Victoria County History



William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)

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'Townships: Slyne-with-Hest', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8 (1914), pp. 136-139. URL: Date accessed: 19 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Sline, Dom. Bk.; Slene, 1246; Slyne, 1249.

Hest, 1176; Heest, 1246.

Stopeltierne, Dom. Bk.; Stapelthorn, 1190; Stapelthiern, 1226.

This township has three divisions. On the shore of Morecambe Bay is Hest, with an area of 210½ acres, and containing the growing hamlet of Hest Bank, from which in former times the crossing of Lancaster Sands was usually made. To the east, on higher land, is the main portion, Slyne, 630 acres; the village lies near the northern boundary. On the eastern side of this is Stapleton Terne, including Ancliffe; it occupies rising ground, the highest in the township, and has an area of 303 acres. The total area is thus 1,143½ acres, (fn. 1) and in 1901 there was a population of 424.

Considerable changes in the boundaries have been made recently; Beaumont Cote in Bolton has been added to this township, (fn. 2) as well as a large portion of Skerton. (fn. 3)

The principal road is that from Lancaster north through Slyne to Bolton; it has a branch north-west to Hest Bank on the edge of the bay; and from the village another road goes west to the same place, a second to Torrisholme and a third to Halton. From Hest Bank there is a road by the shore, through Bare, to Morecambe. On the eastern edge of the township is the road north from Skerton to Kellet; it crosses the highest part of the land, and a fine view is obtained over the bay. The London and North-Western Company's railway from Lancaster to Carlisle, with a branch to Morecambe, runs near the western border; it has a station on the shore at Hest Bank, where it is joined by a line from Morecambe. The Lancaster and Kendal Canal goes north a little to the east of the railway.

In 1820 a breakwater was constructed to enable small coasting vessels from Liverpool and Glasgow to discharge their cargoes at Hest Bank, from which place they could be transported north and south by the canal. (fn. 4) This traffic ceased after the opening of the railway in 1846. The remains of the jetty are now some distance from the shore owing to encroachments by the sea. There were formerly salt works.

At the west side of Slyne, below the house called Belmont, is St. Patrick's Well. ' Tradition states that St. Patrick, when wrecked near Heysham, wandered northward, and being unable to obtain any water to quench his thirst, struck his staff into the ground, causing a spring to gush forth. The water is said to have a remarkable curative power in affections of the eyes.' (fn. 5)

The soil is a light loam overlying gravel.

The enlarged township is governed by a parish council.


In 1066 Slyne was assessed as six plough-lands and Stapleton Terne as two; the former no doubt included Hest, which is not separately named. Both vills then belonged to Earl Tostig's fee of Halton (fn. 6) ; afterwards they were included in the demesne of the honour of Lancaster, (fn. 7) and seem to have been regarded as members of Skerton.

In SLYNE half a plough-land was held in 1212 by Gillemichael son of Godwin by being carpenter in Lancaster Castle (fn. 8) ; to it Adam son of Gillemichael succeeded in 1221. (fn. 9) This estate was in part held by Ralph de Kellet in 1246, (fn. 10) and by Thomas Travers in 1297 by a rent of 8s., (fn. 11) which was afterwards held by Robert de Holland. (fn. 12) The remainder of the township, 16 oxgangs of land, was held in bondage, (fn. 13) and in 1226 the assized rent of Slyne was 72s. (fn. 14) Ailsi and Gamel de Slyne with their associates had in 1184–5 to pay 20s. for the king's hawks which had been lost. (fn. 15) The township is named as contributing to aids and tallages, (fn. 16) and the yearly issues in 1256–8 amounted to £5 16s. 2d., to which about 10s. for pleas and perquisites of the courts had to be added. (fn. 17)

The record of the halmote of Slyne in 1324 has been printed. (fn. 18) The widow of Ellis de Slyne, one of the king's natives, paid 14s. for an ox, representing that third part of his goods which was the lord's right. John the son of Ellis paid 6s. 8d. for entry to the half oxgang of land which his father had held. Alice daughter of William Burhurt paid 2s. for licence to marry. William de Slyne was fined 6d. because he brewed and sold contrary to the assize; others were penalized for withdrawing suit of mill.

