OTHER INTERESTING WALNEY ISLAND INFORMATION
In 1631 Walney-Island was subjected to the dreaded plague which became responsible for the death of half the islands two-hundred and fifty inhabitants. The Islands vicar of this time was William Bowett who's death was also a known casualty of the disease, it's no wonder therefore that he was never replaced until the killer disease had ended and the island had been given the 'all clear'.
In order to dispose of the plague's victims, a mass grave was dug just to the north of meadow land near to were the Ferry Hotel now stands and which was given the name 'Sepulchre', a name which the area was to retain until the mid nineteenth century.
Evidence within a 1662 map actually supports that their were in fact five 'Kings Mill' windmills on Walney Island and although their 'exact' location is not listed, other than that they were to lie south of Dalton their names were referenced as: North End Mill, North Scale Mill, Biggar Mill, Little Mill (between Biggar & Southend) and Southend mill, although people of the island only presently refer to two, those of Mill Lane and another at North End Farm.
Before the Walney mills and even during the early days of these mills Walneyites 'had to' employ the services of Roose mill as this was a command of the 'Receiver of Rents for the Lordship of Furness' William Sandys as must all other farmers in the Furness area. During long periods of good weather Walney farmers would cross the channel at low tide on one of the many fords to Barrow, then on up a bridle path (Known today as Greengate Street), over Risedales, where the Walneyites would leave their animals at the beck at the bridle paths end (an area which became known as Walney Stables, and for which the Walneyites would pay rent of "four couples of rabbits per annum, for the privilege". A practice which did not cease until 1818), they would then have to hoist the load upon their own backs and continue up the footpath to Roose mill.
During the civil war and after the defeat of parliamentary forces around Dalton-in-Furness in 1644, the Royalists' made their march on North Scale after hearing that the village had become a safe haven for sailors from the fleet assembled within Piel Harbour. At their first attempt the village defenders prevented their attackers in their attempt to land on the shores, but only to see them return the following day.
On the Royalists second attempt the village was found to be deserted of all it's inhabitants and therefore he Royalists in their anger simply destroyed each and every home by fire, with the exception of only two as these properties were believed to be under the ownership of other royalists...
In 1652 George Fox, founder of the 'Society of Friends' (Previously Children of the Light) made his way to North Scale to speak to the villages curate, however upon his arrival the curate couldn't be located. Without success Fox made his way to the home of James Lancaster (believed to be still standing within the village?), whom he convinced of his ways.
Fox, considering his first visit to the village a success later made the return journey, or at least made the attempt to, but this time he wasn't aloud to come ashore by the locals and was stunned by blows from the villagers weapons. When Fox came too his first vision/s was that of James Lancaster's wife throwing stones at him from the shore, but for James Lancaster's intervention by lying upon Fox, his injuries could have been far more severe, The reasoning behind the attack was allegedly because the villagers had convinced Lancaster's wife that her husband had been 'bewitched' by Fox.
After even more ill-treatment James Lancaster was successful in pushing Fox's boat off the shoreline in order that he could return to the main land. Fox was never known to return to Walney after that, although Mrs. Lancaster was known to become a Quaker and her husband James Lancaster went on Gospel missions, even to the point of accompanying Fox to the Americas...
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