A good group of people visited this gem of a mediaeval Manor House, we were welcomed and given a tour by the owners whose family have lovingly restored and refurbished this charming house over the past fifty years.

The house has undergone C16 and C17 alterations and additions. There is a T shaped plan, with remains of a service end of a mediaeval hall and a gabled service wing with a three bayed cross wing. The Hesketh arms are depicted on a stone panel containing an eagle displaying two heads.

Martholme Manor. Attribution: Ian Fairclough, GHHS

Two lovely arched doorways, possibly mediaeval are thought to be two of three serving doors for the Hall  and were thought to be hidden by a large screen (a screen passage) and would have acted the same as restaraunt doors today, in and out.

Parts of the building in the East wing, show the original timber frames in a plastered wall. We also saw  king trusses, stone plinths, chamfered mullion windows, a deeply recessed fireplace and there is perhaps a bressamer beam in the loft.

A mediaeval window at Martholme Manor.

After a welcome cup of tea we climbed up onto the railway viaduct and saw the meander of the Calder river and viewed Martholme from above set in what was the Manor of Great Harwood, accompanied by swallows or were they house martins! swifts and a heron.

A very pleasant afternoon.

Did you know?

That the road to the entrance was  deliberately designed not to be straight but to be aligned offset in order that travellers could be seen approaching from a downstairs window. Was this in order that the gatekeeper could be gainfully employed whilst on the lookout for guests?

Pevsner visited here and can be remembered by the present owners.

The moat which surrounded the manor has been filled in but still fills in heavy rainfall.

Banner Image: Gatehouse to Martholme Manor. Attribution: Ian Fairclough. GHHS

This was a very entertaining afternoon, thanks to Janet Swan and members of the Clarion Community Choir and other singers who descended on us in the Barn.   Janet introduced little known songs as well as ‘Old Pendle’ of course, whilst inbetween demonstrating the impact of at least two reformers who had an impact on the lives of people in Britain and more especially working class people in East Lancashire, trapped in a daily grind who were only rarely able to access fresh air and the countryside. Both Thomas A. Leonard (Founder of the Holiday Fellowhip) and Ethel Carnie Holdsworth fought for the rights of workers to have more time and be able to get away into the countryside.

Worston Moor forms the NW side of Pendle Hill. Attribution: Jon Royle

We ought to know more about this indomitable woman. (North East Lancashire seems to be good at breeding this particular species see the talk on Respectable Rebels in January).   Born in 1886 into a weaving family in Oswaldtwistle she was working part time at age eleven in the local mill and full time at thirteen. She was later to describe this experience as ‘slavery”.

Ethel Carnie Holdsworth. Courtesy of her family

Ethel became that very rare thing in those days, a working class female novelist and was the first working class woman to publish a novel and she achieved national recognition. At least ten novels were published during her lifetime in addition to her books of poetry and one book ‘Helen of Four Gates’ was made into a film.  Other books include ‘This Slavery’ and ‘Songs of a Factory Girl’.  Her work has undergone recent scrutiny and Dr Kathleen Bell, is one of the leading figures in the campaign to introduce the work of this long-forgotten writer to a new generation. She writes that

“at its best, Holdsworth’s poetry illuminates the gap between working-class people’s desire for liberty, often evident in their imaginative capacity, and the constraints and suffering of their lives”.

As part of the Pendle Hill Landscape Project –  Janet is leading a series of free song workshops see below:

Songs and Singing – even if you think you can’t sing!
The free singing sessions will be taking place over three half days between July and mid August. There will be an opportunity to learn some new words for old songs, some simple new songs and some songs to raise the roof. All of these sessions will be taking place in Pendleside village halls on the dates below.

27 July (in Barley Village hall) from 10 a.m til 1.00 p.m.

10 August (in Downham Village hall) from 10 a.m til 1.00 p.m.

17 August (in Downham Village hall) from 10 a.m til 3.00 p.m.

Janet Swan and Singing for the Soul, a group of local singers.

All songs will be taught by ear – there is no need to be able to read music. What is more, you will be supported by volunteers who already sing and who will keep you in tune. This is a great opportunity to gain more confidence with your voice and experience all the benefits of singing.