The extent made in 1346 shows that each of the 16 oxgangs rendered 13s. 4d. a year, half of which was in lieu of certain services due from the tenants— ploughing for winter and spring corn, harrowing and reaping the lord's demesne in Skerton. The tenants had also certain duties to perform for the castle at Lancaster, such as carrying timber for its repair, and services like those the tenants of Overton had to render. A tenant was obliged to act as reeve, when chosen, receiving nothing for his trouble. Each of them also owed suit to Lune Mill to the thirteenth measure. John son of John de Barton held the 40 acres formerly belonging to Thomas Travers, paying 8s. as before. (fn. 19) For the year ending Michaelmas 1441 the net receipts from Slyne were a little over £20, including 8s. from John Barton for his messuage and 40 acres. The tenants in bondage paid £10 14s. 4d. The moiety of the mill of Bolton was farmed to John Austin in succession to William Bolton for 23s. 4d. Perquisites of courts amounted to 1s. 6d., and 5s. (out of 10s.) had been received from John Heysham for entry to a tenement formerly belonging to Thomas Wales. (fn. 20)

The manor remained in the Crown until August 1816, when it was sold to Robert Greene Bradley upon trust for Thomas Greene and Robert Bradley, the former of these (fn. 21) becoming lord of the manor. From him it has descended regularly to the present lord, Mr. Henry Dawson Greene of Whittington. The Court Rolls from 1800 to 1847 are in his possession, but no courts are now held. (fn. 22)

Greene of Whittington. Vert on a fesse inverted or between in chief two pheons and in base a bugle-horn argent stringed gules three fleurs de lis o the last.

The house known as the Manor House is a three-story building with mullioned and transomed windows and a doorway with shaped head above which are the initials and date C / C M / 1681.

Nicholas Singleton of Brockholes in 1458 held an estate in the township, which was in 1500 found to be held by knight's service, viz. by the eighth part of a fee. (fn. 23) Edmund Gardner of Slyne paid £10 in 1631, having declined knighthood. (fn. 24)

HEST was originally included in Slyne, but in the 16th century was regarded as a distinct manor. (fn. 25) To an aid in 1176–7 10 marks was contributed. (fn. 26) In 1212 William de Hest held half a plough-land in thegnage by a charter granted in 1199, rendering 8s. a year. (fn. 27) In 1280 it was found that this had been forfeited for felony by Thomas de Hest and that Thomas Travers was in possession for the time. (fn. 28) In 1346 the Prior of Cartmel held a messuage and 10 acres there, while four other tenants had the 4 oxgangs escheated as above. (fn. 29) A more detailed survey of the same year shows that each oxgang had a messuage and 10 acres of land and rendered 10s. yearly. Thomas de Hest held an oxgang and a quarter, and there were three other tenants; each had to renew his tenancy every ten years. In addition there were a water-mill yielding 15s. a year and inclosures extending to 48 acres of arable land and 16 acres of meadow. The whole sum received from Hest was £7 11s. (fn. 30) In a rental of 1441 occurs the statement that the tenants of the four escheated oxgangs in Hest took them for a rent charged in the account of the greave of Overton. (fn. 31)

Randle Ashton, defendant in a trial in the manor court, was in 1594 sued by Robert Atkinson, claiming by descent, for the moiety of a messuage and lands in the manor of Hest. (fn. 32) Thomas Ashton of Hest Bank took part with the king at the beginning of the Civil War, and his copyhold tenement was seized by the Parliament for this 'delinquency '; he compounded in 1649 by a fine of £16 4s. (fn. 33)

