after a fire) 1871-3.


Economy:

farming (Holker estate providing employment especially from 19th century); fishing since medieval period: inter-tidal fish traps; cockle fishing, shrimping. Fishing industry benefitted from wider access to markets after arrival of railway and opening of Cark-in-Cartmel station 1857. Fish processing plant (Youngs) in Cark from 1950; closed 1970s. Flookburgh granted market charter 1412; attempts to found borough there failed, though village provided accommodation and other services as mid-point between two sections of over-sands route across Morecambe Bay. Cotton mill in Cark village established c.1782; had closed by mid-19th century but Cark remained commercial centre. Tourism increasingly important across later 20th century; several caravan parks.


Places of worship:

chapel of ease at Flookburgh, recorded 1520; rebuilt 1778; demolished 1900 and replaced by church of St John the Baptist at Flookburgh, built 1897-1900. Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Cark built 1904; closed 2005. St Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic Church, Flookburgh, built 1935; closed c.2015.


Schools and other institutions:

curate served as schoolmaster at Flookburgh in 1670s and 1680s, but no school recorded in 18th century. Holker School opened 1865 and Flookburgh School 1875; both closed when new school (Flookburgh CE Primary School) was built 1971. Village halls at Flookburgh, built 1887, and Cark (Lower Holker Village Hall), built 1908.