41 & 43, Market Street


The earliest historical evidence we have for this small charming building arises from Thomas Fawcett’s drawing[1] dated as 1817.  The picture shows a double-fronted two-storey Brockram and rubble building, then with a central doorway which is now two small shops, each with its own doorway. The building has a chimney at each end of the stone flag roof in a row of thatched buildings.  Fawcett says it is the New Inn belonging to I. Bainbridge.  Isaac Bainbridge is listed in historical trade directories in 1829[2] and 1834[3] at the New Inn but not by 1851.[4]

The only information we have been able to find for Isaac Bainbridge in the parish registers is a death in East Ward, Westmorland in 1837.[5]  This might explain why the inn does not appear to have continued after the 1830’s but it has not been confirmed that this is indeed the same man. Isaac Bainbridge occupied land in Hartley owned by John Hunter in 1823.[6] Much later in 1884, an I. Bainbridge, draper was on the jury for the Candle Factory fire inquest.

Interestingly, Snotterton Hall,[7] which stood about a mile to the west of Staindrop bears the arms and crest of Baynbridge over the entrance door. This mansion, possibly previously a fortified manor house, was of late gothic style. Bainbridge’s are said to have owned the hall from at least 1469 and sold by George Baynbrigg [sic.] to the Ewbank family in 1607.  The house was pulled down in 1831 but a portion is preserved in the present Raby Grange farmhouse.  In 2007, the house was again called Snotterton Hall in the hands of Bill and Sheila Thompson. The Thompson family have owned the building for over 150 years.  Further historical records show Bainbridge families in the wider area including Waitby, Soulby, Smardale and Crosby Garratt and the surname possibly originated from Bainbridge, North Yorkshire.  

Local tradition has repeated that after Bainbridge’s time, Lord Lowther used the building as a private drinking den when entertaining shooting parties in the area. This description would fit Hugh Cecil Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale, (25 January 1857 – 13 April 1944), the “Yellow Earl” who is said to have “devoted his wealth to a life of ostentatious pleasure” which included sports and entertaining royalty.  However, this Lord Lowther inherited in 1888 from Viscount Lowther, George Henry Lowther, 4th Earl of Lonsdale (4 October 1855 – 8 February 1882), he in turn inherited in 1876, it is therefore difficult to tie the legend down to which Lord Lowther.

The south side of the building has bricked up openings and a possible coal hatch.  The structure is curved as it follows the alley to allow extra room for small horse drawn vehicles entering Arcade Royal yard. The current two small shops are now (2020) occupied by the businesses The Beauty Rooms and Eden Outdoors

[1] SWAILES Alec and Anne, 1985. Kirkby Stephen, Titus Wilson & Son Ltd. Page 141-2 (reprint now available)

[2] WHITE William & Co., 1829. History, Directory & Gazetteer of Cumberland & Westmorland, Edward Baines & Son

[3] PIGOT James & Co., 1834. National Commercial Directory.

[4] MANNEX & Co., 1851. History & Directory of Westmorland, W.B. Wilson, Beverley

[5] ENGLAND & WALES DEATH RECORDS 1837-2007, East Ward, Westmorland, 279.

[6] HARTLEY, KIRKBY STEPHEN, WESTMORLAND - Names from the Land Tax Assessments, 1823.


Links to other Kirkby Stephen Blue Plaques