A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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In this section
Gusansarghe, Dom. Bk.; Gunanesarg, 1205; Gosannesareghe, Gosanesarwe, 1226; Gosenargh, 1244; Gosanarche, 1251; Gosenhar, 1257; Gossenarwe, 1290; Gosnargh, 1297. Pronounced Goosnar.
Trelefelt, Dom. Bk.; Threlefel, 1244; Threlefal, 1257. Neuhuse, Dom. Bk.; Nusum, 1249; Neusum, 1251.
Goosnargh gives its name to a detached chapelry of Kirkham, comprising Goosnargh, Newsham and Whittingham. The first-named portion has of itself a content of 8,324 acres, (fn. 1) while Newsham, a detached portion to the west, has 348, so that the whole township measures 8,672 acres. In 1901 it had a population of 1,091. (fn. 2) Goosnargh proper contains a number of hamlets or farmsteads. The name belongs specially to the lower or south-western part of the township and to the village (fn. 3) round the chapel, which stands close to the border of Whittingham. The higher or north-eastern part was known as Threlfall—a name no longer in common use—and had its chapel, which was called White Chapel. To the north-east of Goosnargh Chapel lies Eaves Green and to the northwest Middleton; Inglewhite is 1½ miles north of the last-named, and has St. Anne's Well (fn. 4) to the south of it and Fairhurst to the north. Beesley is north of Eaves Green, and has Kidsnape to the east and Bulsnape to the north-east, and further to the east, on the border of Chipping, is Loudscales, overlooking the River Loud, there forming the boundary. There were six ancient divisions called tithings— Church, Beesley, Kidsnape, Longley, Aspenhurst and Threlfall. (fn. 5)
The principal feature of the northern end is Beacon Fell, which attains a height of 874 ft. above the sea. From it the ground slopes away in all directions, but more especially to the west and south-west. The 300-ft. line runs diagonally across the township by Fairhurst, Beesley and Kidsnape, with higher ground to the east and lower to the west. To the north of the Fell are Lickhurst and Broadhead, and further north is the River Brock, forming the boundary on that side.
The township is crossed by a large number of country roads. Through Newsham passes the London and North-Western Company's main line to the north, with a station called Barton and Broughton. To this station there is a footpath over the fields from Goosnargh village. The Preston and Lancaster Canal crosses Newsham at Hollowforth.
Newsham was separated from Goosnargh in 1894 and annexed to Barton (fn. 6); the present reduced township is governed by a parish council. (fn. 7)
The soil is of every variety, with subsoil of clay. The land is chiefly in grass, being occupied as follows in Goosnargh and Whittingham jointly: Arable, 50 acres; permanent grass, 10,794½; and woods and plantations, 197½. (fn. 8) The population is now employed solely in agriculture; formerly there were silk and cotton manufactures. (fn. 9) Goosnargh is noted for cheese and butter; also for a kind of small, sweet cake.
The Thirlmere pipe line conveys the Manchester water supply through the eastern parts of Goosnargh and Whittingham.
There is a market cross at Inglewhite Green. (fn. 10) Here two fairs for cattle and sheep are held—on the Tuesday before Ascension Day and on 5 October. A sheep fair is held on 25 April. A workhouse formerly stood there.
There are remains of several ancient crosses, (fn. 11) and at Inglewhite was a pit known as 'cuckstool pit.' (fn. 12)
Lists of the principal inhabitants at different times in the 17th century have been printed. (fn. 13)
Among the burials recorded in the registers for August 1644 are those of a ' soldier found slain ' on the 1st and another soldier on the 16th. They may have belonged to the royal troops driven out of Amounderness on 18 August.
The worthies of the chapelry include the Ven. William Marsden and George Beesley, who suffered death during the Elizabethan persecution in 1586 and 1591; Alexander Rigby, a noteworthy Parliamentarian, baron of the Exchequer, who died in 1650 (fn. 14); William Bushell, founder of the hospital at Goosnargh, who was high sheriff in 1733, and died in 1735 (fn. 15); Peter Armstrong Whittle, born at Inglewhite in 1789, a miscellaneous writer who publiihed several topographical works, and died in Liverpool in 1866 (fn. 16); William Threlfall of Hollowforth, a Wesleyan missionary, killed in Namaqualand in 1825; Edward Kirk, journalist and antiquary, 1832 to 1885 (fn. 17)
In 1066 Goosnargh, Threlfall and Newsham, each assessed as one ploughland, were held by Earl Tostig as members of his lordship of Preston. (fn. 18) Afterwards Goosnargh and Threlfall—or part of them, viz. a plough-land and a half—were granted out in thegnage, being held by the service of 12s. a year and 6s. 8d. for a sor goshawk; and Newsham became part of the barony of Penwortham.
