Early Grimshaw Presence at Cliviger

Near Burnley in Lancashire

Cliviger is located a short distance southeast of Burnley in Lancashire. Grimshaws apparently arrived there quite early in the family’s history, probably around 1300 A.D. Research by Mavis Long indicates that two Grimshaws, Richard and Adam, were identified as tenants at Cliviger in 1310. Mavis hypothesizes that these two Grimshaws were brothers and were the sons of Walter de Grimshaw, head of the earliest recorded Grimshaw family line (see companion webpage). A Grimshaw location near Cliviger was identified on maps as late as the mid-1800s, some 500+ years after the early record of 1300. If the hypothesis about the origins of Grimshaws at Cliviger is correct, then Grimshaws from Eccleshill had migrated past (northeast of) Clayton-le-Moors some three generations before another Adam Grimshaw, still at Eccleshill, married Cicely Clayton and transplanted the Grimshaw family line from Eccleshill to Clayton-le-Moors.


Webpage Credits

Cliviger Description and Maps from Mavis Long

Current Ordnance Survey Maps of Burnley Area

Eckwall’s Description of Grimshaws in Cliviger

Candidates for the Grimshaw Origins near Cliviger

Cliviger As Described on Wikipedia

More Complete Description of Cliviger from “Victoria County History of Lancaster”

Cliviger History by Thomas Dunham Whitaker in 1801

Photos Taken in the Cliviger Area


Webpage Credits

Thanks go to Mavis Long for providing the information that has made this webpage possible. Thanks also go to Eddie Rawlinson and Philip Lombard for making images of the Cliviger area available on the Internet.

Cliviger Description and Maps from Mavis Long

Mavis Long provided the following description1 of Grimshaw near Cliviger as well as maps showing the area.

The township of Cliviger extends south-eastward from Burnley to the border of Yorkshire, the northeast boundary being marked by the River Brun, while the Lancashire Calder flows north-west through the centre.

The south-eastern half of the township is occupied by lofty moorlands; from Stiperden Moor in the north-east, where 1,573 ft. is attained at the county boundary, the surface descends to Calder Head, from which point the Lancashire Calder flows north-west and the Yorkshire Calder south-east; then the hills rise again to the west, as Heald Moor and Deerplay or Dirpley Moor, attaining 1,470 ft. at Thieveley Pike. On this height there was formerly a beacon. The highest land is mostly within the township, there being a downward slope towards Yorkshire and Todmorden.

From the moorlands the surface descends towards the north-west, being broken by many cloughs, down which flow brooks to augment the main streams.

On the right bank of the Calder stands the village of Holme with its chapel; lower down is Walk Mill, where a modern hamlet has risen around a factory; and then Barcroft, with Cliviger Mill adjacent.

On the left bank of the same river are Thieveley, Stonehouse and Dineley, these last being divided by Easden Clough; Buck Clough, Grimshaw, and Hole House lie to the north of Dineley, and Everage Clough marks the northern limit on this side.

From:’Townships: Cliviger’, A History of the County of Lancaster: Vol 6 1911,.

Map ‘England- Lancashire : 064’, Ordnance Survey 1:10,560 – Epoch 1 (1848).

Grimshaw clearly named. Townley Park & Hall just off the top of map.  (Reference point being Cliviger Mill)

Map by G Hennett 1829.

Although not named on this map Grimshaw is located south of Townley Park & Hall (the large dark shaded area) and slightly north of Dineley.

Map by Greenwood 1818

Yates Map of Cliviger 1786

Current Ordnance Survey Maps of Burnley Area

Maps of successively larger scale of the area around Burnley are shown below. The first (left) map shows the Grimshaw location near Cliviger in relation to other prominent sites for Grimshaw family history, including Clayton-le-Moors, The Forest of Pendle, Sabden and Gawthorpe Hall.

Detailed maps of the area southeast of Burnley, showing the Grimshaw location near Cliviger, are shown below. This Grimshaw location is also clearly seen in the 1848 Ordnance Survey map (above) provided by Mavis Long.

Eckwall’s Description of Grimshaws in Cliviger

Eckwall2 puts forth an interpretation of the origin of the Grimshaw surname that includes reference to a Grimshaw location at Cliviger. This reference is shown below.


:de Grinshare 1265 LI*, de Grymeshawe 1284 LARà. As there is a Grimshaw also in Cliviger, it is somewhat difficult to believe that the first element is the O.N. (Old Norse = Old West Scandinavian) pers. n. Grimr. Perhaps it is O.E. (Old English) grima “spectre.” If so, Grimshaw means “the haunted grove.”


LI: Lancashire Inquests, Extents, and Feudal Aids. Ed. W. Farrer. Record Soc. xlviii, liv.


LAR: Lancashire Assize Rolls. Ed. Col. John Parker. Record Soc. xlvii, xlix.

Eckwall doesnt explain why the presence of a Grimshaw in Cliviger (which is about 11 miles northeast of Eccleshill) would preclude the name from being of Old Norse (i.e., Viking) origin. Eckwall gives no basis to believe that the Cliviger Grimshaw is not derived from the Grimshaws of Eccleshill and Clayton-le-Moors.

Candidates for the Grimshaw Origins near Cliviger

When queried about possible origins of the Grimshaw name at Cliviger, Mavis Long responded with the following (an excerpt from an e-mail sent on 13 May 2008):

Below is only reference to Grimshaws in Cliviger I have come across:

Lancashire Fuedal Inquests & Extents, 1310-133, Farrer, 4 Edward 11, No 61.

Year 1310 Adam de Grymesargh, Tenant in Clivager (Henry De Lacy)

Year 1310 Richard de Grymesargh, Tenant in Clivager (Henry De Lacy)

There is no reference as to which family group they belong to (my guess is Walter’s sons – the De Lacy’s were Lords of the Manor of Clitheroe and feature in Wolvetscholes history!)

Mavis’ hypothesis that Adam and Richard were the sons of Walter de Grimshaw is illustrated below in an image derived from Dunham’s “History of Whalley”3:

Cliviger As Described on Wikipedia

The following description of Cliviger was taken from Wikipedia in May 2008:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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Cliviger is a small village and civil parish in Lancashire, England, within the borough of Burnley. It is situated to the southeast of the town and northwest of Todmorden.

Geography and administration

Cliviger is one of the civil parishes of Burnley and is the second largest parish in the United Kingdom. The source of the River Irwell is located at Cliviger.

It was the home of legendary Burnley goalkeeper Jerry Dawson.

Currently represented on Burnley Borough Council by Michael Tattersall, David Hegginbotham, and Cosima Towneley (all of whom are affiliated with the Conservative Party), Cliviger is made up of five enumeration districts named Mereclough, Overtown, Walk Mill, Southward Bottom and Holme Chapel, the last being regarded as the village centre, with a Primary School (St. John’s) and the village hall.

The village is on one of the major transport links between Lancashire and West Yorkshire (the A646), and had a railway station until a major accident closed the station in 1909. Nowadays, it is mainly used as a commuter village for people working in Burnley.


In 1196 the village was known as Clivercher and in 1246 Clivacher, which means ‘Sloping Acre’.[citation needed] During the mid 18th century it produced worsted pieces for the neighbouring town of Burnley. Cliviger Gorge is renowned for its natural beauty, and is widely regarded by geographers as a ‘textbook’ example of a glacial valley.[citation needed] An annual event is the Holme Sheep Fair, which is said to be one of the oldest village fairs in England.[citation needed]

St John the Divine Church in Holme Chapel was built in 1787 by Rev. Dr. Thomas Dunham Whitaker who was vicar of the parish from 1796 to 1821. The churchyard is the resting place of James Yorke Scarlett, a British General in the Crimean War, famous for leading the charge of the Heavy Brigade.

More Complete Description of Cliviger from “Victoria County History of Lancaster”

Fortunately, the complete description of Cliviger in the work of Farrer and Brownbill3 is available online; it has been downloaded and is provided below (Note that “fn” refers to “footnote”).

Townships: Cliviger


Townships: Cliviger

Sponsor: Victoria County History

Publication: A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6

Author: William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)

Year published: 1911

Pages: 478-487

Citation: ‘Townships: Cliviger’, A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6 (1911), pp. 478-487. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53156. Date accessed: 13 May 2008.


Clyvechir, 1258; Clyuacher, 1290.

