A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Bronley, 1241; Brunley, 1251 and commonly; Brumleye, 1294.
In addition to Burnley and Habergham Eaves, always closely associated, the chapelry of Burnley included Briercliffe, Worsthorne and Cliviger, while the adjacent extra-parochial places of Ightenhill Park and Reedley Hallows were practically attached to it.
The historical township of Burnley lies on the lower slopes of land descending from Cliviger in the south-east and Marsden in the north-east towards the River Calder, flowing north-west, west and again north-west towards the Ribble. Between the two slopes the Brun, augmented by the Don, turns round to join the Calder. The town of Burnley grew up in the level tongue of land formed at this junction. The church was built in a central position near the Brun, and this stream divides the township into two nearly equal parts. The market place, with its cross, and the older part of the town stood near the church. From Cliviger, as stated, Burnley Ridge extends north-west into the township; it attains 630 ft. above sea level at the south-east boundary; from Marsden, where 775 ft. is attained, the surface descends gradually to the south and west; the height above the sea is 350 ft. at the junction of the Brun and Calder, and about 315 ft. near Royle. The area is 1,996 acres.
In the southern half of the township stands Fulledge, with Brunshaw and Towneley Park to the south-east. In the northern half Heysandforth, Swinless (fn. 1) and Saxifield lie to the north-east of the church; Bank Hall, Danes or Dancer House, the Old Hall and Barden to the north; Crowwood and Royle to the north-west; near the junction of the Brun with the Calder is Salford, which gave a name to the district around it. The old township does not extend to Pendle Water, part of New Laund and Reedley in Pendle Forest intervening. The boundaries have been greatly altered recently, as will be recorded in the account of the borough.
Roads from Padiham and Accrington join outside the west boundary, cross the Calder by the bridge, and go east through the centre of the town as St. James's Street; after passing through the town the road divides again, one branch going east into Yorkshire and the other south-east to Todmorden and Rochdale. A cross road from Bury and Rawtenstall unites with the other at the centre of the town, turns north as Church Street, and after crossing the Brun proceeds to Brierfield, Nelson and Colne. (fn. 2) As in other towns there are numerous minor roads and streets to serve the populous area, which had in the last century extended itself on all sides. The Accrington and Colne branch of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company passes north through the western side of the town, where there is a station (Bank Top); it was opened 18 September 1848, and in 1849 another branch was formed from Burnley to Todmorden, but this lies south and outside of the old township. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal goes north through the town on the eastern side, crossing the Calder and Brun by aqueducts. A tramway system with electric traction connects Burnley with Nelson, Padiham and suburban districts. (fn. 3) There are also mineral railway tracks. The population of Burnley proper in 1901 was 44,045; that of the enlarged township was 97,043.
In addition to the churches and municipal buildings there are several noteworthy buildings, as the Mechanics' Institute and Exchange (1851–88), some banks and the Church Institute. The Victoria Hospital on the north of the town was built 1884–6 and enlarged in 1890. The workhouse is near it; it has an infirmary attached.
The weaving of cotton goods is the staple industry of the town; there is a little spinning. There are also important manufactures of weaving machinery and other mill requisites, some iron foundries, paper works, breweries and brick-making works in the town itself or the immediate neighbourhood. Coal, stone and slate are found in and around Burnley. Two newspapers are issued on Wednesday and Saturday each week, the Express and the Gazette. The barracks are outside the township. There are a Territorial Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment and also Territorial Artillery.
Though a church existed in 1120 and a market and fair were established at Burnley in 1294, its history till recent times has been the uneventful one of a small country town. The neighbourhood contains many remains of the ancient inhabitants, such as the earthworks and burial mounds at Cliviger and Worsthorne. (fn. 4) Roman interments and coins have been discovered at Burnley and places to the east and south. (fn. 5) The ancient cross testifies to the introduction of Christianity, possibly in the 7th century. (fn. 6) The church was probably a parish church, which was reduced to a parochial chapel in the 12th century. The Reformation, (fn. 7) Civil War and Revolution affected the place chiefly through the fortunes of the great Towneley family, who adhered to the proscribed causes in religion and politics. Three Burnley men were executed in 1716 for having taken part in the Jacobite rising of the previous year, their names being William Harris, Joseph Porter and Stephen Segar. Burnley had some woollen trade, which has died out. Then about 1780 the cotton manufacture was introduced (fn. 8) and made rapid progress, the population of the town doubling between 1801 and 1821, and requiring the changes in the government of the town which are related below. Apart from the manufactures, the land is mostly occupied for pasturage, the distribution in the chapelry being as follows (fn. 9) :—
|Arable land ac.||Permanent grass ac.||Woods and plantations ac.|
Early last century it was regarded as a peculiarity of the people that 'wakes, rush-bearing and annual feasts' excited little attention. Horse-racing had been a favourite amusement, but the races held at Old Hall Postern about 1790 had been discontinued for lack of support. (fn. 10)
To the county lay of 1626 this chapelry contributed as follows: Burnley, £2 2s. 5¾d.; Briercliffe and Extwistle, £1 11s. 10¼d.; Worsthorne, £1 0s. 2¼d.; Cliviger, £1 11s. 10½d.; Ightenhill Park, 15s. 11¼d.; or in all £7 2s. 4d., when the hundred had to raise £100. (fn. 11)
The town has few names of prominence to record. The most famous is the Ven. Thomas Whitaker, seminary priest, born at Burnley in 1611, his father being schoolmaster; he was educated at Valladolid, and returning in 1638 to serve the Lancashire mission was arrested in 1643 and confined in Lancaster Castle till his trial in 1646. He was executed for his priesthood on 7 August with great cruelty. (fn. 12) The Rev. Henry Halliwell, B.D., a classical scholar, was also son of the schoolmaster and was born at Burnley in 1765; educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, he became fellow and tutor, and was rector of Clayton in Sussex from 1803 till his death in 1835. (fn. 13) Of recent times may be mentioned Thomas Turner Wilkinson, who died in 1875, (fn. 14) and William Angelo Waddington, who died in 1907 (fn. 15); both of them were students of the local history and published essays and volumes on the subject.
