CHORLEY HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Further notes on the history of the Society and projects undertaken
Subsequent to the inaugural meeting of the new society, when three only officials were elected, two further officers were elected. These were a Mr Prosser, a teacher from Horwich as Vice Chairman, and Mr H.D.S.Lowe, from Chorley who was at that time, Borough Surveyor, who became Surveyor for the society. Sadly, within six months Mr Prosser died and was succeeded by Mr Jack Rawlinson, also from Horwich. Mr Rawlinson was a well known historian and lecturer.
One of the first society outings was a tour of some of the flint chipping sites that had been found on the local moorlands by Mr John Winstanley and Mr Jack Smith. The material found at these sites ranged from the Mesolithic to Bronze Age periods. Subsequent limited excavation work was carried out at two of the flint chipping sites.
During the first few months of the society's formation, we gained affiliation to the Council for British Archaeology (to which we are still affiliated fifty years on). We also became affiliated to the Antiquarian Society for Lancashire and Cheshire.
Within the first year of the society formation, we had carried out a survey of the large mound on Anglezarke Moor, known as Round Loaf, believed to be a Bronze Age Barrow. We had visited one of the four Moated Sites in the Chorley Area, at Bretters Farm, Heath Charnock, and had negotiated a period of excavation.
The area within the moat was investigated by a series of four trenches only for the time slot we had to fit into was not very wide. The site is one which has still not been fully investigated. We found medieval pottery, roof tiles with wooden pegs, but no firm evidence that the site had been the home of the Charnock Gogard Family was found. This site is one earmarked for future work!
Several members at that time were interested in the Roman Period, as was our Chairman. In 1954/58 we carried our much fieldwork from Standish to Belmont, and from Walton-le-Dale to Wigan, in a search for evidence of Roman Roads. But our primary hope was that we might establish that a system of secondary roads existed within the area.
This supposition was based on finds...road alignments...placenames, etc. It was a study that some of the society members were keen to continue with, whilst other society members continued to search for prehistoric evidence on the moorland to the east of Chorley.
Our Roman research, concentrated on possible 'Roman Secondary Roads' and was based on the fact that the known Roman Military Roads running north did not pass through Chorley! But, might have passed nearby.
From Manchester, the routes of the roads running to the north, were via Bury to Ribchester, to the east of Chorley. Whilst to the west the route was via Wigan (but unconfirmed in the mid 1950's), to Walton-le-Dale. This would mean that the whole of the area between these two roads was unused by the Romans. But this seemed unlikely in view of the physical evidence, topography, and known finds was concerned!
The field study carried out on a possible secondary Roman Road system in the Chorley area brought up some interesting material. As Wigan had not been proven as being the enigmatic 'COCCIUM' in the 1950's, another town was suggested for this name... this was Blackrod!.
Assuming Blackrod to have been some sort of roman encampment, based on its elevation, overlooking the valley of Anderton to the Rivington hills, it would have been a strategic and logical position to 'police' the area.
We began our local investigations in the valley east of Blackrod, and north of Horwich, on the north side of the River Douglas, where a possible sunken trackway was evident along with a ford in the river. From here we moved to Rivington to follow lane alignments and a possible route over the moor to Belmont. This latter route was investigated due to the alleged find of 'roman pottery' which was found by Lord Leverhulme and deposited in Liverpool Museum. These finds and the records relating to them were lost due to bombing in the war.
Moving to Healey Nab to the east of Chorley, an old track along the east side of the Nab may have been a roman route, which runs to Heapey where Roman Coins were found, and where, near Heapey Church, a horde of coins and a silver necklace of roman date were found. The latter find is now in the British Museum in London.
The line of the possible roman road continues to Mellor, where a known Roman Signal Station has been found. Another possible route was from Heapey to Whittle, when the former mound called 'Pickering Castle' off Blackburn Road Chorley, may have been used as a signal station also. This high spot overlooks the Lancashire Plain to the Ribble Estuary, and would be a logical place for such a site. In the book 'Roman Lancashire' by Watkins, the route of this possible road is referred to.
