Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

News and Views

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Jan 2015 Feb 2015 Mar 2015 Apr 2015 May 2015 Jun 2015
Jul 2015 Aug 2015 Sep 2015 Oct 2015 Nov 2015 Dec 2015
Mar 2015

Thu 26 Mar 2015


The Council have removed the bordered flower bed by the Leyland/Clayton reservoir memorial mound and moved it across the road.

Where the flower bed used to be


The flower bed in Jan 2015

The flower bed in its new location


Tue 10 Mar 2015
David Casserly – Civil Wars in Lancashire (1642-1651)


Another large audience greeted David, a freelance historian from Bolton, who described Lancashire as predominantly rural in mid 17th century, with a population of around 150,000.
The county was affected by the civil war, which was, a conflict between Charles I’s supporters, royalists also known as cavaliers and parliament supporters, known as roundheads.
There were 774 ‘gentry’ families in the county at that time and about half had no allegiance. When conflict came, however, it was 2 to 1 for Royalists but there were splits within families too.
There was also a sectarian factor as to which side families supported, Catholics generally sided with the king and Protestants with parliament. James Stanley, Lathom House near Ormskirk, was one of the most prominent royalists.
Other leaders emerged from the gentry and both sides looked to raise troops because there was no standing army.
The first known person, Richard Percival on parliament’s side, to be killed in the conflict happened in Manchester in 1642. Royalist forces had entered the town in search of its magazine, they left empty handed but blood was spilt.
1642- 46 Standards were raised by both armies at Edge Hill, Warwickshire, which became the site of the Civil War’s first major battle.

David Casserly with his book
'Massacre - the storming of Bolton',
sadly now out of print.

Although major set piece battles of the war did not occur in Lancashire it was still a place of conflict. David explained that several Lancashire towns were subject to raids by each others’ forces. Bolton, for example, was attacked by royalists more than once and was the scene of a massacre of the townsfolk.
The war ended with the king’s forces being defeated at the battle of Naseby.
1648 – Second Civil War – Charles I had rallied Scots’ support and marched south. Oliver Cromwell attacked his forces at Preston in August. Running battles continued between Chorley and Wigan and continued as far south as Winwick, near Warrington, where the Scots’ surrendered. This was an important victory for Cromwell.
Charles I, who had started a new war and lost, paid the ultimate price by losing his head in 1649.
1651 – Charles Stuart, son of Charles I, rallied the Scots to invade England, which meant Lancashire, and he was proclaimed king in August. Skirmishes took place in the county with the royalists being put to the chase near Wigan later that month.
James Stanley, now Lord Derby, fled to Worcester to join the king, where in September his forces were defeated. Lord Derby was tried for treason and convicted, then executed in Bolton.
David’s talk was excellent in that he put the whole conflict into chronological order describing all the characters and the places and events they were involved in.
[The executioner of Lord Derby was George Whewell (Whowell) and his skull, allegedly, is on display in the Pack Horse Inn, Affetside. This link should give you the details.]

Peter Robinson


James Stanley
7th Earl of Derby


Fri 06 Mar 2015
Astley Explore - At Astley Hall Chorley.


Astley Hall, Chorley is currently undergoing a major investigation of its structural components. Investigations have revealed many historical feature that were previously unknown. The first structure was built around 1578 by the Charnock family and had been extended and modified many times during following centuries.


Charles 1st and family

Chorley Council arranged for it to be opened to the public on Fri 6th March 2015 so that conducted tours could take place to show the work being done. They plan to re-open the hall in April 2015. Many thanks to Emily, Amy and Geoff for conducting the tours.