Oxenholme Farm

Oxenholme Farm

Oxenholme Farm. Photo copyright of Rose and Trev Clough under CCL.

The original Oxenholme Farmhouse was divided into two properties, Oxenholme Farm and Raysholme. A third property, Mill Cottage, also stands on the site.

The following information was contributed by local schoolchildren from St. Marks, Natland to the BBC Domesday Project in 1986:

“Mr. Bell took over the Elizabethan farmhouse in 1932. There 40 hectares owned by the farm and a further 23 are rented. Silage, which is cut every year in June and August, occupies 38 acres while the remaining 63 are used for hay and pasture. Mr. Bell owns four tractors, two of which are Fords. He keeps Friesian cows, forty-two being milked every day at 07.00 and 16.00. So far this year 145 lambs have been born, although 8 or 9 die each year shortly after birth. Mr. Bell also keeps hens and breeds pheasants which he buys when they are only a day old. When St. Mark’s children visited the farm they were given some silage and cow cake. They watched the sheepdog at work and went in the milking shed. When they entered a field of cows, they were very quickly surrounded!”

Known residents:

  • 1851 – James Cleasby
  • 1866 – John Garnett
  • 1897 – Richard Thornburrow
  • 1901 – Edward Cornthwaite & family
  • 1911 – Daniel Trotter & family
  • 1939 – James Bell (1875-1946) & family


Known residents:

  • 1920 – Arthur Haliburton Wilson – see Wilson family page
  • 1925 – Harry Lancelot Hughff
  • 1929 & 1939 – William Kilvert Howard (1880-1950) – phone number in 1929 = TN 1X2
  • 1951 – Howard Leadbeater (1893-1969), bank manager, wife Hilda Leadbeater nee Nash (1890-1967) & daughter Wendy
  • Last recorded sale date / price: 17 December 2015 / £525,000

Mill Cottage

mill cottage
Mill Cottage courtesy of Google Street View June 2011

Known residents:

  • 1939 – George Winder
  • 2002 – Helen Mary Bell nee Wilson (1917-2006)

Page last updated: 3 June 2020

1851: Coroner’s Inquests … Death by Drowning

On Saturday morning last the body of a young woman, named Eleanor Hayhurst, was found in the canal, close to the Highgate Settings Bridge.  An inquest was held the same day at Oxenholme, before R. Wilson, Esq., when the following circumstances were given in evidence:-

James Cleasby, of Oxenholme, in the township of Kendal, farmer, deposed – Eleanor Hayhurst, the deceased was my servant. She has served me since last Martinmas and was intending to leave my house at Whitsuntide. Some wearing apparel had been misplaced a short time ago, and I named it to the deceased last night about ten o’clock. The doors of my house were then bolted and made fast for the night, and we were about going to bed. We had no high words, and I told deceased that if she would take the things to their proper places nothing more should be said about them. He was then standing in the passage on her way to bed.  She made no reply to what I said, but stood still about five minutes. She then moved to the out-kitchen, extinguished the candle, placed it and the stick upon a table as she passed, and unbolted the doors and hastened out of the house. She did not add anything to her dress, nor did she speak to any one. I hastened after, and ran into the garden calling her by name, and I looked about for her but could not find her. I therefore returned and called my men-servants, and we searched all the outbuildings, but we could not find her there. It was then so dark we thought it useless to search the fields. We sat up to daylight, and the recommenced the search. Having searched various other places, we went to the canal, and, after searching there some time, I found a knife which one of my servants identified as her property. We then returned home and took drags with us. We very soon found the body of the deceased. She was in the canal, quite dead, and had apparently been drowned. We found the body under the Highgate Settings Bridge, in this township, and we removed it here. There are some very steep steps down to the canal bank from the road, and it was very dark when she left my house. If she had been intending to go on the canal banks to Kendal, these steps would be her direct road. The deceased was about twenty years of age.

James Parkinson, of Oxenholme, farm-servant, said- The deceased was a fellow-servant of mine. I assisted to search for her after she was missing yesterday night, and was there when her body was found. My master asked me to name to her that some clothes were missing, and I did so whilst we were milking yesterday. She denied that she had taken them, and desired me to go and search her boxes, which she said were open. She said she wished she was dead, and appeared very much distressed in mind.  She said such stories were enough to drive anyone mad. I believe I was the first to name the missing clothes to her and she at once desired her boxes to be searched.

Verdict – Found drowned.

Westmorland Gazette, Saturday 31 May 1851