A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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Chipping; Thornley with Wheatley
This secluded parish, (fn. 1) still uncrossed by a railway line, lies in the hilly country between Longridge Fell on the south and Parlick and Fairsnape Fell on the north; the principal stream is the Loud, dividing the two townships as it flows north-east to join the Hodder. The area is 8,854½ acres, and the population in 1901 numbered 1,133.
The district was called Chippingdale; but this term covered a somewhat wider area than the present parish.
Few antiquities have been found, but a Roman road crossed part of Thornley.
The transference of the parish from its original hundred of Amounderness to that of Blackburn was probably a consequence of the grant of the manor to the lords of Clitheroe. Ecclesiastically it remained in the deanery of Amounderness.
It was one of the parishes laid waste by the Scots in 1322, but apart from this its story has been as peaceful and uneventful as from its out-of-the-way situation might be expected.
To the tax called the fifteenth Chipping paid 28s. and Thornley with Wheatley 17s. 6d., when the hundred paid £37 1s. 7d. (fn. 2) To the county lay of 1624 the two portions paid respectively £2 19s. 6d. and £1 17s. 2d. towards £100 levied on the hundred. (fn. 3)
In 1666 the East End of Chipping had seventyone hearths liable to be taxed and the West End forty-five, but no house had more than four hearths. In Thornley Alexander Osbaldeston's house had seven hearths and Henry Shireburne's the same; no other dwelling had more than three. (fn. 4)
The agricultural land is thus classified: arable land, 46 acres; permanent grass, 6,721; woods and plantations, 75. (fn. 5)
The church of ST. BARTHOLOMEW stands on rising ground at the north-west side of the village and consists of chancel and nave with north and south aisles, south porch, west tower and a modern vestry at the northeast corner of the north aisle. The chancel and nave are without structural division and under one roof, marked, however on the outside by a very slight difference in height, the total length being 75 ft., and are open on each side to the aisles by an arcade of five pointed arches. The east end of the chancel, which is 15 ft. wide, is inclosed north and south for a length of 7 ft. by a blank wall, and the aisles, which are unequal in width, are continued the full length of the chancel, the east wall of the building being straight and unbroken, but they stop short of the full length of the nave at the west end. The wider north aisle is under a separate gabled roof of equal height to that of the nave, but the nave roof is continued over the south aisle at a slightly flatter pitch. Both roofs are covered with stone slates and have overhanging eaves, and the walls are constructed of local rubble without plinth, but with buttresses of two stages and diagonal ones at the angles.
The church is largely an early 16th-century rebuilding of an older edifice, which, judging from the north arcade and the piscina in the chancel, seems to have been of 13th-century date. Little or nothing, however, can be said with certainty about the plan or extent of this early building, as the later reconstruction has made the architectural evidence rather elusive, but the plan suggests that the church had north and south aisles in mediaeval times and that having become dilapidated the south aisle was rebuilt about 1506 with a new spacing of the bays to which it was intended to adapt the north arcade. In the end the north arcade, however, perhaps because it was in a better state of preservation, was left more or less as it was, but the piers were largely rebuilt and new caps introduced, fragments of the older work being used up. (fn. 6) There are no traces of an ancient chancel, but if such existed eastward of the present plan it was probably destroyed before the end of the 16th century. There is, however, no evidence of this and the character of the original eastern termination can only be surmised. The 13th-century piscina in the short length of the present chancel wall is probably not in its original position, but if it is, then it is possible that the 13th-century church consisted of a nave extending only as far as the third pier of the north arcade from the east, but possibly further westward. The two west arches are wider than the others and the capital of the pier in question is of a more or less nondescript character. It is scarcely likely that the present arrangement of plan without a structural chancel is that which originally obtained. The tower is an addition or rebuilding of the early 16th century, to which period the rest of the building, where not modern, belongs. In 1702 the church is said to have been reseated, in 1754 a gallery was erected at the west end of the nave, and in 1811 a considerable amount of repairs seems to have been done. (fn. 7) Previous to 1872 the exterior was whitewashed, (fn. 8) but in that year a thorough restoration of the building was commenced, the roof being found to be dilapidated, the tower unsafe and the masonry of the windows decayed. The north and south walls and south porch were then rebuilt, the ceiling and gallery removed and the church seated with open benches. There was a partial renovation of the building in 1909.