Bernard son of Ailsi was lord of GOOSNARGH about 1160, (fn. 19) and was succeeded by his son Robert, who about 1190 gave land to the Hospitallers. (fn. 20) He died in 1206, (fn. 21) and his heirs held the 12 oxgangs of land in 1212 by the service above stated (fn. 22) The heirs were three daughters—Iseult, who married Richard son of Swain (de Catterall) (fn. 23); Beatrice wife of Hugh de Mitton (fn. 24); and Avice, who married (1) Oliver son of Nigel de Longford (fn. 25) and (2) Michael de Aslacton. (fn. 26) In 1242 accordingly the manor was held by their heirs, (fn. 27) Richard de Catterall, (fn. 28) Hugh de Mitton (fn. 29) and Henry de Longford. (fn. 30) Two oxgangs of land, i.e. a sixth part of the manor, were acquired by William de Clifton, who died in 1258, (fn. 31) or by his predecessors; this in time led to a nominal readjustment, the representatives of the three co-heirs being said to hold fivesixths of the manor. There were other changes. The Mitton third was surrendered to the Earl of Lancaster and then granted to the Hoghtons of Hoghton (fn. 32) and the Clifton part was divided between Clifton and Boteler of Rawcliffe. (fn. 33) Thus in 1346 five-sixths were held equally by Richard de Catterall, Sir Adam de Hoghton and Nicholas de Longford, and the other sixth equally by William de Clifton and Richard le Boteler. (fn. 34) A century later the tenants were Richard Catterall, Richard Hoghton and Nicholas Longford; Richard Clifton and Nicholas Boteler. (fn. 35)
Early in the 16th century the Catterall portion became further divided, (fn. 36) and one fraction continued to be claimed by the family of Townley of Barnside for some time. (fn. 37) The Hoghtons, perhaps holding the Longford share, (fn. 38) appear to have acquired part of the Catteralls', (fn. 39) and the manor was spoken of as theirs absolutely. About 1630 (fn. 40) the manor was purchased from Sir Richard Hoghton out of the marriage portion of Charlotte wife of James Lord Strange, afterwards Earl of Derby. (fn. 41) It was acquired by Hugh Cooper, lord of the manor of Carnforth, (fn. 42) and about 1680 was held by John Warren of Poynton in Cheshire, (fn. 43) who married the daughter and heir; and so descended to his great - grandson Sir George Warren, (fn. 44) and from him to Lord de Tabley, who about 1860 sold the right of toll at Inglewhite fair to Mr. R. Baillie of Fulwood. That was supposed to be the only remaining manorial right. (fn. 45)
The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem had a considerable estate in THRELFALL, (fn. 46) possibly the half plough-land noticed above as wanting, and, as the Catteralls were their tenants, (fn. 47) the predominance of this family was assured. They appear to have been the only manorial family resident within Goosnargh proper. Their estate was known as the manor of BULSNAPE, (fn. 48) and on the partition became the residence of Thomas Procter in right of his wife Elizabeth daughter of Thomas Catterall (1579). (fn. 49) After several changes of ownership, (fn. 50) Bulsnape was in 1650 acquired by James Fishwick, (fn. 51) and it continued in his family till 1777, (fn. 52) when it was again sold. Bulsnape Hall is situated about 1½ miles to the east of Inglewhite, and is a three-story building, now used as a farm-house. It was originally E-shaped in plan, with wide end gables and a narrow middle one over the porch, which is the full height of the house. The left-hand wing, however, has disappeared and the building is very much modernized, nearly all the windows being new and the walls covered with stucco. An oak staircase with carved balustrade still remains, and other evidences of the original building are visible in the interior. Remains of a moat could be seen up to about 1856, but have now disappeared. (fn. 53)
WHITE LEA, another part of the Catteralls' estate in Threlfall, (fn. 54) was sold, as a third part of the manor, by Gervase Strickland and Katherine his wife to James Kighley in 1591. (fn. 55) John Kighley died in 1616 holding it of the king by the fortieth part of a knight's fee and leaving an infant son Hugh as heir. (fn. 56) This family, who were Roman Catholics, (fn. 57) remained in possession till 1726; from Charles Gibson, who then purchased, the estate descended to his great-great-grandson Charles Gibson, who died in 1832. (fn. 58) The estate was then sold to William Blackledge, who was succeeded by his son John.
The ASHES was held by a family bearing the local name, Threlfall, who held lands of the Bartons of Barton, who in turn appear to have held this portion of their estate of Ralph Catterall by rendering a pound of cummin yearly. (fn. 59) There is little known of the early history of the Threlfalls. (fn. 60) Edmund Threlfall of the Ashes died in 1617, leaving a son John, aged twelve. (fn. 61) He was a Roman Catholic, and had suffered the sequestration of two-thirds of his estate for religion. (fn. 62) The son John died young, (fn. 63) and it was another son, Cuthbert Threlfall, whose estate at the Ashes was sequestered for 'delinquency' under the Commonwealth and forfeited in 1653. (fn. 64) Cuthbert's son Edmund was a Jacobite, and was killed by a party of soldiers sent to arrest him in 1690. (fn. 65) He was succeeded by his brother Cuthbert, (fn. 66) who as a 'Papist' registered his estate in 1717. (fn. 67) A brother John was in possession soon afterwards, and later in the century the Ashes was sold, and has since changed hands several times. (fn. 68) Ashes stands in a secluded situation some distance from the highway on rising ground north-east of Inglewhite; but apart from the doorway, which has a curious winged figure in a triangular frame carved over the square stone head, (fn. 69) is of little interest, being almost wholly modernized. Traces of a moat are still to be seen, and in one of the walls, which is from 4 ft. to 6 ft. thick, are cavities locally known as 'hiding places.' (fn. 70) The house is of two stories and faces south-west.