The township of Cliviger extends south-eastward from Burnley to the border of Yorkshire, the northeast boundary being marked by the River Brun, while the Lancashire Calder flows north-west through the centre. The south-eastern half of the township is occupied by lofty moorlands; from Stiperden Moor in the north-east, where 1,573 ft. is attained at the county boundary, the surface descends to Calder Head, from which point the Lancashire Calder flows north-west and the Yorkshire Calder south-east; then the hills rise again to the west, as Heald Moor and Deerplay or Dirpley Moor, attaining 1,470 ft. at Thieveley Pike. On this height there was formerly a beacon. The highest land is mostly within the township, there being a downward slope towards Yorkshire and Todmorden. From the moorlands the surface descends towards the north-west, being broken by many cloughs, down which flow brooks to augment the main streams. On the right bank of the Calder stands the village of Holme with its chapel; lower down is Walk Mill, where a modern hamlet has risen around a factory; and then Barcroft, with Cliviger Mill adjacent. On the left bank of the same river are Thieveley, Stonehouse and Dineley, these last being divided by Easden Clough; Buck Clough, Grimshaw, and Hole House lie to the north of Dineley, and Everage Clough marks the northern limit on this side. On the Worsthorne boundary the Brun descends through Shedden Clough, having on its left bank Ormerod, by which is Salterford. Near Holme is Helly Platt, and between Holme and Ormerod stand the hamlets of Overtown and Mere Clough. In the south-west corner of the township is Red Moss. The area is 6,818 acres, but in 1897 part of the township called Cornholme or Portsmouth, adjoining Todmorden, was added to that township and taken into Yorkshire, the area of the reduced township of Cliviger being 6,724 acres, including 10 of inland water. The population of this in 1901 was 1,669.

The principal road is that which leads from Burnley through the Calder Valley to Todmorden, with branches southward to Bacup and Rawtenstall; and there is a parallel road on high ground to the north, in one part called the Long Causeway, from Burnley by Mere Clough to Hebden Bridge. A cross road from Walk Mill to Mere Clough continues by Salterford Bridge into Worsthorne. The Burnley and Todmorden branch of the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway runs along near the first-named highway, and has stations at Holme in the centre of the township, and at Portsmouth on the extreme southeast boundary.

There are collieries and quarries in the township, and cotton-mills at Walk Mill and Cornholme. The soil is clay, with shale subsoil, and the land is chiefly used for pasturage. (fn. 1)

There is a parish council.

An earthwork of uncertain age, called the Old Dyke, crosses Heald Moor from north-west to southeast, and was the traditional limit of Rossendale Forest. (fn. 2) Flint instruments and other remains of the prehistoric period have been discovered; and a large horde of Roman coins was found at Mere Clough in 1695, and other Roman remains more recently. (fn. 3) A number of mediaeval crosses, or pedestals, remain. (fn. 4)

The most noteworthy persons springing from Cliviger were Dr. William Whitaker, a famous Elizabethan divine, and Dr. Thomas Dunham Whitaker, author of the histories of Whalley, Richmondshire and Craven, who are mentioned below in the account of Holme.


The lords of Clitheroe at an early time granted Cliviger to the Elland family, and about 1160 a plough-land in Cliviger, possibly the whole of the township, was granted to the newly-founded Kirkstall Abbey. (fn. 5) The grantor was perhaps Hugh de Elland, for Robert de Lacy son of the founder of Kirkstall confirmed to the house whatever he held in Cliviger which Hugh de Elland father of Richard held of his father, rendering 20s. rent. (fn. 6) Afterwards Richard de Elland reclaimed Cliviger, where the monks had made a grange, and the abbot finding his claim to be just, though the reason for it is not given, surrendered it to Robert de Lacy. (fn. 7) It then seems to have been granted by Richard to his son Henry de Elland, (fn. 8) who held it of his brother Hugh, and afterwards gave it to the abbey, desiring his body to be buried in the abbey church. (fn. 9) This grant was confirmed by Roger de Lacy, then lord of Clitheroe, (fn. 10) and the monks held Cliviger till 1287, when they again surrendered it to the chief lord. Henry de Lacy promised them a certain rent in lieu of it, (fn. 11) and in 1294 he obtained the king’s charter of free warren in his demesne lands in Cliviger. (fn. 12) The accounts of 1296 show receipts of over £15 from this place. (fn. 13) In 1311 Henry de Lacy held in Cliviger 80 acres demised to tenants at will at the usual rent of 4d. an acre, and a water-mill worth 20s. a year. The agistment of beasts on the common pasture was worth 1s. There were thirty-three free tenants, paying in all £8 19s. 3½d. (fn. 14) The net sum received in 1323 was £13 17s. 1½d. (fn. 15)

Kirkstall Abbey. Azure three swords points downwards argent hilted or.

The Abbots of Kirkstall had made grants from time to time, (fn. 16) and Henry de Lacy ratified or added to these grants; in 1292 he gave to Gilbert son of Michael de la Legh the lands lately belonging to Adam de Hargreaves, (fn. 17) and in 1302 he added other of Adam’s lands and those of Ellis de Brownbirks, 6s. 8d. to be paid yearly. (fn. 18) In 1302 also he gave to William de Middlemore and Margery his wife the lands lately held of the Abbot of Kirkstall by Robert del Holme, at a rent of 5s. 6d. (fn. 19) In 1311 the free tenants held 598 acres, the largest holding being that of the above-named Gilbert de Legh, ancestor of the Towneley family, who had 140 acres and rendered 46s. 11d. yearly. The complete list is (fn. 20) :—

  Acres. Rent.

Dyke del Birches 10 3 2
Dyke son of Mocock de Brerecroft 20 6 0(a)
Adam del Bridge 20 1
Richard de Colneknoll 6 2 0
Henry de Cowhope 10 3 4
William de Dinelay 16 5 0
Stephen del Grange 18 6
Adam de Grimshaw 12 3 2
Richard de Grimshaw 10 3 1
John de Hargreaves 10 7
Henry de Healey 8 1 5
Robert del Holme 8 7 0
Adam de Legh 60 18
Gilbert de Legh 140 46 11
John de Legh 20 4 7
Jordan de Lichtness 0 6
Poke de Lomclough 13 4 6
Mocock de Lowe 10 1
Mocock del Mereclough 6 1 0
William de Middlemore 60 21 0
Adam de Ormerod 8 1 1½(b)
Tille de Ormerod 20 0 2
Adam the Smith 16 3 8(c)
William Topping 6 2 0
Margery de Wolpitgreave 6 2 0
Dyke del Yate 16 4 6
John del Yate 6 0 6
John son of Gilbert 10 1
Henry son of Hobkin 17½ 4 6
Geoffrey son of John, 1 messuage 2 1
John son of Matthew 20 5 4(d)
Adam son of Robert 6 2 0
William son of Robert 6 2 0

There does not seem to have been any manor properly so called, but the Towneley holding, that of Legh augmented by a number of purchases, (fn. 21) was known as the manor of CLIVIGER as early as 1381, when Gilbert de Legh grandson of the tenant of 1311 was found to hold it of the duke in socage, rendering £4 15s. a year on St. Giles’s Day. (fn. 22) His widow Alice in 1388 held only certain lands in socage, paying 12s. 8½d. for all services. (fn. 23) The ‘manor’ continued to be recorded in the Towneley inquisitions, recoveries (fn. 24) and other deeds down to the middle of the 18th century, but it does not appear that courts were held or any rights of lordship exercised.

DINELEY is named soon after 1218, when Henry son of Richard de Elland gave land there to Robert son of Siward de Worsthorne. (fn. 25) Later it was held by a family who had taken a surname from it. (fn. 26) It descended through an heiress or by purchase to the Dutton branch of the Towneleys, (fn. 27) and was by Richard Townley sold in 1493 to Lawrence Townley of Barnside. (fn. 28) He fifteen years afterwards sold it to Sir John Towneley of Towneley, (fn. 29) and from that time it descended with the principal estate or manor. The estate of a junior family of Legh was also acquired by the Towneleys, (fn. 30) and that of the Taylor family. (fn. 31)

HOLME (fn. 32) became the property of the Whitaker family about the 15th century, (fn. 33) and has continued to descend regularly till the present time. (fn. 34) A settlement of ten messuages, &c., was made in 1583. (fn. 35) William Whitaker died in 1641 holding the capital messuage called Holme, with 34 acres of land, and other messuages called Thieveley, Grimshaw and Backclough with 42 acres. The whole was held of the king as of his castle of Clitheroe in socage by a rent of 23s. 7½d. Thomas Whitaker son and heir of William was ten years old. (fn. 36) Two of the family attained distinction. Dr. William Whitaker, a younger son of Thomas Whitaker, who died in 1595, was one of the leading Protestant divines in the time of Elizabeth. Through Lord Burghley’s influence he became Master of St. John’s College, Cambridge, in 1586, having been Regius Professor in the university since 1580, and was made canon of Canterbury in 1585, in which year he died. He published numerous works, including a reply to Bellarmine, and left others in manuscript; all are of the extreme Calvinistic school in doctrine, and though he conformed to the queen’s authority in matters of ceremonial he was favourable to the Puritans. (fn. 37) Dr. Thomas Dunham Whitaker, the often quoted author of the History of Whalley, has been noticed in the accounts of the churches of Blackburn and Whalley, of which he was vicar. He died in 1821, and was buried in the chapel at Holme. (fn. 38)

Whitaker of Holme. Sable three mascles argent.

