A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Barouford, 1324. Blakay, 1324.
This township has irregular boundaries and appears to have been composed anciently of a number of separate estates or clearings in the Forest of Pendle. It lies in the valley of a stream called Admergill Water which enters the township from Yorkshire through a clough named the Hole and flows south and east till it is joined by the stream from Roughlee; then it turns south to pass through Barrowford proper, consisting of the old hamlets or villages of Higherford and Lowerford, which extend along its right bank. Then the stream, here called Barrowford Beck, is joined by Colne Water coming from the east and shortly afterwards turns west round the hamlet of Newbridge, and then, becoming the eastern boundary, flows south as Pendle Water to join the Calder. At the north end of the township, on the borders of Yorkshire, are Wheathead and Briercliffe on the west side of this stream and Blacko and Stone Edge on the east side. Wanless stands on the Foulridge boundary to the east of Blacko. Barrowford village has Crow Trees on the north, Park Hill and Ing to the east, and Fulshaw to the west. On the south-west border stands Carr Hall, with Laund to the north, and the former hamlet of Rishton Thorns to the north-west. The hills rise up on each side of the stream. In the north-west at Wheathead on the border of Twiston and further north on the county border, heights over 1,250 ft. above sea level are attained, while in the northeast, also on the county boundary, 1,000 ft. is reached at Blacko Hill. (fn. 1) West of Barrowford the hills rise from 380 ft. at the beck to over 800 ft. on the border of Roughlee, by Noggarth End. (fn. 2) The area is 2,365½ acres and in 1901 the population numbered 5,448.
The principal road is that from Nelson north by New Bridge through Barrowford and Blacko into Yorkshire. From Barrowford other roads branch out to Colne on the east and the forest townships on the west; there are various cross roads. The Nelson and Colne railway does not enter this township, but the Leeds and Liverpool Canal crosses the eastern side; for the service of it there is a large reservoir.
There are large cotton-mills at Barrowford and Newbridge. The land is chiefly used for pasture, there being 8 acres of arable land, 2,178 acres in permanent grass and 16½ acres of woods and plantations. The soil and subsoil are clayey with sand in places lying upon sandstone rock.
A local board of nine members was formed in 1892 for the southern half of the township and this became an urban district council in 1894. The district is divided into three wards—Central, Higherford and Newbridge—each with three members. A school board was formed in 1874. (fn. 3) In 1894 two new townships were created, (fn. 4) viz. Barrowford, the urban council district, and Blacko, the rural portion to the north; a small fragment of the township near Carr Hall, where it had about 6 acres on the left bank of Pendle Water connected by a ford with the right bank, was separated from it and added to the new township of Nelson. Blacko has a parish council. The new township of Barrowford has an area of 1,385 acres, including 39 of inland water; Blacko has 974 acres, including 1 of inland water. The populations in 1901 were 4,959 and 485 respectively.
Black's Cross stood in Barrowford. (fn. 5)
The White Bear Inn is a picturesque 17thcentury (fn. 6) two-story house with mullioned windows, now somewhat modernized but preserving externally most of its ancient features. It was originally the residence of the Hargreaves family and was known as Hargreaves House. The exterior is of rough-cast and many alterations have been made inside to adapt the house to the requirements of an inn, the old diningroom serving as the tap-room. The building stands back from the road, and its surroundings now detract much from its original picturesqueness.
The site of Malkin Tower, which comes prominently into the witchcraft trial of 1612 as the meeting-place of the local witches, has been identified with that of a building in Blacko, also called Blacko Tower. (fn. 7) It stands in the extreme north-east corner of the township, close to the Yorkshire border.
