Routledge at Tallentire

John Routledge was born in Oughterside in around 1800, and was already married to Mary when they first appeared together in the 1841 census. (Mary born approx 1806 in Greysouthen/Brigham). They had presumably been married for several years already, because they had 4 children, William aged 11 (Greysouthen, perhaps at his mothers' family's home?), Henry aged 9, James aged 1835, and John aged 2. They are living at Low House, a farm just north west of the main village of Tallentire, and James' occupation is listed as "husbandsman".

In the four census returns from 1851 to 1881, James and Mary are resident in the village. The actual location is not named, but is consistently two households away from the schoolhouse. This schoolhouse is still standing at the south end of the village, although now converted to living accommodation. There are a few cottages close by which could have been where they lived.

James and Mary lived a long life, and James was recorded as an agricultural labourer for all this time (1881 listed as "retired servant"). They share a gravestone in the churchyard of St. Bridget's in Bridekirk, about 1.5 miles south west of Tallentire. The stone is a simple thin sandstone design, with a few small flowers carved on the edges. The lettering is made from lead, which together with the lichen makes it now quite difficult to read, although it is still in good condition. It records that James died Feb 16th 1886 aged 86, and Mary died only a few days later on Feb 27th, aged 80. The stone is in a beautiful location with views towards the road to Tallentire and also eastwards towards the Lakeland Fells. The present church was built in 1868 although the previous church (of which some ivy-covered walls remain) was built around 1130. There are some very old grave markers, the oldest are positioned around the outside wall of the apse.

A distance of only 3 metres away from James and Mary's gravestone is that of their son John, and his wife Sarah. The stone is a strong grey granite, with shallow carved lettering, and a ground-level boundary of sandstone. It records that he died at Harrington on August 20th 1888 and Sarah died April 18th 1888 aged 57. They are said to be from Belle Vue, in Papcastle, and this is their residence recorded in both 1871 and 1881. In 1861 they were living in South Street, Cockermouth. He is also listed as an agricultural labourer, and no children were recorded in any of these counts. John's birthplace is confirmed as Tallentire, while Sarah was from Cockermouth.

James Routledge (junior, born c.1835) married Elizabeth McVittie (born c.1837 in Oulton just north of Wigton) in late 1859. See Routledge at Harriston

James & Mary Routledge's Gravestone:

John & Sarah Routledge's Gravestone:

Greysouthen on wiki
Greysouthen link 2
Greysouthen link 3
Tallentire Old Schoolhouse on Geograph
Tallentire Low House Farm on Geograph
Info about Saint Bridget of Ireland
St. Bridget's, Bridekirk on Visit Cumbria
St Bridget's, Bridekirk on Old Cumbria Gazetteer (with some excellent photos of the old and new churches)