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Monday, 9 January 2023

Class of 1957

This photo has kindly been given to me by Raymond Clayton, formerly of Green Farm, Riley Green - sexton and verger of Holy Trinity Church. Raymond has also been in charge of bell ringing at the Church for many years. Reliable as clockwork, in fact clocks are one of his big hobbies. He's one of the stalwarts of our community!

This was his class at Hoghton School 

These are the names Raymond has given me. 

Read all left to right.

Top row - Teacher Miss Marshall (Alice Milicent), Susan Shaw, ? Powell, William Cecil (Billy) Rhodes, ? Powell, David Rawlinson, Kathleen Gill, 
Middle row - Janet Worral, John Cornall, Joan Garth, Raymond Clayton, Pat Redman, Willis Shaw, Kathleen Birchall, 
Bottom row - Sheila Milne, Norman Garth, Mary Lord, Philip White, Anne Threlkeld, Thomas Cornall.

If you can supply the missing first names, please email me on dmc4342@gmail.com

Tuesday, 3 January 2023

Book on Hoghton from 1857

A Description of Hoghton, printed for J Heseltine.

Back in 2012 I discovered an interesting document about Hoghton through an online search. To my delight JSTOR or digitised documents, John Ryland's library and University of Manchester, came up with “A Description of Hoghton" printed for a J Heseltine in MDCCCLVII or 1857 in simpler terms!
Who is J Heseltine? The answer is, - I’m not very sure! The cover says “ printed for J Heseltine”. Does this imply that he is not necessarily the true author? I have been unable to find any reference to other publications he may have written.

There is a passage in the book which describes the rear east garden of Hoghton Tower, formerly known as "the wilderness", in which he says that "under the management of Mr Heseltine it has become'nearly an acre of well cultivated garden ground". Is this Heseltine the same one who had the book printed? Mystery! However, on page 15, the author says that he himself is a “complete stranger to the De Hoghton family”. He is obviously a learned man, knowledgeable in history and geography, conversant  in Latin, with extensive knowledge of the area. I have quizzed several people about this J Heseltine who, I am presuming was a man, including my late uncle, Herbert Miller-Crook, who had extensive knowledge of Hoghton and  any publications concerning it.

Mr Heseltine would have been a contemporary of the Reverend Jonathan Shortt vicar of Hoghton for 46 years (until his death 17th May 1899). Although I suspected in the beginning that the author could have been J Shortt, who was a great historian as well as a clergyman, I don’t think he would describe himself as a "stranger to the De Hoghton family".

The author seems to have walked from Preston to Hoghton Tower, describing his journey,  through Walton, passing Moon's Mill, Brindle Lodge, the Boar's Head pub. He could have turned down Chapel Lane, although disappointingly does not mention the Blacksmiths workshop, (which would become my own grandfather’s business from 1924). I think he is more likely to have taken a lane parallel to Chapel Lane, known as Walks End on the 1845 Ordnance Survey map, which lead to Park Gate Fold, (no longer exists) since he mentions arriving at the foot of the hill via a footpath on the north side immediately below the Tower (page 6).

The book includes many interesting and detailed descriptions of the area, especially of the views from Hoghton Tower. Standing by the sundial on the front sloping lawn facing W.N.W. he says it is possible to see Preston with its lofty chimneys, the Fishwick "big" factory and Mr Clay's house - East Cliffe. I'm not sure which house this is.  Although I immediately thought of The Park Hotel at East Cliff, it was opened in 1883 so this is after the book was written (1857).

From the south side (page 18) he mentions being able to see the seat of William Fielden Esq, at Feniscowles, "so deeply nested in the wooded valley, that the top of the building alone is visible". He can also see Pleasington Priory, the factory chimneys of Grimshaw Park and Nova Scotia on the outskirts of Blackburn. Beyond "Causeway Farm", further back and to the left he mentions Stannith Farm noted as one of the largest in the part of the country being of 365 acres. The south side buildings are occupied by the tenant of the surrounding farm.

