Townships: Bowland with Leagram

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

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'Townships: Bowland with Leagram', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911), pp. 379-381. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

. "Townships: Bowland with Leagram", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911) 379-381. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024,

. "Townships: Bowland with Leagram", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911). 379-381. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,

In this section


Boeland, 1325; Bouland, 1350. Bolland was a common spelling in more recent times.

Lathegrim, 1282 and commonly; Lythegreyns, 1297.

This township, which is now considered two separate townships (fn. 1) —Little Bowland and Leagram— has an area of 4,664 acres (fn. 2) and a population of 210 in 1901.

Up to a century ago it 'retained much of its old wild character; there was no right of way through it; chains were kept across the roads leading in from Chipping and opposite the fords over the River Loud. The means of locomotion were rude and primitive, and access to the market towns of Clitheroe and Preston difficult.' (fn. 3) The road from Chipping now goes eastward to Leagram Mill, situated on the brook dividing the two parts of the township, and then northward through Greystoneley to the bridge over the Hodder in the north-east corner.

Bowland in the north is hilly, part of the Bleasdale Fells, which bound it on the north-west, rising to 1,500 ft. above the ordnance datum; Leagram from the north-west corner slopes rapidly to the south, and its southern portion is comparatively level. The boundary of this part does not quite reach the River Loud, a narrow strip belonging to Bowland. The Hodder forms the eastern boundary.

Bowland paid 26s. 10¾d. to the county lay when the hundred paid £100. (fn. 4)

Leagram had thirty-two hearths liable to the tax in 1666; Richard Shireburne's was the only large house, having fourteen hearths. Bowland had forty; Christopher Harris's house had eight, Richard Marsden's six, and two other houses had three hearths. (fn. 5)


From its situation it may be considered certain that this township was part of the grant of Chippingdale made to Robert de Lacy in 1102, (fn. 6) and subsequently descending with Clitheroe, and that by the Lacys it was included in their forest of Bowland, (fn. 7) and thus became part of the hundred of Blackburn and parish of Whalley, (fn. 8) being detached from its proper hundred and parish, (fn. 9) though being retained in Lancashire. Edmund de Lacy's forest of Chippingdale is named in 1258, (fn. 10) and in the Clitheroe Court Rolls of 1324 occurs a fine for cutting vert in Chippingdale. (fn. 11)

LEAGRAM PARK was separated and remained for a long time under special parkers, (fn. 12) but in 1556 was disparked, the report on its condition stating that the old oaks remaining were mostly unfit for building with, and that the pale of the park, 1,140 rods, was in great decay. There had been no deer there for many years. (fn. 13) The park was demised to farm for eighty years to Sir Richard Shireburne, (fn. 14) and by Elizabeth the fee simple was in 1563 granted to Robert Lord Dudley, afterwards Earl of Leicester, (fn. 15) from whom it was at once purchased by Sir Richard. (fn. 16) It descended in the same way as Stonyhurst to Thomas Weld, who died in 1810. It then passed to his younger son George Weld, (fn. 17) whose son John died in 1888. (fn. 18) It is now the estate of his daughter Miss Matilda Weld. The Lawnd, as the house was called, was formerly used as a dower house by the Shireburnes. Courts have been held since the time of Elizabeth. (fn. 19)

Shireburne. Argent a lion rampant guardant vert.

Leagram Hall stands on the site of the Old Park Lodge which was an H-shaped building of timber and plaster. This house was considerably altered in the 16th century, when the wing facing east was rebuilt. The remainder of the house survived till it was rebuilt about 1775. The west wing was made the domestic chapel, traces of which still remain, though the present Gothic chapel was built by John Weld about 1856 in his father's lifetime. The existing east front was erected in 1822 by George Weld. (fn. 20)

The family of Hoghton of Pendleton, an illegitimate branch of that of Hoghton, were seated at Leagram in the 15th century. (fn. 21)

Of LITTLE BOWLAND there is practically nothing to be related. The principal families living there were the Parkers of Greystoneley (fn. 22) and Lickhurst (fn. 23); the Swinglehursts and Harrises of Fairoak. (fn. 24) Christopher Harris of this family (fn. 25) took the king's side in the Civil War, and as a 'recusant and delinquent' his estate was sequestered (fn. 26) and then sold by the Parliament. (fn. 27) Hugh Dobson of Leagram compounded for his estate in 1654. (fn. 28)

Robert Holden and Janet Duckworth, widow, both of Leagram, registered estates as 'Papists' in 1717. (fn. 29) Among the papers of forfeited estates of the same time is a rental of Leagram. (fn. 30)

In 1787 the chief landowners were Thomas Weld, the Duke of Montagu and Mrs. Clince Parker Harding. (fn. 31)

The chapel at Leagram Hall, now domestic, represents the centre of a Roman Catholic mission for the district which can be traced back to the 17th century. (fn. 32) St. Mary's Church, Chipping, has now its position.


