Townships: Chatburn

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

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'Townships: Chatburn', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911), pp. 372-373. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

. "Townships: Chatburn", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911) 372-373. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024,

. "Townships: Chatburn", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911). 372-373. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,

In this section


Chatteburn, 1241.

Chatburn occupies a piece of hilly ground sloping west and north to the Ribble and its tributary the Ings Beck, which with some minor variations form the boundary of the parish and county at this point. The village of Chatburn lies in a hollow between two hilly ridges, and through it a small brook flows north to the Ribble less than a mile away. The township contains 896 acres, including 13 of inland water, and had in 1901 a population of 772.

Several roads spread out from the village. To the north go two, to Grindleton and to Sawley in Yorkshire; to the east goes one to Downham; to the south and south-west go three to Pendleton and Clitheroe. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company's line from Blackburn to Hellifield, running north-east through the township, has a station at the village.

Roman coins have been found. (fn. 1)

There were thirty-six hearths liable to the tax in 1666, but no house had as many as three. (fn. 2)

The soil is clay with limestone subsoil. The limestone is extensively quarried, and there is a cotton mill. The land is chiefly used for pasture. William the Mustard-maker of Chatburn is named in a deed of 1431.

The township is governed by a parish council. The gas and water works are in private hands.


The demesne manor of CHATBURN was never alienated from the honor of Clitheroe, so that it has no separate descent. In 1241–2 after the death of John de Lacy it was found that the annual value of Chatburn was £7 19s. 7d. (fn. 3) Edmund de Lacy held it in demesne; there were in 1258 9 oxgangs of land without the demesne, each of 8 acres and paying 18d, a year as well as reaping thrice in autumn (fn. 4); eight cottagers paid 6d. each, and six men had 23 acres, paying 4d. an acre. In demesne were 118 acres of arable land and 16 acres of meadow, alike worth 4d. the acre. (fn. 5) Chatburn is not named in the inquisition of 1311, but it may have been surveyed with Worston or Downham. The net receipts from the manor in 1323 amounted to £23 11s. 8¾d. (fn. 6) A few further particulars can be obtained from the Court Rolls, (fn. 7) and some grants of the mill have been recorded. (fn. 8) In the reign of Elizabeth the manor consisted of 365 acres of copyhold land divided into oxgang land, which then paid an 'ancient rent' of 4d. an acre, rood or assart land 5d., and hall demesne 1s. (fn. 9)

In the 15th century the Radcliffes of Winmarleigh held some land here, (fn. 10) probably by inheritance from Heriz. In the middle of the 16th century and later the tenants had many disputes with their neighbours as to trespass on pasture called Chatburn Score or Champion (fn. 11) and on Downham Green. (fn. 12) Christopher Dugdale of Chatburn in 1631 compounded for not taking knighthood. (fn. 13)

The services for a tenement in Chatburn in 1566 included one day's mowing, one day's 'shearing,' and two hens, with conveyance of eight horse-loads of sea-coal in the name of boons yearly; the tenant was also to pay all taxes and 'gald' due to the Church and the queen. (fn. 14)

The chapel of St. Martin at Chatburn appears to have been built about 1520; it had 3 acres of land and a house called 'Goysboytbutts.' How it was served is unknown; probably the alms of the people paid a chaplain. (fn. 15) After the Reformation this would cease. There was no obligation to maintain it, and there were no clergy to serve it, yet the building remained till the time of the Commonwealth, when it was destroyed by the steward of the manor, the lands being sold. (fn. 16) It is not named in the survey of 1650.

There was then no place of worship within the township until 1838, when in connexion with the Church of England Christ Church was built. It was rebuilt in 1883. The patronage is vested in Hulme's Trustees. (fn. 17)

A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was erected in 1883.


