Townships: Ramsgreave

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.

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'Townships: Ramsgreave', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911), pp. 251-252. British History Online [accessed 13 June 2024].

. "Townships: Ramsgreave", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911) 251-252. British History Online, accessed June 13, 2024,

. "Townships: Ramsgreave", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911). 251-252. British History Online. Web. 13 June 2024,

In this section


Romesgreve, xiii–xvii cent.

Ramsgreave occupies high ground, an eastern continuation of Mellor Moor, directly to the north of the town of Blackburn. Save on the western side the ground slopes in all directions from an elevation of 726 ft. above the ordnance datum at 'Top of Ramsgreave,' the lowest level being 300 ft. on the northwest, where Zechariah Brook joins Showley Brook on the borders of Salesbury. On the northern slope of the hill the subsoil consists of the Yoredale rocks, on the southern of the Millstone Grit. The soil is clayey and the land consists of meadow and pasture, destitute of woodland. (fn. 1) The area is 776 acres, and in 1901 the population numbered 179 persons. (fn. 2) The main road from Blackburn to Whalley and Clitheroe touches the eastern side of the township, and the Bolton, Blackburn and Hellifield Line of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company passes through it immediately to the west of the main road. The nearest station is Wilpshire, distant 1½ miles.


There is no manor of Ramsgreave, which was anciently parcel of the chase attached to Blackburn Manor, and was till the 14th century held by the lords of Clitheroe. (fn. 3) In 1360 Henry Duke of Lancaster gave to Whalley Abbey two cottages and various lands and wood in Ramsgreave. (fn. 4) The place thus acquired an independent standing. In 1478 the monks received £4 a year from it, (fn. 5) and in 1538 the total receipts were £9 10s. 3d.; a large part of the area was still woodland. (fn. 6)

After the suppression of the abbey Ramsgreave was in 1540 sold by the Crown with other lands to Sir Alexander Radcliffe, (fn. 7) but he soon transferred this part of his purchase to Andrew Barton of Smithills, lord of the manor of Blackburn, who at his death in 1549 was found to have held twelve messuages, &c., in Ramsgreave of the king in chief by the eightieth part of a knight's fee and a rent of 19s. 2¾d. (fn. 8) The estate remained in this family for some time, (fn. 9) but has long been dispersed. The principal part, the Ramsgreave Hall estate, has passed through a number of hands, (fn. 10) and about 1878 was acquired from Mrs. Mary Jane Rowden Hindle, his sister-in-law, by the late Daniel Thwaites (fn. 11) of Woodfold Park in this township, whose daughter Mrs. Yerburgh succeeded in 1888. (fn. 12) She is lady of the manor of Mellor adjoining.

Barton. Assure a fesse between three stags' heads cabossed or.

The older owners included Gillibrand, Hoghton and Sharples. (fn. 13) More recently James Shorrock of Mellor was a considerable owner, (fn. 14) and has been succeeded by the Misses Shorrock.

The hearth tax returns show that twenty-one hearths were liable in 1666; only one house had as many as four. (fn. 15)

In 1855 the Congregationalists of Blackburn erected a small chapel at the 'Top of Ramsgreave.' (fn. 16)


  • 1. The agricultural returns for 1905 give arable land 1 acre, permanent grass 770 acres.
  • 2. The new survey gives 778 acres; Census Rep. 1901.
  • 3. In 1296 the receipts from Ramsgreave amounted to 20s. 4d.; De Lacy Compoti (Chet. Soc.), 7. They were double this in 1305, when 33s. 4d. was received for herbage and 33s. 6d. for brushwood; ibid. 102. This is named among the chases of Thomas Earl of Lancaster in 1313; Cal. Pat. 1313–17, p. 65.
  • 4. Duchy of Lanc. Anct. D. LS 119. The gift was made to provide for the sustenance of recluses at Whalley Church. There was a confirmation soon afterwards, 2 Jan. 1360–1; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 343. The lords of the moiety of Blackburn had probably some right in this woodland, for as late as 1524 the feoffees of Andrew Barton quitclaimed to the Abbot of Whalley any title to a parcel of land called Ramsgreave alias Broadhead and to common of pasture there; Add. MS. 32104, fol. 198.
  • 5. Abram, Blackburn, 627.
  • 6. Whalley Couch. (Chet. Soc.), iv, 1222–3. The principal tenants were named Hey, Calvert, Bolton, Golborne and Rushton. The field names were Broadhead, Ramsgreen, Newfield and Worple hills. There was a wood 'well replenished with old oaks and fair timber, containing by estimation one mile and a half'; also 'a fair spring,' a plantation of three years' growth.
  • 7. Pat. 32 Hen. VIII, pt. iv; L. and P. Hen. VIII, xv, g. 942 (4), (7).
  • 8. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ix, no. 27.
  • 9. Margery wife of Robert Barton and then of Richard Shuttleworth died in 1592 holding Ramsgreave of the gift of her first husband with reversion to his heirs; ibid. xvi, no. 44. Randle Barton died in 1611 holding the Ramsgreave estate of the king as before; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 211. It probably remained in the family till the dispersal of the estates by Lord Fauconberg about 1720. It is named in a fine of 1679 relating to Smithills, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 202, m. 4. Ramsgreave is never styled a 'manor.'
  • 10. Abram, op. cit. 629; it was owned by Wilsons of Baxendale from about 1800 to 1870.
  • 11. Conservative M.P. for Blackburn 1875–80; he married Elia daughter of G. F. Gregory. See Pink and Beaven, Parl. Repre. of Lancs. 320.
  • 12. Information of Mrs. Yerburgh.
  • 13. Notices of them will be found in Abram, op. cit. 629–30.
  • 14. Ibid.
  • 15. Lay Subs. Lancs. bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 16. Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. ii, 87. There had been a preaching station there as early as 1833, and a Sunday school was established.