Townships: Higher Booths

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.


'Townships: Higher Booths', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911), pp. 433-435. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

. "Townships: Higher Booths", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911) 433-435. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024,

. "Townships: Higher Booths", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911). 433-435. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,

In this section


Croweshagh, Godeshagh, Lugheclogh and Lufclough, Gameleshevid, 1323.

This composite township, taken out of the forest, includes Crawshaw Booth, Goodshaw Booth with two detached portions, Love Clough, Gambleside and part of Wolfenden. The area of 4,412 (fn. 1) acres is mostly desolate hill country, but southwards through the central clough runs a small stream to join the Irwell, and along it—by the road from Burnley to Rawtenstall—is a series of manufacturing hamlets: Love Clough in the north, Goodshaw in the centre, and Crawshaw Booth to the south. At the lastnamed place are Liberal and Conservative clubs; the Co-operative Society has a library. (fn. 2) The population in 1901 was 6,577, chiefly in Rawtenstall.

Higher Cross and Lower Cross, near Gambleside, may preserve the sites of ancient crosses. (fn. 3)

Cotton mills and calico-printing works, as indicated, give employment to the bulk of the people; others are engaged in the woollen manufacture. There are also collieries and stone quarries. The agricultural land is almost entirely used for pasture.

A love of music is one of the characteristics of the people of Rossendale. (fn. 4) Belief in witchcraft was prevalent. (fn. 5)

As a township Higher Booths has ceased to exist, having been taken into the new townships of Haslingden and Rawtenstall, formed in 1894. (fn. 6)

Crawshall Hall, built in 1830, was the residence of John Brooks, one of the great calico printers of the district; and his son Sir Thomas, made a baronet in 1891, on being raised to the peerage in 1892 chose Crawshaw for the title of his barony. He was high sheriff of the county in 1884. (fn. 7) He died in 1908.

John Butterworth, son of a blacksmith of Goodshaw, being born there in 1727, became a Baptist minister of some note, and published a Concordance, &c. He died in 1803. (fn. 8)


The accounts of Rossendale in 1296 and 1305 were rendered under Haslingden, (fn. 9) which itself was included in Trawden Forest, and the separate vaccaries or booths are not named, though several are indicated by the names of the keepers or boothmen. (fn. 10) It appears that the lord of Clitheroe had a hall (fn. 11) or mansion house in Rossendale, and that a mine (fn. 12) and a forge (fn. 13) existed. The stocks of cattle suffered, among other things, from murrain, a wolf and robbers. (fn. 14) There were eleven vaccaries in the whole of Rossendale in 1311, and they were worth £5 10s. a year. (fn. 15) Details are given in the accounts of 1323–4 for the booths of Love Clough, Goodshaw, Crawshaw and Gambleside. (fn. 16)

Later it became the custom to let them out on lease, and in the latter part of the 15th century the rents were as follows: Love Clough, 9s.; Goodshaw, £3 13s. 4d.; Crawshaw, £6; and Gambleside, £2 1s. 8d. (fn. 17) The survey of 1507, (fn. 18) when a copyhold tenure was granted, gives the following particulars: Love Clough, let to Richard Birtwisle and Margery widow of George Birtwisle for £5; Goodshaw, let to Thomas Birtwisle, Roger Pilling, George and Richard Hargreaves for £5; Crawshaw, let to George, Henry and Reynold Haworth for £9, the tenants being chargeable with the collection of 20 marks a year for Wolfenden lands; Gambleside, let to Oliver and George Ormerod for £4, as compared with an earlier rent of 44s. 8d. The surnames of Ormerod (fn. 19) and Hargreaves occur frequently in the district in later times. (fn. 20)

After the disforesting the whole of Rossendale was attached to New Accrington. (fn. 21) A greave was appointed for it. (fn. 22)

Decrees concerning the roads in the forest of Rossendale were made in the early part of the 17th century. (fn. 23)

The landowners in Rossendale contributing to subsidies were: In 1524, John Ormerod; 1600, John Nuttall and Richard Ormerod; and 1626, the same and Ralph Haworth. (fn. 24) The hearth tax list of 1666 shows a total of 441 for the whole district, the most considerable residence being that of Lawrence Tattersall of Tunstead in Newchurch with six hearths. (fn. 25)

George Holt of Chamber in Rossendale, apparently in the Wolfenden part of Higher Booths, paid £10 in 1631 as composition for declining knighthood. (fn. 26)