The Chipping charities of John Brabin were partially applicable to this township also, but the scheme of 1878 did not specially recognize the claim. (fn. 33) From the benefactions of Richard Shireburne of Stonyhurst and Sir Nicholas his son £6 a year is given to the poor, distributed by the overseer of Leagram to two or three persons. (fn. 34) Another small sum is given. (fn. 35)


  • 1. Formerly the two portions were considered as one township for the county rate, but each maintained its own poor and roads. Thus the 'township of Leagram' is spoken of in the charity report of 1826.
  • 2. Little Bowland has an area of 3,152 acres (3,153 Census) and Leagram of 1,512; the respective populations were 103 and 107. There are 31 acres of inland water in the former and 2 in the latter.
  • 3. T. C. Smith, Chipping, 194.
  • 4. Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 23.
  • 5. Lay Subs. Lancs. bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 6. See the accounts of Aighton and Chipping. Bowland also was granted; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 382.
  • 7. This would account for the name Little Bowland. The bounds of the forest of Bowland, as given in Whitaker's Whalley (i, 329, 330), show that Leagram and Little Bowland were included in it— Burnslack, Threapleigh, Chipping Brook, Hudefield, the Pale, Startivant's lands, the Loud and the Hodder, being the bounds on the side of Chipping and Thornley.
  • 8. Although it is usual to account this township as part of Whalley, the more correct description seems to be that it is a detached part of the extra-parochial district of St. Michael, Clitheroe Castle, showing the artificial character of the connexion with Whalley; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 258. The Status de Blackburnshire asserts that the whole district was formerly in the parish of Whalley; Whalley Couch. (Chet. Soc.), i, 187.
  • 9. Chipping Lawnd (or Lawn) in Leagram preserves a trace of the old association. The inhabitants seem to have used the church at Chipping; see T. C. Smith, Chipping, 198, &c.
  • 10. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 217. Alice widow of Edmund in the following year complained that John de Bradley, Adam de Mitton and others had trespassed on her park and forest of Bowland; Cur. Reg. R. 162, m. 42; 169, m. 61 d.
  • 11. Lancs. Ct. R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 62.
  • 12. The following list of parkers is given: 1410, Sir Richard Hoghton; 1446, Robert Hoghton; 1461, Robert Radcliffe; 1473, Richard Shireburne; 1487, Edward Stanley, afterwards Lord Mounteagle; 1523, Roger Beck; 1526, Richard Hoghton; 1554, Thomas Hoghton; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 357. The appointment (1523) of Roger Beck to succeed Sir Edward Stanley Lord Mounteagle is in Add. MS. 32106, no. 515, that of Thomas Hoghton (1554), ibid. no. 879. Accounts of the repairs of the inclosure, &c., of the time of Henry VI are printed by Whitaker, op. cit. i, 347–9. Richard III in 1485 granted Sir Robert Harrington the herbage of his park called 'Laregrem' and a pasture called Acornhurst; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xx, 100.
  • 13. T. C. Smith, Chipping, 192–3. The park contained within the pale 488 acres of all sorts of land, viz. three parcels of arable called Over Lawnd, Acornhurst and New Fall, 47 acres in all; Lower Lawnde, 25 acres, underwood and barren; Park Green, 28 acres, meadow; Over End, 83 acres, half heath and half moss; Lower End, 103 acres, containing Leagram Carr, 'a very deep and wet carr,' overgrown with alder, holly, hazel and thorn; Hodds Moss and Park Moss, 85 and 98 acres of 'great and barren' mossland. Such underwood as there was, consisting of alder, &c., was fit only for 'tinsel' and firebote for the farmers there.
  • 14. Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xxiii, 136 d. The grant, dated 2 Mar. 1555–6, is printed by T. C. Smith, op. cit. 193. It included houses called the Lodge and Windhills in Bowland, with wardships, marriage dues, &c., at a rent of £26 19s. 6d.
  • 15. Pat. 5 Eliz. pt. iv, the park of Leagram, with the messuage called Windhills, in Bowland, in the tenure of Sir Richard Shireburne. The grant included 'liberties of park and forest, warrens, mines,' &c., also court leet and court baron, homages, tolls, and all other hereditaments.
