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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:50 pm 
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The Burnley Gazette, Saturday April 20, 1895

OUR VILLAGES.
NO 4. EXTWISTLE.

What a curious old township is Extwistle! Possessing neither school nor place of worship nor institution of any kind – if we except the village alehouse – it is yet one of the most interesting townships in East Lancashire. It has an authentic history stretching back nearly to Norman times and what reflections on the antiquity of human existence on its breezy moorlands are conjured up by the traces of pre-historic man which Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson and others have disclosed to our wondering gaze. How the centuries must have rolled away since the carbonised human bones found in the urn at Hell Clough in 1886 were deposited in their mountain grave. Interesting as these speculations may be, we have not space to dwell upon them here, but must come to more modern times. Before the invention of the steam loom, Extwistle was a smiling village. Every cottage was a hive of industry, reverberating with the hum of the handloom. The invention of the steam loom and the concentration of labour in towns like Burnley has withdrawn the population from these pleasant hillsides, and now the cottages, once so lively and so full of reminiscences of old times are nearly all gone to decay. The old mill on the banks of the Don is lying in ruins; Extwistle Hall itself is deserted save that a portion of it does duty for a farmhouse. And now the Parish Councils Act has obliterated the little remnant of self-government which the old township enjoyed. It has neither a township meeting, an overseer, or even a highway board. It is simply merged into Briercliffe and will, in future, be governed by that township. Will there ever be a change in the opposite direction? Perhaps some future heaven-born statesman will show us how to turn back the tide of immigration now running from the country to town, and then these old hillsides will once more throb with life and activity.

Extwistle to-day is simply a collection of empty dwelling, with here and there an inhabited cottage, and the shepherd alone can claim any business here. Roggerham, as the heart of the township is called, boasts only some ten or a dozen inhabited houses, which, if not occupied by farm servants, are tenanted by those who cater for the needs of the many visitors whom appetites have been sharpened by the invigorating air from the moors around. We will, therefore, leave its future to fate and glance at some of its more interesting associations. Some of the cottages have run in one particular family for nearly a couple of centuries.

HANDLOOM WEAVING DAYS.

In Holden Clough, for instance, is a cottage once inhabited by the Heap family, who resided here for nearly 200 years. It has a beautifully secluded situation. In front of the door is a fine sycamore tree that was planted 150 years ago in commemoration of a marriage that took place in the family. Hard hy Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson’s house is “Little London” – an enclosure taken from the moor about 1826 during a period of great distress among handloom weavers. In fact people were starving and the Rev. Robert Mosley Masters, in order to alleviate the distress, applied to Robert Towneley Parker, of Cuerden Hall, the owner of the soil, for a lease of land. Mr. Parker granted him a lease of 86 acres at the nominal rent of ten shillings a year, for 50 years. Mr. Masters went up to London to collect money to start the fund, and here he found the starving poor employment. At the same time Brownside Bridge was built with the same end in view and the labourers were for the most part paid in kind. The lease of Little London ran out in 1877 and the property reverted back to the Parkers. On the further side of Extwistle moor is the farm called “New Jerusalem,” which was built by Jonas Lee, a remarkable character of whom we shall have something to say in a future article.

THE VILLAGE SCHOOL.

The old village school close to the bridge is now the familiar “White House” where Mr. Wilkinson attends to the needs of visitors who do not choose to walk forward to his permanent dwelling place more pleasantly situated in the hills beyond. This school was built in the year 1803, and supported by subscriptions. Robert Towneley Parker contributed five guineas a year up to 1877. Colonel Hargreaves gave three guineas a year until his death in the thirties, and his subscription was afterwards continued by Miss Hargreaves (who married General Scarlett), and Mrs. Thursby. Peregrine Edward Towneley, though a Catholic, sent two guineas a year. The book of subscriptions is now in Mr. Wilkinson’s possession. Henry Todd was the first schoolmaster, and the office remained in his family till the school was closed in 1877. Todd united with his work of teaching the young idea how to shoot, the more prosaic, but perhaps equally profitable, pursuit of wool combing. He combed for the Moores at Burnley, and when wool combing became extinct in Burnley the village pedagogue used to fetch the material from Keighley and carry it back again.

BULL BAITING.

Just across the road from the school is the old bull ring where bulls were occasionally baited with dogs, an amusement dating from Saxon times. The stone to which the bull was fastened was a large square block of millstone grit with a ring in the centre. Mr. Wilkinson had it removed from its original place and it now forms a part of the wall that encloses White House. What barbarous amusement these bull baitings were. The bull’s horns (so we read in “Memories of Hurstwood”) were tipped with balls of wood, or sometimes wrapped with greased tow, in order to prevent too great slaughter among the dogs, or, in the event of the bull’s getting loose (an event which was not unusual), to make his horns less dangerous to the crowd. In spite of this precaution, fatal accidents sometimes took place. On arriving at the bull-stone, the bull was fastened to the ring with a stout rope twenty yards in length. To rouse his temper he was prodded with sharp pointed sticks, and, as a last indignity, his tail was twisted by the most adventurous of the spectators. When the poor animal was judged sufficiently infuriated the first dog was let loose. Then came the most exciting moment of the sport. The dog made straight at the bull’s nose, and often received a pitch from the horns that sent him flying over the heads of the onlookers. The dog, in order to be declared the winner, had to pin and hold the bull by the nose, while at the same time, his owner held him by the fore leg. If the owner could succeed in doing this for five minutes, his dog was proclaimed the conqueror.