  • 1. Watkin, Roman Lancs. 233.
  • 2. Lay Subs. Lancs. bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 3. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 156.
  • 4. Three of the oxgangs were liable also to plough half an acre.
  • 5. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 216.
  • 6. Ibid. ii, 202. The farm of the oxgangs and ridings was £4 9s. 4¼d.; demesne lands £6 7s. 10½d.; capital messuage and other demesne lands (worth) £6; fishery of the Ribble, 3s.; watermill, £3 3s.; fines for entry of lands, £3 10s. 1d.; perquisites of the halmote, 2s. 5d. Out of this 4s. was spent on the repair of the mill.
  • 7. The halmote courts of Pendleton, Worston and Chatburn were held together. The rolls for 1323–4 are printed in Lancs. Ct. R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 23–7; those from 1377 to 1567, as far as extant, have been printed by W. Farrer in Clitheroe Ct. R. (1897). There is little of interest. A list of the tenants in 1443 is given (p. 500). In 1507 it was reported that by the death of the Abbot of Sawley a messuage and close of land within the new improvements had reverted to the king, and the new abbot was admitted on payment of 12d. fine; op. cit. 20. The abbey of Whalley had land also, and the chantry at Clitheroe. In 1510-various tenants were presented for not doing their shares of the mill repair, while John Corbridge, the miller, was fined for taking excessive tolls; ibid. 37. Holly grew on the common. Playing unlawful games, including cards, was punished. Various persons were fined in 1527 as 'common fishers in the water of Ribble,' taking 'keipper salmons'; ibid. 78. A claim for 'the peck of haver' (oats), made by the Forester of Bowland on certain land in Chatburn, as due every fifth year, was disputed by the occupier; ibid. 81. Some tenants were in 1562 fined for keeping up two fires on the one housesite—scitum, Anglice 'an aster'—and so consuming a double allowance of fuel; ibid. 204. Other terms used are 'the full foot or fourth part' (ibid. 202), a janua called 'a lydyate' (ibid. 210), and 'bridle way or bridle sty' (ibid. 129). Among the tenants' names occur Bretherton, Chatburn, Dugdale, Harrop, Hird, Kendal and Ruskin. Numerous field names also are given, including Bargargate, Crook of Beanhill, Bradford Brigstead, Foxholt Redes, Mirrell, Peche and Rodes. Christopher Dugden or Dugdale and John Ruskin were the tenants of Whalley about 1537; Whalley Couch. iv, 1214. For inclosures of the moor in the time of James I see Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 279.
  • 8. The custody of the water-mill was in 1401 leased to John Kendal at 26s. 8d. yearly; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl, App. 530. The lease was renewed at a higher rent in 1415; Towneley MS. CC, no. 467. Robert Shakerley had the lease in 1465 at 26s. 8d. rent, and later the inhabitants, or some of the more responsible, took it; Farrer, op. cit. 66. In 1529 certain tenants took oath to make a sufficient measure called a 'multure dish' to regulate the tolls levied; ibid. 89. The miller's exactions were complained of in 1560; ibid. 196. See also Pat. 7 Jas. I, pt. xi. Suit to the mill was in dispute in 1579 and the toll later; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 79; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. ii, 268.
  • 9. Whitaker, Whalley, ii, 117.
  • 10. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 103; land and meadow and Chatburn Wood, held of the king as Earl of Lincoln in socage. In 1500 the rent was stated as 12d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 75.
  • 11. Ducatus Lanc. i, 240; ii, 133 (plan), &c.
  • 12. Ibid. ii, 210, &c.; see the account of Downham. Other disputes concerned Laghez Oxgang (ii, 145), right of way through a close called Opehey (ii, 278), Saltisflat (ii, 338), Chatburn Hollins (iii, 166), Middlewood and Watercroft (iii, 272).
  • 13. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 216.
  • 14. Farrer, Clitheroe Ct. R. i, 213.
  • 15. Ibid. 72, 68. It is mentioned in the accounts of Whalley Abbey down to the Suppression; Whitaker, Whalley, i, 116. In 1533 land in Chatburn was given to Sawley Abbey for the maintenance of the Jesus Mass there; Farrer, op. cit. 100.
  • 16. Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 117. An inquiry into the chapel lands was made in 1579; Duchy of Lanc. Special Com. 285.
  • 17. A district was formed for it in 1843; Lond. Gaz. 3 Jan.