A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Dunkythele, Dinkedelay, 1246; Dunkedeley, 1258; Dinkedelegh, xiii-xiv cent.; Dinkedley, 1327; Dynkley, xvi cent.
The township, formerly united with Wilpshire as one, but now separated, lies between the River Ribble and Dinckley Brook, forming a slight plateau between these waters, with an elevation of 250 ft. or more above the ordnance datum. The subsoil consists of the Yoredale Rocks, with alluvial deposits by the river. The soil is clayey; the land consists entirely of meadow and pasture with some woodland on the brows above the river. No main road passes through the township, but traces of the Roman road from Ribchester to Ilkley may be seen at various points. The nearest railway station is at Langho, distant 2 miles. The township was included in the parish of Langho in 1842, when that district chapelry was created out of the parish of Blackburn. (fn. 1) The area is 608 acres, and the population in 1901 numbered seventy-four persons. (fn. 2)
Dr. Stukeley records that several Roman altars were found here, but all had been removed before 1725 save two which were both obliterated: one stood in a grass-plot in the garden at Dinckley Hall, covered with moss and weeds, the other was used in the house as a cheese-press. (fn. 3)
Ailsi lord of DINCKLEY at the commencement of the 13th century was father of Elias 'de Dunkythele' living 1246, whose son John with Bernard del Hacking recovered moor and woodland here in 1292, of which they had been disseised by certain of the free tenants of Salesbury. (fn. 4) In 1295 he gave to his daughter and co-heir Christiana lands bounded by Weticroft syke, a 'clocum' called Wilmescrofte-walle, and Mikelbroc, and the service of 6d. from John del Mikelridding. To Matilda his other daughter he gave his chief messuage of Dinckley and free thegnage rents due at St. Giles of 18½d. and a pair of spurs from Bernard de le Hacking, 19d. from John son of Ecke, 1d. from Robert Collan and 1d. from Christiana his daughter. (fn. 5) These two ladies appear to have conveyed the greater part of their estate to Hugh de Clitheroe of Salesbury and his son Roger, who held a third part of the town at the death of the Earl of Lincoln in 1311 by 24½d. thegnage rent. (fn. 6) In 1316 Adam son of Hugh de Clitheroe acquired the lands of Adam del Clough of Read. (fn. 7) These estates descended in the family of Clitheroe to the Talbots in the same way as the manor of Salesbury, and with the reputed manor of Dinckley next to be described formed part of the estate of 370 acres sold by Lord De Tabley in 1866 to Mr. Henry Ward of Blackburn, and about 1894 conveyed to the Duke of Somerset, the present owner.
The estate held by the Hacking family seems to have been identical with the reputed manor. Bernard del Hacking had a younger brother John, who died before 1313, leaving issue by Cecily his wife, afterwards the wife of Richard son of Adam de Knoll, a daughter Alice his heir, who married Adam son of Hugh de Pemberton. In 1323 Bernard del Hacking sued his brother's representative for four messuages and half the mill of Dinskley, but unsuccessfully, as it was proved that William del Hacking the father had given the tenements to his younger son John in fee for the render of a pair of white gloves. (fn. 8) During the succeeding century the descent of this estate is obscure. John and Alice de Cundeclif contributed to the poll tax levied in 1379. (fn. 9) In 1430 Gilbert Cunliffe paid a free rent of 2s. for Dinckley, and as Gilbert Cunliffe of Dinckley, gent., was arrested in 1440 with Richard Banaster of Brogden and Peter Riley of Accrington, gents., at the king's suit. (fn. 10) His successor Robert, possibly his nephew and son of Henry Cunliffe, was described as of Dinckley in 1472 and 1477. He died in 1487, when Elizabeth his widow had dower assigned to her. His son Gilbert was then under age and married to Isabel possibly daughter of John Tildesley of Garrett, gent. (fn. 11) Gilbert Cunliffe sold the manor to John Talbot son of John Talbot of Salesbury, kt., in 1505. (fn. 12) Six years later it was settled by John Talbot's trustees upon his wife Isabella for life. (fn. 13) In 1653 Dinckley Hall was purchased from the Treason trustees after forfeiture by John Talbot, for joining the king at Worcester in 1651. (fn. 14) Subsequently the manor descended like that of Salesbury.
DINCKLEY HALL stands in a low and sheltered situation close to the south bank of the Ribble, and is a two-story farm-house much rebuilt and modernized, but originally apparently of the usual type of central hall and end projecting wings. The north wing, however, if one ever existed, has disappeared, and the middle part of the building, together with the west gable of the south wing, has been rebuilt in brick. The east gable, however, preserves its ancient timber crook construction, though the barge-board and windows are new, and the south wall, which is built of rough stones with large squared angle quoins, has two good projecting stone chimneys, one carried on corbels. Only one of the four mullioned and transomed windows on this side, however, is old, and all the walls are whitewashed and the roofs covered with blue slates. On the east side is part of an inclosing garden wall with a stone pier and ball at the angle. The house, however, except for its picturesque timber gable, is of little architectural interest and has been spoiled externally by repairs and whitewash.
A small estate was held by Richard Harrington, kt., in 1430, and descended in 1498 to Thomas Assheton, kt., in right of his wife Agnes, daughter and co-heir of James Harrington of Wolfage, kt. This may have been the estate afterwards held by the Heskeths of Rufford and conveyed by Thomas Hesketh in 1555 to John Talbot, esq. (fn. 15)
A tenement called the Ridding, held by the free rent of 7d., was settled in 1353 by John son of William de Mykelridding of Dinckley on William his brother. In 1422 Joan Radcliffe, lady of Salesbury, granted it to Richard son of William of Ridding, who vested it in trustees in 1439. (fn. 16)
George Gabbet of Dinckley, yeoman, was fined in 1446 for participation in the Talbot and Hoghton disputes. His descendant John Gabbet made his will in 1632 bequeathing his estate to his son William, (fn. 17) who held it in 1662 under a free rent of 8d. Other freeholders at this time in Dinckley and Wilpshire were Richard Craven of Craven Fold, Robert Shawe, James Astley, Richard Almond, Richard Shireburne and seven others together paying 4s. 8½d. (fn. 18) Robert Craven compounded for his estate in 1653, having probably been at Worcester in 1651, in which year Dorothy wife of John Talbot of Dinckley petitioned for the fifth part of her husband's estate sequestered for his delinquency. (fn. 19)
In the hearth tax return of 1666 there were thirty hearths recorded; the only large house was that of John Talbot with eight, no other having more than two. (fn. 20)
About 1610 a report on the clergy stated that at Dinckley there was a 'chapel but no reader.' (fn. 21) but nothing otherwise is known of it.