The HILL was in 1600 the residence of a family named Beesley. (fn. 71) Francis Beesley was fined for recusancy between 1591 and 1607. (fn. 72) His brother George, ordained at Rheims in 1587, was sent on the English mission in the following year, that of the Armada. He was captured after about two years, and though tortured to make him reveal the names of his hosts he would tell nothing, and was at last executed for his priesthood in Fleet Street, London, 1591. (fn. 73) From the Beesleys (fn. 74) the estate went to the Blackburnes, a branch of the Stockenbridge family, who were in possession in 1754. (fn. 75) WHITE HILL was the seat of a branch of the Heskeths, also a Roman Catholic family. (fn. 76) In consequence of their taking part in the Civil War on the king's side their estate was sequestered, (fn. 77) and on their afterwards joining in the rebellion of 1715 it was forfeited, (fn. 78) and has since had many owners. (fn. 79) Some other estates in Threlfall have points of interest in their history. (fn. 80) Higher Lickhurst was acquired by the trustees of the Goosnargh Hospital in 1819. (fn. 81)
The Ven. William Marsden is said to have been born at a farm called the Mountain, on the east side of Beacon Fell, about 1563. He was ordained priest at Rheims in 1586 and sent on the English mission, but the ship he sailed in was driven ashore on the Isle of Wight. Marsden was captured, and, rejecting the equivocation suggested by a lenient judge, was condemned and suffered death as a traitor 25 April 1586. (fn. 82)
In the Church tithing the KIRKHOUSE was about 1600 held by a branch of the Helme family, (fn. 83) of whom other branches appear in Goosnargh and Chipping. (fn. 84) It was purchased by Sir Nicholas Shireburne of Stonyhurst in 1694. (fn. 85)
MIDDLETON at one time gave surname to a local family. (fn. 86) Afterwards it occurs in connexion with the Coore, (fn. 87) Greenhills (fn. 88) and Singleton families, (fn. 89) the story being made clear by pleadings of 1447 and later, in which Alan Singleton claimed three messuages, 6 acres of land and 12d. rent in Goosnargh against John Catterall, late of Flasby in Craven. It appeared that Richard son of Grimbald de Coore in the time of Edward II gave the property to Geoffrey son of Grimbald de Coore (by fine in 1323), and it descended to Adam son and heir of Geoffrey to Adam's daughter Christiana (wife of William de Greenhills in 1393), who had two children—William, who died without issue, and Alice, mother of the plaintiff. The defendant replied that one Alan de Catterall had had possession and had given it to defendant and his son John. (fn. 90)
The Singletons having established their claim, granted it to endow a chantry. (fn. 91) On the suppression of these foundations it was acquired by Robert Helme, whose sons defended their right as against Thomas Tyldesley, the representative of the founders. (fn. 92) It was acquired not long afterwards by Alexander Rigby of Wigan, who died in 1621 holding Middleton Hall, Topping House, with dovecote, lands, &c., of the king as of his manor of Clitheroe; also Eyves Hall, of the Earl of Derby (formerly the Hospitallers' land), by 1d. rent; and a messuage, &c., in Aspenhurst of Sir Richard Hoghton by 5s. rent. His son and heir Alexander was twenty-six years of age. (fn. 93)
The younger Alexander (fn. 94) was a bencher of Gray's Inn. He resided at Ribby, being perhaps desirous of the style of Rigby of Ribby. He was returned for the Short Parliament in 1640 and then for the Long Parliament as a member for Wigan, at once distinguishing himself as a zealous Puritan. On the outbreak of the Civil War he showed himself equally active on the Parliamentary side, first as a civilian, sequestrator, &c., (fn. 95) and then as a soldier with a colonel's commission. His son Alexander was lieutenant-colonel under him, and raised a company within Goosnargh. He took Thurland Castle, after a siege of seven weeks, in October 1643, but lost his reputation next year by the fruitless leaguer of Lathom House and the defeat at Bolton. He then seems to have retired from war and devoted his attention to Parliament and to the sequestering of 'Papists' and delinquents' estates.' His son Alexander, however, continued his military career. The father was appointed one of the judges of Charles I, but did not act. In 1649 he was made a baron of the Exchequer, but did not enjoy his dignity long, dying 18 August 1650. In religion he was an Independent, hostile to Presbyterianism as well as to Episcopacy. His son Alexander seems to have been a member of the Presbyterian Classis in 1646. (fn. 96)
This son succeeded to Middleton, and was member of Parliament for Lancaster in 1658. He and his brother Edward fell under suspicion at the beginning of the reign of James II, and were ordered into custody in 1685. Alexander Rigby died in 1694, (fn. 97) and from him the estate descended to the Knowles family, but there is nothing in the history to call for remark.
