Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

News and Views

Aug 2007 Sep 2007 Oct 2007 Nov 2007 Dec 2007
Jan 2008        


Aug 2007


Sun 26 Aug 2007

Woodlands Day - Yarrow Valley, Chorley.

How lucky were we?? A lovely sunny day with a nice breeze welcomed around 1500 people to the Yarrow Valley Park event. There was lots of interest shown in the Societies display of photographs relating to old Chorley, old Whittle, Astley Hall, Birkacre and the John Winstanley collection of flints, to name but a few, along with our 'historical news items' folder and 'walks and outings' folder and the 'From Romans to Roundabouts' and 'Whittle Walks' books and 'The Birkacre Story' dvd. Other groups taking part included: Chorley Nats., Orienteering, Bat Socy., Birds of Prey, Woodturning, Mask Making, Fly Fishing, Duck Race, Coconut Shy and L.C.C. Trampers, motorised scooters. At 12-30 p.m. there was the official opening of the new footpath to the weir and viewing platform. A good day was had by all. Well done to all the staff, who worked extremely hard pulling it all together.


Sun 19 Aug 2007

Local field walk. - The lost Industries of Birkacre and the Yarrow Valley.

About 20 people came along for Geoff's History Tour. We spent a couple of hours being transported back in time, around Birkacre, from about the 13th Century. Geoff was a mine of information and had obviously spent a lot of time and trouble preparing his journey talk, and walk. 'Birkakre' apparently means 'where the birch trees grow' and was tucked away from the Roman road, which skirted it through Coppull. Birkacre was given to William de Worthington in 1250. In 1398 permission was given to John de Bugh to make a mill pond to divert the water, to drive a cornmill. It was a very active area in the 1700,s comprising an iron works, corn mill, printing works, bleach works and spinning mill and employed people from Coppull, Adlingtonm, Charnock Richard and Chorley. In 1777 Richard Arkwright leased buildings at Birkacre for £180 per year. Then in 1779, 2000 'wild' people from Chorley burned down part of the mill. 1 person was drowned, 2 killed and 8 wounded. The perpetraitors went away, only to return days later numbering 8000. That was the end of 'CHORLEY'S CROMFORD ?? We finished the afternoon off looking at old photo's of the area along with a nice hot chocolate from the visitor centre machine.

Tue 14 Aug 2007

Stephen Sartin - Recent Acquisitions of the Judges' Lodgings Museum, Lancaster.

Once again Stephen treated us to a wonderful presentation of some of the recent 18th century portrait paintings acquired by the Judges’ Lodgings museum in Lancaster. He also showed us many other portraits in other collections that were relevant. We saw the great, good and not so good people who helped to form our industries and families. It was interesting to hear about the similarities and some possible conflicts with George Romney (from Kendal) and Joshua Reynolds, who were the artists who painted most of the portraits we saw.

Stephen Sartin.


Thu 09 Aug 2007

New street names on Buckshaw village.

Paul Sudworth of Chorley Council recently contacted us about historical names, family or otherwise, that could be used for street names in the new Buckshaw Village development. Thanks to researches by John Harrison they have accepted some suggestions. So look out for the following:

Abbott Court
Crooke Grove
Sharrock Street
Cowper Place
Robinson Close

Sat 04 Aug 2007

Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society exhibition, Astley Hall, Chorley


Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society made our second appearance at the annual open day of the Chorley Branch of the Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society at Astley Hall. This is now an annual event taking place on the first Saturday in August. We erected our stand and display in the Townley Parker room of the hall. There were many displays around the hall and lots to see. Ron Chapman put on a series of illustrated lectures in the main hall while Joan and Boyd manned the Historical Society stand upstairs. Our display comprised mainly photographs of field walks and various artefacts, including some from the John Winstanley collection.

Astley Hall

Joan by our stand

We also had our own ‘Romans to Roundabouts’ book on sale along with the ‘Whittle Walks’ book. A late addition was the brand new ‘Chorley Town Centre Heritage Trail’ brochure which hadn’t been officially released yet, but we were allowed to hand out a few in advance of the 9th Sept release date.
A special bonus was a visit from Mr Smethurst who had been liaising with Joan about his great grandfather who was the man who owned the North Street, Smethurst Mill which used to be on the site now occupied by B&Q.

Ron Chapman giving one of his presentations

Joan and Mr Smethurst.

Mike, Joan and Mr Smethurst in discussion.