Early Photographs of Troutbeck
These two pictures from the early 1900s were kindly contributed by Jackie and Muriel Bland from their family album. You can listen to Jackie and Muriel's fascinating memories in our new Sound Interviews.
In Troutbeck, family networks are commemorated in the very buildings of the village itself. The most important and influential of these families was that of the Birketts, who, between the middle ages and the last century, had representatives in several of the constituent hamlets of the locality, even though their influence was declining in Victorian times.
By the closing of Queen Victoria's reign, only three of the upper yeoman stock – the Brownes at Townend, the Bensons at High Green, and the Birkett-Forrests – remained in Troutbeck. In 1394, the name appeared as de Byrketh, and by Queen Elizabeth's reign Birkhead or Birkedes. In 1560 the Hearth Tax List, 1669-71, shows that the family group at the time, represented invariably as Birkett, was still the largest in the township.
This collection of photographs has has been contributed by the Elias family and shows us a small piece of the history of Low House Farm in the 1930s…
In 1957, when the Brownrigg brothers became too old to work the farm, Miss Forrest put it up for auction, and it was bought by the Elias family, who still own it. Since then the Elias family has lovingly converted Thwaite back into a private home, and it's now one of the Lake District's most original and unchanged farmhouses.
The Elias family's connection with Troutbeck goes back over 70 years, since the summer of 1938 when Harvey Elias’ father was a tenant at Low House Farm – perhaps the first person to take a 'holiday let' in Troutbeck!
When the farm was sold, Maggie Ridley and the Brownrigg brothers joined Miss Forrest in Birkett House. Eventually after the death of all four, Birkett House too was put up for sale in 1967.
After much detective work in the Post Office, we've now got a complete list of all the sledgers (from back to front)…
1. Joe Black
2. Michael Pattinson
3. Alan Booth
4. Ronald Reed
5. Derek Reed
6. Charles Storey
7. Jack Leak
8. Sally Mitchinson
9. Joan Pattinson
10. Alan Leak
11. Doreen Rowlandson
12. Sheila Brown
13. Mary Leak