What you need to bring
Refreshments will be provided (tea, coffee and biscuits) as will handouts, so all you need to bring is an open mind, a willingness to listen and if you want to stay in Barley or Downham for the afternoon, please bring some lunch with you. On the final session (17 August), the singing session will carry on after lunch time in order to end with a small informal concert. So bring some lunch that day and feel free to invite your friends and family to arrive at 2.30 for tea and cake. The concert will start at 3.00 and end at approximately 3.30.

Transport and other questions

If you have any other questions (for example relating to volunteering or bringing groups of people to join in the project), or if you need transport to the venues please contact the choir.    https://www.clarion-choir.co.uk/.       There will be pick up points in central locations in Burnley, Nelson / Brierfield and Clitheroe at approximately 9.15 on the dates above. We look forward to hearing from you.

The choir is grateful to Mid Pennine Arts for starting the journey of discovery relating to these local people. They are on a bigger journey – lasting four years – searching for a whole range of “Pendle Radicals”. The choir is also grateful to the Lottery Funded Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership (specifically the Pendle Hill Fund) for the funding for this project.






A Bakers dozen joined in the walk around this interesting village looking at features of vernacular architecture for example drip mouldings, chamfered mullions, date stones, moulded eaves. Some houses round the east green were in the style of the railway houses along the Settle Carlisle railway.

Field lynchets. Stainforth. Attribution: C. Rousseau Jones

We started off looking at the field lynchets on both sides of the main road and observing the position of Raines Barn and cottage at the edge of the village. Like many Yorkshire villages Stainforth has a mix of housing built over four centuries. prominent houses built in the 19th Century as well as those built earlier in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Along the way we saw bee boles, the remains of the stocks, the sites of both the schools now sadly defunct, a Ladies walk, stepping stones, coach houses and artist studio, slaughter house, hennery piggery, village Institute, the old village fountain, sites of old mills, dye houses and tenter field, cat steps, packhorse bridge, the pub – Craven Heifer formerly the Pack Horse Inn. Old barns and farm houses were also inspected … I could go on…

Datestone, Stainforth Village, Courtesy of Catherine Rousseau Jones

Stainforth is split into two parishes. Stainforth and Little Stainforth or Knight Stainforth which is across the river over an attractive single track bridge where nearby the old corn mill was sited for the village. After lunch we completed the tour and visited Knight Stainforth.  The Hall and cottage here were apparently built in 1672, this is another interesting building.

What’s left of the stocks at Stainforth. Attribution: C. Rousseau Jones

Notable people connected to the villages are Roger de Poitou, although he held the land and never visited. When his land was forfeited it came into the hands of the de Percy’s and thence into Monastic hands via Sawley Abbey. The Tempest and Darcy families also lived there. Sir Richard Tempest b. 1425 fought in the Wars of the Roses, a later Richard Tempest ended up being buried in Giggleswick church alongside his two wives and the head of his horse! Samuel Watson an apparently notable and intransigent local figure became a Quaker and the Hall became licensed as a Quaker Meeting House.   The Hall appears to have been in the hands of the Maudsley family for around 170 years now. One Henry Maudsley helped to start and fund the world renowned Maudsley Hospital in London at the beginning of the 20th C.

We received a warm welcome from some of the residents of the village and the area is well worth another visit.  After running out of time to the Hofmann Kiln at Langcliffe and visit Victoria Cave we did find time for the usual tea and cream scones before we we wended our way home.

Did you know?

The Maudsley Hospital has had a pick axe on its coat of arms since 1985 – a nod to the symbol that is on the Maudsley coat of arms at the Hall at Knight Stainforth.

David Johnson’s research over many years is in truth ground breaking (in more ways than one!) and will be a revelation to those in the south who think the Angles and Saxons only occupied the southern half of England. He outlined the geographical context, discussed Early Mediaeval (EM) sites, the proven evidence and the issues and implications arising from the findings.

As David stated the Anglo Saxons were present here inbetween the control freaks who were the Romans and the Normans. The EM period was pre Norman Conquest.