The chapel of ST. MARY AND ALL SAINTS, GOODSHAW, was one of those built to serve the growing population of Rossendale after the disforesting. An agreement was made in 1540 between George Ormerod of Crawshaw Booth and others and Thurstan Birtwisle of the Goodshaw and others for the building of a small chapel at Morrell Heights, where the inhabitants of Crawshaw Booth, Goodshaw, Gambleside and Love Clough might hear mass and other divine service. (fn. 27) This existed till 1780, when it was rebuilt, being renewed again in 1828. (fn. 28) There was no maintenance for a priest beyond what the people might contribute. The building and its chalice were confiscated by the Crown in 1548, but the chapel was repurchased by the inhabitants. (fn. 29) After that time it was probably served but irregularly, but in 1610, though it was not parochial, a minister was maintained there 'by benevolence.' (fn. 30) In 1650 there was neither minister nor maintenance beyond a house worth 10s. a year. (fn. 31) About 1717 there was still no endowment beyond the cottage let for 10s. a year, and the 'inconsiderable contributions' of the people were ill paid. The curate of Altham read the service and preached there once a fortnight, and in 1724 the curate of Haslingden served it. (fn. 32) Goodshaw remained a chapelry to Haslingden till 1849; the curates were nominated by the vicar of Whalley, but since its independence the Hulme Trustees have been patrons. The net value of the vicarage is now returned as £256. (fn. 33)

The following have been incumbents (fn. 34) :—

1738 John Uttley, M.A. (Glasgow)
1781 Richard Ortt
1789 John Bailey
1790 George Casson
1801 John Dawes
1813 John Haworth
1814 George Haworth
1836 Ebenezer Brown Allen, B.A.
1839 Henry Howorth, B.A.
1848 James Bell (fn. 35)
1854 John Howard
1888 Abraham Spencer, M.A. (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)
1892 Alfred Bedson, M.A. (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)
1900 Richard Newman, M.A. (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)
1905 James William Wilkinson, M.A. (Dur.)
1909 Alfred Edward Rubie, D.D. (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)

St. John's, Crawshaw Booth, was built in 1892; the patronage is vested in trustees. A district was assigned to it in 1899.

The Wesleyan Methodists had a church at Crawshaw Booth as early as 1811; the present one was built in 1867; the Primitive Methodists also have one there; while Free Methodists have Providence Chapel (1871) at Love Clough.

The Baptists have churches at Goodshaw and at Sunnyside in Crawshaw Booth (fn. 36); the former of these goes back to 1747 and the latter to 1847. A small Particular Baptist chapel was built at Goodshaw in 1852. (fn. 37) There was formerly a General Baptist chapel at Gambleside, 1844. (fn. 38)

In 1689 the Quakers had a meeting-house 'in the forest of Rossendale.' (fn. 39) Again, in 1717, Bishop Gastrell mentions one under Haslingden, (fn. 40) with ten families. This is probably that at Crawshaw Booth still in use.


John Walmsley of Love Clough in 1884 left part of his estate, now represented by £410 Blackburn Corporation Stock, to provide an annual distribution to the poor of Higher Booths on 21 December. The income, £14 7s., is distributed at Goodshaw accordingly, in doles of from 5s. to 10s. (fn. 41)

There was formerly a fund producing £3 a year for the poor of the chapelry, and in 1826 James Hargreaves distributed 20s. a year, supposed to represent part of it. Nothing is now known about it.


