Townships: Ightenhill Park

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

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'Townships: Ightenhill Park', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911), pp. 487-489. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

. "Townships: Ightenhill Park", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911) 487-489. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024,

. "Townships: Ightenhill Park", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911). 487-489. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,

In this section


Hightenhull, 1238; Ightenhill, 1242; Hucnhull, 1258; Ichtenhill, 1296, 1305.

Ightenhill Park lies on the south and south-west sides of the River Calder, and has an area of 760 acres. It was formerly accounted extra-parochial, as being in the Castle parish of Clitheroe. The hamlet anciently known as Ightenhill lay to the south of the park, within Habergham Eaves, near the present Whittlefield and Gannow. The ground rises from about 270 ft. above sea level at the Calder bank to 530 ft. in the centre, where the ancient manor-house of the Lacys stood. Here Edward II spent several days at the beginning of October 1323, being engaged in hearing pleas and dealing with various public matters which had arisen in consequence of the rebellion of Thomas Earl of Lancaster in the year before. (fn. 1)

The road from Burnley to Padiham skirts the southern border of the township, and at its eastern corner a branch road goes north through it, passing Old Holme and ascending the hill from which the name is derived; leaving the manor site to the west and then descending it continues as a bridle road to a ford over the Calder leading to Hunterholme in Higham. Cornfield is in the north-west corner by the river. The population in 1901 numbered 888 persons, mostly within Burnley.

There are a colliery and a stone quarry in the park and several disused coal pits, the township abounding in the mineral. The land is chiefly used for pasturage, for there are 744½ acres in permanent grass and 24 acres arable, but no woods or plantations. (fn. 2)

A small strip on the south, which had become urban, was included in the county borough of Burnley in 1889, and in 1894 this became part of the new township of Burnley, so reducing the old area. On the other hand part of Habergham Eaves was added, and after these changes the township was named Ightenhill simply. (fn. 3) This new township has an area of 770 acres, including 6 of inland water, and in 1901 a population of 111.


The first occurrence of the name IGHTENHILL appears to be in a charter by John de Lacy to Monk Bretton Priory, dated at this place in 1238. (fn. 4) Four years later the lands, &c., were extended at the yearly value of £4 9s. 11d., in which was included the farm of lands held by the tenants of Habergham. There were four free tenants, holding among them 45 customary acres. (fn. 5) Ightenhill is named in the grant of free warren to Edmund de Lacy in 1251. (fn. 6) The farm yielded 53s. 4d. in 1296, probably indicating that there were 160 customary acres demised to tenants at will and freeholders. The parker received 1½d. a day. There were 60 acres of meadow cut for hay, and 16 acres of oats had been reaped, doubtless in the 'Cornfield.' (fn. 7) The particulars of the 1305 account show no material change. (fn. 8) After the death of Henry de Lacy in 1311 it was recorded that the capital messuage in Ightenhill was of no value beyond reprises; the park, with moss and herbage, was valued at 40s.; and in demesne there were 8 acres of land worth 2s. 8d. and an acre of meadow worth 1s. The halmote, with a perquisite called Thistletake, was worth 40s. Tenants at will had 52½ acres, paying 50s. 5d. Thus the value was £6 14s. 1d. in all. (fn. 9)

During the rebellion of Earl Thomas a great part of the stock at Ightenhill and in the forests of Blackburnshire was driven away to Skipton. (fn. 10) In consequence there were no mares here in 1324, and but a trifling head of rounceys and colts. In Ightenhill outside the park rent and farm that year yielded 59s. 6d., and 6½ acres improved from the waste were demised at the customary farm of 4d. the acre. In the park 68 beasts were agisted at 8d. a head. No corn was reaped, but 46 acres of meadow were mown for hay, and repairs had been executed in the king's chamber and other buildings at the manorhouse in preparation for the royal visit of October 1323. Richard the Skinner, park keeper, received 4d. a day wages as well as 10s. for a robe. (fn. 11) He was in 1327 succeeded by John de Hemingburgh, (fn. 12) who was followed by Richard de Norton, one of the king's archers, in 1333. (fn. 13) There are a number of references to unlawful hunting in Ightenhill in the time of Edward III in the Patent Rolls. (fn. 14)