An alleged 'roman pot' was given to the society which, according to the owner, had been found during excavations for a mill lodge at Fosterfield Mill, that was on Eaves Lane. In Whittle, roman coins have been found. All of which were considered in this research.
The society had its first coach outing in the 1950's to Houghmond Abbey and Viriconium, and at the end of the 1950's we were carrying out excavations in Lead Mine Valley, Anglezarke, where pottery finds were investigated in the hope of it being associated with the roman period, but this was not the case.
A 'Hobbies Exhibition' was held in Chorley Town Hall in the 1950's at which all hobbyists in Chorley and district had stalls, our own created a lot of interest, even though we had only been formed a short time.
The late 1950's saw the society working with Manchester University at Blackrod, on the site of 'Castle Croft', an enigmatic site, associated with the early history of the village, and possible thought to have roman origins, with a later medieval building erected on the same site. We carried the preliminary survey work on this site in advance of excavation later, prior to house building on the site.
Before leaving the 1950's, mention of a local visit by one of the most well known British classical archaeologists must be made. That person was no less than the late Sir Mortimer Wheeler. His work on the classical sites in the Middle East, such as Ninevah, and others in the Tigres/Euphates Region, were amongst his most famous excavations.
In 1957, the Chorley Archaeological Society, assisted the adjacent town of Leyland's Round Table Organisation, in getting Sir Mortimer to come and present a lecture in Leyland, which he did in the former Public Hall on Towngate.
Four members of the Chorley Society committee attended that lecture, and met with Sir Mortimer later, when he examined some of the finds we had made in the Chorley Area. As the youngest of the society officers at that time, and its first Treasurer, I was encouraged moreso by Sir Mortimer's words when he was told I was one of the three founders of the society.
He told me that it was important to have the conviction about any site under investigation, and that it was necessary to obtain as much 'background information' for a site, long before you put a spade into the ground. He also said that you must not expect to find wonderful things at each excavation, nor should you be disappointed if the finds were minimal. I have remembered his words and tried to follow his advice over the past 50 years, which I hope has been reflected on the work done by the Chorley society.
During late 1957 society members discovered a previously unknown prehistoric burial mound on the slopes of Winter Hill. This was excavated by society members under the direction of Mr Rosser, and Doctor Bu Lock of Manchester University during 1958. Finds were minimal, extending to a sharpened wooden stake, and a single piece of flint. The turf mound covered a circular stone kerb. (During the 1980's, a surface find of a flint axehead was found on this scheduled site, but was retained by the finder).
1958 saw the resignation of our founder secretary, who started up another archaeological society in Bolton, who excavated the known burial mound on Noon Hill, below Winter Hill. This excavation led to bad feelings between the societies for some time, and even letter exchanges relating to 'territorial areas for each society'!.
During the 1960's, many local and full day coach outings were introduced, and on one of these, to Buxton, our guide for the day was Doctor Wilfred Jackson. Excavation work was carried out at Horton in Craven, and on Rivington Moor at another suspected flint chipping site. This work confirmed that it was another such site. In total some 25 flint sites were found from Wheelton Moor to the north, to Horwich Moors in the south.
Unfortunately, by 1968, membership of the society had fallen, and it was decided that to ensure the societies continued future, it would have to incorporate Historical studies as well as archaeological ones to boost society membership.
RE-CONSTITUTION OF ORIGINAL SOCIETY AND RE-NAMING
During 1969, with attendance figures at Meetings reaching the mid teens at best, it was decided at a general meeting of the society that we should put the old society on hold, and change its name. Following this decision a steering group was formed, and a new constitution drawn up, and a new name agreed. This was 'The Chorley and District Historical and Archaeological Society'.
The first meeting of the newly named society was held in early 1970, when not only did we have most of the former members return, but new members as well, which is what we had hoped for.
