Lancashire Past

Lancashire History Website and Blog

What’s New… click on the links below for the latest blog posts from Lancashire Past

Turton Curiosities This page has been updated with new text and photographs (2023)

Two Unusual Sign Posts Bury Rare survivors of a time before local maps were commonplace

Hurst Grange, Penwortham Once the private ground of a Victorian mansion, now a public park

Bobby the Iron Horse, Leyland A lasting tribute to the lives of working horses

Furness Abbey Precinct Curiosities  A host of historic features outside the fence of the monastery ruins, but within the traditional bounds of the abbey

A History of Arnside Tower A Medieval tower house with a fascinating past, but an uncertain future

A History of the Judges’ Lodgings, Lancaster A Georgian Town House that hosted visiting judges on the Northern Circuit

James ‘Treacle’ Sanderson Monument  Remembering the trailblazing Victorian runner

Penwortham Priory Gatehouse Once in Penwortham, now moved to Hutton

The Mexico Disaster  A daring rescue and the biggest lifeboat disaster in the history of the RNLI

Cowm Reservoir and Deserted Valley The story of the emptying out of a valley to meet Rochdale’s demand for drinking water

The Witch’s Grave, Lytham  An isolated grave in a woodland setting

The Winter Hill Trespass 1896 A series of marches for access to the moorlands, long before the more famous Kinder Scout protest

Red Moss Bog Body, Horwich  An ancient find becomes a focal point to save an endangered landscape

The Pack Horse Bridge at Turton Bottoms A rare survivor of from the age of horse transport

Black Rock Waterwheel, Edgeworth A monument to the bygone age of watermills

Leighton Hall, near Carnforth The seat of the Gillow family, the hall features a wealth of the firm’s furniture

Two Lads, Horwich Two stone mounds stand on a ridge near Winter Hill. Why are they there?

Great House Barn, Rivington   Huge timber cruck frames dating from the Stuart times

The Winter Hill Transmitter, Belmont For almost 60 years the aerial has been a familiar landmark, but are its days numbered?

Astley Hall Farm Bronze Age Burial Monument  A chance discovery reveals a prehistoric structure

Astley Park Curiosities A wealth of history that can be seen in a stroll around the parkland at Astley

Noon Hill Bronze Age Cairn, Rivington Excavation has revealed many of the cairn’s secrets

A History of the Ashton Memorial, Lancaster  A huge monument, but to what?

St Leonard’s Church, Walton-le-Dale An impressive church on an imposing site

Winter Hill Bronze Age Cairn, Belmont The mound offers a glimpse into Bronze Age beliefs in the afterlife

Galgate Silk Mill The first and last silk mill in England

Beal Vale History Trail A guide to the local streets and the location of where the mills once stood in Shaw

The Mussel Tank, Lytham The Lytham and Banks Fisherman’s Co-operative Society’s cleansing tanks have gone, but are not forgotten

A History of Lytham Windmill The iconic Fylde coast windmill, that is open to all

Robin Hood Stone A huge prehistoric monolith stands in a Liverpool housing estate

Enfield Wharf A late Georgian warehouse and stable block on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal

The Calderstones Rare survivors from a Prehistoric burial chamber

Searching for Benjamin Franklin in Lancashire The American scientist, inventor and statesman had strong connections with the county

Preston to Garstang Turnpike Milestones  An impressively long sequence of milestones from the Georgian era

Salford Histories Festival At the end of October there will be a celebration of Salford’s past

A History of the Allerton Oak A venerable old tree in Liverpool that may once have been the site of a Medieval Hundred Court

Garstang Toll House and Roman Milestone A north-south route, as important in the Georgian times as it was in Roman times

Greenbooth Reservoir and Drowned Village Beneath the waters lies the village of Green Booth

Birkenhead’s Medieval Monastery An incredible survivor, despite the odds

Barton Corn Mill A rare surviving example of a watermill in Lancashire

Worsley Green and Fountain Monument A monument to a vanished way of life

Worsley Delph A relic from the canal age, that now has a look of the picturesque

The Lost Church of St Stephen’s, Astley  The graveyard stands as a memorial to a church struck by disaster

The Cockpit of Conscience A new book about Stuart Age Lancashire

Catterall Cross A restored cross in a Medieval base

Swarthmoor Hall An Elizabethan house with an historic link to George Fox, founder of the Quakers

Singleton Fire Station A tiny Victorian building, which once held the village’s fire engine

The Mystery of ‘The Mount’ Why was the large mound at Preesall constructed?

