A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
In this section
Little Hol, 1256; Little Hole, 1292.
Little Hoole is cut off from its southern partner, Much Hoole, by a small brook running west to the Douglas, which forms the boundary on that side. Another small brook bounds it on the north. The highest land, about 70 ft. above the sea, is at the eastern end, the surface sloping very gradually to the riverside. The area is 1,223 acres, (fn. 1) and there was a population of 501 in 1901.
The road from Ormskirk to Preston crosses the township from south to north, and has a branch going west to the river. The hamlet of Walmer Bridge is in the north, where the main road goes into Longton. The West Lancashire portion of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway from Preston to Southport runs through the western part of the township, where there is a station called Hoole.
The township is governed by a parish council.
The people are chiefly employed in agriculture, but there is a large cotton mill at Walmer Bridge.
The early history of the manor of LITTLE HOOLE is very obscure. It is supposed to have been part of the Warrington fee, (fn. 2) but was very early given to the Knights Hospitallers in alms, (fn. 3) and thus remained unnoticed. The earliest immediate holders took their surname from the place, (fn. 4) but it passed by 1250 to the Botelers of Rawcliffe, (fn. 5) who held it down to the 16th century, (fn. 6) paying a rent of 6d. to the Hospitallers. By Isabel, one of the daughters and heirs of John Butler, it passed to her daughter Anne Radcliffe of Winmarleigh, who married Sir Gilbert Gerard. (fn. 7) Their second son Radcliffe Gerard died in 1596 holding the manor of Little Hoole, with windmill, &c., of the queen by knights' service, and leaving a son and heir Charles, two years old. (fn. 8) In 1624 it was sold by Sir Charles Gerard and Penelope his wife to Thomas Edge. (fn. 9) The new purchaser died before the end of the year holding the manor and mill of the heirs of John son of Augustine de Hoole in socage by 1d. rent; his son and heir Richard was ten years old. (fn. 10) By the end of the century it appears to have been divided among Richard's heirs (fn. 11) and disappears from the records. Bridget, one of the heirs, who married Samuel Fellows, seems to have had this manor, and in 1783 Rice Fellows was the sole landowner in the township. (fn. 12) He was succeeded by Rice George Fellows of Edmonton, who died about 1848. Courts were held in his time, (fn. 13) but after his death the land was sold in lots. The manor was in 1870 said to be held by John McKean, a cotton manufacturer. (fn. 14) The lordship, considered to be joined with the possession of the old manor-house and certain land, was afterwards sold to the father and uncle of the present lord of the manor, Mr. Thomas Richard Wilkins of Longton. (fn. 15)
Cockersand Abbey had lands in Little Hoole. (fn. 16)
There is a Primitive Methodist chapel. (fn. 17) Thirty or forty years ago the Congregationalists had a preaching station at Walmer Bridge. (fn. 18)