To this part of the township may have belonged the family or families using Goosnargh as a surname. They occur in the pleadings, (fn. 98) but the nature of their estate is unknown, except in the case of Alexander Goosnargh of Stalmine, who died in 1524 holding lands in the township of Richard Hoghton in socage; the heir was a grandson Alexander Wering. (fn. 99) Eaves or Eyves Hall has been mentioned among the possessions of Alexander Rigby; some particulars have been preserved of Eaves Green. (fn. 100)
BRADCROFT, which may stand for the obscure third part of the manor once belonging to Longford, was owned by the Bartons of the adjacent township of Barton, (fn. 101) who long held KIDSNAPE of the Hoghton family by a rent of 6s. 8d. (fn. 102) William Clifton, (fn. 103) described as 'of Kidsnape,' died in 1517 holding lands in the tithing of Richard Hoghton and John Boteler by services unknown. He left three daughters and heirs—Isabel, aged twenty-nine, wife of Ralph Venables in 1528; Joan, twenty-six, who married John Beconsaw; and Anne, twenty, who married Bartholomew Hesketh. (fn. 104)
BEESLEY (fn. 105) gave a surname to one or more local families. That seated in Threlfall has been mentioned above, and it is not possible to trace the others or state their tenures exactly, though they are often named in pleadings and other records. (fn. 106) Jane the wife of Henry Beesley died in 1585, and Henry died in 1591 holding half a messuage, &c, called Barnard House or the Hey of Beesley, the tenure of which was not recorded. The heir was a son William. (fn. 107) Thomas Beesley, who died in 1637, held 'Beesley's lands'; his son Robert, aged forty, was heir (fn. 108) WHINNY CLOUGH (fn. 109) was part of the Hoghton estate in the time of Elizabeth; later held by the Bamber family of Poulton, and more recently by the Parks of Preston. (fn. 110) It is now owned by Mr. William P. Park of Ashton-on-Ribble. (fn. 111)
In Longley tithing Higher and Lower BARKER are noteworthy. About 1450 Barker in Goosnargh was a portion of the estates of Richard Clifton of Clifton. (fn. 112) Of Higher Barker there is little to be said (fn. 113); Lower was about 1670–80 the residence of the lord of the manor of Goosnargh, John Warren of Poynton, (fn. 114) who in 1674 procured the royal charter for holding two fairs annually at Inglewhite in this tithing. (fn. 115) INGLEWHITE was the estate of a family named Sidgreaves, (fn. 116) of whom Christopher was recorded as a freeholder in 1600, (fn. 117) and James recorded his estate as a 'Papist' in 1717. (fn. 118) He died in 1759 and was succeeded by a son James, whose greatgrandson dying without issue in 1853 the estate was sold. (fn. 119) In 1869 it became the property of William Shawe of Preston, and is now held by the Knowles trustees.
BLACKHALL or Blakehall (fn. 120) was long the seat of a family named Midgehall. (fn. 121) George Midgehall died in 1557, leaving a son Robert, aged thirty-three, heir to an estate comprising Brabinfield in Goosnargh, held of Richard Hoghton by 18d. rent, two messuages held of the Crown as of the dissolved monastery of Cockersand by 12d. rent, 3 acres held of the heirs of Ralph Catterall by the rent of a catapult, and two messuages in Threlfall held of the heirs of Richard son of Adam de Woodacre. (fn. 122) Robert's son George died in 1612, leaving a son Robert as heir, (fn. 123) and he in turn (fn. 124) left a son George, who died in 1626 under age and without issue, the estate then reverting to his uncle Edward Midgehall. (fn. 125) This Edward was in trouble in the Civil War time, for he took the king's side and his estates were sequestered and ultimately sold by the Parliament for his 'delinquency.' (fn. 126) The family about that time became Protestant, and the estate continued in the male line till 1807, when it was sold to James Sidgreaves of Inglewhite and was in 1847 purchased by William Shawe of Preston. (fn. 127)
LATUS House had more anciently the name of Clifton House. (fn. 128) The family of Latus or Latewise held it in the time of Elizabeth and later, (fn. 129) but by 1650 it had passed to the Rigby family. (fn. 130) About a century later it was in the hands of Parkinson, a wide-spreading family found in several parts of the township. (fn. 131) It afterwards went to Talbot and was sold to Philip Park of Preston. St. Anne's Well is on this estate. A Longley charter dated 1494 mentions Benetfield, the highway to the church of Goosnargh, Tinklerfield and Stonyford. (fn. 132)
Of Aspenhurst there is little record except of the estate of Fairhurst held by the Rigbys of Middleton, already mentioned.
