|Town Gate, Haslingden - site of the original Market - Left is Stocks House|
|Top Of The Town Map|
(Click over to enlarge)
The centre to all this was "Town Green" which was a open short narrow street which interlocked with another which ran at right angles to it and called "Town Gate". The original site of the weekly market which was in those early days held on the Wednesday of each week. The areas of Town Green and Town Gate became in time very congested for the market, so has the town became more extended down Church Street and then into Deardengate, the line of the market followed that same line.
Well I am sure that I havn't dream't it, but somehow seem to remember there being a pair of well worn wooden stocks which used to be situated quite close to the porch entrance of St. James Church. It is said that these stocks after spending sometime in storage within the belfry that they had been repositioned close to the Church entrance. But many years before this the stocks had actually been in situ at "Town Green" were at that time they would have been used as a punishment to offenders of various petty misdemeanours. The earlier stocks which had been at Town Green had been built with stone sides, but these had at one time been vandalized, and subsequently replaced with these timber ones.
Whilst writing about the stocks and pubs and other landmarks of Top Of The Town in Haslingden, a good account has already been published which was written by (Briar in 1932 and published in the Haslingden Observer at that time - kindly reproduced for the "Haslingden" book by Chris Aspin and Derek Pilkington of the Helmshore Local History Society published in 1979)
White Horse Inn - Centre
Old Black Dog - just vis
to right hand
The Waggon and Horses and its adjoining buildings were on an island site, which was bounded on the top side by Town Green, on the left side (facing the Old Hare and Hounds) by Church Street, and on the right by Town Gate, which as it came downwards curved along the front of the Waggon and Horses into Church Street.
Haslingden's original and ancient market was on Town Gate, starting from a point near to the Old Black Dog (opposite Town Green) and extending to the Mason's Arms, which was at the junction of Town Gate and Church Street and which from its corner position was known as "Th' Nook Alehouse".
Town Green has another association of interest. During the first half of last century but one it was customary for the clerk of the Parish Church (adjacent) to make announcements on Sundays of any sales fixed for the ensuing week, of assessments and matters of that description. Those announcements were originally made from the churchyard wall, but afterwards on Town Green. They were made at the close of the afternoon service and they received ready attention from many of those who composed the congregations, especially by farmers from Grane and other outlying districts.
"Briar" reports on the Last use of the stocks:
The sides and base of the stocks were of stone, which held in position two heavy blocks of wood. The upper block of wood had four holes cut in it to accommodate the legs of offenders, two of whom could sit in the stocks at one time.
Sitting in the stocks was one of the penalties for Sabbath breaking, but the stocks were also used for punishment for drunkenness.
The original stocks were destroyed by a drunken man who came out of an adjoining public house and broke the stone uprights. Temporary stocks of wood were substituted. These were for a long time kept in the steeple of the Parish Church, but a few years ago they were brought down and placed outside the church, within the railings near to the porch, where they are unlikely to survive many more years.
The stocks fell into disuse because, as time went on, being put into them was regarded more as a joke than as a punishment. Mr. Thomas Duckworth of Bowker Bank, Crumpsall, who was born at Haslingden, left the town in 1833, and lived to be over 90, once related to me that he could remember only one man being put into the stocks and that he thought he would be the last person for whom they were used. The man was known as "Young Mischief" who was one of "Shakespear's" lads. "Shakespeare" was a man named Holt who had some capital and who took pleasure in having about him about half a dozen young fellows to do mischief, such as pulling signs down. "Mischief" was one of his young fellows. Mr. Duckworth never knew "Shakespeare" himself to get into trouble.
"Briar" continues with Publand..1932
|Bulls Head on Church St|
Stocks House with Hare and Hounds
on left side and White Horse on right
|Map showing where the|
Pubs were situated
Click over to enlarge or if
you want it larger then click here
and expand to original sizes
Announcements of auction sales at the Old Hare and Hounds during 1787 were in existence at one time. It was at the Old Hare and Hounds that arrangements were made for the Haslingden horse races, which took place for purses of gold on Laund Hey, now the property of the town and used as a recreation ground. The races were in existence in 1761. They were discontinued about the year 1811.
