Fr Thomas West, SJ- Background Dalton-in-Furness

Low Furness, from A Guide to the Lakes

The great historian of Furness, Fr Thomas West, was a Jesuit priest (born in Scotland in 1720) who settled at Tytup Hall, near Dalton, after the Jesuit Colleges in France were closed in 1765.

He found there were few Catholics in the area: and that his congregation comprised, in his own words, ‘a few poor paddies from Cork employed here at the Iron Mines [and] 2 farmers come to settle’.

That left him with plenty of time to follow his antiquarian and literary interests, including publishing 'Antiquities of Furness' in 1774 and  ‘A Guide to the Lakes’ in 1778.  

He served as a chaplain to the Strickland family, and was buried in their family vault in Kendal Parish Church in 1779

Click here for a collection of aqua-tints and engravings from A Guide to the Lakes, in our Gallery


Text by Bill Shannon

Extract from a map from West's Guide to the Lakes, (1778), showing 'Titup Hall' (Note: north is to the right)