The Holme is a picturesque two-story stonebuilt house, with stone-slated roofs, standing amidst beautiful scenery in the vale of Cliviger, facing south. The plan follows the usual type of central hall and projecting end-wings, but in the course of time and as the result of rebuildings and alterations has lost most of its original features, though retaining many of the characteristics of the earlier building. It is said to have been constructed originally of wood, but the middle and east wings appear to have been rebuilt in stone about the year 1603 or before, (fn. 39) the west wing, however, which is wider than the other, remaining of wood till 1717. The end-wings had originally hipped roofs, but in a later restoration stone gables were substituted and a projecting central one-story porch added. The windows, which are mostly new, are long low mullioned openings without transoms but with hood moulds, those in the west wing having ten lights on each floor and those in the east eight lights each. There is also an upper window of ten lights in the middle wing over the hall. Some work appears to have been done in 1786, which date is on a spouthead on the east wing, and in 1854 a north-east wing was added at the back. The interior of the house is almost wholly modernized, but the rooms are low and picturesque and contain some old furniture belonging to Dr. Whitaker.

BARCROFT was held by a family of that name. (fn. 40) William Barcroft died in 1525 holding nine messuages, &c., in Cliviger and Worsthorne of the king as duke in socage by a rent of 20s. 5d.; he had another messuage in Cliviger called Hole House. His heir was a son Robert, aged forty or more. (fn. 41) A later Robert Barcroft died in 1612 holding various messuages in Cliviger of the king in socage by a rent of 23s. 9d. and other estates in Worsthorne, Hurstwood and Blackburn. (fn. 42) His son William, then fifty-six years old, died in 1621 holding similarly and leaving a son Robert, aged twenty-seven. (fn. 43) Robert Barcroft in 1631 compounded for having declined knighthood by a fine of £13 6s. 6s. 8d. (fn. 44) He was one of the lay members of the Presbyterian Classis formed in 1646, but died the following year. (fn. 45) The estate descended to his brother Thomas Barcroft, who recorded a pedigree in 1664. (fn. 46) He died in 1668, leaving several daughters to inherit. Susan, daughter by his first marriage, was wife of Peter Ormerod of Ormerod; but most of the estate was devised to the issue of the second marriage—Elizabeth wife of Henry Bradshaw of Marple; Sarah wife of Nicholas Townley of Royle; Ruth wife of Peter Leigh of Norbury Booths; and Anne wife of John Brockholes of Claughton near Garstang. A large part of the estate became united with Royle and has descended with it. The house and demesne descended through Bradshaw to Isherwood and was in 1795 sold to Charles Towneley of Towneley. (fn. 47) A tradition of the district says that one of the Barcrofts, alleging that his elder brother was a lunatic, put him in confinement, where he became mad, and seized the estate himself; but according to ‘the Idiot’s curse’ the lands soon passed away to strangers. (fn. 48)

Barcroft of Barcroft Argent a lion rampant sable.

Plan of Barcroft Hall

BARCROFT HALL is situated on the outskirts of Towneley Park near the north-west boundary of the township and is a massively built two-story house of gritstone with projecting end-wings and stoneslated roofs. The gables are quite plain without coping or ornaments, and the original windows in the principal front, which faces north, are small, giving an appearance of great solidity to the elevation. The house consists of the usual arrangement of central hall with kitchen and offices at the east and the living rooms in the west wing, but modern alterations have deprived the interior of much of its interest. The house is now divided into two and an addition has been made at the east end, which, with the original kitchen wing, now forms a separate dwelling. The present kitchen is in the basement of the west wing, which owing to the fall of the ground and the raising of the floor is sufficiently lofty, and this end of the house is otherwise modernized, sash windows having been inserted in the ground floor rooms, as also in the east wing, on the north front. The building is said to be of late 16th-century date and the east wing is stated to be the older part, but the evidence of the masonry is inconclusive, and it is likely enough that the house was erected substantially on the present lines all at one time. The total length of the front is about 80 ft., the end wings, which project 16 ft., being of slightly different width and 36 ft. 9 in. apart, with a central projecting gabled porch the height of both stories.

The hall is now entered from the porch in the middle of the north side, but the original entrance, which is built up, was by the door to the screens in the north-east corner. Its total length including the passage is 29 ft. and its width 24 ft. 4 in., but the fireplace at the west end has an ingle-nook 7 ft. 6 in. deep and 16 ft. 6 in. wide open to the hall by an arch 13 ft. wide, which practically increases the length of the room to 36 ft. From the north-west corner a mutilated spiral stone staircase leads to the upper floors, and at the south end of the screens the old doorway still remains, retaining its original oak nailstudded door. The screen itself, however, and the front of the gallery were removed about 1901, (fn. 49) though the old gallery floor remains and modern panelling and a balustrade have been erected altogether out of keeping with the rest of the room. The hall, however, retains some of its ancient features. It is lit on the south side by a long mullioned and transomed window of ten lights and there is a two-light window to the ingle-nook and one of four lights high up in the north-east corner above the gallery. The floor is flagged, and the roof, which is 12 ft. 8 in. high to the underside of the beams, is the original flat one of oak, with two chamfered beams forming three bays and divided by intermediate pieces into eight panels. The high table dated 1613 and with the initials W. B., S. B. formerly stood under the window on the south side but is now at Towneley Hall. The porch has on the outside over the square-headed doorway the name of William Barcroft and the date 1614, but this inscription appears to belong to an alteration in the original plan whereby a square bay window on the north side was altered to its present purpose, at the time probably when the doorway at the north end of the passage was built up. The porch doorway, which has classic detail and a moulded string immediately above the inscription, is manifestly an insertion in an older wall, the wider hood mould of the previously existing window being still in position above. On the inside the opening to the bay is now filled in with a modern glazed screen forming an inner doorway.

The rooms in the west wing are almost entirely modernized and of little interest, one of them, however, on the ground floor having a 17th-century plaster panel with vine ornament in the ceiling. The roofs are apparently the old ones restored, and have clay floors in the roof space in the gables. At the back the wings are flush with the south wall of the hall and the east gable has been rebuilt, but though the windows are more numerous than on the front the elevation is of little interest.

In front of the house is a small grass forecourt 47 ft. by 38 ft. 6 in., inclosed by high stone walls with moulded copings, and entered in the middle through a semicircular headed gateway with picturesque stepped gable bearing the date 1636. The inclosing end walls are set back a few feet from the inner angles of the wings and project 22 ft. 6 in. in front of them. The fact of the forecourt being confined to the middle part of the elevation, leaving the wings partly outside, adds much to the good general effect of the front, the ornamental detail being in this manner more concentrated.

ORMEROD also was held by a family of the same surname. (fn. 50) John Ormerod died in 1525 holding of the king as duke four messuages, lands, &c., in Cliviger in socage by a rent of 2½d. yearly. His son and heir Peter was twenty-two years of age. (fn. 51) Peter Ormerod died in 1578 holding similarly and leaving as heir a son Lawrence, aged fourteen. (fn. 52) Peter Ormerod of Ormerod and John Ormerod of Cliviger each paid £10 in 1631 as composition on declining knighthood. (fn. 53) The estate descended to Lawrence Ormerod, who died in 1793 (fn. 54) ; his only child, Charlotte Anne, married John Hargreaves of Goodshaw, and died in 1806, leaving a son, who died in 1826 unmarried, and two daughters, of whom an account has been given under Bank Hall in Burnley. Sir John Ormerod Scarlett Thursby, bart., is the present owner of Ormerod.

Ormerod of Ormerod. Or three bars gules in chief a lion passant of the second.

Thursby, baronet. Argent a cheveron between three lions rampant sable.

