Caton, Lancashire

Caton, Lancashire

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The civil parish
Civil parish
In England, a civil parish is a territorial designation and, where they are found, the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties...

 of Caton with Littledale is situated in Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

, England near the River Lune
River Lune
The River Lune is a river in Cumbria and Lancashire, England.It is formed at Wath, in the parish of Ravenstonedale, Cumbria, at the confluence of Sandwath Beck and Weasdale Beck...

. The parish lies within the Forest of Bowland
Forest of Bowland
The Forest of Bowland, also known as the Bowland Fells, is an area of barren gritstone fells, deep valleys and peat moorland, mostly in north-east Lancashire, England. A small part lies in North Yorkshire, and much of the area was historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire...

 Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is an area of countryside considered to have significant landscape value in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, that has been specially designated by the Countryside Agency on behalf of the United Kingdom government; the Countryside Council for Wales on...

 and contains the villages of Caton, Brookhouse, Caton Green, Littledale and Townend.


The original settlement of Caton was renamed Brookhouse after Brookhouse Hall and is separated from modern Caton, originally Town End, by Artle Beck
Artle Beck
Artle Beck is a minor river of Lancashire.Rising at the confluence of Udale Beck and Foxdale Beck below Fosdale Bridge and Udale Bridge near Crossgill, Artle Beck flows northwest through steep-sided woodland, passing beneath Raven Scar on its way to Gresgarth Hall.From there, the beck continues...


Evidence of the Roman occupation in the area is from a mill stone, eight feet long found in Artle Beck in 1803, bearing the name of the
Emperor Hadrian; and further engraved stone found some time later.

Archaeological, place name and other evidence attests that Irish-Norse invaders settled in the area in the tenth century (Wainwright 1975). Caton is supposedly named from the Norse personal name Kati (Ekwall 1960), meaning 'cheerful' and ton. Geoffrey Hodgson (2008) argues that the Viking invasion of the area accounts for the relatively high frequency of the Hodgson
Hodgson is a surname. In Britain, the Hodgson surname was the 173rd most common in 1881 and the 206th most common in 1998. In the United States of America, Hodgson was the 3753rd most popular surname in the 1990 census.-Origin and Meaning:The surname authority P. H...

 surname in Caton and elsewhere in Lonsdale.

In late 18th century five mills were built in Town End. Low Mill cotton mill was built for cotton weaving in 1783 on the site of a 13th century corn mill. it was built by Thomas Hodgson(1738–1817), a slave-trader and son of a Liverpool merchant.(Hodgson 2008) It was powered by a millrace from the Artle Beck at Gresgarth. Water power was replaced by steam in 1819. In the mid 19th century there were two silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

 mills, two cotton mill
Cotton mill
A cotton mill is a factory that houses spinning and weaving machinery. Typically built between 1775 and 1930, mills spun cotton which was an important product during the Industrial Revolution....

s, and a flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

 mill. In 1846 Ball Lane Mill was burnt down. Rumble Row Mill and Forge Mill operated until the 1930s and Willow Mill and Low Mill closed in the 1970s. In 1826 coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 and slate
Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism. The result is a foliated rock in which the foliation may not correspond to the original sedimentary layering...

 were worked in Littledale and bobbins for the mills were made.


Caton was a chapelry
A chapelry was a subdivision of an ecclesiastical parish in England, and parts of Lowland Scotland up to the mid 19th century. It had a similar status to a township but was so named as it had a chapel which acted as a subsidiary place of worship to the main parish church...

 composed of four districts; Brookhouse, Caton Green, Littledale, and Town-End, and a township in the ecclesiastical parish of Lancaster in the Lonsdale hundred
Lonsdale (hundred)
Lonsdale was a hundred of Lancashire, England. For many decades, it covered most of the northwestern part of Lancashire around Morecambe Bay, including the detached part around Furness, and the city of Lancaster....

 in Lancashire.


Caton is 5 miles north east of Lancaster on the road to Hornby in the valley of the River Lune
River Lune
The River Lune is a river in Cumbria and Lancashire, England.It is formed at Wath, in the parish of Ravenstonedale, Cumbria, at the confluence of Sandwath Beck and Weasdale Beck...

. It covers over 8,000 acres of which 4,000 were moorland
Moorland or moor is a type of habitat, in the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, found in upland areas, characterised by low-growing vegetation on acidic soils and heavy fog...

 where stone was quarried. The township is hilly, Caton Moor in the east rises to over 1,000 feet above sea level and to the south rises to Clougha Pike
Clougha Pike
Clougha Pike is a hill in the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, England. From the west it looms over the Conder Valley, the city of Lancaster and Lancaster University. It is visible from as far away as Barrow-in-Furness, South Lakeland mountains such as the Old Man of Coniston, and Blackpool Tower...

 at 1,355 feet and Ward's Stone
Ward's Stone
Ward's Stone is the highest hill in the Forest of Bowland. Its flat top hides two trig points nearly a kilometre apart. The western trig point sits atop of large rocks, including one, the Ward's Stone, that is so large it attracts boulderers and climbers....

 at 1,841 feet. The Artie Beck flows in a northerly direction towards the wider flatter valley of the River Lune.