The Pilling Bog Body A prehistoric burial that was believed to have been a murder victim from Georgian times

Preesall Windmill An early Victorian mill in need of some renovation

Pilling Windmill A formerly derelict mill now restored as a residence

The Seven in Lancashire A perplexing story featuring allegations of demon possession and witchcraft

Cuerden Hall history book A new, free online publication gives a hugely comprehensive history of the hall

Howick Cross A large Medieval socket stone, with a restored cross

West Lancashire Railway Bridge When the railway was dismantled, the bridge still had an unusual other function

Free publications on South Pennines Woodlands A celebration of woodlands, with a strong historical focus

Penwortham’s Lost Medieval Monastery A long vanished, small priory with an intriguing history

Penwortham Old Bridge, Preston A vital link that replaced the dangerous fords on the Ribble

Castercliff Iron Age Hillfort, Nelson An intriguing site that hints at attack and abandonment

Jumbles Reservoir, Bolton A late 20th Century reservoir, part of a chain that was begun in Victorian times

Marshside Fog Bell Set up after a terrible tragedy, as a guide to those lost in the fog

Castlesteads, Bury A promontory fort, protected by a river and steep sides

Burrs Mill, Bury Built by Robert Peel senior, who tried to enact legislation to protect child workers, while shirking responsibility for those that worked for him

Slaidburn Curiosities The village has a wealth of history, from the Medieval through to the Victorian era

Bradshaw Hall and Bleachworks, near Bolton A historic house that had a bleachworks built right next to it

Higher Woodhill Mill, Bury This page has been significantly updated with more text and photographs

Roger Worthington’s Grave The story of how a single grave was placed on the moors above Hawkshaw

The Lost Abbey of Tulketh The monks of Furness Abbey first set up a monastery at Tulketh, which failed to prosper

Tulketh Castle, Preston A vanished castle from early Norman times, which once stood overlooking the River Ribble

Birkacre Mill, near Chorley Arkwright’s early pioneering factory, that met with an early demise

Ashworth Moor Reservoir, near Heywood In a stunning setting, this reservoir led to the closure of nearby mills

Cheesden Lumb Mill, near Heywood An impressive ruin, which had a variety of uses in the textile industry

Wainwright Memorial, Blackburn  A commemorative toposcope, at a place where Wainwright once gazed upon the distant Lakeland fells

Cuerden Valley Curiosities Hidden history around the historic parkland

Cinder Hill Engine House ruins, Bury A rare discovery of an early mill site in Holcombe

Lowry Statue, Knott End-on- Sea A commemoration of the artist’s visits to the town

Halsall Navvy A commemorative sculpture, remembering the work of the navvies on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Ribchester Roman Fort A Lancashire Roman site of huge strategic importance

Tentering Tower, Ramsbottom An eye catching building that played an interesting role in the town’s textile industry

Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Garden A monument to one of the 20th Century’s most popular singers

Brungerley Bridge, Clitheroe A scenic beauty spot for over a hundred years, this site once witnessed the dramatic capture of a king

The Ruskin Library and Museum, Lancaster A late 20th Century building housing the largest archive of the Victorian visionary John Ruskin

Haddock Park Wood Cross, Near Brindle  A large well preserved Medieval boundary cross

Manchester’s Medieval College of Priests: Chetham’s School and Library The history of these buildings is long, varied and very interesting

Wyre Aqueduct From above or below, an impressive bridge that carries the Lancaster Canal over the River Wyre

Poulton-le-Fylde’s Market Square Curiosities Passers by can reach out and touch these centuries old artefacts