Ormerod House is situated at the extreme northwest of the township on the top of a steep declivity forming the south bank of the River Brun. The front faces south, and as the ground continues to slope upwards from the river the building appears to some disadvantage when approached in the usual way from higher ground on the south side. The house is almost entirely modern, but some portions of the original late 16th-century building remain at the back with their old mullioned windows, and an inscribed stone is preserved in the grounds with the date 1595 and the initials of Lawrence Ormerod, the builder, and Elizabeth (Barcroft) his wife. The plan of the original building is now lost, but was probably the usual one of central and projecting end-wings, and work seems to have been in progress for some years after the date mentioned. (fn. 55) An old undated picture preserved at the house, which is said to represent the building as it was in 1734, (fn. 56) shows the south front then rebuilt in a rather plain classic style, with straight parapets, square-headed sash windows and central porch. This 18th-century elevation now forms the middle part of the principal elevation, but the house was greatly added to in the early part of the last century, when a third gable was added to the front at the east end, and at the other a considerable extension was made with two similar gables facing west, the classic style of the former rebuilding being retained. The house is of two stories, and is faced with narrow-coursed stones with chamfered quoins, and the roofs are covered with stone slates. The entrance is now at the east end under a porch erected in 1833, and two staircase towers which form a prominent external feature of the building belong to the early 19th-century additions. The towers, together with the rest of the modern work, are architecturally uninteresting, except as they are used to concentrate all the chimneys of the house, the shafts breaking through the parapets on each side. (fn. 57) The absence of ordinary chimney shafts from the rather low-pitched roofs of the house gives them a very undistinguished appearance. The interior is almost entirely modern, but there is a good 17th-century carved oak mantelpiece in one of the rooms, and there is some furniture of the same period, including a good four-poster bed. There is also preserved an old carved oak panel with the arms of Spenser of Hurstwood, which is said to have been taken from ‘Spenser’s House’ in Hurstwood village when that building passed to the Ormerods. (fn. 58)

Ormerod House

Cliviger was used as a surname in the 14th century, (fn. 59) and other local names occur. (fn. 60) John Towne of Cliviger in 1631 was among the compounders for having refused knighthood (fn. 61) John Watson of Cliviger in 1632 was charged £3 a year in lieu of having two-thirds of his estate sequestered for recusancy. (fn. 62)

Common rights were in the time of Elizabeth disputed between the tenants of Cliviger and those of Accrington (fn. 63) ; also between the freeholders and copyholders in Cliviger itself. (fn. 64) The coal mines are mentioned about the same time. (fn. 65) Some parts of the Crown lands in Cliviger were sold in the time of James I. (fn. 66)

‘By a survey made in 1602 it appears that the inclosed grounds within Cliviger amounted to 952 acres: in the year 1734 they were increased by inclosures to 1,324, partly including and partly excluding 300 acres decreed to be inclosed in 1618; and, in 1795, a grant was made to the several freeholders of 300 acres more, all of 8 yards to the perch; the remainder was granted out for inclosure in 1809.’ (fn. 67)

Thomas Whitaker and John Ormerod were the landowners who contributed to the subsidy of 1524. (fn. 68) Thomas Whitaker of Holme and the widow of John Thompson paid in 1543. (fn. 69) John Towneley, John Holker, Thomas Whitaker and William Barcroft paid for lands to the subsidy of 1564 (fn. 70) ; and Thomas Whitaker and Robert Barcroft to that of 1597. (fn. 71) The same names occur in the 1626 list, in which Thomas Hurdus and his wife were entered as convicted recusants. (fn. 72)

In Cliviger freehold in 1666 there were 110 hearths liable to the tax. The largest house was that of Mr. Thomas Barcroft of Barcroft with six hearths; two others had five, those of Peter Ormerod of Ormerod and Thomas Whitaker of Holme. (fn. 73)


The chapel at HOLME (fn. 74) was probably built in the time of Henry VIII, and at the Reformation fell into disuse, being considered the property of the Whitaker family. (fn. 75) What endowment had belonged to it was confiscated by Edward VI and the chapel remained without a minister, (fn. 76) except under the Commonwealth, (fn. 77) for nearly 200 years, though about 1717 Bishop Gastrell recorded that the curate of Burnley preached there once a quarter. (fn. 78) A curate was licensed in 1742 and by the gifts of various benefactors, including Dr. Whitaker, the historian, sometime incumbent of this family chapel, an endowment was provided, and the net value is now £263 a year.

The old chapel (fn. 79) which stood near the road at the lower end of the graveyard was pulled down in 1788, and the present church of St. John the Divine erected in the same year on higher ground and consecrated in 1794. It is a plain stone structure, in plan a rectangle 62 ft. 6 in. long internally by 28 ft. wide, built of rough square chiselled stones with dressed quoins at the angles. At the west end is an octagonal stone cupola springing from a square base; and the west elevation has some architectural merit, the doorway being flanked by Tuscan columns supporting a pedimented head, the whole under a lofty semicircular arch. The windows are roundheaded and at the west end in two tiers, the upper ones lighting a west gallery.

The old east window was of three lights divided by two columns carrying architrave, frieze and cornice over the side lights, and with a semicircular head springing from the level of the cornice over the central wider light, but this window was removed in 1897, when a new chancel 25 ft. by 19 ft. with vestry on the north side was added, and the columns are now at each side of a gate at the west end of the building.

The original plan comprised a chancel arrangement at the east end formed by two wide piers placed about 8 ft. from the wall carrying an arcade of three semicircular arches, the middle recessed space of which was the sanctuary proper, while north and south were private pews, that on the south belonging to the Whitaker family and the other to the Ormerods. At the west end there is a somewhat similar arrangement with three semicircular arches below and above in front of the gallery, the central space being occupied by the entrance porch, while that on the north is the baptistery and on the south a stone staircase leads to the gallery. The floor space, or nave proper, is therefore reduced to about 44 ft. in length, and is lit by three lofty semicircular-headed windows on each side. In the external south-east corner facing east is a shield with the arms and initials of the Rev. T. D. Whitaker and the date 1788, while a spout head on the south side has the initials and date T.W. 1797. The roof is new and of plain king-post type and the floor is flagged. The building underwent a restoration when the new chancel was added, an old three-decker pulpit, a very fine example of its kind which stood against the south wall, being removed. At the same time a late 15th or early 16th-century octagonal oak pulpit, said to have been in the old church at Holme in the reign of Henry VIII, was removed from the Whitaker pew, where it had long stood, and erected on the north side of the old chancel. It has open sides with Gothic tracery in the heads and an embattled top. In the old Whitaker pew, which is now thrown open to the church, is some linen pattern panelling with carved rails, and there is also some 18th-century square panelling on both the north and south sides of the old sanctuary. There are also four of the oak stalls from the old Blackburn Parish Church pulled down in 1820, two of them having carved misericordes.

The walls are plastered and there are mural monuments to William Whitaker (d. 1782), Laurence Ormerod (d. 1793), the Rev. T. T. Whitaker (d. 1817) and John Hargreaves (d. 1834), and there is a bust of the Rev. T. D. Whitaker, the historian of Whalley.

The cupola contained one bell till 1895, in which year a ring of eleven hemispherical bells by Mears & Stainbank was added.

Over the arched gateway on the south side of the chapel is a foliated cross-head brought by Dr. Whitaker from Whalley.

General Sir James York Scarlett, who led the Heavy Brigade at Balaclava, is buried in the churchyard.

The posts of the stocks still stand near the churchyard gate at the bottom of the hill.

A district was assigned to the church in 1843. (fn. 80) Mrs. A. Master-Whitaker is the patron.

The following have been curates and vicars (fn. 81) :—

The following have been curates and vicars (fn. 81)


Anthony Weatherhead, M.A. (Christ’s Coll., Camb.)


William Halliwell


Thomas Dunham Whitaker, LL.D. (fn. 82) (St.John’s Coll., Camb.)


William Tindall, M.A. (fn. 83) (University Coll., Oxf.)


Robert Nowell Whitaker, M.A. (fn. 84) ( St. John’s Coll., Camb.)


John Langfield


Daniel Sutcliffe, M.A. (St. Catharine’s Coll., Camb.)


Alfred Master-Whitaker, M.A. (fn. 85) (Dur.)

The Wesleyan Methodist chapel at Mere Clough was built in 1824; the Independent Methodist one at Walk Mill in 1853 superseded the first building of 1835. The Congregationalists hold services in the schools.