A turnpike
Turnpike trust
Turnpike trusts in the United Kingdom were bodies set up by individual Acts of Parliament, with powers to collect road tolls for maintaining the principal highways in Britain from the 17th but especially during the 18th and 19th centuries...

 road from Lancaster to Hornby and Kirkby Lonsdale
Kirkby Lonsdale
Kirkby Lonsdale is a small town and civil parish in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria, England, on the River Lune. Historically within Westmorland, it is situated south east of Kendal along the A65. The parish had a population of 1,771 recorded in the 2001 census.Notable buildings include St...

, the A683, was constructed in 1812, bypassing the old route through Brookhouse and Caton Green. This road connects Caton to the M6 motorway
M6 motorway
The M6 motorway runs from junction 19 of the M1 at the Catthorpe Interchange, near Rugby via Birmingham then heads north, passing Stoke-on-Trent, Manchester, Preston, Carlisle and terminating at the Gretna junction . Here, just short of the Scottish border it becomes the A74 which continues to...

 to the west.

Caton railway station was opened in 1850 on the "Little" North Western Railway between Wennington
Wennington railway station
Wennington railway station serves the village of Wennington in Lancashire, England. It is situated on the Leeds to Morecambe Line and operated by Northern Rail, who provide all passenger train services. The station was formerly a junction between the lines to Lancaster and Carnforth , but the...

 and Lancaster
Lancaster Green Ayre railway station
Lancaster Green Ayre railway station was the Midland Railway's station in the city of Lancaster in England. The line between Green Ayre and Morecambe was used for pioneering experimental electrification via overhead cable....

 and closed in 1966. The section between Caton and Lancaster is a cycleway.


Today the village is home to SJ Bargh haulage, a Scania
Scania is the southernmost of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden, constituting a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula, and some adjacent islands. The modern administrative subdivision Skåne County is almost, but not totally, congruent with the...

 garage and repair plant.

The village has a health centre, pharmacy, Co-operative store, post office, petrol station and Ford dealership, the Station Hotel and the Ship Inn at Caton, and the Black Bull at Brookhouse. It is also home to a butchers shop, a custom made cake shop and a hair salon, previously the florist.


An ancient oak tree stands near the Ship Inn, on which the monks of Cockersand Abbey
Cockersand Abbey
Cockersand Abbey is a former abbey near Cockerham in the City of Lancaster district of Lancashire, England. It was founded before 1184 as the Hospital of St Mary on the marsh belonging to Leicester Abbey. It was refounded as a Premonstratensian priory and subsequently elevated to an abbey in 1192...

 are supposed to have hung fish for sale.


The original chapel built in about 1245 was rebuilt in the 1500s with a square tower. The present Church of St Paul
St Paul's Church, Brookhouse
St Paul's Church, Brookhouse, is in the village of Brookhouse, Caton with Littledale, Lancashire, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the deanery of Tunstall, the archdeaconry of Lancaster, and the diocese of Blackburn...

 is the parish church
Parish church
A parish church , in Christianity, is the church which acts as the religious centre of a parish, the basic administrative unit of episcopal churches....

 and, with the exception of the tower, was rebuilt between 1865-67 by Edward Graham Paley
Edward Graham Paley
Edward Graham Paley, usually known as E. G. Paley, , was an English architect who practised in Lancaster, Lancashire, in the second half of the 19th century.-Education and career:...

 retaining some Norman
Norman architecture
About|Romanesque architecture, primarily English|other buildings in Normandy|Architecture of Normandy.File:Durham Cathedral. Nave by James Valentine c.1890.jpg|thumb|200px|The nave of Durham Cathedral demonstrates the characteristic round arched style, though use of shallow pointed arches above the...

There are other places of worship including Our Lady Immaculate Roman Catholic Church, Caton Methodist Church, Caton Baptist Church in and Brookhouse Methodist Church. There is a memorial to the younger Thomas Hodgson inside St Paul's Church, displaying the family's coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...


Cultural references

The beauty of the area was captured by the artist J M W Turner and described by the poet William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads....

The poet Thomas Gray
Thomas Gray
Thomas Gray was a poet, letter-writer, classical scholar and professor at Cambridge University.-Early life and education:...

 wrote "every feature which constitutes a perfect landscape of the extensive sort is here not only boldly marked, but in its best position". When John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

 first saw the Lune Valley, he declared; "I do not know in all my country, still less France or Italy, a place more naturally divine or a more priceless possession of the true Holy Land..."


On 12 April 2008, a formal twinning
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 agreement was signed with the village of Socx
-Governance:The current mayor is Christian Ley . The mayor up to March 2008 was Charles Vandaele.-Twin towns:Socx was twinned with Caton, Lancashire, United Kingdom on 12 April 2008.-References:*...

in France.

External links