A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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This township includes the extra-parochial place or chapelry of Stidd, formerly belonging to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. The area of the whole is 1,898½ acres, (fn. 1) of which Stidd has 752. The population in 1901 numbered 229.
The land slopes down from nearly the highest point of Longridge Fell, over 1,100 ft., to theRibble, 100 ft. above the ordnance datum, the length in this direction, from north to south, exceeding 3 miles. Starling Brook, on the east, divides it from Aighton, and Stidd Brook, on the west, from Ribchester, while Dutton Brook flows south through a wooded valley in the centre to join the Ribble. Stidd proper is in the south-west corner of the township, and its district stretches north along the western border for some distance, St. John's Well being nearly a mile to the north; then it extends across the township as far as the eastern border, and returns to the west. There are four small detached portions at the south end of Dutton and one in the north end. In the north end also is a detached part of Aighton, Bailey and Chaigley, known as Lennox's Farm. In recent times these anomalous boundaries have been removed for local government purposes.
Ribchester Bridge is in this township; it provides a passage between Longridge and Ribchester on the north and Blackburn on the south. Another road from Ribchester turns to the north through the township, passing Dutton Hall and Pan Stones, to join the road from Longridge to Mitton. It continues north through Huntingdon to join the higher road between the same places.
In 1066 DUTTON was probably a part of Ribchester, not having a separate record in Domesday Book, but in 1102 it was given, as one plough-land, to Robert de Lacy by Henry I. (fn. 2) From that time it became a member of the honor of Clitheroe, and the land was held by a number of tenants. The immediate lordship of the manor seems to have been held by a family using the local surname, (fn. 3) from whom it passed to a younger branch of the Claytons of Clayton-le-Dale about 1290. (fn. 4) The inquisition after the death of Ralph de Clayton (1324) was taken in 1329, when it was found that he had held lands in Dutton of the honor of the castle of Clitheroe by the service of 5s. yearly; there were a capital messuage worth 12d. a year; 30 acres of land, worth 6d. each; a pasture, 2s. 6d.; an acre of meadow, 12d.; rents of free tenants amounted to 6s. 6d. Henry the son and heir of Ralph was thirty years of age and more. (fn. 5)
In the Clayton family the manor descended regularly, (fn. 6) coming about 1400 to the Belfields of Clegg in Rochdale. (fn. 7) From their heirs the manor was acquired in or about 1578 by Sir Richard Shireburne of Stonyhurst, (fn. 8) and descended in due course to Thomas Weld, who became a cardinal in 1829, and in 1831 sold Dutton to Joseph Fenton of Bamford Hall, a manufacturer and banker of Rochdale. (fn. 9) Mr. Fenton, who also purchased the adjacent manors of Bailey and Ribchester, died in 1840, (fn. 10) and was succeeded by his son James, who in turn at his death in 1857 was succeeded by his eldest son, also named James. He died in 1902, the present lord of the manor of Dutton being his eldest surviving son, Mr. Robert Kay Fenton, born in 1853. No courts have been held for a long time.
After the decay of the Claytons the principal family in the township was that of Townley, appearing about 1380. (fn. 11) Their estate is of uncertain origin. John Townley in 1562 described the tenure of his estate as socage or in the nature of socage. (fn. 12) Richard Townley of Dutton in 1618 held his lands in Dutton of Richard Shireburne of Stonyhurst by the service of a red rose yearly; he also held lands in Ribchester, Dilworth and Hothersall. (fn. 13) A pedigree was recorded in 1665. (fn. 14) The estates descended to Abraham Townley, who died in 1701, leaving two sons, Henry and Richard, the latter of whom is noticed in the account of Belfield in Rochdale. Henry Townley died in 1731, leaving three daughters as coheirs. The eldest, Jane, married Edward Entwisle of Ribchester, and by a partition in 1738 the Dutton estate descended to their children. (fn. 15) 'In 1805 Mr. W. Joule purchased the estate, and in 1823 sold it to Mr. James Rothwell, whose nephew, the late Marquis de Rothwell, of Bolton, was the owner till his death' in 1890. (fn. 16)
DUTTON HALL is a picturesque two-story stone house, with balled gables and mullioned windows, finely situated on the southern slope of Longridge Fell, and commanding a magnificent view to the south over the Ribble Valley. The house is said to have been erected by Richard Townley about 1670–80, (fn. 17) but there is no date or inscription anywhere on the building itself. It is now used as a farm-house, and the west wing is unoccupied. The front, facing south, is 63 ft. in length, and consists of two end gabled wings with a recessed middle part containing the hall, the plan being a later adaptation of the general type of the preceding century. The doorway, however, is in the east wing, and the principal feature of the front elevation is the great square bay window of the hall, which occupies nearly the whole of the space between the wings in the west angle. The bay is externally 14 ft. wide with a projection of 6 ft., and goes up both stories, terminating as a kind of tower with lead flat and balustraded parapet, forming an exceedingly picturesque feature. It has a large mullioned and transomed window of seven lights placed at the angle with three lights on the return, and the rest of the windows of the house being low and without transoms a good effect is produced by the contrast. The windows of the disused west wing retain their original leaded lights in good geometrical patterns. The walling is generally of large gritstone blocks, but the east wing is faced with rough coursed sandstone pieces and gritstone quoins, and may be a rebuilding. The roofs are covered with modern blue slates. In the recess between the great bay window and the east wing is a wooden bell-turret containing a bell. The interior is somewhat modernized, but the arrangement of the hall and staircase is interesting, and in the upper room over the bay is a good plaster panel over the fireplace, with conventional floral ornament within a moulded border. The hall is flagged diagonally and has a wide open fireplace, and woodwork of late 17th or early 18th-century date. The porch is an open one with four-centred arch, and a stone seat on one side. The lay-out of the garden on the south side has been effective; it is inclosed on either side by outbuildings, giving something of the appearance of a forecourt, and the two tall stone gate piers, with balls and original wooden gates, surmounted by quaintly carved lions, form a very picturesque foreground. The grass plots, however, have been planted as an orchard, and the trees now almost completely hide the front of the house.
