Townships: Winmarleigh

Pages 305-308

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section


Wynomerislega, Wynermerisle, 1212; Wimerleg, 1241; Winmerly, 1244; Wynnemerley, 1262; Wymerlay, 1292. The accent is on the second syllable.

On the eastern side of this township the land is 50 ft. or more above sea level, and here is placed the hall; but westwards about two-thirds of the surface lies below the 25-ft. level, much of it being mossland. There is no village or considerable hamlet. The area is 2,342½ acres, (fn. 1) and in 1901 there was a population of 284.

Northward through the eastern side go roads from Garstang to Cockerham, and the west end is crossed by one from the former place to Pilling; these are connected by another passing through the centre of the township, having the hall on one side and the church on the other. The Garstang and Knott End single-line railway crosses the western corner, with a station called Coglie Hill, and the Lancaster Canal at one place bends so as to come within the northeast boundary.

The soil is clay and peat, with clay subsoil; wheat and potatoes are grown, but two-thirds of the land is in pasture.

The moss-lands in the neighbourhood provide materials for the manufacture of moss litter.

The township is governed by a parish council.


Two oxgangs of land in Wyresdale were granted by William de Lancaster II, who died in 1184, to Harvey the Falconer, (fn. 2) and this estate probably formed the nucleus of the later manor of WINMARLEIGH. Harvey's son Hugh adopted the local surname, (fn. 3) which continued in use for some centuries, perhaps by several of the freeholding families, (fn. 4) but the descent cannot be traced clearly. In 1347 Thomas le Gentyl held 2 oxgangs of land by knight's service of the king, as representing William de Coucy, late lord of Wyresdale, (fn. 5) and shortly afterwards, in 1359, Nicholas le Gentyl claimed the manor against Thomas son of Marmaduke de Rigmaiden. (fn. 6) From fines of an earlier time it seems that Robert de Pleasington had obtained a moiety of the manor from Thomas le Gentyl. (fn. 7) The Pleasington inheritance probably descended to an heiress who married Richard Radcliffe. (fn. 8) The Radcliffes also obtained in 1472 part of the inheritance of Roger de Winmarleigh, which by a daughter Christiana had descended to Christopher Rowall. (fn. 9) Sir John de Harrington of Farleton died in 1359 holding a messuage and 40 acres in Winmarleigh as of the manor of Wyresdale, formerly William de Coucy's. (fn. 10)

Richard son of William de Radcliffe in 1375 complained that Joan widow of Roger de Winmarleigh had abducted the heir, and he claimed the custody of a moiety of the manor until the majority of Robert son and heir of Roger. (fn. 11) Richard was the kinsman and heir of Robert de Radcliffe of Astley, which manor he acquired. (fn. 12) Winmarleigh descended regularly (fn. 13) to Richard Radcliffe, who. died in 1477 holding the manor of the Earl of Richmond in socage by a rent of 5d.; he also held the moiety of Astley and lands, &, in Chatburn, Clitheroe, Hapton, Great Marsden and Showley. His grandson Richard son of Thomas was his heir and under age. (fn. 14)

Richard Radcliffe died in 1500, leaving a son and heir Thomas, aged seventeen, (fn. 15) and this Thomas died in 1521, leaving as heir a son of the same name, five years old. (fn. 16) The younger Thomas died in 1538, when his son William was only four years old. (fn. 17) This son died at Astley in 1561, without issue, and his half-sister Anne, wife of Gilbert Gerard, obtained Winmarleigh. (fn. 18) As already shown, Gilbert purchased the superior lordship of Wyresdale, (fn. 19) but at his death in 1593 he was said to hold the manor of Winmarleigh by the old tenure, viz. of the queen as of her earldom of Richmond by knight's service and 5d. rent. His son and heir Sir Thomas Gerard was aged twenty-nine. (fn. 20) Some estate in Winmarleigh was at that time held by the Rigmaidens, (fn. 21) whose manors were afterwards purchased by Sir Thomas.

The manor descended to Dutton third Lord Gerard of Bromley, (fn. 22) and was granted to his daughter Elizabeth, who married the Hon. William Spencer. It descended to their great-granddaughter Elizabeth wife of Edward eleventh Earl of Derby, and was sold to Thomas Patten in 1744. (fn. 23) From him it descended to John Wilson-Patten, (fn. 24) who after a long and honourable career in the public service, having been knight of the shire as early as 1830, was raised to the peerage in 1874 and took his title from this manor. Lord Winmarleigh died in 1892, and his son and grandson having died before him the title became extinct. He was sole landowner, and built Winmarleigh House in 1871. (fn. 25) Lady Headfort, widow of the son, is tenant for life of the manor. No courts are held. (fn. 26)

Patten. Lozengy ermine and sable a canton gules.