In addition to the ancient cross already mentioned, which is now near the grammar school, there were crosses in the market place by the church and the Foldys cross (1520) in the churchyard. The stocks and whipping-post were formerly placed near the market cross. (fn. 16) Two Crimean guns given to the town are placed near the grammar school.
Though BURNLEY has been called a manor, (fn. 17) it was and is properly speaking a member of the manor of Ightenhill, in the honor of Clitheroe; the manor courts have long been held at Higham for Pendle Forest and at Burnley for the rest of the manor. The tenure was to a large extent copyhold, but much of it has now been enfranchised. In 1242 the yearly value was given as £16 4s. 2d. (fn. 18) Burnley is named in the grant of free warren to Edmund de Lacy in 1251. (fn. 19) In 1258 it was found that Edmund held Burnley in demesne, Burnley here perhaps including Briercliffe as well as Habergham Eaves. There were 13 oxgangs of land, the oxgang containing 9 acres worth 4d. each; the occupiers of each oxgang had to do a day's ploughing each year and three days' reaping each autumn. These works having been commuted were valued at 3d.; the total value thus came to 42s. 3d. In addition seven small cottages were worth 6d. a year to the lord, and an eighth 12d. Of assarted land there were 793 acres, each worth 4d. There were five freehold estates held by charter, having 139 acres in all, the tenants being the Abbot of Whalley, William de Swillington, Adam, William de Ryland and Robert son of William. (fn. 20)
Henry de Lacy in 1294 obtained from the king a charter allowing a market every Tuesday and a three days' fair yearly, 28–30 June. (fn. 21) A market cross was then set up, at a cost of 9s. 1d. (fn. 22) Two years later the lord's accounts showed £13 8s. 5½d. for farm of Burnley, 12d. increment from a toft held by Robert the smith, 3s. 4d. for works remitted, £10 from the corn-mill and 6s. 8d. from a fulling-mill newly erected, (fn. 23) on which 52s. 6½d. had been spent. (fn. 24) By 1305 the farm of the fulling-mill had been advanced to 24s., but other receipts remained much the same. (fn. 25) The inquisition made after the death of Henry de Lacy in 1311 records 354½ acres in Burnley alone, demised to tenants at will at 4d. an acre, 10 oxgangs of land held in bondage at 5s. each, and 4d. each for works remitted, twelve cottages at 1s. each, a watermill worth £5 a year and a fulling-mill worth 5s. These were nominal values. There were seven free tenants. (fn. 26) The accounts of 1323–4 showed a net receipt of £21 8s. 10½d. (fn. 27)
HEYSANDFORTH (fn. 28) was regarded as a manor. Robert de Marsden gave to Robert de Swillington, son of Hugh, 40 acres in Burnley, which the grantor had received from Ralph son of Norman, and which had formerly been held by Henry the clerk of Burnley; the land was situated between the river flowing through the midst of the town of Burnley and the field called Saxifield. The forest and chase of John de Lacy Earl of Lincoln were reserved, and a rent of 6s. 8d. was to be paid to the earl. (fn. 29) William de Swillington held the 40 acres in 1258, paying 6s. 8d. (fn. 30) Afterwards it was acquired by Oliver de Stansfield, (fn. 31) who also obtained from Henry de Lacy a grant of the manor of Worsthorne, and in 1311 Oliver held 50 acres in Burnley by rendering 1d. yearly, the rent having been altered. (fn. 32) Heysandforth continued to descend like Worsthorne, (fn. 33) and was by Joan daughter and heir of Giles Stansfield conveyed in marriage to Simon Haydock, (fn. 34) said to have been of the Cottam family.
Evan Haydock the son of Simon died in 1596 holding the manor or capital messuage called Heysandforth, and messuages, water-mill, &c., in Burnley and Briercliffe of the queen as of her duchy of Lancaster in socage by 1d. rent. Simon his son and heir was forty years of age. (fn. 35) Simon Haydock was returned as a freeholder in 1600, (fn. 36) and died in 1607, leaving a son and heir Evan, ten years old. (fn. 37) Evan Haydock was a convicted recusant in 1626, paying double to the subsidy, (fn. 38) and soon afterwards he sold the manor of Worsthorne. He died in 1634 holding the capital messuage called Heysandforth, with other messuages in Burnley and Briercliffe, of the king as duke in socage by 1d. rent; Simon, his son and heir, was seven years of age. (fn. 39) The family subsequently conformed, and retained Heysandforth for some time. (fn. 40) It was in 1834 purchased from Miss Henrietta Harrison of Lancaster by John Hargreaves of Bank Hall, and has descended to Sir John O. S. Thursby, bart.
The old house at Heysandforth stands in a low situation on the north-east side of Burnley at a little distance from the north bank of the River Brun, between which and the building, however, there is a small brook running westward. The road passes close to the south and east sides of the building, which is now divided into four separate dwellings and has been so much altered and modernized as to possess little or no architectural or antiquarian interest. It forms, however, a rather picturesque group with stone slated gabled roofs at different levels, and with a long projecting wing at the south-west, originally the stable buildings, but now converted into a dwellinghouse. Nearly all the windows are modern sashes and the walls are for the most part stuccoed. Over the door of what is now one of the middle houses are the arms and crest of the Haydocks, and in the interior is a 17th-century stone staircase with good turned balusters and newels.