Among the older landowners were the families of Blackburn, (fn. 18) Clitheroe, (fn. 19) Talbot (fn. 20) of Salesbury, Moton, (fn. 21) and Hoghton of Hoghton. (fn. 22) Others took their names from places within Dutton, as Ash, (fn. 23) Dodhill, (fn. 24) Hayhurst (fn. 25) and Hunting don. (fn. 26) A few additional owners, as Bradley, (fn. 27) Harrison (fn. 28) and Thorpe, (fn. 29) are also known
For their lands the following contributed to the subsidy of 1524: Edmund Bradley, Robert Goodshaw, John Hayhurst and Richard Townley. (fn. 33) Similarly to that of 1543 Richard Townley and Robert Ash the elder. (fn. 34) To that of 1597 Thomas Holt, Henry Townley, Edward Ash, John Hayhurst and Richard Goodshaw. (fn. 35) To that of 1626 Henry Townley, John Hayhurst, Edward Ash and Robert Goodshaw; various non-communicants are entered on this list. (fn. 36)
Richard Duckett of Dutton paid £10 in 1631 on declining knighthood. (fn. 37)
The manor of ST1DD (fn. 38) was acquired by the Hospitallers about 1265 from a more ancient hospital. (fn. 39) Grants which have been preserved indicate that there had been an organized community there for at least fifty years, (fn. 40) the endowments being given 'to God and B. Mary the Virgin and the hospital of St. Saviour under Longridge and to the master and brethren serving God there.' (fn. 41) Some of the masters or wardens granted or attested 13th-century charters. (fn. 42) In 1338 it was reported that the camera of St. Saviour called the Stidd, under the preceptory of Newland in Yorkshire, was demised to farm at 10 marks yearly, but the farmer was bound to pay a chaplain singing there. (fn. 43) From this it may be assumed that divine service was maintained down to the Reformation. (fn. 44) Nothing definite, however, is known, for the manor was extra-parochial.
After the Suppression the manor was given to Thomas Holt of Gristlehurst (fn. 45) and remained in his family for more than a century. It may have been acquired later by Shireburne of Bailey, founder of the Stidd Almshouses. (fn. 46) In 1609, however, an independent grant was made to George Whitmore and others, (fn. 47) who in 1613 sold to Richard Shireburne of Stonyhurst. (fn. 48) Apart from these manors the Crown had sold various lands to Richard Crombleholme (fn. 49) and others. (fn. 50) The manor was in later times claimed by the Shireburnes and their representatives. (fn. 51)
After the Reformation an allowance of 40s. was ordered from the manor estate towards the stipend of a chaplain at Stidd, (fn. 52) but this became merely a perquisite of the vicar of Ribchester, (fn. 53) who held a service in the dilapidated chapel several times a year. (fn. 54) The extra-parochial district has now been formally united to the parish of Ribchester, and service is performed once a month and more frequently in the summer.
