A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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Blundel Brook, running west, forms at first the northern boundary of this township and then flows across it. On the north bank stand the church and Broughton House. Most of the area lies to the south of the brook; near the centre was the Tower, with the hamlet of Sharoe adjacent, Durton or Urton to the north-east and Fernyhalgh on the eastern boundary. Lightfoot Green and Ingolhead are on the west side. A small detached portion lay in Woodplumpton, to which it was added about 1882. The area measured 2,367 acres, (fn. 1) and in 1901 there was a population of 616. The surface is comparatively flat, the heights above sea level ranging from 100 to 180 ft.
The principal road is that going north from Preston; it crosses Blundel Brook by a bridge, from which a road goes eastward to Haighton, with a branch turning south to Fulwood; westward a road goes to Cottam and Lea. The London and NorthWestern Company's railway runs north through the western end of the township.
In 1066 BROUGHTON, assessed as one plough-land, formed part of Earl Tostig's lordship of Preston or Amounderness. (fn. 4) After the Conquest it appears to have been held in thegnage, perhaps by the old lords and their descendants. Between 1153 and 1160 William Count of Boulogne, son of King Stephen, confirmed to Uctred son of Huck and his heirs 8 oxgangs of land in Broughton by the service due, viz. 8s. a year. (fn. 5) Uctred and his family took their surname from Little Singleton, which they held by serjeanty of the wapentake of Amounderness. (fn. 6)
Richard son of Uctred succeeded, but was ejected by Theobald Walter, after whose forfeiture and death King John detained the manor and it remained in the hands of Henry III. The township during this time gave an increased revenue to the Crown. (fn. 7) In 1261 Henry III, after inquiry, restored it as a matter of right to William de Singleton, grandson of Richard, who paid 3 marks of gold. (fn. 8). William had already in 1256 acquired land in Broughton from Geoffrey the Cook, (fn. 9) and in 1262 he warranted to Alan de Singleton a moiety of Broughton. (fn. 10)
William and his son Alan died before 1292, when Alan's son Thomas was in possession and engaged in various disputes. (fn. 11) Soon afterwards Broughton and the other estates of the family are found in the possession of Joan wife of Thomas Banastre of Bretherton, she being the sister and heir of Thomas de Singleton. Thomas died in 1299 or 1300, Joan claiming dower in the latter year. (fn. 12) As a widow in 1303 she made a settlement of the manor of Little Singleton and various lands in Thornton, Broughton, Dilworth and Bilsborrow, the remainders being to William Banastre and Adam his brother. (fn. 13) From the account already given of Bretherton in the parish of Croston it will be seen that William was the son of Joan and Thomas. Broughton descended in the same way as Bretherton, (fn. 14) and in the 16th century the Earl of Derby held the manor, (fn. 15) though the other heirs of Balderston had estates in Broughton. (fn. 16) This principal manor of Broughton then disappears from the records.
What in later times was called the manor was the estate of BROUGHTON TOWER, held by a branch of the Singleton family. There are but fragmentary notices of them. (fn. 17) James Singleton of Broughton and Robert his son occur in a feoffment of 1471. (fn. 18) Robert Singleton died in August 1501 holding the manor of Broughton with lands, &c, in Broughton, Sharoe, Durton and Fernyhalgh; Joan his wife died in the following January, and Richard the son and heir succeeded, being twenty-five years of age. (fn. 19) He died in September 1504, leaving as heir a son John, aged seven. (fn. 20) The manor of Broughton was in 1513 stated to be held of the Earl of Derby and others as of their manor of Balderston by the yearly rent of 1d. (fn. 21) John Singleton died in 1522 and his uncle Thomas succeeded, (fn. 22) holding the manor till his death in or before 1535, when Robert his son was found to be his heir. (fn. 23) In 1557 Robert was succeeded by his son Richard, the manor and lands in Broughton being held of the king and queen by the tenth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 24) Richard and Robert his son both died in the course of the same year 1557, and then Edward Singleton, brother of Robert the grandfather, inherited; he was forty-six years of age. (fn. 25) He died in 1567, leaving a son and heir Thomas, only seven years of age. (fn. 26)
Thomas Singleton adhering to the Roman Catholic religion was punished for his recusancy, and his son Edward likewise. (fn. 27) The father and son joined in a settlement of the manor in 1600, (fn. 28) while Edward seems to have been in possession in 1604. (fn. 29) and another Thomas Singleton, his son, in 1609. (fn. 30) The manor was sold by Thomas Singleton and other members of the family to Roger Langton in 1615. (fn. 31) It descended in this family till 1732, when William Langton bequeathed it to his sister Jane, (fn. 32) who in 1735 married Lawrence Rawstorne and it became her husband's property, (fn. 33) descending by the issue of his second marriage to his grandson Lawrence Rawstorne, (fn. 34) who sold the Broughton estate in 1810. Broughton Tower with part of the land was sold to James Rothwell and has descended like Hoole; the rest of the land was purchased by the trustees of Kirkham Grammar School. (fn. 35) The Tower was demolished about 1800.
