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.
This township has an area of 1,464 acres, (fn. 1) and in 1901 there was a population of 543. The surface is hilly, rising at the eastern edge to over 1,000 ft. above sea level. In the valleys are brooks and reservoirs. The hamlet of Heapey is in the northwest corner.
Through this hamlet goes the road from Chorley to Blackburn, and from it branches off a road leading south-east to Heapey station, on the Chorley and Cherry Tree branch of the Lancashire and Yorkshire and London and North Western joint railway. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal passes through the north-west corner. The Thirlmere aqueduct also passes through.
The soil is mixed, with subsoil stone; grass is the chief crop. There are bleaching works.
The township is governed by a parish council.
Ancient earthworks are known near Heapey, and Roman coins have been found there. (fn. 2)
The hearth tax return of 1666 shows that the houses were all small, only two having as many as three hearths chargeable. The total number was thirty-four. (fn. 3)
In the 12th century HEAPEY was a portion of Gunolfsmoors, (fn. 4) and on the partition among the co-heirs of William son of Alan became part of the share of Richard de Ollerton, husband of the eldest daughter. (fn. 5) As a township it was long joined with the adjoining Wheelton. (fn. 6) As a manor it was divided, part descending, like Ollerton in Withnell, in the family of Hoghton, being merged in their holding, (fn. 7) and part being granted by Richard de Ollerton to Orm or Ranulf de Heapey. (fn. 8) This part, which seems to be the manor or moiety of the manor of iater records, was in 1300 sold to Hugh de Standish, (fn. 9) ancestor of the Standish of Duxbury family, and descended like Duxbury, (fn. 10) being still, it would appear, retained in the heirs of the Standish family. Sir Frank Standish was sole landowner in 1783. (fn. 11) This manor was formerly said to be held of the king as Duke of Lancaster by the sixth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 12)
The Hospitallers at one time had land in Heapey. (fn. 13) The place occurs very seldom in the records, but lands were held by the families of Green, (fn. 14) Haydock, (fn. 15) and Molyneux. (fn. 16) Roger Haydock of Heapey in 1649 compounded 'for delinquency in the first war, in adhering to the forces raised against Parliament.' (fn. 17)
A chapel may have existed at Heapey from an early date, but the earliest notice of it is about 1553, when, having been seized by Edward VI, it had been valued at 25s. 8d., and apparently sold to the people of the district. (fn. 18) It is unlikely that services of any kind were regularly maintained there, (fn. 19) for there was no endowment, and in 1610 it was reported to be an old chapel, without a curate. (fn. 20) During the Civil War period the Parliament placed John Wigan in charge, paying him £1 a week out of the sequestrations of Royalists in Leyland Hundred. In May 1644, however, he fled before the approach of Prince Rupert, and settled at Birch, the people not desiring his return. (fn. 21) By 1650 an 'allowance from the state' of £40 had been secured, (fn. 22) but this was not considered a competency, and there were frequent changes of ministry. (fn. 23) The Commonwealth surveyors recommended that it be made a parish church. (fn. 24)
The old arrangements would return with the Restoration, but a new chapel—now known as St. Barnabas'—is said to have been built about the end of the century and enlarged in 1740 and more recently. About 1717 Bishop Gastrell found that the income was £7 9s., the interest on various donations, and that the vicar of Leyland or his curate supplied the cure. (fn. 25) The vicar of Leyland presents to the incumbency. The registers begin in 1833.
The following have been curates and vicars (fn. 26) :—
|1692||Thomas Sollom, B.A. (Emmanuel College, Camb.)|
|1706||Farrand Hodgson (fn. 27)|
|1716||John Smyth, B.A. (Jesus Coll., Camb.)|
|1723||Richard Walmsley, B.A. (fn. 28) (Christ's Coll.,Camb.)|
|1736||James Sugden, B.A.|
|1737||Allanson Hollinshead, B.A. (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)|
|1744||Henry Young, B.A. (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)|
|1746||Benjamin Cooper, B.A. (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)|
|1769||Thomas Baldwin, LL.B.|
|1802||Thomas Rebanks (fn. 29)|
|1832||John Fisher (fn. 30)|
|1871||Isaac William Milner (fn. 31)|
|1874||Octaviusde Leyland Baldwin, B.A. (fn. 32) (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)|
|1891||John Wood, L.Th. (Durh.)|