Accounts of the stock have been preserved, (fn. 15) and in 1344 Roger de Normanvill was made keeper of the king's stud beyond Trent and of the herbage of Ightenhill Park. (fn. 16) In 1348 he was, in conjunction with John de Radcliffe and John de Altham, commissioned to inquire into offences alleged against Richard de Norton in agisting forty animals in the park to his own profit and keeping three mares with the king's stallions there. (fn. 17) In 1380 the keeper of Pendle Chase was ordered to inclose the park with a ditch and quickwood hedge in the best manner possible. (fn. 18) In and before 1400 John the Parker held the office of parker of Ightenhill and was in 1416 succeeded by his son John, who is called the younger parker in 1423. (fn. 19)

Roger Flore, chief steward, demised the farm of the herbage of the park in 1418 to Oliver de Stansfield and John the Parker of Ightenhill for a term of ten years at a rental of £20 6s. 8d. a year; it had previously been let at £20. (fn. 20) The kitchen, granary and other buildings of the manor-house were in 1426 thoroughly repaired at a cost of £13 3s. 6d. under the superintendence of James Banastre. (fn. 21) Thomas Lord Stanley held the park at farm in 1459 at the rent of £20 6s. 8d., John Pilkington in 1464, and Hugh Gartside in 1474. In 1495 Sir Thomas Walton was tenant. (fn. 22) The manor courts appear to have been held at Ightenhill till the time of Henry VIII, when Higham was adopted.

The park was not granted as a copyhold tenement by the Commissioners of 1507, but the herbage was in that year demised to Robert Rishton for a term of twenty-one years, together with the Burnley watermill. (fn. 23) Rishton in 1518–19 surrendered his lease to Sir John Towneley, to whom in 1524 the Crown granted a lease of the park in fee farm at a rent of £30, together with the mills of Burnley and Clitheroe. (fn. 24) At Sir John's instance a view of the state of the manor-house was on 16 July 1522 made by twelve copyholders, their report being enrolled on the halmote roll as follows (fn. 25) :—

At the day of taking this inquest the great hall and the timber of the manor-house of Ightenhill are in ruins and fallen to the ground, a great part carried away and not to be found there. The great chamber at the western end of the hall is in like state; the kitchen, butler's house, and pantry are destroyed and no part to be found, nor are any timbers or slate-stones now left. The oven-house and great barn are in like state. The long chamber at the western end of the hall has fallen down and no part of it remains. Only the park-keeper's house remains standing, with timber and slate-stones; but the doors and windows have been taken away, and it is like to fall for lack of repair. The chapel there and the stable also remain in like state. John Towneley has not been found guilty of the removal or destruction of any timber or stone of the said houses.

Sir John Towneley in 1536 derived a clear rental of £11 12s. 4d. from the park, including seventyeight boon mallards and thirty-nine boon days' 'shearing' and thirteen days' mowing, commuted for 23s. 10d. The tenants were the vicar of Rochdale (Gilbert Haydock), £3; Thomas Folds, £2 8s. 11d.; William Shore, £2 14s. 6d.; William Hancock (Cornfield), (fn. 26) £5 11s.; the widow of Richard Stuttard, (fn. 27) £3 3s. 4d.; Edmund Rishton, £1 8s.; Henry Harger, £1 8s.; George Halstead, £2 1s. 11d.; James Holt, £1 5s. 6d.; John Ingham, £6 11s. 10d.; Richard Bentham, £2 1s. 4d.; Richard Boothman, £1 7s. 1d.; James Pollard, £2 15s. 7d.; John Spenser, £3 6s. 6d.; and Richard Clayton, 5s. The average rent was little more than 1s. for the statute acre. (fn. 28) Sir John Towneley in 1532 obtained from the Crown another lease for eighty years. (fn. 29)

The circumstances of the transfer of the lease to the Shuttleworths of Gawthorpe are not known, but in 1593 Sir Richard Shuttleworth granted a lease of lands in the park, in which were recited and confirmed certain conditions granted in a former lease by John Towneley. The cause of the transfer was probably connected with the recusancy of the former lessee. (fn. 30) In 1597 a lease in remainder of the park and two mills was granted to Sir Richard for a term of fortyone years at the rent of £35 17s. 8d. a year; 100 marks were paid for obtaining it. (fn. 31) The Park and Cornfield were granted out again in 1628. (fn. 32) General Monk in 1664 granted a new lease of the park to Richard Shuttleworth; it contained a covenant for the maintenance and repair of the manor-house. (fn. 33) The whole was afterwards acquired by the Shuttleworths in fee simple, and is still held with Gawthorpe; but the site of the manor-house was excepted, this, as representing the manor, being part of the honor of Clitheroe. (fn. 34)

