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 Post subject: Monks Hall
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:39 am 
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Taken from "A Lancashire Township. The History of Briercliffe-with-Extwistle". Roger Frost

Monks Hall takes its name from the fact that it was once owned by the Monks of Kirkstall and Newbo. It may have been used as a grange by one of these religious houses. A grange was an outlying farmhouse belonging to a monastery or feudal lord, in this case the former. The site is very old and the building can be traced to the thirteenth century with certainty but it is probably much older.

At Monk Hall one poverty-stricken worker carved the legend 'G.H. Hard times, 1826' into one of the corner stones of the old building. It is now very difficult to read. (Chapter is describing 'Distress in the Early 19th Century)

The Extractive Industries - In terms of employment the biggest of these industries has been stone quarrying and there have been a number of stone quarries in Briercliffe. Perhaps the most important was the one at Monk Hall.

The Stone Quarries - Early quarries were all small - the stone which was obtained was used very locally. The on exception may have bee flag-stone which was in demand in Burnley. Flagstone was obtained at two sites in Extwistle; at Monk Hall and at Proctor Cote. Monk Hall was once the residence of the Stanworth family, several generations of which were described as 'slaters'. They were, in fact, builders and repairers of roofs and were probably in business from the seventeenth century. A William Stanworth appears in the Churchwardens accounts fairly regularly. He lived at Monk Hall and did a good deal of repair work on the Church, especially the roof. If we look at the accounts for 1736 we can get some idea of the work undertaken. (Then goes on to detail some of the work done on the church)
Briercliffe provided much of the stone used in building the local railways. The quarries at Monk Hall and Roggerham, for example, were important suppliers of stone to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company.

In 1190 Richard de Malbisse granted the Premonstratensian Abbey of Newbo, near Grantham, one carracute of land, approximately 100 acres, in Extwistle. Adam de Preston was also a beneficiary and he later granted some of his land, one-tenth of a knight's fee, to the Cistercian Abbey of Kirkstall (Leeds). Very little can be said of the land held by Newbo, but it is supposed that the Cistercians established a grange at Extwistle which has since obtained the name of Monk Hall.
The present structure is probably early seventeenth century, but it is believed that the original building was much more in 'keeping with the monks of the thirteenth century'. They probably kept Monk Hall as a place of retreat and they may have used it when farming the lands of their Extwistle estate. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that they had a chapel at their grange to which local people went on special occasions.


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