Monday, October 15, 2018

Musgrave: Distinguished Surname

Our name, Musgrove, was originally Musgrave.

"This distinguished surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational name deriving from a pair of villages near Kirkby Stephen in Westmorland, called Great and Little Musgrave." Surname Database

 This post follows our Musgrove family's journey and what remains of their landmarks.

Great and Little Musgrave 

 According to Plantagenet Harrison, The History of Richmondshire, 1, pp. 180–181, the earliest record of our surname
Musgrave Village
" "Gamel, Lord of Musgrave, of the county of Westmorland and divers manors in  Cumberland County , living in the time of King Edward the Confessor (1042-1065)".
Musgrave Village is now in  Cumbria County. The population of this civil parish was 165 at the 2011 census. The town boasts three historical buildings; a school, home and a church.  Wikipedia

St Theobald’s Church-Exterior
"The present St Theobald’s Church in Great Musgrave was constructed in 1845 to a design by G.R. Appleby, on a site that has had two previous churches. 
It is in a quiet spot on the edge of the village beside the River Eden, and is approached through an impressive avenue of horsechestnut trees.   
Visit Cumbria
St Theobald’s Church-Interior
The interior is light and airy and simply furnished. Above the windows are heads by the corbels to the roof beams.  
There is a monk with a scroll and a woman with flowing hair holding a string of beads. There is only one small stained glass window of a Coat-of-Arms."  
Visit Cumbria
On page 587 of their book "The history and antiquities of the counties of Westmorland and Cumberland" (1777),  Nicolson and Burn, reports the Musgrave family "...resided there for several ages, afterwards removed to Hartley castle, and finally settled and now continues at Eden-hall in Cumberland."

Hartley/Harclay Castle 

The Musgrave family acquired the Harclay Castle after it was seized from Andrew de Harcla.
The Drawing and Quartering of Andrew Harclay
"The existing manor house was fortified by de Harcla, some time prior to 1323, when he was ordered by King Edward II to be hanged, drawn and quartered for alleged collusion with Robert the Bruce... .
It was granted to Ralph de Neville who later sold it through three other hands to Thomas de Musgrave. (It) was abandoned circa 1677. ... Apart from limited earthworks all that remains now is a few metres of wall and stairs down to a vaulted cellar for the former kitchen.  
The site currently houses a late-18th-century farmhouse and outbuildings."   Wikipedia  
From here the family moved to Edenhall.

Edenhall Manor

"The original Eden Hall was
extended in the 1700s from materials salvaged from the demolition of Hartley castle, the ancestral home of the Musgrave family. 
...The hall was sold in the early 1900s, when the Musgrave family moved to London, and was demolished in 1934, leaving its 19th-century courtyard of stables and coach houses which has been divided into seven properties retaining some stables." Wikipeida 

The Luck of Edenhall

The Luck of Edenhall
"The hall was noteworthy as the home of the Luck of Eden Hall, an enamel and gilt glass beaker from the 14th century, once owned by the Musgrave family and currently in pristine condition.
While reputedly stolen from the fairies during its history, it is actually an Islamic piece dating from the 14th century. Wikipedia
Telling the story in The Gentleman's Magazine in 1791, Rev. William Mounsey of Bottesford wrote:
"Tradition our only guide here, says, that a party of Fairies were drinking and making merry round a well near the Hall, called St. Cuthbert's Well; but being interrupted by the intrusion of some curious people, they were frightened, and made a hasty retreat, and left the cup in question: one of the last screaming out;
"If this cup should break or fall 
Farewell the Luck of Edenhall!"   
"In 1926 the glass was loaned to the Victoria and Albert Museum, and in 1958 it was finally acquired for the nation. It remains on permanent view in the Medieval & Renaissance galleries."

 The Luck of Edenhall

Part of a series on The Ballad of Little Musgrave.

1. Distinguished Surname      4. Versions       7   Origin.     
2. Border Reivers                   5.  History        8.  Author               
3. The Ballad                          6. Text              9. Story
                                              10. Minstrels

Have you been following this series on the Ballad of Little Musgrave? Do you have any thoughts on it? Tell me below in the comment section.


  1. Hi, my name is Wadene Musgrave and I am excited to find this page! I wish I could save it, or print it... I heard there was a curse on a Musgrave castle - it the Luck of Edenhall that same story?

  2. Hi, Wadene. I've not heard of this curse. The Musgrave's were known, primarily, for Hayton Castle, Harclay Castle and Edenhall. My guess is it would be the Harclay Castle as it came to the Musgrave's after the owner was executed for treason with one of the de Bruces.

    This post is about Musgrave Castles.