Escowbeck

Escowbeck

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Escowbeck House a country manor house
Manor house
A manor house is a country house that historically formed the administrative centre of a manor, the lowest unit of territorial organisation in the feudal system in Europe. The term is applied to country houses that belonged to the gentry and other grand stately homes...

 on Caton Lane in Quernmore
Quernmore
Quernmore is a village and civil parish in the City of Lancaster in Lancashire, England. It is located about east of Lancaster. The parish of Quernmore had a population of 532 recorded in the 2001 census...

 near Lancaster, Lancashire
Lancaster, Lancashire
Lancaster is the county town of Lancashire, England. It is situated on the River Lune and has a population of 45,952. Lancaster is a constituent settlement of the wider City of Lancaster, local government district which has a population of 133,914 and encompasses several outlying towns, including...

 was constructed in 1842 in extensive parkland and countryside. It is situated overlooking the Crook of Lune south of the road from Lancaster to Caton and Hornby
Hornby
- Australia :* Hornby Lighthouse, third oldest lighthouse in Australia on south head of Sydney Harbour,- Canada :* Hornby, Ontario, community in Halton Hills* Hornby Island, Canadian island in the Strait of Georgia near Vancouver Island- England :...

, near where the Escow Beck from which it takes its name, flows into 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 name Escow Beck is derived from the Old Norse eski + hofud and bekkr meaning the beck by the ash tree hill. It was recorded as Escouthebroc in 1225 and Escouthe bec in 1241. The gardens, created in the early 20th century, had a fish pond through which the Escow Beck flows and boat house. The house was divided into appartments during the 1950s.

Residents


John Greg moved to the area in 1820 to manage a mill in Caton, part of Samuel Greg & Company, owned by his father. John Greg built Escowbeck and founded the Lancaster Guardian. After the death of John Greg, the Dobson family leased the house. The family suffered from typhus fever and were isolated as part of an epidemic for more than a year. In 1938 Lieutenant Colonel Sir Norman Seddon-Brown moved into the house.

Greg Observatory


The Gregs were interested in astronomy and John Greg built an observatory
Observatory
An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geology, oceanography and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed...

 in a wooden structure built on stone foundations at Escowbeck. John's brother Robert and his sons Edward and John Phillip shared the interest. John Phillip Greg retired early to pursue his interest and was credited with being one of the first people to recognise the Geminid meteor shower.
After the death of John Greg in 1882, his son Albert gave the contents of the observatory to Lancaster Corporation, and they were rehoused in a public observatory as a memorial to John Greg. Greg was an important employer and public figure who had been mayor of Lancaster three times, a magistrate and a charity and port commissioner.