A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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Like Forton, Cleveley lies in Amounderness Hundred, and is divided between two parishes. The greater part, including a small detached fragment on the south-east bank of the Wyre, is within Cockerham; the rest, about a fourth, is in Garstang. The surface is elevated above the valley of the Wyre, and at several points rises above the 200-ft. level. Near one of these higher points, on the eastern side, is Shireshead Chapel. The area of the whole township is 620 acres (fn. 1); there was a population of 62 in 1901. There is no village.
The principal road, that from Bay Horse station south to join the great road from Lancaster to Preston, goes along the western border. The London and North-Western Company's main line from Carlisle to London runs near it, but has no station in the township. The River Wyre forms the boundary at two places; on the north a small brook forms the boundary as it runs west to the Cocker.
Before the Conquest and after it CLEVELEY appears to have been nothing more than a hamlet in the lordship of Garstang or Nether Wyresdale (fn. 2); it did not rank as a separate manor. It is named in the inquisitions of Walter and John Rigmaiden and Sir Gilbert Gerard, lords of Wyresdale, 1587–93 (fn. 3); and George Allen of Rossall in 1579 held land, &c., in Cleveley of Sir Gilbert Gerard and John Rigmaiden as of their manor of Nether Wyresdale in socage. (fn. 4) On the sale of the Duke of Hamilton's estates in 1853 the Cleveley portion, 693 acres, was purchased by Peter Ormrod of Bolton for £35,100, and has thus retained its connexion with Nether Wyresdale, which was at the same time acquired by Mr. Ormrod. (fn. 5) Cleveley Mill occurs before 1280. (fn. 6)
The 'manor or hamlet' of Cleveley was sold by Henry VIII in 1545 to Anthony Bellingham, (fn. 7) and seems to have passed to John Calvert of Cockerham. He in 1582 sold a messuage and lands in Cleveley and Nether Wyresdale to John Fox, (fn. 8) and in 1585 made a further sale to Christopher Fisher. (fn. 9) Later the tenements of Fox (fn. 10) and Fisher (fn. 11) were stated to be held of the king as of his manor of Wenden Farren in Buckinghamshire.
Richard Green of Cleveley had two-thirds of his estate sequestered 'for his recusancy only' under the Commonwealth. (fn. 12)
A chapel of unknown origin (fn. 13) and dedication (fn. 14) stands in the Cockerham part of the township; it is known as SHIRESHEAD Chapel. In 1577 Harrison names the Wyre as running by it, (fn. 15) and it occurs again as a chapel of Cockerham in 1610. (fn. 16) It is unlikely that at that time any regular service was maintained there, but in 1648 Peter Smith, minister of Shireshead, signed the 'Harmonious Consent,' and in 1650 'Shierside' had a minister, one John Fisher, 'for the time being,' though there was no certain maintenance. (fn. 17) After the Restoration the chapel remained in the hands of Nonconformists for some time, but was recovered for the Church of England by the Duke of Hamilton (fn. 18) and the vicar of Garstang. In 1717 it was served by the curate of Ellel, and service was held weekly in the summer and fortnightly in the winter. (fn. 19) Some endowment appears to have been obtained for it, (fn. 20) and the chapel was rebuilt in 1801, a brief being issued for a collection. A separate curate was appointed in 1832, and a district was assigned to it in 1858. (fn. 21) The building is used only occasionally since the opening of St. James's, Forton, in 1888. The incumbents are presented by the vicar of Cockerham. The following is a list of them (fn. 22):—
|c. 1727||Robert Barbon (fn. 23)|
|1731||Barton Parkinson, M.A. (fn. 24) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1832||John Satterthwaite Bolden, M.A. (fn. 25) (Trinity Coll., Camb.)|
|1838||Robert Brickel, B.A. (fn. 26) (T.C.D.)|
|1849||William Price, B.A. (fn. 27) (Corpus Christi Coll., Camb.)|
|1860||William Richard Villiers, LL.B. (fn. 28) (Christ's Coll., Camb.)|
|1865||William Studdert Kennedy, M.A. (fn. 29) (T.C.D.)|
|1879||John Bickerdike, M.A. (fn. 30) (Trinity Coll., Camb.)|
|1892||Charles Sherard Brocket Spooner, B.A. (Oxf.)|