On page 16, we hear how how the hamlet of Riley Green got it's name. Under the reign of Charles I, a Lancashire family resided there, known as “Riley, of the Green". 

Holy Trinity Church is described as “a modern gothic building, ornamental, with corner pinnacles. Opposite to which, stands Hoghton School, “recently built"! We know the school was built by Henry de Hoghton in 1837 and church in 1833 and later modified.

All the interior rooms of the Tower are described in detail, and despite the decay, there are portraits hanging on the walls,  including one of Mary Queen of Scots. In the Guinea Room he mentions the family motto which is painted over the fireplace “Malgré le tort”. Although my knowledge of French translates this as “despite the wrong", the author says this means “Thence to right"!  

In the King's drawing room he mentions that all the windows are built up.  

Page 9, the north side buildings are said to be roofless at that time, so this is the era of disrepair. 

Page 19, the author mentions Hoghton workhouse (Vale House Farm, Valley Road) and describes the beautiful hamlet of Hoghton Bottoms with it’s whitewashed cottages, sheltered from “the warring winds". He says there are two “manufactories" and the ruins of another recently destroyed by fire”. We learn that a Mr Lomax built “The Hall" at “considerable cost" and lived there having built “the works” below.

 The hamlet is referred to as having “ lower”,  and “higher” mills. He sees an abandoned print work  in “lower bottoms" and visits a power loom factory with “large cheerful rooms where mainly females are employed at the looms”. They were weaving fabrics of “unusual fineness". This factory had a water wheel 18 feet in diameter and 9 feet in width.

Returning up the valley he describes the cotton spinning “higher mill” with its row of cottage houses for the work people. He mentions the extensive lodge on the south side. Mr Turton lived in the farmhouse on the hill looking down the valley while he occupied the mill.

Surprisingly the ravine which the river Darwen passes through, the locals apparently  called “the Horr", it had “the appearance of the mountain having been cleft in twain by some supernatural power". He says that the length of the Horr may be a quarter of a mile, terminating at a caul. “The caul is topped by horizontal doors, which are lowered during floods”.

The visit of King James I of England IV of Scotland, in August 1617 to Preston  is described in detail (although no mention of his source is given). The aldermen were "caparisoned and bedizened" like lords of the realm. The extensive banquet menu will interest those keen on cooking! After the banquet, the king is handed a golden bowl of "metheglin" and he drank "Health to his loving subjects at Preston". From there he moved on to Hoghton Tower.

He gives a lengthy description of the King ’s visit, the hunting and banquet. He relates how the attendants upon the King at Hoghton Tower consisted of no less than 100 heads of Lancashire families, gentleman of great estates. He mentions that due to a petition presented to the king he later granted them in 1618 the ancient use of keeping up “vaulting, dancing, May games, Quintain, Whitsun ales and morrice dancing, and setting up May-poles and other sports".  However, "this was restricted only to those who had first served God in the church on the Sabbath. Popish recusants were not allowed, according to the tenor of the proclamation to enjoy these recreations.”

The last chapters mention other interesting buildings in Hoghton including – Mintholme Academy, a boarding school for boys run by a Mr W Johnson. (One of my ancestors, Thomas Miller-Crook, of Riley Green, was educated here)

Pleasington Priory. 
There is a long description of the laying of the foundation stone of Pleasington Priory by John Francis Butler Esq in 1816. Again we do not know from which source.

The "magnificent edifice" of Woodfold Park, “recently erected", home of Henry Sudell Esq is also briefly described.

I hope to find out more about the author - J Heseltine. Would anyone with information, please email me? dmc4342@gmail.com

04th May 2023 - Update on this post: 
Kathy Brown (née Bycroft) stumbled across the above post whilst researching her maternal ancestors' history. 