INGOLHEAD gave a surname to a family dwelling there, (fn. 36) whose estate seems to have been acquired by the Blundells of Preston. (fn. 37) Some of this land was sold to William Hoghton in 1490. (fn. 38) There was also a family of Singleton of Ingolhead. (fn. 39)
BANK HALL, at one time owned by the Singletons
of Brockholes, (fn. 40) had a more interesting history. In
the 17th century it was held in moieties, one half
being in trust for the Roman Catholic missionary
priests of the district, for whom it served as a centre. (fn. 41)
In 1654 Thomas Clayton of Chorley
desired to prove his title to a house, &c,
in Broughton settled by the late William
Singleton on claimant, with reversion to
William Daniel; two-thirds were still
under sequestration for Singleton's recusancy; ibid, v, 3201. From the
later history this appears to be Bank
A report by Samuel Peploe, vicar of Preston in 1716, stated that at that time one moiety was held by the Crook family, with a charge upon it, so it was suspected, 'only in trust ... for Romish priests'; 'the other part of Bank Hall estate is Mr. Thomas (or his son John) Clayton of Preston. This has been in lease many years. Mr. Smith, a Romish priest (whose true name is Edward Kitchen), lives in that part of the house at Bank Hall which belongs to this side of the estate and has occupied and let the ground from time to time .... I am told that Mr. John Clayton has entered on this tenement some days ago, pretending that he has bought Smith out of it,' &c.; Haydock Papers, 60, 61, quoting P.R.O. Forftd. Estates, P 134.. See also Payne, Rec. of Engl. Cath. 155.
The Claytons of Crook and Fulwood had lands, &c, in Broughton, Fulwoodshaw and Durton; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxviii, no. 79.
The other moiety was owned by a recusant family named Crook, (fn. 42) whose representative sold to the late John William Richard Wilson of Preston in 1834. (fn. 43) The old house was abandoned and the present Broughton House built as a residence. Mr. Wilson died in 1875 and was succeeded by his son the late Edward Wilson, and grandson Mr. Henry Francis Wilson, the present owner. (fn. 44)
The Knights Hospitallers had some land in Broughton. (fn. 48)
The church of ST. JOHN BAPTIST stands at the south end of the village on a slightly elevated site to the east of the high road close to the Blundel Brook, which forms the boundary of the churchyard on the south side. The site is an ancient one, but the oldest part of the present church is the tower, which dates only from the 16th century, the rest being modern. The old building, which was pulled down about 1823, appears to have been an early 16th-century rebuilding of a 14th-century church, fragments of which have been discovered, (fn. 49) and it is probable that at least two churches stood on the site previous to the reign of Henry VIII. A plan of the old church as it existed at the beginning of the last century (fn. 50) shows it to have consisted of a chancel with a large chapel on the north side separated from it by an arcade of two arches, and a smaller south chapel open to the chancel by a single arch, nave of four Days with north and south aisles, south porch and west tower. Both chapels projected beyond the line of the aisle walls north and south, and were separated from the chancel by oak screens. (fn. 51) The chancel was of the same width as the nave, there being apparently no structural division. No illustration of the building remains, though it is said to have been of a plain late type of Gothic, with low overhanging eaves and dormer windows. (fn. 52) From remains still existing in the east wall of the tower the old nave seems to have been 15 ft. 6 in. wide, (fn. 53) with aisles 8 ft. wide, the total length of the nave and chancel being 79 ft. (fn. 54) During the 17th and 18 th centuries little or nothing seems to have been done to keep the structure in adequate repair, and shortly before its demolition Dr. Whitaker wrote that he had seldom seen 'greater appearances of squalid neglect and approaching decay.' (fn. 55) The rebuilding consisted of the present wide aisleless nave, 69 ft. by 45 ft., in the Gothic style of the period, and was finished in 1826. To this a chancel, 36ft. by 22 ft, with north vestries and south organchamber occupying to some extent the position of the two original chapels, was added in 1905–6, at which time also the whole of the building was restored, the tower arch opened out, and benches substituted for the old square pews.