STAPLETON TERNE or Staplethorn was granted by Warine son of Orm, (fn. 34) William Gernet (fn. 35) and King John to Furness Abbey. From an account compiled about 1320 it seems that Warine's grant was really that of Beaumont in Skerton, and William's may have been adjacent, for it was King John who gave Stapleton proper, at a rent of 40s. yearly. (fn. 36) He found that the abbot and convent had made a grange at Beaumont, but that it was too small and poor, and therefore added the vill of Stapleton Terne. The monks at once removed all those dwelling there and annexed it to Beaumont, making a single grange for the whole, and therefore withdrew the tithes due to Bolton Church. However, in 1299 this church peaceably recovered its right to the tithes of Stapleton. (fn. 37) In 1297 the abbot was stated to hold three plough-lands in Stapleton Terne, rendering 40s. (fn. 38) to the earl. This part of the township then disappears from view, but Andiffe is mentioned in a pleading of 1575. (fn. 39) This is part of the Beaumont Hall estate owned by Mr. Gaskell.

There appears to have been a chantry (fn. 40) or hermitage (fn. 41) at Hest, probably owned by Cartmel Priory, (fn. 42) but nothing is known of its history. No place of worship is recorded in the township till recent years; in 1900 St. Luke's, Slyne, was built as a chapel of ease to the parish church of Bolton and in 1904 the Congregationalists built a chapel at Hest Bank.