  • 1. The areas of the separate portions are: Crawshaw Booth, 1,614 acres; Gambleside, 1,026 acres; Goodshaw Booth, 808 acres; Love Clough, 689 acres; and part of Wolfenden 275. The other part of Wolfenden is in Newchurch.
  • 2. A literary institute, with a library, was founded at Crawshaw Booth in 1851.
  • 3. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xviii, 53–4.
  • 4. Newbigging, Rossendale, 191.
  • 5. Ibid. 203–6.
  • 6. Local Govt. Bd. Order 32291.
  • 7. G.E.C. Complete Peerage, viii, 238.
  • 8. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 9. De Lacy Compoti (Chet. Soc.), 4,100.
  • 10. Ibid. 30, 76.
  • 11. Ibid. 15.
  • 12. Ibid. 100.
  • 13. Ibid. 5. Let at farm for £3.
  • 14. Ibid. 30, 31, 76–83.
  • 15. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 8.
  • 16. Ibid. 198–200.
  • 17. Whitaker, Whalley, i, 359, 360; William Leyland was lessee.
  • 18. MS. at Huntroyde. This and the Grimshaw and 'Clitheroe Honor' MSS. (in possession of W. Farrer) are the authorities for the later tenants. Another vaccary called Primrose Syke was perhaps in Higher Booths; it was leased at 26s. 8d. in 1464 (Whitaker, loc. cit.), and in 1507 to George and John Ormerod for 43s. 4d. The king took proceedings against some of the tenants in 1508 and 1534; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 105, m. 10 d.; 159, m. 9 d. The tenants in 1527 were: Love Clough—John and Adam Birtwisle, Nicholas Durden and Oliver Holt; £5 in all. Goodshaw—John and George Hargreaves, Thomas Birtwisle and Roger Pilling, each paying 26s. 8d. Crawshaw— Henry Haworth, sen., £3; Denis, Henry (jun.), Hugh and James Haworth, each 30s.; they also paid the £13 6s. 8d. for Wolfenden Land. Gambleside—George and Oliver Ormerod, paying 4 and 2 marks respectively. Primrose Syke—John Ormerod, 53s. 4d.; Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, bdle. 5, no. 12.
  • 19. Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 139; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 257.
  • 20. In Goodshaw in 1609 the chief tenants were George Hargreaves, George Birtwisle and his son Richard, Alexander and George Haworth; and in 1662 Henry Hargreaves, Richard Pollard (Birtwisle) and Peter Ormerod (Haworth). In Love Clough in 1609 the chief tenants were John Holt and his son George, George Duerden, William Birtwisle and his son Richard; in 1662 they were George Holt, George Duerden and William Birtwisle. The Haworths continued to be the chief holders in 1609 and 1662 in Crawshaw Booth. In Gambleside in 1609 John Birtwisle and Oliver Ormerod were chief tenants, and in 1662 four Ormerods and two Hargreaves paid the £4 rent. George Hargreaves of Goodshaw and John Ormerod of Gambleside were free tenants in 1621; Newbigging, Rossendale, 321. Hargreaves Fold was to be rendered to Jane widow of Henry Hargreaves in 1762 by order of the steward of Accrington New Hold; W. Farrer's D.
  • 21. Whitaker, op. cit. i, 342.
  • 22. A list of the greaves from 1559 is printed in Newbigging's Rossendale, 74–81. Specimens of the accounts are given ibid. 83, &c.
  • 23. Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 290, 289.
  • 24. Lay Subs. Lancs. bdles. 130, no. 82; 131, no. 212, 317.
  • 25. Ibid. bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 26. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 261. The Holts have been named in an earlier note. Chamber may represent the 'fair lodge' in Wolfenden in 1507; see the account of Newchurch.
  • 27. Newbigging, Rossendale, 134–6. The building was to be 'made, thacked and finished' before 20 July 1541. Its dimensions were: length 16 yards, breadth 7 yards and height 3 yards; it was to have two doors and three windows of stone. The parties to the indenture were responsible each for a moiety of the cost.
  • 28. Manch. Dioc. Dir. A brief to aid the rebuilding was issued in 1783.
  • 29. Raines, Chantries (Chet. Soc.), 277, 269.
  • 30. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 10.
  • 31. Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 168.
  • 32. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 331.
  • 33. Manch. Dioc. Dir.
  • 34. Church Papers at Chester. These papers show that in 1705 Edward Meatham was appointed after the chapel had been vacant over twelve months; then John Nowell and Joshua Nuttall, dates uncertain; 1726, Richard Walmsley, B.A. (Christ's Coll., Camb.); 1728, William Norcross, after whose departure the chapel was vacant for a considerable time.
  • 35. Newbigging, loc. cit.
  • 36. 'Mr. John Nuttall was pastor of the Particular Baptist Church at Goodshaw Chapel. He began his labours in this neighbourhood in the year 1747. By his ministry the church was raised, and he commenced pastor of it about 1749, and left it in a flourishing state at the time of his exit, which was 30 Mar. 1792'; Rippon, Bapt. Reg. ii, 99.
  • 37. These were known as Gadsbyites; Newbigging, Rossendale, 155.
  • 38. Ibid.
  • 39. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 230.
  • 40. The meeting at Crawshaw Booth is named in the Life of George Griffith, who visited England in 1748. The deeds go back only to 1753; Quaker Char. Rep. 1905.
  • 41. End. Char. Rep. for Newchurch in Rossendale, 1901.