Little need be said of other estates and landowners occurring in the records. Cockersand Abbey (fn. 133) and Conishead Priory had some land in the township. (fn. 134) John Singleton of Chingle Hall died in 1530 holding of Richard Hoghton by a rent of 6s. 8d. (fn. 135) William Wilson in 1619 held lands of Sir Richard Hoghton by a rent of 5s.; they had been purchased from Thomas Shireburne and had no doubt formed part of the Catterall estate. (fn. 136) Joshua Gallard in 1638 held his lands of the king by the two-hundredth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 137) William Barnes's messuage and lands were held of James Lord Strange as of his manor of Goosnargh by 5s. 1d. rent. (fn. 138) In other cases the tenure is stated either vaguely (fn. 139) or not at all. (fn. 140)
Under the Commonwealth rule the estates of a number of Royalists and recusants were sequestered and in some cases sold outright. (fn. 141) In 1717 nine estates of ' Papists' were registered. (fn. 142)
NEWSHAM, as already stated, was after the Conquest a member of the barony of Penwortham, and the mesne tenant was the lord of Woodplumpton, (fn. 143) with which manor it continued to descend till the 17th century or later. (fn. 144) There seem to have been several subdivisions of the land, and the principal holders took the surname of Newsham. Little is known of them. (fn. 145) Adam de Newsham in 1361 purchased six messuages, land, &c, in Newsham from Roger de Farington and Amery his wife. (fn. 146) John Newsham, living in 1467, died in 1515, but the tenure of his estate was not known; his heir was his grandson John, then aged fourteen. (fn. 147) A pedigree was recorded in 1567. (fn. 148) In 1585 George Newsham held the Newsham Hall estate of John Warren by 17s. rent. (fn. 149) Robert Newsham was a freeholder in 1600. (fn. 150) Soon afterwards the family disappeared from view, and Newsham Hall was before 1660 acquired by the Wilsons of Tunley in Wrightington; by them it was sold to John Bourne of Stalmine Hall in 1782 and has since descended with his estates. (fn. 151) William Singleton of Bank Hall held land in Newsham of John Warren in 1573. (fn. 152) The Fishwicks occur. (fn. 153)
HOLLOWFORTH with its mill was the estate bought by Robert de Holland in 1292 (fn. 154) and held in 1323–4 by William de Holland of Euxton of the heirs of Stockport by a rent of 2s. (fn. 155) Like Euxton it descended to Molyneux of Sefton, (fn. 156) and was in 1558 sold by Sir Richard Molyneux to George Newsham. (fn. 157) Land in Hollowforth was held by the Middletons in 1600–40. (fn. 158) The estate of Lawrence Parkinson of Hollowforth was one of those sequestered and sold under the Commonwealth. (fn. 159) There is still a mill at Hollowforth.
Alexander Rigby, James Sidgreaves and Thomas Helme each paid £10 in 1631, having refused knighthood. (fn. 160)
John Reynolds of Newsham as a 'Papist' registered a leasehold estate in this part of the township in 1717. (fn. 161) Robert Shepherd of Barnacre did the same. (fn. 162)
In the grant of Kirkham to Vale Royal Abbey in 1281 its 'chapels' were included, (fn. 163) so that it is probable that ST. MARY'S, Goosnargh, already existed. It was frequently called a 'church,' and its district a 'parish' before the Reformation. (fn. 164) Direct proof of its existence begins in 1330, when its 'chaplain' was required to send an ox of the value of 10s. to the Abbot of Vale Royal (as rector) every year. (fn. 165) Complaint was made of an assault upon Sir Adam Banastre at Goosnargh Church in 1336, (fn. 166) and that the chapel was in constant use is shown by the names of the ministering priests which have been preserved. (fn. 167) John son of Adam de Whittingham granted certain lands in 1379–80 to Henry Moton, the rent being a pound of wax, due to the church of B. Mary of Goosnargh. (fn. 168) There was in it a second altar, that of St. John the Baptist, the priest at which in 1528–9 received an endowment—perhaps temporary—from William Barnes of Tewkesbury. (fn. 169) A more substantial endowment was secured to the chaplain celebrating in the 'church or chapel' of B. Mary the Virgin of Goosnargh by Alan Singleton, the statutes of the chantry being ordained by Roger Singleton in 1508. (fn. 170) This chantry was in existence at the confiscation of such endowments in 1547–8. It had a revenue of £5 a year. (fn. 171)
What happened during the next fifty or sixty years is uncertain. A curate was probably maintained there, but the stipend was only £3 18s. from the tithes of Christ Church, Oxford, (fn. 172) increased no doubt by occasional offerings. The curate of 1611 was presented to the bishop for having given notice of the rush bearing 'on the Sabbath day,' leading to piping in the church and churchyard, (fn. 173) while eleven years later the curate had not preached himself and had procured only two sermons in the year; he kept ale to sell. (fn. 174) The arrangement of the seats in 1635 has been preserved. (fn. 175) The Presbyterian discipline was accepted without resistance in 1646, and the minister in 1648 signed the 'Harmonious Consent.' There was in 1650 no allowance to the minister, except £50 from the Committee of Plundered Ministers. (fn. 176) This would, of course, cease at the Restoration, but Christ Church afterwards increased the allowance from the tithes to £19 18s. (fn. 177) About 1720 a grant was obtained from Queen Anne's Bounty, (fn. 178) and the incumbent's income has gradually increased until it is now £201. (fn. 179) A separate parish was assigned in 1846. (fn. 180)
The church stands on the north side of the village of Goosnargh, and consists of chancel 25 ft. 6 in. by 20 ft. with north vestry, nave 70 ft. 6 in. by 20 ft. 6 in., north aisle 74 ft. 6 in. by 12 ft. 6 in., south aisle 66 ft. by 13 ft., south porch and west tower 10 ft. 8 in. square, all these measurements being internal. The building is constructed throughout of rubble masonry with gritstone dressings, and no part, with the possible exception of one of the windows of the north aisle, is older than the 15th century. To this period belong the north arcade and aisle, tower, and perhaps the chancel; but this is said (fn. 181) to have been rebuilt in 1553. However this may be, the whole of the building is of late date, and though the architectural detail is uninteresting, the general appearance of the interior is good. The south arcade and aisle appear to have been rebuilt at a subsequent period, perhaps at the end of the 16th or in the early years of the 17th century, the windows being all square-headed with plain, rounded lights, and without labels. The chancel roof is externally lower than that of the nave, which is continued over the aisles with overhanging eaves, and has two modern gabled dormer windows on the south side and three on the north.