BANK HALL, formerly Bank Head or Bank Top, was in the time of Elizabeth and later the residence of a recusant family named Woodroffe. (fn. 41) It descended through an heiress to the Shireburnes of Stonyhurst, and was sold by Thomas Weld to the Rev. John Hargreaves, who built the house in 1796 and from whom it passed to his nephew, the above-named John Hargreaves, high sheriff of the county in 1825. (fn. 42) He died in 1854, leaving two daughters as co-heirs. Eleanor Mary, the elder, married the Rev. William Thursby; their son, John Hardy Thursby, was created a baronet in 1887, and at his death in 1901 was succeeded by his son Sir John Ormerod Scarlett Thursby, the present owner of Bank Hall. The younger daughter, Charlotte Anne, married General Sir James Yorke Scarlett, a Balaclava hero, (fn. 43) but there was no issue of the marriage.
BANK HOUSE was formerly the property of a branch of the Halstead family, (fn. 44) but was in 1732 sold to the trustees of the rectory; the house was for a long time used as the parsonage, (fn. 45) but has disappeared. The site is now occupied by the County Court House. Dancer House, or Danes House, for several centuries the home of the Folds family, (fn. 46) was taken down in 1886, the site being occupied by a factory. It stood on the north side of the town, and was a small two-story gabled gritstone building F-shaped in plan, probably of 16th-century date, (fn. 47) the shorter arm forming the porch, which went up the full height of the building. The plan in the main followed the old arrangement of house-place or hall with through passage; the windows were of the usual low square-headed mullioned type and the roofs were covered with stone slates. Fulledge, another yeoman's estate, belonged at one time to the family of Ingham; over the entrance were the initials and date Y / R E 1576. (fn. 48) The site is now occupied by a council school.
ROYLE was not styled a manor. It is named with Filly Close in 1324 (fn. 49) and again in 1340 (fn. 50) and 1418. In the last-named year the herbage there was demised to John Parker and Richard Briches for ten years at £12 a year, of which only £2 6s. 8d. was the share of Royle. (fn. 51) In 1440 John Parker held a close called Royle to the behalf of John Clerke of Burnley, who seems then to have secured a copyhold estate in it, rendering 6d. an acre for the 40 acres the close was estimated to contain. (fn. 52) The estate has long been freehold. Margaret Clerke, the heiress of Royle, married Richard Townley before 1518, in which year there was an arbitration between him and John Clerke of Warley. (fn. 53) Richard, who said he was forty-four in 1526, (fn. 54) was about 1537 involved in a dispute with a neighbour, Nicholas Harger, tenant of the Earl of Derby. (fn. 55) He was succeeded by his son Nicholas, who acquired Greenfield in Colne in 1541. (fn. 56) Edmund Townley son of Nicholas, aged one year at his father's death in 1546, died at Royle in 1598, but the inquisition does not record the tenure of this part of his estate. His heir was his son Nicholas, aged twenty-four, (fn. 57) who has been mentioned already as husband of Isabel Woodroffe. (fn. 58) For a time he adhered to the Roman Church, but about 1630 conformed to that established by law, (fn. 59) and so became qualified to act as sheriff in 1631–2. (fn. 60) He died in 1645, when his daughter Margaret, who married John Ingleby (fn. 61) and left the above-named daughter Isabel wife of Richard Shireburne, (fn. 62) became heir to her mother's estate, Royle and Greenfield having been bequeathed to Nicholas son of his brother Robert. (fn. 63) Robert Townley was living, aged seventy, in 1665, when a pedigree was recorded, (fn. 64) and the estate descended in his line. (fn. 65) Edmund Townley, his great-great-grandson, died in 1796, and Royle then went to the representative of his niece Anne wife of Robert Parker of Extwistle, viz. Robert Townley Parker of Cuerden and Astley in Chorley, whose descendant, Mr. R. A. Tatton, is the present owner.
ROYLE HALL stands about 1½ miles to the north of Burnley on a site, originally defensive, at the junction of the Calder and Pendle Water, the Calder flowing northward past the house on the west side and Pendle Water westward on the north. The house stands high above the Calder, the ground falling steeply on the west side, and advantage has been made of the situation in the laying out of the gardens on the south side to form a double terrace with flights of steps and grass banks. The building thus appears to great advantage from the garden proper, which is entered from the lower level of the adjoining fields on the east side.
The oldest part of the house is of 17th-century date, but this is said to be a rebuilding of an older dwelling, parts of which may have been incorporated with it. The principal front, which faces south, is 90 ft. in length and has three equal and flush gables, the western one of which, however, is modern. So many alterations and repairs have been made during the last century that it is rather difficult to determine exactly the appearance of the original 17th-century house, there having apparently been buildings to the west of the present central gable entirely different in character from the modern addition, which is more or less of a sham, reproducing as it does in every particular the detail of the earlier work on the south elevation, but in no way representing the actual building behind, the width of which is nearly 4 ft. less than that of the front wall and gable. Part of the older 17th-century building, however, remains at the back of the modern west wing, and a drawing of the front of the building made c. 1835 by the Rev. S. J. Allen (fn. 66) shows two narrower gables to the west of the present central one, forming a rather more picturesque front with four gables differing in size. The house is stone built, of two stories, with attics in the gables and mullioned windows, the upper ones having the two middle lights raised and a stepped hood mould over. All the windows on the ground floor, however, are new and have been lengthened by bringing the sills to the floor level. The roofs are covered with stone slates and the gables have ball terminations; the middle one contains a clock. The old stone walling is in irregularly squared courses with angle quoins, but in the later work, which dates from about the middle of the 19th century, it is of regularly squared sandstone blocks. There is a small stone porch to the west of the present middle gable, but the modern entrance is now in the east end. On one of the spout heads on the front elevation is the date 1771 with the initials T. T., probably indicating some alterations to the house in that year. The back is more irregular and picturesque in appearance with an old two-story wing over 90 ft. in length running northward. The interior has been almost wholly modernized, but in the attics are several oak roof principals with moulded braces. On the lawn, to the south-west, is an octagonal 17th-century stone sundial shaft; the plate is missing.
Brunshaw was in 1311 held with Towneley. (fn. 67) Hollins, in its south-east corner near the Brun, formerly the property of the Holden and Hamerton families, is now the residence of Lady O'Hagan, the Towneley heiress.
