looking at the houses and buildings and meeting the folk who lived there



written by John Travis 1908

transcribed by Arlene Hinman in 2003



Taking our stand upon the canal bridge in the town of Todmorden, in coaching days, and looking to the left hand there stand Todmorden Hall, said to have been at first built by the Radcliffe family of Turton, in Lancashire, as a shooting-box to which they came annually during the grouse or other game seasons to shoot the wild animals and birds which then visited the moors and marshes of the district. The hall probably dates back six or seven hundred years and has been altered and enlarged several times notably by Savile Radcliffe about the beginning of the seventeenth century, and by John and Tamar Fielden at the beginning of the eighteenth century.


The Home Farm (house and barn) was situated close to the mansion at the wet end, together with a number of cottages, and other rooms for plying the trade of cloth making, the people working in this business being generally styled clothiers. JOHN FIELDEN had been occupying the hall and other premises for some time when, in 1716, he purchased it, together with the Home Farm, woods and plantations. Also Doghouse or New Inn, High-barn and Edge-end farms, which he held until his death in 1734-5.


Afterwards the property (except NEW INN and Edge-end Farm) fell to his favourite nephew Abraham, son of his eldest brother, Joshua Fielden of BOTTOMLEY, Walsden, who held the property and business until his death before 1790. At his death there was only one son (also called Abraham), and five daughters (some of them married), and as they had not the energy to carry on the stuff making they were disposed to realise the estate, which was sold before 1790 to Anthony Crossley of Ewood and Scaitcliffe. Edge-end, and Doghouse (WHITE HART OR NEW INN), and Carr-barn or Platts-house farms had been disposed of during the Uncle John's lifetime to other nephews.


Lets now walk down the Strand and along Church-street to the County or River Bridge forward to the Black Swan Inn, and from there take a look northward as from these points we could at a former time see Stansfield Hall and the valley leading to Eastwood and Hebden Bridge. In the COACHING DAYS the Golden Lion Inn stableman was wont to walk the relays of horses down to the points named, from which he could see the coach coming at Millwood and Lower Laith-hill, and then he would give the animals a quiet walk back to the Inn to be in readiness for the change when the vehicle arrived.


Stansfield Hall is a very ancient place, perhaps not as old as Todmorden Hall, but as far as is known it was erected and held by many generations of the Sutcliffe family of Stansfield, indeed until the last, Mr John Sutcliffe a lawyer by profession. He married Isabella daughter of Mr Geo. Eccles of the White Hart Inn and farm, but before their children came of age the estates were alienated and gradually passed into the possession of other owners.


Up to the Heights


Passing on Burnley way, we come to Hole-bottom-meadowbottom, which was in later times shortened to Meadow-bottom as a place name and which was a considerable village in 1840. At the top of the meadows stands Holebottom Mill which was in the tenancy of Messrs. Hinchliffe Brothers of Crag-vale. When gas was laid on to that district, say from 1830 to 1840, they had in their service a man who went by the name of "Neddy Wuff." Neddy had something to do with the gas, and there was an explosion in which Neddy was involved. It appears that he was overcome by the fumes and was carried home in a state of semi-consciousness, but he always thought he had been blown up, and had alighted at Meadow-bottom near his own home. Seemingly those on the job never disabused his mind of that impression, but let him go on telling it for a fact. The writer heard him telling the story in Todmorden on a Saturday night about 1838, and some of his hearers remarked "Why, Teddy, it wor a wonder tha worn't killed," to which he assented, but seemingly did not know that it had not occurred exactly as he related it.


Higher up in this depression of the land is Ratcha, a small cotton carding and spinning mill, turned by water power, and which at one time was a bobbin works where Mr Lawrence Wilson of Cornholme fame, made his first efforts in the bobbin manufacturing trade; and after him, the Hartley Brothers, of Meadow-bottom.


Still going forward up the hill is Wickenberry Clough where the HELLIWELLS of Greenhirst-hey had at a former time a small wool carding and drawing factory turned by water coming down from the Stansfield hill and farms. Then we arrive at Greenhirst-hey, a good farm, now belonging to a branch of the Sutcliffe family of Harley House Mill.