Wilson. Sable a wolf salient or, in chief three estoiles of the second.

John Goose was a freeholder in 1600. (fn. 27) A few names of former landowners can be recovered from the inquisitions (fn. 28) and the sequestrations of the Commonwealth period. (fn. 29)

In connexion with the Church of England St. Luke's was built in 1876 and enlarged in 1887. (fn. 30) The patronage is vested in the Hon. Misses Ellinor and Elizabeth Wilson-Patten, daughters of Lord Winmarleigh.


  • 1. 2,343 acres, including 7 of inland water; Census Rep. 1901.
  • 2. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 3; in 1212 Hugh de Winmarleigh held by knight's service.
  • 3. Hugh son of Harvey the Falconer about 1200 granted Gamel's toft and croft of 3 acres to Cockersand Abbey, with easements of his fee in Winmarleigh, including pasturage for thirty oxen and cows, &c.; Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc), i, 290. William son of Harvey is also named; ibid, i, 291. William son of Hugh de Winmarleigh made a further grant to Cockersand; ibid, i, 296. Alice was the widow of Hugh; ibid.
  • 4. Grants to Cockersand were made by Roger son of Hamelin and his son Richard, by Richard son of Robert de Winmarleigh, and several (one dated 1246) by Gregory de Winmarleigh, who names his brother Richard, also by Richard de Wath; ibid, i, 290–7. John, Robert and Thomas de Winmarleigh are named in these charters. There is nothing to show whether Gregory was the successor of Hugh or the lord of that part of Winmarleigh not in Hugh's fee; he occurs from 1241 to 1253; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 82; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 159, 191. John de Winmarleigh is named in 1257; ibid, i, 210. Robert son of Gregory and Avice his wife had land in Stalmine in 1262; Final Conc, i, 135. John de Winmarleigh was defendant in 1276; Assize R. 405, no. 3a.
  • 5. Inq. p.m. 20 Edw. Ill (2nd nos.), no. 63. Thomas appears to have been son of William le Gentyl of Poulton in Lonsdalc; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 9, 118.
  • 6. Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 7, m. I d.; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 346.
  • 7. In 1338 Robert de Pleasington obtained a messuage and lands in Garstang, including wood called Eskland, from Thomas le Gentyl and Katherine his wife; Final Conc. ii, no. The same Robert in 1343 obtained a moiety of the manor of Winmarleigh (except two messuages, &c.) from the same and their son Randle; ibid. 116. At the same time Robert granted to Thomas ten messuages, &, and certain homages. The fieldnames include Herneshead, Lawesteghele, Hyngilka, Briggemouridding and Dereslowe. Very soon afterwards these ten messuages, &, were granted to Robert de Pleasington and Ellen his wife; ibid. 117. It seems possible that Katherine and Ellen were the heirs of Winmarleigh. In 1344 Robert de Pleasington obtained a messuage and land in Winmarleigh from Robert the Grayve; Add. MS. 32104, no. 906. In 1348 he acquired another in Garstang from John son of Thomas de Rigmaiden; Final Conc. ii, 126. John de Pleasington in 1354 successfully claimed the manor and 2s. rent from Gilbert de Haydock and Ellen his wife; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 3, m. 3 d.
  • 8. Dodsworth (MSS. cliii, fol. 48) states that Richard de Radcliffe of Winmarleigh (living 1407) married the daughter and co-heir of Henry de Pleasington by Isabel his wife. From pleadings cited below it is clear that Richard's grandfather had part of the manor in 1376.
  • 9. One Roger de Winmarleigh was plaintiff in 1292 and 1302; Assize R. 408, m. 96, 97 d.; 418, m. 11, I2d. William son of Roger occurs in 1330; Assize R. 1400, m. 235. Again in 1345 Robert de Pleasington complained that Roger de Winmarleigh had cut his grass, &c.; De Banco R. 344, m. 613. Thomas Henryson de Rowall, as heir of his mother Christiana daughter and heir of Roger de Winmarleigh, in 1425 granted a moiety of the demesne of Winmarleigh in the vill of Garstang to his brother Christopher, with remainder to another brother Richard; Dods. MSS. cliii, fol. 47b. From what is stated below it appears that Thomas and Christopher sold much of their inheritance. John Rowall son of Christopher had to wife Ellen daughter of Thomas Jenkinson in 1447–8; ibid. fol. 48. A messuage, &, was granted to John and Ellen in 1490–1, with remainder to their son Edward; ibid. An elder son Richard had in 1480 married Janet daughter of William Colous; ibid. Ellen the widow of John Rowall was living in 1500–1; ibid. fol. 48b. Deeds of 1436 and 1447–8 are in Pal. of Lanc. Chan. Misc. bdle. 1, files 1 and 6. Edward son of Richard Roo alias Rowall died in 1531 holding six messuages, &c., in Winmarleigh, held of Thomas Radcliffe by a rent of 2s. His heir was a daughter Alice, aged six in 1535. Edward's mother Joan and wife Anne survived him; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. viii, no. 39. For an earlier marriage of Edward see Add. MS. 32106, fol. 284, no. 234. In 1472 John son and heir of John Rigmaiden released all his right in lands obtained from Christopher Rowall and Thomas his brother (sons of Henry) to Ralph, Hugh and Richard Radcliffe; Dods. loc. cit. Hugh Radcliffe had previously obtained messuages, &c., from Christopher Rowall, which in 1468 he demised to Thomas Myerscough; ibid.