She tells me that the book was printed for John Heseltine, her four times great-grandfather! John Heseltine and his wife Margaret were both born in Wensleydale near Aysgarth. In 1871 he was the keeper of the Red Lion in Bedale and a farmer. They were the last tenants of Hoghton Tower before the de Hoghtons came back to start the renovation. He is listed on the 1861 census at Hoghton Tower, as tenant and farmer of 160 acres. John Heseltine died in 1880, the year that my own maternal ancestors, the Windles, came over from Thornton in Lonsdale to live at Home Farm, Hoghton Tower. No doubt they had known the Heseltines, and Margaret Heseltine must have employed them!  Margaret's daughter, also a Margaret, married James Greaves at Holy Trinity in 1865. Her brother, James Heseltine, was an engineer. Two other children were butchers and farmers. 

Kathy Brown's Aunt, Rosie Junemann, has written a fictional family history which covers the lives of Margaret Heseltine (née Whitton), John's wife and their children. Her novel covers the time the family spent at Hoghton. I haven't yet seen a copy but am looking forward to reading it in the near future.


Saturday, 27 August 2022

St Leonard the Less Church, Samlesbury

St Leonard the Less Anglican church is situated in Samlesbury, Potter Lane, in a sleepy hamlet.

Family connections recently brought me to make a visit. My uncle, the late Herbert Miller-Crook had often mentioned this church in connection with ancestors from Stanley Grange, home of the late Thomas Miller-Crook and his wife Alice (who later became Mrs Baxter in 1910).

This beautiful church is remarkable by its box pews. The churchwarden, Mr Daunton explained that there were few remaining churches in England which had retained box pews. 

They were allocated to specific families, indeed we see the de Hoghton pew, dating back to 1678. Other local families and dignataries such as Henry Fielden, conservative member of parliament for Blackburn from 1869-1875.

Mr and Mrs T Miller-Crook broke away from Holy Trinity Church, Hoghton, some time after the death of John Miller-Crook (Thomas' father) in November 1891. John, and other members of his family are buried there. Quite why the change I do not know, as both churches seem equidistant from Stanley Grange -  but John's brother Eli, a coal merchant of Crook and Thompson, had been a benefactor of Holy Trinity, donating the stained glass west window. 

Perhaps Thomas and Alice want to distance themselves from other members of the extensive Miller-Crook family in Hoghton? He did have six uncles and two aunts! Did they want to make their mark on a different church? I guess I will never know the answer to this question, but I think at St Leonard's church, Thomas would have had more connections  to Blackburn, where he grew up. His father John had had a brewing business in Darwen and owned many public houses  and properties in Blackburn. (See Stanley Grange post for more details).

They seem to have made very generous donations to Leonard the Less church. The porches were added in 1899 when Thomas also donated money to have the bell tower erected with a clock and peel of eight bells. 

Photo : The Miller-Crook tomb

His wife Alice, laid the corner stone which is now seriously eroded.

The font made from sandstone which dates from the 12th century had been in the churchyard for centuries. Mrs Glen Clayton kindly guided me around the church pointing out the various interesting features.

It was placed in the church in 1896 and Thomas Miller-Crook donated its cover. 

When Thomas and Alice's only son John Eric Jack Barker Crook died aged 8 in 1902, his parents had a stained glass window added to the church in his memory.
I do not know what he died of, but his death was registered in West Derby, Liverpool where he was staying at his Aunt's residence in Everton.

The lovely window behind the font is in memory of their son.

There is a side window shown below dedicated to Thomas's memory.

He died from a stroke 8th March 1905.

Thomas Miller-Crook's tomb is located outside the bell tower. His wife, son, and two daughter's are also interred in the same vault - Kate Edna died in died 12th March 1927, aged 34. Alice Leonarda (Betty) died 21st June 1971 aged, 70. The two sisters had married twins, Harold and Leslie Iddon, of Iddon Brothers Ltd, Leyland.

The primary school is located behind the tomb.

Kitty's obituary is interesting to read and was forwarded to me by Kitty's sister's granddaughter, Jenny Whybrow.