Higher up still is Windy Harbour Farm, once the home of Joseph Charnock, a handloom weaver with a wife and several children. Here he wove and studied for the "Ministry of the Word," and was appointed curate of Heptonstall Church and parish which he filled successfully for a period of forty-five years.


Now let us return to two old houses beside the clough between Holebottom and Meadow-bottom near the footroad from Hollins to the Royd "Oak-hill clough," and some folks have further polluted the name by calling a man who lived there "Jonathan Yokehill."


Going up the hill again we come to "Hough" or "How" Stones Farm, once the property and home of a branch of the HELLIWELL family who emigrated to Toronto, Canada. Later it was occupied by a family of mechanics or wheelwrights.


Going still higher up there is Scrapers-lane, a place of some note and above that, Callyhall-farm. As to the latter name, we can only suggest that it was once bought on speculation, and paid for by the weaving of so much calico.


Higher up the mountain side above Callyhall Far is a large field belonging to the Greenhirst-hey Farm which is generally called "Lympas," which is short for Olympus. This field was reclaimed from a state when it grew nothing but moss-crops and was made into good pasture land by Mr John Helliwell, who, before 1830, had set his servant men to gather a large quantity of this English grown cotton, which he had carded and spun at the FRITHS Old Factory in Dulesgate, and afterwards warped and woven, intended for a suit of clothes - breeches, vest, coat, and two pairs of stocking - for King George the Fourth. The stuff was made up and sent to London but the King died about when it should have landed and whether it ever reached the right place or not was never known, as no word ever came in acknowledgment.


Further back on the Stansfield hill-top is Bunt-edge (Burnt-edge) Farm once the home of Mr Jas. Holdsworth a successful home manufacturer, a putter-out of warps and weft to be woven by the country side weavers. Mr Gledhill of Mosshall was also a putter-out. He had one son and two daughters. The son became Dr. Gledhill of York-street, Todmorden. Young Uttley of the DOG & PARTRIDGE INN, Lumbutts, married the elder daughter and Charles Sutcliffe of Greathouse-clough married Hannah Gledhill of Mosshall and later went to keep the Lumbutts public-house where he died in 1833.


Abraham Robertshaw of White Reaps was also a home manufacturer and made money in the trade so that he could purchase farms and other property. About 1840 he purchased KNOWLWOOD BOTTOM MILL when Wm. Crossley and his partner Mr Ashton succumbed to bad trade and there he flourished many years.



Down in the Valley



Now let us drop down to the valley again and say that Blindlane as its name indicates was always a tortuous old road leading to Harley House and Mill thence forward to Meadow-bottom, Stansfield Hall, and by devious ways to Cross Stone and the hilly county of Stoneyfield. It also led to the old Adamroyd farmstead which was in old times occupied by Major Marshall and his wife and family. Hence the name of the clough coming down from Holebottom was at this place changed to Major Clough which name it has retained to the present.

Ferneylee is a rather ancient place and has an artistic name. The great curiosity of this locality is the syke where there are three different spouts each on spouting a different kind of water, one of which will not freeze in frosty weather. At the bottom of Ferneylee-lane on one side, there was formerly a beerhouse kept before 1840 by Mr JAMES SUTHERS and in later times it was used by Sergeant John Heap, the constable, as a lock-up while he and his family lived next door on the main-road side.


On the other side stood the Inghamite chapel and minister's house. This sect was pretty numerous about the date name, but later as the old adherents fell off it gradually dwindled away, the property being afterwards sold by the authorities and converted into a residence.


Higher up, at the head of Ferneylee-lane is the Royd a splendid country gentleman's house where in 1840 Miss Heap sister, of John and George Heap (the latter being farmer of the Sunnyside land at Cornholme), kept a seminary for young ladies and was regarded as quite a superior establishment in those times. Thos. Whitehead held the farm, his house lying back somewhat, and the barn and cattle premises being at the north end. The farm is a pretty extensive one, including the Royd hills. It was to this place that the first trip of Sunday scholars came from Manchester in 1842.