Henry de Lacy granted a messuage and an oxgang of land in Burnley, formerly held by Michael de Picop, to John de Burnley, clerk, at a rent of 7s. (fn. 68) Adam son of John de Burnley in 1302 granted the same, including the reversion of his mother's dower, to Oliver de Stansfield, (fn. 69) but this was probably in trust, for Adam son of the Clerk was tenant in 1311 at the rent named, (fn. 70) and his three daughters Alice, Ellen and Matilda in 1342–4 granted their estate to Whalley Abbey. (fn. 71) The rental of 1537 shows that the abbey's lands at Burnley were occupied by a number of tenants at will. (fn. 72)
The inquisitions record holdings in Burnley by Tattersall, (fn. 73) Grimshaw of Clayton (fn. 74) and Towneley of Towneley. (fn. 75) The Towneleys were usually farmers of the mills, (fn. 76) and numerous disputes occurred as to the suit to these mills. (fn. 77) In 1548 the copyholders of Burnley complained that whereas they had had from time immemorial unlimited right of common on Saxifield and Marsden Edge for pasture and turbary, various inhabitants of Pendle Forest had lately sent horses, cattle and various 'kind of nawte' to feed there; when these had been impounded, Sir Richard Towneley's servants had broken the pound and sent the animals back to the waste. In reply, Henry Nutter of Pendle Chase, Thomas Ryley of Hapton and others asserted rights of pasturage on Saxifield. (fn. 78) By a survey made in 1594 it was found that in Burnley and Habergham Eaves there were 378 acres of freehold land and 1,575½ acres of ancient copyhold; there were eight freeholders and fifty-five copyholders who had no freehold land. (fn. 79) Twenty-seven copyhold tenements were recorded in a survey of 1617. (fn. 80) In accordance with the decree of inclosure in 1618 the whole has long been divided. (fn. 81)
The following landowners contributed to the subsidy of 1524: Richard Townley, Simon Haydock, Hugh Habergham, Lawrence Shuttleworth, John Woodroffe, Richard Tattersall, Richard Towne and William Folds. (fn. 82) To that of 1564: Alexander Radcliffe and John Woodroffe in Burnley; and Lawrence Habergham, Hugh Shuttleworth and Jennet Barcroft in Habergham Eaves. (fn. 83) To that of 1597: Nicholas Townley and Katherine his mother, Simon Haydock, William Folds, Robert Ingham, Lawrence Habergham, Hugh Halsted, James Bancroft, John Whitaker, John Haworth, James Tattersall, Richard Pollard. (fn. 84) To that of 1626: Richard Towneley, Richard Shuttleworth, Nicholas Townley, John Habergham, Evan Haydock, Hugh Halsted, Nicholas Bancroft, Robert Tattersall, Robert Whitaker, Robert Ingham, William Folds and George Halsted. Towneley and Haydock, being convicted recusants, paid double, and a number of others paid 8d. each for other defiance of the laws concerning religion. (fn. 85)
In 1666 in Burnley there were 171 hearths to be taxed. The largest dwellings were the following: Nicholas Townley, nine; Mrs. Isabel Townley, eight; William Tarleton, John Ridihalgh, John Ingham and Simon Haydock, six each; Thomas Boulton, William Boulton, Thomas Jackson, John Clarkson and James Walmsley the younger, five each. (fn. 86)
With the growth of the town a century ago some change in its government became necessary. An Act was obtained in 1819 giving the control of the watching, lighting, cleansing and general regulation of the town to a body consisting of the chief constable, deputy constables and sixteen commissioners chosen from the inhabitants. (fn. 87) In the same year a Private Act was obtained for waterworks (fn. 88); in 1824 gas-works were established (fn. 89); a market place, also owned by shareholders, was opened near the centre of the town in 1831. (fn. 90) By a further Improvement Act in 1846 the number of commissioners was increased to sixty, the boundary being a circle drawn round the town three-quarters of a mile from the centre. (fn. 91) At the same time the water works were purchased by the town, (fn. 92) the gas-works being acquired in 1854. (fn. 93) The cemetery at Rose Grove was opened in 1856.
In 1861 a charter of incorporation was granted, the government being vested in a mayor, eight aldermen and twenty-four councillors. (fn. 94) A coat of arms was granted at the same time. The market and market rights were purchased by the corporation in 1866, (fn. 95) and a new market hall was erected in 1868–70. (fn. 96) An attempt had been made in 1832 to erect Burnley and part of Habergham Eaves into a parliamentary borough, (fn. 97) but it was not till the Reform Act of 1867 that this was effected, one member being assigned. (fn. 98) The boundaries of the municipal borough were extended in 1871, (fn. 99) and the area was divided into eight wards. (fn. 100) A school board was in that year formed for the borough. (fn. 101) The borough was further extended in 1889 to include parts not only of Habergham Eaves as before, but also of Briercliffe, Ightenhill Park and Reedley Hallows; and a division into twelve wards (fn. 102) was made, so that the council now consists of a mayor, twelve aldermen and thirty-six councillors. It was declared a county borough in 1889, and in 1894 the old township boundaries were obliterated and new townships formed; thus the borough area became the township of Burnley, (fn. 103) the small rural part of the old township which lay outside it to the south-east becoming independent under the name of Brunshaw township. (fn. 104) The parliamentary borough is somewhat larger than the municipal borough, the boundaries differing in many places. The borough has a commission of the peace, and quarter sessions were granted in 1893.
The municipal buildings include town hall, police court (fn. 105) and baths; they were erected in 1885–8. The buildings previously used became the Technical School, which continues and develops the work begun by the Mechanics' Institution, established in 1834. A new Technical Institute building was opened in 1909. Electric lighting and power works were opened in 1893, (fn. 106) and an ice factory with cold storage accommodation in 1901. There are three parks—Queen's Park, Scott Park and Townley Park—and twelve gardens and recreation grounds.
