GUIDED TOUR FROM TODMORDEN HALL TO THE HAMLET OF PORTSMOUTH ALONG
THE BURNLEY VALLEY AND UP TO THE HEIGHTS
at the houses and buildings and meeting the folk who lived there
by John Travis 1908
by Arlene Hinman in 2003
our stand upon the canal bridge in the town of Todmorden, in coaching
days, and looking to the left hand there stand Todmorden Hall,
said to have been at first built by the Radcliffe family of Turton,
in Lancashire, as a shooting-box to which they came annually during
the grouse or other game seasons to shoot the wild animals and
birds which then visited the moors and marshes of the district.
The hall probably dates back six or seven hundred years and has
been altered and enlarged several times notably by Savile Radcliffe
about the beginning of the seventeenth century, and by John and
Tamar Fielden at the beginning of the eighteenth century.
Home Farm (house and barn) was situated close to the mansion at
the wet end, together with a number of cottages, and other rooms
for plying the trade of cloth making, the people working in this
business being generally styled clothiers. JOHN FIELDEN had been
occupying the hall and other premises for some time when, in 1716,
he purchased it, together with the Home Farm, woods and plantations.
Also Doghouse or New Inn, High-barn and Edge-end farms, which
he held until his death in 1734-5.
the property (except NEW INN and Edge-end Farm) fell to his favourite
nephew Abraham, son of his eldest brother, Joshua Fielden of BOTTOMLEY,
Walsden, who held the property and business until his death before
1790. At his death there was only one son (also called Abraham),
and five daughters (some of them married), and as they had not
the energy to carry on the stuff making they were disposed to
realise the estate, which was sold before 1790 to Anthony Crossley
of Ewood and Scaitcliffe. Edge-end, and Doghouse (WHITE HART OR NEW INN), and Carr-barn or Platts-house farms had been disposed
of during the Uncle John's lifetime to other nephews.
now walk down the Strand and along Church-street to the County
or River Bridge forward to the Black Swan Inn, and from there
take a look northward as from these points we could at a former
time see Stansfield Hall and the valley leading to Eastwood and
Hebden Bridge. In the COACHING DAYS the Golden Lion Inn stableman
was wont to walk the relays of horses down to the points named,
from which he could see the coach coming at Millwood and Lower
Laith-hill, and then he would give the animals a quiet walk back
to the Inn to be in readiness for the change when the vehicle
Hall is a very ancient place, perhaps not as old as Todmorden
Hall, but as far as is known it was erected and held by many generations
of the Sutcliffe family of Stansfield, indeed until the last,
Mr John Sutcliffe a lawyer by profession. He married Isabella
daughter of Mr Geo. Eccles of the White Hart Inn and farm, but
before their children came of age the estates were alienated and
gradually passed into the possession of other owners.
to the Heights
on Burnley way, we come to Hole-bottom-meadowbottom, which was
in later times shortened to Meadow-bottom as a place name and
which was a considerable village in 1840. At the top of the meadows
stands Holebottom Mill which was in the tenancy of Messrs. Hinchliffe
Brothers of Crag-vale. When gas was laid on to that district,
say from 1830 to 1840, they had in their service a man who went
by the name of "Neddy Wuff." Neddy had something to
do with the gas, and there was an explosion in which Neddy was
involved. It appears that he was overcome by the fumes and was
carried home in a state of semi-consciousness, but he always thought
he had been blown up, and had alighted at Meadow-bottom near his
own home. Seemingly those on the job never disabused his mind
of that impression, but let him go on telling it for a fact. The
writer heard him telling the story in Todmorden on a Saturday
night about 1838, and some of his hearers remarked "Why,
Teddy, it wor a wonder tha worn't killed," to which
he assented, but seemingly did not know that it had not occurred
exactly as he related it.
up in this depression of the land is Ratcha, a small
cotton carding and spinning mill, turned by water power, and which
at one time was a bobbin works where Mr Lawrence Wilson of Cornholme
fame, made his first efforts in the bobbin manufacturing trade;
and after him, the Hartley Brothers, of Meadow-bottom.
going forward up the hill is Wickenberry Clough where the HELLIWELLS of Greenhirst-hey had at a former time a small wool carding and
drawing factory turned by water coming down from the Stansfield
hill and farms. Then we arrive at Greenhirst-hey, a good farm,
now belonging to a branch of the Sutcliffe family of Harley House
up still is Windy Harbour Farm, once the home of Joseph Charnock,
a handloom weaver with a wife and several children. Here he wove
and studied for the "Ministry of the Word," and was
appointed curate of Heptonstall Church and parish which he filled
successfully for a period of forty-five years.