The roof probably dates from the time of the building of the south aisle, when it was raised some feet, the line of the former 15th-century roof showing in the east face of the tower within the nave. In the 18th century the church is described as filled with square pews probably of 17th-century date, and had a gallery at the west end, and in 1800 another gallery was erected at the east end in front of the chancel for the use of the inmates of Goosnargh Hospital. (fn. 182) Repairs had been carried out in 1788, (fn. 183) when probably a ceiling was erected; but the building remained more or less unrestored till 1868–9, when it was very substantially repaired, the roof opened out, renovated, and wholly reslated, the stone-work of many of the windows renewed, new wood dormers inserted, the floor lowered 12 in., the rough-cast which had formerly covered the exterior removed, and the two end galleries taken down. The whole of the seating was likewise renewed, the old square pews, which had filled both aisles, nave, and part of the chancel, being done away with. There was a further restoration of the roof in 1895, when it was again reslated, the east gable and wall north of it rebuilt in dressed stone and the vestry enlarged.
The chancel has an original five-light pointed east window with plain pointed lights and transom at the line of springing and inner moulded arch dying into the wall at the same level; two windows and a priest's door on the south side, and a single squareheaded window of two cinquefoiled lights on the north side to the west of the vestry door. The easternmost window on the south has a segmental head and is of three lights, the middle with cinquefoiled and the outer ones with trefoiled heads, with chamfered jambs, head and mullions, but without hood mould. The other window is of the same type as those in the south aisle, square-headed and of two rounded lights. The priest's door is 2 ft. 4 in. wide with segmental arch and chamfered jambs and head. The walls of the chancel, as in the rest of the church, are plastered, and the roof is a modern boarded one of flat pitch in three bays with moulded principals and purlins, and divided from the open timber roof of the nave by a timbered plaster gable facing west with shaped moulded piece below the tie-beam carried down the walls on to small wood pillars on stone brackets in the form of a chancel arch. There is a good 18th-century brass chandelier, but the rest of the fittings of the chancel are all modern, and there is no screen.
The north arcade of the nave is of six pointed arches of two chamfered orders carried on octagonal piers and responds with plain moulded capitals and bases, the height to the top of the capitals being 6 ft. 2 in. The north aisle, which is the full length of the nave and continued beyond it some feet at the east end, varies in width from 11 ft. 4 in. at the east to 12 ft. 3 in. at the west end. It has two squareheaded windows of two cinquefoiled lights on the north side and a similar one at the west end, and a built-up north doorway.
The east end of the aisle was formerly the chantry founded by the Singletons, and has a window on the north side of two plain pointed lights. The chantry, which is now known as the Middleton Chapel, (fn. 184) is inclosed by a screen and has a recess with segmental moulded arch in the north wall 3 ft. high by 6 ft. in width. The east window is squareheaded of three rounded lights similar to those in the south aisle.
The south arcade of the nave consists of five pointed arches of two chamfered orders on octagonal piers and responds with moulded capitals and chamfered bases, 6 ft. in height to the top of the capitals. At the west end the arcade begins at a distance of 9 ft. 8 in. from the tower wall, (fn. 185) the south aisle not extending the length of the nave at this end, and the piers are thus not directly opposite those on the north side. The windows of the aisle are all squareheaded and of two lights, except that at the east end, which has three. The nave roof retains its four original roughly wrought principals, and is boarded between the spars; but is otherwise, together with its continuation over the aisles, almost entirely modern. The porch, which is quite plain, measures internally 8 ft. by 10 ft. and has a slated roof and inner pointed arch with double hollow-chamfered jambs and head, and a wood seat on each side. The outer arch is also pointed, with plain chamfered jambs and head, and the gable above has been rebuilt.
The west tower is 60 ft. in height with embattled parapet and projecting vice in the south-east corner. Externally the stages are unmarked, the north and south sides being quite plain between the plinth and the belfry windows. On the west side there are diagonal angle buttresses of six stages reaching to the middle of the belfry windows, and at the north-east angle a square buttress of three stages. On the second stage of each of the west buttresses is a plain or obliterated shield, and on the west face of the tower, about 12 ft. above the ground, a circular figure 18 in. in diameter commonly known as the 'spinning wheel.' (fn. 186) The west door is round-headed with hood mould and chamfered jambs, and above is a pointed window of three lights with perpendicular tracery and label. The belfry windows are also of three lights and similar in detail, with slate louvres, and there is a clock on the south and west sides towards the village. The tower arch is of two chamfered orders splayed off to one at a height of 8 ft. 6 in. from the floor.
The screen inclosing the Middleton Chapel has turned balusters in the upper part and a door on the west side. The top rail is carved and bears on the south side the date 1622 and the initials of Alexander Rigby, while on the west side are the initials of his grandson Thomas Rigby and the date 1721. Within the 'chapel' are an oblong pew 10 ft. by 4 ft. 6 in. of the same period as the screen which forms part of it and an elaborately carved ridged tombstone of late 15th-century date, 6 ft. 2 in. long and diminishing in width from 3 ft. to 2 ft., with two parallel floreated crosses terminating in heraldic shields. (fn. 187) The stone lies on the floor opposite the recess, but does not belong to it. The initials a.r. have been cut upon it at a later time.