Burnley is the head of a Poor Law Union, (fn. 107) comprising Burnley, Padiham, Nelson, Colne and a wide district extending north-east and east to the border of the county. It is also the centre of the rural district council for the same part of the county.
The church of ST. PETER (fn. 108) stands at the north-east end of the town in a low situation on the south bank of the River Brun, here flowing in a series of curves and partly inclosing on three sides the neck of land on which the building is situated. The church consists of chancel with north and south chapels and south vestry, nave with north and south aisles, south porch and west tower, but only the tower, which is of 15thcentury date, is ancient. Of the former church which stood on the same site little is known, but in 1532–3 it was evidently in a state of dilapidation, as in an agreement of that date Thomas Sellars and Nicholas Craven undertook within four years 'to rebuild the north and south hylings with 18 buttresses, every buttress having a funnel upon the top according to the fashion of the funnels upon the new chapel of Our Lady at Whalley.' The said 'hylings' were to be battled after the battling of the said chapel, and the cost of the whole was to be £60. At this time the present tower was standing, but whether the rest of the building was of 15th-century date or older can only be conjectured. (fn. 109) Instead of the north and south aisles being rebuilt, however, as agreed upon in the contract, the north aisle and nave were actually reconstructed and the south aisle remained in its original state, 'low and narrow, indeed a disgrace to the rest of the church,' (fn. 110) till 1789. A gallery had been erected at the west end in 1735, the population of the town having undergone a considerable increase; the south aisle was pulled down in 1789, and rebuilt the following year in its present form with a gallery over it. In 1803 the north aisle was again rebuilt with a gallery over, uniform with the new south aisle, and the tower was raised 30ft. In 1854 the roof was removed, and an arcade of five arches with clearstory over was erected on the nave piers, with two arches of less height to the chancel, the roof of which is lower, and to which there is no clearstory. The piers were of great height and had formerly supported a longitudinal beam carrying the roof of the nave and aisles. A general restoration of the building was at the same time carried out, all the old square pews being removed and the present open benches substituted. A three-decker pulpit which stood in front of the chancel was also removed, the galleries refronted, their staircases rearranged, and the organ, which stood at the east end behind the pulpit, blocking the chancel window, was removed to the west end. In 1873 the chancel was lengthened, and a vestry with organ chamber over added on the south side, and a new south porch was built in 1889. In 1903 the south and west galleries were removed and an addition was made to the vestry. Apart, therefore, from the lower part of the tower, the exterior of the church is wholly modern, the oldest part dating only from 1790, and the interior similarly shows structurally little or nothing of antiquarian interest, except the piers, which belong to the 16th-century rebuilding, and the older tower arch.
The church is built throughout of wrought stone, the walls of the aisles (which are continuous to nave and chancel) being lofty and pierced with two tiers of windows, the lower having square and the upper plain, segmental heads. The general appearance of the exterior is one of flatness, the aisle walls being unrelieved by string course or mouldings to the windows, and all the detail is poor and in the pseudoGothic style of the time. The aisles have lean-to roofs and wide embattled parapets. The raising of the nave roof by the addition of the clearstory has greatly improved the appearance of the building and corrected the proportion of the tower, which had suffered in the raising. The nave and chancel have both embattled parapets and gables, with crocketed pinnacles at the angles and terminal apex crosses. The roofs are covered with green slates.
The chancel is 42 ft. long by 20 ft. 6 in. wide, and before its extension in 1873 was open on each side to the Towneley and Stansfield chapels its full length. The extension consisted of an addition of about 18 ft., and there is now that length of straight wall at either side of the east end. The upper part of the south side over the vestry is open to the organ chamber. The east window is of five lights with tracery in the style of the 15th century, and the two chapels are separated from the quire by an arcade of two arches of two chamfered orders springing from octagonal piers with moulded capitals, the lower part of the openings being filled in with modern iron screens.
The Towneley and Stansfield chapels occupy the east ends of the rebuilt aisles on each side of the chancel. The Towneley chapel in the north side is 25 ft. long by 17 ft. wide and the floor is raised one step above that of the aisle, the distinction at the west end being otherwise unmarked. At the east end the chapel is lit by a new four-light window with 15th-century tracery, and on the north side by four windows, two below and two above, similar to those in the aisles. The Stansfield chapel is 24 ft. long by 19 ft. 6 in. wide and has a door at the east end opening into the modern vestry, above which the organ is open to the aisle. On the south side it is lit by two windows one above the other similar to those in the aisles, to the west of which is a door now built up, over which on the outside is a sundial made by Whyman of Gawthorpe in 1791. The floor is raised like that of the Towneley chapel one step above the nave aisle, to which it is similarly open at the west end.
The nave is 70 ft. long by 20 ft. 6 in. wide, and has an arcade of five pointed arches of two chamfered orders springing from lofty octagonal piers with moulded capitals. The clearstory consists of five square-headed four-light windows on each side, and the roof, which is flat, is divided into five bays corresponding to the arcade, with moulded oak principals carried down the wall on to carved stone corbels. The bays have a moulded intermediate piece and are panelled and boarded, and the roof, which dates from 1854, is said to preserve the original character of the old panelled one, the line of which shows at the west end against the tower. All the interior walls are faced with rough stone.
The north aisle is 17 ft. 6 in. wide and that on the south 19 ft. 6 in., both being lit by two tiers of windows of four lights, five on the north side and four on the south, the south aisle having also two similar windows one above the other at the west end. On the north side of the tower at the west end of the north aisle is the old vestry, the outside wall of which is a continuation of that of the aisle, externally reproducing all its features. There was originally when built at the beginning of the last century a second vestry above, but this is now thrown into the gallery, which is approached by steps from the vestry below. The north gallery is the only one now remaining. Opposite the second bay from the west in both north and south aisles there is a door, that on the south being protected by the modern porch.
