Black’s Picturesque Guide relates a supernatural tradition attached to Walla Crag:
… within whose ponderous jaws the common people believe that the once errant spirit of Jamie Lowther (the first Earl of Lonsdale) is securely inured … After his death it was confidently stated that his ghost roamed about these vales, to the terror of all … until some worthy priest, skilled in the management of refractory apparitions, safely ‘laid’ him, with the aid of divers exorcisms and approved charms, in the centre of this rock.
According to Mackenzie Walcott (1860), the priest who successfully dealt with Jamie was the vicar of Bampton.
Sir James Lowther, who lived at Lowther Hall (later LOWTHER CASTLE), Westmorland, was remembered in popular tradition as ‘the bad lord’, an oppressor of his tenants and one who feigned carelessness of his immense wealth. Thomas De Quincey writes of him:
The coach in which he used to visit Penrith was old and neglected; his horses fine, and untrimmed; and such was the impression diffused about him by his gloomy temper and his habits of oppression, that, according to the declaration of a Penrith contemporary of the old despot, the streets were silent as he traversed them, and an awe sat upon many faces …