A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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CLAUGHTON (fn. 1)
Clactun, Dom. Bk.; Clahton, 1208; Clacton, 1212; Clauton, 1241; Clagton, 1255; Claghton, 1297. Local pronunciation Clafton.
This parish, with a single township only, is the smallest in the county, the area being 1,581 acres, including 9 acres of inland water. (fn. 2) The north-west boundary is formed by the Lune, which here flows through a green and level valley over half a mile wide. To the south-east of this the surface steadily rises from about 60 ft. above sea level to over 1,150 ft. at Hewrigg. The lower slopes of this hill-side are pleasantly wooded, and the surface is broken by a number of little doughs, some of them well wooded, down which run Claughton Beck and other brooks to join the Lune. In one place, behind the church, is a fine waterfall. The upper slopes are bare moorland.
The principal road, that from Lancaster north-east to Hornby, goes along the foot of the hill. The parish church stands by it, and, though there is nothing to call a village, a number of houses, including the old hall, are ranged along the road. The Midland Railway Company's line also passes through the township, below the main road, but there is no public station. The population in 1901 numbered 140.
The parish has no distinctive history, but it is interesting to notice that one of its landowners about 1220 took his way to the Holy Land, and apparently never returned. (fn. 3) To the county lay of 1624, based on the old 'fifteenth,' Claughton paid £5 16s. 10½d. when the hundred of Lonsdale had to raise £100, and so in proportion. The soil is fertile, overlying limestone, and there are 956 acres of permanent pasture and 156 of woods and plantations. (fn. 4) Bricks and tiles are made, and formerly the flagstone quarries on the hill-side were worked.
The parish is governed by a parish council.
In 1066 CLAUGHTON like Caton was among the manors of Torfin of Austwick (fn. 7); the assessment is not given separately, but was in later times 9 or 10 oxgangs of land. Early in the 12th century it was held by the ancestors of the Kellet family in thegnage and became subdivided. In 1212 Gilbert de Kellet held it with Kellet and Bare, but a third part had been granted out to a certain Adam, and 30 acres had been given to Gospatrick the White at 1s. free rent. (fn. 8)
It is impossible, on account of the scanty and conflicting evidence, to trace the descent of the various portions clearly. (fn. 9) A moiety of the lordship soon descended to the Crofts of Dalton, but in later times they did not claim anything except the advowson of the church. Roger de Croft died in 1255 holding 4½ oxgangs of land in Claughton of the king by a rent of 26d.; also the fifth part of a water-mill there. (fn. 10) The other moiety was held by a family surnamed Claughton. (fn. 11) In 1297 Roger de Croft and William de Claughton held each a plough-land and 2 oxgangs in Claughton and Over Kellet by a rent of 5s. 9d., (fn. 12) while about the same time Roger son of Henry de Croft and William de Claughton were stated to be jointly seised of the lordship of Claughton. (fn. 13) In 1324 three lords are named—John Fleming holding a third, Henry de Croft a fourth, and John de Claughton a third, rendering 20d., 12d. and 20d. respectively to the Earl of Lancaster, or 4s. 4d. in all. (fn. 14) The Fleming portion appears to be that anciently granted to Adam, (fn. 15) while Henry de Croft's, from its service, was Gospatrick's. (fn. 16)
Quite another distribution is shown in the survey of 1346, though the total service is the same. At that time John de Croft of Dalton held 2 oxgangs of land and two-thirds, paying 12d.; Henry de Croft of Claughton held 3 oxgangs by 17d.; Edmund de Hornby the same; and William Doggeson 1 oxgang by 6d. (fn. 17) The last-named seems to have held the twelfth part of the lordship not recorded in 1324. The Hornby share then represented that of Claughton. (fn. 18) Though the Fleming share is not expressly named it existed, (fn. 19) and descended with Coniston until the 16th century (fn. 20); it was then acquired by Thompson. (fn. 21) The Doggeson share can be traced a little further. (fn. 22) The share of John de Croft appears to have been acquired by the Redmaynes (fn. 23) and Claughtons. (fn. 24)
The Crofts of Claughton, who resided in the township and ultimately became sole lords, were a branch of the Dalton family, receiving the remnant of Claughton as an inheritance, (fn. 25) but little definite appears (fn. 26) until the death of John Croft in 1416. He was found to have held a third part of the manor of the king as duke by the rent of 18d. (fn. 27) From this time the record is complete until the beginning of the 17th century. The Redmayne and Claughton third of the manor was acquired in 1565 (fn. 28) and 1581, (fn. 29) and the Fleming or Thompson share probably about the same time, so that William Croft at his death in 1606 (fn. 30) and his brother and successor Edward in 1614 held the whole manor by a rent of 4s. 4d.; also the advowson of the church (or a moiety of it) and various messuages and lands. (fn. 31) Cockersand Abbey had long had an estate in the township, (fn. 32) and this also had been acquired by the family. (fn. 33)