let us return to two old houses beside the clough between Holebottom
and Meadow-bottom near the footroad from Hollins to the Royd "Oak-hill
clough," and some folks have further polluted the name by
calling a man who lived there "Jonathan Yokehill."
up the hill again we come to "Hough" or "How"
Stones Farm, once the property and home of a branch of the HELLIWELL family who emigrated to Toronto, Canada. Later it was occupied
by a family of mechanics or wheelwrights.
still higher up there is Scrapers-lane, a place of some note and
above that, Callyhall-farm. As to the latter name, we can only
suggest that it was once bought on speculation, and paid for by
the weaving of so much calico.
up the mountain side above Callyhall Far is a large field belonging
to the Greenhirst-hey Farm which is generally called "Lympas,"
which is short for Olympus. This field was reclaimed from a state
when it grew nothing but moss-crops and was made into good pasture
land by Mr John Helliwell, who, before 1830, had set his servant
men to gather a large quantity of this English grown cotton, which
he had carded and spun at the FRITHS Old Factory in Dulesgate,
and afterwards warped and woven, intended for a suit of clothes
- breeches, vest, coat, and two pairs of stocking - for King George
the Fourth. The stuff was made up and sent to London but the King
died about when it should have landed and whether it ever reached
the right place or not was never known, as no word ever came in
back on the Stansfield hill-top is Bunt-edge (Burnt-edge) Farm
once the home of Mr Jas. Holdsworth a successful home manufacturer,
a putter-out of warps and weft to be woven by the country side
weavers. Mr Gledhill of Mosshall was also a putter-out. He had
one son and two daughters. The son became Dr. Gledhill of York-street,
Todmorden. Young Uttley of the DOG & PARTRIDGE INN, Lumbutts,
married the elder daughter and Charles Sutcliffe of Greathouse-clough
married Hannah Gledhill of Mosshall and later went to keep the
Lumbutts public-house where he died in 1833.
Robertshaw of White Reaps was also a home manufacturer and made
money in the trade so that he could purchase farms and other property.
About 1840 he purchased KNOWLWOOD BOTTOM MILL when Wm. Crossley
and his partner Mr Ashton succumbed to bad trade and there he
flourished many years.
in the Valley
let us drop down to the valley again and say that Blindlane as
its name indicates was always a tortuous old road leading to Harley
House and Mill thence forward to Meadow-bottom, Stansfield Hall,
and by devious ways to Cross Stone and the hilly county of Stoneyfield.
It also led to the old Adamroyd farmstead which was in old times
occupied by Major Marshall and his wife and family. Hence the
name of the clough coming down from Holebottom was at this place
changed to Major Clough which name it has retained to the present.
is a rather ancient place and has an artistic name. The great
curiosity of this locality is the syke where there are three different
spouts each on spouting a different kind of water, one of which
will not freeze in frosty weather. At the bottom of Ferneylee-lane
on one side, there was formerly a beerhouse kept before 1840 by
Mr JAMES SUTHERS and in later times it was used by Sergeant John
Heap, the constable, as a lock-up while he and his family lived
next door on the main-road side.
the other side stood the Inghamite chapel and minister's house.
This sect was pretty numerous about the date name, but later as
the old adherents fell off it gradually dwindled away, the property
being afterwards sold by the authorities and converted into a
up, at the head of Ferneylee-lane is the Royd a splendid country
gentleman's house where in 1840 Miss Heap sister, of John and
George Heap (the latter being farmer of the Sunnyside land at
Cornholme), kept a seminary for young ladies and was regarded
as quite a superior establishment in those times. Thos. Whitehead
held the farm, his house lying back somewhat, and the barn and
cattle premises being at the north end. The farm is a pretty extensive
one, including the Royd hills. It was to this place that the first
trip of Sunday scholars came from Manchester in 1842.
Farm, to the north, used to be designated Stele. Close by is Ashenhurst
surrounded by a wood of ash trees. Further northward the residence
of old Mrs Clegg which might have had another name and perhaps
has been called East Bank. Now we go up by the footroad and at
the top are the two farms East and West Whirlaw. In the days of
packhorse carrying, one of these houses was the Packhorse Inn
but after the valley roads were made in 1765 the licence was removed
to the Bay Horse Inn, Cross Stone.
these farms stands Whirlaw hill a famous rendezvous for May meetings
in the early mornings. Also for demonstrations such as rejoicings
for victories in arms, etc. Dungeon-top is a little further on.