The aims of the society remained the same, with historical interests now having been added. Those aims remain the same in 2003, 33 years after the new society was formed out of the old one. Those aims are:-
'To promote and further the study of archaeology and history relating to the town of Chorley and it's surrounding parishes'.
Despite the name change, the previous routine of local field-walks in and around the district parishes of Chorley continued, as did annual full day coach excursions to some sites of interest. Whilst our annual lecture programme, now included historical subjects in addition to those relating to archaeological ones.
Our local studies in the early seventies were overshadowed with the setting up of the Central Lancashire Development Corporation (CLDC) which was set up to obtain areas of land for development, for the creation of a 'new city' for Central Lancashire. This was to be built between Chorley and Preston. A huge amount of green land was compulsory purchased by the corporation on which to build new houses and roads.
During this time several members of the society were engaged on fleld-walking the areas to be built over, to ensure that none of our local archaeo/historical environment was not lost without records being obtained.
In 1975 the farmland on which a new village was to be built, close to Astley Hall, Chorley, was compulsory purchased. This farm known as Astley Farm, was a site which we had 'earmarked' for future investigation, when it became available.
Some ten years earlier at this farm, a tree had been uprooted to build a dutch barn on the site. As the roots were turned uppermost, pottery was found amongst them. That pottery was collected by the farmer, and boxed. Following the building of the barn, the pottery was suspected as being of Bronze Age period, some 2000 years B.C.
By 1975, that pottery found by the farmer had been reconstructed to positively identify the period it belonged to. Also with the farm now becoming available, permission to carry out further archaeological evaluation was agreed upon, this was to be done under the directorship Mr J. Hallam who was Archaeological Consultant for the CLD Corporation.
The Astley Farm site excavation was undertaken by the Chorley Society and the West Lancashire Archaeological Society, with assistance from the Lancashire Museums Service Centre in Preston, and Directed by John Hallam. It was undertaken over four phases.
Phase one in early 1975, was carried out following demolition of ancillary buildings at Astley Farm. The first task was to locate the tree stump overturned in the mid 1960's. This was done, and more pottery was found in the roots of the stump, which fitted into the part restored section of pot found previously. Along with this pottery, human cremated bones, a flint knife, and a flake of rock from the Lake District were found. All these had been associated with the original burial, the cremated bones having been originally inside the pot.
The pot itself, or more accurately a 'Collared Urn' was some 18 inches tall, and about 15 inches in diameter. It contained the remains of a female. During Phase one and two of the excavation, we discovered five more burials, all cremations, and all female. We also found another 'Collared Urn' in situ, with its bones still inside.
The site was almost surrounded by a ditch, but the causeway entrance to this special lowland burial site was not found, due to disturbance. Most other Bronze Age burial places are on higher land. Locally we have examples on the local high moorland to the east of Chorley.
In 1977 the society was involved with a small evaluation excavation at the bottom of the Lancaster Canal's Walton Summit Incline. Here a small building associated with the canal tramway, (which operated between 1804 and the 1860's) was investigated as to its purpose, as to either a weigh house or pure tally house. Our investigation suggested it was used for the purpose of 'tallying' the goods being transported along the horse drawn tramway between the two ends of the canal, one at Walton Summit and the other in Preston.
So into the 1980's, and the first excavation the society undertook in this decade was in 1982 when a cairn was discovered on the western slopes of Anglezarke Moor, a little to the north north west of the known Pike Stones cist burial site. As this site was covered with peat which was mounded, our preliminary work was to establish its being 'man made' and not just a spoil heap from the surface quarrying which was done here for material to build stone walls.
The peat was removed from the top of this suspect cairn, and stones were found, all surrounded by a kerb of stone on their edges, proving its being a 'man made' site. The cairn was some 18 feet long by 10 feet wide. With this evidence, we informed the North West Water Authority of our find, and applied to carry out an official excavation.
