FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 16 Dec 2018, 06:29

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One of the nice things about our town is that once you get an understanding of the history, mundane images like this become very interesting! Many of you will recognise that this is the end of Philip Street at the top of the hill down to Manchester Road. This was of course originally Back Lane and was the main route through the town from the ford in Walmsgate before modern Church Street took over the role. Using the Church Street route did away with this steep hill which would not be good for horses. It's a fair pull for a horse and laden cart but not so bad for pack horses much further back in history. Try throwing your mind back and imagine the scene as a packhorse train climbed up the hill on its way into and through the town. It must have been a common sight when the houses on the right were built because they are certainly 17th century at least and possibly earlier. Look at the top stones on the wall, they are obviously carved building stone that has been re-purposed during a re-modelling. I have never worked out with any certainty what they are but the most likely candidate is round window openings.

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There are so many little corners like this and all we have to do is keep our eyes open and use our imagination.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 16 Dec 2018, 09:58

Sorry to be pedantic but surely that's the other side of Ridge Street so it's the back of King Street, numbers 15 and 17. My Grandparents and Aunt and Uncles house a long time ago.

Slightly later edit, from the Manchester Road end it is indeed signed Philip Street. Interesting, the King Street houses there are through properties not back to back and the ones at that end are much older than the others nearer Newtown. I have always assumed that it was named accordingly. Mind you this is Barlick. :extrawink:
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 17 Dec 2018, 04:47

And if you review the LIDAR evidence Back Lane followed the northern side of what we think was a Roman enclosure, the others being Park Road on the east, Park Avenue on the south and Cobden Street on the west.

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The ginnel behind the sqatter's house in Walmsgate is all that is left of the route up the hill from the ford, it lines up directly with Back Lane. This makes it, at one time, more important than Barnoldswick Lane (Manchester Road), and if you look at the gradient a very steep pull especially as the ford was four feet lower. No wonder the town fathers sold the Green and re-routed the road along what is now Church Street in 1815.

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This ginnel down the side of Craven Court into Philip Street is another clue. Originally this was the main connecting route out to Skipton and Bracewell from Back Lane. Once Church Street became the main through route it became redundant.
Hard to visualise now I know because of all the buildings filling up what was then just fields. That's the trick, you have to look at the skeleton of the routes to try to get the full picture. The town then was just scattered groups of buildings, almost like folds such as Gillians or Lane Bottoms. If you look hard you can still identify them by the age and siting of the buildings. If you can find an area where they are higgledy piggledy you have found one of these ancient groups. Think the little group of buildings on the corner of Station Road and Skipton Road and down to Forester's Buildings.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 18 Dec 2018, 07:00

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Thinking about higgledy piggledy... the bottom of Esp Lane is a perfect example. The more you look into the siting of the houses, the more you have to entertain the idea that the modern property boundaries are the same as the pre-medieval tofts which go back to the Dark Ages. ('Toft' comes from old Norse and in effect is the footprint of the property.)
Sited on a very old track, Esp Lane, and close to where we suspect the Saxon church was, these houses are a good candidate for some of the oldest habitation sites in Barlick.
On a parallel matter, over the years I have searched many times for an origin for 'Esp'. I've never found definitive evidence but suspect it is a shortened form of Aspen which would make sense. Isn't there an Aspen Lane in Earby?
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Wendyf » 18 Dec 2018, 07:58

Yes there is an Aspen Lane in Earby.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Tizer » 18 Dec 2018, 09:40

Is that house still covered in ivy? It looks like there's even ivy on the roof!