"Briar" writes about the Hoyle Family and other Old Inns
For several generations the Old Hare and Hounds was the property and in the tenancy of the Hoyle family, who combined with the victualling business that of butcher. They amassed considerable wealth and influence and held a position of no mean influence in the public and town's matters.
When in 1907 the licence of the Old Black Dog was extinguished it had been the oldest inn in the town for a long period. The licence was at one time traced back to 1693, and it probably existed before then. The wardens' accounts of the Parish Church during the early part of the 18th century show many entries of money spent there. The wardens transacted their business at the Old Black Dog, and probably at the White Horse (next door above) as well.
The Old Black Dog seems to have been the head posting house of Haslingden in pre-railway days. It had stabling for 30 horses. It was at this house that the ball of the Haslingden Hunt was held, and in its day that was the well social event of the district. In an advertisement that appeared in 1798 it was described as containing "many convenient parlours and lodge rooms, and particularly one large room for public meetings, 38ft, by 24ft and 14ft high". In the yard of the Old Black Dog there was a cockpit where many a battle was fought for the amusement of the gentry of the town and visitors.
It was from the horse block in front of the Old Black Dog that John Wesley preached on the occasion of his visit to Haslingden on April 22nd 1788. The divine had scarcely mounted the steps when a crowd of threatening roughs appeared. Addressing the leader Wesley said, "You have, sir, the garb and the appearance of a gentleman. Do not act like a blackguard." He was left to deliver his message in peace.
"Briar" writes about the other old Inns
The Old Hare and Hounds, the White Horse, the Golden Cup, and the Bull Head were nearly equal in age to the Old Black Dog. The White Horse had a pillared doorway from which it was given the name of "Th' Stoop House." It was here that there was arrested the young man who murdered his sweetheart, Ellen Strange, at Helmshore. In appearance this house dwared the two storied Old Black Dog, next door.
The Bull's Head at one time had two pillars forming a porch similar to the White Horse. Swing signs hung at the Bull's Head, the Golden Cup, and the Masons' Arms, whilst over the George Inn were suspended from an ornamental bracket a bunch of gilded grapes and representations of packets of cigars.
"Briar" writes about The Original Market
To come back to the old market, on Town Gate, Haslingden was one of the four market towns in addition to the ancient borough of Clitheroe which existed in the Hundred of Blackburn for several centuries. It was the market town for villages around it thaat have become bigger boroughs that it.
The market apparently had its ups and downs. The "Blackburn Gazette," of September 26th, 1829, recorded an awakening "in the more active and most intelligent part of the inhabitants" of Haslingden, who had re-opened the market on the 15th of that month, when it had been discontinued for some years. The same paper, on October 3rd of the same year, in referring to the second market, held on the previous Tuesday, said "Amidst a diversified profusion of minor commodities, it was particularly gratifying to observe the large quantities of these prime articles of subsistence, meal, flour, and potatoes, which were brought into the town and the greater part of which, so rapid was the demand from the great number of buyers who thronged the streets, was scarcely any sooner exposed to sale than sold." It was computed in all 400 packs weight were disposed of.
From the restricted space of Town Gate, the market overflowed into Church-street, Then it came down Church-street and into Market Place and Deardengate, Town Gate and Church-street being deserted by stallholders. Some years ago there was reversion to Town Gate for the purposes of the pot fair, but in more recent years the Town Gate district has had an appearance so down at heel as to make it unsuitable for that purpose.
The "Clearance Scheme" began in the late 1930s
And a special thank you to those who have kindly helped with this blog: John Bedford, Michael Mullaney, John McGuire.
|This is a photo of Stocks House in far better circumstances to the one shown above. Here it is shown|
when it was the Temperance Hotel - You can just make out the Old Hare and Hounds pub to the right of the photo.
GRUESOME "FIND" AT HASLINGDEN - A FAMILY VAULT OPENED...