The tower is 13 ft. square inside with a vice in the south-east corner entered from the outside. It has a moulded plinth and square buttresses of four stages stopping below the ancient belfry windows, and the west door has a pointed arch with hood mould and continuous hollow chamfered jambs and head. Above is a traceried window of three cinquefoiled lights with hood mould and square jambs and a hollow moulded head dying out at the springing. The north and south sides are plain to the old belfry stage except for a small square-headed window high up in the wall. The original belfry windows, which now light the ringing chamber, are pointed and of two trefoiled lights with tracery over and external hood mould, and above this the extent of the old tower is marked by a string course. The modern top portion has a wide single-light louvred belfry window on each side and a clock facing east and west. It finishes with an embattled parapet and angle and intermediate pinnacles, below which is a blocked string course or cornice, the whole being poor in detail. On the south side, high up on the face of the vice, is a shield charged with a cheveron between what appear to be two horse-shoes, hammers and pincers, and on an adjoining stone is the rude representation of a pig. (fn. 111) The tower arch is open to the church and consists of two chamfered orders, the outer one dying into the wall at the springing, the inner one continuous to the ground.
The font stands under the tower (fn. 112) and is of 16thcentury date and octagonal in shape, two of its sides bearing the Towneley arms, the others being either plain or carved with shields and other emblems. (fn. 113)
The pulpit is of oak, dating from 1903, and all the other fittings are modern. (fn. 114) In the Stansfield chapel, however, is preserved an ancient gravestone carved with a cross fleury in a circle and sword in bold relief, which is probably of 14th-century date, (fn. 115) and in the east wall of the Towneley chapel are three old stones carved with shields bearing different impalements of the Towneley family, one having also the initials E. T. The chapel contains mural monuments to Richard Towneley, who died in 1706, with a long Latin inscription, the first part of which was written by himself, and to Charles Towneley, the antiquary, who died in 1805. There are also two modern altar tombs to members of the Towneley family and a mural monument to Cuthbert Kennett of Coxhoe, Durham (d. 1688). In other parts of the church (fn. 116) are monuments to members of the families of Halsted of Rowley and Hargreaves of Bank Hall and Ormerod. In the Stansfield chapel is a memorial to General Scarlett, who is buried in Holme.
There is a ring of eight bells cast by Thomas Mears of London in 1803, one of which was recast in 1857. (fn. 117)
The present silver plate (fn. 118) consists of a flagon (fn. 119) of 1722, inscribed 'Ex dono Reverendi venerabilis et eruditi Edmundi Townley nuper de Royle armigeri Anno Domini 1722,' with the maker's mark W. D.; two chalices, a paten, flagon and almsdish of 1857, all inscribed 'The gift of Robert Townley Parker of Cuerden to the parochial church of St. Peter in the chapelry of Burnley A.D. 1857'; and a chalice, paten and two cruets of Birmingham make 1878–9, given by Canon Parker in memory of his wife. There are also a plated paten and bread box.
The registers (fn. 120) begin in 1562. In 1525 there was a dispute between the 'Kirkmasters,' a local name for the wardens, (fn. 121) and some of the parishioners as to the assessment for the repair of the church and also as to the apportionment of seats. It was agreed that there should be four 'quarters' of the parish, paying in these proportions: Briercliffe, Extwistle, Hurstwood and Worsthorne, 12s.; Burnley, 8s.; Cliviger, 9s. 4d.; and Habergham Eaves, 10s. 8d. The first two quarters were to have the seats on the north side 'beneath the quire wongh,' Cliviger and Habergham having the south side. The first volume, which finishes in 1652, contains a rough plan of all the pews in the church in 1634 with the names of the respective owners and rude sketches of the 'Pullpitt Staires,' 'St. Anthony's Quier,' (fn. 122) and 'The Fonte.' The churchwardens' accounts begin in 1728.
The church stands close to the river on the north side, the churchyard being principally on the south. The house of the chantry priest formerly stood on the west side and the grammar school occupied the site till 1693. On this building were two shields with the arms of Towneley and Gateford and the initials J. T. It was pulled down in 1814 and the site incorporated with the churchyard. The cross stood on the south side of the church and was approached by three flights of broad steps, but after its destruction the base, which bears an inscription (fn. 123) and the date 1520, was removed in 1789 to the grounds of Towneley Hall. The churchyard was enlarged and properly inclosed in 1807. The oldest dated gravestone is 1664.
The ancient cross at Burnley suggests the existence of a church there from an early time (fn. 124); otherwise the first record of one is in the grant of Whalley Church to the monks of Pontefract about 1121, the charter of Hugh de la Val including with it the 'church' of Burnley. (fn. 125) The deans of Whalley probably held it together with the principal church, and in 1296 it was described as a chapel only, its altarage being worth as much as 20 marks a year, and the tithes of its district—Burnley, Cliviger, Worsthorne, Extwistle, Briercliffe, Habergham and Ightenhill—amounting to 49½ marks, or £46 6s. 8d. in all. The land of the demesne of Burnley was worth 1 mark to the rector. (fn. 126) The monks of Whalley, on acquiring the rectory, were bound to maintain a chaplain at Burnley and pay him 4 marks, 'according to the custom of the country'; this appears to have been increased to £4, the sum given after the Reformation by the Archbishops of Canterbury as rectors. (fn. 127) This was increased to £11 10s. before the Civil War (fn. 128); and the duchy of Lancaster continued to allow £4 8s. 2d. out of the chantry rents. (fn. 129) During the Commonwealth period the curate's stipend was made up to £40 out of the Royalist and Church sequestrations. (fn. 130) This addition would cease after the Restoration, and in 1717 the certified income was only £23 16s. 9d., including the two allowances named, various fees and some private benefactions. (fn. 131) In 1716, however, a further augmentation of £12 a year was secured by gifts of the people and of the Rev. Edmund Townley, rector of Slaidburn, who thus acquired the advowson. (fn. 132) Various lands were purchased, and these became more valuable as the town grew. An Act was passed in 1819 allowing leases to be granted. (fn. 133) The net value of the benefice is now stated as £1,900 a year. It was declared a rectory in 1867. (fn. 134)
In a petition of the inhabitants in 1588 it was alleged that the duchy allowance had ceased in 1566, after which, for over twenty years, no minister officiated; they asked for a continuance of the pension and the appointment of a curate, to be nominated by three justices of the peace dwelling near the chapel. The queen allowed this. (fn. 135) Richard Kippax, being thus nominated in 1690, declared that he accepted the curacy in right of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and was licensed with the consent of the vicar of Whalley. (fn. 136) Afterwards the advowson descended with Royle to the family of Parker of Cuerden, (fn. 137) until in 1890, the rector being then patron, it was transferred to the Bishop of Manchester by an Act of Parliament, which also ordained that in future the rector should be a suffragan or assistant bishop in the diocese, with the title of Bishop of Burnley. (fn. 138) The income of the benefice had risen to about £4,000 a year; half of this was to be assigned to the new rector-bishop and the rest to other benefices formed out of the old chapelry. This Act took effect in 1901, on the resignation of the then rector, Canon Arthur Townley Parker, the author of the scheme.