While we were waiting for a reply to our application letter, some person or persons came along and dug up the cairn with no reference to our society. As to what was found in the cairn we have no idea, for the university concerned have not bothered to even let us know what has been found. But of course we are only an amateur society, and obviously of no concern to the university involved, which, we were told, was Lancaster!.
THE ANDERTON STONES PROJECT.
This project was started during 1976 following permission being granted to the late chairman of the society Mr Jack Rawlinson from Horwich, by the resident Liverpool Corporation Water Works at Anderton, to access the site of the former Stonors Anderton Hall, which was located on the west bank of Lower Rivington Reservoir.
Mr Rawlinson had previously re-discovered that some of the decorative stones which were part of a frieze around the hall, had not been removed from the site post 1860 when Stonors Anderton Hall was demolished. Following several visits to the overgrown site during the winter of 1976 into 77', plus the removal of large amounts of undergrowth, several pieces of decorated stone were found. This recovery work continued into the summer of 1977.
Stonors Anderton Hall had been built in 1868 on this site, some two miles north west from the original Anderton Hall, and following the purchase of the Anderton Estate by the Stonor Family. When the new hall was built, it was decided that some of the families who, by marriage, were associated with the Anderton/Stonor's, would have their coats of arms carved in stone and built around the hall as a frieze at first floor height.
When the hall was demolished in 1930, many of those heraldic stones were saved from demolition clearance, and left in situ on the site, with a view to their being removed by the Liverpool Corporation Authority to some other site of their choice. This did not happen, and gradually the stones were forgotten about and left to become lost and overgrown.
This then was where the society came in, some forty years later, to rediscover the stones that were lost and forgotten about. Our proposals for the stones, were to re-erect them in some public place. After some discussion with the late Mr Bill Salmon of Rivington Hall, (who plied us with food and drinks during the work). It was agreed the stones would be placed close to Rivington Hall where they would be built into a wall.
The stones were eventually transported to Rivington Hall, where they were sorted and identified, like a huge jig saw puzzle, for some of the stones weighed over five hundredweights, and most of them had to be pieced together into their respective individual coat of arms.
During mid/late 1977 and into 1978, the heraldic stones were built into a wall, by four members of the society; Chairman L. Chapman, Secretary J. Smith, and Committee members J. Priestley, and T. Hull, with further occasional help from other members, who were engaged on obtaining the stones which formed the wall, against which the heraldic stones were built into.
The project was completed in later 1978, and subsequently, the society had many enquiries about the names of families on the heraldic stones, and their association with the Anderton Family. A plaque was erected on the stones when the work was completed, this was renewed in 2001. The stones are still a talking point with the visiting general public.
During 1984, some 25 years after a preliminary excavation had been carried out, we obtained permission to carry out a further evaluation dig on the possible line of the Roman Road between Wigan and Walton-le-Dale, which runs across Coppull Moor, The site selected was some two hundred yards further north, at the apposite side of a field from which the first trench had been dug in 1959.
The new trench was roughly aligned to the previous one, and by making our new trench longer, it was hoped that we would pick up the alignment of the road, if it had deviated from its route.
At a depth of approximately 16 inches, a cobbled surface was found, with intermittent scarring running across it. This was determined as being plough damage. The surface of this road appeared to have been made up of small sandstone flags, with clay/pebbles below. These pebbles became smaller in diameter as they were laid nearer to the edge of the road. The true width could not be determined due to plough damage.
This additional section of road, as found in this latest trial dig was in a trench four feet wide only. If it is the Roman Road, it is the furthest north from Wigan that this road has been found. No artefacts were found, thus we cannot positively say this is a roman road, but it is certainly a candidate for it. A future dig is to be done at this site, when a larger area of this enigmatic road can be opened up.
The suspected secondary roman road to the east side of Healey Nab was also examined, for evidence of construction details. It was not possible to obtain a cross section of the road, but kerbstones were discovered at each side of this road along some lengths.