Some little sensation has been created at Haslingden this weekby the discovery by some labourers of some human remains. For some time past Mr. Thomas Collinge, contractor and builder, has had men excavating a plot of ground, and carrying away the sand there found. The plot in question lies between BACK HIGH STREET AND LOWER LANE sometimes called WORKHOUSE LANE. Both thoroughfares are reached from CHURCH STREET. By LOWER LANE you pass the "Staff of Life" Inn and on the right, half-way down the lane, there are two large doors opening into some excavated land. It was into this delph the carts were backed, and the men busy excavating and loading sand. It was whilst the men where busy excavating that they broke into a cave-like place. Possibly ignorant of the past history of the ground, the men were astonished and their curiosity being aroused they investigated the "cave", finding some human skulls and other remains, and observing that there were certain shelves upon which coffins had been placed at the time of burial. The older inhabitants knew that there was a private burial place in a corner of this plot, as was evidenced by the existence of a slab tombstone, bearing the usual particulars regarding the interred. It would appear to have been used as a private burial ground by a family named BILSBORROW, who founded, or officiated in connection with the original Congregational Chapel, Haslingden. The building which is known as the old chapel, is in BACK HIGH-STREET, not far from the "Volunteers Arms". As a religious body in Haslingden, the Congregationalists is about 100 years old, and Mr. Stephenson thinks that Mr. Bilsborrow was their first minister. He was a layman and probably the business of himself and family. Mr. Stephenson thinks, was that of carriers from Garstang. It is a fact that the Bilsborrows resided near the chapel and that they used a corner of the garden ground for burial, having there constructed a family vault. After them some TEASDALE'S had the place, and subsequently the late Mr. George Fielding, grocer, Market Place, Haslingden, became the owner of the ground and property. Miss Fielding of Ivy House is now the owner, and the plot is at the rear of her property. There is also standing in this old district of Haslingden, what used to be known as the Catholic Schools. In the same district there are other old buildings, and anyone may see certain peculiar distinctions from present day property. A portion of these buildings in this neighbourhood are said to have been used as Government stables. It is well known that Haslingden at one time was a military depot, and had its barracks not so very far away from this place. Many of the older people have seen the gravestone in question, and were well aware of a private burial ground there. Mr. Stephenson has known it for years, and has had an idea, that the ground would give way sometime through age and rough weather or incautious excavation near the corner in question. Our reporter inspected the place himself on Thursday. There was an open entrance into the vault, and it seemed as if brick had been used in building the walls. The vault appeared to be 6 feet or more long and 3 feet 6 inches wide. It could easily be entered from the crumbling mound of earth, and at the far end there were three iron shelves, upon which the coffins had apparently rested. Quitting this ascending the mound, we saw the gravestone laid flat on the ground. THE INSCRIPTIONS: Appended is a copy of the inscriptions on the stone:- "Here resteth the body of James Bilsborrow (the 's' in Bilsborrow being the one in vogue early in the century) who departed this life, January 28th, 1823 aged 89 years. Also Mary, wife of James Bilsborrow, who departed this life, April 18th 1804, in the 66th year of her age, Also Mary, their daughter, who departed this life, March 30th 1807, aged 26 years. Likewise of Nancy, their daughter, and wife of Hugh Kennedy, who departed this life, July 29th, 1827, in the 59th year of her age. Also Mary, their infant daughter.
A good many people have visited the spot, and a number of contradictory statements are afloat as to the skulls found etc. One man made a night investigation with a lighted lantern, and being asked if he was not afraid of ghosts, he said "No man, there are no ghosts in these days" He confessed there was a misty vapour about the vault and that he could not see any coffin, but some skulls and remains only. He saw four skulls, one bing very large, and there was something of the form of a skeleton there. He made his investigations on Monday night. He could not say whether the vault was built of brick or dry stone. The outer wall appeared to be of dry stone. The remains have been removed. It would appear from the inscription that the first body, that of Mrs. Bilsborrow, was interred nearly 85 years ago, and that the last was in 1827, seventy two years ago.
Thanks to Jackie Ramsbottom of Haslingden Roots for providing this material.......
