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|Author:||Mel [ Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:23 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Ightenhill Castle|
The Burnley News
Saturday, 22 July, 1916
If any of my readers should take a stroll down Ightenhill Park-lane, they will see, over in the fields to the left and about half way down the lane, a white-washed farmstead, now in the occupation of Mr. Smith, farmer. This is the site of the old manor house of Ightenhill, formerly a temporary dwelling place of de Lacies, lords of the manor. Nothing remains of the old mansion, although the foundation may be clearly traced; and in the centre of what appears to have been a kind of courtyard, the draw-well yet exists, covered over by two huge stone slabs. Probably the building would be a kind of fortified house, peel, or castle, and its situation was most certainly one of extreme beauty. Placed upon the most commanding elevation in the whole park it commanded a most extensive prospect. Westwards the wide expanse of Pendle Forest would come under the eye, where the beasts of the chase were preserved by a troop of foresters, reeves, agisters, verdurers, &c., to provide sport for the lords of the soil, whilst through the valley below flowed the Calder's clear stream, augmented a little higher up at the water meetings, by the tributary, Pendle water. In every direction the view from the site of Ightenhill Manor House embraces a wide and diversified prospect, and is well worth visiting.
Ightenhill was in ancient time a royal manor, and it is believed occasionally the residence of royalty itself. It was most certainly in existence as far back as the year 1238. It is what is called a factitious manor, formed by grouping together a number of smaller manors for the convenience of holding the courts. It includes Burnley, Filley Close, new Laund Booth, Reedley Hallows and Briercliffe-with-Extwistle, and courts baron for the manor are held twice a year.
In ancient days a royal horse breeding establishment was situate here, and in the year 1251 Edmund de Lacy had a charter of free warren granted for his park at Ightenhill. Ightenhill Castle was considered an old building even at this early date, and over three hundred years ago, namely in 1522, when Sir. John Towneley was lessee, a survey was taken, which showed the old castlet to be in a most ruinous state, and almost fallen down piecemeal. It was never repaired, and when the Shuttleworths, of Gawthorpe, came into possession of the park in succession to the Towneleys, it had entirely disappeared.
The late James McKay, in his work on "Pendle Hill in History and Literature," says, "Pageantry and minstrelsy, and outdoor show would make Ightenhill gay enough, as its lords, the de Lacies, journeying between their castles of Clitheroe and Pontefract halted there. But their coming meant mourning as well as joy. There would be the usual room in Ightenhill Keep for the trial of all offences committed in the neighbouring Forest of Pendle. Even when the lords of the Honor of Clitheroe were not in residence there, the fastness was the swelling of the Parker [i.e. park-keeper] of Ightenhill - at first only the official designation of an individual, but by constant application to members of the same family, gradually transmitted into the surname of the race, to which, among others, the Parkers of Royle trace their origin"
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