For the rest of the 1980's, the society was involved with a variety of work, such as campaigning for the restoration of listed buildings, producing reports on sites under threat. The setting up of Conservation Areas within the town at St Laurences and St Georges Street, and in the villages of Rivington, Brindle and White Coppice. We raised objections to many proposals for the development of certain buildings, such as the Cruck Barn at Duxbury, which, despite the protests etc has now sadly been converted into offices.
We emphasised our role as a 'District Society', in continuing our regular field walks around the parishes of Chorley, and maintained our affiliation with the Council for British Archaeology, and the Lancashire and Cheshire Historical Society.
The late 1980's saw more of the society members 'doing their own thing' whilst under the society umbrella, which allowed members to get together on projects, and ensure regular progress reports were made back to the society membership. This policy is still maintained today, although society projects are carried out as well, which are done by volunteers.
The last years of the 80's decade saw membership at about 30 only, but we looked forward to a new decade in the hope of an increase, which sadly did not take place, but this did not deter the extant members!.
SOCIETY ACTIVITIES THROUGH THE 1990's
As we entered the l990's, the society members still enjoyed the wide variety of topics and lectures we had at our monthly meetings, when historical and archaeological subjects were presented. Most lectures were, as they still are today, accompanied by slides.
Our selection of subjects for lecture presentations to the society members is, in the main, relevant to Chorley and/or Lancashire. We also cover general British topics, and foreign sites occasionally, such as places of interest visited by members whilst on holiday.
In the first three years of the decade, we had lectures at our monthly meetings covering the following subjects, which will illustrate the wide range of subjects covered, a selection of lectures presented were on:-
'The Farringtons of Worden Hall',
'Conservation of Archaeological Finds',
'The Bolton to Preston Railway',
'The Decline of the Duxbury Estate in the 18th Century',
'A History of Martin Mere',
'The City of Lancaster',
'Halls of the Leyland Hundred',
'Discovering Medieval Lost Villages'.
During 1991, we introduced an annual meeting which we called 'Bring an Object and tell us about it' night, which has proved to be interesting and amusing, listening to stories and anecdotes, as well as being a bit of fun. It's always a surprise to see what members have either collected, or acquired over the years.
Our annual coach outings in the early to mid 1990's took us to some
interesting places, such as...
In 1990 to Iron Bridge and Stokesay Castle, Shropshire.
In 1991 to the Cathedral City of Lincoln.
In 1992 to Furness Abbey and Ravenglass in Cumbria.
In 1993 to the Roman Military Museum, and a walk along part of Hadrians
Wall to Housteads Fort.
In 1994 to Cresswell Crags and Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. Several of these outings saw members of the Leyland Historical Society joining with us for the day.
An evening excursion in 1992 saw the society members travel to Manchester's Cheethams College, for a guided tour including the famous library, followed by a musical presentation by students.
In 1994, our fortieth year, we held a major exhibition in Chorley Library which was attended by Chorley's Mayor and Mayoress Clr Tony Gee and Mrs Gee, as well as other officers of the Chorley Borough Council. This exhibition was moved around to other Chorley District branch libraries also.
Shortly after our 40th exhibition, we were invited by the Mayor to an evening in the Mayor's Parlour/Council Chamber of the Town Hall, to hear about the history of the Civic Regalia.
Some other activities of the society which, up to now, have not been mentioned have been historical 'Treasure Hunts' in two of the local outlying parishes, which were of great value to members, to learn about the history of a specific area.
The society secretary has liased with other groups in the town, as the representative of this society on several projects and schemes, and continues to do so in 2003. Such as the Healey Nab Action Group, where be has led walks around the Nab.
He also represents the society on groups set up by Chorley Borough Council, where historical/archaeological information, reports, or expertise are required.
Those groups are:
The Chorley Environmental Forum.
Where concerns relating to the historical and archaeological environment in the Chorley Area are discussed etc.