Stile Farm, to the north, used to be designated Stele. Close by is Ashenhurst surrounded by a wood of ash trees. Further northward the residence of old Mrs Clegg which might have had another name and perhaps has been called East Bank. Now we go up by the footroad and at the top are the two farms East and West Whirlaw. In the days of packhorse carrying, one of these houses was the Packhorse Inn but after the valley roads were made in 1765 the licence was removed to the Bay Horse Inn, Cross Stone.


Behind these farms stands Whirlaw hill a famous rendezvous for May meetings in the early mornings. Also for demonstrations such as rejoicings for victories in arms, etc. Dungeon-top is a little further on. Once it was a single cottage house and the home of the late John Nowell the botanist after he became a married man and a handloom weaver. From this point the road goes across Harleywood-slack to the Springs Farm. This was not an inn, but it was said that the people there sold tiplash or stingo or else something weaker made from grout, a sort of beer for the lads and lasses and it might well be so in that highland place.


From this point view we must go to the very top of Stansfield Moor and have a look at Bride Stones and Bottle-neck which have been great curiosities for hundreds of years. Behind these is Raw-pole so called because of the extreme cold there during the winter season.


Centre Vale and Ewood



On the west side of the main road in Todmorden in 1844, the church people and incumbent (Rev. Joseph Cowell) purchased the "little Holme" and part of the "Great Holme," by the road-side in order to enlarge the churchyard, and find a site for the NATIONAL SCHOOL. The site of the church and yard had been given at a former period by Mr Samuel Greenwood of Stones, but this time they had his trustees and agent (Mr Wm. Robinson) to deal with and got the plots for £1,010. Then the sacristy school was taken down and the materials were used in erecting the new place. A new owner had been established at Centre Vale in the person and family of John Fielden, MP for the borough of Oldham, but he had not then purchased the rest of the Great Holme.


Before Mr Thos. Ramsbotham erected Centre Vale House in 1826-8 he occupied the cottage or master's house at the far end of Ewood Mill at which place he had the cotton carding and spinning done, and all the putting out of warps and weft to country side weavers. At the end near the river he had an iron foundry and a staff of moulders and mechanics producing cotton machinery for Knott Mill at the bottom of Deansgate, Manchester, of which he was a partner or owner, the machines when ready being sent off from Todmorden canal wharf by Messrs. J. and J. Veevers' boats to Manchester.


Sometime before Mr Ramsbotham began to build his house in the valley, he purchased a meadow that went by the river side to near the front of the intended building, from Mrs Jonas Turner of the Shoulder of Mutton Inn, Toad-carr. Also two small fields called Reedy-lees from the trustees of Mr Joshua Fielden of the Holme Farm. The Holme was probably so named from the wide expanse of meadows in front of the farm premises stretching from the main road up the hillside on the left hand, and round by the back parts, coming down to the entrance of the Holme and Ashenhurst road. He also bought two small farms, Platts House and Carr-barn from Mr Joshua Fielden of Platts House but not Buckley Wood, which had always, up to this date been included in the Todmorden Hall estates. (By the way we may say that Joshua Fielden of Platts House came from a Samuel Fielden, the younger brother of Thos. Fielden of Hollingworth, Walsden; Samuel being born at Edge-end on November 25th 1722. He bought the Platts House and Carr-barn estates from Thomas his cousin, the son of Nicholas Fielden of Edge-end.) Joshua of Platts House was born in 1766.


Above Ewood Mill there was the Malthin of Mr John Greenwood of Harehill House. Further up the lane, Ewood House, the property of Mr John Stansfield , a prosperous putter-out from Todmorden-edge and also owner of Lineholme Mill further up the valley.


