Townships: Blatchinworth and Calderbrook

Pages 227-229

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.

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In this part of Hundersfield there were a number of ancient estates, some of which, as Sladen (fn. 1) and Lightollers, (fn. 2) gave surnames to the proprietors; but the most prominent is a comparatively recent one, that of PIKE HOUSE, near Littleborough, the possession of the Halliwells and their successors from the latter part of the 16th century. (fn. 3) The present owner is Captain Clement Robert Nuttall Beswicke-Royds. Pike House stands on high ground on the lower slope of Blackstone Edge, about half a mile north-east of Littleborough, facing south-west. It is a stone-built house of two stories, with attics, erected about 1608–9 in the place of an older building, but greatly altered and modernized a hundred years later, when the present ashlar front with large sash windows was added, and many alterations made in the interior. The original 17th-century house had three gables on each front facing north and south, the roofs running through from front to back, and these still show on the north side, where the elevation is not much changed. The old roofs, which are covered with stone slates, still remain behind the high 18th-century parapet on the principal front. The north side preserves also many of the original 17th-century mullioned and transomed windows and a large projecting chimney, though the east gable has been replaced and other changes have taken place. Over one of the later windows is the date 1704, probably the year when the alterations were carried out and the new front added. The refacing of the front elevation, which is 65ft. in length, appears to have been done at two different times, the centre portion and east end being recased first and the west gable at a later date, the stonework being plainer and the windows less in height. The three upper middle windows have thin pilaster strips on either side, breaking round the stringcourse above, and the door is flanked by columns and has a panel with a blank shield and cornice above, but apart from this the elevation is quite plain and without architectural distinction. The height of the parapet, determined by the gables behind, is excessive, and viewed from the ends, where it shows as a screen wall above the roof, is very ugly. The windows retain their original wood bars. Internally the house preserves traces of its 17th-century plan, though most of the arrangements and fittings belong to the 18th-century remodelling. The light oak panelling of the dining-room is exceedingly good, and of simple and dignified detail. The staircase, which has carved oak balusters and square newels, and the breakfast-room fireplace are also good examples of 18th-century work. In the kitchen is a wide open fireplace under a low arch, and another fireplace, the great chimney of which is such a noticeable feature of the north elevation, seem to have originally belonged to the entrance hall, which occupies the middle portion of the ground floor. The windows on each side of the front door contain modern heraldic glass, and the large staircase window is also filled with heraldic and pictorial glass illustrating the history of the families connected with the house. The principal rooms on the first floor open from a corridor running the whole length of the building, and there is a low single-story addition at the west end. Originally the road ran much nearer the east end of the building, and two stone piers in front of the house mark the entrance to a former flower garden.

Halliwell of Pike House. Argent on a bend gules three antelopes of the field attired or.

SHORE was anciently in part a possession of the Hospitallers; it gave a name to some of the tenants. (fn. 4) The house now called Handle Hall was the home of the Dearden family, now lords of the manor of Rochdale. (fn. 5) Windy Bank (fn. 6) and Town House (fn. 7) are other old estates.

Pike House, Littlelorough

The house known as Windy Bank stands in a fine position above the road near to the ancient packhorse track leading over Blackstone Edge. It is a picturesque two-story stone-built house [capital letter L]-shaped in plan, the long front facing south and the short arm running north at the east end. The principal elevation has three flush gables with long low mullioned windows with hood-moulds over. At the east end is a large projecting chimney, and at the south-east angle a large roughly-carved gargoyle in the form of a man holding open his mouth with both hands. Over the door are the initials I.B. (John Butterworth) and the date 1635, and there was formerly a sundial in the middle gable, traces of which still remain. The house is now let in tenements, and the interior has been remodelled and is without interest. (fn. 8)

Lower Town House was rebuilt in 1604, and an illustration of it in the 18th century shows a picturesquely grouped two-story gabled structure with farm buildings adjoining. This building was pulled down in 1798 when the present house—a plain 18th-century stone building with sash windows—took its place. Over a door in the servants' hall is a carved stone from the old house with the initials ' R.N. W.N. 1604,' and in more modern characters 'W.N.B. rebuilt 1798.' In the wall of one of the outbuildings is a stone bearing the Newall arms and the initials and date, ' L.N.S. 1752.' (fn. 9)

Robert Holt of Stubley and John Belfield of Littleborough were among the landowners in 1626. (fn. 10) At that time there were 1,134 acres of copyhold land. The chief landowners in 1797 were Mr. Dearden, Mr. Newall, Colonel Chadwick, and Mr. Beswicke. (fn. 11)

On the west side of the high road at Steanor Bottom, near Calderbrook, is a three-story stone house with mullioned windows, along the front of which is a long ornamental panel (fn. 12) with carved border and quaint inscriptions:
A S E 1700
The initials refer to one of the Eastwood family. Apart from the inscriptions the house is architecturally without interest.


