Market town and port in Heversham with Milnthorpe township, Heversham parish, Kendal ward, Westmorland. Milnthorpe became separate CP 1896.
1,125 acres [455 ha], including c.350 acres [c.140 ha] of commons enclosed under Heversham Enclosure Act 1803
1,099 in 1891 (first census year for which separate figure is available), rising steadily to stand at 2,106 in 2001.
small sea-port at Sandside, importing wines from France and other goods from Ireland, Isle of Man and west of England by 17th century, was principal port of Westmorland until 19th century. Four or five vessels berthed there by early 19th century. Weekly market established by charter 1334; lapsed 1920s. Noted in later 17th century for ‘great’ cattle fair in May. Iron forge (recorded 1675) had become paper mill by 1692. Several flax mills, wool carding mill, and two paper mills in 1829. Beela Mill, flax mill producing corn and flour sacks, rope and twine in mid-19th century; converted to Dobson’s comb factory, 1868; still in operation. Arrival of railways killed port but fostered industries: London & North Western Railway (station at Ackenthwaite) opened 1846; closed 1963; Furness link (stations at Sandside and Heversham) opened 1876; closed 1963. Libby’s dairy products factory opened c.1934; closed c.1995. Two annual fairs for sale of cattle in May and October, established c.1816; cattle fair at Milnthorpe station established 1849. Cattle fairs ceased 1929. Weekly market re-established 1966; by later 20th century Milnthorpe was focal village for surrounding area, with wide range of retailing and services.
Places of worship:
St Thomas’ church built 1835-7; chancel added 1883. Independent chapel established 1820 in former cottages on Haverflatts Lane; taken over by Methodists late 1860s. New Wesleyan Methodist chapel, Beetham Road, opened 1904; closed 2014. Roman Catholic church of Christ the King, Haverflatts Lane, built 1970.
Schools and other institutions:
several dames’ schools and girls’ boarding schools in 19th and early 20th centuries. National school opened in former cottages on Milnthorpe Square 1819. New school on Mill Lane built 1834. St Thomas’ Church School for Girls, Milnthorpe Square, opened 1867. Both closed when new county primary school (now Milnthorpe Primary School) built on Firs Road 1951. Secondary modern school opened on Milnthorpe playing fields 1951; moved to Haverflatts Lane c.1968; incorporated into Dallam Comprehensive School 1984. Gilbert Union workhouse at Ackenthwaite opened 1813; retained after formation of Kendal Poor Law Union 1836 and used for aged and infirm; became mental home and hospital 1918; closed 1960 and converted to housing. Kitching Memorial Hospital opened 1881. Tattersall Almshouses, Church Street, built 1884. Market hall built 1843 with ‘agricultural hall’ for meetings upstairs; assembly hall added 1880; used as cinema 1920s-60s; premises bought by parish as Memorial Hall 1945. Kitching Memorial Institute, opened 1881, in memory of Dr John Kitching, London surgeon; contained library, magistrate’s court, billiard and chess rooms; converted to Working Men’s Institute 1921; closed and converted to flats 2007.