Burton in Kendal

Township and small market town in Burton-in-Kendal parish, Lonsdale ward, Westmorland. CP enlarged by absorbing Dalton CP 1986.


1,473 acres [596 ha], including c.189 acres [76 ha] of common land enclosed under Dalton, Burton and Holme enclosure award 1815.


rising from 548 in 1801 to peak of 796 by 1841. Gradual decline thereafter, reaching low-point of 460 in 1921, then recovering to stand at 646 in 1961.


manor of Burton passed on death of Anthony de Burton (d. 1320) to his sister, wife of Sir Thomas Betham, with whose descendants it remained until death of Sir Edward Bethom (d. 1472), when it passed to his niece, Agnes, wife of Sir Robert Middleton of Leighton. Descended from Middletons to Oldfield family of Cheshire in late 17th century. Passed by sale to Thomas Benison of Hornby; then, in 1770, to Thomas Pearson and in 1790 to William Atkinson (d. 1825), in whose family it remained until 20th century.


weekly market and two fairs established 1661 by Sir George Middleton, lord of manor. By later 18th century had become most significant corn market in Westmorland, wealth of town boosted by its position on main north-south route, the Heron Syke Turnpike, which led to growth of coaching inns and carriers. Completion of Kendal-Lancaster canal (1819) reduced turnpike’s importance (despite wharf at Burton) and coming of railway (1846) rendered Burton a backwater and led to decline in market and trading function. Burton had become desirable place to live by 19th century. Outside the town: farming; limestone quarrying, especially on Clawthorpe Fell; tannery in mid-19th century.

Places of worship:

medieval parish church of St James (said 1778 to be dedicated to St Helen); restored 1844 and 1872.

Schools and other institutions:

grammar school endowed 1657 by John Hutton of Farleton; rebuilt 1817; had closed by 1851. National school erected 1817; restored 1887. Morewood Memorial Infant School (named in memory of Rev. Robert Morewood, vicar of Burton), opened 1867; demolished 1967 when new school (now Burton Morewood Primary Academy) built nearby. Memorial Hall built 1956.