Once it was a single cottage house and the home of the late John
Nowell the botanist after he became a married man and a handloom
weaver. From this point the road goes across Harleywood-slack
to the Springs Farm. This was not an inn, but it was said that
the people there sold tiplash or stingo or else something weaker
made from grout, a sort of beer for the lads and lasses and it
might well be so in that highland place.
this point view we must go to the very top of Stansfield Moor
and have a look at Bride Stones and Bottle-neck which have been
great curiosities for hundreds of years. Behind these is Raw-pole
so called because of the extreme cold there during the winter
Vale and Ewood
the west side of the main road in Todmorden in 1844, the church
people and incumbent (Rev. Joseph Cowell) purchased the "little
Holme" and part of the "Great Holme," by the road-side
in order to enlarge the churchyard, and find a site for the NATIONAL SCHOOL. The site of the church and yard had been given at a former
period by Mr Samuel Greenwood of Stones, but this time they had
his trustees and agent (Mr Wm. Robinson) to deal with and got
the plots for £1,010. Then the sacristy school was taken
down and the materials were used in erecting the new place. A
new owner had been established at Centre Vale in the person and
family of John Fielden, MP for the borough of Oldham, but he had
not then purchased the rest of the Great Holme.
Mr Thos. Ramsbotham erected Centre Vale House in 1826-8 he occupied
the cottage or master's house at the far end of Ewood Mill at
which place he had the cotton carding and spinning done, and all
the putting out of warps and weft to country side weavers. At
the end near the river he had an iron foundry and a staff of moulders
and mechanics producing cotton machinery for Knott Mill at the
bottom of Deansgate, Manchester, of which he was a partner or
owner, the machines when ready being sent off from Todmorden canal
wharf by Messrs. J. and J. Veevers' boats to Manchester.
before Mr Ramsbotham began to build his house in the valley, he
purchased a meadow that went by the river side to near the front
of the intended building, from Mrs Jonas Turner of the Shoulder
of Mutton Inn, Toad-carr. Also two small fields called Reedy-lees
from the trustees of Mr Joshua Fielden of the Holme Farm. The
Holme was probably so named from the wide expanse of meadows in
front of the farm premises stretching from the main road up the
hillside on the left hand, and round by the back parts, coming
down to the entrance of the Holme and Ashenhurst road. He also
bought two small farms, Platts House and Carr-barn from Mr Joshua
Fielden of Platts House but not Buckley Wood, which had always,
up to this date been included in the Todmorden Hall estates. (By
the way we may say that Joshua Fielden of Platts House came from
a Samuel Fielden, the younger brother of Thos. Fielden of Hollingworth,
Walsden; Samuel being born at Edge-end on November 25th 1722.
He bought the Platts House and Carr-barn estates from Thomas his
cousin, the son of Nicholas Fielden of Edge-end.) Joshua of Platts
House was born in 1766.
Ewood Mill there was the Malthin of Mr John Greenwood of Harehill
House. Further up the lane, Ewood House, the property of Mr John
Stansfield , a prosperous putter-out from Todmorden-edge and also
owner of Lineholme Mill further up the valley.
forward up by Sicket-gate and the Sourhall old highway, we pass
High-barn and arrive at Dean House and the Todmorden-edge farms,
both places being formerly in Quaker possession, with a meeting
house and graveyard attached. It was here that the Rev. Henry
Krabtree and his man broke into a meeting at the house of Henry
Keily for holding an unlawful assembly for the worship of Almighty
God, and took the names of about twenty person who were later
taken before a justice of the peace. Mr Keily was fined in the
sum of £20, and his neighbours who had come to a peaceable
meeting were fined five shillings each. (more about this HERE)
was then in the hands of Samuel Fielden, the brother of John,
of Todmorden Hall, and later of William Sutcliffe. Further on
that hillside are Royd House and Gibbet Farms and backward towards
Todmorden common or moorland, DYKE GREEN, DYKE, and Moorside Farms
all held by members of the Law family, the descendants of "Rough
Robin," This Robert or Robin was the first on the list and
is supposed to have come with the Pretender, as a Scotch rebel
but stayed here and married a wife, a native of these parts. One
of his sons or grandsons, SAMUEL LAW, a clogger by trade, later migrated
to Walsden and founded the Laws of RAMSDEN WOOD etc. Another
Law, a nephew of the above also established his family at Smales,
Walsden where he acquired a small freehold estate and when he
died left stalwarts sons and daughters as native in the place
as the trees that grew near their dwelling place.
or West-end a small farm near Sourhall was in old times the home
of a Crabtree family. They were also handloom weavers and milk
and porridge their principal food, which apparently did well for
them for several lived to be over eighty years of age, and one
(John) to over ninety.
and the Dunningly Tannery
do not pretend to know where Sourhall derived its name from unless
it might be that the grass and fodder in that district was not
considered to be good food for cattle and perhaps a bit sour too.
