Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

News and Views

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018  
Jan 2013 Feb 2013 Mar 2013 Apr 2013 May 2013 Jun 2013
Jul 2013 Aug 2013 Sep 2013 Oct 2013 Nov 2013 Dec 2013
Feb 2013

Lancs Evening Post report 14.2.13

Lancashire County Council Chairman has hosted a reception for local historical societies. The event recognised their role in promoting the history of the county, including historic events important buildings and the lives of people in the past. Representatives from historical societies across Lancashire attended a special event at County Hall in Preston at the end of January.

County Councillor John Shedwick, Chairman of the County Council said "from pre-Roman through the War of the Roses to the Industrial Revolution and in more recent times, there is an amazing wealth of history in our county. The unique identity of Lancashire is made up of many different communities. Without the work of the local history and heritage groups, Lancashire would be a less interesting county, they are keeping history alive"
The reception at County Hall included county councillors as well as representatives from the county council's museum and cultural services.
A very nice evening was had by all who attended. Joan and Kevin represented Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society.

Pillbox and anti-aircraft gun base, Lucas Green, Whittle-le-Woods.
Thu 28 Feb 2013

Scott and Aaron of Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd completing the excavation of the Anti-aircraft gun base near Lucas Green, Whittle-le-Woods.

Radio Lancashire interview at Clayton-le-Woods
Thu 28 Feb 2013

As part of our quest to try and save the Clayton/Leyland reservoir from demolition Paul O'Gorman from Radio Lancashire came along this morning to interview Rosemary and Boyd on site at Back Lane Clayton-le-Woods. Children from Manor Road School also attended.

left to right: Paul Ogorman (Radio Lancashire), Harrison, Danielle, Hannah & Rosemary Boyd.


Pillbox and anti-aircraft gun base, Lucas Green, Whittle-le-Woods.
Sun 24 Feb 2013

The pillbox and associated anti-aircraft base near Lucas Green, Whittle-le-Woods is being excavated by
Pre-Construct Archaeology. I visited the site this afternoon to see how it compared with the last time I photographed it on 27 Jan 2013.
The site is at:
SD 58255 20839 or alt/long coordinates 53.682323,-2.633555
Click here for a Google Map of the location.

The excavation report carried out by Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd can be viewed via this link.

The site on Sun 27 Jan 2013

The site this afternoon after more excavations had been done


A larger version of this image is available on the
Whittle-le-Woods Photo Archive site. Click here to view.

I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see how the site may have looked by superimposing a picture of a Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft gun. The scale isn't quite right as I didn't have enough sky to fit the gun on at its full size, hence it is slightly smaller than it should look.

B Harris

Lady Anne Clifford and 'The Great Picture' c1646

On the ‘Various articles’ page there is a link to an article about Lady Anne Clifford (1590 – 1676) who stayed briefly in Chorley in March 1616. She commissioned an amazing painting generally called ‘The Great Picture’ which dates from around 1646. It is a triptych depicting Lady Anne and her family. Being so big it has not been displayed all together in one place until recently being assembled at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, Cumbria. If you get the chance its well worth a visit.

The left panel shows
Lady Anne as a girl of about 15

The Great Picture in the Abbot Hall Art Gallery

The Great Picture


Tue 12 Feb 2013
Steve Williams – The (Railway) Line Through Brindle & Hoghton

Steve made what is turning out to a bi-annual visit to the society, this time for a rail related talk.
Steve did not just talk about all things rail but about the wider social and economic situation set in a historical context. He supported his talk with an excellent selection of images and sprinkled it with his inimitable sense of humour.

Gregson Lane Crossing

His subject concerned the relatively short stretch of line through the above named parishes on the Preston to Blackburn line. All journeys have a starting point and Steve’s was Gregson Lane Halt in Brindle and ended at the Hoghton viaduct a mile or two to the east.

But first a few facts and figures. The line’s construction, which started in August 1844 was completed in June 1846 at a cost of £70,000. A 3rd class return from Blackburn to Preston cost 1s 6d. And, surprisingly, Hoghton viaduct retains the record of the tallest in England. During the summer of 1924 some 200 trains passed along the line on one day.

Hoghton Tower Viaduct (pre-1950)

Until 1960 there was a station at Gregson Lane Halt. As the name suggests anyone waiting for a train there had to put out there arm to signal the train to stop. Nearby Brindle Cotton Mill, which closed in 1964, was hit by a V-bomb on Christmas Eve 1944. It hit several nearby cottages and the reporter on the scene to report the incident was none other than George Birtill.

Steve mentioned other names that had associations with the area that included a Jimmy Brown who attended nearby Mintholme boys’ school and played for Blackburn Rovers FC (1879–1885) and appeared for England. A Thomas Whitehead (1853-1937) with connections to Brindle Lodge played once for Lancashire County Cricket Club against Kent.

C.C. Hoghton Bridge
Built 1936  (opened without ceremony)


Hoghton Level Crossing

Hoghton Bridge (opened 1936) from the level crossing

Hoghton, too, had a station and was promoted as a tourist destination for Hoghton Tower and the Valley of the River Darwen during 1912. It was in this year that a photo was taken of the station’s 11 staff, 4 of which went off to war just a few years later. Steve showed many excellent contemporary photos during his talk and those of this lovely country station were no exception. It won the 1954 ‘Best Kept Station’ but was closed in 1960.

A story connected with this station concerned a local man who lost both his legs in an accident with a train. He had to drag himself some distance to raise the alarm. Fortunately he recovered to run a successful ice cream parlour in the village.

Hoghton Railway Station before closure

Mintholme Crossing (undated)

Mintholme Crossing today

The Hoghton Tower Quarries had their own connection to the railway via a steep incline.

Hoghton Tower, too, had its own station, Hoghton Tower Halt, for just 2 years in the early years of the line. Now, however, there are no stations in Brindle or Hoghton.
So it is thank you to Steve for giving an entertaining and interesting talk that went down very well with an appreciative audience.


Peter Robinson

Old level Crossing near Chapel Lane
NE of Hoghton Tower (pre-1960)