Allonby

ALLONBY   (Cumberland) 

The following paragraph appeared 3rd September, 1799, in the Carlisle Press :
            “On Sunday, the 25th there was one of the most numerous and genteel congregations at Allonby Chapel that has been seen for many years past, amongst whom were several of the principal gentry of the country.  Immediately after divine service the clerk gave notice ‘that there would be a horse race at Allonby on the following Tuesday’.”
            The writer quoted went on to deprecate the custom, and called upon the ecclesiastical authorities to prohibit all announcements in church which had any relation to business or amusements.  The custom was continued in both Cumberland and Westmorland until the middle of last century.  In Yorkshire, within the memory of old men still alive, the fixtures of certain dale packs of foxhounds were regularly announced on Sundays from the pulpit by the parsons.  Incongruous it may seem in these days, but it was part of the life of the parish, and the church was not altogether aloof from both foxes and foxhunting, for the parsons hunted and the churchwardens disbursed money for the destruction of foxes amongst other vermin.