The Yarrow Valley Park Advisory Committee.
Where a historical trail has been set up with several pamphlet guides relating to the history of the Birkacre area have been compiled.
The Chorley Town Centre Initiative, Sub Group.
The Sub Group has created a Town Centre Heritage Trail, which will be have a pamphlet guide, which will accompany a numbered waymark system around the town centre during 2004.
The Sub Groups 'Cheapside Improvement' programme has produced a scheme to enhance this street. At one end of the street, a stone obelisk on a plinth, has been erected. This was made by the society secretary Mr Jack Smith and committe member Stuart Whalley. It was set up in 2002. The obelisk commemorates an ancient cross, called 'Chorley Moor Cross', which stood nearby, and was 'lost' in the late 19th century.
The society members are regularly informed of new schemes that are being evolved within the Chorley Area by the local council, of which the society can help with or advise, etc, by the secretary's liaison work on these other committees. Although despite recommendations/objections by the society, some schemes get approval to go ahead, such as the construction of roads through ancient woodland, the use of a cruck barn for offices, and the building of more and more houses in and around sensitive historical areas.
The 40th year exhibition in 1994 created a lot of interest with the general public of the town which led to many enquiries about the history of the town, its personalities and characters, its mines and its mills, and about the development of the town. These enquiries led to a large number of letters too-ing and fro-ing between the society and the general public, plus we had a good share of newspaper publicity as well.
LANCASTER CANAL TRAMWAY EXCAVATION...
This was the only excavation work undertaken by the society as a whole during the 1990's decade. It was carried out in Bamber Bridge, some six miles to the north of Chorley. Strictly speaking, it was a project that from a 'territorial' point of view, was outside the Chorley Area. But no other group seemed to want to take the work on, nor did any of the local professional archaeologists, who had been contacted by the site owner before be asked the Chorley society.
This tramway (horse drawn railway), was opened in 1804 and was in use until the late 1860's, but was intended as a purely 'temporary measure' to 'connect' the two ends of the Lancaster Canal. The north section of the canal, from Lancaster, ended in Preston, and the south part of the canal, from Westhoughton (between Bolton and Wigan), ended at Bamber Bridge. The ends of the canal were almost five miles apart!.
To join the canal ends, many schemes were proposed, from an aqueduct over the River Ribble, to damming the Ribble making it non-tidal, so that canal boats could be floated downstream from Brindle/Bamber Bridge to Preston, where they would be lifted via an inclined plane to the level of the canal again.
All these schemes were very costly, so a 'temporary' railway was built between the two ends. On this railway were three inclines, two were of the balancing type and the other was powered by a stationary steam engine. This was located at the top of the incline in Avenham Park. Here the horse drawn wagons were connected to a continuous wire rope and drawn up the incline on the Preston side. Then drawn by horse again to the canal basin.
By the 1860's, the Bamber Bridge to Preston section of this tramway was little used, and by the later 1860's, circa 1868, the Bamber Bridge to Walton Summit of the tramway became disused.
The excavation took place following the owner of a garage wanting to extend sideways onto adjacent spare land. When clearing this, stone blocks were found..... Our initial evaluation of the site showed these to be the former stone sleeper blocks as used on the tramway system.
After a period of some four weeks excavation on the site, had opened up and area some 120 feet long by 30 feet wide. The overburden on the site varied in depth, from six inches at the west end where it ajoined the footpath of the A6 road (where a level crossing was located). At the east end of the site the stone blocks were four feet deep.
Within this area four rows of stone blocks were found, as used for two sets or cast iron rails, plus a crossing, and another set of rails forming a siding leading into the later garage, which was used in the days of the tramway as a blacksmiths shop, for repairs to the wagons. Several pieces of cast iron rail were found, including one in situ still secured to the stone blocks with pins. There was a cobbled ditch at each side of the tramway cobbled surface. A section of the cobbled tramway was removed to Worden Park, Leyland where it was relaid. by members.
