This was a really enjoyable afternoon with very convivial company as Norman Mitchell led us in the footsteps of Jonas Moore also known as the Father of Time.
Moore was the son of a yeoman farmer of White Lee Farm in Higham, educated at Burnley Grammar school and he achieved amazing things, all the more so as education was limited for that layer of society in those times. His family were connected to the Pendle Witches scandal after ‘Old Demdike’ allegedly bewitched his elder brother John to death.
He was a mathematician, surveyor and founding member and driving force a behind the establishment of the Royal Observatory at Greenwhich. It’s refreshing to know that a lad from ‘oop north used his intelligence for the benefit of society and reached such a respected position in those times in London where he rubbed shoulders with the ‘great and the good’. He was a friend of Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke, he wined and dined with Samuel Pepys who hung a map of Moore’s on his wall and also counted Moore as a ‘worthy friend’. Moore’s chief patron was James, Duke of York, brother to Charles 11. Moore published his book Arithmetick in 1650 and apparently during the founding of the Observatory he paid for equipment out of his own pocket. Along with his son he is buried in the Tower of London.
After stopping at White Lee farm where Moore lived as a child. we descended into Sabden Fold and before reaching 16th Century Sabden Great Hall, examined a quern stone in a nearby field and pondered on its date and origins. We moved down the Hidden Valley to Stainscomb and viewed
Stan’s Cabin sadly in need of repair likewise the delapidated 17th century farmhouse at Woodside. Onto Dean farm, another interesting vernacular building associated with Moore and then up the hill and back to Higham.
This was an excellent walk on a lovely early autumn day with a very well informed guide and a good time was had by all, despite the rain over by Cock Clough.
We hope to discover more local heritage during the Heritage week in 2022 and lots more before then too. Watch our website and posters around the area.
Banner Image: Sabden Fold where Norman Mitchell regales the group with interesting facts laced with a dose of humour. Attribution: GWray