St Chad’s Church, Poulton-le-Fylde A fascinating church, and a turbulent history

Newton Hall, Hyde The skeleton of  Medieval manor house, rescued and restored

Greenhalgh Castle A tower from the castle stands as a lonely sentinel in the Garstang countryside

Furness Abbey One of the best preserved abbeys in the whole country, it lies within region known as Lancashire North of the Sands

Piethorne Valley Reservoirs Six reservoirs built near Rochdale for the people of Oldham

Ellenroad Engine House On steam days visitors can still see the huge twin engines of Victoria and Alexandra in action

Parbold Windmill A fantastically preserved Georgian mill

St Stephen’s Church, Holden Wood and Haslingden Grane The church that moved…

Rochdale’s Lost Castle A motte and bailey castle once stood on the hill at Castleton

Damhouse, Astley A late Tudor manor house, preserved by the local community

Cuerden Hall Gardens, Bamber Bridge An American garden and pinetum are just two of the features of this country estate

The Lost Village of Haslingden Grane Three reservoirs were to seal the fate of this once thriving community

Stockport Museums under threat of closure: Latest Update News as of 25/1/20 as to what is happening to Stockport’s beleaguered museums

Astley Green Colliery: Lancashire Mining Museum  A group of volunteers are preserving the unique heritage of a former coal mine

Hoghton Tower, near Preston A Tudor house with commanding views over the local countryside

Ightenhill’s Lost Manor House Once one of the most important Medieval buildings in Lancashire, a recent project has uncovered its location

Gawthorpe Hall, near Padiham A grand Tudor country residence, with Victorian additions

The Strange Tale of Edward Kelley at Walton-le-Dale A Tudor story of diabolical darkness

Two Stockport museums face closure Stockport town museum and Chadkirk Chapel are under threat. The other council museums will have reduced opening hours

Peel Monument or Holcombe Tower  This Victorian monument can be seen for miles around Bury and affords great views over the countryside

Ribbleton Hall ruins, Preston The footprint of this large Victorian mansion can still be seen in Grange Park

Scotsman’s Stump Many people have passed this memorial and wondered how and why the Victorian traveller George Henderson was murdered…

Kem Mill The extensive ruins of a print works and bleach croft  that came to a dramatic end

Cuerden Hall, Bamber Bridge  A late Georgian Hall with a large historic parkland

St John’s Parish Church Broughton A church that dates back to the Tudor times, with a wealth of history

The Co-operative Pioneers, Rochdale Cemetery The stories and graves of the men that helped inspire a world wide co-operative movement

Watergrove Reservoir and Drowned Village  A Victorian village and mills destroyed to make way for clean drinking water for Rochdale

Cockerham Cross A Medieval base with a modern shaft

St Michael’s Cockerham A church with history that stretches back to the Medieval era

Cockerham’s Lost Augustinian Priory A small monastic community once lived here, close to a rival one by the sea

Claughton Viking burial This page has been updated with new sketches added of the artefacts discovered and on display at Harris Museum Preston

St Margaret’s Church, Hornby A Tudor church with a wealth of local history both inside and out

Castle Stede, near Hornby A motte and bailey castle built by Roger de Montbegon

Halton Castle, near Lancaster A motte and bailey castle once guarded this strategic point

Elmfield Hall, Accrington Home of Frederick Gatty, pioneer cotton dye maker

Peel Monument, Accrington The Peel family’s donation to the people of Accrington commemorated

Plantation Mill, Accrington  The ruins of a Victorian calico printing factory

Arden Hall ruins, Accrington A Victorian hall that has been excavated and now reclaimed by nature

Hornby Anglo-Saxon Crosses An early Anglo-Saxon religious site in the Lune Valley

The Sigurd Cross, Halton near Lancaster In the churchyard is a tall Viking age cross which depicts the story of a Viking hero

Moss Bank House and Ainsworth Bleachworks, Halliwell, Bolton A prosperous bleaching dynasty and what remains from their time

St Thomas the Martyr Church, Upholland near Wigan A Medieval church, with a host of fascinating later features

Upholland Priory A Benedictine Monastery near Wigan

Speke Hall A large Tudor house surrounded by Victorian gardens

Portland Basin Warehouse  One of the  largest canal warehouses to be constructed and now an excellent museum

Kersal Cell This page has been updated with some more information on the small monastery

Warton Old Rectory A Medieval manor house that was often embroiled in disputes between local powerful families and the crown

Update on three of the Lancashire Museums that had closed due to austerity cuts: The museums have reopened part time!