The chancel is 25 ft. 9 in. long, occupying the two easternmost bays, but the wood screen which formerly stood in line with the second pier has disappeared, (fn. 9) and the chancel is now only differentiated from the nave by the raising of the floor and the arrangement of the seating. The east window, the mullions of which have been renewed, is of five cinquefoiled lights with hollow-chamfered jambs and external hood mould and a low elliptical-arched head without tracery. The 13th-century piscina in the south wall has a trefoiled head, edge-roll moulding and nail-head ornament, but its bowl is gone. In the north wall is a recess with pointed head, 16 in. wide, originally an opening but now built up and used as a credence. The roofs and fittings of the chancel together with those of the rest of the church are modern, the oak quire stalls being erected in 1909. The walls throughout are plastered internally.
The north arcade has five pointed arches of two chamfered orders springing from octagonal piers, 1 ft. 9 in. in diameter and 6 ft. in height to the top of the caps. The arches may be the original 13th-century ones and some parts of the caps, as already stated, are probably of this date. Three of these caps follow the section of the piers and are simply moulded with a plain square upper and rounded lower member. One of them is quite plain, but the other two are carved in the neck with, for the most part, very elementary patterns such as an unskilled carver might naturally use at any period, and are probably of the time of the 16th-century rebuilding. On two sides of the westernmost cap, however, there are representations of mediaeval tracery of a type common c. 1300, consisting of two small circles, one with quatrefoil cusping and the other of the 'rose tournante' type, and a pointed 'window' of three lights with the mullions intersecting in the head, and on the same cap a dragon also occurs. It seems likely, however, that all this work is of one date, the new capitals being carved by a workman of eclectic tastes having a general knowledge of mediaeval forms. The 'rose tournante' occurs also on the base of the font, which is of 16th-century date. The cap of the third pier from the east is a made-up one and on the east side is carved with four heads and a beak which seem to be original 13th-century work, and the west respond has also two heads apparently of equal date. The impost of the east respond, however, suggests rough work of early 16th-century type, and is evidently coeval with the patterns on the two caps to which reference has already been made. The late date of these seems clear from the introduction of a pointed 'window' as an ornament in a horizontal position, suggesting a period when mediaeval forms were copied without being understood. The south arcade consists of five pointed arches of two chamfered orders on octagonal piers 16 in. in diameter, with moulded caps and chamfered bases, 9 ft. high to the top of the caps, and spaced without reference to the piers on the opposite side. The north aisle is 70 ft. 6 in. long by 15 ft. 4 in. wide, and is lit by three square-headed windows of four trefoiled lights in the rebuilt north wall, with a modern window of three trefoiled lights at the east and an old one of four lights at the west end. The aisle extends 6 ft. 6 in. west of the arcade and formerly possessed, 'near the east end of the north wall,' a low side window about 18 in. high, 8 in. wide, and 2 ft. from the ground, (fn. 10) which was done away with in the restoration of 1872–3, when a small vestry was erected at the north end of the aisle on the north side. The organ now occupies the east end. The south aisle is 68 ft. 9 in. long and 11 ft. 4 in. wide, and is lit by four square-headed windows of three trefoiled lights in the new south wall, and by an original window of similar type at the east end, the mullions of which have been renewed. The east end of the aisle was formerly the Shireburne chapel, commonly known as the Wolfhouse quire from the name of the residence of its possessor, (fn. 11) and was separated from the rest of the church by a low wooden partition. In the restoration of 1872 a stoup was found in the wall. (fn. 12) There is a priest's door opposite the second bay from the east, the principal entrance being at the west end opposite the fifth bay. West of the door in the south wall is built a plain piscina without bowl, and there is another similar one in the west wall between the window and the arcade. The porch is of stone with gabled roof, the eaves of which come close to the ground. In its east wall is a small arched recess built into the wall. At the east end of the nave roof on the south side is a dormer window of five lights, rebuilt in 1873, with stone mullions and timber gable.
The font, which stands at the west end of the south aisle near the door, is of gritstone, octagonal in shape and of 16th-century date. On each face is a shield, three of which are carved with emblems of the Passion, and the others with the sacred monogram, the initials J. b. and other devices, one side only being blank. The stem has eight hollowed sides, and on the foot is a series of devices in Gothic letters which have been interpreted as A M G + P D T (Ave Maria Gratia Plena Dominus Tecum). (fn. 13)
The tower is 13 ft. square internally with diagonal buttresses of five stages and a vice in the south-west corner. The stages are unmarked externally by any string course and the character of the whole is very plain, the walls being of rubble and terminating in an embattled parapet with continuous moulding to merlons and embrasures and with angle pinnacles. The belfry windows are of two trefoiled lights with stone louvres but without hood moulds. On the north and south sides the walls below the belfry windows are quite plain except for a small square opening on the north and a clock on the south side, but on the west side are a pointed door with moulded jambs and head and a traceried window of three trefoiled lights and external hood mould. The tower arch is of two chamfered orders springing from moulded imposts and was opened out in 1873, the bells being rung from the floor of the church.