  • 16. Smith, op. cit. 194. Sir Richard paid £1,618 10s. At his death in 1594 he was stated to hold a capital messuage in Leagram and Windhills of the queen in chief by the fortieth part of a knight's fee; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvi, no. 3. Anne Shireburne of Leagram in 1630 compounded for the two-thirds of her estates liable to sequestration for her recusancy by an annual payment of £24.
  • 17. He died in 1866. For pedigree see Smith, op. cit. 196; Burke, Landed Gentry.
  • 18. He was a zealous antiquary and compiled an account of the district.
  • 19. This and some other particulars are due to Miss Weld.
  • 20. a Hewitson, Our Country Churches and Chapels, 545.
  • 21. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 44; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 6, m. 27 (Miles son of Richard Hoghton of Leagram, 1444). Richard Hoghton of Leagram, son of Sir Henry Hoghton, in 1447 granted lands in Ribchester and Hothersall to Richard Towneley of Towneley; Towneley MS. C 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), H 335. See the account of Little Pendleton.
  • 22. The vaccary of Greystoneley was in 1547 granted to the Parkers by the Crown; Smith, op. cit. 197, where is given an account of the family down to 1771. The estate of Thomas Parker was confiscated by the Parliament and sold in 1652; Index of Royalists (Index Soc.), 44; Cal. Com. for Comp. v, 3205 (a messuage, &c., in Castle in Clitheroe). In 1717 Edward Parker of Bowland, as a 'Papist,' registered his freehold estate called Higher Greystone; Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 151.
  • 23. Agnes widow of John Parker of 'Lekehurst' and William Parker of the same were defendants in 1445; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 8, m. 9. Some account of the family will be found in Smith, op. cit. 198–200. Other families noticed in the same work are Rauthmell of Lees and Wardsley; Bleasdale, Haythornthwaite and Howson of Dinkley Green; Marsden of the Pale, Crombleholme of Loudmytholme and Townley of Leagram.
  • 24. Ibid. 238–242, with pedigree. Adam, Nicholas and William Swinhilhurst appear in the above-cited accounts of Leagram Park, 1422–50; Whitaker, Whalley, i, 347–8.
  • 25. He married Mary daughter and heir of Robert Singlehurst. He was described as 'of Torrisholme.'
  • 26. Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 151–64. He was farmer of the rectory of Chipping in his wife's right. His special 'delinquency' is not recorded. From the pedigree referred to it appears that Dorothy granddaughter and heir of Christopher married John Parkinson, and their daughter and heir Elizabeth married Robert Parker of Harden, whose descendants continued at Fair Oak.
  • 27. Index of Royalists, 42.
  • 28. Royalist Comp. Papers, ii, 254. Leagram is described as 'in the parish of Chipping.'
  • 29. Estcourt and Payne, op. cit. 97, 106.
  • 30. Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 171.
  • 31. Land tax returns at Preston.
  • 32. An informer in 1716 stated: 'The mother of Sir Nicholas Shireburne of Stonyhurst gave an estate near Chipping of £60 per annum to Charles Panket [Penketh], a popish priest, to go at his death in a succession for ever to popish priests for their maintenance and support, the said Charles Panket now living in the house called Chipping Lane [Lawn], to which the estate so given him as aforesaid belongs'; Payne, Engl. Cath. Rec. 95. For the succession of missionary priests see Smith, op. cit. 154–8, 194.
  • 33. An inquiry into the charities was held in 1901; the report (1902) contains a reprint of that of 1826. For Brabin's almshouses and school see the account of Chipping.
  • 34. The mansion-house of Lentworth Hall in Over Wyresdale was in 1706 conveyed to trustees to secure the payment of the £6 and other charities. In 1841 the trustees of Cardinal Weld conveyed the manor of Aighton to the Stonyhurst College trustees, charged with the payment of £6, thus relieving Lentworth.
  • 35. Thomas Walbank (see Chipping) in 1732 left £15 for the poor of Leagram attending a sermon at Chipping Church on St. Thomas's Day. This now produces 7s. 6d., given to a poor person, attendance at the sermon no longer being required. The benefaction of Alice and James Webster (1742) has been lost.