A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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BOWLAND WITH LEAGRAM
Up to a century ago it 'retained much of its old wild character; there was no right of way through it; chains were kept across the roads leading in from Chipping and opposite the fords over the River Loud. The means of locomotion were rude and primitive, and access to the market towns of Clitheroe and Preston difficult.' (fn. 3) The road from Chipping now goes eastward to Leagram Mill, situated on the brook dividing the two parts of the township, and then northward through Greystoneley to the bridge over the Hodder in the north-east corner.
Bowland in the north is hilly, part of the Bleasdale Fells, which bound it on the north-west, rising to 1,500 ft. above the ordnance datum; Leagram from the north-west corner slopes rapidly to the south, and its southern portion is comparatively level. The boundary of this part does not quite reach the River Loud, a narrow strip belonging to Bowland. The Hodder forms the eastern boundary.
Bowland paid 26s. 10¾d. to the county lay when the hundred paid £100. (fn. 4)
Leagram had thirty-two hearths liable to the tax in 1666; Richard Shireburne's was the only large house, having fourteen hearths. Bowland had forty; Christopher Harris's house had eight, Richard Marsden's six, and two other houses had three hearths. (fn. 5)
From its situation it may be considered certain that this township was part of the grant of Chippingdale made to Robert de Lacy in 1102, (fn. 6) and subsequently descending with Clitheroe, and that by the Lacys it was included in their forest of Bowland, (fn. 7) and thus became part of the hundred of Blackburn and parish of Whalley, (fn. 8) being detached from its proper hundred and parish, (fn. 9) though being retained in Lancashire. Edmund de Lacy's forest of Chippingdale is named in 1258, (fn. 10) and in the Clitheroe Court Rolls of 1324 occurs a fine for cutting vert in Chippingdale. (fn. 11)
LEAGRAM PARK was separated and remained for a long time under special parkers, (fn. 12) but in 1556 was disparked, the report on its condition stating that the old oaks remaining were mostly unfit for building with, and that the pale of the park, 1,140 rods, was in great decay. There had been no deer there for many years. (fn. 13) The park was demised to farm for eighty years to Sir Richard Shireburne, (fn. 14) and by Elizabeth the fee simple was in 1563 granted to Robert Lord Dudley, afterwards Earl of Leicester, (fn. 15) from whom it was at once purchased by Sir Richard. (fn. 16) It descended in the same way as Stonyhurst to Thomas Weld, who died in 1810. It then passed to his younger son George Weld, (fn. 17) whose son John died in 1888. (fn. 18) It is now the estate of his daughter Miss Matilda Weld. The Lawnd, as the house was called, was formerly used as a dower house by the Shireburnes. Courts have been held since the time of Elizabeth. (fn. 19)
Leagram Hall stands on the site of the Old Park Lodge which was an H-shaped building of timber and plaster. This house was considerably altered in the 16th century, when the wing facing east was rebuilt. The remainder of the house survived till it was rebuilt about 1775. The west wing was made the domestic chapel, traces of which still remain, though the present Gothic chapel was built by John Weld about 1856 in his father's lifetime. The existing east front was erected in 1822 by George Weld. (fn. 20)
The family of Hoghton of Pendleton, an illegitimate branch of that of Hoghton, were seated at Leagram in the 15th century. (fn. 21)
Of LITTLE BOWLAND there is practically nothing to be related. The principal families living there were the Parkers of Greystoneley (fn. 22) and Lickhurst (fn. 23); the Swinglehursts and Harrises of Fairoak. (fn. 24) Christopher Harris of this family (fn. 25) took the king's side in the Civil War, and as a 'recusant and delinquent' his estate was sequestered (fn. 26) and then sold by the Parliament. (fn. 27) Hugh Dobson of Leagram compounded for his estate in 1654. (fn. 28)
In 1787 the chief landowners were Thomas Weld, the Duke of Montagu and Mrs. Clince Parker Harding. (fn. 31)
The chapel at Leagram Hall, now domestic, represents the centre of a Roman Catholic mission for the district which can be traced back to the 17th century. (fn. 32) St. Mary's Church, Chipping, has now its position.
The Chipping charities of John Brabin were partially applicable to this township also, but the scheme of 1878 did not specially recognize the claim. (fn. 33) From the benefactions of Richard Shireburne of Stonyhurst and Sir Nicholas his son £6 a year is given to the poor, distributed by the overseer of Leagram to two or three persons. (fn. 34) Another small sum is given. (fn. 35)