Burton predates the 1086 Domesday Survey, but it achieved prominence as the largest corn market in Westmorland after receiving its market charter from Charles II in 1661 (as the plaque on the market cross states). It later became an important staging post on the coach route, being midway between Lancaster and Kendal. However, with the development of the railways the village was bypassed and declined.
The limestone market cross, which doubled as a holding post for criminals, was erected by public subscription in the 18th Century.
One other detail: Burton was the birthplace of composer Felix Borowski (1872-1956).
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