He began his talk by discussing the origin of place names by saying that they were not point specific. Despite 60% of place names in some areas of the Dales being of Norse  or Viking derivation, this did not hold true for major settlement names. In any case these were not recorded before Domesday. Much of the place names are hybrid old Norse and old English. However, he was at pains to point out that presently the evidence  is lacking to prove the Norse men were here at this time in the Dales.

Recent archaeological excavation sites included Selside, Chapel-le-Dale, Austwick and  Clapham.  Of course archaeologists need evidence and on some sites like Crummuckdale, Austwick there was evidence galore – a veritable hoard.  Amongst the finds in the areas overall were a work box, knife, beads, whet stones, smithing tongues, haematite, a piece of green glass with a molded rim and part of a horses bridle and sheep bell.   All sites lacked evidence of pottery.   Secure statistical dating from radiocarbon evidence of charcoal, bone and hazelnuts places occupation from between AD 600-700 to 1015 (apart from one at Top Cow Pasture at 1215).  Radiocarbon dating of bone from a female burial was firmly within the Anglo Saxon Period and human bone from other earlier excavations shows dates compatible with Anglo Saxon settlement.

Excavations at Chapel-le-Dale. Courtesy of David Johnson
Early-Medieval (Anglo-Saxon) Belt Mount. Treasure case no. 2004 T187. Found Isle of Wight. Attribution: Share Alike

With regard to the  excavated foundations of the buildings, all were made of limestone and without exception had double skinned dwarf walls. It is thought that the walls were then highered by the addition of turf which might have been timber lined. What seems to be of considerable interest is that a southern  chap  called Blair developed something known as a ‘four perch model’  where a measured grid is put over the plans of buildings and enclosures and the same shows a ‘fit’ when applied to other sites in the south.   Interestingly when this model is placed over the excavations in Craven the grid fits almost perfectly in some areas, less so in others. By inference this also demonstrates adoption of a common building template over several centuries and the possible transference of this method from one Anglo Saxon territory to another, although there is more work and discussion needed here.

All the sites he mentioned were at 300M above sea level on limestone. All sites were said to be vacated by 1015 except one  and it was thought that people moved down to larger settlements, perhaps due to climate change, there is no hard evidence for this though and the motives behind the shift have yet to be determined.  It is interesting that these northern Anglo Saxons in these early mediaeval years are not the peasants that we  supposed them to be, they owned objects of status for example the green glass, horse bridle, chatelaine, silver sword pommel, bronze belt fittings.

Sheep Bell. Courtesy of David Johnson.

Lots of questions were answered through these patient and thorough excavations and assessment of the findings which as David stated have led to the need for an overhaul or reassessment of what is thought of the the presence and lives  of the Anglo Saxons in the whole of England.    It appears that David’s work and findings will be of significance to future historians and archaeologists and society as a whole and we were lucky to secure him as a speaker.

This was an excellent talk and if you want to know more David’s latest book ‘New Light on the ‘Dark Ages’ in North Craven‘, is available in the shop at Pendle Heritage Centre, priced £8.

And did you know?

During the excavations 593  Mole hills were sieved in all sorts of weather with no finds to show at all….

One door step had placed deposits thought to demonstrate ritual beliefs.

It is supposed that the Anglo Saxons used their horses for riding as opposed to work or draught horses.

That the bell weather sheep was a castrated male who had the bell hung round his neck, and steered the flock on its daily wanderings.

Banner Image:West Stow Anglo Saxon Village. Attribution:Midnightblueowl.  Its not in North Craven but does give an idea of what Anglo Saxon homesteads looked like in the south.



Didn’t we have a lovely time the day we went to ……’ Liverpool.       A smooth journey and good weather.

The Harvest Moon by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Public Domain

The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Exhibition was delightful. Although it wasn’t only his work that was on display there were other interesting and gorgeous contributions from the Glasgow School of Art amongst them Talwin Morris. Apparently the Glasgow School was the only place in the UK where an Art Noveau movement took hold.

The iconic pieces, the high backed oak chair, the rose pattern were all there.   So to were the famous gesso panels by Mackintosh’s wife, Margaret Mcdonald,  another gorgeous inclusion and the free standing clock was a delight in style, balance and craftsmanship.