Going forward up by Sicket-gate and the Sourhall old highway, we pass High-barn and arrive at Dean House and the Todmorden-edge farms, both places being formerly in Quaker possession, with a meeting house and graveyard attached. It was here that the Rev. Henry Krabtree and his man broke into a meeting at the house of Henry Keily for holding an unlawful assembly for the worship of Almighty God, and took the names of about twenty person who were later taken before a justice of the peace. Mr Keily was fined in the sum of £20, and his neighbours who had come to a peaceable meeting were fined five shillings each. (more about this HERE)


FLAILCROFT was then in the hands of Samuel Fielden, the brother of John, of Todmorden Hall, and later of William Sutcliffe. Further on that hillside are Royd House and Gibbet Farms and backward towards Todmorden common or moorland, DYKE GREEN, DYKE, and Moorside Farms all held by members of the Law family, the descendants of "Rough Robin," This Robert or Robin was the first on the list and is supposed to have come with the Pretender, as a Scotch rebel but stayed here and married a wife, a native of these parts. One of his sons or grandsons, SAMUEL LAW, a clogger by trade, later migrated to Walsden and founded the Laws of RAMSDEN WOOD etc. Another Law, a nephew of the above also established his family at Smales, Walsden where he acquired a small freehold estate and when he died left stalwarts sons and daughters as native in the place as the trees that grew near their dwelling place.


Adamroyd-hey or West-end a small farm near Sourhall was in old times the home of a Crabtree family. They were also handloom weavers and milk and porridge their principal food, which apparently did well for them for several lived to be over eighty years of age, and one (John) to over ninety.




Sourhall and the Dunningly Tannery



We do not pretend to know where Sourhall derived its name from unless it might be that the grass and fodder in that district was not considered to be good food for cattle and perhaps a bit sour too. However that might have come about let it suffice to say that at the time that hand-loom weaving was the staple industry of the district, Sourhall was quite a populous district. When about 1840 that trade died out to some extent, several of the cottages were pulled down and the materials of which they were built were removed to DULESGATE and rebuilt there. The speculation never repaid the owner, one Abraham Fielden, and they were afterwards removed again to another place.


When the old industry died out there was one family which did not leave the place on account of that, and that was the HOLT FAMILY - the children of Martin Holt, a lifelong resident of the Sourhall district, who married Mary daughter of James and Hannah Fielden of Sourhall. This Martin Holt had a large family of sons and daughters and on the introduction of the power-loom, he started in business as a picker-maker, in which his sons joined him, and the business prospered.


Apart from its industries, Sourhall was at one time - in the days of the pack-horse trade- quite an important place of call for the trader, and there was a public-house at the place, but when the pack trade was ruined by the introduction of the turnpike roads, the licence was taken away and transferred to the Spring Gardens Inn, at the back of Todmorden Hall.


Very few people will remember that in the old days there was a place of the name of the Dunningly Tannery in Todmorden, and indeed the name only appears in one place - in the old churchyard. As a matter of fact there used to be a branch tannery (though not authoritatively known to have been connected with that at Bridgeroyd, owned by the Gibsons) situated on the edge of Todmorden moor, near Acre Nook, above Dulesgate and Cloughfoot, the old name of the place having been Dunningly.

The writer had no knowledge of the fact of this being a place name in the district until the year 1900 when he was in conversation with an old lady of 80 years old, who distinctly remembered there being a place of that name, where there was a tannery with house, barn, and other buildings attached. Further investigations yielded the information to be found on the gravestone in the churchyard. The tanner, John Coward, had married Ann, the daughter of John Travis of Inchfield, Walsden, and the inscription runs thus: - Also, Ann Coward of Dunningly, daughter of John Travis, of Inchfield who died 4th February, 1757.



Across the Valley Again


Retracing our steps once again into the valley and crossing by the Holme we find at the back of the public-house, an old place known as Cowhurst. At the head of the lane is a row of four small cottages, which go by the name of Mark-lane. Just a little further west is a small farm place known as Rawson-field, and still further west is Cross-lee which derives its name from the fact that it is situated "across the lea" from Scaitcliffe. Gatebottom-road leads forward to the Bank farm which used to belong to the Barker family who were also the owners of the Cross-lee house, their trade being that of putters-out, etc. Forward up the lane we come to Scout Farm and past another old spot called "Th' Rake" or Rake Laith, from which place a certain well-known character derived the nick-name of "Old Sam o' th' Rake." He also was a Barker but he came of the Whirlaw family of that name and his old home was done away with over 50 years ago.