  • 10. Inq. p.m. 36 Edw. Ill, pt 1, no. 99, 120. Nothing further seems known of this tenement, which was held by knight's service and rendered 40s.
  • 11. De Banco R. 457, m. 10, 95. In 1376 Richard and Isabel his wife were plaintiffs and John de South-worth and Joan his wife defendants in the tame matter; ibid. 462, m. 330. Later in 1376 Isabel widow of Richard son of William de Radcliffe continued the plea. She alleged that Roger, father of the heir, had held a moiety of the manor of Winmarleigh of her by homage and fealty, paying 20s. to a scutage of 40s. and 2s. rent. The defendants alleged that Roger had made a feoffment of his moiety to William de Curwen and William de Hornby, and that Joan, the defendant and mother of the heir (of tender years), had had charge of him, and was in possession of the moiety of the manor by a grant from the feoffees in 1374; ibid. 464, m. 53; 219, 430 d. From the terms of Isabel's claim it might be inferred that she was the heiress of Winmarleigh. She may have been heiress of Gentyl.
  • 12. V.C.H. Lancs, iii, 446; Final Conc. ii, 128.
  • 13. The pedigree is shown in Lancs, lnq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), ii, 32–4, thus: Richard de Radcliffe and Isabel his wife –s. Thomas –s. Sir Richard, d. 1431 –s. Sir Thomas, aged forty. Joan widow of Thomas Radcliffe of Winmarleigh occurs in 1410 and 1417; Final Conc, iii, 69, 85. The inquisition after the death of Sir Richard Radcliffe above cited concerns the manor of Astley only. Proof of the next step is afforded by an entry in the court rolls of Ightenhill in 1441, Richard Radcliffe son and heir of Sir Thomas being accused of wrongfully withholding a tenement called the Chamber in Pendle from Lawrence Parker of Foulridge; Add. MS. 32105, fol. 251. Sir Thomas's daughter Joan married Robert Shireburne of Stonyhunt; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), ii, 53. Thomas son of Sir Thomai eame to a violent end at Whalley in 1439; Pal. of Lanc. Chan. Misc. bdle. 1, file 7. The execntors of the will of Sir Thomas were in 1442–3 summoned to answer Margaret widow of Sir Richard concerning lands, &, demised to her in Astley and Clitheroe; ibid, file 11.
  • 14. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), ii, 103. The son Thomas, who married Ellen daughter of Richard Balderston and so obtained a considerable increase of the family possessions, died before 1473; ibid. 92. The heir's age was given as fourteen in 1473 and as twelve in 1477.
  • 15. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 75; the manor of Winmarleigh was said to be held of the Earl of Lincoln by services unknown. It had in 1495 been settled upon Alice daughter of Sir Thomas Gerard for life. Other grants are recited, including one in favour of Richard's brothers John and Roger. Alice married Thomas Radcliffe and was living in 1538; ibid, viii, no. 26.
  • 16. Ibid, v, no. 3. The will of Thomas Radcliffe is recited making provision for his wife Alice, his children Thomas and Cecily, his sister Margaret and others. The manor of Winmarleigh was stated to be held of the king as Earl of Chester in socage by 5d. rent. In 1524 Alice widow of Thomas Radcliffe claimed dower in the manor of Winmarleigh, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 135, m. 4.
  • 17. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. viii, no. 26; the manor of Winmarleigh was said to be held of the king as of his duchy of Lancaster by knight's service and 5d. rent.
  • 18. Ibid, xi, no. 7; the jurors ignored the half-blood, and found that William's heirs were John Singleton, aged twelve, and Joan Radcliffe, aged fourteen. Winmirleigh was found to be held of the queen as of the earldom of Richmond by knight's service and 5d. rent, William had shortly before his death made a settlement of his manors, &c., in favour of his sister Anne. William Radcliffe married Anne daughter of Sir John Holcroft, by whom he had a son and three daughters who died in infancy, and he was buried at Culcheth, where a memorial brass records the facts. The heirs named by the jury were the grandson and the daughter of his aunt Cecily. There is a Radcliffe pedigree in the Visit. of 1613 (Chet. Soc), 43–4.