One part of the story is not clear. Charles I in 1625 granted his manors of Ightenhill, Colne, Pendleton, Worston and Chatburn, parcel of the honor of Clitheroe, for 1,000 years to Edward Allen and another, (fn. 35) who apparently transferred their interest to others, for in 1655 Thomas Foster was lord of the manor of Ightenhill. (fn. 36) Such grants must have been surrendered at the Restoration, for in 1661 Ightenhill, Colne, Accrington and other manors were included in the grant to the Duke of Albemarle. (fn. 37)

The site of Ightenhill Manor House is about a quarter of a mile to the east of Gawthorpe in a meadow on the brow of a hill, from which a good view is obtained of the whole of Pendle Forest. No part of the walls is standing, but in 1894 the foundations of the keep could easily be traced. (fn. 38) The old draw-well had then been only recently covered up.

Whitacre Ford below Ightenhill Park is mentioned in 1334 as the place where Richard son of Richard Hicheson and others had captured and imprisoned Gilbert de la Legh, robbing him and putting him to ransom at £100. (fn. 39)

In Ightenhill Park in 1666 there was no house with more than three hearths liable to the tax, except Richard Shuttleworth's, which had seven; the total number was thirty-seven.

A manor-house like Ightenhill would no doubt from the first have a chapel for the lord and his tenants, and in 1361 the oratory there is mentioned (fn. 40); but the report above quoted indicates that in 1522 the chapel had shared in the decay of the dwelling, and was left without door or windows. The chapel is named in 1536 as subordinate to the Castle parish, but no revenue seems to have belonged to it. (fn. 41) Since then there has been no place of worship in the township.