Footnotes [Indicated by “fn” in text above]

1The following is Dr. T. D. Whitaker’s description of its state about 1800. The plantations he mentions were largely his own work. The pass over Calder Head, he says, ‘expands gradually towards the north into a tract of fertile pasture ground. The lower and more sheltered parts of the township abound with woody hedge-rows and small coppices, naturally and elegantly disposed: the deep gullies above are now filled with thriving plantations, and even the bleakest and most naked points of the rocks, wherever a patch of herbage appeared, have been lately intermixed with larches, mountain ashes, birches and other plants. Cliviger abounds (as might be expected) with coal and iron; it affords also a single vein of lead running along one of the great fissures in the crust of the earth technically known to the miners by the name of walts; limestone, in a pebbly state; pyrites; and some singular extraneous fossils. From its broken, precipitous surface and the great variety of its soils, levels and exposures, it is also extremely favourable to the pursuits of the botanists. . . . The almost precipitous rocks above resound with wild and various yells of hawks, which inhabit these secure retreats, to the destruction of vast quantities of game, whose bones form little charnel houses about their nests’; Whalley, ii, 192. Dr. Whitaker has some further remarks on the state of the township and the immediate neighbourhood, ibid. 216-19, 236-44.
2Ibid. 236-7.
3Watkin, Roman Lancs. 232. See also Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 238.
4Five crosses or sites mark the Long Causeway—Stump Cross, Robin Cross, Maiden Cross, Duke’s Cross, and Stiperden Cross. A tradition of the Maiden Cross connects it with a maid of the Civil War time who took leave of her lover there. He fell at Marston Moor, but she constantly visited the spot repeating his last words to her, ‘I’ll come again!’ See Tattersall Wilkinson, Memories of Hurstwood, 100. The Cross or Crossing of Dean is marked on the map near Calder Head. For these remains see Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xviii, 54-6.

Misc. (Thoresby Soc.), iv, 181; one plough-land (with the appurtenances) and exceedingly wide pasturage for horses and herds.


Kirkstall Couch. (Thoresby Soc.), 202. This seems to be a release of the 20s. rent due from Cliviger. The grantor added a plough-land in Snydale near Pontefract.


Misc. (Thoresby Soc.), iv, 184. Robert de Lacy gave them Accrington in exchange. It is not clear from this whether Richard de Elland claimed the whole of Cliviger or only the part on which the monks had built their grange; but the subsequent grant of the plough-land by Henry de Elland supports the former hypothesis.

8Kirkstall Couch. 194; an agreement by fine in Roger de Lacy’s court at Clitheroe in 1195-6 between Henry de Elland and Robert the Hunter. Robert was to hold his 3 oxgangs of land for life freely by a rent of 12d.; after his death 2 oxgangs were to revert to Henry, the third remaining to Robert’s daughter Margery and her heirs, rendering 4d. yearly.
9Ibid. 193, 195. The service of 10s. due to the lord was to be paid by the monks. Confirmation was granted by Hugh de Elland; ibid. 197.
10Kirkstall Couch. 199. Roger de Lacy also released his right to the free rent, for the benefit of infirm secular persons relieved by the monks; ibid. 193. In 1258, however, it was found that Cliviger rendered 18s. a year to the lord; Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 217.

Misc. (Thoresby Soc.), iv, 196-203. The house was overwhelmed with debt and Henry de Lacy took back Cliviger, Accrington and other lands which had not been very profitable to the monks and gave them a fixed annual rent of 50 marks instead. The charters are printed in Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 200. An inquiry as to the abbot’s right was made in 1322; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 44.

12Charter R. 87 (22 Edw. I), m. 11, no. 23.

De Lacy Compoti (Chet. Soc.), 12. Free tenants (unnamed), holding by charter, paid £6 13s. 8d.; the farm of cottars and assarted lands was £4 6s. 4d.; Oliver de Stansfield paid 6d. for charter lands in Cliviger and Burnley; pepper, spur and glove rents came to 1s. 3d. The mill paid £3 12s. Feudal dues, including profits of the courts, agistment of the pastures, relief, &c., yielded 9s. 8½d. Of this 3d. came from sea coal sold there. The total was £15 3s. 4½d., but 3s. 6d. was spent on repairing the mill; ibid. 15. The receipts in 1305 were about 10s. less, the mill producing only £2 14s. A new source of income was an iron mine, 6s. 8d. being the yield; ibid. 109. Half a mark was charged for repairs to the mill, of which 2s. had been paid to the carpenter; ibid. 97. A relief of 3s. 3½d. had been received, and a rent of 5s. 11d. for 1 oxgang of land had ceased; ibid. 111, 114. The net receipt was £14 9s. 11½d.