EXTWISTLE HALL.

This pleasantly situated mansion, which first attracts attention as you enter the village from Burnley, dates back to 1620. The view from the top of the building is one of the finest in Lancashire. Sheltered by a hill from the north wind, it has a beautiful southern aspect. It is perhaps hardly as fine a specimen of Elizabethan architecture as Worsthorne old Hall, - which has been pulled down during the last few weeks – but it has a more interesting history. On the 17th March, 1718, Capt. Robt. Parker had been out shooting, and, returning home drenched with rain, he pulled off his coat and spread it out in front of the fire. In one of the pockets was a powder flask, which exploded with the heat of the fire. Capt. Parker with two of his daughters, Mary Townley and Betty Atkinson, and a child were seriously injured and the squire of Extwistle succumbed to his injuries about a month later. It is said that after this melancholy accident the family took up their residence at Cuerden Hall, near Preston. The great dining room at Extwistle was soon denuded of its fine old furniture and the place has been abandoned to dilapidation, although part of it as already stated, is still occupied as a farmhouse. About 1863, the west wing of the hall fell but it was not repaired according to the original plan. Many old legends plaster round its ancient walls and it is celebrated for the old song relating to the Extwistle Buck hunt which is rendered in “Memories of Hurstwood” as follows, the Squire Parker being the Captain Robert Parker already alluded to: -

THE EXTWISTLE HUNT SONG.

Come all ye jolly sportsmen, give ear to me all,
And ? sing you of a hunting at Extwistle Hall;
Such ? and hunting you never did see,
?, jolly sportsmen, and listen to me.
There were Squire Parker, and Holden o’ th’ Clough,
T’one mounted or Nudger and t’other Rough;
Tantivy, Tantivy! The bugles did call,
To join in the hunting at Extwistle Hall.
There were Starkie fro’ Huntroyde on’ th’ old bob tailed mare.
An Townley, an’ Ormerod, an hots moor were there;
Sien riding an leaing were no’er sin befoor
As they swept helter skelter o’er Extwistle Moor.
O’er Haggate and Sheffield, and down they did hie,
And through Trawden Forest they ran him, breast high,
They swept across Bondsworth, and o’er by th’ Deer Stone,
Till Parker on Nudger were theer all alone.
Old Nudger kept leading, and let nought come near,
And it neighed and it marlocked when th’ hunters did cheer.
So come, jolly sportsmen, and join wi me all,
In a health to Squire Parker, of Extwistle Hall.
They hunted fro’ Roggerham to Wycollar Moor,
But th’ buck kept ahead and made th’ horses snoor;
There were th’ ewd dog and Pincher, but Rover bet all,
‘At started that morning from Extwistle Hall.
They hunted to Longridge and then back again,
Till o’er Pendle Water th’ owd buck it were ta’en;
Some horses did stumble, some riders did fall;
For they hunted beawt restin’ fro’ Extwistle Hall.
So come, my brave fellows, come lift up your glass,
To drink to Squire Parker an’ his bonny lass;
He’s of a good soart, and long may he live,
And mony a good hunting like this may he give!

Extwistle mill, which lies in the bottom of the valley below the old hall, is now lying in ruins. It is supposed to have been a soke mill, where all the farmers had to bring their corn.

ANCIENT REMAINS.

The district of Extwistle is rich in pre historic remains, and here, too, are several Roman camps. One of these, on the top of Twist Hill, is one of the most perfect in Britain. In 1842, Mr. Spencer, of Halifax, found three rudely shaped urns containing human remains on Extwistle Moor, in a close called Delph Hill pasture. The more interesting urns unearthed since by Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson are now matters of local history. Digging in the Roman camp three or four years ago he found a coin belonging to the reign of Marcus Aurelius, and last year he found a Roman fibula almost perfect.

FARMING 70 YEARS AGO AND NOW.

About 1826 or ’27 farming in Extwistle was very different from what it is to-day. John Leaver was then tenant of Extwistle Hall. His son Thomas, now living, related how he came to Burnley with his mother selling butter. Burnley, of course, was a much smaller place in those days. They used to begin down the main street, then go into Lanebridge, and finish up in the neighbourhood of the barracks. They got 8 ½ d. a pound for it; milk was a halfpenny a quart, and eggs 26 for a shilling. Rent was rather more than it is to-day, and provender was double the price. Yet with all the altered conditions the farmer to-day is unable to make it pay.

