Temple Bank, Beetham

Temple Bank, Beetham, Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment

Prior to the submission of any planning applications for work at Temple Bank, Beetham, Milnthorpe, Cumbria, Greenlane Archaeology was commissioned to carry out a desk-based assessment of the site. Temple Bank is on the east side of the centre of Beetham. Information contained in the Historic Environment Record revealed a variety of sites of archaeological interest located within close proximity to the site, the most pertinent of which is the supposed remains of a medieval chapel dedicated to St John, evidence for which, including human burials, was found during the construction of the present house. Nearby is the parish church of St Michael, which has at least 11th century origins, as well as medieval chantry college, while other human remains have been uncovered in the village, thought by an antiquarian source to be the results of a battle. Temple Bank itself was constructed in the early 19th century, probably in 1816, by the Revd Joseph Thexton, after he became vicar of Beetham in 1811. There was, however, apparently a building already on the site before this date.

Maps show that the site had essentially developed its present form by the beginning of the 19th century. It remained in the ownership of the Thexton’s descendants into the early 20th century. In the 1920s it was passed to the diocese, although it never seems to have officially been used as a vicarage; that was immediately next door to the east. After carrying out numerous repairs in the following decades the church decided to sell it in 1949.

The full report will be made available on the Archaeology Data Service website.