However that might have come about let it suffice to say that
at the time that hand-loom weaving was the staple industry of
the district, Sourhall was quite a populous district. When about
1840 that trade died out to some extent, several of the cottages
were pulled down and the materials of which they were built were
removed to DULESGATE and rebuilt there. The speculation never
repaid the owner, one Abraham Fielden, and they were afterwards
removed again to another place.
the old industry died out there was one family which did not leave
the place on account of that, and that was the HOLT FAMILY - the
children of Martin Holt, a lifelong resident of the Sourhall district,
who married Mary daughter of James and Hannah Fielden of Sourhall.
This Martin Holt had a large family of sons and daughters and
on the introduction of the power-loom, he started in business
as a picker-maker, in which his sons joined him, and the business
from its industries, Sourhall was at one time - in the days of
the pack-horse trade- quite an important place of call for the
trader, and there was a public-house at the place, but when the
pack trade was ruined by the introduction of the turnpike roads,
the licence was taken away and transferred to the Spring Gardens
Inn, at the back of Todmorden Hall.
few people will remember that in the old days there was a place
of the name of the Dunningly Tannery in Todmorden, and indeed
the name only appears in one place - in the old churchyard. As
a matter of fact there used to be a branch tannery (though not
authoritatively known to have been connected with that at Bridgeroyd,
owned by the Gibsons) situated on the edge of Todmorden moor,
near Acre Nook, above Dulesgate and Cloughfoot, the old name of
the place having been Dunningly.
writer had no knowledge of the fact of this being a place name
in the district until the year 1900 when he was in conversation
with an old lady of 80 years old, who distinctly remembered there
being a place of that name, where there was a tannery with house,
barn, and other buildings attached. Further investigations yielded
the information to be found on the gravestone in the churchyard.
The tanner, John Coward, had married Ann, the daughter of John
Travis of Inchfield, Walsden, and the inscription runs thus: -
Also, Ann Coward of Dunningly, daughter of John Travis, of
Inchfield who died 4th February, 1757.
the Valley Again
our steps once again into the valley and crossing by the Holme
we find at the back of the public-house, an old place known as
Cowhurst. At the head of the lane is a row of four small cottages,
which go by the name of Mark-lane. Just a little further west
is a small farm place known as Rawson-field, and still further
west is Cross-lee which derives its name from the fact that it
is situated "across the lea" from Scaitcliffe. Gatebottom-road
leads forward to the Bank farm which used to belong to the Barker
family who were also the owners of the Cross-lee house, their
trade being that of putters-out, etc. Forward up the lane we come
to Scout Farm and past another old spot called "Th' Rake"
or Rake Laith, from which place a certain well-known character
derived the nick-name of "Old Sam o' th' Rake." He also
was a Barker but he came of the Whirlaw family of that name and
his old home was done away with over 50 years ago.
up the hillside there are Howgate and Harley Wood Slack, both
of which farms have been considerably improved by the reclamation
of waste and barren ground by the various owners. At Howgate amongst
other improvements, Mr Wm. Howorth, carrier removed a large mound
which obstructed his view of Todmorden.
the top of the "Slack" is a huge freestone block well
known in the district as "Th' Backstone." And further
above that still is a huge plot of land, which was originally
bought from the freeholders by Mr Howorth, the carrier. The last
named gentleman during the time of slack trade after the finish
of the railway works, found a lot of work for the idle labourers
in the reclamation of the waste land. A little further on we reach
the "Sportsman's Arms," Keb Cote, which is known the
whole district round. The origin of the name is not known, but
it can be surmised that the place was originally built for the
shelter of young cattle, which had been turned out on the rough
pasture to gain sustenance. This shed would probably be "kobbled"
or "kebbed" up of rough stone. The name of the house
has been given to most of its tenants, and three or four generations
ago, it was kept by a man named Midgley, who was never called
by any other name but "Will o' Kebs," and his children
were also given the same by-name.
reservoir further back on the common was constructed by Mr Thos.