The chancel and nave being modern are without antiquarian interest, except that six sculptured stones from the old church are built into the external wall of the organ-chamber on the south side. (fn. 56) These consist of (1) a boar's head with the initials T.B.; (2) arms of Redmayne and initials G.R.; (3) I.H.C.; (4) arms of Singleton and the initials R.S.; (5) arms of Barton and initials T.B.; and (6) clawed foot and ivy leaf. (fn. 57) The chancel is a good example of modern Gothic work, (fn. 58) contrasting sharply with the nave, the windows of which are tall, narrow single lights. The nave roof is of one span, covered with slate, and has a flat plaster-panelled ceiling.
The tower, which is 13 ft. 3 in. square inside and built of gritstone, has diagonal buttresses of seven stages, a projecting vice in the south-east corner and an embattled parapet with the stumps of angle pinnacles. On the string course below the parapet on the south side area four-leafed flower and the date 1533, which probably gives the year of the building of the tower, and on the vice the string bears the initials B.G. The stages are unmarked externally by string courses, and on the north and south sides the walls are quite plain except for the belfry windows, which are of three lights under a pointed head without tracery, but with external hood mould. The west doorway, which has moulded jambs and head, was opened out in 1905–6, and the window above, which is of three lights with traceried head and hood mould, was likewise restored, the lower part, which had before been built up, being opened out. There is a clock on the.west side, and on the north buttress facing east are the initials T.B. on either side of a shield, (fn. 59) and in a similar position on the south buttress a shield with the Singleton arms. The tower arch is of two chamfered orders dying into the wall at the springing, and above it the lower part of the weathering of the old pointed roof is visible under the modern ceiling. Until 1905–6 the tower was separated from the nave by a wall 5 ft. thick, the removal of which revealed on the south side the half-octagonal respond of the old nave arcade. In the rebuilding of 1826 the floor of the church seems to have been considerably raised, the floor of the present nave being 2 ft. 4 in. above that of the tower, from which there is an ascent of five steps.
The font, which stands in the north-west corner of the nave, is a massive circular Norman bowl 2 ft. 8½ in. in diameter and 18 in. high, hewn out of a sandstone boulder, with a half-round moulding at the bottom. The font was turned out of the church in 1826 to make way for one of alabaster, but was discovered at a cottage in Barton in 1889 and restored to the church. The bowl is supported by a modern shaft.