The chapel of ST. SAVIOUR at Stidd (fn. 55) stands amongst fields in a pleasant situation about half a mile to the north-east of Ribchester. It is an exceedingly interesting and rather picturesque (fn. 56) building substantially of late 12th-century date, with subsequent alterations, in plan a plain rectangle 46 ft. 6 in. long internally by 20 ft. 6 in. wide, and with a small south porch. The walls, which are 3 ft. thick, are faced with rubble masonry, but at a later date, probably in the 13th century, square buttresses of two stages have been added at each angle, built with dressed stone and with chamfered plinths. The north wall retains all its original 12th-century features unaltered, having two narrow semicircular-headed labelled windows, with 9-in. lights splaying on the inside to 3 ft. 10 in., and between them a doorway, 2 ft. 4 in. wide, now built up, with semicircular head, chamfered jambs, and hood mould with plain zigzag ornament. On the south side a single 12th-century window remains, similar in character to those on the north, but of greater height and widened out in its lower half to a width of 12 in. The other windows on the south side are of 15thcentury date, each of three lights under a square head. They, however, differ in detail, and were probably not inserted at the same time, that at the eastern end, which is the earlier, having no hood mould but with cusped heads to the lights, the opening going right up under the eaves. The other is slightly lower, with external hood mould and without cuspings, and may be of 16thcentury date. The lower part of both windows is now built up. The south doorway is at the western end of the wall, and is a good example of early 13thcentury work, probably inserted soon after the original building was finished. It has a pointed arch of two moulded orders springing from moulded imposts, and angle shafts with carved caps. The detail of the carving is transitional in character, but the appearance of the doorway has been spoiled by successive coats of whitewash. On the east side the detached outer shaft has gone. The door is the original oak nailstudded one. A plain open porch 6 ft. 6 in. square has been built at a later date in front of the doorway, consisting simply of two rough stone walls with stone lintel and rubble gable.
The east window is a modern pointed one of three lights, the mullions crossing in the head, but internally it has a segmental arched head. The gable above is quite plain, and below the window is a dwarf buttress. The east wall, unlike those on the north and south, has a plinth suggesting its entire reconstruction at the time the angle buttresses were added. On the south wall below the easternmost window is a portion of a string 13 ft. in length, detached at each end, between the buttress and the 12th-century window.
At the west end, high up in the wall, is a late two-light pointed window, the sill of which is 10 ft. above the floor of the chapel, and in the south-west corner a pointed doorway, the threshold of which is 8 ft. 6 in. above the floor. On the outside, where the ground has probably risen all round, the height of the door from the ground is only 6 ft. 6 in. Both window and door are now built up, and the south buttress at the west end is broken at the top. The doorway was probably the means of access from the formerly existing buildings of the hospital to a gallery at the west end of the chapel, the condition of the external masonry at the south-west angle of the building indicating a structural connexion at this point.
The roof, which is covered with stone slates, is for the most part ancient, though patched and mended, and consists of simple tie-beam trusses without king posts, but with a species of very small collar and king post close to the top. One of the tie-beams has the sacred monogram carved on its underside, and another has a floreated ornament, and the space between the spars is plastered. The floor is flagged, and the interior is generally in a rather neglected condition. The walls are plastered and whitewashed, and there being no means of heating the building, which is little used but in the summer months, it has naturally suffered in the course of years. The piscina remains at the east end of the south wall, and has a trefoiled head, but the bowl has gone. The sanctuary is still marked by a late 17th or early 18th-century oak screen standing 13 ft. from the east wall, now in a very dilapidated condition, the framework with some turned balusters along the top being all that is left. The screen is 5 ft. 11 in. high, and finishes at the south end against the pulpit, which stands against the south wall immediately to the east of the 12th-century window. It is of oak, with nine sides, and stands on a rough stone base 3 ft. 3 in. high, with stone steps on the west side, the topmost one of which is level with the sill of the window. The pulpit is probably of late 17th-century date, and is 4 ft. high with plain panelled sides. It appears to have formerly had a suspended canopy, the chain of which with turned oak spindle still remains. The font is interesting, and belongs to the first half of the 16th century. It is of dark gritstone, octagonal in shape, each side with a shield bearing sacred, heraldic and other devices, some of which have been differently interpreted. (fn. 57) Against the north end of the screen facing the nave is a long oak seat with panelled back, and there is a square oak pew in the north-east corner of the sanctuary. The altar table is of oak, and is probably the one given in 1703. (fn. 58) There are no communion rails, and the seats in the church are modern benches without backs.
The floor of the sanctuary is slightly raised round the table and along the north side. Below the table is a 14th-century double sepulchral stone, 3 ft. 9 in. square, with two floreated crosses marking the burialplace of Sir Adam and Lady Alicia de Clitheroe. The inscription, which is very much worn and defaced, is read as: 'Amen, hic jacet dominvs ada de cliderov m(iles) (p)ropicietvr devs—hic jacet . . . ade. cvivs aie propicietvr devs. (fn. 59) On the south side of the sanctuary are two other sepulchral slabs, one 6 ft. long with an incised cross, broken at the top, and the other 5 ft. 9 in. long with raised floreated cross within a circle. In the floor close by, now partly hidden by seating, is the tombstone with Latin inscription of Bishop Petre, vicar apostolic of the northern district, who died in 1775 at Showley Hall.
A scheme for the restoration of the chapel in 1888 was abandoned. (fn. 60) There is a small cemetery on three sides of the building, and a public path through the fields passes it on the west side. On the south side is the base of an old cross.