Holy Trinity Church, Bolton-le-Sands The existing church is part Medieval and has a long and interesting history

Plug Riots and Chartists, Preston A memorial to the Preston Martyrs

Kirkham’s Last Loom  An Edwardian loom that stands as testament to Kirkham’s textile industry that stretches back to early Victorian times

Bolton-le-Sands Free Grammar School Dating from the Stuart times, this listed building is still in excellent condition

Clifton Cross Only original socket stone of this medieval cross survives, but a modern cross sits in its base

Lancaster’s Georgian Customs House Now the Maritime Museum, this building has an interesting history in establishing the wealth of the town

Kirkham Windmill Now converted to a house, this Georgian windmill is well worth a look

Marsh Mill, Thornton The only working windmill in the whole of the north west of England

The Dub and Windmill, Wrea Green near Preston  A village with a large rural green and a host of historical features

The pages on Ribchester’s Roman Granaries and Mellor’s Roman Signal Station  have both been updated with new information added

Lancaster Castle : The Prisons and Courts The castle has been a prison and a court right from the very beginning

Lancaster Castle : The Fortress A huge Medieval castle, with a long and varied history

Lund Roman altar, Clifton near Preston  A Roman altar now used to baptise Christians

Clifton Windmill, near Preston   A late Georgian windmill, saved from demolition and now converted to a public house

Sawley Bridge, Sawley A Georgian bridge over the River Ribble

Viking Stones, Bolton-le-Sands  Two fragments with interesting carvings, including part of a rare hogback stone

Old Grammar School, Middleton An imposing building constructed in the time of  Queen Elizabeth I and little changed since then

Norton Priory, near Runcorn A once wealthy priory is now Europe’s most excavated monastic site

The Starting Chair, Moor Park, Preston  It looks like a rough wayside cross, but has had a more recent use…

Sherburne Cross, Moor Park, Preston A modern cross shaft inserted into a very old pedestal

Criffel Stone, Crossens, near Southport  A large glacial erratic, all the way from Scotland

St Leonard’s Church, Middleton  A very old church in a commanding position, with a wealth of history

Liverpool Castle Replica  A reproduction of the lost castle, at Rivington near Horwich

Liverpool’s Lost Castle   The medieval fortress may be long gone, but we know where it stood and a lot about its history

Formby Lifeboat Station  Not just the first in Britain, but the first worldwide

Early Transatlantic Flights- via Southport  The little know roll of the Ainsdale to Birkdale foreshore playing a vital role in the days of early aviation

Broughton Tower Although the tower was demolished two hundred years ago, a large part of the moat still exists on this little known site

Clitheroe’s Town Wells  One from Medieval times and two from the Stuart era,  these wells provide an interesting insight into town life in the past

Church Cottage Museum  A small Tudor cottage near Preston holds a long and fascinating history

Rufford Old Hall The impressive Tudor Great Hall, together with Stuart and Georgian additions make this a must see visit for lovers of  historical architecture

Park Hill House : Pendle Heritage Centre The history of the home of the Bannister family in Barrowford, now a well know museum and visitor centre

Kirkham’s Lost Roman Fort   All traces may now be gone, but there’s still a lot of history been found about this important Lancashire fort and we’ve pinpointed exactly where it was

Turton Tower Curiosities  Lots of Victorian heritage in the grounds of the much older tower

Preston Dock Curiosities  There still plenty to see at the modern Riversway development, if you know where to look

Ellen Strange Memorial and Cairn  A stone pillar and cairn of stones are a present day reminder of a terrible crime