14  Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 9.
15Ibid. 194; the farm of the watermill was 54s., but 12s. 10d. had been spent on its repair.
16The following have been preserved by Kuerden, MSS. iii, C 30:— (a) Abbot Maurice (1222-49) granted 13 acres to Adam son of Gilbert de
= Cliviger between Hole Clough and Bornes Clough and from Deangate to Litterbrittergate, at 4s. 6d. rent. One of the witnesses was Robert le Thain. (b) Abbot Adam (1249-59) gave to Walter the Chaplain of Towneley the land formerly belonging to Henry son of Michael de Lichtness, with half an acre of augmentation whereon Walter had built, but excepting 4 acres which Henry had given to his sister Sabina in marriage. After Walter’s death the land was to go to his alumni Adam and Serlo and their heirs. A rent of 5s. 6d. was to be paid. This charter is printed in Whitaker, Whalley, ii, 198. It is regarded as belonging to the estate called Holme. (c) The same abbot granted to Reginald son of Robert de Cliviger 2 acres and a little messuage under Shircliff in Cliviger at 12d. rent. Michael de Legh was a witness. (d) Abbot Henry (1280-4) allowed Michael de Legh pasturage for one hundred oxen and cows and two hundred sheep. Robert the Thain was a witness. (e) Abbot Hugh (1284-7) granted Gilbert son of Michael de Legh all the land which Robert de Grange had held, with freedom from pannage and from multure for his corn and malt at Cliviger mill; a rent of 13s. 4d. was to be paid at St. Giles’s Day. (f) Another abbot gave 2 acres of waste on Holecloughbanks to Henry de Cowhope. Whitaker gives the following (from Towneley):— (g) Abbot Simon (1262-9) gave Matthew son of Henry de Dinelay the lands east of Calder surrendered by Richard son of Gilbert de Barcroft (Berecroft) and all the lands in Dineley; op. cit. ii, 198. Richard de Towneley attested this. Towneley has preserved a charter supplementing (b) above. By it Sabina daughter of Henry de Lichtness (Lethnis) gave to Robert de Lichtness all the land received by her father in free marriage with Sabina his wife; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1292. In a charter of 1301 is mentioned Simon son of Adam son of Walter the Chaplain of Towneley (C 8, 13, C 127), confirming Whitaker’s suspicion as to the meaning of alumnus.
17Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 202.
18Ibid. 203.
20Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 9. The following additional rents were paid in some cases: (a) Pair of gloves, value 1d.; (b) 1 lb. of pepper, worth 1s.; (c) pair of spurs, worth 1½d.; (d) pair of gloves, value 1d. ‘Brerecroft’ is perhaps a mistake for Berecroft or Barcroft. Colneknoll may be the same as the Calveknoll of 1332; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 74.
21Oliver de Stansfield in 1307 con. firmed to John son of Gilbert de Legh 8 acres in Cliviger, lying in one inclosure in Shedden, which he had had from the Earl of Lincoln; Towneley MS. C 8, 13, S 103. In 1308 William son of Robert del Grange confirmed to Gilbert de Legh 1½ acres of land in the vill and territory of Cliviger. Three roods lay in the Weterode, the east side adjoining the Calder; the other 3 lay in
the Waderode: ibid. G 60. All her right in the plot of land called Calveknoll (Kualueknol) was granted to Gilbert son of John de Legh by Ellen del Weddehouse widow of Roger Alan in 1325; Add. MS. 32104, no. 440. The same Ellen as wife of Roger Aleyn of Woodhouses in 1324 claimed a messuage against Richard son of John de Legh; De Banco R. 251, m. 98 d. Henry de Cowhope in 1333 granted all his lands in Cliviger to Henry del Stocks, who soon afterwards transferred them to Richard de Towneley for a term of ten years; C 8, 13, C 120, S 104. Matthew de Barcroft in 1335 gave the same Richard the lordship and service of all the lands in Cliviger which Henry de Cowhope held; ibid. B 272. Adam son of Matthew de Lomclough in 10 Edw. (? III) gave Gilbert de Legh the homage of Henry son of Henry de Cowhope, with his rent of 4d., while the last-named in 1341 gave a quitclaim to Richard de Towneley; ibid. L 183, C 128, C 109. Richard del Yate in 1341 released to Gilbert de Legh all his right in the land called Waltercroft; ibid. Y 4. John de Habergham in 1356 gave to Gilbert de Legh the lands formerly belonging to Matthew son of Adam the Smith, with reversion of the dower of Cecily widow of Henry; ibid. H 240.
22Inq. p.m. 4 Ric. II, no. 87.
23Ibid. 11 Ric. II, no. 33. John de Towneley, the heir, in 1389 obtained the lands of Adam son of Stephen del Bridge, which had been granted to feoffees (apparently acting for Towneley) in 1370; Towneley MS. C 8, 13, B 276-7.
24See for example Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 157—John Towneley, d. 1399; ii, 59—Richard Towneley, 1454, the manor held of the king as duke by 1d. rent; ii, 111—Sir Richard Towneley, d. 1482, the same socage tenure. The same tenure is recorded in the later inquisitions. The manor and mill of Cliviger were in dispute between Richard Towneley and his son Sir Richard about 1550; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 271, 307. See also ibid. ii, 82. Speke Sykes is mentioned in a Towneley deed in 1337 and Beuerley in 1525; Towneley MS. C 8, 13, L 175, T 144.
25Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 9; the grant was of land which lies on two sides of Dineley Brook, viz. all the land which Robert held of Henry ‘in the year in which peace was confirmed between King Henry and Louis of France.’ A rent of 2s. 8d. was to be paid. The witnesses included G., Dean of Whalley, and R. his son, Matthew de Habergham and Henry his son.
26One branch of the family is noticed in the account of Downham. Matthew son of Henry de Dinelay had lands from Abbot Simon (see above); William de Dinelay occurs in the 1311 list. William de Dinelay and John his son attested a charter of 1319-20 by which John del Yate gave land between Holcroft and Calder to another John de Dinelay, probably the John who acquired Downham; Towneley MS. RR, no. 355. The Dinelays of Downham had land in the Ley and Holrodes in Cliviger; ibid. DD, no. 1205; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 42, 122. Gilbert de Legh gave a messuage to John de Dinelay in 1318; DD, no. 1303. In 1319 John obtained 3 acres of the waste from the seneschal of Blackburnshire at a rent of 12d., payable to the earl; Add. MS. 32104, no. 441. William de Dinelay in 1331 gave to John son of Adam de Dinelay and Isabel his wife lands between Hernesden Knoll and the Calder; DD, no. 1195. Another grant was made to John in 1334 by Richard del Birks; ibid. no. 1238. John de Dinelay was plaintiff in 1336 respecting trespass in Cliviger; De Banco R. 307, m. 72. Again in 1348; ibid. 354, m. 82; 355, m. 19 d. In 1355 the Duke of Lancaster claimed against him a messuage, &c., because the accustomed rent had not been rendered for two years; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 4, m. 24. It is not clear whether these refer to John son of Adam or John son of William. In 1361 William son of Robert de Mereclough gave a messuage in Clitheroe to John son of William de Dinelay with remainder to John’s son Robert; DD, no. 2091. Richard son of John de Dinelay in 1360-2 confirmed the capital messuage in Cliviger, formerly given by the grantor’s father, to John son of William de Dinelay, with remainder to his sons Robert and Richard; ibid. no. 1201, 1268, 1316. Oliver de Dinelay (son of John), rector of Thornton in Lonsdale, gave a release of the same in 1362; ibid. no. 1194. It may be noticed that in 1359 John son of William de Dinelay and Robert his son had been accused of harbouring a felon; Assize R. 451, m. 2 d.
27Whitaker, who had access to Towneley deeds not now available, states that Robert de Dinelay (son of John) had a son John, whose daughter and heiress married Henry Townley about 1420; op. cit. ii, 200. As early as 1397, however, Robert de Townley granted to feoffees the piece of land called Dineley, formerly belonging to Robert de Dinelay, and all his other lands in Cliviger; C 8, 13, T 81, 117. Shortly afterwards the feoffees gave the same to John Towneley; ibid. M 63. In the Duchy Rolls are entered deeds of 1409 and 1410 whereby Robert Dinelay son and heir of Robert demised all his lands in Blackburnshire to Robert de Townley and his brother (? son) Henry, and afterwards released all his title to the same; Dep. Keeper’s Rep. xxxiii, App. 10. Henry Townley son of Robert in 1420 gave to feoffees his lands in Cliviger, Ribchester and Dutton; DD, no. 2020 Henry Townley and Margaret his wife in 1421 received from the feoffees various lands in Dineley in Cliviger, except the messuage called Stonehouse; ibid. no. 1251. In 1446 Stonehouse was granted by Henry Townley to his son Thomas and Margaret his wife, together with a rent of 10s. from Pickering Place; ibid. no. 1214. In 1453 there was an arbitration as to the bounds between Cliviger and Burnley in dispute between Henry Townley of Dutton and Richard Towneley of Towneley, James Walton and John Halsted being arbitrators. It was decided that the bounds began ‘at the raw at the over end of the Floytes, so to the next clough lying northeast, following up the same clough to the stakes that go to the rote walt tree that lies in the raw’; C 8, 13, T 169. In 1479 or 1480 Thomas Townley son and heir of Henry, described as ‘of Burnley,’ sold Jackhey in Cliviger to Richard Towneley of Towneley; ibid. T 64, 76, 90, 133. The place occurs again in 1520; ibid. T 86.
28Ibid. T 66. The vendor describes himself as Richard Townley son and heir of Thomas Townley of Burnley. The same Richard in 1489 granted Modwood house in Cliviger to feoffees and they in 1508 transferred it to Sir John Towneley; ibid. T 65, 95.
29Ibid. T 82.
30Adam de Legh occurs in the 1311 list. He was perhaps the Adam son of Michael de Legh who was a creditor of John de Potthow in 1292; Assize R. 408, m. 44. Lawrence son of John de Legh in 1352 received the confirmation of Richard son of John de Dinelay for a messuage, &c., lately of Henry de Thuesilton; C 8, 13, D 35. Alice de Legh widow of Gilbert in 1388 held lands in Extwistle of Lawrence de Legh; Inq. p.m. 11 Ric. II, no. 33. A writ concerning the outlawry of Lawrence Townley alias Legh was issued in 1408; Add. MS. 32108, no. 1529. In 1404 Margaret daughter of Lawrence Legh had released all claims to her mother Margery and brother Gilbert; C 8, 13, L 174. Lawrence Legh in 143940 granted Buckclough in Cliviger to Richard Towneley; in 1457 it was awarded by arbitration that Buckclough was to belong to John Towneley, but he was to pay 20s. to Gilbert Legh of Clifton; while the last-named, as son and heir of Lawrence Legh, afterwards released all his right in the land; ibid. L 173, T 88, L 161. See also T 161. In 1493-4 Nicholas Towneley was ordered to give dower to Elizabeth widow of Thomas Townley; Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton. 9 Hen. VII.
31In 1493 William Taylor agreed that the free rent of 2s. 1½d. due to the king and Sir John Towneley from lands lately belonging to Richard and Sibyl Taylor (grantor’s mothr) should be charged on a lathe, &c., occupied by William Smith and others; C 8, 13, T 129. Helen, however, was the name of Richard Taylor’s widow, and she had some land in 1504; ibid. T 104-5. In 1495 Robert son of Adam Taylor granted to John Towneley all his lands in Cliviger; ibid. T 107.
32Henry de Lacy in 1302 granted the tenement of Robert de Holme to William de Middlemore and Margery his wife and to Margery’s heirs; Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 203. Robert del Holme was perhaps still living, for later in the year he had a messuage in Redicarr from Adam son of Matthew Greetwood of Cliviger; C 8, 13, G 56, 59. ‘The new dyke as far as the water of Calder’ occurs in the description of bounds. In 1334 Roger de Holme released to Richard de Towneley all the lands grantor’s father had given; and Henry son of Roger de Holme also released the lands given by his grandfather Robert de Holme; ibid. H 257, 219.
33Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 203, 205; it had been held by Edward de Legh and later (in 1380) by the heir of Peter de Tattersall. In 1318 Robert de Tattersall obtained an acre in Cliviger field by Hodamlaw from Robert son of Robert de Salterford; C 8, 13, S 101. Robert de Bodel and Joan his wife in 1374 claimed dower in three messuages in Cliviger against Henry son of Henry de Tattersall; De Banco R. 454, m. 312. Roger de Meadowcroft was plaintiff against Henry son of John de Tattersall; Towneley MS. CC (Chet. Lib.), no. 87 (date uncertain).
34Pedigree in Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 204. The following is the outline of the descent alleged: Thomas Whitaker (living 1431) -s. Robert (1480) -s. Thomas, d. 1529 -s. Richard (1543) -s. Thomas, d. 1588 -s. Robert, d. 1581 -s. Thomas, d. 1631 -s. William, d. 1641 -s. Thomas, d. 1712 -s. Thomas, d. 1719 -s. Thomas, d. 1752 -s. Thomas, d. 1760 -bro. Rev. William, d. 1782 -s. Rev. Thomas Dunham, d. 1821 -s. Rev. Thomas Thoresby, d. 1817 -s. Thomas Hordern, d. 1889 -dau. Mary Charlotte, who married the Rev. Alfred Master (son of Archdeacon Master of Croston) in 1887. In 1889 he assumed the additional surname of Whitaker.
35Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle 45, m. 175. The deforciants were Thomas Whitaker the elder, Elizabeth his wife and Thomas Whitaker the younger.
36Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxix, no. 83. In 1631 William Whitaker had compounded for £10 on declining knighthood; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 217. His will, dated and proved 1641, mentions a younger son Robert and daughters Margaret and Anne. Various articles were described as ‘ancient heirlooms’ at the Holme.
37 Dict. Nat. Biog.
38Ibid.; see also accounts referred to of the vicars of Blackburn and Whalley.
39This appears ‘by a date remembered in the plaster of the hall’; Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 206.
40Matthew de Barcroft was a defendant in 1341 and 1348; Coram Rege R. 325, m. 58 d.; De Banco R. 354, m. 82. William son of Matthew de Barcroft had land in Stansfield in 1367; C 8, 13, B 255, 271. John de Barcroft and Joan his wife occur the next year; ibid. B 254. Whitaker gives a pedigree of the family, op. cit. ii, 219.
41Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 39. Another branch of the family had the Lodge in Reedley Hallows, and in 1547 Henry Barcroft of this place and William Barcroft of Barcroft became bound to Nicholas Whitaker of  Healey; C 8, 13, B 252. William Barcroft of Reedley Hallows in 1558 was the husband of Anne base daughter of Richard Towneley; ibid. B 312. The will of Henry Barcroft of Burnley, 1576, mentions Isabel his wife, Henry son of William Barcroft of the Lodge and Robert Barcroft of Hole House (an executor). Robert Barcroft and Alice his wife were plaintiffs in 1532; Ducatus Lanc. ii, 38. William Barcroft was buried at Burnley 9 Feb. 1581-2; Reg. Robert Barcroft of Hole House in Cliviger is named in a deed of 1578; C 8, 13, H 408. A settlement of certain messuages in Cliviger was made by fines in 1592, the parties being Robert Barcroft the elder and Elizabeth his wife on one side and Robert Barcroft the younger and Lucy his wife on the other; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 54, m. 15, 18. In 1594 the elder Robert and Elizabeth made a feoffment; ibid. bdle. 56, m. 114.
42 Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 215.
43Ibid. iii, 400. His will mentions Susan his wife and his children Robert, William, Thomas and Elizabeth Belfield. Hele Platt (now Helly Platt) was to be given to Thomas for eight years for his maintenance. In 1540 Gilbert Holdsworth of Sowerby, clothier, had granted the messuage called Helyplatt in Cliviger to Joan Holker, widow, of Read; Brockholes of Claughton D.; Close, 31 Hen. VIII, pt. iii, no. 14, 15. William Savill purchased two messuages from John Holker in 1551; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 14, m. 211. See Ducatus Lanc. iii, 20.

Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 217.

45He was buried at Burnley 26 Mar. 1647.
46Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 27.
47Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 220; ‘the last Barcroft was a rapacious man, who, after devouring half the estates of an improvident neighbour in his lifetime, made a very unequal distribution of them at his death.’
48Wilkinson, Mem. of Hurstwood, 106. The pedigree in Whitaker records a second son as a lunatic.
49The oak panelling and gallery front were taken away by Lady O’Hagan and are now in her town residence.
50Matthew de Ormerod occurs as a witness about 1270; C 8, 13, F 36. Gilbert de Ormerod his son occurs likewise from 1301 to 1325; Add. MS. 32104, no. 835, &c. Two of the name (Adam and Tille) occur in the list of free tenants in 1311. There is a pedigree in Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 221; see also Ormerod, Parentalia. There was another Ormerod family in the adjacent forest of Rossendale.
51Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 49. The rent is incorrectly given in Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 153.
52Ibid. ii, 159.

Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 217.

54The descent after 1578 is thus given by Whitaker: Lawrence Ormerod, d. circa 1614 -s. Peter, d. 1653 -s. Lawrence, d. 1674 -s. Peter (who married a Barcroft heiress) -s. Lawrence, d. 1717 -s. Lawrence, d. 1758 -s. Peter, d. 1767 -s. Lawrence, d. 1793.
55Another stone in the grounds is dated 1604.
56Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 221.
57Some of the ‘shafts’ are dummies included for the sake of symmetry.
58It may, however, have formed one of a series of carved armorial bearings of local gentry made for the decoration of a panelled room in the old hall of Ormerod. See Trans. Burnley Lit. and Scient. Club, iv, 78, where a description of the panel is given in a paper discussing the relation of Edmund Spenser to the local family of that name.
59In 1284 Robert de Cliviger son of Adam Atte Yate claimed a messuage and half an oxgang of land in Cliviger held by Agnes daughter of Maud de Cliviger, which Maud had been wife of Richard the Smith. Agnes was under age, and the plea was postponed; Assize R. 1265, m. 5 d. Adam son of Adam de Cliviger claimed a tenement in 1292 against John son of Matthew de Cliviger but was non-suited; Assize R. 408, m. 20. John son of Matthew de Cliviger granted to Gilbert de Legh his land between Calveknollsykes on the east and Doustisykes on the west and another piece bounded in part by the Out lane going as far as Troghsykes; C 8, 13, C 113. Robert son of Cecily de Cliviger in 1305 granted to Gilbert de Legh the service of Stephen son of Robert del Holerodes, including 6d. rent; ibid. C 114. The same Robert in 1309 gave his lands to Richard de Marsden, clerk, who transferred the same to John son of Gilbert de Legh; ibid. C 115; Add. MS. 32104, no. 439.
60Robert son of Richard the Fuller of Cliviger gave to Robert son of Herbert de Cliviger the fourth part of an oxgang of land, which he had bought from John son of Ellis the Harper of Priestley and Gilbert, grantor’s brother—viz. the Menerode, Herunterode, half Homrode, and a little piece below the millpool between the Fallrode and the Hourrode. The rent was 18d.; C 8, 13, F 36 (about 1270). Jane (Yana) daughter of Thomas del Green confirmed to Henry son of Richard de Healey 2½ roods of land in Cliviger; ibid. G 57. Robert son of William Letharum confirmed to Robert son of Christiana an acre of land lying between Menegate and the Calder for half a mark given him. A rent of 6d. was to be paid at St. Giles’s Day; ibid. I. 185. A curious name is that of Knavecastle, if that is the word transcribed Cuanecastel, &c. In 1301 Henry son of Robert de Knavecastle granted to his brother William land which he had purchased from Simon son of Adam son of Walter the Chaplain of Towneley, lying between the Scholerodesyke and Thieveley (Thaueley); C 8, 13, C 127. John son of Robert son of Robert de ‘Knauencastel’ in 1334 claimed a messuage, &c., in Cliviger against John de Birches; De Banco R. 298, m. 223. Richard son of Thomas de Worsthorne in 1316 granted his land in Cliviger to Elizabeth daughter of Leuot (?) for ten years at 12d. rent; C 8, 13, W 107. Ellen widow of John de Wymondeslegh in 1370 claimed land in Cliviger against Thomas del Stocks, clerk; De Banco R. 440, m. 20.

Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 217. The house at Wallstreams in Worsthorne bears an inscription showing that it was built by John Towne and Alice his wife in 1593.

62  Trans. Hist. Soc. (new ser.), xxiv, 178.

Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 384-5.

64Ibid. iii, 71. For decrees see Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 279.
65Ducatus Lanc. iii, 43. In a deed of 1589 it was recorded that the queen had in 1588 demised to her principal surgeon, Robert Balthroppe, a coal mine in Cliviger for the term of forty years at 5s. a year. This was transferred to John Towneley of London, grocer, who gave to John Towneley of Towneley; Add. MS. 32104, no. 471.
66Gumples in Cliviger to William Wade in 1604; Pat. 2 Jas. I, pt. x. See also Pat. 8 Jas. I, pt. xxvii.
67Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 216 note.
68Subs. R. Lancs. bdle. 130, no. 82.
69Ibid. no. 125.
70Ibid. bdle. 131, no. 212.
71Ibid. no. 274.
72Ibid. no. 317.
73Ibid. bdle. 250, no. 9.
74It is possible that the chapel served by Walter the Chaplain of Towneley in the time of Henry III was at Holme; Whitaker, Whalley, ii, 198.
75Ibid. 206-9; views of the old chapel and its pulpit are given. Hugh Watmough was a priest paid by Richard Whitaker in 1541 and served this chapel; Clergy List (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 18. He afterwards obtained a chantry at Burnley, but in 1551 received for life, as late incumbent of the chapel of Cliviger, certain lands called Stypdyne, &c.; Court R. at Clitheroe Castle, 4 & 5 Edw. VI. An inquiry concerning ‘concealed lands’ in 1562 showed that three houses and 6 acres of land had belonged to the chapel, also a silver chalice and two vestments; Augm. Off. Misc. Bks. clxx, m. 2, 3. Land called the Ham and a cottage formerly belonging to the stipend of the curate of Holme were sold by the Crown in 1613; Pat. 10 Jas. I, pt. xxii.
76In 1610 it had ‘a simple reader, one Mr. Townley, maintained by the inhabitants’; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 10. The chapel is not mentioned in the visitation lists of the time and in 1650 had ‘no maintenance for a minister,’ though the people wished it to be made a parish church; Commonw. Ch. Survey (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 167.
77In 1651 an allowance of £50 a year out of the sequestered estates of certain ‘delinquents’ was made to Thomas White, who had been ‘settled minister’ of Holme; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 104, 138.
78Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 334.
79‘The old building was of massive character, having only six courses of masonry from base to roof, but was so low that one could touch the roof inside’; T. Ormerod, Calderdale, 1906.
80Lond. Gaz. 3 Jan. 1843.
81From the church papers at Chester Dioc. Reg.
82See the account of Whalley Church.
83Master of Wolverhampton School.
84Vicar of Whalley 1840-81.
85Rector of Stambourne 1868-89.