Ramsbotham for mill purposes, in the valley, after 1830, and forms
the highest part of the service. Coming down the hill there are
some five perennial springs of very great purity that come down
by Jumps to Catholes Dam.
to the valley from kebs we go by Higher and Lower Hartley farms
and so on to the Orchan Rocks. It has been averred by some people
that these rocks in some way resemble an organ. Scarcely two people
see an object in the same way but all may agree that the place
has been a rendezvous for meetings by sportsmen and hunters from
down is Jumps which probably derives its name from the fact that
the clough here jumps in various small waterfalls, but it was
formerly known as Kitson Royd, and East View was formerly Kitson
Wood, so we get down to the valley once again.
district around Lineholme and Lydgate has altered very little,
if we except the alterations to CANTEEN MILL, the levelling of
Lydgate Mill, and the history of the alteration of the river's
course, which has been fully related in "Old Todmorden."
There is, however one particular item of interest whichhas not
been mentioned in that history and that is the fact that there
used to be a brickworks at the foot of Carholes Clough, but after
many years' hard work, the company which owned the works were
obliged to relinquish the effort to make it pay.
Wood and the Hartley Royd Farm, higher up the hillside belong
to a Halifax School, but the trustees do not seem to have pushed
their land to any great extent, though a number of plots in the
wood are occupied with dwellings. The stone quarry up under the
neb of the Naze has for many years yielded good light coloured
stone to its owners, and it has been used for that purpose for
over fifty years, to the writer's recollection the owners in that
day being Mr. William Mitchell and his son, who farmed the land.
the opposite side of the valley towering over Barewise Mill and
the houses around Blackrock, is the Eagle's Crag, or Bill Knipe,
which has been a favourite spot for all who have wished to make
wagers regarding any other persons' daring. This rock lies just
at the foot of the meadow in which stands New Townley Farm, which
was the home of James Fielden, picker maker, and of his family.
Wet Shaw Farm, after being in the Fielden family was in later
times the home of the Mills family of Todmorden-edge, and for
a long time has been out of the Fielden family. Such are the changes
which take place in the course of two or three hundred years.
next farm is Roundfield which before 1820 was occupied by James
Ratcliffe, late of Hazlegreaves on the Dulesgate side. He had
a large family of hand-weavers and while here he developed a propensity
for other classes of work, possessing mechanical instincts. He
made a small dam to catch the water coming down from the moorside,
and then made a waterwheel to turn the lathes or other machines
used for cutting up wood into required shapes. Then he began making
picker, bobbins, shuttles and "broiches" (skewers) for
cops, as the cops were spun large in those times. These and other
things used by hand weavers many of whom had previously made their
own he made very successfully. He carried on this work until Messrs.
Fielden Bros., of Waterside Mill had erected their weaving shed
to hold a thousand looms in 1828. His wife was Sarah Fielden of
Bridge-end or Knowlwood, and some of his daughters became weavers,
and his sons over-lookers. So we're brought down from the hills
and became acquainted with the ways of valley life.
only other old farm place on that side for the present is "Yead"
(Head) House. It was built in a slight hollow on the mountain
side above Bridge-end House, long before the Bobbin Manufacturing
Company's Mill or the New Church was erected. This farm included
the valley meadows down to Holme-house, from the Waggon and Horses
Inn. The pasture land being chiefly on the hillside over the river
and Frieldhurst goit. It has now been derelict for more than fifty
years. It was probably occupied until about 1846 as in that year
the writer saw smoke coming from the chimney and so presumes there
were people in the house below.