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 18 Dec 2018, 09:49

Esp Lane used to continue right through to Gisburn Track along the valley bottom below Weets. There is a broken link on the last section across what is now open moorland and an illegal blockage on the public footpath through the pasture. The blockage has been reported numerous times but to no effect.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 19 Dec 2018, 04:32

Quite right Ian, in the days of foot traffic it was an important link to the Ribble Valley.
Not local but I am reminded of a track from the head of Haweswater that went straight up and over the hill towards Shap Village. It was a 'coffin road', the shortest route to carry a body to the church for interment. People had different priorities in those days and that's why many of these old routes were eventually abandoned.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 19 Dec 2018, 09:49

Yes, there's one between Marsett and Stalling Busk, known locally as dead lane. Only one graveyard for both hamlets in Raydale below Semerwater. My oldest researched relative (John) farmed in Marsett.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 20 Dec 2018, 04:16

Nice example.
I have lost a pic! No matter.... If you walk up Manchester Road past the entrance to the back lane behind Hill Top and keep your eyes open you will find an overgrown ginnel from the road into the back lane between two houses. What has evidently happened is that there was a footpath down to what was then Barnoldswick Lane when those houses were built post 1900 and it was decided the new houses shouldn't block it. It is well paved and many years ago the planning officer for Pendle, (Mr Kirby was it?), asked me whether it should be done away with as nobody used it. I told him that I used it simply to preserve the right of way embedded in it even though it was overgrown. I gave him my reason why it was there and he agreed that it should not be stopped. So if you are walking up there, use it!
Only a small forgotten corner but it's part of our history.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Tizer » 20 Dec 2018, 09:42

These photos show some impressive forgotten corners but they won't be forgotten in the future now they're listed. Lovely pictures! :smile:
`Listed buildings: Bus shelter and cattle trough get listed status' LINK

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 21 Dec 2018, 04:58

Lovely Link Tiz.

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Here are my candidates for listing, three milk stands used in the days when all milk was kitted and picked up by Lorry daily. Respectively they are at Bancrofts Farm, Long Ing and Yarlside at Bracewell. Only mundane things but part of what us now a forgotten past.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 22 Dec 2018, 06:50

I suppose it's quite natural that the closer to the manorial boundary and the further from the town centre the more we neglect things and make even more forgotten history.

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Here's a good example, the old Mt Pleasant Chapel on the side of the road going down to County Brook.

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Here's the 1892 25" map of the chapel and Hey Fold next door.There is remarkably little information available, all I have for you are memories related to me by inhabitants of Hey Fold when the chapel was still functioning. (It is now a private house)
The chapel had a small but dedicated congregation from the local area, strongest in Hey Fold. I was told that the chapel's main claim to fame was that in the very early days John Wesley preached there. There used to be a wooden sign on the front of the building which gave details of its history, I shame to say that I never took enough notice of it. I think it qualifies as a forgotten corner.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 22 Dec 2018, 09:09

We used to install a P.A. system each year at Easter at the chapel. They used to have quite a gathering above the normal congregation over the Easter period. That's back in the 70's when I worked in Earby as a TV engineer.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 23 Dec 2018, 04:17

That figures Ian. I knew it in the late 1950s when I delivered groceries to Hey Fold and Mitchells at County Brook.

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County Brook Mill. Originally New Mill, grinding corn then a variety of uses including stewing wood to make the chemicals for dyeing which earned it the nickname of Stew Mill. Then a man called Mitchell took it over a hundred years ago and against the trend started weaving using water power. It was so successful it has survived to this day as specialised weavers of webbing and deck chair material. Mitchell Interflex.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Wendyf » 23 Dec 2018, 07:25

That's interesting Stanley, I wondered why locals called it Stew Mill.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 23 Dec 2018, 07:53

The process is very closely allied to charcoal burning Wendy. Wood is burned in large iron containers with restricted air supply which means that the volatiles in the wood are't burned but come off as thick smoke and can be condensed giving a wide mix of volatiles. These could be separated and ranged from wood alcohol to what we call Stockholm Tar. The most saleable was a fraction that could be used as a mordant in Dyeing, a chemical that fixes the dye in the material. I have always thought that another by-product not mentioned would be charcoal.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Nolic » 23 Dec 2018, 09:19

My mum worked at t'Stew Mill throughout the war and in to the 1950's often having to walk from Barlick via the canal to get to work. She once took me up to see the water wheel and I remember it as quite massive and very frightening for a youngster. The wheel was removed to Quarry Bank museum when it stopped supplementing the power for the Mill. Nolic
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 24 Dec 2018, 03:47

Now that's something I wasn't aware of Comrade. I wonder why the shaft is still there at County Brook?