Henry Croft, son of Edward, succeeded and at his death in 1625 the manor went to his brother Edward. (fn. 34) The family had hitherto adhered to the Roman Catholic religion, (fn. 35) but Edward conformed and in 1632 he compounded for the arrears due for recusancy. (fn. 36) The estates were soon afterwards mortgaged and sold, Francis Sherington of Worsley and his descendants becoming owners of part at least. (fn. 37) The manor was in 1702 purchased by Thomas Fenwick of Burrow, (fn. 38) and descended with that manor till 1898, when it was sold by the late Thomas F. Fenwick to the Claughton Manor Brick Company, Limited, the present lords of the manor. The lord's rents, free fishery, mines and minerals, the old hall and the advowson of the church were included in the purchase. The last court baron was held in 1903. (fn. 39)
CLAUGHTON HALL, (fn. 40) the home of the Croft family, is a picturesque building now used as a farmhouse, standing on the lower slope of the hill just above and south-west of the church, overlooking the Lune valley to the north. The main building is [capital L]-shaped with north and east wings, the inner sides of which facing south and west are respectively 57 ft. and 45 ft. in length. The house appears to have been built at two different times, the east wing being the older, its south end yet showing detail apparently of Elizabethan date. The whole of this wing may, indeed, represent a 16th-century house which faced the east, but this is very uncertain, though the present disposition of the buildings on that side suggests a house of the usual middle-hall type. The north wing appears to have been added in the 17th century when probably the older portion of the structure was remodelled, assuming more or less the appearance of the later work. The architectural history of the building is, however, difficult to follow, nearly all the internal walls having been removed in comparatively recent times and the interior adapted to the requirements of a modern farm-house, the original plan being consequently lost.
The building is of stone and two stories in height with mullioned and transomed windows and stone slated roofs. The north front is rather unusual in design, being broken up with chimneys and flanked by towers standing well in front of the main wall, that to the west having a low-pitched hipped roof with overhanging eaves and the other, which is smaller at the base but corbelled out above, finishing with a stone gable and saddle-backed roof. The total length of the principal or north front is nearly 80 ft. and of the east front about a foot less, and there is a low building 40 ft. by 29 ft., now used as a shippon, attached to the north-east angle, and a smaller one-story block 16 ft. wide built out at right angles from the south end of the east wing, which together form a kind of courtyard (now a garden) on the east side of the house. The west half of the west wing is in a semi-ruined condition and is now used as stables and shippons, and the north-west tower is gutted. The hall and dwelling rooms seem to have been in the north wing and the kitchen and offices in the east, the principal entrance to the hall being by a projecting porch, going up both stories, on the south side, the upper part forming a large bay window on the first floor of six double-transomed lights and two on each return, now all built up. The mutilation of the north wing, however, has been so great that the size of the hall and its actual position are difficult to determine, but it seems unlikely that it extended further west than the fireplace on the north side, leaving a room at the west end from which the north-west tower was gained. There was a door, now built up, in the north wall, with a window on either side, but there is no trace left of a screen arrangement, the entrance under the north-east tower being apparently a modern insertion. The north wing is now, however, divided into at something less than half its length by a modern wall. Over the hall there appears to have been a large room at the west end with fireplace on the north side and a mullioned and transomed window of nine lights, now built up, on the south, the south front having been originally of much more importance than now The north-west tower measures 10 ft. square internally, its two lower stories being lighted by plain two-light windows on the north side. Its top story, however, has a mullioned and transomed window of eight lights the full length of its north wall with two lights on each return, forming, along with the two adjoining chimneys, a very picturesque feature. (fn. 41) There are two transomed windows of four lights each in the upper story of the main north front, which finishes with a straight parapet of dressed stone, and the north-east gabled tower has an eightlight window facing north in the top story and two smaller mullioned windows each of four lights below. At the south end of the east wing facing east is an oriel window of four trefoil-headed lights in the upper floor carried upon bull-nosed corbels, with embattled transom and sill, near which in the wall below is a carved stone with the arms of Croft held by a figure, and another with the initials and date I. C., 1673. The latter, however, may belong to some other building or to the later portion of the house, having been found in an adjoining field in modern times and afterwards placed in its present position. (fn. 42) A wide archway at the south end of the east wing, below the oriel window, is now built up, though a door remains in the opening. The roof of the shippon to the north-east of the house is supported by two carved oak principals, or crucks, 16 ft. apart and 9 ft. from each end of the building.
