Finsthwaite Village

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Finsthwaite's Intreging History

photo of St Peter's FinsthwaiteI moved into the Leven Valley well over fifteen years ago from the Crake Valley and since then I have heard the odd mention of a mysterious princess who was buried in St Peter's Church yard, Finsthwaite.
This intrigued me; for many years I wondered who she could be. I was aware that royalty was connected with the Furness Peninsular, (the last Manx King being buried at Furness Abbey) but could not understand why a princess should choose to take St Peter's Finsthwaite as her final resting place. As picturesque and photogenic as the church and surrounding village may be, it didn't feel right. But hey, who am I to pour scorn on local rumour or traditional belief?
I then chanced upon Janet Martin who was introduced to me in 2003 by the current owner of Hollow Oak and her well researched account of the history and peoples of Hollow Oak is featured in these web pages. This account has given rise to interest from as far a-field as Ontario Canada and from Auckland, New Zealand.
The enquiry from Ontario came from a history society who were trying to track down the final resting place of Richard Gwillym (1802-67) the late vicar of Ulverston, who had been responsible for an energetic restoration of the church there which was completed in 1866. Sarah his wife was the sister of Agnes Strickland who wrote a popular "Lives of the Queens of England" and she had four other sisters all of who were gifted writers or artists. So we set off on a trail to find him.
The latest enquiry from New Zealand was to help a chap find his family history as his great, great, great, great, great grand-father and grand-mother actually lived there. It just goes to show, you never know who may be reading these pages and how powerful the Internet can be. Anyway back to my story.
I found Janet's history of Hollow Oak really fascinating so once I realised during a short telephone conversation that she had researched the "Princess" I had to know more.
I am indebted to Janet for her account of the research into the Princess of Finsthwaite and have now been able to publish it on the website for all to read.
So keep your eyes focussed on the Leven Valley website and you could be surprised.
David Birchall,
Editor in Chief -
Cumbria's Leven Valley

Find out more about the Finsthwaite Princess

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