Temple Sowerby Village

Has been described as a Possible Urban Defence

There are major building remains

NameTemple Sowerby Village
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWestmorland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishTemple Sowerby

The small village of Temple Sowerby lays on the A66, about 2 miles East of Penrith. Just like Askham and Milburn, it is a defensible village, displaying many of the same characteristics as Milburn.

Built around a central village green, the defences here again consisted of unbroken rows of stone built cottages, effectively forming a light curtain wall, within which the inhabitants would have been able to easily and safely protect their livestock.

Originally called Sowerby (relating to the poor quality farm land thereabouts) it became Temple Sowerby when the Knights Templar gained possession of the manor sometime around 1228. In 1312 and again in 1323, the manor was given to the Knights Hospitallers when the Templars were accused of heresy by Pope Clement V. The manor remained under the Hospitaller's control until given to a local family by Henry VIII in 1545.

As at Milburn, the houses surrounding the green would at one time have formed a nearly unbroken ring of buildings around the central green. But Temple Sowerby has been developed far beyond Milburn, and the Green is now less distinct than at Milburn....and many buildings have been replaced and altered. The basic shape of the village remains however, and there are still unbroken rows of low built cottages to this day. (Matthew Emmott 2008)

Gatehouse Comments

Smaller than Milburn or Askham with more infill and later extensions and less clearly defensible. Unlike the other two villages the church is in the defensive circuit, although the church yard make quite a gap in that circuit.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY611271
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Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

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  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 269
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29)