A minor branch of the Croft family once resided at West Hall in the township, (fn. 43) and the surname exists in the district to the present time. Margaret Croft, widow, and William her son registered their estates as 'Papists' in 1717. (fn. 44) One or two others did the same. (fn. 45)
An inclosure award was made in 1806. (fn. 46)
The church of ST. CHAD stands on rising ground on the south side of the road close to the hall, and is a small rectangular stone building measuring externally 50 ft. by 20 ft. erected in 1815 on the site of an older building, of which the east window is the only part now remaining. (fn. 47) The church was restored in 1904 and enlarged by the addition of an aisle, vestry and porch on the north side, the old west door being built up and the former vestry, which was at the south-east corner, pulled down. The aisle is 8 ft. wide, and is separated from the nave by an arcade of three semicircular arches on round piers, the total width of the building inside being now 25 ft. 10 in. The older walling is of rubble and appears to have been originally rough-cast, and the roofs are slated and have overhanging eaves. In the west wall, immediately over the built-up doorway, is a panel within a moulded stone frame with the arms and initials of W. Croft and the date 1602. (fn. 48) The east window is pointed and of three trefoiled lights with the mullions crossing in the head forming three quatrefoils, but is without hood mould, and may be of 14th-century date. The three windows on the south side are of 1904 date, replacing the original early 19th-century lights. The interior has no features of antiquarian or architectural interest, (fn. 49) all the fittings being modern. In the vestry, however, is preserved an oak communion table dated 1636, and there are a portion of a trefoiled window head and an 18th-century classic font. The font in use was given by Canon Grenside when curate here in 1855. In the south-west corner of the churchyard, which falls from south to north, is the base of a cross, the shaft of which, set upside down, is in the adjoining lane near Claughton Hall.
There are two bells hung in a stone turret with segmental pedimented head over the west gable. One of these bears the inscription + ANNO · DNI · M · CC · NONOC° · AI, and is the oldest dated (1296) bell in the kingdom. (fn. 50) The second is by Luke Ashton of Wigan, and is inscribed 'Nicholas Fenwick Esqr. H. Croft. T. Sweetlove Wardens 1727.'
The plate consists of a silver chalice of 1709–10 inscribed 'The Gift of S. Needham sometime Rector, Claughton Communion Cup 1710,' and a plated paten with ' De° et Ecclesiae S. Ceddae Claughton A° 1851' scratched on the underside.
The registers begin in 1701.
The church afforded sanctuary (fn. 51) in 1537.
Originally no doubt the advowson of the church belonged to the lord of the manor, (fn. 52) but became divided with the land, and in the time of Henry III Roger son of Henry de Croft gave his moiety to Cockersand Abbey, (fn. 53) the other moiety being given to the canons by Godith daughter of William son of Orm de Kellet. (fn. 54) These grants, though ratified by the heirs of the benefactors, appear to have been invalid, for in later times the patronage was exercised by the Crofts (fn. 55) of Dalton, and on a partition in 1489 it was agreed that the lords of Dalton and Leighton should present alternately. (fn. 56) There was a dispute as to the right in 1557, (fn. 57) and a little later the Crofts of Claughton purchased the Leighton share of the advowson, (fn. 58) the Leghs of Lyme, as heirs of Croft of Dalton, likewise claiming. (fn. 59) The sole right of the latter appears to have been recognized ultimately, though in 1650 they were said to present alternately with the lords of the manor, (fn. 60) and in 1807 the co-heirs of Peter Legh sold the advowson to Thomas Fenwick of Burrow, (fn. 61) and it has since descended with the manor to the Claughton Manor Brick Company; their chairman, Mr. John William Craven, acts as patron. (fn. 62)
