A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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BARNACRE WITH BONDS
Bernaker, 1450. Byrewath, 1292; Byrewayth, 1357. Grenolf, 1347. Howath, 1274; Hawath, 1276. Lingarth, 1276. Wedacre, Wedaker, 1276; Wodacre, 1292.
Bonds lies in the south-west of the township, occupying 960 acres out of the total area of 4,494½. (fn. 1) The name is applied especially to the hamlet by the bridge over the Wyre, carrying the high road from Preston to the north into the adjacent town of Garstang. The surface is in general level, but there is a small hill in the south, round which are Dimples to the east, Bowgrave and Howath south-east and Byrewath or Byerworth west. In the north end of Bonds are the remains of Greenhalgh Castle and the farm or hamlet of Lingart.
Barnacre, the main portion of the township, occupies higher ground to the north and east, over 600 ft. above sea level being attained, but the surface falls away somewhat at the eastern and northern boundaries, formed respectively by the Calder and Grizedale Brook. In the north-west corner, on level ground beside the Wyre, is Woodscre, formerly Wedacre; towards the eastern border are Eidsforth and Kelbrick, and in the south-east are Sullam Side and Stirzacre. On the high land at the north end are reservoirs of the Fylde Waterworks.
A detached part of Catterall was added to this township in 1887; at the same time a detached portion of Barnacre called the Banks was added to Cabus. (fn. 2) The population of the township, including Bowgrave and Calder Vale, was 1,117 in 1901.
The principal road is that already mentioned from Preston northwards; from it another branches off east and then north over the hilly portion of the township. The London and North-Western Company's main line to Scotland runs north through the western side, having a station named Garstang and Catterall nearly two miles by road from the town of Garstang. From the station a single-line railway branches off westward to Pilling and Knott End. The Preston and Lancaster Canal winds through Bonds and crosses the Wyre into Garstang by an aqueduct.
The Garstang Union Workhouse, built in 1876, is in Bonds.
The soil is clay; wheat is grown, but most of the land is in pasture. There was formerly a papermill on the Calder.
The enlarged township is governed by a parish council.
The Thirlmere water supply is conveyed through the township towards Manchester.
A square masonry well near Woodacre Hall is known as the Spa Well, and is believed to have healing qualities. (fn. 3)
The base stone of an ancient cross remains at Stirzacre, and the sites of four others are known. (fn. 4)
Though in some late documents a manor of BARNACRE is named, (fn. 5) the place was formerly no more than a hamlet in the manor of Garstang or Nether Wyresdale. (fn. 6) There were within it a number of smaller estates or manors which call for notice.
The principal of these is Woodacre or WEDACRE, once the residence of the Rigmaiden family. They were for three centuries lords of a moiety of Nether Wyresdale, and this moiety was spoken of as the manor of Wedacre. The origin of their title having been narrated above, (fn. 7) it remains to give an account of the descent. John de Rigmaiden and Isolda his wife, the first in possession, (fn. 8) had two sons, John and Marmaduke. John son of John de Rigmaiden in 1323 settled two plough-lands, &, in Wyresdale and Garstang upon his son Thomas and Joan his wife, together with a moiety of the manor of Wyresdale and rents in various townships. (fn. 9) John was still living in 1331, (fn. 10) but Thomas was dead in 1328, and his widow Joan afterwards married Robert de Culwen; she was still living in 1348. (fn. 11) Thomas left an infant son John, (fn. 12) who married Lettice, afterwards the wife of Richard de Molyneux of Great Crosby. (fn. 13) John de Rigmaiden died in 1355 (fn. 14); his heir was a daughter Joan, who died without issue in or before 1362. (fn. 15)
Wedacre was then claimed by Thomas de Rigmaiden, son of Marmaduke above named. (fn. 16) A settlement was made by him of this moiety of the manor of Wyresdale in 1366–71, the remainders being to John the son of Thomas, who was to marry Margaret daughter of Robert de Hornby, and in default of issue to Richard, William and Peter, brothers of John; to John son of William de Bradkirk and Agnes his wife, daughter of Thomas de Rigmaiden. (fn. 17) John de Rigmaiden afterwards married Elizabeth, (fn. 18) and dying at Wedacre in 1379 (fn. 19) before his father, left by her a son and heir named Thomas, who proved his age in 1397. (fn. 20) Thomas Rigmaiden held the moiety of Nether Wyresdale in 1431, (fn. 21) and appears to have left a son Nicholas, in possession in 1445. (fn. 22)