The Wassail. Charles Rennie Mackintosh 1900. Public Domain

Metalwork, embroidery, art, a variety of furniture, book covers, posters, flower paintings, panelling, light fittings .. What a treat and worth seeing again, its on until August 26th.

Also showcased were items from the famous artistic tea rooms of Miss Catherine Cranston in Glasgow. Including a never before seen outside Scotland section of the Chinese Room of the Ingram Street Tearoom.

Of course the Leonardo de Vinci drawings drew us in also.   The fine detail of his work is superb and the intricate braiding on the Head of Leda was stunning, another must see. Twelve museums across Britain have twelve drawings and they will then be displayed in London at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

Study of the Head of Leda by Leonardo de Vinci. In the Public Domain in the USA and other countries.

All in all a good day out and two for the price of one!   Where to next time? Suggestions welcomed.


On a dry and calm Saturday, with hazy sun, the Pendle Archaeology Group decided to revisit Heyhouses in the ‘Hidden’ or Sabden Valley. The morning was spent exploring the old settlement and talking about its historical and agricultural background from the 14C to the late 18C. This involved examining old photos of cottages, comparing old maps with modern ones and discussing what had disappeared.

Lodge at Heyhouses, connected to the Caolico Print Works. Attribution: C. Rousseau Jones

At the end of the 18C came the Calico Printworks and the impact of the Industrial Revolution on Sabden was immediate. Textile printers poured into the hamlet in increasing numbers from Padiham, Accrington, Rossendale and from as far afield as Preston. The demand for housing led to Top, Step, Bury, Crow Trees, Centre and Long Rows. The first church to be built was the Baptist Church in 1797. Baptism was not by fire, but by a refreshing immersion in the mill lodge on Badger Wells Water.

These printworks consumed vast quantities of clean water and soon Badger Wells Water could not supply all that was required. New lodges were built up the Sabden Brook valley between Sabden and Dean Farm. After lunch, the group played detective. Using a blank 1844 map, they mapped the many lodges and water channels, so as to understand the complexities of one aspect of the calico printing process.

The former Calico Print Works at Sabden. Courtesy of Brian Jeffery

After a final discussion, the group briefly looked at an even older water channel and a potential ‘bloomery’ or early iron smelting site before departing for a well-earned cup of tea.            Brian Jeffery 24 March 2019

We also listened to a surprising impromptu rendering of poignant poetry by William Neary and  heard the cry of the curlews too.

Banner Image: Culvert at Heyhouses, connected to the Calico Print Works. Attribution: C. Rousseau Jones

On a morning of mixed weather – sunshine, rain, hail and wind we walked around the amazing manmade landscape that is the remains of the Shedden Clough limestone industry.

Intrepid walkers at Shedden Clough. Attribution: C. Rousseau

It is thought that the limestone workings were in use from the 16th century until the late 18th century when local lime was in demand for building and agriculture. It was only with the opening of the canals that lime production in other areas became more profitable.

Pack Horse Route at Shedden Clough. Attribution: C.Rousseau Jones
Shedden Pack Horse Bridge. Attribution: C. Rousseau Jones

The walk started at the storage ponds, where water was stored from the nearby streams before being released down the hill. This washed out rocks which could be sorted. Those containing limestone were fired in the kiln. The extracted lime was removed from the site by the ‘Limegals’ (ponies).

The walk was shortened due to the weather. Our trip to Hurstwood and Worsthorne will take place at a later date

What a smashing day on all counts! A good turn out and convivial company, one of the best February days ever and a most interesting walk.

Hi Ho……. On the way to the Fox Clough coal mine. Attribution C. Rousseau Jones

Richard Matthews introduced us to what was an area heavily involved in coal mining going back to the 1600’s in places.   We had a good look around the Fox Clough coal mine pumping engine site and visited the Waterside and Carry Bridge areas of Colne and also the mining areas of Trawden. Ruins of the ‘pit head’ were seen however it won’t be long before they’re no longer there.   Richard has done a lot of work in uncovering what can now be seen. Amongst other interesting features, we also viewed the remains of round tunnels which were probably robbed out by local folk for building. We also had a bird’s eye view of bonny Colne and could see the mill where the coal would have been taken to, on tracks that are no longer visible…

Pumphouse. Fox Clough
Attribution: C. Rousseau Jones.