PROJECTS AID EXCAVATION WORK COMPLETED SINCE 1995.
The society has been active with projects around the parishes of Chorley
since the mid 90's, all of which are referred to below:
1) MILEPOSTS AND PARISH BOUNDARY STONES. A list was drawn up from old maps and other reference sources, to show how many of the above stones were located throughout the Chorley District. Following on from this, society members carried out fieldwork at all the sites of these posts/stones, to verify their presence or absence. During this work, many of the mileposts were cleaned and re-painted, those with their remaining cast iron plates were removed sandblasted and repainted before refitting.
Of the total stones/posts that should have been present, less than half of them are still in situ. Of those, many have been moved a short distance, if they have been 'in the way' or road works or alterations etc. This project is completed, except for those stones which are either missing or buried, or which are too near the roadside to be safe to work on. All those stones etc in this situation, have been reported to the County Highways Authority, pending their lifting and subsequent cleaning and repainting etc.
NOTE RE' THEFT OF TWO MILEPOSTS...
In the Standish, Coppull, Charnock Richard area to the south west and west of Chorley, was a long continuous series of cast iron mileposts, which were quite decorative as well as historical in their own right. They were cast at the Haigh Foundry in 1837, as is stated on the posts.
Two of these cast iron posts were stolen during 2000, and are still 'missing'. One was sited on Coppull Moor, and the other in Charnock Richard. If anyone comes across these posts please let us know, or contact the Police, who were informed of the theft. See the photograph following, which illustrates the type of post that was stolen.
2) THE CROSSES AND HOLY WELLS OF LEYLAND HUNDRED.
This project was started during 1998, and was begun to discover how many of these features still existed in the Leyland Hundred area of which Chorley was a part during the 1990's, as compared with a list of such features which was drawn up by Henry Taylor during the 1880's, one hundred years previously.
Here, many hours of fieldwork were undertaken, to try and find these crosses and/or wells. The project is, to a certain extent open ended, but is classed as finished, for so many of the former 'wayside crosses' are missing, many believed to have been 'removed' to private gardens for so called 'safe keeping' when in fact they are a part of our history and heritage. Those known to have been 'removed' (or stolen) have been classed as 'LOST' from their original site.
A list has been compiled of those which still exist. Of the wells, they are largely all gone. Of the crosses, a half only still remain. The society has made a 'replacement' to commemorate the loss of one cross in Chorley, and has found, and relocated a cross base in Euxton Village. This project work is to be published by the NW Catholic History Society.
3) THE HALLS IN CHORLEY AND DISTRICT.
(THIS PROJECT WAS INITIALLY STARTED AS ONE FOB THE LADIES OF THE SOCIETY TO WORK ON, BEING LESS PHYSICAL THAN SOME OTHER PROJECTS).
The idea of compiling such a list arose from the many questions asked by members and visitors to society meetings, as to when certain local halls were built, where were they, and. which family lived in them.
By compiling such a resource, we considered it would be useful if kept in the society library, and would eliminate many visits to the local reference library by members.
The list following, contains the 'halls' which have been found. Some of these are quite large, and 'true halls' as we generally understand them to be. On the other hand, many 'halls' are now small farmhouses today.
One of the interesting questions raised by this research work is;-
What is the criteria that allows a building to be called 'a hall'?. This has been raised largely due to the variation in size of many of these 'hall' properties. Despite many theories, no definitive answer has been arrived at. Generally, we are of the opinion that the name stems from the Medieval 'Open Hall House'. (Any opinions welcome)!.
The following list, names the halls in the 22 parishes of Chorley, plus three just outside the Borough. As this project is still underway, the following list will be added to, deleted from, amended etc. It will ultimately be listed in three parts.
1) The Large Halls (this will also include the large houses to be found in the area as well).
2) The Smaller Halls in the Borough.
3) Halls just outside the Borough of Chorley.