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Nolic » 24 Dec 2018, 11:52

That shaft was there for some time when the wheel was running. Nolic
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 25 Dec 2018, 03:14

Again, I didn't know that Comrade. They must have put a replacement in at some time. Thanks for the information! It is squirrelled away in my head.
I've always liked County Brook. It was originally called Black Brook and is of course the original boundary both of the manor of Barlick and the county of Yorkshire. There used to be two more mills on it. Midge Hole at Mount Pleasant and Wood End,a small pirate corn mill, half way down where there is still a pack horse bridge over the brook.
The thing that always intrigued me is that the reason why such a good water site never developed into an industrial village was the dead hand of the canal company who in the days of heavy canal traffic rationed the flow down to the mills as they were sending most of the water down to the canal via Slipper Hill. This killed the other two and was the reason why for many years New Mill pursued an alternative strategy of stewing wood. The Mitchell take-over of the mill coincided with the fall in traffic on the canal due to the railways and so there was plenty of water available and the mill got a new lease of life at a time when everyone else was abandoning water power.

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The 1888 OS is interesting. The mill was known as Hey Mill at that time and noted as 'charcoal works'. As usual, lots on this map that can get you thinking! Take time and have a study.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 26 Dec 2018, 06:44

Another interesting bit of information on that map is that Burnley Rural District Council used the very good White House spring for local water supplies. If you remember Barlick were advised that the lawyer in Foulridge was asking too much money and installed their bore nearer to the Fanny Grey. Perhaps he gave Burnley a better deal!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 27 Dec 2018, 06:47

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Estate maps can be very informative. This map of part of the Midgeley estate made in 1810, before the canal reservoir was built and flow in the County Brook reduced, shows what is now County Brook Mill as a worsted mill. Hard to see but above it on the brook there are buildings shown with the legend, 'ruins of new mill'. This is the pirate corn mill next to the packhorse bridge and is evidence it was disused before 1810. Bear in mind that the canal had opened and made the import of milled flour economic.

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This 1838 map from the same estate shows how the 'New Mill' has prospered. This was just before the reservoir was built in 1840 and was the peak of the mill in it's first textile phase. Note that the remains of the old 'corn mill' are also marked above the County Brook mill pond.
Note also that the neighbouring land is marked as the property of John Wesley Barritt. It was the Barritt family at Hey Fold who were my main informants about Mount Pleasant Chapel in the 1960s.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 28 Dec 2018, 05:13

Looking at that map I am reminded of happy times with the Young Farmers at Owlet Nest Farm when Jack Muff had it and his daughter Jennifer was in the YFC. The same Jack Muff that had the boiled ham shop on Frank Street which Jennifer later took over.
That reminds me that when the Purcells took over the business it was always a source of annoyance to them that the shop was always referred to as 'Jack Muff's'.

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Frank Street in 1980. Jack Muff's is the shop with the striped awning just below the jewellers.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 29 Dec 2018, 04:59

That Haworth's pop wagon is in itself a forgotten corner. If you remember the other pop supplier was Dyson, also based in Nelson.
There were two other firms in Nelson that caught my attention then, one was Victory V and the other was a firm I was told about whose sole product was the small blue paper twists of salt that were in every packet of Smith's Potato Crisps when they were the market leader. Does anyone know who that was or whether it actually existed?

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And of course this pic gave us a glimpse of Steve's ice cream. It also started a very good conversation on the subject of lamp posts and the chapel in the background in Townhead which is another forgotten corner, long demolished.
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