Sat 15 Jul 2017
Visit to Goodshaw Chapel and
The morning was gloomy with drizzle as
Chorley Historical & Archaeological Society members met outside
Goodshaw Chapel between Rawtenstall and Burnley. Being St
Swithun’s day a British weather lore proverb says that if it
St. Swithun's day, 15 July, it will rain for 40 days.
CHAS member John Harrison had arranges the visit with local
guide Harry to describe the chapel’s history.
Goodshaw Chapel interior
Goodshaw Chapel pews
Goodshaw Chapel interior
Goodshaw Chapel in 1880
Rev John Nuttall memorial
Baptist Chapel (English Heritage)
Goodshaw Chapel was built
in 1760 by a congregation of Baptist worshippers led by their
minister John Nuttall. Under his leadership and that of his
successor, John Pilling, it was a successful ministry, and
between 1760 and 1809 the chapel had to be enlarged twice, once
by the addition of extra gallery space, and once by moving the
southern (front) elevation forwards.
Doctrinal differences in
this early community of worshippers were relatively common, and
on occasion this led to the splitting of the church community,
with one group forming a new church elsewhere. Music played a
focal point in the life of the chapel, and the ‘Larks of Dean’ -
local musicians who wrote their own hymns and music, and enjoyed
performances of sacred music by Handel among others - made
Goodshaw their base.
By 1860, the focus of life in the valley
was shifting to the new turnpike road, now the main road to
Burnley. The worshippers decided to build a new church on a
fresh site, leaving the old chapel, its fixtures and fittings
still those of about 1800, largely unused and deserted a short
distance away. Until 1960 it was used only for anniversary
services, but by then it was considered dangerous. In 1976 the
chapel Trustees transferred it by deed of gift to the Department
of the Environment.
The graveyard was very overgrown but
John had found some interesting references to graves, but
unfortunately not yet identified in the graveyard.
To the memory of Giles Entwistle of Todd Hall who died in 1836
aged 54 years.
“The world’s a city of crooked streets. And
death’s the market place, where all men meet. If life was
merchandise, that men could buy, the rich would live and none
but the poor would die”
Lunch had been arranges at the nearby
New Waggonr’s Inn then we continued our tour at Limers Lane by
Clowbridge Reservoir and a walk to the site of the old
settlement of Gambleside.
Gambleside was on an ancient
trading route connecting the Ribble Valley and Rochdale. This
was an important and well-used route and was so well used that
it was worn into hollows. (Hollow Ways)
After lunch it was a rainy walk
CHAS members at the open air Baptistry
The main users
were packhorse trains. Packhorses had been used for thousands of
years following the domestication of horses. They were used to
carry goods and minerals. Many were found in the Pennines and
took names from goods carried or local landmarks. Many had
wayside crosses. The horses were often Galloways and those in
the lime trade were called” limegals.” Each horse could carry
240lbs/110kgs in side panniers. A pack horse train could be
12-20 horses, sometimes 40. They averaged 25 miles per day. They
were used because roads were so poor and often impassable by
wagon and bridges not always provided over rivers. The driver
would earn about 6d per horse per day.
At Gambeside the 16th
century saw land opened up to settlement and farming. The main
crop was oats. This was the staple diet. (Porridge 24 times a
week!) Probably when first stone buildings erected. Village grew
in size. As well as farming there was mining and weaving and
spinning wool. The surplus wool was sold in Rochdale.
main field, or copy field was 9 acres and was where the
reservoir was constructed. The main part of the village
consisted of a farmhouse, mansion house, cottage, barn and
Baptist chapel. A further 10 farms surrounded the village.
The mansion house dated from the 17th century/may have been
older and was split into 3 dwellings in the 19th century. The
farmhouse was large with 5 gables and was also split into
From the ruins of Gambleside looking across Clowbridge Reservoir
Before the Baptist Chapel was built in
1849 worship had been in the Brew House at the Mansion House and
in an old cottage. The chapel had a small gallery and a small
organ. It closed in 1866 when the reservoir was built and a new
chapel opened in Clowbridge.