  • 1. Cal. Pat. 1321–4, pp. 338, 343, &c.
  • 2. a Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 3. Local Govt. Bd. Order 31666.
  • 4. Not in 1176, as wrongly stated by Dr. Whitaker; Whalley, i, 306, 323.
  • 5. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 156, 215.
  • 6. Cal. Chart. R. 1226–57, p. 357.
  • 7. De Lacy Compoti (Chet. Soc.), 7, 15, 17–19. Letherwyte, Merchat and Thistletack are feudal dues mentioned. In repairing the pales 4s. 6d. was spent, and 8s. 6d. in diverting the Calder near Whitacre, for the protection of the pales of the park. In the stud farm were fifty-two mares and two rounceys; of the former nine died of murrain during the year, but twenty-two foals were born, and twentytwo yearlings and twenty-nine twoyear olds remained from the preceding year.
  • 8. Ibid. 93, 95, 103.
  • 9. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 8.
  • 10. Cal. Close, 1323–7, p. 27.
  • 11. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 190, 197. The former parker was Richard son of Hiche, who was amerced for trespasses in 1324; Memo. R. (L.T.R.), 88, m. 90.
  • 12. Cal. Pat. 1327–30, p. 9. John de Newsom was keeper of the king's stud beyond Trent, and of the park of Ightenhill in 1332; Cal. Close, 1330–3, p. 449.
  • 13. Cal. Pat. 1330–4, p. 472. He was in 1332 ordered to repair the palings and inclosures about the park and the three closes belonging to it, namely West Close, Higham and Filly Close; Cal. Close, 1330–3, p. 447.
  • 14. Cal. Pat. 1330–4, p. 573, &c. Richard de Hulton in 1334 and John Dautrey in 1339 received pardon for trespasses in the park; ibid. 1334–8, p. 8; 1338–40, p. 342.
  • 15. In 1341 the stock of horses had been replenished, and at Michaelmas there were of mares thirty-five, of three to four years old eight, of two to three years five, of one to two years three, of foals eleven. In 1342 there were of issue fourteen foals. Hay of 60 acres of meadow at 18d. the acre, and 104 thraves of oats, yielding by estimation twenty-six quarters at 14d. the quarter, were bought for the support of the stock; Exch. K. R. Equicium Regis, 358/16 (in Whitaker, Whalley, i, 310–12). In addition to the Cornfield there were inclosures of meadow called Middleyard and Stodmerhalgh. In 1340 the summer herbage of the park was agisted by ninety-six head, including cattle (averia) forty-five, steers twenty-one, cows seventeen, young stock thirteen, yielding 78s. 6d.; Rentals and Surveys, portf. 9, no. 74. Two years later the number was fifty-five and the rent 54s. In the winter of 1341–2 there were agisted in Ightenhill Park, Higham Close and Filly Close 141 beasts, of which five were at 4d., sixty-nine at 3d., twenty-two at 2d., twenty-one at 1½d., and twenty-four at 1d. Of the hey or hedge round these inclosures and the meadows in the park 155 perches were repaired at ½d. the perch, and forty-five perches of new palings were made round the park at 2d. the rod; Whitaker, loc. cit.
  • 16. Cal. Pat. 1343–5, p. 189.
  • 17. Ibid. 1348–50, p. 157. Henry de Standen and other keepers of the stud were charged with mismanagement and heavy losses of the king's stud; ibid. 176.
  • 18. Whitaker, op. cit. i, 307; from the register of John of Gaunt.
  • 19. Duchy of Lanc. Reg. no. 14, fol. 25; no. 15, fol. 63b, 79. Whitaker gives the following later parkers: John Talbot, Charles Belfield (1461), Alexander Butterworth (1461), John Talbot and Robert Rishton (1502); op. cit. i, 313.
  • 20. Mins. Accts. bdle. 76, no. 1498.
  • 21. Duchy of Lanc. Receivers' Accts. bdle. 89, no. 1633; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 312.
  • 22. Receivers' Accts. bdles. 89, no. 1648; 90, no. 1649, 1650; 91, no. 1662. The rent had previously been £21 6s. 8d.
  • 23. Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xxi, fol. A/60 d.
  • 24. Cal. of Towneley D. The £30 rent was paid in 1527; Duchy of Lanc. Rentals bdle. 5, no. 12.
  • 25. Court R. at Clitheroe Castle, 14 Hen. VIII.
  • 26. The house at Cornfield is said to have been built about 1500; Duchy of Lanc. Dep. Hen. VIII, xlvii, R 3. For disputes as to Cornfield, 1565–8, see Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 314, 363. Elizabeth Hancock claimed under a lease to her husband William.
  • 27. Thomas Barcroft, a seminary priest, was said to have been harboured in 1590 by Richard Studderd of Ightenhill Park, and by Henry Hindley of Pendle Forest; Cal. S. P. Dom. 1591–4, p. 149. He was perhaps one of the Barcrofts of Barcroft, and was educated at the English College, Rome, 1584–9; Foley, Records S. J. v, 164.
  • 28. Chet. Misc. (Chet. Soc. old ser.), 3; Folds MSS.
  • 29. Duchy of Lanc. Plead. 1 Mary, xxxv, T 14; a complaint by Sir Richard Towneley of trespass by 'cross calls and weirs,' by Lawrence Habergham.
  • 30. Whitaker, op. cit. i, 308.
  • 31. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1595–7, p. 490. For half a year's rent of the park and the mills of Burnley and Clitheroe, due 25 Mar. 1600, the steward paid £17 18s. 10d.; Shuttleworth Accts. (Chet. Soc.), 127.
  • 32. To Edward Ditchfield and another; Pat. 4 Chas. I, pt. xxxiii. This was a grant in socage.
  • 33. Shuttleworth Accts. 109.
  • 34. Whitaker, loc. cit. The same conditions continue still, the owners of Gawthorpe paying £1 a year to the lords of the honor of Clitheroe for the site of the manor-house. The manor includes Burnley, Padiham, Little Marsden, Briercliffe and Heyhouses; information of Mr. A. Ford.
  • 35. Pat. 1 Chas. I, pt. ii.
  • 36. Ct. R.
  • 37. Pat. 13 Chas. II, pt. xxx, no. 3.
  • 38. W. Waddington in Pal. Note Bk. iv, 150. 'A farmer hard by stated his house was erected with stones from the ruins, and an examination of the masonry confirmed this, many of the stones being cut from large boulders of hard gritstone not found in any quarry of the neighbourhood.'
  • 39. Coram Rege R. 298, m. Rex 18.
  • 40. Lich. Epis. Reg. v, fol. 6.
  • 41. Whitaker, op. cit. i, 116 n. No chapel there is named in the Whalley Act Bk.