Shackleton of Bridge End
vary the order of proceedings we may here relate an amusing story
with reference to a Mr Shackleton and eccentric farmer of Bridge-end
The story is that on a certain day the old farmer was busy cleaning
up his farm at Bridge-end, when Mr Grimshaw steward for Mr Towneley
of Towneley Hall came riding down the road from Burnley. When
he got to the bridge, the steward turned to speak to the old tenant
as they were old acquaintances, and, before he left, Mr Grimshaw
asked his venerable friend how old he was. Mr Shackleton replied
that he would be 90 years of age if he lived to the next 30th
(?) of Feb., and the agent was so pleased with the old man's affability
that he good humouredly took a sixpence from his pocket and gave
it to him, then resuming his journey to Todmorden. Arriving at
the village he put up at the New Inn (now the White Hart) and
in the course of his conversation with the company he repeated
in good faith the answer of the old man of Bridge-end respecting
his age, not having up to then noted the catch that there is no
such date as the 30 th of February, with the result that the company
were greatly amused at the old joker's trick. There was a small
laugh against the agent at being so egregiously overseen by the
old man, and on his return journey he resolved to call and ask
Shackleton when his birthday was. Arriving once more at Bridge-end
he found his man busy in the shippon, but the old stager forestalled
him by putting one in first, the agent being greeted with the
remark "I see yer horse hasn't all its shooin' on its
fore feet," to which Mr Grimshaw replied that the shoes
were all right when he left Todmorden. Then dismounting, he began
an examination by lifting up each of the horse's four feet. At
the finish he repeated that the shoes were all right, and asked
the old man what he meant by saying they were not on the four
feet. "Aye, aye," Shackleton returned in a
friendly way, "I said they weren't all on the FORE feet,"
which plainly showed that the old fellow if he was nearly
90, had still his quibbling faculties ripe. Mr Grimshaw had had
enough of the old man's quality and rode away from Bridge-end.
Quaker of Shore
turn now to the north side of the valley at Ingbottom where there
is a row of old houses in the bottom, one of which there dwelt,
over 60 years, a butcher and hawker who went by the name of "Mutton
Joseph", also Mr and Mrs John Clegg of Cornholme. Ingbottom
derives its name from "ing" a field and "bottom"
the lower part of a piece of ground.
we start for the hillside and come to Frieldhurst-farm, then to
the right by Dundee Cottages and forward by Mercer-field-wood.
This is the correct spelling of the name, although in later times
it has been spelled "Mersey", "Marsey," and
"marcer-field". Now we go up to Ridge-yate (gate), once
the home of Mrs Susan Law, grocer. After looking about a little
at various other places we come down by the old and yet modernised
parts called Shore, formerly the home and resting place of families
of the Friends or Quakers.
Shore we are told they had in former days a meeting place and
graveyard. Among them were the Fieldens, Crossleys and Stansfields
who in their day met with severe persecution for daring to worship
God according to the dictates of their consciences. Lydia (Crossley),
the wife of Rd. Stansfield, was imprisoned in York Castle for
refusing to pay a rate towards the stipend of the minister or
curate of Cross Stone Church. She could have paid, but refused
to do so conscientiously, and ultimately died there, the debt
of nature being paid but that of the church unpaid.
was then a very old village and adjoining it were several ways
or roads leading to the different farms, but the main highway
led from or to Heptonstall and Burnley. We do not believe that
there have been many Friends there for considerably over a hundred
years, abut all along there have been remnants of one of the old
families who were generally called so-and-so "o' th' Quakers'."
BAPTIST CHURCH has been well established on the hill at Shore
for a long time, and although a branch from it was built in the
valley half a century ago, the old associations are still kept
up and the members vie as they did before 1850 in raising a large
collection at the Sunday School anniversary. The saying "Change
and decay in all around I see" has not been verified in many
ways at Shore, and yet changes have been going on all the time.
The church, having followed popular ideas in supplying music and
other advantages for the congregation worshipping there. John
Spencer the minister there, died March 20th 1819. Another John
Spencer of Shore fold (supposed to be a son), died June 28th in
the same year. Peggy Spencer of Pitts-bottom died on August 17th
1823 aged 58 years. John Spencer the minister was also a handloom
weaver much like another old Baptist minister, (Old) Driver of
Millwood. He also used the loom wore an apron and on fine days
walked out in his shirt sleeves, smoking a short pipe for relaxation.
John Spencer of Shore married twice and the younger John was probably
the son of Peggy the second wife. That at all events is the theory
of other member of the family who inherited the elder John's wig.
down to the valley again, by the Wittonstall footpath, passing
Hullet and the dam of water so called, the name being derived
from the bird of the night, the owl or owlet. The small meadow
between Holme-house Arch and Frieldhurst Mill formerly belonged
to a Quaker family in Rochdale. John Sutcliffe, grocer and carrier,
or his father who was one of the Stile Sutcliffe built the Holm
House and the building at the bottom end of "Yeadhouse"
farm meadow which stretched up to near the Waggon and Horses Inn.
