Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

News and Views

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Jan 2013 Feb 2013 Mar 2013 Apr 2013 May 2013 Jun 2013
Jul 2013 Aug 2013 Sep 2013 Oct 2013 Nov 2013 Dec 2013
Sep 2013
Chorley Heritage Events in the Lancastrian Suit, Chorley Town Hall
Tue 24th Sat 28th Sep 2013


An impressive range of displays in the Lancastrian Suit, Chorley Town Hall.


Around 25 groups, societies and businesses were represented at this FIRST EVER exhibition, bringing all together under one roof.
Exhibitors displaying the history of their groups were very amicable, exchanging stories and histories, answering questions, exchanging ideas with each other, and all the visitors who were in and out of the Lancastrian room during the week.
The exhibitors were:
Gardening Society,
Friends of Chorley Hospital,
Scouting and Guiding,
Chorley Cricket,
Tennis and Football clubs,
Chorley Pals,
Liveseys Funeral Services,
Browns butchers,
Chorley Little Theatre and Film Society,
Astley Hall,
Chorley Archaeological Society,
Civic Society, Family History Society,
Ian Bagshaw (Chorley Past),
Miles Standish and Lightoller exhibitions,
R.O.F. Chorley,
Library and Museum Services,
Ramblers Association,
Leonard Fairclough (AMEC),
Chorley Lions,
Chorley's Summer of Celebration and Frank Sellers Braiding Machine.

Chorley Town Hall in May 2010

Added to all these exhibitors were talks, twice daily:
"The Unitarian Chapel and its connections to local business men" by Doreen Jolly,
"Lightoller- Titanic Hero" by P. Jackson and D. Horsefield,
"What makes Chorley special?" by W. Walker,
"Withnell Fold-A Social History" by Boyd Harris,
"The Co-operative Movement in Chorley" by J.Harrison
(the text of the presentation is available. Click here for all 9 pages)
"Seeking Myles Standish" by W. Walker,
"A Ramble through seven centuries of the Church in Chorley by Rev. J. Cree,
"Fairclogh to AMEC" by K. Hick,
A further chance to visit the Mayors Parlour and Council Chamber, and country dances by the children of the Chorley Arts Partnership.

Everyone who participated in the week received Certificates of Appreciation, from the Heritage Group, for all their efforts.

Almost 1000 people came through the doors of the Lancastrian Room, during the week, and to experience, first hand, all this going on in our Town Hall was mind blowing! We were also plied with Tea and Chorley Cakes, scones and biscuits, by the lovely "Tea Team" all week, plus a treat a couple of times from Browns the Butchers, who plied us with tasters of Chorley Haggis.

Congratulations to members of Chorley Heritage Support Group in organising this wonderful event. Hopefully in the near future their aims will be achieved, in Chorley, by the opening of a long awaited Heritage Centre.

Chorley Town Hall
stair and lift well

Titanic sinks

Parish Church of St Laurence

Chorley Town Centre c1930

Chorley Town Hall
Foundation stone laid Jan 2, 1875 by R. Smethurst Esq. High Sheriff


Leonard Fairclough
(1855 - 1927)

Leonard Miller Fairclough CBE JP
(1889 - 1976)

Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society stand

B. Livesey stand

Royal Ordnance Factory - take more care!

Start of the closing ceremony.

Sat 14 - Sun 15 Sep 2013
Heritage Open Days
The Heritage Open Day weekend meant that events were held in the Chorley area. As part of these Doreen Jolly of Chorley Historical and Archaeology staged the opening of the Unitarian Chapel (in collaboration with the Chapel) On Sun 15 Sep Neil ran a guided tour of Rivington village.

On Sat 14 Sep 2013 Society member Doreen Jolly gave an excellent presentation of historical memorabilia in the Unitarian Chapel on Park Street Chorley. Along with the display Doreen described some of her recent historical researches which each year add more information to the wonderful history of the Church.

Doreen showed us the front cover of the ‘Tales of Old Chorley’ by Tom Gillet. It shows an 1810 line drawing of Chorley Hall which features in the history of the Church. It was interesting to note the illustration seems to be a copy of a section of an old painting of Chorley Town centre in the days before Park Road was constructed. In the background of the painting is Chorley Hall.

Chorley Hall drawing showing it in 1810

The old painting showing the probable
source of the drawing

= = = =

Rivington - Sunday 15th Sep 2013

Neil’s guided tour of Rivington Village was accompanied by unwelcome heavy rain. However a group of hardy Society members turned out for the tour. Our first call was to Rivington Unitarian Chapel were we were able to have a brief look inside.

CHAS in the rain

Rivington Unitarian Chapel

Notes on Rivington Unitarian Chapel by Joan Holding and Colin D. Rogers says the following:
Perhaps the most interesting of the gravestones, however, is that of Samuel Oldknow:
Here lieth the Body of Samuel Oldknow
of Nottingham late of Anderton who
departed this life Aug 7th 1759 Aged 25 yrs
Likewise Eliz. his daughter who died
March 12th 1762 Aged 4 years.
He lived at Roscoe Low Farm, Anderton and was reputedly the first man in England to manufacture muslin, a fine cotton having previously been woven in the East. He came to the district in 1754, and married and prospered, leaving a son Samuel who worked with Richard Arkwright near Stockport. According to John Rawlinson, however, muslin was first produced by the widow of Samuel the elder, and a partner in the business, in 1764.

The grave of Samuel Oldknow (Muslin Man)


Rivington Unitarian Chapel interior showing the box-pews

In the graveyard area several stone door lintels recovered from various properties that were demolished and submerged when the nearby reservoirs were constructed in the mid 1800s. This one is:

16 I R 98

Which is apparently to James and Rebecca Isherwood of Ainsworth’s (later Wood’s) Farm. Though I'm puzzled by James being depicted by what looks like an 'I'

Then it was across the road to the Parish Church where Neil explained the history and some notable stones in the grounds. The Society visited the church previously on Sun 18 May 2008. Crossing the road again we saw the school where Neil showed us some old photographs of stages of the development of the school.

Separate building for the bell for the Parish Church.
The bell is no longer present.

Sat 07 Sep 2913

In Feb 2013 News and Views reported on the excavations being carried out on the Pillbox and anti-aircraft gun base, Lucas Green, Whittle-le-Woods.
The work was being carried out by Pre-Construct Archaeology Limited on behalf of Redrow Homes (Lancashire) Limited who will be developing the land.
The report has now been completed and Robin Taylor-Wilson, a Director at Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd has kindly sent us a copy. This link will take you to a copy of the report. It makes fascinating reading.