Three Lancashire Museums to Reopen ! Good news about Helmshore  Textile Mills, Queen Street Mill Burnley and Judges’ Lodgings Lancaster

Robin Hood’s Well, Helmshore near Bury  In great condition, this ancient well has a long history of supplying water to weary travellers

Cuerdale Viking Hoard Returns to Lancashire ! Go and see it at the Atkinson Museum in Southport

Grants Tower, Rambsottom, Bury  A ruined folly is saved from total collapse

Turton Tower, Chapeltown near Bolton A Medieval Pele Tower with Tudor and Stuart additions has a long and intriguing history

Melandra Castle, Roman Fort, Glossop  Lying just a few miles outside our region, a Roman fort that still shows its extensive earthworks

Kersal Cell and Kersal Moor The intertwined histories of a very small monastery and the moorland around it

Holker House : Darwen Heritage Centre  A grand Victorian house, formerly home of two doctors is now the hub to promote  Darwen’s history

Edisford Bridge, Clitheroe Both a battle and a medieval leper hospital mark this important ford and bridge crossing

Towneley Hall, Burnley The home of the Towneley family, who were often at odds with the rulers of their day

Tottington Dungeon, Bury  A Victorian town lock up with intriguing carvings on the stonework

Stonyhurst Hall and College The home of the Shireburn family who were frequently at the mercy of the religious authorities…

Craggs Row Windmill, Preston  Many locals don’t know about this well hidden secret, but it’s easy to find…

Hob Cross, Lathom  A  newly reinstated cross on a medieval site

Longridge Primary Schools organise a series of commemoration events for World War 1, culminating in a large scale production at Preston Guild Hall

Fred Dibnah Statue and Corliss Steam Engine, Bolton  The famous steeplejack memorialized  in bronze stands before a Bolton built steam engine

Feniscowles Hall ruins, Blackburn  From a distance can be spied the old hall, but there are lots of other buildings and landscape features you can visit nearby

Worden Park Walled Garden, Leyland  A recently restored kitchen garden with original Georgian and Victorian features

The Hall at Lostock, Lostock Hall near Leyland  The new Park of St Catherine’s incorporating nature, history and commemoration

Brindleheath and Old Jewish Cemeteries, Pendleton, Salford  Hidden away close to the city centre is  a small historical and wildlife site

Sandy Holme Aqueduct, Thompson Park, Burnley  The tunnel vaulting contains a range of intriguing carvings

Becconsall Old Church, Hesketh Bank  A small Georgian Chapel on the edge of the Hesketh Marshes

Cann Street Well, Tottington  An old coaching road well, still in very good condition

Leyland Town Cross and Well A medieval cross and ancient well site at the heart of old Leyland

Newburgh Village Cross  Old medieval market cross set in the conservation area of Newburgh near Lathom

Mount Pavilion, Fleetwood  A Victorian garden and viewpoint, restored back to its original splendour

St Leonard the Less Church, Samlesbury  An unusual Medieval church, with a plethora of family box pews

Fleetwood’s Victorian Lighthouses  Two are in fantastic condition, one is probably not long for this world…

Fleetwood Museum is the first of the five Lancashire Museums to reopen  At last some good news about our beleaguered museums

Lancaster’s Lost Roman Fort  A history of the fort and a walk around where it once stood

Worden Hall and Park, Leyland Georgian and Victorian parkland and buildings

St George’s Hall, Liverpool  A huge grade I Neo-Classical Victorian civic building

St Michaels on Wyre, a Medieval church with large contrasts to its sister church of St Helens

St Helens Church, Churchtown near Garstang, Medieval building with many interesting artefacts to see, both inside and out

Smithills Hall, Bolton originally a Medieval hall with impressive Tudor and Victorian extensions

Claughton Viking Burial A rare burial mound and grave goods

Furness Viking Hoard   A chance find from a turbulent historical time

Dalton Castle, Dalton in Furness A fine Pele tower, once owned by the Abbot of Furness Abbey

Platt Hall, Platt Fields Park, Rusholme A superb Georgian House that doubles as Manchester’s Museum of Costume

Lancashire Links Page– at last a page that links to all your favourite Lancashire  history societies, museums and websites !