Higher up the hillside there are Howgate and Harley Wood Slack, both of which farms have been considerably improved by the reclamation of waste and barren ground by the various owners. At Howgate amongst other improvements, Mr Wm. Howorth, carrier removed a large mound which obstructed his view of Todmorden.


At the top of the "Slack" is a huge freestone block well known in the district as "Th' Backstone." And further above that still is a huge plot of land, which was originally bought from the freeholders by Mr Howorth, the carrier. The last named gentleman during the time of slack trade after the finish of the railway works, found a lot of work for the idle labourers in the reclamation of the waste land. A little further on we reach the "Sportsman's Arms," Keb Cote, which is known the whole district round. The origin of the name is not known, but it can be surmised that the place was originally built for the shelter of young cattle, which had been turned out on the rough pasture to gain sustenance. This shed would probably be "kobbled" or "kebbed" up of rough stone. The name of the house has been given to most of its tenants, and three or four generations ago, it was kept by a man named Midgley, who was never called by any other name but "Will o' Kebs," and his children were also given the same by-name.


Redmires reservoir further back on the common was constructed by Mr Thos. Ramsbotham for mill purposes, in the valley, after 1830, and forms the highest part of the service. Coming down the hill there are some five perennial springs of very great purity that come down by Jumps to Catholes Dam.


Returning to the valley from kebs we go by Higher and Lower Hartley farms and so on to the Orchan Rocks. It has been averred by some people that these rocks in some way resemble an organ. Scarcely two people see an object in the same way but all may agree that the place has been a rendezvous for meetings by sportsmen and hunters from time immemorial.


Lower down is Jumps which probably derives its name from the fact that the clough here jumps in various small waterfalls, but it was formerly known as Kitson Royd, and East View was formerly Kitson Wood, so we get down to the valley once again.



Lineholme and Lydgate


The district around Lineholme and Lydgate has altered very little, if we except the alterations to CANTEEN MILL, the levelling of Lydgate Mill, and the history of the alteration of the river's course, which has been fully related in "Old Todmorden." There is, however one particular item of interest whichhas not been mentioned in that history and that is the fact that there used to be a brickworks at the foot of Carholes Clough, but after many years' hard work, the company which owned the works were obliged to relinquish the effort to make it pay.


Knotts Wood and the Hartley Royd Farm, higher up the hillside belong to a Halifax School, but the trustees do not seem to have pushed their land to any great extent, though a number of plots in the wood are occupied with dwellings. The stone quarry up under the neb of the Naze has for many years yielded good light coloured stone to its owners, and it has been used for that purpose for over fifty years, to the writer's recollection the owners in that day being Mr. William Mitchell and his son, who farmed the land.


On the opposite side of the valley towering over Barewise Mill and the houses around Blackrock, is the Eagle's Crag, or Bill Knipe, which has been a favourite spot for all who have wished to make wagers regarding any other persons' daring. This rock lies just at the foot of the meadow in which stands New Townley Farm, which was the home of James Fielden, picker maker, and of his family. Wet Shaw Farm, after being in the Fielden family was in later times the home of the Mills family of Todmorden-edge, and for a long time has been out of the Fielden family. Such are the changes which take place in the course of two or three hundred years.


The next farm is Roundfield which before 1820 was occupied by James Ratcliffe, late of Hazlegreaves on the Dulesgate side. He had a large family of hand-weavers and while here he developed a propensity for other classes of work, possessing mechanical instincts. He made a small dam to catch the water coming down from the moorside, and then made a waterwheel to turn the lathes or other machines used for cutting up wood into required shapes. Then he began making picker, bobbins, shuttles and "broiches" (skewers) for cops, as the cops were spun large in those times. These and other things used by hand weavers many of whom had previously made their own he made very successfully. He carried on this work until Messrs. Fielden Bros., of Waterside Mill had erected their weaving shed to hold a thousand looms in 1828. His wife was Sarah Fielden of Bridge-end or Knowlwood, and some of his daughters became weavers, and his sons over-lookers. So we're brought down from the hills and became acquainted with the ways of valley life.