Cliviger History by Thomas Dunham Whitaker in 1801

Thomas Dunham Whitaker, premier researcher and recorder of Grimshaw family history (see companion webpage), also prepared an excellent summary of Cliviger history in the 1801 edition of his “History of Whalley”3. This summary is provided below. Whitaker’s history is presented on the Cliviger website, at the address also shown below.


Cliviger History

An extract from “History of the Original Parish of Whalley, and Honor of Clitheroe”

Thomas Dunham Whitaker 1801 (Reproduced with permission)

“Cliviger” says Dr. Whitaker, “is an extensive, though not very populous district at the S.E. extremity of the parish of Burnley, bordering upon those of Halifax and Rochdale. It is in the very gorge of the English Appenine, and in one of the most elevated passes through the mountains, from which the waters descend both to the eastern and western seas. This pass has been evidently formed in consequence of some great convulsion of nature, which by rending asunder the strata of the the earth to a vast depth, has left a ridge of very formidable rocks on the southern side. It expands, however, gradually towards the north, into a tract of fertile pasture ground.

The lower and more sheltered parts of the township abound with woody hedges and small coppices, naturally and elegantly dispersed; the deep gullies above are filled with thriving plantations; and even the bleakest and most naked points of the rocks, where a patch of herbage appeared have been lately mixed with larches, mountain ashes, birches and other plants, by the perseverance of a bold adventurer.” (The Doctor himself, who set a most praiseworthy example of improvement). “The commons, after several partial enclosures are still extensive, and afford pasturage for a breed of sheep with short, fine wool. When fattened they become excellent mutton.

Cliviger abounds with coal and iron. This elevated tract is remarkable for the sources of both the Rivers Calder and Irwell: the two former issuing from one marsh in Cliviger dean; the latter from a spring called Erewell, at the foot of Dirpley Hill, on the verge of Rossendale.

Of the state of the township in Saxon times there are no memorials. It is farther to be lamented that from the hasty and imperfect manner in which this remote and barren tract was surveyed, the name does not appear in Domesday Book. But it gave name to a family which seems to have been extinct as early as the reign of Edward l. First Robert de Clivacher the hunter, contemporary with Roger Lacy, temp. Ric. l. Then Adam son of Gilbert; then Reginald son of Robert; and lastly, Cecilia de Cliviger, with whom the name seems to expired. The word Clivacher first appears in the donation of Henry de Laci, the founder of a carucate of land in that place, to the Abbot and Convent of Kirkstall.

Holme, (the family mansion of the Whitakers from the year 1431) like most of the ancient structures in the neighbourhood, was originally built of wood, the centre and eastern wing were re-built in 1603 or before. The west end remained of wood till the year 1717, and had one or more private closets for the concealments of priests, the family having continued recusants to the latter end of Queen Elizabeths reign if not later. The house has become by successive alterations an irregular, but not inconvenient habitation.

Appendant to this demesne was a chapel. After the dissolution it was considered the property of the family and continued without minister 200 years when Anthony Wetherhead A.M. was licensed to it by Bishop Peploe, on the nomination of Thomas Whitaker of Holme, gent in 1742. He died in 1760 aged 80 and was interred in the church-yard without any memorial.

His successor was William Halliwell who died December 1796, and was succeeded by Thomas Dunham Whitaker LLB of St. Johns College Cambridge, licensed on his own petition by Bishop Cleaver.

The circuit of Cliviger is nearly 20 miles, which extends from Hameldon Hill to Sherniford, coincides with the boundary of the parish, and is strongly marked by natural features; thence along the summit of the hill by Thieveley Pike, are the vestiges of the Old Dyke, of which tradition records that it once formed the limit between Cliviger and Rossendale. From Thieveley Pike is a very noble and diversified prospect, comprehending to the north almost the whole expanse of Craven, part of the Fylde with the western sea; and in a sunny morning when the tide is in, a noble expanse of the estuary of the Ribble, like a sheet of gold. More to the south the prospect is circumscribed by Cridden and other high grounds betwixt us and the great plain of Lancashire. Directly southward, a single opening exhibits the town of Manchester, enveloped in eternal smoke.

The northern boundary of Cliviger where it abuts upon Westhorn is marked by a line of grey and venerable stones inscribed with crosses; the different elevations along the once trackless line of the Long Causeway are distinguished in the same manner, and I have observed that whenever any of these pious memorials have been obliterated from accident or with design, they were still restored by some devout and secret hand.

By a survey made in 1602 it appears that the inclosed grounds within Cliviger amounted to 952 acres; in 1734 they were increased by enclosures to 1324 acres; and in 1794 a grant was made to the several freeholders of 300 acres more, also of 8 yards to the perch. The whole extent of Cliviger including the commons is 3328 acres 1 rod 12 perch at eight yards, or 7041 acres 2 rods 39 perch statute measure.

Of the state of husbandry little can be said: in fact the climate, one of the dampest and most foggy in the kingdom, is unfavourable to agricultural experiments. The hardy black oat alone, which once committed to the earth, defies alike a bad climate and bad management is in universal esteem; and here is no succession of crops or laying down of grasses.

Within this township are Bowcroft and Ormerod. The first was from the earliest times to which records extend, down to the middle of the last century, the property and residence of a family of the same name. Ormerod, is a house and family of equal antiquity with the former. The present house of Ormerod appears to have been re-built in the life time of Lawrence Ormerod and Elizabeth Bancroft whose name it bears with the date 1595. It stands to some disadvantage with a rising ground in front and declivity behind: but this last is filled with a background of aged sycamores and elms, peopled by a large colony of rooks. The house was fronted anew and modernized by the grandfather of the late possessor, who left it an extremely neat and comfortable residence. Charlotte Ann Ormerod, sole heiress of Lawrence Ormerod Esq. Married John Hargreaves Esq. By which the estate came into his possession.

In 1801 the population amounts to 1058 persons.”

Photos Taken in the Cliviger Area

Cliviger is apparently a nice area to visit. Eddie Rawlinson and Philip Lombard have made pictures available on the Internet that depict the area in a very attractive manner. The following images are from a website featuring their work. Thanks go to Mr. Rawlinson and Mr. Lombard for making these images available.

Source: http://www.cliviger.info/image_gallery.html 

Images of Cliviger

14/11/2006. Eddie Rawlinson.

View from the Ram Inn car park. Eddie Rawlinson.

The sun sets behind Spring Gardens, a well known Cliviger landmark, known locally as the Fireman’s Helmet. Eddie Rawlinson.

Some two hundred years ago Charles Towneley and his friend Thomas Dunham Whittaker planted the woods that can be seen from The Ram car park. Eddie Rawlinson.

The Cliviger Gorge is even more gorgeous when coated with snow. Eddie Rawlinson.

An Autumn scene at Dyneley, Cliviger. Eddie Rawlinson.

Early morning and Cliviger is on the world map for every day hundreds of aircraft pass over the parish along one of the busiest air corridors in Europe. Eddie Rawlinson.


4/1/2007. Philip Lombard.


1Farrer, William & J. Brownbill (eds), 1911, Victoria County History of Lancaster, Volume 6, p. 478-487. Online. Available: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53156. Date accessed: 13 May 2008.

2Eckwall, Eilert, 1922, The Place-Names of Lancashire: Chetham Society, Second Series, v. 81, p. 76.

3Whitaker, Thomas Dunham, 1872, An History of the Original Parish of Whalley, and Honor of Clitheroe (Revised and enlarged by John G. Nichols and Ponsonby A. Lyons): London, George Routledge and Sons, 4th Edition; v. I, 362 p.; v. II, 622 p. Earlier editions were published in 1801, 1806, and 1825.

Webpage History

Webpage initially posted May 2008.