St Walburge’s Church, Preston An impressive building with tallest church spire in the country

Nico Ditch, Platt Fields Park, Manchester This Dark Age defensive structure is a rare remnant from Saxon times

Radcliffe Tower, Radcliffe near Bury  A huge ruined Pele Tower at the heart of old Radcliffe

Jubilee Tower, Quernmore, near Lancaster A folly view tower on the road to the Trough of Bowland

Quernmore Dark Age Burial, near Lancaster The discovery of two mysterious boat shaped objects

The Lost Leper Hospital of St Mary Magdalene, Preston A medieval hospital with an intriguing history

Five Lancashire Museums will now close, but there’s still hope  The latest update on the plight of our museums

Lytham Hall, Lytham  the finest Georgian Hall in Lancashire ?

Lancashire Museums have a short stay of execution There still time to act to help save our museums

Lydiate Abbey, the ruined church of St Catherine, West Lancashire The church that never was an abbey….

Lydiate Hall ruins, Lydiate, West Lancashire Picturesque ruins dating from the Tudor times

Heritage Lottery Fund May Want £1.6 Million back from Lancashire over the decision to close two of its leading museums Plans to save money by closing museums just doesn’t add up

Five Lancashire Museums to Close and Six More Could Follow Read the terrible news about our flagship museums and see what you can do to help save them

Manchester Roman Fort and Vicus  Impressive reconstructions and archaeology on show in  Castlefield

Godley Lane Cross and Shorey Well, Burnley An imposing blackened wayside cross and a rescued well head

Leyland’s Tudor Grammar School, South Ribble Museum Education for all comers

Tocca’s Stone, St Stephen’s Churchayrd, Tockholes  A strangely shaped stone, with mysterious origins

Parbold Bottle Monument, Parbold An unusual structure, with stunning views

Steam Tram Turning Triangle and Twin Waiting Rooms, Darwen At the cutting edge of steam powered transport

Samlesbury Hall, near Preston Grade 1 listed Tudor manor house 

Brindle Churchyard, near Chorley Medieval grave covers and wayside cross bases lie tucked away in the graveyard

Witton House, Witton Park, Blackburn The site of a vanished grand hall still has lots to explore

Bury Castle  The remains of a fortified manor house in the centre of modern day Bury

Bank Hall, Bretherton, West Lancashire   A ruined hall, saved by the local community

India Mill Chimney and Darwen’s Victorian Machinery Italian inspired architecture and Victorian mill machinery, all to see for free

Penwortham Castle, near Preston  A classic Norman motte and bailey, with commanding views over the Ribble

Holden Cross Base, Haslingden A huge square stone socket that once held a wayside cross

Pilgrims Cross, Holcombe Moor, Bury  This post has been updated with a historical picture of the destroyed cross base

Doffcocker or Halliwell Cross An impressive cross with an unusually carved head piece

Wycoller Hall  The ruined hall in the picturesque Wycoller Country Park

Foulridge Wharf and Lime Kiln  A restored late Georgian canal warehouse and preserved lime kiln

Tailor’s Cross and Low Well, Foulridge  An intriguing Norman cross and restored well

St Helen’s Well and Cross, Whittle le Woods A holy well site, commemorated with a modern cross in a woodland setting

Astley Hall, Coach House and Walled Garden All free to visit, a spectacular site displaying Tudor, Stuart and Georgian architecture

Burscough Wharf, West Lancashire A purpose built Victorian facility housing for maintaining the  ‘horse power’ to pull canal boats

Ribchester’s Roman Bath House Another great Lancashire Roman Bath House site, by the idyllic River Ribble

Walton-le-Dale’s Lost Roman Military Site, near Preston A hidden site that still contains many questions about its true purpose

Cartmel Priory and Gatehouse A fantastic Monastery Church, once in Lancashire, now in Cumbria

Lancaster Roman Baths and Wery Wall Alongside the Roman Bath House is the mysterious Wery Wall, part of a late Roman fort built to repel overseas invaders

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