Nicholas Rigmaiden died in 1478 holding the manor of Wedacre of the king as of his duchy by fealty and a rent of 2s. 6d.; his son John having died, the heir was John's son Nicholas Rigmaiden, then thirty years of age. (fn. 23) This Nicholas died in or before 1496 (fn. 24); he seems to have married Margaret, one of the daughters and co-heirs of Robert Lawrence of Ashton and Carnforth, (fn. 25) and to have left a son John, (fn. 26) whose son and heir Thomas proved his age in 1514, (fn. 27) and died in 1520, leaving a son John, only five years old. (fn. 28) John Rigmaiden died in 1557 holding a moiety of the manor of Nether Wyresdale of the king and queen by knight's service and a rent of 2s. 6d. yearly. (fn. 29)
The heir was a namesake, grandson of the abovenamed Thomas's brother John, and thirty years of age. He recorded a pedigree in 1567, (fn. 30) and in 1585 was discharged from his office of master forester of Quernmore and Wyresdale on account of disorders there and destruction of the deer. (fn. 31) He died in 1587 holding the moiety of Nether Wyresdale as before, and leaving a son Walter, thirty years of age, (fn. 32) who was a lunatic. (fn. 33) He died between 1598 (fn. 34) and 1602, and in the latter year his representatives sold his estate to Sir Thomas Gerard, (fn. 35) who had inherited the other moiety of Nether Wyresdale.
After this Wedacre for a time ceased to be a seat of the lords of Wyresdale and in itself became the residence of a family named Fyfe. (fn. 36) John Fyfe raised a company of men for the Parliament in the Civil War, (fn. 37) and was killed at the storming of Bolton by Prince Rupert in 1644. (fn. 38) He was succeeded by his brother William, (fn. 39) a physician, who recorded a pedigree in 1664–5. (fn. 40) On his death in 1671 the lord of the manor took up his residence there. It was sold with other of the Duke of Hamilton's estates in 1854, and became the property of William Thompson of Underley and Kendal, whose daughter and heir Amelia married the Earl of Bective, who in 1870 after her death became Marquess of Headfort and died in 1894. Their son Thomas Earl of Bective had died in 1893 and his daughter Olivia wife of Lord Henry Cavendish Bentinck succeeded to Wedacre, Greenhalgh and other estates. (fn. 41) Wedacre and the Barnacre estate, together with Greenhalgh and Lingart, were purchased from Lord Bective's representatives in 1899 by the late Thomas Henry Rushton. On his death in 1903 they descended to his son, the present owner, Mr. James L. Rushton of Barnacre Lodge. (fn. 42)
Wedacre occurs as a surname. (fn. 43) Of the other tenants there is little record. (fn. 44) Stirzacre is partly in Catterall. (fn. 45) Sandholme, Sullam and Eidsforth are other places in Barnacre occasionally mentioned.
Bonds does not appear to be an ancient name, but in this part of the township are several estates once of some note. HOWATH was a general name for the southern part, (fn. 46) which, like much of Barnacre, was regarded as pertaining to Catterall, (fn. 47) but the 'manor of Howath' was the estate of the Knights Hospitallers there. It was described as the mansion of St. John Baptist upon Howath with the chapel and lands, and about 1200 was given to the order by Robert son of Bernard lord of Catterall, together with other lands. (fn. 48) There appears to have been a small hospital there. (fn. 49) Roger de Wedacre was the tenant in 1302, when the prior complained that goods seized in distraint for a fine imposed at the prior's court had been rescued by Robert son of Simon de Garstang. (fn. 50) Afterwards it was acquired by Richard Shirebume of Stony hurst together with Siidd, (fn. 51) and descended with his estates till the 18th century. (fn. 52) The chapel of St. John there is not heard of later. The Hoghtons of Hoghton (fn. 53) had lands in Howath and Catterall held of the Hospitallers by 2s. 6d. rent. (fn. 54) William Baylton died in 1638 holding a messuage, &, in Catterall and Barnacre of the king as of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. (fn. 55) His son William, then thirty years of age, was a Royalist, and in the Commonwealth period had to compound for his lands. (fn. 56)
Cockenand Abbey had land in Howath (fn. 57) and BYREWATH, (fn. 58) which latter place was held by Brockholes of Claughton. (fn. 59)
GREENHALGH, 2 oxgangs of land, was in 1347 held of the lord of Wyresdale by William Banastre by knight's service. (fn. 60) This land afterwards came into the possession of the first Earl of Derby, who in 1490 obtained the king's licence to fortify his manor-house there and to inclose a park. (fn. 61) Camden states that the earl was 'in fear of certain outlawed gentlemen of this shire, whose possessions King Henry VII had freely given unto him; for many an assault they gave him and other whiles in hostile manner made inroads into his lands, until the moderate carriage of the good and worthy man, and process of time, pacified these quarrels. (fn. 62) The castle then erected became famous in the Civil War, as already stated, and after being destroyed the ruin remained in the hands of the earls till about 1865, (fn. 63) when it was sold to Lord Kenlis, afterwards (1870) Earl of Bective. (fn. 64) As above stated, it is now the property of Mr. Rushton.