  • 1. See the account of Ogden in Butterworth. Quenilda de Sladen in 1246 recovered half an oxgang in Hundersfield against Mathew son of Adam, Henry son of Ivo, and Agnes his mother; Assize R. 404, m. 4 d.
  • 2. Whalley Coucher, ii, 631; Fishwick, Rochdale, 437–9. Maud widow of Richard son of Henry son of Ivo in 1291 and later claimed dower in Hundersfield against Roger de Lightollers for I oxgang, Richard son of Roger de Lightollers for 2 oxgangs, and other tenants of 5½ oxgangs in all; De Banco R. no, m. 48 d.; 167, m. 22 d. Roger de Lightollers claimed a messuage, oxgang, &c, against Andrew son of Patrick de Hundersfield in 1296; ibid. R. 114, m. 85. Roger de Lightollers was plaintiff in 1301 respecting lands in Hundersfield; against Thomas and Adam sons of Adam Dudeman and Richard son of Geoffrey de Turnagh he failed, but recovered against Andrew son of Patrick de Hundersfield and Henry son of Roger de Butterworth; Assize R. 1321, m. 8. In 1324 Agnes widow of Henry son of Richard de Hundersfield made a claim for land against William de Lightollers, and Richard son of Roger de Lightollers; De Banco R. 250, m. 7. Roger Lightollers and Joan his wife were defendants in 1444; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 6, m. 3. Lightollers became the property of the Kirshaws of Town House, and was divided between Newall and Chadwick. One half was acquired by the Halliwells of Pike House. In 1626 Jordan Chadwick (of Healey) held 32 acres in Lightollers and lands in Denehurst and Anningden; those in the first-named place were held by virtue of a grant of William de Lightollers to Roger his son, and a rent of 3s. 8d. was payable to Savile, while those in Denehurst were held by a grant of Hugh de Eland's in 1292, a rent of 8d. being due; Surv. ut sup. 107.
  • 3. The evidences of this family were transcribed by Canon Raines, who was connected with them by marriage; Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iv. In 1522 Thomas Halliwell released to James his father and John his brother all his actions relating to the Ealees, then held by James; Add. MS. 32107, no. 470. Pike House was acquired in 1561 from the Earl of Derby by John and James Halliwell, the latter being of Ealees, which is at the east end of Littleborough; see Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 25, m. 29, 25, from which it appears that the earl sold his Hundersfield lands at that time. In 1564 James Halliwell acquired a messuage and lands from James son of Roger Chadwick; ibid. bdle. 26, m. 193; this was perhaps the moiety of Lightollers, but in 1578 John Halliwell and James (son of James) Halliwell of Ealees purchased a messuage, &c, from Richard Lightollers and Margaret his wife; ibid. bdle. 40, m. 60. James Halliwell acquired a messuage in Hundersfield from Arthur Whitehead in 1585; ibid. bdle. 47, m. 77. John Halliwell acquired another in 1593 from John Sale; ibid. bdle. 55, m. 4. John son of James Halliwell died in 1619 holding lands, &c., in Pike House and Lightollers of Sir John Byron in socage by 10½d. rent, in Hundersfield of Sir John Byron and John Holt, in Butterworth also of Sir John Byron, in Buersill of the Earl of Derby as of his manor of Woolton, in Ditton near Widnes, and elsewhere. James his son and heir was thirty years of age; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 165–6. In 1626 James Halliwell held Ealees and 104 acres of land. John Butterworth of Littleborough held 26 acres in Ealees; Surv. ut sup. 104, 108. James Halliwell was summoned to attend the Visitation of 1664, but it appears that he died in 1661; Dugdale Visit, q.v. The estate descended to John Halliwell, who died in 1771, when he was succeeded by Robert Beswicke, whose grandmother was Mary Halliwell, sister of the last John Halliwell; Robert's grandson, John Halliwell Beswicke, died in 1842, and his daughter and heiress, Mary Alice Gibson, married Capt. Clement Robert Nuttall Royds, who has assumed the name Beswicke before Royds; see Fishwick, Rochdale, 440–1, and Raines MSS. iii, 62, for an account of the Beswicke family.