A modern stone pulpit replaces one of wood which had a massive canopy and was inscribed with the initials of the Rev. Thomas Clarkson, vicar, and the date 1723.
In the restoration of 1872–3 during the removal of the whitewash several painted texts were brought to light, (fn. 14) but these, with an inscription on the east face of the central pier of the north arcade, (fn. 15) have been lost.
On the face of the east respond of the south arcade is a brass (fn. 16) to the 'two wyves of Robert Parkinson of Fayresnape,' Marie daughter of Jerome Asheton, died 1611, and Anne daughter of George Singleton of Stayninge, died 1623. At the bottom of the inscription are a skull and cross-bones and these lines:—
'Theire partes theire persons and theire vertvovs lyfe Now rest in peace freed from the bond of wyfe.'
There is a tablet on the south wall of the chancel, where he is buried, to the Rev. John Milner, vicar 1739 to 1777, but the other monuments are all modern. They include a brass to the fifteenth Earl of Derby, who died in 1893.
There is a ring of six bells cast by Thomas Mears in 1793.
The plate consists of a chalice of 1601–2 inscribed round the rim 'The Comvnion cupp of ye Churche of Chyping in ye County of Lancaster 1602,' with the maker's mark R.B.; and a paten of 1876 by Elkington inscribed 'St. Bartholomew's Church, Chipping, Easter 1876.' There is also a bread-holder.
The churchyard, which lies principally on the south side of the church and is approached from the road by a broad flight of stone steps, was enlarged in 1863. It contains an old yew tree and a stone sundial dated 1708, inscribed with the initials of the churchwardens. The plate bears the name of Jas. Hunter, maker, Wappin, London. The oldest decipherable dated stone is 1754.
Originally the church may have been a chapel of Preston, the rector of which place claimed the presentation in 1240 (fn. 19); but the right of the lord of Clitheroe, to whom the manor had been given, seems in later times to have been admitted without question, and he and his successors in title presented to Chipping. (fn. 20) Soon after the foundation of the see of Chester by Henry VIII this rectory was in 1546–7 given to the bishop by the king in exchange for certain lands, (fn. 21) and from about that time the bishop enjoyed the profits of the rectory, (fn. 22) appointing a vicar. After the establishment of the see of Manchester the patronage was transferred from Chester, and the Bishop of Manchester now collates. The income of the rectory goes to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.
At the end of the 13th century the benefice was valued at £10 13s. 4d. a year, (fn. 23) but forty years later, after the invasion of the Scots, at only £5. (fn. 24) In 1341 this was still the estimate, Chipping being responsible for 50s. and Thornley for the other 50s. (fn. 25); but by 1535 the estimated value had risen to £25 1s. 8d. (fn. 26) The tithes in 1650 were valued at £85 5s. a year, and there were other profits bringing the total value to over £126 'before the wars,' of which £10 went to the vicar; the officiating minister in 1650 had £60 out of the whole. (fn. 27) After the restoration of episcopacy the minister's stipend would be reduced to its old amount, but in 1720 his income was certified as £36 13s. 4d.; the vicar had also the use of the mansion or parsonage-house. (fn. 28) Grants from Queen Anne's Bounty were obtained in 1768 and later. (fn. 29) The value of the vicarage is now stated as £285.