William Hanson, born at Barrowford about 1595, went abroad to become a Benedictine monk, taking the name Alphonsus. He was sent on the English mission, and, being captured by the Parliamentary soldiers in 1644, he and another Benedictine were driven so hard that they died of exhaustion. (fn. 8)
Richard Baldwin, born at Park Hill in 1672, became provost of Trinity College, Dublin, and died in 1758, leaving his fortune to the college. (fn. 9)
There was no manor of Barrowford, but in 1323–4 there were three vaccaries in Barrowford proper and a close at Blackay. (fn. 10) Simon de Blakey held two in Barrowford at a rent of 28s., John the Parker had the third at 13s. 4d., and the close of Blackay was tenanted by Richard de Marsden, who paid 20s. (fn. 11) Richard Shireburne in 1422 had both Over Barrowford and Nether Barrowford, though by different leases, the former at £5 and the latter at £6 rent, these being increases from the previous rents of £3 and £4 10s. (fn. 12) A number of tenants held them in 1459 by rents of £4 and £4 6s. 8d. respectively, against previous rents of £5 and £5 13s. 4d. (fn. 13) The rents remained unchanged in 1464 when William Leyland held both vaccaries, (fn. 14) also in 1474, when Robert Banastre was the tenant of Over Barrowford and John Walton of Nether Barrowford. (fn. 15) Richard Banastre and John Walton similarly held them in 1495. (fn. 16)
The commissioners for deforesting in 1507 found that Over Barrowford had been let to farm at £4, and Nether Barrowford with a parcel adjoining called Rishton Thorns at £4 10s., and they granted them to the old tenants for copyhold rents amounting to £12 13s. 4d. in all. The rental of 1527 shows that there were nineteen separate tenements formed, occupied by John Hayke, Lawrence Hargreaves, Bernard Hartley and others. (fn. 17) The principal tenants in 1609 were Lawrence Townley of Carr, John Hartley of Admergill, John Hargreaves and Lawrence Hartley; Carr Mills paid £1. (fn. 18) In 1662 Christopher Towneley (the transcriber) in right of his wife held Carr and paid the £1 for Carr Mills; there were about thirty other tenants, including James Robinson, John Sutcliffe, Lawrence Robinson of Barrowford and Lawrence Townley. (fn. 19)
CARR HALL was part of the possessions of the Townleys of Barnside. After the marriage (1754) of their heiress Margaret with John Clayton of Little Harwood it was made the principal residence of the family. Their son, Colonel Thomas Clayton, high sheriff in 1808, died in 1835, when Carr Hall with the other estates passed by will to his daughter Elizabeth, who had married Edward Every, the additional surname of Clayton being taken. (fn. 20) Captain Every-Clayton died in 1885, and Carr Hall with the appurtenant estate descended to his son, Mr. Edward Every-Clayton of Skipton, by whom it was sold to the late Mr. William Tunstill of Reedyford, whose son, Mr. H. Tunstill, has recently sold the hall with some adjacent land to Mr. Wilkinson Hartley and other parcels of land to others.
PARK HILL was held by a family named Banastre, of whom Robert and Richard Banastre have been named above, 1474–95. In 1461 Dr. Vincent Clement, the papal collector and nuncio in England, granted a dispensation for the marriage of Richard Banastre and Joan Walton. (fn. 21) In 1478 lands in Colne called Standroyd granted in trust by Richard Banastre the elder (styled esquire) to his son Richard the younger and Joan his wife were transferred by the trustee to John Banastre, son of the younger Richard and Isabel his wife, daughter of John Popeley. (fn. 22) The 'manor' of Park Hill and Lomeshay in Marsden were in 1492 granted by his feoffees to Robert Banastre with remainders to his sons James, Henry and Christopher. (fn. 23) Park Hill, again called a manor, was in 1563 in possession of Henry Banister, (fn. 24) and in 1596 a settlement of the Park Hill estate, including part of the manor of Foulridge, was made by the same Henry Banister and Robert his son and heir-apparent. (fn. 25) Henry Banister or Bannester died in 1602 and his son Robert in 1616, when Park Hill, with its lands, corn-mill and fulling-mill, was said to be held of the king in socage as of his castle of Clitheroe. The heir was Robert's son Charles, then aged thirty-five and more, who had married Ellen Parker. (fn. 26) Charles Banister died in 1637 holding the capital messuage of Park Hill of the king as of the honor of Clitheroe and leaving a son and heir John, aged thirty-four. (fn. 27) John Banister made his will in 1654, (fn. 28) and his son Henry occurs in 1655. (fn. 29) Mr. Grimshaw was the owner in 1836 (fn. 30) and Mr. Hargreaves in 1873. (fn. 31) A side chapel in Colne Church belonged to the Park Hill estate. The building, a 17th-century two-story house, with gables and mullioned windows, stands in a picturesque situation on the banks of Pendle Water, surrounded by trees. It is a good deal modernized, but most of its original constructional features yet remain, and there is a good mantelpiece in one of the rooms.
