Rampside, Lancashire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Parishes

Rampside St Michael contributor Colin Kinnear

Chapelry History

Rampside was created a chapel of ease in 1743 from, and lying within the boundaries of Dalton in Furness, Lancashire. Other places in the parish include: Yarleside Division.

Rampside is a village in Cumbria, since 1974 (historically Lancashire), located a few miles south-east of the town of Barrow-in-Furness, in the north-western corner of Morecambe Bay on the Furness peninsula.The modern parish is in the Diocese of Carlisle.

There is evidence that the village was inhabited as early as 1292, in the records of the monks of Furness Abbey, though Viking and Roman artefacts have been found in the village's church. As well as agriculture, the village acted as a small port, with shipping trade coming to Furness Abbey through Roa Island, which itself was defended by the fortified Piel Island, both around one mile south of Rampside.

Thomas Lawson, a herbalist and botanist, was born at Rampside in 1630 and became minister at the village church. He invited George Fox to preach from the pulpit after one Sunday service, and subsequently became a Quaker himself in 1653. He published various religious works and died in 1691.

Rampside lighthouse, also known as The Needle, was built in the 19th century.In the late 18th century, the village had a reputation as a bathing resort; at the time, it was larger than Barrow-in-Furness, which was still a small hamlet. The poet, William Wordsworth, is known to have frequented the village at this time, staying at what is now known as the clarkes hotel. His memory of his time at Rampside and his view towards Piel Castle led him to write the following in 1805 :

'I was thy neighbour once, thou rugged Pile!
Four summer weeks I dwelt in sight of thee:
I saw thee every day, and all the while,
Thy form was sleeping on a glassy sea'
In 1840, development began on a causeway to Roa Island, resulting in a rail ferry from Fleetwood to the island, the trains then passing through Rampside to get to Barrow and the southern Lake District. This service became obsolete with the railway barges linking Ulverston and Lancaster, and the causeway soon became a road.

On February 15, 1865, a small shallow earthquake estimated in recent times to have been 8 on the Richter Scale, caused serious damage in Rampside.

Here is an 1848 historical perspective of this chapelry:

"RAMSYDE, or Rampside, a chapelry, in the parish of Dalton-in-Furness, union of Ulverston, hundred of Lonsdale north of the Sands, N. division of Lancashire, 5¼ miles (S. by E.) from the town of Dalton; containing 561 inhabitants. This place is delightfully situated at the southern extremity of the large peninsula formed by the Irish Sea on the west side, and Morecambe bay on the east; it is resorted to for sea-bathing, for which there is ample, though not elegant, accommodation, at very moderate expense. Opposite to Ramsyde is Pile or Peel Harbour, a commodious port, protected by Walney Island on the south-west, and where a first-rate ship of war may float at low water. By an act of the 6th of Her present Majesty, John Abel Smith, Esq., was authorised to construct a pier or jetty from Ramsyde to Roe Island, and thence into Pile Harbour, with the necessary wharfs and works for the convenience of shipping and of passengers. The Furness railway was opened in June 1846; it is 14 miles in length, and runs from Pile Harbour, by Ramsyde, past the town of Dalton to Kirkby-Ireleth, where the Whitehaven railway commences. The chapel, standing on an eminence, is a neat whitewashed structure, lately built, and in the later English style, with a tower: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Dalton; net income, £100. A national school has been established. The Pile (of Fouldrey) is a rocky island, of a few acres, about a mile to the north of the lighthouse on the isle of Walney. Here, according to Camden, one of the abbots of Furness built a castle, in the first year of the reign of Edward III., to guard the entrance to the harbour; the castle was probably intended also as a retreat for the monks and their vassals on the approach of an enemy, and as a place of security for their effects against the Scotch invaders. The strength and magnitude of the structure prove how ample were the means of the monastic institution by which it was built. In the Burghley Papers, temp. Elizabeth, it is stated that "betweene Mylford Haven in Wales, and Carhill on the borders of Scotlande, ther is not one good haven for greate shyppes to lond or ryde in, but one, whiche is in the furthest part of Lancashire, called the Pylle of Folder;" and it is added, that "the same pylle is an old decayed castell of the dowchie of Lancaster, in Furnes Felles." The period when the castle was reduced to ruins is not well ascertained; but it was probably one of the fortresses that fell under the dismantling ordinances of the Commonwealth. Great part of the ruins have been washed away by the sea, and the falling walls only are now to be seen, in solitary grandeur above the waters between Walney lighthouse and the shore at Old Garth below Ramsyde."

From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 633-638. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51230 Date accessed: 20 July 2010.


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/

Church records

Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection

Census records

http://www.1881pubs.com/ for details of public houses in the 1881 census

Poor Law Unions

Ulverston Poor Law Union,Lancashire

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lancashire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

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Web sites

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