About midway was a lane and the Sunnyside farmstead Sunnybank
was built in 1835, but is supposed to have come from the old farmhouse
or to be a door top of the old church at Cross Stone.
which has given a name to the district as a suburb of Todmorden,
its market town was the holme stretching from Bankwell Wood and
coal-pit to the extreme or narrow end near the railway stone bridge
and once Mr Lawrence Wilson's garden and homestead. The conjecture
is that at some earlier period this holme was sown with corn,
hence came the name of Cornfield or Cornholme. Turning under the
arch we come to Pudsey where John Hodgson and family had land
and the freehold right to Paul clough water which came first to
Pudsey cotton mill in the bottom, which was afterwards changed
to bobbin manufacturing by Mr John Helliwell. Pudsey Clough divides
Cliviger from Stansfield. Mr John Hodgson built the Springwood
Mill about 1840, intending to run it by water power, but the goit
to bring the water as it left Pudsey Mill was not made and later
a steam engine and boiler were put in, and his sons began the
bobbin making trade. Afterwards a son-in-law, Mr Parker Astin,
used the higher rooms for powerloom manufacturing. About 1857-8
both the bobbin making and the cotton manufacturing came to grief
and the place stood derelict until there was a boom in cotton
again, when Mr Shackleton took it and began carding and spinning
cotton once more.
by this place on the Cliviger side of the water, the Caldervale
Company erected a weaving shed in 1856 intending to let it in
small sections. The place in the first instance was for 300 looms
and it was immediately occupied some of the small beginners doing
very well in trade.
small way up Pudding-lane was old Ralph's stone quarry which yielded
a sort of rag or bastard flagstone which was good for foundations
and drainage works. There "old Rove" plied his trade
as a delver for many years but he was shortly better employed
in building other works, such as weaving sheds, etc.
Pitts higher up than old Pudsey about fifty years ago, Mr Thos.
Marshall, grocer, erected a shop and house. Afterwards he became
a manufacturer in partnership at Caldervale Weaving Shed out of
which venture he did pretty well.
up still, but whether at Lower or Higher Pitts, the writer does
not know, there dwelt Mr Abm. Marshall, a shoemaker, and cousin
to the Thomas Marshall before mentioned. This gentleman was reported
to have been in London, consequently he went by the name of "the
Londoner." Mr Marshall was a ripe politician and always ready
for an argument and for a country dweller he was a very well known
man. He also later entered the weaving trade and his going "On
Change" in Manchester gave him still greater opportunities
of manifesting his skill in debate. He was one of the prime movers
in the erection of the Cornholme Town Hall (so-called), which
was not a very late event. Mr Abm. Marshall was in his later days
very enterprising as a manufacturer, and it is believed that he
got through the cotton panic of 1862-5 with a whole skin. At any
rate he went forward for a good while with new energy and was
as lively as a young man who had made his fortune. The inhabitants
of Pitts, Pudsey, were all akin and when the writer visited the
Marshalls he also had a look in upon two other brother, Thos.
And Robert Stansfield who for many years were repairers of the
old and historic home of the Pendle Forest witches and other sleight
folks has been degraded into a common inland farmplace for over
a hundred years and nestles in a depression of the hillside. Over
sixty years ago it was adorned with a good quantity of well grown
trees - plane, ash, spruce and Scotch firs. There was formerly
an outer wall which formed a sort of stockade or place into which
to take cattle or sheep for protection. The Tower has many traditions
of bygone days when the witches rode broomsticks when attending
meetings, when the mythical white dove was seen. There are many
wonderful things connected with this place, but it is so long
since the writer read of them that he must refer interested readers
to Roby's "Traditions of Lancashire," which is in the
local Free Library or perhaps Harrison Ainsworth's works. This
is the last farm on the Todmorden side of the boundary but there
are the Carrs and the Crags on the common side. These were planted
with trees many years ago which will be grown somewhat now. Also
many new houses have been erected by the Carrs-road side.
the year 1897 when rubbing up some old matter of the above nature,
the writer met with a young friend from the Cornholme district.
We entered into conversation upon the subject of place-names mutually
pointing out changes in many quarter and in some cases the entire
obliteration of names not now applied to places which formerly
were called by them. Somebody had then recently been giving a
list of old names in the Burnley Valley many of which were greatly
changed or had entirely gone out of use. Leaving out all contentious
matter I will endeavour to give the gist of my friend's story.
