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Maulds Meaburn was described by Hunter Davies as "... one of the most beautiful villages in the country". It is a quiet picturesque village in Cumbria not far from the Eden Valley and about seven miles from Appleby-in-Westmorland. It forms part of the parish of Crosby Ravensworth and stands either side of Lyvennet Beck which flows from the South through Crosby Ravensworth and finally enters the River Eden near Temple Sowerby.

On a stretch of moorland about 2 miles away are some 90 sites of prehistoric village settlements. One of them Ewe Close, has walls 6ft high, and covers more than an acre roughly square in shape. It is believed to date from the iron age and also to have been occupied in Roman times. Another settlement, Burwens, has the remains of a hut, 25ft. across, inside an enclosure of about 1 acre with a causeway outside it.


On the outskirts of the village, to the South, is a Palladian style villa called Flass built in 1851 of white stone brought down from Orton Scar and set in about 15 acres of land. The building was recently a residential school of the performing arts.

To the North is Meaburn Hall, a Jacobean house built in 1610, although some parts appear to date from the late 1500's, - an early seat of the Lowther family. In 1750 the Lowthers outgrew Meaburn Hall and moved to Lowther Castle. Just to one side of the hall are two small square buildings which were built as summer houses by an ancient bowling green. It is rumoured that two Lowther brothers argued and fought a duel in one of the rooms, later leaving the house never to be heard of again. The room was sealed and its location eventually forgotten, keeping, in the airless room, the hatred that festered between the brothers.

The Lowthers are one of the oldest recorded English families - a medieval family given lands after the Norman conquest and linked to the Vetripont family. Their coat of arms are a variation of the Vetriponts. Sir Hugh de Lowther, Attorney General to Edward I and a Justice of the King's Bench, was the first of the family to be knighted, and every successive head of the family in the Middle Ages was also knighted. Sir John Lowther was made the 1st. Viscount Lonsdale in 1696. He was succeeded as 2nd and 3rd Viscount, by his sons Richard and Henry, neither of whom married. On the death of Henry in 1751, the viscounty became extinct so the estates were inherited by his cousin and male heir Sir James Lowther (known as 'Wicked Jimmy') of Maulds Meaburn. He had a great deal of political influence, controlling nine parliamentary boroughs in the North West - the 'Lowther Ninepins'. He married Lady Mary Stuart, daughter of George III's unpopular prime minister, the Earl of Bute. He was a patron of the younger William Pitt whose first parliamentary seat in 1781 was the Lowther borough of Appleby. As a reward for this, 'Wicked Jimmy' was created Earl of Lonsdale. The 1st. Earl of Lonsdale inherited the Maulds Meaburn estate from his father Robert, who was the Governor of Barbados, as well as the Lowther estate from his cousin.

The village, and its twin King's Meaburn, lying on the valley to the north, formed part of a former medieval manor called Meaburn or Medburn (Anglian dialect of 'Old English' meaning "Meadow Stream"), and were held by a brother and sister Hugh and Maud de Morville. Hugh's portion was forfeited to the Crown when he became one of those held responsible for the murder of Thomas a Becket - so Kings Meaburn was distinguished from Maud's or Maulds. Maud was married to William de Veteripont. Sir Hugh's estates were later restored to Robert de Veteripont, Maud's son. Sir Hugh rode with King Richard I to the Holy Land where he died in 1202 and was buried in the porch of the Templar's church at Jerusalem (now a mosque - El Aksa). Mauld's Meaburn passed from the Veteriponts to the families of Frauncey, and Vernon. It was sold to Sir John Lowther in the reign of James I, and is now owned by his descendant the present Earl of Lonsdale.


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