The chapel had an open air
baptistry. It is located by the stream below the village. It was
4 metres long, 2,2 metres wide and just over a metre deep, and
constructed of dry stone walling behind which was a lining of
puddled clay. Some baptisms were carried out in summer when the
hillside would be covered with hundreds of people. Other
baptisms were carried out in winter. Following its disuse it was
almost doubled in size to store water for the steam engine at
Pumping Pit, building into bedrock on the right hand side. It
was restored in 1995
The reservoir covered the best land, and
also 3 of the roads into Gambleside. The Ormerod family lived in
the mansion house until about 1874 and the last residents left
in the 1890s.
In the 1940s and 50s the derelict buildings
were demolished for safety and stones used for walls and water
Thomas Hawksley (1807 - 1893)
Coal was mined
from around Gambleside for centuries. The earliest records are
for a pit in 1612. These workings were simply tunnels driven
into the hillside where the coal was exposed at the surface.
Demand for coal grew in the first half of the nineteenth century
with the growth of the steam-powered cotton industry. New pits
were sunk in the area. At one time there were 7 active pits
between Loveclough and the far side of Clowbridge Reservoir.
This stimulated the growth of the Gambleside settlement.
Gambleside Colliery had two main shafts: Pumping pit, located
just below the settlement, and a later shaft on the hillside to
the south. Coal was drawn up the hillside from Pumping Pit by a
continuous chain-drive of tubs. It then passed through a tunnel
to Swinshaw pit on the other side of the hill. Then it went via
a tramway to the coal staithe in Crawshaw Booth. It was a very
wet mine and closed early 20th century. United Utilities now
extracts water from the mine via a modern pumping house.
one time the colliery was owned by George Hargreaves Collieries.
They had a reputation for thrift. The colliery manager lived on
site and on one occasion he complained to the company that every
time it rained water leaked through his bedroom ceiling. He was
given an umbrella.
The colliery closed in 1936 when Sunnyside
Print Works closed.
Across from Gambleside ruins is
In 1852 the Haslingden and Rawtenstall
Waterworks Company was formed by an Act of Parliament which
authorised the building of Hapton Reservoir, later renamed
Clowbridge. It was to use water from Limy/Lummy Water.
gain support for the proposal and convince parliament that it
was a credible proposal the promoters engaged one of the
greatest civil engineers of the 19th century, Thomas Hawksley.
He was involved with many schemes to provide water supplies to
the new industrial towns, including Liverpool Corporation’s
scheme for Liverpool. He was one of the great unsung heroes of
the 19th century as improved water supply was the main reason
for improved public health and reduced mortality rates.
In between the reservoir and Haslingden and Rawtenstall were
lots of factories in the valley in which Loveclough, Goodshaw
and Crawshawbooth are situated. The factory owners feared that
their businesses would suffer a loss of water and/or have to pay
for it. They opposed the proposal and it made the actual passing
of the act very expensive: £5,858.
Hawksley was asked to
prepare working drawings and specifications in February 1855.
The company thought that the job could be completed in 12
months. This was totally unrealistic. 18 months after starting
they discovered that the puddle trench had to be sunk to a
greater depth than anticipated. This trench was common in
Pennine embankment dams as the water retaining core. This was
usually constructed in rock so I assume they underestimated the
depth of the natural rock.
The company ran out of capital and
work was suspended. At this point £6,108 had been spent on the
dam and £7,547 on the purchase of land. 3 years later work
resumed under the direction of Joseph Jackson who had built
reservoirs for Bolton Waterworks. There were further problems
extending the puddle trench into loose soil and wet ground in
the southern hillside.
In February 1863 the work had cost
over £20,000 and work was expected to be completed that spring.
However they had a massive landslip on the downstream face of
the dam a month later. It took over 200 men to repair. This was
done by June 1863 and valves were fitted to control the outflow.
There were 2 further landslips and work was not completed until
August 1865. Final cost, excluding land was over £39k.
Thanks to John for the use of his notes in preparing this