Witherslack

Chapelry and township in Beetham parish, Kendal ward, Westmorland.

Acreage: 4,791 acres [1,939 ha], including c.1,800 acres [c.730 ha] of common land enclosed 1829.

Population: rising from 306 in 1801 to peak of 541 in 1881; then fluctuating decline to 330 in 1971, rising again to 482 in 2001.

Landownership: manor of Witherslack held by Harrington family until their attainder 1485; briefly held by Sir Thomas Broughton of Broughton (d. 1495); then granted to Stanley family, earls of Derby, in 1495, who lost it to Leyburns during Interregnum but regained possession 1747.

Economy: farming; quarrying and lime-burning in 19th century. Woodland industries: tanning suggested by place-name Bark House.

Places of worship: chapel recorded 1542, when dedicated to St Mary; taken down and rebuilt on new site c.1669 (consecrated 1671); now church of St Paul.

Schools and other institutions: school built by trustees of will of Rev. John Barwick (d. 1664), dean of St Paul’s, 1678; room for girls added 1824; boys’ school rebuilt 1874 and girls’ school rebuilt on new site 1876; latter now Dean Barwick Primary School. Witherslack Hall housed Sandford School for Girls from 1946 to 1968; in 1973 it became residential and day school for boys with special educational needs. Institute at Town End (now Witherslack village hall) built before 1897.