Chatham, Whithave and Portsmouth
olden times the Roebuck Inn and farm were in the occupation of
a family named Clegg. The father was generally known as "Tommy,"
and his sister was the wife of "Jone-o'-Bens," a noted
blacksmith in Todmorden. The Roebuck Inn is situated at the bottom
of Beater Clough about three miles from Todmorden on the Burnley
road. Whether the name of the place at first came from the clough
as "Beater-clough-bottom," cannot now be positively
stated. The name by which the village is now known was given to
it by a member of the Clegg family. Thos. Clegg and his wife had
a son who as a young man left home and wandered far from his native
place. He enlisted as a mariner being for several years stationed
at Portsmouth and other naval stations around the coast. On the
termination of his engagement he returned to his people at the
old home in the Cliviger valley, Todmorden.
this point it may be stated that in Cliviger many of the farms
had formerly, besides the homestead barn, one or two outside "Laithes,"
where the occupier could stow a portion of the hay or other produce
and also seal young or lying-off cattle during the winter months.
In those times one such place stood in a field behind the public
house, being then known as the milking house standing beside the
footroad leading to Brownbirks farm and other parts of Cliviger.
The "Joiner's house and barn " stood higher up the road
leading to Burnley, just below a bend in the road close to the
entrance to the way leading to the "Deyne," or the later
Langfield's farm situated up on the hillside.
three laithers - Beater-clough-bottom, Milking-house and Joiner's
house - then formed something like the feet of a three-legged
stool, the last named being the back leg and the two former, the
front legs. Sometime after the younger Clegg had come home again
he is reported to have discovered something that reminded him
of Portsmoouth, Whitehaven and Chatham. So he named the public-house
"Portsmouth", the Milking-house, "Whitehaven"
and the Joiner's-house, "Chatham." There is no reason
whatever to doubt the story as the names were most certainly changed
and the places have been known by the latter names ever since.
old inn remains much the same, but Chatham is now almost in ruins
being much dilapitated. While Whitehaven became "The Haven"
over sixty years ago. Whitehaven was an old black tumbledown house
in 1846, and was then occupied by an old widow woman. She had
reared her family there and in the month of October in that year
there was a sale of black oak furniture, as she was going to live
with one of her married daughters. The writer was present at the
sale and it was then stated that the place was to be taken down
and a new house built upon the site for Mr James Green, a member
of the Cliviger Coal Company and the architect of the new Portsmouth
Mill, the house being built later and called "The Haven."
This explanation will show in some degree how these small unpretentious
inland places obtained their names - the names of three
of the most important naval stations or coast towns of our country.
The idea was novel to a degree to most of the then inhabitants
but many other have since followed the example.
man of the name of Robert Whitaker and his wife Mally kept the
Roebuck Inn eighty or ninety years ago. They built two good houses
at the higher end of Portsmouth-row on the other side of the road,
at the end of the highway leading by Carrs to Bernshaw Tower,
Old Guide, and Sourhall to Todmorden. Mr Whitaker died and his
widow a hearty old woman continued the business for a long time
after. She was a pleasant and sympathetic friend to call and see,
and coal or lime carriers could not afford to pass the house without
seeing and speaking with old Mally. John Luke Whitaker succeeded
his mother at the house and married Mary Heyworth a native of
Whiteslack, Walsden. She had been in the service of Jane (Haigh)
Hill-Fielden of the Waggon and Horses, Bottoms, and later of the
White Hart Inn Todmorden, where the landlady became JANE FIRTH AND JANE CROSSLEY in succession.
Portsmouth Mill had been at work for a few years, the old houses
were occupied by Jim o' Steen's, Old Harry Greenwood, Th' Old
Painter, Th'Old Butcher, Davy Banks (a tailor), Charles o'Dicks
(watchman), Mr Capstick (the engineer) and John and Ashton o'th'
Quakers. Ashton Greenwood (o'th' Quakers) married Sally o'th'
Butchers, and set up house in a small shebeen on the other side
of the water, and kept a spice, nuts and gingerbread shop where
"John at Whoam" and "John o'th' Safe Side"
used to spend pleasant evenings. The writer knew them all.
a fine summer Sunday in 1847 we went to old Peter Ormerod's of
Highgate farm up in the hill country of Cliviger going by Chatham,
the Cabin and Newhey, Mr Chaffer's farm. Mr Ormerod's place and
house was in grand order and the old man was very chatty and instructive.
He told us that he and his fathers had held the farm for over
two hundred years and had buried some of their dead in the croft
where we saw one or more gravestone. And now, at the end of this
chapter the writer is free to confess that he was never exactly
at Brown-birks farm, but he knew Mr Greenwood, the farmer of those
back days, and he was a nice clean and respectable man in or out
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