Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Vaccary Wall Enclosures in Haslingden and Helmshore

Where are those VACCARY Enclosures in Haslingden and Helmshore? and what did "Vaccary mean"?

Vaccary origins:  

The word is from the mediaeval Latin "Vaccaria" with Vacca meaning (Cow) plus aria meaning (ary) = Cowery

The word seems to have gone out of use nowadays when speaking of historical matters and these days it fails to qualify to be mentioned in most dictionaries.

The Vaccary (the cattle farm)

Commercial cattle farms first appeared in Lancashire in the Royal Forest which were originally royal hunting areas granted to the de Lacy family in the 12th century. The commercial cattle farm became known as THE VACCARY.

"Vaccary Walling" was the name given to the type of walling which may well have been used for the enclosures at that time. Our "vaccary walling" in these photos below will be much later in period, but obviously will have been taken from that original design. 

Vaccary Walling:

Vaccary walling can be observed in many parts of Lancashire (and probably Yorkshire as well), but there are examples of it quite locally in areas of Rossendale.  How it became associated with HASLINGDEN and HELMSHORE is still a mystery, but we are thankful to still be graced with odd examples of these "slab stone walls or vaccary walls" . 

Examples of this sort of walling is still seen on Helmshore Road between Rose Cottage (which is almost opposite York Avenue) and enclosing the land down as far as the newish properties which are just before the entrance to Campion Drive. Check out the photo below kindly given by Robert Wade (Wadey).   Also there are examples up on Laund Hey playing fields, although sadly these are only remnants of what they were in the past, but at least you get some idea.

We have a fine photo immediately below here which shows "vaccary walling" enclosing the fields which ran between Gregory Fold and St. Thomas Church (opposite side of the road to St. Veronica's). This is obviously how it was before the new semi-detached properties were built. 

"Vaccary" Walling that once graced Helmshore Road  (Click over to enlarge)

"Vaccary" Walling on Helmshore Road opposite York Avenue  (Click over photo to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly contributed by Robert Wade (Wadey)

"Vaccary" Walling is seen here in Laund Hey Playing Fields to the base of Cribden.  (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: taken around 2008

The Walling in the distance to the middle of the field, I remember being a nice solid example that went across the full field, sadly today its just a remnant of how it used to look.  Also there is this small section as you come towards the base of Cribden.

Photo: taken around 2008

Another photo I have just found from 2003 showing the Laund Hey Vaccary Wall