The ruins of the castle (fn. 65) stand on a slight eminence half a mile or more to the east of Garstang, and consist of the remains of a single tower 24 ft. square externally, constructed of rubble sandstone masonry, with angle quoins, the walls of which are 5 ft. thick. Whitaker, writing about 1822, states that the building had been a. rectangle nearly approaching a square, with a tower at each angle standing diagonally to each adjoining wall. The interval between the two towers was 14 yds. on one side and 16 yds. on the other.' (fn. 66) The elevation on which the castle stands is said to have been originally surrounded by a marshy swamp, the only natural connexion with firm land being on the north-east side, but the wet land has long been drained. (fn. 67) It would, however, add to the defensive position of the building, and was probably a contributing factor to the choice of site, helping, in addition, to supply the moat, traces of which are still visible. Apparently nothing has been done to preserve the castle since the siege of 1645, the action of time and weather, supplemented by the local practice of using the ruins as a stone quarry, having reduced it to its present condition.
The portion still standing is one of the western towers, the highest part of the walling of which, on the north-east and north-west sides, is about 25 ft. to 30 ft. in height. It shows internally marks of a wooden floor 10 ft. above the ground, and there was probably another floor above this; but the upper part of the walls is entirely gone and the building is open on the south side, the walls being only about 5 ft. above the ground. In the east angle is a passage-way 3 ft. 6 in. wide, which formerly led to the main building, and opposite in the west wall are three embrasures, one in the centre and one set diagonally at each angle, that on the west facing directly towards Garstang and commanding the bridge or ford across the Wyre. The interior of the tower, which measures 14 ft. 6 in. by 14 ft., is now strewn over with broken masonry, large portions of walling having fallen within the last forty years, (fn. 68) and the lower parts of the external angles and masonry bordering the window openings are broken away. On the north-east side are garderobes, and in the portion of the south-west wall which still remains part of an embrasure like that on the north-west. The top of the knoll occupied by the ruins forms a square of about 35 yds., the excavation of which would probably disclose the foundations of the castle.
The Pleasington family or families frequently occur in the parish. (fn. 69) One of them was in the 16th and 17th centuries seated at DIMPLES, (fn. 70) and recorded a pedigree in 1613. (fn. 71) They were recusants and Royalists, (fn. 72) and in 1716 the estate was forfeited, John Pleasington being convicted of high treason. (fn. 73) His uncle John Pleasington was a priest, residing chiefly at Puddington Hall in Cheshire. In the excitement created by the Oates Plot private malice caused him to be denounced and arrested. It was difficult to procure evidence against him, but three former members of his flock who had become Protestants swore to his having said mass and otherwise exercised his office. He was thereupon condemned and executed at Chester 19 July 1679. (fn. 74) The cause of his beatification was allowed to be introduced at Rome in l886. (fn. 75)
LINGART, Lingard, or Lingarth is another estate of which some particulars are on record. It belonged in part to the abbey of Cockersand, (fn. 76) and gave a surname to the family holding it. (fn. 77) A branch of the Faringtons succeeded (fn. 78); a pedigree was recorded in 1567. (fn. 79)
Few other references to the township occur. (fn. 80) An inclosure award was made in 1772. (fn. 81)
In 1689 the Presbyterians had a licensed meetingplace in Barnacre and the Quakers one in Wedacre. (fn. 82) These do not seem to have resulted in permanent buildings. In 1828, however, a meeting-house for the Society of Friends was built in Bonds, near Calder Bridge, and it continues to be used. (fn. 83)
The Roman Catholic church of St. Mary and St. Michael was built in 1858 in Bonds, near Garstang Bridge, to replace the older chapel in Garstang. (fn. 84)