The lower part of the tower arch is filled in by an oak screen 7 ft. high with turned balusters along the top, and a door in the middle on which are carved the initials r.c, i.l., i.i., j.w., and the date 1678, (fn. 188) and in the vestry is a loose panel with the date 1708 and the initials i.t., r.w., i.p., w.w. The old pulpit had the initials of the Rev. Wm. Bushell and the date 1707, but this has given place to a modern one of wrought iron.
The font, which stands at the west end of the south aisle, is a square block of stone 2 ft. 3 in. in diameter and 1 ft. 5 in. high with a square bowl standing on a modern pedestal, and may be of 15thcentury date. The organ was formerly in the west gallery, but the present instrument, which was built in 1906, is at the east end of the south aisle. There is a brass to the Rev. Wm. Bushell in the north aisle, and a stone slab to Thomas Whittingham, who died in 1667. (fn. 189)
There is a ring of six bells, with inscriptions as follows: Treble, 'God preserve the Church and Queen Ann 1713'; (2) 'Prosperity to the Church of England a.r. 1742'; (3) 'Abr. Rudhall cast us all 1713'; (4) 'Christopher Swainson A.M. minister, a.r. 1742'; (5) 'Presented by R. Newsham esq. Mears and Stainbank 1883'; tenor, 'I to the Church the living call and to the grave do summon all, 1753.' (fn. 190)
The silver plate consists of a chalice of 1746 and a paten 'Presented to Goosnargh Church in memoriam Charles Osborne Gordon, vicar of the parish, who died Aug. 19, 1892.' There are also a plated chalice and flagon and a plated breadholder inscribed 'Presented to the Parish Church of Goosnargh by Townley Rigby Knowles esq. in memory of the late William Shawe esq. 1872.'
The registers begin in 1639, but are imperfect up to 1675.
In the churchyard to the south of the tower is a circular stone shafted sundial on two circular steps, the plate of which is dated July 1746 and bears the name of the Rev. C. Swainson. Further east is the socketed base of a churchyard cross. The oldest dated gravestone is 1668.
The patronage is vested in the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, Oxford. The following have been curates and vicars:—
|oc. 1330||William Cortays (fn. 191)|
|oc. 1342||Thomas [de Rawcliffe] (fn. 192)|
|oc. 1368||Richard de Sunderland (fn. 193)|
|oc. 1508–35||Christopher Parkinson (fn. 194)|
|oc. 1547–53||Ralph Parker (fn. 195)|
|oc. 1552||Lawrence Gaiter (fn. 196)|
|oc. 1562||Lawrence Kemp (fn. 197)|
|oc. 1583||John Helme (fn. 198)|
|oc. 1605||William Duxbury (fn. 199)|
|1641||Edmund Shaw (fn. 200)|
|1646||Thomas Cranage (fn. 201)|
|1648||William Ingham (fn. 202)|
|Richard Harrison, B.A. (fn. 203) (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)|
|c. 1675||James Butterworth, M.A. (fn. 204) (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)|
|1692||William Bushell, B.A. (fn. 205)|
|1735||William Whitehead, B.A. (St. John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1740||Christopher Swainson, B.A. (fn. 206) (Univ. Coll., Oxf.)|
|1770||Christopher Hull, B.D. (St. John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1790||Charles Buck, M.A. (fn. 207) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1790||Joshua Southward (fn. 208)|
|1815||Robinson Shuttleworth Barton BD (Camb.)|
|1867||William Shillito, B.A. (Univ. Coll Oxf.)|
|1883||Charles Osborne Gordon, M.A. (Exeter Coll., Oxf.)|
|1892||Edmund Dawson Banister, B.A. (Magdalen Hall, Oxf.)|
|1899||James Thomas Kerby, M.A. (Dur.)|
|1911||Thos. Bingley Boss, M.A. (Lond.)|
WHITECHAPEL, as the oratory in Threlfall was called, existed before the Reformation, as the pedestal of a cross in the churchyard gives testimony; it belonged to the inhabitants, who had at one time used it for divine service, but long before 1581 it had been left alone, the chapel bell being then given to Alexander Hoghton of Lea until such time as it might again be wanted. (fn. 209) In the Commonwealth time it was again used, an allowance of £50 being made out of Royalist sequestrations. (fn. 210) This probably did not long continue. (fn. 211) About 1717 it was recorded that the chapel had no endowment, and that it was 'served now and then only, out of charity at the request of the people.' (fn. 212) A bequest of £60 in 1713 led to the schoolmaster becoming also the minister of the chapel, and other sums being given about 1720, augmented out of Queen Anne's Bounty, lands of £430 value were purchased for securing a minister's salary. A further £400 was given in 1756. (fn. 213) The income is now £208. (fn. 214)
The church having become ruinous was rebuilt in 1738 and again in 1891. It is known as St. James's. (fn. 215) There is a sundial (1745) in the churchyard. (fn. 216) In 1846 Whitechapel became an independent parish (fn. 217); the patronage is vested in the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, Oxford. The following have been curates and vicars:—
|c. 1738||John Penny (fn. 218)|
|1764||James Farrer (fn. 219)|
|1808||Thomas Saul, M.A. (fn. 220)|
|1813||Philip Gerard Slatter, M.A. (Christ Ch., Oxf.)|
|1815||James Raddiffe, M.A. (Christ Ch., Oxf.)|
|1873||Edmund Dawson Banister, B.A. (Magdalen Hall, Oxf.)|
|1892||James Thomas Kerby, M.A. (Dur.).|
