Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

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Sep 2009

Sun 13 Sep 2009
uided walk around Bretherton by Neil Birtles

Neil Birtles led a guided walk around Bretherton on Sunday 13 September. The date coincided with the Heritage Open Day Weekend. A group of 23 gathered on Pompian Brow on what was a beautifully sunny afternoon. The group was a mixture of Society members and members of the local community.
Neil briefly explained about the layout of Bretherton and where he intended to lead us. We then set off along South Road and our first stop was outside the Congregational Church.
Second stop was the St John the Baptist Church. Built in 1840 and is a listed building. Neil took us inside and he described its design as 'conventional'. The plans would have been used for numerous churches at that time with just a few tweaks to them. Prior to it being built parishioners would have had to visit Croston.
Just after that Neil showed us an entrance to a public footpath leading from South Road between The Old Rectory and a row of cottages.
A plaque was on a wall near, which stated 'Chapel Walks 1344'. Neil said it was believed the path probably led to an earlier religious site.

The row of cottages adjoining the path were of particular interest. One had an inscription in a large stone above the entrance to the front door. Neil has the full text of the inscription. A lady was tending to the front garden. She started chatting with members of the group whom she knew. She had lived in the cottage since her wedding 50 years ago. She allowed Joan and I to enter into her garden and get close up shots of the inscription.
She was able to give us a slice of Bretherton's history too.
Members of the group volunteered information on particular points of Bretherton's history which added to Neil's well researched narration.
Neil took us the full length of South Road then down an unnamed lane to Over Hall. From there we retraced our steps along South Road until we took a detour along a footpath. The footpath followed the line of the old road that ran through the village. We learned about Bretheton's present layout and why it was so.
Peter Robinson.

Cross base opposite
St. John the Baptist Church