There are preserved in the church an old stoup, (fn. 60) an octagonal stone mortar, a piece of oak 6 ft. long carved with the vine pattern belonging to one of the screens in the old church, a mediaeval chest and a Jacobean oak communion table, while in the vestry is a smaller chest dated 1666 with various initials and fleurs de lis hinges. The organ has a good 18thcentury case, and there is a brass chandelier dated 1817. Against the west wall of the nave north of the tower is a fragment of a memorial stone.to Roger Langton of Broughton Tower, who died at Chester in 1714, and was buried in the now demolished church of St. Bridget in that city. (fn. 61)
There is a ring of six bells, cast in 1884 by Mears & Stainbank. (fn. 62)
The silver plate consists of two chalices inscribed 'Capellae de Broughton Sacrum 1782', and on the foot 'The gift of the Reverend Samuel Peploe Arch Deacon of Richmond & Vic. of Preston', but without other marks than [H] thrice repeated; a set of two chalices, two patens and a flagon of 1851, purchased by subscription in that year, and a bread-box of 1906. There are also two pewter flagons given by Archdeacon Peploe in 1732.
On the south side of the churchyard are the steps of the churchyard cross, now surmounted by a modern sundial, the plate of which is dated 1816 and bears the names of the vicar and churchwardens. The steps, which are three in number and square on plan, are of coarse gritstone and . are carried on a solid rubble foundation going down a considerable depth. The stocks, which stand outside the churchyard wall near the west entrance, were restored in 1902, one of the old stone posts being replaced. They are not, however, in their original position.
Though the building, as stated, existed from an early time, there are few records of it. (fn. 63) In the 16th century it was often called a church, its status being that of parochial chapel. Its ornaments and bells were sold at the Reformation, (fn. 64) but the building seems to have been retained in use for service. (fn. 65) The patronage descended like that of the vicarage of Preston until 1867, when Sir Henry de Hoghton sold it to John Bretherton of Leyland; the purchaser gave it to his brother William, who became vicar in 1872, and whose representatives are now the patrons. (fn. 66) In 1650 the stipend was £40, paid out of sequestrations, (fn. 67) and therefore ceasing at the Restoration. The Langtons endowed it with £20, and in 1717 the income was £34. (fn. 68) In 1774 an augmentation was obtained from Queen Anne's Bounty. (fn. 69) The present value is given as £250. (fn. 70) A parish was assigned to it in 1878. (fn. 71) The chapelry was formerly reputed to include the three townships of Broughton, Barton and Haighton. The following have been curates and vicars (fn. 72) :—
|oc. 1368–96||William de Erlesgate (fn. 73)|
|1515||Evan Wall (fn. 74)|
|1530||Henry Helme (fn. 75)|
|1548–65||Roger Charnock (fn. 76)|
|oc. 1597||John Marton (fn. 77)|
|oc. 1610||— Witton (fn. 78)|
|oc. 1622||— Lomax (fn. 79)|
|1626||Peter Addison, B.A. (fn. 80)|
|1628||Roger Farrand (fn. 81)|
|1650||James Knott (fn. 82)|
|oc. 1674–1714||William Wood (fn. 83)|
|1721||William Charnley, B.A. (fn. 84) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1732||Joseph Cowper, M.A. (T.C.D.)|
|1761||John Hunter (fn. 85)|
|1774||Randal Andrews, M.A. (fn. 86) (Worcester Coll., Oxf.)|
|1801||George Charnley (fn. 87)|
|1886||Samuel Edward Collinson, L.Th. (Durh.) (fn. 88)|
A school was founded in 1527 by Lawrence Stodagh. (fn. 91)
As a large proportion of the people adhered to the old religion at the Reformation the Roman Catholic worship survived during the time of proscription. (fn. 92) Bank Hall, as above stated, was a missionary centre for a long time, (fn. 93) and our Lady's Well at Fernyhalgh is said to have remained a place of pilgrimage. (fn. 94) In 1685 Hugh Charnley gave the site of the well in trust for the mission there and a housechapel was built. This remained in use till 1793, when the present church of St. Mary was built a quarter of a mile away. (fn. 95) The Rev. John Daniel, last president of the seminary at Douay, was born at Durton. (fn. 96)
It appears that a school was secretly kept up in connexion with this mission from about 1650; it was known later as Schola Sanctæ Mariæ ad fontem. (fn. 97)
The township gives its name to the Broughton Charitable Society, the annual meeting being held there. (fn. 98)