|1900||Joseph Rhodes, B.A. (Dur.)|
|1909||Edwin Augustine Marshall Godson, M.A. (Oxf.)|
A free grammar school, under the will of Henry Colborne, was established in Goosnargh about 1673. (fn. 221) At Whitechapel a school was founded in 1705 by William Lancaster, a linen-weaver. (fn. 222)
The Congregationalists built a chapel at Inglewhite in 1826. It has some endowments. (fn. 223)
As will have been gathered from the foregoing account, the principal resident families adhered to Roman Catholicism long after the Reformation. In 1632 the following compounded by small annual rents for the two-thirds of their estates which should have been sequestered for their recusancy: In Goosnargh— George Beesley, £3; Gabriel Hesketh, £4; Roger Hesketh, £6 13s. 4d.; and Thomas Whittingham, £3 6s. 8d.; in Whittingham—William Chorley, £2; and Ellen Nelson, £3. (fn. 224) Bishop Gastrell recorded 145 known 'Papists' in 1717, and in 1767 there were 316 above sixteen years of age, with two resident priests, in Goosnargh and 200 more in Whitechapel. (fn. 225) Nothing is known of the secret ministrations of the 17th century, except that in 1643 the Ven. Thomas Whitaker was captured at Edward Midgehall's house in Longley. (fn. 226) One of the English Franciscans established a 'residence' of the Holy Cross at White Hill in 1687, obtaining a plot of land from Cuthbert Hesketh. (fn. 227) About a century afterwards the present St. Francis' Chapel was built at the Hill, (fn. 228) and this branch of the Order served the mission till 1813. (fn. 229) The work was transferred to the English Benedictines about 1833, and they retain it still. (fn. 230) The congregation has dwindled away.
To Newsham is supposed to have belonged Roger Wrennall, executed at Lancaster in 1616 for assisting Fr. Thewlis in an attempt to escape from the castle. (fn. 231) About 1715 there appear to have been two secular priests resident in this part of the township—one at Crow Hall (fn. 232) and the other at Hough, (fn. 233) and they ministered as opportunity afforded in the neighbouring district. Mass was occasionally said at the former house till about 1800; at the latter Newhouse Chapel, St. Lawrence's, was built about 1740. This was replaced in 1806 by St. Mary's, Newhouse, (fn. 234) which in turn has been succeeded by the present church in 1907.
The principal charity (fn. 235) is the Hospital founded by William Bushell's will, 1735. He devised almost all his estate to trustees for maintaining 'decayed gentlemen or gentlewomen or persons of the better rank of both or either sex, inhabitants of the towns or townships of Preston, Euxton, Goosnargh, Whittingham, Fulwood and Elston . . . being Protestants, in a house or hospital to be provided in Goosnargh, where he then resided, at or near the dwelling-house of his late father.' (fn. 236) William Bushell died in the same year, and the trust became effective ten years later when his daughter Elizabeth died. In 1824 there were thirteen persons in the hospital; each had a separate room, but they dined together, and one of them read prayers to the rest; they were supplied with clothing, and each received 10s. a quarter for pocket money. They were all advanced in life, of the class designated by the founder, members of the Church of England and required to attend the services in the church at Goosnargh, wherein the trustees had built a special gallery for them. The income at that time was £855 and the expenditure considerably less. The Hospital is an 18th-century building of stone, in a simple and dignified classical style.
Owing to the growth of Preston, in which much of the property lay and lies, the income greatly increased during last century, (fn. 237) and the charity is now governed by a scheme enforced by the Charity Commissioners in 1895 . (fn. 238) The house has been considerably enlarged, and the number of inmates is fixed at twenty-four; they are to have the qualifications fixed by the founder, with a slight relaxation in favour of the lower class of people. (fn. 239) Married couples may be received. The immediate charge of them is entrusted to a salaried manager and matron, assisted by servants and a trained nurse. 'The life of the inmates resembles that of residents en pension at an hotel: they do not even assist in tending the flower garden and they are not permitted to follow any occupation. They have books from Mudie's as well as a permanent library, and are well supplied with newspapers. The diet is ample. . . . An inmate dying is buried at the cost of the charity.' There is power to appoint out-pensioners. The income is about £3,300, and the ordinary expenditure somewhat less.
In addition to educational endowments, (fn. 240) a pension fund for the poor of the chapelry was founded in 1878 by Richard Cookson, (fn. 241) and £6 5s. is paid in money. (fn. 242) For Goosnargh with Newsham £77 7s. 8d. is available for the apprenticing of children by the gift of John Parkinson, (fn. 243) and £47 18s. 8d. is given in money and kind from the foundations of Lawrence Parkinson and others. (fn. 244) In Whittingham £8 13s. 8d. is given yearly in money doles. (fn. 245) Several gifts to Goosnargh have been lost. (fn. 246)