Townships: Barley with Wheatley Booth

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

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'Townships: Barley with Wheatley Booth', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911), pp. 518-519. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

. "Townships: Barley with Wheatley Booth", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911) 518-519. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024,

. "Townships: Barley with Wheatley Booth", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911). 518-519. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,


Barelegh, 1324.

This township embraces three older divisions, and has a total area of 2,625 acres of hill country. (fn. 1) Barley Booth, to the west, has 1,396 acres; while to the east and north Wheatley Booth, which includes the ancient Haw (fn. 2) or Hay Booth and Whithalgh (represented by White Hough), contains 1,229 acres. On the west side is the highest point of Pendle, rising abruptly at Pendle End to 1,830 ft. (fn. 3); on the east is Stank Top, attaining 1,060 ft.; down the valley between them flows Black Moss Water from its source near Firbar House on the Yorkshire border. In the southern end of the valley, about 700 ft. above sea level, are the hamlets of Barley and Barley Green. Near them the stream is joined by another flowing east down Ogden Clough, and combined as White Hough Water or Roughlee Water they go eastward towards Barrowford. North of Stank Top the ground falls and rises again, 1,272 ft. being reached at Wheathead Height on the eastern boundary, while on the opposite side Pike Law attains 1,189 ft. and marks the partition between the two booths of Barley and Wheatley and also the boundary of Downham. The population in 1901 was 287.

The soil is clay, overlying rock, and the agricultural land is almost entirely used for pasture, 1,807½ acres of permanent grass and 6 of woods and plantations being recorded, but no arable land. (fn. 4) There was a small cotton mill to the east of Barley Green, but this has ceased working, the Nelson Corporation having acquired the water rights of the Ogden and Black Moss streams.

A wake used to be held on Midsummer Day. (fn. 5)

In 1323 the herbage of Whithalgh yielded 28s., that of Barley the same, and Haghebothe or Haw Booth 18s. (fn. 6) The tenants were Gilbert de la Legh, Robert de Penhille and John de Dinelay respectively. (fn. 7) In 1424 Oliver de Stansfield had the vaccary of Whithagh at £2 13s. 4d. rent, an increase on the old one of 40s.; James Banastre had Barley vaccary at £5 13s. 4d. rent, instead of £4 10s.; and John and Robert Manconhelis (fn. 8) had Haghboth vaccary at £3 6s. 8d., instead of the former £3 rent. (fn. 9) These rents had in some cases to be reduced, for in 1459 the following were paid by William Leyland: Barley Booth, £5 13s. 4d., formerly Robert Banastre's; Haw Booth, £2 8s. 4d. (late £2 13s. 4d.); and Whitehough Booth, £2 11s. 8d. (late £2 16s. 8d.). (fn. 10) By 1474 the tenants had changed, but not the rents, Hugh Gartside holding Barley Booth and William Nutter Haw Booth and Whitehough Booth. (fn. 11) In 1495 the tenant of all these was Sir Thomas Walton, at the same rents. (fn. 12)

At the disforesting in 1507 Barley Booth and two small parcels adjoining, lately let at £6 0s. 8d. in all, were demised by copy of Court Roll for £10 a year to the old tenants and occupiers, their names being John Robinson the elder, Richard Varley, William Varley, Roger Bowland, John Robinson the younger, James Manknowles, Richard Bollard, James Healey and Margaret Bollard, widow. (fn. 13) The later rentals, however, show a total of £8 only from Barley Booth. The two parcels of pasture called Hawbooth and Whitley-in-Hawbooth, lately 53s. 4d. and 51s. 8d. respectively, were demised by copy of Court Roll for £8 to James Hargreaves, Robert Bulcock, William Holgate, John Robinson the elder, John Robinson the younger, Thomas Varley, Robert Varley, Roger Hartley and John Bulcock. (fn. 14) Robert Bulcock was the largest holder in 1527, (fn. 15) Christopher Bulcock in 1607 (fn. 16) and Richard and Christopher Bulcock in 1662. (fn. 17) In Barley Booth £1 each was paid by the wife of William Robinson, James Hartley, Robert Squire, Richard Bollard and Miles Crabtree (fn. 18); and their successors in 1609 were Richard Woodroffe, gent., James Hartley, Christopher Robinson, James Bollard and John Robinson. There had been numerous changes by 1662, when the chief copyhold tenants were Edmund Stevenson, William Varley and William Crombock.

The present house at Whitehough, according to the inscription on it, was built by Christopher Bulcock and Jenet his wife in 1593.

In 1652 George Fox, coming from Yorkshire, perhaps by way of Clitheroe, tells of the impression the view from the top of Pendle had upon him (fn. 19) :—

As we travelled, we came near a very great high hill called Pendle Hill, and I was moved of the Lord to go up to the top of it; which I did with much ado, it was so very steep and high. When I was come to the top, I saw the sea bordering upon Lancashire. From the top of this hill the Lord let me see in what places He had a great people to be gathered. As I went down, I found a spring of water in the side of the hill, with which I refreshed myself, having eaten or drunk but little several days before.

At Barley there are chapels of the Wesleyan Methodists and Primitive Methodists; the latter was built in 1823.


  • 1. The Census Rep. 1901 gives 2,629 acres, including 3 of inland water.
  • 2. This name has disappeared.
  • 3. Camden in his Britannia records a traditional but inaccurate rhyme: Ingleborow, Pendle and Penigent Are the highest hills between Scotland and Trent.
  • 4. a Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 5. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 233.
  • 6. Lancs. Inq. and Extents. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 200.
  • 7. Lancs. Ct. R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 72.
  • 8. Manknolls Ing is the name of a farm west of Barley.
  • 9. Duchy of Lanc. Mins. Accts. bdle. 76, no. 1498.
  • 10. Duchy of Lanc. Receivers' Accts. bdle. 90, no. 1649. The same rents were paid in 1464; Whitaker, Whalley, i, 358–9.
  • 11. Receivers' Accts. bdle. 90, no. 1650.
  • 12. Ibid. bdle. 91, no. 1662.
  • 13. MS. at Huntroyde.
  • 14. Ibid.
  • 15. Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, bdle. 5, no. 12. The other tenants were Agnes and Lawrence Hargreaves, John Robinson, senior and junior, William and Roger Hartley, Robert and Thomas Varley, John Bulcock and John Manknowles.
  • 16. Grimshaw MS.
  • 17. Honor of Clitheroe MS.
  • 18. The other tenants were Peter Varley, John Manknowles, James Higgin, James Bollard and the wife of William Varley.
  • 19. Journals (ed. 1765), 66.