1 The area of the present enlarged township is 1,803 acres, including 12 of inland water; Census Rep. 1901. There are in addition 9 acres of tidal water and 1,199 of foreshore.
2 In 1887; Loc. Govt. Bd. Order 19997.
3 In 1900; ibid. P 1586. The population of the added part was 63 in 1901.
4 Lewis, Topog. Dict. (1831).
5 Roper, Lanc. Guide, 56.
6 V.C.H. Lancs, i, 288b.
7 The demesne tithes of Stapleton and Slyne were given to St. Martin's, Sees, in 1094 by Count Roger of Poitou; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 290.
8 Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 96, 127. Gillemichael rendered half a mark to the taliage of 1203; Farrer, op. cit. 169. He probably died before 1212, his land being then in the king's hand.
9 Excerpta e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), i, 75; he paid 20s. as relief.
10 Ralph held 2 oxgangs of land which used to find a carpenter in Lancaster Castle, but in 1246 rendered 8s. a year. The tenant was bound to plough an acre in the king's fields; Assize R. 404, m. 24 d.
Cecily widow of Ralph de Kellet claimed dower against Thomas Travers and Aline his wife in 1277; De Banco R. 21, m. 95 d.
11 Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 293; it was called 40 acres.
12 In 1324; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 42. John de Barton or Burton was the tenant, and the family continued some time.
13 Lancs. Inq. and Extents, loc. cit.
14 Ibid. 140; Slyne is described as a member of Skerton.
15 Farrer, op. cit. 56. The Slyne or Slene family appears in Lancaster and neighbouring townships.
16 In 1176–7 there was a half mark aid from Slyne, and in 1205–6 18s. to the tallage; ibid. 35, 202. In 1226 the tallage of Slyne was 30s. 8d.; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 135. Later details may be seen in the same work, 176, 228.
17 Ibid. 220. In an earlier compotus (ibid. 169) lands in Kellet were included with Slyne, the total receipts being £9 5s. 8d., with 48s. 8d. added from picas and perquisites. Somewhat later, 1258–62, the issues of Slyne were £7 a year; and in 1297 from Slyne and Hest together £18 3s. 8d. was received; ibid. 230, 293.
18 Lancs. Ct. R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 92.
19 Add. MS. 32103, fol. 150b, 151; a list of the tenants is given. The heirs of William de Barton paid 10s. to an aid in 1378 for their lands in Slyne; Furness Coucher (Chet. Soc), 226.
20 Duchy of Lanc. Mins. Accts. bdle. 100, no. 1790.
21 The Greenes are said to have had land in Slyne from the time of James I. They were also connected with Dendron in Aldingham; Barrow Naturalists' Field Club, xvii, 251–3.
22 Information of Mr. A. Pearson of Kirkby Lonsdale, steward of the manor.
A manor of Slyne is mentioned in various suits of the 16th century; William Tunstall was steward in 1532; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 42, &c.
Court Rolls of the manor of Slyne and Hest of 1663–4 and later are at the Record Office; Duchy of Lanc. Ct. R. bdle. 79, no. 1041.
Slyne Mill was granted to Edward Ferrers and Francis Phelipps in 1609; Pat. 7 Jas. I, pt. xi.
23 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 52. This may have been the estate once held by Travers and Barton, though the tenure is different. In the inquisition after the death of Lawrence Starkie (1532) the tenure is not recorded; ibid, ix, no. 21. Nor is it recorded in the Jervis inquisitions; see the account of Bolton.
Robert Cansfield died in 1519 holding lands in Overton, Slyne and Poulton, but the tenure for Slyne is not separately given; see the account of Overton.
24 Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 221.
25 William Tunstall was steward of the manor in 1526 and the halmote court was held in Lancaster Castle; Ducatus Lanc. ii, 93.
26 Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 35.
27 Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 93; see also the account of Middleton in Lancaster. The charter of 1199 was the confirmation or renewal of one passed by the king while Count of Mortain; Chart. R. (Rec. Com.), 26. William son of Bernard de Hest gave 10 marks in 1184–5 for having his father's land in Hest and Caton; Farrer, op. cit. 56, 60. He paid 10 marks also for having the king's goodwill in 1194; ibid. 78. The assized rent of 8s. is duly recorded in 1226; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 140.
William de Hest, probably a second of the name, was living in 1249; ibid. 175. Thomas son of William de Hest was a juror ten years later; ibid. 224.
28 Ibid. 243; he had held two-thirds of 4 oxgangs of land and a water-mill. The other third was no doubt in the hands of his father's widow.
The escheated land and mill were recorded as worth £6 14s. 4d. in 1297, when the free rent of 8s. was paid, perhaps by Thomas Travers; ibid. 293.
29 Surv. of 1346 (Chet. Soc.), 62.
30 Add. MS. 32103, fol. 151. If an oxgang tenant died during his term the best beast was to be given to the lord as a heriot; his widow might retain the estate to the end of the term if she remained single. For the inclosed land 16d. an acre was paid for arable, and 3s., 2s. and 1s. an acre for different parcels of the meadow.
31 Duchy of Lanc. Mins. Accts. bdle. 100, no. 1790; Hund. of Lonsdale.
32 Ducatus Lanc, iii, 293, 487.
33 Cal. Com. for Comp. iii, 1950; Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 114.
34 He gave the abbey half a plough-land in Staplethorn in alms for the souls of himself and his parents. The monks gave him 20s. and were to pay to him 4s. a year; to his wife, of whose marriage portion it was, they gave 10s. and a gold ring; Add. MS. 33244, fol. 64.
35 William Gernet, with the consent of his sons William and Matthew, gave half a plough-land in Staplethorne to the abbey. He appears to have been an aged man, and desiring to provide for his soul gave ' the whole care of his body and soul' to the abbot and monks together with this land; ibid.
36 Ibid. 64b The king granted Stapilterne, i.e. two plough-lands which while they were in his demesne used to render 40s.
Geoffrey de Valoines appears to have held it previously, for his niece Gunnora, who married Robert Fitz Walter, claimed Staplethorne against the Abbot of Furness in 1208; Curia Regis R. 62, m. 9; 50, m. 1. The suit was continued later; ibid. 54, m. 1, 7.
37 Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 86.
38 Ibid. 296. The abbot also held Downflat, rendering 4s. The same rents were paid by the abbot in 1346, Downfiat being in Skerton (perhaps Warine's land); Surv. of 1346 (Chet. Soc), 74.
39 Ducatus Lanc. iii, 32.
Richard Fabott in 1569 obtained a messuage, &c, in Bolton and Ancliffe from Katherine Hawe, widow; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 31, m. 72.
40 Lancs, and Chet. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 316.
41 Thomas Ashton of Hest and Richard Southworth, priest and hermit, were concerned in withholding tithe corn at Hest about 1524; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 236.
42 Pat. 3 Jas. I, pt. xxii.