There were two chantries endowed in the chapel. The Towneley chantry at St. Mary's altar, in the north aisle, was occupied by Peter Adlington in 1547, but he celebrated mass only three days a week there; his stipend was £4 14s. 7d., derived from lands in Ribchester, Blackburn, &c. (fn. 139) The other chantry, with a stipend of £4 13s. 4d. from lands in Haslingden and Burnley, had been founded by the inhabitants, and in 1547 Gilbert Fairbank, known as the gild priest, was celebrating mass and other divine service according to his foundation. (fn. 140) This chantry was at St. Peter's altar. (fn. 141) These chantries had no plate.' (fn. 142) There were also altars of St. Anthony in the south aisle, and the rood. (fn. 143) The former of these was also known as the Stansfield chantry, having probably been founded by the lords of Worsthorne. In 1368 the abbey of Kirkstall gave their lands in Extwistle to feoffees, who founded a chantry at Burnley for the soul of Peter de Tattersall, but the king's licence was not obtained. (fn. 144)
The confiscated 'ornaments' of the chapel at Burnley in 1552 were valued at the comparatively large sum of 33s. (fn. 145) For the service of the chapelry there were six priests in 1548, (fn. 146) as appears by the visitation lists, and the same number in 1554; but only two remained in 1562, of whom one, the above-named Gilbert Fairbank, was decrepit, and died soon afterwards. (fn. 147) From 1563 onwards there was only one minister for Burnley till the 19th century. (fn. 148)
The following is a list of incumbents (fn. 149) :—
|oc. 1375||Robert de Bolton|
|oc. 1532–7||George Hargreaves (fn. 150)|
|Richard Marsden (fn. 151)|
|oc. 1542||John Aspden (fn. 152)|
|c. 1567||Bernard Harger (fn. 153)|
|oc. 1573||William Duxbury (fn. 154)|
|1583||Thomas Ryley (fn. 155)|
|oc. 1633||Roger Brereley (fn. 156)|
|oc. 1638||Henry Morris (fn. 157)|
|? 1664||John Wallwork (fn. 158)|
|1671||John Kenyon (fn. 159)|
|oc. 1674||Robert Hartley (fn. 160)|
|1688||Thomas Kay (fn. 161)|
|1690||Richard Kippax (fn. 162)|
|1724||James Matthews, B.A. (fn. 163)|
|1744||Turner Standish, B.A. (fn. 164) (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)|
|1787||Thomas Collins, D.D. (fn. 165) (Worcester Coll., Oxf.)|
|1817||Edmund Stringfellow Radcliffe, B.C.L. (fn. 166) (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)|
|1826||Robert Mosley Master, M.A. (fn. 167) (Balliol Coll., Oxf.)|
|1855||Arthur Townley Parker, M.A. (fn. 168) (Trinity Coll., Camb.)|
|1901||Edwyn Hoskyns, D.D. (fn. 169) (Jesus Coll., Camb.)|
|1905||Alfred Pearson, D.D. (fn. 170) (Lincoln Coll., Oxf.)|
|1909||Henry Henn, M.A. (fn. 171) (Trinity Hall, Camb.)|
The list of names calls for little comment, except in the case of Roger Brereley, founder of the Grindletonians, so called from his curacy at Grindleton in Craven. (fn. 172) Richard Hartley, in 1687, left 20s. a year to the curate of Burnley 'if he shall read Morning Prayer in the church of Burnley every morning, except he be hindered upon urgent occasions or sick or impotent; the occasion to be judged of and allowed by two of the next neighbouring ministers, if any dispute arise.' (fn. 173) In 1724 there was a double presentation, William Halsted, vicar of Thornborough, being nominated by Ralph Assheton and other justices, while James Matthews, son of the vicar of Whalley, was nominated by Thomas Stanley and other justices. The latter prevailed, the vicar of Whalley claiming the right to nominate 'as by custom during 60 years last past'; but next year the people complained to the Bishop of Chester that he having several times preached in our chapel and being a very little man, delivers his discourses with so low, inarticulate and perplexed volubility or nimbleness of speech that such as sit in the remoter parts . . . cannot possibly hear or understand his discourses to edification. But the Rev. Mr. William Halsted whenever he preached in our chapel delivered his discourses to the greatest satisfaction of the whole auditory. We therefore humbly hope your lordship will exert your wonted zeal for this your chapel, that it may be filled as formerly, for though sectaries swarm in our neighbouring chapelries they have not hitherto been able to get any footing in our parish, our chapel having been well supplied for sixty years last past; but now to our great grief we hear that two conventicles are got licensed within our chapelry since the death of our late curate. (fn. 174)
Under the non-resident incumbents little or nothing seems to have been done to minister to the rapidly increasing population; but Mr. Master, appointed in 1826, applied himself to the task, and his successor imitated his example. After a new church had been opened in Habergham Eaves, St. James's in Burnley proper was built in 1849, (fn. 175) and St. Paul's, Lane Bridge, in 1852–3 (fn. 176); to these the Crown and the Bishop of Manchester present alternately. St. Andrew's, Burnley Lane, was built in 1867, (fn. 177) and its mission chapel of St. Cuthbert became a parish church in 1908; the Bishop of Manchester collates. To St. Catherine's (fn. 178) (1897) and St. Margaret's (fn. 179) (1898) the rector of Burnley presents. There are mission rooms in connexion with St. James's and St. Paul's.