A most interesting feature was the forge in what would have been the ruins of the smithy.   A huge and solid oblong shape with the marks of the smith scored on the stone and the centre filled with ash.

Forge.Fox Clough
Attribution: C. Rousseau Jones

This outing provided us with a flavor of what life would have been like for the locals in past centuries, although the mine is very sheltered and indeed very hard to find without a guide, the workers would have been very exposed to the elements as they walked across the fields to work.

Attribution: C. Rousseau Jones

Along our journey we spied the diamond shaped scorings on gate stones guiding the people who could not read to work.   We saw and heard the first curlews and lapwings and saw our first Peacock Butterfly!

And what could be better than ending the day be a visit to the Admiral Lord Rodney!

Banner Image: Scored marks on the gate posts to guide miners who could not read, to the right mine. Attribution: C. Rousseau Jones

As Malcolm says ports were places that moved things, food, people, military equipmen, goods and acted as places for ship building.Barrow at the end of the longest cul de sac in the country had a population in the 1850’s of 500, small in comparison to nearby Ulverston at 5, 500.

Haverigg apparently had the richest iron ore found in England leading to a small steel works being founded at Millom and with nearby coal and limestone being readily available business was quick to take off, necessitating a larger steel works having to be built. Of course ship building needed steel and people flocked to the area which offered plenty of employment opportunities and Barrows’ population rose considerably.

At one mile long, Ulverston has the shortest canal in England which because it became uneconomical to run was sealed off and is now used for pleasure craft. Ulverston was seen as a good port to get in and out of. Boats were able to tie up at the quay or the promenade.

St George’s Quay, Lancaster, Courtesy of Malcolm Tranter

Storth and Arnside became the port for Milnthorpe . A customs house was built close to the quay in common with many ports, enabling the government to ‘get their cut’ via taxation.  When the railways arrived small ports like Storth were cut off.

Sunderland Point does not easily spring to mind as a port and was a tiny isolated community but survived at one point by transporting road stone to North Wales in a very small way. Warning – if you intend to visit this area check the tide times!

Richard Gillow a member of the famous family built the Custom House in Lancaster. If you visit Lancaster be sure to visit St. George’s Quay warehouses, grand buildings most probably converted to homes by now.   Some goods were kept in bonded warehouses for example spices, rum, pepper. Barrels were leak proof, the shape and size differed for identification. Hogs head barrels held 63 gallons.

Lancaster was involved in a ‘triangular trade’, ships took goods to ports on the west African coast, the profits bought slaves who were then transported to the USA and after collecting more profits, cotton was transported to Lancashire. People bought shares in this very profitable business but at the time could not have been aware of the appalling conditions on the middle leg of the journey.

During the fallow summer season fishermen supplemented their income by taking visitors on pleasure trips around Morecambe bay. The port of Glasson Dock is also worth a visit, it was built to accommodate ships that were bigger and deeper drafted and also had a small line in ship building. Some of the warehouses stored grain and some are still there today alongside pleasure craft. The five mile long canal here connects to the Lancaster canal. Goods were loaded from ships onto barges and travelled to Preston and Kendal.

Barrow Ship Launch, Courtesy of Malcolm Tranter

Heysham, Cockersands, Fleetwood, Wyre dock, Blackpool, Lytham, Preston, dredging, sifting, steam houses, pilots, tugs, lifeboats, ship breakers yards, wood pulp, asparto grass, china clay, 500 pits within five miles of Wigan college, coal, pit props, wood, phew! Reader I could go on, this was an extremely interesting talk on the decline of the fishing industry and ports along the coast of northwest Lancashire. Between the advent of the railways, the ‘Cod Wars’ and Roll off Roll on ferries and container ships the industry and these charming working ports saw their demise. However, some of them have very interesting museums and they are well worth a trip to inform yourselves further of their place in our Lancashire heritage.

Did you know that:

A convict ship was moored off the coast at Heysham to house felons, as at one point in time there were not enough ships to take them to their ‘new’ life in Australia.

Wyre dock later housed the Freeport shopping centre.

