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The Landowners of
Crosthwaite and Lyth

The Township and the Landowners
of Crosthwaite and Lyth

from "Cameos of Crosthwaite and Lyth"

As a result of the Enclosures Acts most of the land in the valley went to the big landowners. However, under the terms of the 1815 Heversham Award three parcels of land were made over to the people of Crosthwaite and Lyth. These were the Township Allotment (155.3 hectares), the Township Plantation (47.7 hectares) and the White Scar Quarry (6.75 hectares), all on Whitbarrow Scar.

It was recommended that a committee be set up to look after the land. The annual general meeting could be attended by everyone in the parish but the voting power rested with the landowners. Tenant farmers did not have voting rights.

The Landowners derive income from letting out land for grazing, selling timber and from renting Whitbarrow Cottage, also in their ownershhip. From the 1930s stone from the quarry made a small income but when contractors started building the new A590 road, a large amount of shilla (small pieces of limestone) was sold. Money from this sale was invested and provides an on-going income for the Landowners' charity. The quarry is now closed.

Recently the Landowners of Crosthwaite and Lyth have obtained charitable status and the money has been used to support community projects. The village school has benefited, as has the Recreation Committee. Land was bought, drained, levelled and fenced to provide tennis courts, a bowling green, a children's playground and a small football pitch. It was opened in 1995 and the Recreation Committee pay a peppercorn rent.

Nowadays the land is primarily managed to conserve its unique biological and geological character. Along with the land on the Scar, owned by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, the Landowners' land has been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and also a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) by the European Commission, which recognises that the limestone pavement, scree slopes, ancient semi-natural and deciduous woodland are all of great importance. The habitats supported by this area include rare and scarce plants and uncommon invertebrates, particularly butterflies and moths. In pursuit of their aim to manage their land with high regard for the significance of these habitats, the Landowners have recently added a small area of woodland, near the quarry, for use as a nature reserve.


Also included here are maps of our landholding (it was requested to make this public at the AGM of 2011).



The properties of the Landowners are managed by a committee of Trusteees as follows (2015)

Chairman: Martin Casson
Matthew Dobson
Claire Hensman
Tony Marshall
James Park
John Sceal
David Stott
Robert Sykes
John Hartley Trotter

Agents: Carter Jonas

To contact the chairman e-mail to


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The Landowners of Crosthwaite and Lyth
Registered Charity No: 1073467