Townships: Old Laund Booth

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

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'Townships: Old Laund Booth', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911), pp. 521-522. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

. "Townships: Old Laund Booth", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911) 521-522. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024,

. "Townships: Old Laund Booth", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911). 521-522. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,


Oldelaunde, 1459; Oldelande, 1527. Blackewode, 1459. Fens in Penhill, 1402.

This township consists of two portions of nearly equal size, parted by a projection from Goldshaw Booth and part of Higham; the total area is 431½ acres. (fn. 1) The population in 1901 was 549. (fn. 2) The eastern portion is the principal and larger one; it contains the hall, the hamlets of Wheatley Lane and Lower Harpers, with Blackwood and Brownbrinks to the north and Raven's Clough to the south. The western or detached part contains Fence. The road from Fence to Barley adjoins the northern boundary, and that from Whalley to Barrowford and Colne (fn. 3) passes through both parts of the township. The surface falls from an elevation of 780 ft. above sea level in the north to 350 ft. in the south-eastern corner, below Old Laund Hall. The land is used for pasture, there being 603 acres in permanent grass and 34 acres of woods and plantations, but no arable land. (fn. 4) Many of the people are employed at the mill in the adjacent township. There is a parish council for the extended township or civil parish of Old Laund Booth, the interposed parts of Goldshaw and Higham having been included in it in 1898. (fn. 5)

In 1459 Richard Robinson and Roger Croke were the farmers of the Old Laund at 60s. yearly rent, and of Little Blackwood at 2s. (reduced from 3s. 4d.). (fn. 6) The herbage and pasture of these places were in 1462 demised for a term to William Leyland, and in 1466 the lease was extended for ten years. (fn. 7) Nevertheless in 1474 Richard Robinson paid £3 for the farm of Old Laund and 2s. for Little Blackwood, (fn. 8) as he did also in 1495. (fn. 9)

The commissioners of 1507 demised the pasture called Old Laund to John Robinson (fn. 10) and Richard Croke to hold by copy of Court Roll at £4 6s. 8d. yearly rent; subsequently Little Blackwood was demised to them similarly at 3s. 4d. rent. (fn. 11) In 1527 John Robinson had two-thirds of Old Laund and John Hugyn or Higgin the remainder; they also shared Little Blackwood. (fn. 12) In 1533 a jury awarded to John Robinson of Old Laund a road to Bradley Mill. (fn. 13) By an award made in 1579 between (1) John Nutter of New Laund and John his second son and (2) Edmund son of John Robinson of Old Laund Edmund and his heirs were for ever excluded from using a way through a gate called Ravens Clough gate. (fn. 14) Edmund Robinson held the greater part of the land in 1609, the remainder being divided between Thomas and Richard Crook. (fn. 15) Edmund and John Robinson of Old Laund in 1631 compounded for having refused knighthood, paying £10 fine. (fn. 16) John Robinson of Old Laund took the king's side in the Civil War, and in 1649 was allowed to compound for his sequestrated estate for £191. He appears, however, to have taken arms again, perhaps in 1651, and in 1652 his estate was declared forfeit and sold, one George Hurd being the purchaser. (fn. 17) By 1662 the Robinsons' estate had passed to Henry Druell and the Crokes' to Edmund Stephenson, Nicholas Stephenson and John Sharpe being small holders. (fn. 18) The hearth tax of 1666 shows Thomas Clarke as assessed for seven hearths, Edmund Stephenson and John Sharpe for four each. (fn. 19)

After passing from the Robinsons the history of Old Laund Hall is obscure, but in the last century it belonged to the Greenwoods of Palace House in Habergham Eaves, and is now the property of Mr. Harry Tunstill of Reedyford House. The adjoining messuages of Higher Old Laund and Raven's Clough are in the same ownership.

OLD LAUND HALL stands on a high bank above a small brook a short distance from the north bank of Pendle Water about a mile to the south-west of Nelson. The building is of local stone with long quoins at the angles, and consists of two wings at right angles, the longer one, which faces south, being of two stories and apparently dating from the latter half of the 16th century. It is about 55 ft. in length, with a projecting chimney in the gable at each end. The principal front overlooking the brook has two large mullioned and transomed windows of six and seven round-headed lights under a square label on the ground floor and smaller mullioned windows above. The roof remains only over the east end, and the building is in a state of dilapidation and partial ruin. The north-east wing, which is of three stories, appears to be of slightly later date, and is now used as a farm-house. It is 31 ft. in length and 41 ft. across the gable end facing north, on which side is a small stone bay window corbelled out above the third story. The window is out of the centre of the gable and the lights are now built up, but it forms an interesting architectural feature in an otherwise plainly designed house. The old porch, which stands in front of the junction of the two wings and is now whitewashed, has a fourcentred arched doorway with initials in the spandrels, but only the first (W) is decipherable. On the principal or east front of the inhabited wing are three long mullioned windows of six lights, one to each floor. The roofs are covered with stone slates, and the buildings, which are partly overgrown with ivy, form a very picturesque group.