  • 19. A settlement of the manor of Winmarleigh was made by Gilbert Gerard and Anne his wife in 1574; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 36, m. 269.
  • 20. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvi, no. 2. A large collection of deeds (already quoted) relating to disputes as to the Radcliffe inheritance has been preserved by Towneley in Add. MS. 32105, fol. 237 onward. These show that Cecily Radcliffe above mentioned was twice married: (1) to Thomas Farington, by whom she had a daughter Alice, wife of (William) Singleton (of Staining), whose son John left two daughters—Elizabeth wife of James Massey (s.p.) and Alice wife of Henry Birkenhead 5 (2) to Edward Radcliffe of Mearley, by whom she had another daughter Joan, wife of Ralph Assheton of Great Lever, whose son was Sir Ralph Assheton, bart. Thomas Farington appears as plaintiff in the time of Henry VIII; Ducatus Lanc. i, 205.
  • 21. Winmarleigh is named in the inquisitions of Walter and John Rigmaiden, 1587–8, but without separate details.
  • 22. See the account of Nether Wyresdale.
  • 23. Fishwick, Garstang (Chet. Soc), 44–5, where a lease of 1668 is quoted, showing the services required. William Spencer (third son of the second Lord Spencer) and Elizabeth had a son William, who left four children—John, Charles, Alice and Elizabeth. Elizabeth married Robert Hesketh of Rufford, and her daughter and heir, the Elizabeth named in the text, married in 1714 Sir Edward Stanley, afterwards (1736–76) eleventh Earl of Derby. Collins states that the first William Spencer had no issue. A deed of 1667 by the Hon. William Spencer of Ashton and Elizabeth his wife, sole daughter and heir of Dutton Lord Gerard by Elizabeth his (second) wife, recites a conveyance of the manor, with remainder to the right heirs of Elizabeth; Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, 60. The following fines, &, relate to this manor: 1658—William Spencer and Elizabeth his wife (the Gerard manors) 5 Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 162, m. 161. 1667—the same (Winmarleigh only); ibid. bdle. 179, m. 9. 1669—the same with Giles Russell and Milcham his wife; ibid, bdle. 182, m. 4; 183, m. 4. 1710—John Spencer, vouchee; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 491, m. 6d. 1713—Charles Spencer; ibid. 497, m. 5.
  • 24. Thomas Patten of Bank Hall, Warrington, d. 1772 –s. Thomas Patten, d. 1806 –3rd s. Thomas Wilson-Patten, d. 1826 –2nd s. John Wilson-Patten, born 1802; Burke, Commoners, iii, 83–4; Gregson, Portfolio (ed. Harland), 186–7.
  • 25. Dict. Nat. Biog.; G.E.C. Complete Peerage, viii, 189; Pink and Beaven, Parl. Repre. of Lancs. 89–93. He sat for Lancashire as a Tory 1830–1, and for North Lancashire 1832–74, in twelve Parliaments; chancellor of the duchy 1867–8, constable of Lancaster Castle 1869. His son Eustace John Wilson-Patten died in 1873, leaving a son John Alfred (who died unmarried in 1889) and daughters. His widow (Emily daughter of Lord John Thynne) afterwards married the third Marquess of Headfort, who died in 1894.
  • 26. Information of Messrs. John White & Co., Warrington.
  • 27. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 232. Sir Gilbert Gerard in 1591 purchased a messuage, &, in Winmarleigh from John Goose and Mary his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 53, m. 83. For the Goose family see Ducatus Lanc, iii, 149, 327.
  • 28. For Rowall and Rigmaiden see earlier notes. John Sale or Saule compounded for refusing knighthood in 1631; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 222. He died in 16 34 holding a messuage, &, in Gars tang and Winmarleigh of Dutton Lord Gerard as of his manor of Winmarleigh. Christopher his son and heir was thirty-two years of age; Towneley MS. C 8, 13 (Chet, Lib.), 1087. William Ambrose of Woodplumpton had land in Garstang in 1421; Final Conc. iii, 79. It was perhaps in Winmarleigh, for William Ambrose and John Kuerden sold a messuage, &, there to John Rigmaiden in 1567; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 29, m. 58.
  • 29. Anne Molyneux had two-thirds of her tenement sequestered for recusancy, and died in 1654, the heirs at law being William Latus of Catterall, Dorothy his wife and John Goose of Winmarleigh. She had in 1652 devised her estate to Robert Pleasington of Garstang. There was a suspicion that this was on trust for some priest or delinquent or convicted recusant, but one John Charnock of Cabus, a Protestant and communicant at Garstang Church, claimed; Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iv, 140–3.
  • 30. A district was assigned to it in 1876; Lond. Gaz. 5 Dec.