The value of the rectory was estimated as 10 marks in 1291, but as only 4 marks after the Scottish invasion of 1322 (fn. 63); and 53s. 4d. was also the value of the ninth of sheaves, &c., in 1341. (fn. 64) In 1527 it was estimated at £6 13s. 4d., (fn. 65) as in 1291, and in 1535 at £9 14s. 10d. clear. (fn. 66) This had risen to £28 by 1650, when an augmentation of £20 was also paid out of Royalist sequestrations by order of the Committee of Plundered Ministers. (fn. 67) The value was certified as £27 about 1717, (fn. 68) but is now given as £112. (fn. 69)
The following have been rectors:—
|Instituted||Name||Patron||Cause of Vacancy|
|oc. 1230||Richard (fn. 70)||—||—|
|oc. 1246||Robert (fn. 71)||—||—|
|c. 1300||Ralph (fn. 72)||—||—|
|oc. 1302–3||Thomas (fn. 73)||—||—|
|oc. 1326–45||Hugh de Kernetby (fn. 74)||—||—|
|oc. 1363–75||Bernard de Pullow (fn. 75)||—||—|
|oc. 1396||John de Claughton (fn. 76)||—||—|
|31 Oct. 1427||John Gressingham (fn. 77)||Nicholas Croft||d J de Claughton|
|10 June 1437||Thomas Bellingham (fn. 78)||"||d J Gressingham|
|Oct. 1445||John Primett (fn. 79)||"||—|
|20 Jan. 1456–7||Oliver Bland (fn. 80)||Sir Thomas Harrington||d. J. Primett|
|11 June 1474||Robert Allanson (fn. 81)||Heirs of N. Croft||d. O. Bland|
|oc. 1489||Roger Middleton (fn. 82)||—||—|
|c. 1515||John Dockwray (fn. 83)||Sir Piers Legh||—|
|c. 1540||Thomas Levyns (fn. 84)||Gervase Middleton||—|
|1557||Thomas Croft (fn. 85)||Thomas Procter||d. T. Levyns|
|—||Thomas Carter (fn. 86)||—||—|
|20 June 1584||Richard Senhouse (fn. 87)||Gabriel Croft||d. T. Carter|
|12 Nov. 1628||Richard Newton, M.A. (fn. 88)||Edward Croft||d. R. Senhouse|
|8 Jan. 1630–1||Edward Cresswell, M.A. (fn. 89)||Sir Piers Legh||depr. R. Newton|
|oc. 1647–52||Edward Ashton, B.A. (fn. 90)||—||—|
|1659||Henry Kidson, M.A. (fn. 91)||—||—|
|30 Sept. 1678||Leonard Jackson, M.A. (fn. 92)||Gabriel Croft||d. H. Kidson|
|27 May 1681||Samuel Needham, B.A. (fn. 93)||Richard Legh||"|
|22 Feb. 1683–4||Ralph Standish (fn. 94)||"||res. S. Needham|
|14 Mar. 1690–1||Richard Weever, B.A. (fn. 95)||Peter Legh||depr. R. Standish|
|7 Aug. 1691||Anthony Procter, B.A. (fn. 96)||"||res. R. Weever|
|27 Jan. 1700–1||Samuel Lever, M.A. (fn. 97)||"||d. A. Procter|
|8 Mar. 1711–12||Thomas Holme (fn. 98)||Bp. of Chester||—|
|5 May 1741||Thomas Knowles, M.A. (fn. 99)||Peter Legh||d. T. Holme|
|5 May 1773||Robert Armitstead (fn. 100)||"||d. T. Knowles|
|16 Apr. 1807||Thomas Wilson, B.D. (fn. 101)||Lord Lilford, &c.||d. R. Armitstead|
|20 Dec. 1813||Henry White, M.A. (fn. 102)||Thomas Fenwick||d. T. Wilson|
|28 Sept. 1844||John Reid, B.A. (fn. 103)||Fenwick Trustees||d. H. White|
|1857||John Chaine||"||res. J. Reid|
|1862||Percival Bowen, M.A. (fn. 104)||Edward Matthew Fenwick||d. J. Chaine|
|1873||Thomas Machell Remington, M.A. (fn. 105)||Fenwick Trustees||d. P. Bowen|
|1885||Edward Kent Green, M.A. (fn. 106)||Thomas Fenwick-Fenwick||rs. T.M. Remington|
|1899||Edward Harrison, B.A. (fn. 107)||J. W. Craven||res. E. K. Green|
The list of rectors does not call for any comment except that Samuel Needham was ejected as a nonjuror in 1689. A curate is named in the visitation lists of 1548 to 1562, but it may be doubted whether there were then usually two priests resident at Claughton. Many of the later rectors did not reside. Thomas Wilson, rector from 1807 till his death in 1813, was a scholar of some distinction; he had been master of Clitheroe Grammar School, and published an Archaeological Dictionary in 1783. (fn. 108) There is no school.
There was formerly a Roman Catholic chapel near the hall, (fn. 109) but this was in 1820 removed to Hornby.