Monday mystery: garnet(t)s and leprosy

Thanks to this interesting snippet of local history in the Westmorland Gazette, I now know that Kendal had a leper hospital in medieval times.

According to the article it was sited on the outskirts of the town (quite common with such an infectious disease, to try to keep it away from the rest of the population) in an area near the confluence of the Mint and Sprint rivers – so, presumably, not that far from where Morrisons is now. Although long gone, the area where it stood is apparently still called Spital Wood, and there’s a row of houses in the town called Spital Row, which looked out towards the site.

I’m intrigued that it was an Anthony Garnet who was responsible for closing the hospital, in the mid 1600s. Not too far away is the hamlet of Garnett Bridge (pictured above), at the foot of Longsleddale. Is the settlement named after the same person, even though it’s spelled differently? It seems like an odd coincidence if not. If anyone knows, do let me know.

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