TAKEN FROM A NEWSPAPER CUTTING DATED 1935 (added this on 20th March 2015)
TOWER HILL CLEARANCE - MINISTRY OF HEALTH INQUIRY AT HASLINGDEN
Mr. A. Boothroyd, an Inspector of the Ministry of Health, held an inquiry at the Haslingden Council Chamber yesterday forenoon with reference to the application of the Town Council for confirmation of the Tower Hill Clearance Order (Clearance Areas Nos. 6 and 9), made by them under Section 2 of the Housing Act, 1930. In Addition to the Town Clerk (Mr. G.R. Bull) there were present Councillors T. Brown (chairman of the Health Committee), W. Boyson (chairman Housing Committee), and Platt, Dr. Martin (medical officer), and Messrs. T.E. Amos (chief sanitary inspector), Arnold Warburton (additional sanitary inspector), R Taylor (borough surveyor) and F.A. Green (borough treasurer)
AREA OF 36 HOUSES
In outlining the application for the Corporation, the Town Clerk said that the area was reported to be in an insanitary condition in April, 1931 by Mr. R. Austin, then senior sanitary inspector, and stated the formalities that had since been gone through.
The submission of the Corporation was that the dwelling houses in the area were by reason of disrepair and sanitary defects unfit for human habitation and by reason of the bad arrangement of the streets dangerous or injurious to the health of the inhabitants of the area, and that the most satisfactory method of dealing with the conditions was the demolition of all the buildings. "When I speak of bad arrangement of the houses, I do so with emphasis, as many of the houses are back to earth and consitute almost underground dwellings".
The clearance Order was made by the Council on July 3rd last, and as the Housing Act, 1935, did not receive Royal Assent until Aug 2nd last the Order was not subject to the provisions of this later Act.
The last date for the receiving of objections was July 27th last, and before that date only two persons gave notice of objection -- Mrs. Mary Curran, owner of seven houses in the area, and Mr. H. Smith, acting as agent for the owners of twelve dwelling houses and one store room.
According to the official representation of the medical officer of health 108 persons would be displaced by the clearance, and to accommodate these the Corporation were erecting twenty two-bedroom type and nine three-bedroom type houses and five flats on Longshoot. These houses and flats have been approved by the Ministry of Health as affording accomodation for a maximum of 135 persons.
THE OWNERS OF THE PROPERTY
The area comprised 36 dwelling houses, particulars of ownership of which were as follows:-
2, 2a, 4-8 Heys Court; 8-14, 3-7, Cockerill Street; 29 Wilkinson St., belonging to the executors of G. Trickett, on whose behalf Mr. H. Smith had made objection. 21-25 Wilkinson Street., 35-39 Rakefoot, 13-15 Tower Hill, belonging to Mrs. Mary Curran, who had objected. 41,43, 43a-49, Rakefoot, 5-11 Tower Hill, belonging to James Robert Barlow and Albert Edward Barlow, who had not objected. 51-53, Rakefoot, 40 and 42 Hargreaves Street and 1 and 3 Tower hill, belonging to John Thomas Hindle, who also had not objected.
In addition to the foregoing there was an old stable, No. 8 Cockerill Street, owned by Messrs. W. H. Shaw and Co., and an old stable, 3 Cockerill Street., owned by the executors of G. Trickett. No. 53 Rakefoot was used as a lockup shop and No. 1 Tower Hill was closed.
ONLY TWO THROUGH HOUSES
Of the 36 houses only two were through houses, ten being single houses, fifteen back to back houses, and nine back to earth houses. The population of the area at the date of the official representation was 108 persons, distributed in 34 families. The number of persons to the acre was 265.36
The houses included some of the oldest in the town, built long before any local building bye-laws were in force. They were small, crowded together, and badly arranged. From the practical health point of view the area was definately detrimental to the health of the inhabitants, the bad construction of the houses, the barrowness of the streets, the insufficiency of effective lighting and ventilation facilities making it impossible for the interior of the houses to receive an adequate amount of sunshine and for efficient ventilation to take place. He was credibly informed that in some of the houses it was impossible for a person to read a newspaper in full daylight.
All the houses were in a bad state of disrepair. They were damp, without proper washing facilities. Their water supply was unsatisfactory, as was their sanitary accomodation. The drainage facilities were crude, and had caused considerable trouble. No houses in the area had any yard space for the drying of clothes.
The state of the fittings in most of the houses was deplorable and a process of gradual and general deterioration had progressed to such an extent that they were now definately unfit for human habitation.