AN EXTINCT FESTIVA.

Roggerham Gate used to be noted for its Rush-bearings, and right jovial carnivals they seem to have been. There were dances and races and all kinds of merrymaking, but not a trace of these old Rushbearings is now left.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

What the Parish and District Council has in store for the improvement of Extwistle remains to be seen. There is an abundant supply of water here, but the sewage arrangements will have to be overhauled and some of the roads require attention, especially Stony Brow. Gardens seem to be easily procurable by all who desire them and in that respect the new provisions as to allotments may not be very much needed.

One cannot leave Roggerham without a word of acknowledgment to Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson for his readiness in narrating many of the facts embodied in the foregoing paragraphs. Here he dwells among his native hills, surrounded by innumerable friends in the way of books – poets, historians, scientist – and when he is not wandering over the moors in search of ancient barrows or burial urns, or watching through his telescope the ever-changing phases of the heavenly bodies, he is entertaining friends from Burnley and all parts of the district, who delight in a walk to Roggerham not merely for its exhilarating effects, but for the opportunity it affords of a chat with Tattersall Wilkinson. Even in the winter many congenial spirits find their way every week to the familiar white house to indulge in a “feast of reason and flow of soul.”


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:18 pm 
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In Holden Clough, for instance, is a cottage once inhabited by the Heap family, who resided here for nearly 200 years. It has a beautifully secluded situation. In front of the door is a fine sycamore tree that was planted 150 years ago in commemoration of a marriage that took place in the family.


My Elisabeth Heap was born at Holden Clough in 1818. Dare I assume that this is her family?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:25 pm 
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It probably is. Does Holden Clough still exist? I wonder if the sycamore is still there.

Holden Farm and Holden Clough, are they the same? http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk/Pho ... 20Farm.htm


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:37 pm 
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I think Holden Clough is in ruins now. Don't quote me though!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:40 pm 
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Leaver wrote:
FARMING 70 YEARS AGO AND NOW.

About 1826 or ’27 farming in Extwistle was very different from what it is to-day. John Leaver was then tenant of Extwistle Hall. His son Thomas, now living, related how he came to Burnley with his mother selling butter. Burnley, of course, was a much smaller place in those days. They used to begin down the main street, then go into Lanebridge, and finish up in the neighbourhood of the barracks. They got 8 ½ d. a pound for it; milk was a halfpenny a quart, and eggs 26 for a shilling. Rent was rather more than it is to-day, and provender was double the price. Yet with all the altered conditions the farmer to-day is unable to make it pay.”


John Leaver (1794-1871) married Ann Catlow (1796-1845)
http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk/paf ... 4.htm#1879

Thomas Leaver (1818-1902)
http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk/paf ... 06.htm#256


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:13 pm 
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This made me smile
Quote:
Peregrine Edward Towneley, though a Catholic, sent two guineas a year

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:41 pm 

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Henry Todd, the village schoolmaster, was my 3x great grandfather. He was born in 1794, and still living at the time of the 1871 census. His first son, John, married Elizabeth Nutter, and they became my 2x great grandparents.

This is a very interesting article. I hadn't heard of Rushbearing at Roggerham before.

Joan


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:25 am 
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Preston Chronicle

Saturday 25 June 1842

British Remains at Extwistle

An interesting discovery, says the Blackburn Standard, has been made by Mr. F. C. Spencer, of Halifax, of a British barrow, in the township of Extwistle, near Burnley. Mr. Spencer's attention had been called by Mr. Jonas Lee, farmer, of Thursden (whose intelligent observation and curiosity deserve great praise) to a small circle of stones in a field called delf-hill pasture, at *Hell-clough-head, in Extwistle, which, on examination, Mr. Spencer perceived to have been a place of British sepulture. The circle originally consisted of rock pillars, (five of which remain) standing about eighteen inches above the surface, and being about two feet square. The diameter of the circle is about five yards. Mr. Spencer directed an excavation to be madt without delay, the result of which was the discovery of two very antique earthen urns, curiously marked, containing fragments of human bones, of small dimensions, mixed with charcoal and black mould. The tops of the vessels were covered with small flat slate stones, but little larger than the urns, over which larger heavy stones were placed for their protection. The urns were found about two feet beneath the surface of the field, in the centre of the circle, embedded in soft clay, with many pieces of charcoal interspersed. About three hundred yards from the barrow, are the bold remains of a British circular camp, which determine the character of the urns, the Roman encampments being square. There were present at the excavation, Mr. F.C. Spencer, of Halifax, Mr. Jonas Lee, farmer, of Thursden, Mr. James Smith, farmer, of Worsthorne, Joseph Ormerod and Thomas Ormerod delvers, of Worsthorne, Henry Lawson, shoemaker, Worsthorne, and Richard Dent, stone mason of Eztwisle. It is to be hoped the gentlemen of that neighbourhood will pursue an investigation so happily commenced by Mr. Spencer.
*Hell, Saxon, Grave.

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