Hartley: A Westmorland History, by Martin Holgate

Hartley: A Westmorland History, by Martin Holgate

Book published by Hayloft in 2020, 337 pages. Paperback (N7930)

This book is a fascinating and detailed history of Hartley, a village near Kirkby Stephen in the Upper Eden Valley of Cumbria. The book is in three parts....

The first part tells the story of Hartley down the ages, from the arrival of the first people at the end of the Ice Age through prehistory, Roman times, the so-called Dark Ages and the era of the Norman de Harcla and Musgrave Lords of the Manor into modern times.

Part two brings us down to the familiar earth. It is an account of the buildings of Hartley, starting with the Castle and the Lord’s Mills and summarising what is known of the history of today’s houses, many of which are two- or three-hundred-year-old replacements for mediaeval crofts which themselves replaced the early timber and thatch tofts of Norman times.

Part three contains examples of the kinds of record the author used in writing the book. The first list of Hartley residents, who paid a Poll Tax in 1380. Those whose hearths were taxed in 1670. Tenants who paid rents and ‘fines’ and supplied ‘boon hens’, loads of coal and days shearing to the Manorial Lords in the 17th and 19th centuries. Bills for repairs at the Castle in the early 1700s. Two records of ‘disbursements’ by Thomas Rudd the bailiff in 1734-35. And finally, copies of the census records from 1841 to 1911 which readers can search for their own namesakes and possible ancestors.

Although this book is a particular, and special story, it reflects and includes wider history and Hartley's story is illustrative of many villages, not just in Cumbria, but in all of northern England.

Please note there is a price printed and a small price label, both on the rear side cover.