Monday, 25 October 2021

Higher Mill Workforce 1912

 First published 21 April 2014

Higher Mill Workers 1912
(click on photo to enlarge)

Here we have the Hoghton Bottoms Higher Mill workers assembled for a commemorative photo. The men are all wearing a buttonhole, and the girls, a flower pinned to their working clothes – what was the occasion ? Was it a Royal event? Obviously it was not a holiday, for they are wearing their working clogs.  

The names are mostly Riley Green people, names left to right front row, 
 Jane Wadsworth, Annie Crook, Frances Windle? Cissy King?  Marion Windle, 
 Lucy Clayton?  Alice Crook,    Mabel Windle (extreme right)

Back row, left to right, Harold Windle, Margaret Clayton?, May Clayton, Billie Clayton,
Polly Thornber

Mabel Windle, my grandmother (far right) and her sister, Marion, (sixth from the right) were living at the Tower Cottages at this time.  If Mabel had been around 18-20 years of age, this puts the photo date around 1912-1914. 
If you can identify any of your ancestors, please let me know.

For all those people out there interested in family history, some of the marriages of the above mentioned people were: 

Mabel Windle-------m--------Thomas Miller-Crook
Marion Windle------m--------John Hunt
Frances Windle------m--------Edward (Ted) Wignall
Margaret Clayton----m--------Harold Windle
Lucy Clayton---------m--------Robert ?  Singleton
Alice Crook----------m--------Eli Miller Crook
Annie Miller Crook--m-------James Lawson
Polly King------------m--------Stanley Thornber
Cissy King-----------m--------William Holroyd

May Clayton              unmarried
Jane Wadsworth       unmarried
Billie Clayton             unmarried

Hoghton Church - Holy Trinity

First published 30 January 2012 

As G C Miller tells us in "A Brief History of Holy Trinity Parish Church" there was apparently no church in Hoghton Parish before 1823.  Services were probably held in the Banqueting Hall or the private family chapel at Hoghton manor house (thought to have been in Hoghton Bottoms) and later at Hoghton Tower.   These services would have been for the Hoghton family, together with their dependants and household attendants.  Others would have had to use churchs in Brindle, Walton-le-Dale or Samlesbury.  He also tells us that a small congregation of Protestants held services in the Great Hall of Hoghton Tower until 1795.  

The drawing shows the original building, apparently now part of the south transept.  Built in local red sandstone and Early English, Gothic style, rather plain, with four turrets, one at each corner. The original name was the Chapel of Hoghton in the Parish of Leyland, and founded in 1823. Hoghton was created an ecclesiastical parish in 1842.  

The old church had problems with its roof.  The timbers rotted and eventually in 1884 the ceiling showed great cracks, some portions fell down and it had to be closed.
Services were transferred to Hoghton School while the church was rebuilt.
The new church in perpendicular Gothic style was opened in 1887, Henry de Hoghton being the benefactor. 

The East stained glass window is a memorial to Mr and Mrs Eli Crook, from their children and was placed in the church in 1929

Class of 1958

First published 27 June 2012.

Many thanks to Philip White (Headmaster's son) for supplying this photo from his distant abode in Dubai. 

After collaboration with family members, all but three names are missing!  Please write if you can identify them.

Starting with back row :  Mr White, Headmaster, -  Unknown - Maurice Throup - John Smalley - David Throup - John Farnworth.
Middle Row - David Clark - Brian Bentham - Bill Wilmer - John Birchall - Barry Sproson.
Front Row - x Throup? - Janet Cressey - Ann Graham - Barbara Veevers - x Throup? - Carol Wallbank.
In Front, Joyce Brennand.
Mr White became Headmaster of the school in 1956 following the retirement of Christopher Burns.

Friday, 22 October 2021

The Cyclists' Rest 1905


This photo was first published 22 October 2013

This photo was apparently taken in 1905 -  long before we needed petrol in Hoghton!  I remember going to Murray's from the 60's when it was run by Neil Murray and his wife and it was a busy filling station and general store ( the life and soul of Hoghton village!). Later Neil's son Ian and his wife, Stephanie, took over, retiring approximately 2012. The new owners have transformed it back into a private house. Watch this space for more modern photos.