In the notice of objection to the order submitted on behalf of the exors. of G Trickett, it was stated that the occupiers of the property referred to therein have no desire to leave the area. This was untrue. Of twelve occupiers concerned who were visited by the assistant sanitary inspector, no fewer than nine definately stated that they wished to leave the area. Again, It was stated that the sanitary arrangements were good and clean. That that was untrue would abundantly appear from the evidence to be given.
"ONE OF THE WORST IN THE BOROUGH"
Coun. T. Brown, chairman of the Health Committee of the Town Council, gave evidence, stating that the area had been under discussion by the Council for four years. He considered the area to be one of the worst in the borough.
Coun. Wm Boyson, chairman of the Housing and Town Planning Committee, gave evidence as to the provision of persons who would be displaced by the proposed clearance, and said that the fourteen three-bedfoom type houses, 32 two bedroom type houses and eight flats are now in course of construction at Longshoot;. Twenty two two bedroom type houses, and five flats were reserved for persons displaced in this area.
Dr. W. M. Martin, medical officer of health, gave evidence as to his representations to the Health and Sanitary Comittee on the conditions in the area. He considered the area to be one of the most insanitary areas in the borough. It was wholly within Town Ward, and no new houses had been erected within it for many years. The width of the streets in places was only 18ft., whilst the surface of Cockerill Street, between the houses included in the area, is approximately 10ft below the level of Wilkinson Street adjoining. In some of the houses the windows were fixed or otherwise unable to be opened. Appromimately 70 per cent of the houses in the area are
AFFECTED WITH DAMPNESS
Owing to the absence of effective damp proof courses, or to defective pointing or defective roofs. In a recess off the living room in No. 5 Tower Hill there is a natural outlet of a spring, the water from which is constantly running and percolating through the foundations.
In sixteen houses there is no proper accomodation for storage of food. No washing accomodation is provided in 35 of the houses. In the remaining three the occupiers have been responsible for providing their own gas boilers. Overcrowding was present in only one house. In fifteen houses adults and children occupy the same bedroom.
No houses in the area have any yard space for the drying of clothes, advantage being taken of the fact that Heys Court, Cockerill Street and Tower Hill are cul-de-sacs.
The average rental was 4s. 3-10d a week. The total rent was £7/9/2 per week. The highest rent paid was 8s 2d (in respect of the lock up shop 53 Rakefoot) and the lowest 3s per week.
Mr. T.E. Amos, senior sanitary inspecter, produced eight photographs of the area which were enlargements of snapshots taken by him on July 31st 1935
WHAT THE TENANTS SAY
Mr. Arnold Warburton, assistant sanitary inspector, said that in consequence of the notice of objection made on behalf of the exors. of G. Trickett he visited the houses 2-8 Heys Court and 3-14 Cockerill Street and 19, Wilkinson Street. He found ten of the twelve occupiers at home. The other two houses were shut up. Of the ten occupiers interviewed nine definately stated that they were anxious to leave the area. The remaining one said it was immaterial to him whether he did so or not.
In describing the area, Mr. Robert Tayor, borough surveyor said heys Court is irregularly shaped. Tower hill is a peculiar stgreet with man novel features. He found that no new houses had been erected in the area for at least the last forty years. The streets in the area are both narrow and badly arranged and injurious and dangerous to health. This completing the application for the Corporation. The Inspector asked if any property owner concerned was present to make objection.
Mrs. Mary Curran was the only one to answer. She said that there were real good houses that were being taken from her. The question of their being put into repair should have been considered. It was not right to condemn property like that without some compensation being given. The Inspector: Do you maintain that the houses in their present condition are fit? Mrs. Curran: Well, some are. Have you gone into the possibility of putting them into repair? - No. The Inspector said he would visit and inspect all the houses. If Mrs. Curran liked to be present he would be pleased to see her there, but there was no necessity if she did not want. Mrs. Curran: I don't wish to go. They ought to do fair with people with property. The Inspector said the property would be fairly inspected and he would see that Mrs. Curran's objection was fairly placed before the Ministry. The inquiry then closed.
Thanks to Jackie Ramsbottom of Haslingden Roots for supplying this old newspaper cutting from c1935.