RISHTON THORNS is mentioned in 1440–2, Robert son of Lawrence de Legh of Clifton in Burnley having there with a catapult killed a stag and carried it away. (fn. 32) The place was in 1507 reported to be a pasture, from one moiety of which no profit had been derived, while the other moiety had been let to farm jointly with Over Barrowford. One-half should have been demised to Miles Parker at 20s., and John Chaloner offered 26s. 8d., which seems to have been accepted. (fn. 33) In 1527 Lawrence Townley paid 26s. 8d., (fn. 34) and this part seems to have remained attached to the Carr Hall estate; it is not named in later rentals. (fn. 35) In 1527 also Lawrence and James Hartley paid 32s. 10d. for land in Nether Barrowford and Rishton Thorns. Lands there called the Six Forster Doles or Blackwood Doles were the subject of an inquiry in 1550–2. The name was said to have been given because the foresters of Pendle had six horse gates in summer and certain doles of hay yearly (before the destruction of the deer) for keeping their horses in winter. The Townleys had occupied the land as part of Rishton Thorns, but the title was disputed. (fn. 36)
BLACKAY was, as already recorded, held by Richard de Marsden in 1323 at a rent of 20s. The hey about it had been made in 1296. (fn. 37) The rent was raised to 22s. and then Blackay was granted in fee to Richard de Marsden at a rent of 28s. 8d.; but in 1338 the king released all payment of rent, because Richard had promised to pay 20 marks towards the expenses of the king's passage to parts beyond the sea. (fn. 38) In 1344 certain lands in Blackay, including a close called Parkhulley, were granted to Richard de Marsden, with remainder to John de Marsden for life; afterwards they were to be given to a chaplain at Colne or elsewhere, who should celebrate for the soul of Richard and Avice his wife and others. (fn. 39) This grant probably failed. (fn. 40) The rentals of 1422 onwards record 3s. as paid for 3 acres of meadow at Blackay. (fn. 41) A family or families took a surname from this place and appeared in Barrowford and the adjoining townships. (fn. 42) In 1627 Simon Blakey granted the tenement called Wanless in Blackay to John Blakey alias Wilson, (fn. 43) and this John died in 1638 holding two messuages, &c., in Blackay and Barrowford of the king as of his duchy of Lancaster; his heir was a son John, aged eighteen. (fn. 44)
There was a dispute as to the title of lands in Blacko in the time of Edward VI, Lawrence Blakey being defendant. (fn. 45)
In 1614 an inquiry was made as to the capacity of Christopher Hartley, son and heir of Lawrence Hartley of Lower Barrowford, who had copyhold lands in Pendle Forest. It was alleged that he was a 'natural idiot or sot,' but the jury found that he had sufficient discretion to govern his property. (fn. 46) Stony Edge in Barrowford was in dispute about 1555. (fn. 47) Lawrence Townley of Stone Edge and Janet his wife in 1623 granted lands in Barrowford on lease to John Woodhead. (fn. 48)
In the Subsidy Rolls the people of Barrowford used to be entered under Pendle. (fn. 49) The largest house in the township in 1666 was that of Christopher Towneley (Carr), with nine hearths liable to the tax; the next were those of James Hargreaves the younger, seven, and Henry Parker and John Robinson five each. James Wilson's house in Blakey had six hearths. (fn. 50)
For the Church of England St. Thomas's, at Lowerford, was built in 1839; the Hulme Trustees are patrons. The parish was formed in 1841.
The Wesleyan Methodists built a chapel at Higherford as early as 1802. They are still represented, as are also the Primitive and Independent Methodists; the former's chapel at Lowerford was built before 1848 and the latter's at Blacko in 1867. The Congregational church dates from 1846, but the first chapel, Bethel, was not built till 1861. The present church was built in 1880–1. (fn. 51) There is also a Free Gospel chapel.
The Roman Catholic Chapel of SS. Peter and Paul, 1894–8, is served from Nelson.