Arnside Loading Area,
Courtesy of Malcolm Tranter

At Fleetwood the lighthouse is in the middle of the town and was one of three lights that when they were visually lined up from out at sea, guided the boats home to the landing point.

Lytham was set up as an extra port for Preston when the sea traffic became too much to handle.

The river was ‘moved’ at Preston to build the docks.

It is ironic that Preston was asked to trial Roll on Roll off ferries and containers as this was a factor in a lot of small ports closing.

Preston docks of which there were six and a half miles, worked a 24 hour day in the 1960’s, sadly by 1981 the port had closed, it was totally uneconomic as 60% of the profits were spent on dredging.


Banner Image: Original Preston Quay, Courtesy of Malcolm Tranter

In our first talk of 2019 Harold Hoggarth returned to entertain and inform us with the tales of three local women, Selina Cooper, Katharine Glasier and Ethel Snowden who were involved in the fight for women’s suffrage.   

Emmeline Pankhurst with daughter Christobel and other sufferagette leaders at a meeting in Clements Inn, 1908

 All these women did remarkable work in addressing the social situation and conditions of their time, however, the principal of the three warriors could be said to be Selina Cooper. After moving ‘oop North after the death of her father she started work age thirteen, in the mills of Barnoldswick. She took courses in First Aid, laundry and hygiene and also became self educated. After joining the Women’s Co-operative Guild she became part of the North of England’s Society for Women’s Sufferage in 1900. As the movement grew she rubbed shoulders with Emmeline Pankhurst and with three other women presented the case for women’s sufferage to Prime Minister Herbert Asquith. Her stance would have given local women the courage to stand up for their rights in a non violent way.

However it was her work in the local area that would also have impacted on the lives of the community which also still endears her to us today.  Selina became active in local social issues such as the Nelson Education, Health Insurance and Public Assistance Committees and became a JP.  She instigated and developed the first ever Maternity Centre in Nelson which will have helped good health to continue down the generations. Her life seems to have been a tireless example of service to others.

The picture on the right depicts Lancashire Suffragettes who marched from Manchester to London perhaps resting at a Girls High School in Stratford on Avon.  As it originally belonged to Selina Cooper JP she is probably in the photograph. From her daugher Miss M. Cooper.

Lancashire Marchers. June 17th 1911. Courtesy of Lancashire Archives

 Katharine Bruce Glasier of Earby achieved a Bachelor of Arts and after joining the Fabians was instrumental with others in founding the Independent Labour Party. Both she and her husband worked for social reform. Katharine became an author and the editor of the ILP newspaper alongside being a national organiser of the Labour Party. She died in 1950 leaving her home in Earby, Glen Cottage to the YHA. Amongher other achievements she was instrumental in instigating pit head baths and the setting up of the Margaret Macmillan Memorial College.

Ethel Annakin became Viscountess Snowden, after her marriage to labour activist Phillip Snowden and his achievement of Viscountcy.   Although from a middle class background she becam a socialist aligning with the Fabian Society and later the Independent Labour Party. She earned an income from lecturing in Britain and America.   Ethel was a leading campaigner for Womens’s suffrage and went on to found The Women’s Peace Crusade.   Her criticisms of the Soviet Union made her unpopular on the Left. In later years she became a Governor of the BBC and Director of the Royal Opera House. When enthusiastic about a subject she was said to disregard anything that stood in her way and it was said that “tact or discretion were foreign to her nature”.

Members of Women’s Social and Political Union campaigning in Kingsway

In her book “The Woman Socialist” in 1907 she advocated state control of marriage, joint title by women to the housekeeping money, and a state salary for mothers, she also wanted housekeeping organised collectively in each street and declared that under socialism women would have “no need to paint face and tint hair”.  Perhaps laying the foundation for the Child Allowance in later years to be paid to the mother not the father.

It could perhaps be said that these local warriors fulfilled  Jonathan Lockwood Huie‘s statement:  

  “To lead a great life: Dream, Take Action, Repeat”  Selina Cooper and her like did this ‘in spades’.

Banner Image: A cohort of local Sufferagettes and supporters. Selina Cooper is probably far right, front.  At the station on their way to a protest. Courtesy of Lancashire Archives.