Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

News and Views

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Aug 2014

David Clayton of Brinscall has died at the end of August 2014 aged 77. In 2011 he published his book 'Lost Farms of Brinscall Moors'

He also lead many walks around the ruins of the abandoned farms and also gave many talks about his book around the county.
He spoke to Chorley Historical & Archaeological Society about his book on Tue 10 Jan 2012.

Wed 27 Aug 2014


At 3:30pm this afternoon Rosemary, Joan, Kevin and Boyd met representatives of Clayton-le-Woods Parish Council, Lindsey from Chorley Council and John from Lancashire County Council. The reason was to try and find a permanent site for the Clayton/Leyland reservoir memorial structure. Various sites have been considered but each has had its problems. The latest site suggested is the open area of maintained grass by the A6 and opposite the Pines Hotel. The land is already occupied by a floral display of Clayton-le-Woods Parish Council’s celebration of
50 years of the RHS (Royal horticultural Society) Britain in Bloom. All agreed that there would be room to fit the memorial to the north. Yellow markers were sprayed at each corner of the proposed site. They can just be seen in the photo.

Tue 12 Aug 2014
Margaret Dickinson. Yorkshire’s Ancient Secrets and Curiosities.

Nelson born Maggie had been a fell walker for over 20 years and a member of the famous Clarion Cycle Club. Through these activities she gained a love and intimate knowledge of Yorkshire which was borne out through her talk and backed up with an excellent collection of her own photographs presented on screen.
Her talk started with the area historically called East Riding which covered places that were a little bit off the beaten track, hence the title of her talk.
These ranged from the strange stone monoliths in the village of Rudston. The reason for their existence was not explained but then the reason might just have been lost over the centuries.
Images were shown of idyllic village scenes but not just for their beauty alone. They each had some historical, often little known, connection. Rudston, for instance, was the birthplace of Winifred Holtby, author of the book, South Riding.

One village, Kirby Grindalythe, was shown probably in part because of its name.
Another image showed the view of a watery meadow from the steps of a country church. Very pretty but Maggie added it was the view from All Saints Church, Brompton by Sawdon. And on 4 October 1802 would have been seen by the poet William Wordsworth as he left the church with his new bride, Mary Hutchinson.
A particular gem was a view of a turf cut maze, one of only 8 in England. This particular one was close to the villages of Brandsby, Dalby and Sheriff Hutton. This is one of 3 in the country nicknamed the ‘City of Troy’, the city in present day Turkey mentioned in ancient Greek literature, due to the difficulty of finding a way out after entering it.

Maggie B. Dickinson

Additionally, the remains of Sheriff Hutton’s castle were featured due to its Richard III association. It was owned by the Neville family and housed the king’s niece and nephew.
Onto the Yorkshire Dales with a particular focus on Dent and Dent Dale, now in present day Cumbria but don’t tell that to the locals. Maggie spoke of her family connection with the area and its special identity, such as the ‘Terrible Knitters’. Those men, women and children were, in modern day parlance, ‘extreme’ knitters.
Dent is the birthplace of Adam Sedgwick on 22 March 1785, one of the founders of modern geology and a blue plaque marks the place. Maggie also mentioned Dent’s connection with the quarrying of marble.
Ribblehead viaduct was built by a workforce of 6,000 navvies between 1869 and 1876. They lived in shanty towns but many died during its construction. A plaque commemorates the men who died there, not the women, in a nearby churchyard.
An example of the peculiar Austwick ‘erratics, where large pieces of very old rock lie, somewhat precariously, atop limestone was shown.
Amongst many interesting images of the dales a particular anecdote of Maggies stood out. She spoke of a location on the road between Kettlewell and Starbotton. The exact location, Maggie would give the OS grid reference if anyone emailed her, was close by a road side bench. If one turned towards the hillside and shouted an echo would be heard.
She told us that she would never have known of this curiosity, and many more, if it was not for the advice given to her many years ago by members of the Clarion Cycle Club. This was to seek the quiet lanes and places and you will find places of special interest.
Advice she took on board and advice she gave us too. And what an interesting collection of stories and photographs she presented to us.

Peter Robinson
August 2014

Mon 04 Aug 2014
Memorial Service to commemorate the Centenary of the start of the Great War.

Today’s date of Monday 4th Aug 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WW1, or the Great War as it was called at the time. To remember the occasion there was a short service at the Whittle and Clayton-le-Woods War Memorial. The service was lead by Revd Philip Venables the Vicar of St John’s Church. Council members laid wreaths at the memorial and local children read out the names of all 109 men of Whittle and Clayton-le-Woods who died in that war.

Most War Memorial to the Great War show the date 1914 – 1918.
The Whittle and Clayton-le-Woods War memorial shows 1914 – 1919.
The fighting finished with the Armistice on 11 November 1918, but the war didn’t end officially until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919. So legally, we were actually at war until 1919 – all memorials should really say this date.