Lower Balshaw or Tunstall House

There is a house formerly called "Lower Balshaw" and before that known as "Balshaw" at grid ref 6557 6695.  It is now called "Tunstall House" and it can be seen on the current OS 1:50,000 series map, sheet 97.  

It is only a few hundred metres from the county boundary with North Yorkshire.  The thumbnail size image above is a link to a small area of the 1829 map referred to below, and the items highlighted are Balshaw (now Tunstall House) and Borshaw Moor (later known as "Moor Cock", but the nearest feature to the farm later know as "Balshaw" on Balshaw Road).

On the 1786 map of Lancashire drawn by Yates this Tunstall House is simply called "Balshaw".  You can find this map on the internet.  See if you can find the house on map B3 (or go direct to map B3 if they haven't moved it again). Balshaw is about a quarter of the way down the map, due south of the village of Bentham, and immediately south of "Long Bank".  (Note that the funny "s" is just old script.)

On the 1829 map by G. Hennet (map E2), Balshaw can be more clearly seen just north of Wait Moss (which is now called Thwaite Moss).  You can find this map on the internet too.

Interestingly, the farm later known as "Balshaw" (which was on Balshaw Road) appears not to have been built by 1829.  Indeed there are no features in that area bearing the Balshaw name.  This leads me to the view that the house now known as Tunstall House was the one that originally carried the name.

Historical information from the present owner

Nick Hewitt says:

I have come across your web site page "Lower Balshaw or Tunstall House". I am the present owner of this house and thought you might be interested in some information about it.

Until 1920, Lower Balshaw was a farm of thirty one acres extent and belonged to the vicar of Tunstall, Lancashire. Tunstall is a small village about 10 miles north of the farm near Kirby Lonsdale. The house itself lies in the parish of Tatham Fells. I don't know how or when the farm came into the ownership of the vicar of Tunstall, but in 1920 it was sold by the vicar at the time, one Roland Lees, to the tenant, John Clapham, of Bentham, North Yorkshire.

This sale required the approval of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (for reasons I do not know, but presumably related to the fact that the farm was part of the hereditament of the parish). In any event, the sale took place on 7th December 1920, for the sum of £725.

Shortly afterwards, the farm was sold to the Carr family, also of Bentham, in whose ownership it remained until 1992, when its land was sold off to the three adjacent farms. This was when if ceased to be a working farm.

I bought it in 1995.

The 1961 1:25000 (First Series) Ordnance Survey map showed the house with the name "Lower Balshaw", but the current OS map uses the new name. As far as I can ascertain, the name "Balshaw" was used for a barn, which still stands, but not for a farm or dwelling.

The only other "Balshaw" connection I know of locally is the curtain/carpet shop in Lancaster which has a sign saying it was established in 1920something.

Yours sincerely Nick Hewitt

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