FENCE.—By the inquest of 1402 to ascertain the ancient rights and customs of the inhabitants of Blackburnshire, it was declared that every tenant ought by right to have a work horse for 4d. and two beasts for 2d. agisting within 'le Fens' of Pendle between Michaelmas and the following Whitsuntide. (fn. 20) That part of the forest known as the Fence lay in Higham, West Close and Goldshaw Booth. It was not specifically granted with the rest of the forest by the commissioners of 1507; but at the halmote of Ightenhill held at Higham 6 June 1526 the jury considered a proclamation by the general auditor reciting that there were certain grounds called Fence within the vaccaries of Higham, West Close and Goldshaw upon which 'the herd of the stags always before the deforesting had their several living,' and inquiring if any would hold the said parcel of the king or inform the auditor and steward why the king should not make improvement from the parcel called the Fence. The verdict was that the king ought not to take the Fence to improve because Henry VII in 1507 had surrendered that parcel to the use of the tenants of Higham, West Close and Goldshaw Booth, to be held by them and their heirs for ever. (fn. 21)

Although the precise position of the Fence is unknown, the irregular boundaries of Goldshaw Booth, Higham-with-West Close and the detached portion of Old Laund Booth for some distance round Fence Gate, Hewn Ashlar and Fence House point it out approximately. Fence Gate is now owned by Mr. William H. Hartley.

Edmund Nutter of Sabden and John and Anthony his sons in 1523 surrendered their lands in the Fence in Pendle to the use of John Robinson of the Old Laund and his heirs. (fn. 22) James Hargreaves of Fence was at a visitation in 1535 presented for doing work on a holiday. (fn. 23)

St. Anne's Church, Fence, was built in 1837 for the worship of the Church of England, and became a separate parish in 1845. The patronage is in the hands of Mr. William H. Hartley.

The oratory of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Wheatley Lane, opened in 1899, is served from Nelson.


  • 1. This was increased to 681 acres by the extension of 1898.
  • 2. The enlarged township contained 834 inhabitants.
  • 3. Formerly called Wheatley Lane, now Barrowford Road.
  • 4. a Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 5. Local Govt. Bd. Order 37367.
  • 6. Receivers' Accts. bdle. 89, no. 1648.
  • 7. Duchy of Lanc. Chan. R. 31, no. 36; Whitaker, Whalley, i, 359 (62s. rent).
  • 8. Duchy of Lanc. Receivers' Accts. bdle. 90, no. 1650.
  • 9. Ibid. bdle. 91, no. 1662.
  • 10. John son of Richard Robinson of Pendle recovered a plat of land called Folds House in Briercliffe from Thurstan son of John Banastre of Wakefield by an award made in 1482; Add. MS. 32104, no. 1272.
  • 11. MS. at Huntroyde.
  • 12. Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, bdle. 5, no. 12. John Higgin of Old Laund was a juror in 1530, but did not appear; Whalley Act Bk. (Chet. Soc.), 129.
  • 13. Farrer, Clitheroe Ct. R. i, 312. See Wheatley Carr above.
  • 14. Add. MS. 32104, no. 1274. In 1609 John Paslew of Wiswell and Alice his wife, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Robinson, late of Chatburn, made a general release to Edmund Robinson of Old Laund and Agnes his wife; ibid. no. 1270.
  • 15. Grimshaw MS.
  • 16. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 217.
  • 17. Cal. Com. for Comp. iii, 2009; Index of Royalists (Index Soc.), 41. He had lands in Oswaldtwistle, Chatburn, Slaidburn, &c. He rented Old Laund, Hamston Cliff and Chamber in Pendle from the sequestration; Proc. Com. for Comp. vol. G 215, fol. 476.
  • 18. Honor of Clitheroe MS.
  • 19. Lancs. Lay Subs. bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 20. Whitaker, Whalley, i, 266.
  • 21. Clitheroe Castle Ct. R. 9; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 305.
  • 22. Add. MS. 32104, no. 1273. John Robinson of 'Haldlaund' was a juror in 1522 and 1529; Whalley Act Bk. (Chet. Soc.), 85, 122.
  • 23. Ibid. 176.