AS ALL provident people know, prices are forever changing - but not always upwards.

In Kendal Market Place, eggs were 1s a dozen in 1914, which in 21st-century values would be about £4.

Earlier records reveal a variety of costs. In 1727, William Hutton, the vicar of Beetham, noted that eggs were six a penny, butter was 3d a pound, new milk a penny a gallon, beef and mutton were 2d a pound, and salmon 1d to 3d a pound. A labourer got 4d a day with food or 10d 'without meat'.

Earlier, in around 1670, the Countess of Pembroke's wage bill at Appleby Castle was grander. As with 'sarvant lasses' in humble farmsteads, who lived mainly on porridge, payment included 'full board'.

The countess's staff at Appleby Castle would fare more sumptuously but, except for her sheriff on £20 per annum, monetary wages were slight. Respectively, her coachman received £6, her brewer, porter and baker £5, and housekeepers, grooms, postilions and herdsman £4 each.

Nevertheless, Her Ladyship's accounts included luxury items such as: fine scarlet cloth bought at Kendal at 29s a yard, a dress of tawny velvet at 14s 5d a yard, gloves 'to give away - men's buff 5s 6d' and 'Verginian tobacco [sic]' at 4s per pound.