Though from the complaint cited above it appears that 'sectaries' obtained a footing in the chapelry in 1724, (fn. 180) nothing much is known. Methodism appeared before 1787, when a chapel, afterwards given up, was built at Keighley Green. (fn. 181) The Wesleyans have chapels in Hargreaves Street (1840) and Stonyholme, and three others in Colne Road, &c. The Primitive Methodists built a chapel in Curzon Street in 1831, afterwards sold to the Wesleyan Reformers, and they have now two chapels in the northern part of the township—Mount Zion and Elim (1850), Burnley Lane. The Free Methodists had the chapel in Curzon Street, 1852; they have now three places of worship.
Ebenezer, Colne Road, was built in 1787 by the General Baptists (fn. 184); it has Immanuel connected with it. Zion Chapel, built by the Particular Baptists, followed in 1830, Enon in 1850, and Jireh, for the Gadsbyites, in 1853.
The following denominations are also represented: Unitarians, Swedenborgians (New Jerusalem) and Salvation Army. There are Christian, Protestant and Gospel Temperance Mission halls.
The chapel at Towneley Hall appears to have been the only place in the neighbourhood at which mass was said during the long period of proscription, (fn. 185) and Roman Catholicism never quite died out. (fn. 186) The Towneley registers from 1705 to 1727 have been printed, and show that there were almost a hundred baptisms and fifteen marriages in that period. (fn. 187) In the town itself St. Mary's, Eastgate, was built in 1846–9 to replace the old Handbridge chapel (1817) near the entrance to Towneley Park, which has since been taken down. A Towneley chapel was added in 1879. St. Thomas's school-chapel (1876–7) is served from St. Mary's. At the north end of the town is St. John the Baptist's (1892). (fn. 188) There is a convent of Sisters of Mercy.
There is some unsatisfactory evidence of the existence of a school before the Reformation. (fn. 189) The earliest certain notice is in Mary's time, in 1558, when a rent-charge of 3s. 4d. was given towards its endowment. (fn. 190) Some chantry lands were in 1563 secured for it, and a further endowment was obtained in 1577, due to Robert Ingham, one of the priests of the church in 1548 and 1554. The school was free to the inhabitants of the chapelry. (fn. 191) Lands were given for the endowment by the Rev. Oates Sagar about 1580 (at Alverthorpe, Wakefield), and by Nicholas Townley of Royle, 1699 (Cockridge). Scholarship endowments have been given in recent times. A valuable school library was founded by the Rev. Edmund Townley and the Rev. Henry Halsted. (fn. 192) The school was reorganized in 1873, and later, and is now under the control of the corporation.
From a dispute concerning the schoolhouse in 1675 (fn. 193) it appears that John Towneley and others built it in 1602 upon a piece of chantry land adjoining the churchyard—the lower part for a dwelling, the upper for a schoolroom. When, about 1675, the trustees of the school appointed a master, without the consent of Richard Towneley of Towneley, the latter refused access to the schoolroom, alleging that the building was his private property. He and his ancestors had had possession of the lower rooms. It was shown that the house had been built for a school, that at first there was no door into the schoolroom except 'the great door out of the churchyard,' that there was no entry into the school from the lower rooms, and that the Towneley claim to ownership of the school was quite a new one.
Official inquiries were made into the charities of Burnley in 1826 and 1899, but the later one was partial only, the county borough being excluded. The following details are taken from the reports issued, endowments for schools and churches being omitted:—
Isabel widow of Richard Shireburne of Stonyhurst in 1693 left £190 for the poor of Burnley, and in 1826 £9 was paid by the agent of George Weld to Peregrine Towneley of Towneley, who distributed it. This charity has since been lost. Robert Halstead of Rochester in 1649 left £3 6s. 8d. for the poor of the parish of Burnley and the same for the poor of Worsthorne; the rent-charges are still paid, and the money is distributed in money gifts.
For Burnley and Habergham Eaves Elizabeth Peel in 1800 left the residue of her estate, now represented by £1,722 consols, for the relief of the poor in the winter months by gifts of bread and clothing. Orders for clothing are given to over 100 persons in each township, the value being 4s. each.
In the township of Burnley the poor became entitled to £500 under the will of Molly Hindle, 1804; this now produces £13 15s., distributed at Christmas-time in doles of cloth worth 5s. each. Mary widow of the Rev. John Hargreaves in 1814 left the residue of her estate for poor widows in Burnley and Bacup, and £9 a year is now paid by Sir J. O. S. Thursby of Ormerod House, Burnley; it is given in doles of flannel and other dress materials.
John Halstead of Broadbank in 1672 gave a rentcharge of £3 for the poor of Briercliffe with Extwistle. This is still in force, and doles of 5s. are distributed to aged widows and others once a year.
In Cliviger George Stephenson in 1805 intended to leave £20 to the Sunday school and £10 to four poor widows, and his representatives fulfilled his intentions. The interest for the widows is now only 4s. 8d. a year. On a women's sick club becoming extinct in 1875 the surplus funds, £20, were invested in consols, and now produce 9s. 8d. a year, divided among eight poor persons at Christmas-time.