The following have been rectors and vicars:—
|Instituted||Name||Patron||Cause of Vacancy|
|c. 1230||Robert (fn. 30)||—||—|
|29 Nov. 1240||Peter the Physician (fn. 31)||The King||—|
|5 Nov. 1241||William Lawrence (fn. 32)||"||res. P. the Physician|
|oc. 1279||Ralph de Aldburne (fn. 33)||—||—|
|Roger (fn. 34)||—||—|
|16 Mar. 1326–7||Robert de Langton||Queen Isabel||d. Roger|
|oc. 1348–58||Gilbert de Marsden (fn. 35)||—||—|
|15 Mar. 1368–9||Thomas le Wise (fn. 36)||Duke of Lancaster.||—|
|oc. 1391||John Exton (fn. 37)||—||—|
|11 June 1393||William Whitewell||Duke of Lancaster.||—|
|1 July 1394||Robert Marshford||"||res. W. Whitewell|
|Dec. 1399||John Maryden (fn. 38)||The King||res. Rt. Gowe|
|17 July 1421||John Caton (fn. 39)||"||—|
|28 Jan. 1441–2 .||Lawrence Caton (fn. 40)||"||res. John Caton|
|oc. 1472–80||Thomas Swift (fn. 41)||—||—|
|oc. 1481||James Straitbarrell (fn. 42)||—||—|
|30 Apr. 1523||Thomas Mawdesley (fn. 43)||—||—|
|4 Aug. 1530||Thomas Westby (fn. 44)||—||—|
|12 Feb. 1531||George Wolset, LL.D. (fn. 45)||—||—|
|oc. 1562||John Marsden (fn. 46)||—||—|
|8 Feb. 1589–90||Richard Parker (fn. 47)||Bp. of Chester||—|
|5 Oct. 1616||William Armitstead (fn. 48)||"||—|
|c. 1622||John King (fn. 49)||"||—|
|16 Oct. 1672||Richard White, M.A. (fn. 50)||"||d. J. King|
|12 Aug. 1692||Humphrey Briscoe, B.A. (fn. 51)||"||res. R. White|
|23 Dec. 1701||Thomas Atherton, M.A. (fn. 52)||"||d. H. Briscoe|
|19 Aug. 1721||Thomas Clarkson, M.A. (fn. 53)||"||res. T. Atherton|
|29 May 1738||William Rawstorne (fn. 54)||"||d. T. Clarkson|
|19 Feb. 1738–9.||John Milner, M.A. (fn. 55)||"||res. W. Rawstorne|
|11 Mar. 1778||Thomas Pearce, M.A. (fn. 56)||"||d. J. Milner|
|3 Aug. 1779||William Stockdale (fn. 57)||"||res. T. Pearce|
|21 Nov. 1786||John Carlisle (fn. 58)||"||d. W. Stockdale|
|10 May 1807||James Penny, M.A. (fn. 59)||"||—|
|28 Nov. 1816||Edmund Wilkinson (fn. 60)||"||d. J. Penny|
|8 Nov. 1864||Richard Robinson, B.A. (fn. 61)||Bp. of Manchester||d. E. Wilkinson|
|21 Dec. 1886||John Birch Jones, B.D. (fn. 62)||"||res. R. Robinson|
|1891||George Burwell, M.A. (fn. 63)||Bp. of Manchester||exch. J. B. Jones|
|11 Oct. 1904||Walter Hudson, M.A. (fn. 64)||"||res. G. Burwell|
The free school was established under the will of John Brabin, dated 1683. (fn. 67)
There does not seem to be any record of the normal staff of clergy in this parish before the Reformation. (fn. 68) At each of the visitations of 1548 and 1554 two names are given, but probably only one was resident, and he may have been a domestic chaplain. (fn. 69) The chantry endowment had perhaps been intended partly to secure at least one resident priest. After the rectory was appropriated to the bishopric it may be presumed that the Bishops of Chester usually took care that their vicar should reside, but there is little on record about the parish. The vicar of the Commonwealth period held the benefice during all the changes; and another noteworthy incident is the hostile reception accorded by many of the people to Wesley, when John Milner, the vicar, desired him to preach at Chipping. In June 1752 Wesley and his friend the vicar returned to Chipping from an evangelizing tour, and were informed that the churchwardens and some others were consulting as to the means of preventing Wesley from preaching. After an interview they were pacified, and Wesley preached in the church without disturbance. Next year, however, several of those present stopped Wesley by force from officiating; but a large part of the congregation followed him into the vicarage after prayers, and he preached to them. (fn. 70)
The churchwardens at the visitation of 1753 presented the vicar' for disorderly behaviour in the church on Sunday the 4th of March in the time of divine service; also for absenting himself on several holydays and at divers times neglecting to read prayers as usual; likewise for introducing strange and unlicensed preachers into his pulpit, contrary to the canon.'
In 1755 it was stated that there were in the parish 136 families of Protestants and 38 of Dissenters. (fn. 71)
An inquiry into the charities was made in 1901. (fn. 72) John Brabin, the founder of the schools, also established almshouses, for which there is now an income of £107 5s., but only part of this is spent upon the six almswomen. (fn. 73) Edward Helme in 1691 gave land now producing £35 a year for the general benefit of the poor. (fn. 74) This sum and £16 10s. from another foundation (fn. 75) are distributed in money doles in the township of Chipping. For Thornley with Wheatley there is an endowment of £9 18s. a year, distributed in sheets and flannel and skirts. (fn. 76)