Tinclar's Library


Tinclar's Library in Bampton, was founded as a Trust in 1750 by the Reverend Jonathan Tinclar with a donation of £50. He was Rector of Addlethorpe in Lincolnshire but his family originated from Westmorland and he himself had probably been educated at Bampton Grammar School, renowned at the time for its output of scholars - many destined for the Church of England. His intention was to supply the vicars of this otherwise relatively poor parish, not only with theological books but also with works on Law and the Sciences.

From the £50 endowment, a field was purchased, and the rent from this was then used to pay for the books. The library also incorporated earlier gifts of books from the Earl of Lonsdale and Bishop Gibson of London, dating from as early as 1710. Over the years the collection expanded to about 1,500 works, including books received from other parish libraries and donations.

When Bampton lost its resident vicar in 1992, the opportunity was taken to re-catalogue the collection and at the same time to re-house it in St Patrick's Church Hall in Bampton, thereby making it more accessible to parishioners and interested visitors. The library is now one of only two 'Parochial Libraries' remaining in Cumbria and the only one regularly open to the public.



The Library retains its core collection of theological books, including Greek, Hebrew and Coptic bibles, but in addition there is a broad range of books of local and general interest extending back into the C18th. These include:
Nicholson & Burn: The History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland 1777
Llewellynn Jewitt:The life and Works of Jacob Thompson
C19th travel books relating to the Balkans and North America
Transactions of the C&W Antiquarian & Archaeological Society from 1901
The Works of Jonathan Swift - 13 vols, including Gulliver's Travels in vols 4 & 5
Boswells' life of Samuel Johnson - 3 vols
The works of the Revd John Newton, former captain of a slave trading ship and composer of Amazing Grace
A wide and expanding selection of contemporary books of local interest

In recent years, the Trustees have diversified the collection to include parish records and local history resources, including some records of the "drowned" valley of Mardale. This part of the collection now includes:

  • Bampton Parish Records
  • Bampton church and churchyard inscriptions and memorials
  • Baptisms, Banns, Marriages and Burials, 1637 to the present day
  • Bampton Parish Vestry and Parochial Church Council minute books 1862-1995
  • Methodist Chapel Baptisms 1873-1980
  • Methodist Chapel Marriages 1939-1987
  • Bampton Census Returns 1841-1901
  • Mardale Records
  • Mardale Church and churchyard burial plan
  • Baptisms, Banns, Marriages and Burials 1684-1935
  • Mardale Census Returns 1841-1901
  • Other Parish Records
  • Parish Registers for Askham 1566-1812
  • Parish Registers for Shap 1559-1830
  • Census returns on CD for Askham, Bampton, Lowther, Shap and Shap Rural 1841-1901
  • Local History Resources
  • Ordnance Survey maps, Sackwath Enclosure Award map, farm maps, auction particulars and legal documents, Bampton field name map, historic map of Westmorland 1770.
  • Scrapbooks, photographs, Bampton Endowed School records, including photographs and videos
  • Historical Monuments: photographs and data relating to buildings in Bampton and Mardale collected for An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland (1936)
  • Bampton Parish Newsletters from 1987
  • County directories from 1787, 1829, 1858, 1860, 1885 and 1921


The first Monday in each month, 7.00 pm- 9.30 pm or at other times by appointment.

If the first Monday in the month is a Bank Holiday, then the open evening for that month is the second Monday.

Visitors from a distance are advised to verify the date of the open evening before travelling.

Admission is free, but the library is supported entirely by voluntary effort, so donations are always welcome! The library is registered as a charity, so donations are eligible for gift aid.


The Friends are a group of supporters of the Library, within the Parish and beyond, who assist at fund-raising functions and provide a reservoir of talent and enthusiasm to secure the future of the library for the community. Friends are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Library, and also to an annual Friends' reception in Church Hall which is addressed by a speaker on a topic of local or literary interest.

Current rates of membership subscriptions are as follows:

Life, single     £50
Life, joint     £75
Annual, single     £ 7
Annual, joint     £10


Apart from the regular purchase of books to augment and refresh the collection, the Trustees are always pleased to consider offers of books, subject to the constraints of space and relevance.  Similarly, offers of items for the parish record and local history resource sections of the collection are also very welcome, such as

Photographs,postcards, maps and plans

Parish Newsletters, particularly pre-1987

Family pedigrees

Old document of title or sale

Newspaper cuttings and scrapbooks Records and other papers relating to the Church, Chapel, School, Memorial Hall, Women's Institute, Bampton Sports and other local organisations

Archival items already in the Library have almost entirely been donated. Even seemingly ephemeral items can gain interest with the passage of time. It is appreciated that owners of such items may often wish to retain them in their family, in which cases the trustees would be happy to take copies.



The Library is located in St Patrick's Church Hall, Bampton Grange, Cumbria next to St Patrick's Church. The postcode is CA10 2QR. For further information email library@tinclars.plus.com or telephone (01931) 713306