  • 4. Thomas de Wardle and Alexander del Dene were tenants of the Hospitallers in Hundersfield in 1329; De Banco R. 279, m. 180 d. About 1540 James Bamford held the Hospitallers' part of shore paying 6d. rent; Kuerden MSS. v fol. 84. Henry Bamford made a settlement of his lands in 1581; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 43, m. 50. He died in 1597, holding messuages, &c., in Shore and Deanrod of Sir John Byron by rents of 17d. and 2s. 2d. respectively ; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, no. 77. In 1626 Thomas son of Thomas Whitehead held the Hospitallers' land; it was stated that the successive owners had been Ely, Stannering, Shore, and Henry Bamford; surv. ut sup. 110. Andrew son of patrick de Hundersfield claimed a rent of 6d. against Alexander son of Nicholas de la Shore in 1295; Assize R. 1306, m. 15 d. Ellis de Stanriggs in 1306 claimed land in Hundersfield against Roger del shore; De Banco R. 161, m. 420 d. Ralph shore died in Oct. 1560, holding the capital messuage called Shore, other messuages in Hundersfield called Littleborough, High Lee, Lenchcarr, and Middlewood, and some other lands, leaving a son and heir Thomas, thirteen years of age, and married to Margery daughter of Thomas Hill. A fourth part of Shore was held of Robert Savile by a rent of 2s.; all the rest of the estate was held of the queen, a rent of 13d. being payable; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, no. 48. Thomas Shore in 1561 purchased a messuage, &c., from Henry Bamford; Pal. of Lanc. Feet, of F. bdle. 23, m. 48. Thomas Shore and Margery his wife made a settlement of lands, &c., in 1585; ibid. bdle. 47, m. 68. Thomas Shore was in possession in 1626; Surv. ut sup. 106. Some deeds of the family are in Raines MSS. xvi, 217–23; see also Fishwick, op. cit. 433.
  • 5. Ibid. 449.
  • 6. In 1334 Henry son of Henry del Windybank, a minor, recovered possession of a messuage and lands in Hundersfield and Butterworth against William del Windybank; the occupier was Henry Tyrry; Coram Rege R. 297, m. 115 d. Joan widow of Henry de Windybank in July 1352 recovered dower in lands in Hundersfield and Butterworth against Margery and Agnes, daughters of Richard de Wardle. The defence was a release granted by Joan in 1344; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 2, m. 3 d. In 1568 Joan, one of the daughters and heirs of Richard Lightollers of Windy Bank, gave her right to Alexander College; Towneley MS. GG, no. 673. Windy Bank was in 1626 held by Richard Lightollers by a rent of 4d. 8d. due to Savile; Surv. 109. An abstract of the title deeds may be found in Raines MSS. ii, 297; it begins in 1718, when Robert (son of John son of Robert) Butterworth was owner.
  • 7. In 1626 there were two estates bearing this name. The Upper Town House, with 112 acres, was held by Alexander Kirshaw by rents of 2s. to the king and id. to Savile; and the Lower Town House, with 88 acres, was held by Robert Newall; Surv. 109. The Town House evidences are given in Raines MSS. v, 264 on. They begin with a grant by Thomas son of Michael de Wardle to Matthew de Kirshaw (Kyrkeschagh) of ½ oxgang in Hundersfield in 1317. Christopher Kirshaw living in 1453 had two daughters, Eleanor and Isabel, of whom the latter married William Newall, and the former is said to have married Chadwick of Healey. There is a full pedigree of the Newall family in Fishwick's work, 445; for the family deeds see Raines MSS. iii, 146; v, 264, &c. An indenture concerning the marriage of William son of Ralph Kirshaw of Littleborough with Agnes daughter of John Buckley and Emma his wife occurs in 1567; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 222, m. 9. A settlement of ten messuages, &c., in Hundersfield was in 1572 made by Edmund Kirshaw, Geoffrey his son and heir apparent, and the latter's wife Katherine; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 34, m. 102. This probably refers to the Upper Town House, which was eventually purchased by the Newalls; Fishwick, op. cit. 444. Michael son of William del 'Ton' gave land in Hundersfield to Stanlaw Abbey between the Tonbrook and the land of the sons of Patrick; Whalley Coucher, i, 159.
  • 8. There is an illustration of Windy Bank in 1840 in Fishwick, Rochdale, 436, from a sketch by George Shaw ia Raines MSS. ii, 295.
  • 9. Fishwick, Rochdale, 443, 444.
  • 10. Surv. ut sup. 104, 108.
  • 11. Land tax returns at Preston.
  • 12. There is an illustration of the panel or frieze, which is built up in many stones, in Baines, Lancs, (ed. 1836),. ii, 646, but the blank panels are reduced in width, and the length of the whole consequently curtailed.