The only other old farm place on that side for the present is "Yead" (Head) House. It was built in a slight hollow on the mountain side above Bridge-end House, long before the Bobbin Manufacturing Company's Mill or the New Church was erected. This farm included the valley meadows down to Holme-house, from the Waggon and Horses Inn. The pasture land being chiefly on the hillside over the river and Frieldhurst goit. It has now been derelict for more than fifty years. It was probably occupied until about 1846 as in that year the writer saw smoke coming from the chimney and so presumes there were people in the house below.



Mr. Shackleton of Bridge End


To vary the order of proceedings we may here relate an amusing story with reference to a Mr Shackleton and eccentric farmer of Bridge-end The story is that on a certain day the old farmer was busy cleaning up his farm at Bridge-end, when Mr Grimshaw steward for Mr Towneley of Towneley Hall came riding down the road from Burnley. When he got to the bridge, the steward turned to speak to the old tenant as they were old acquaintances, and, before he left, Mr Grimshaw asked his venerable friend how old he was. Mr Shackleton replied that he would be 90 years of age if he lived to the next 30th (?) of Feb., and the agent was so pleased with the old man's affability that he good humouredly took a sixpence from his pocket and gave it to him, then resuming his journey to Todmorden. Arriving at the village he put up at the New Inn (now the White Hart) and in the course of his conversation with the company he repeated in good faith the answer of the old man of Bridge-end respecting his age, not having up to then noted the catch that there is no such date as the 30 th of February, with the result that the company were greatly amused at the old joker's trick. There was a small laugh against the agent at being so egregiously overseen by the old man, and on his return journey he resolved to call and ask Shackleton when his birthday was. Arriving once more at Bridge-end he found his man busy in the shippon, but the old stager forestalled him by putting one in first, the agent being greeted with the remark "I see yer horse hasn't all its shooin' on its fore feet," to which Mr Grimshaw replied that the shoes were all right when he left Todmorden. Then dismounting, he began an examination by lifting up each of the horse's four feet. At the finish he repeated that the shoes were all right, and asked the old man what he meant by saying they were not on the four feet. "Aye, aye," Shackleton returned in a friendly way, "I said they weren't all on the FORE feet," which plainly showed that the old fellow if he was nearly 90, had still his quibbling faculties ripe. Mr Grimshaw had had enough of the old man's quality and rode away from Bridge-end.





The Quaker of Shore



We turn now to the north side of the valley at Ingbottom where there is a row of old houses in the bottom, one of which there dwelt, over 60 years, a butcher and hawker who went by the name of "Mutton Joseph", also Mr and Mrs John Clegg of Cornholme. Ingbottom derives its name from "ing" a field and "bottom" the lower part of a piece of ground.


Now we start for the hillside and come to Frieldhurst-farm, then to the right by Dundee Cottages and forward by Mercer-field-wood. This is the correct spelling of the name, although in later times it has been spelled "Mersey", "Marsey," and "marcer-field". Now we go up to Ridge-yate (gate), once the home of Mrs Susan Law, grocer. After looking about a little at various other places we come down by the old and yet modernised parts called Shore, formerly the home and resting place of families of the Friends or Quakers.


At Shore we are told they had in former days a meeting place and graveyard. Among them were the Fieldens, Crossleys and Stansfields who in their day met with severe persecution for daring to worship God according to the dictates of their consciences. Lydia (Crossley), the wife of Rd. Stansfield, was imprisoned in York Castle for refusing to pay a rate towards the stipend of the minister or curate of Cross Stone Church. She could have paid, but refused to do so conscientiously, and ultimately died there, the debt of nature being paid but that of the church unpaid.



Shore was then a very old village and adjoining it were several ways or roads leading to the different farms, but the main highway led from or to Heptonstall and Burnley. We do not believe that there have been many Friends there for considerably over a hundred years, abut all along there have been remnants of one of the old families who were generally called so-and-so "o' th' Quakers'."


The BAPTIST CHURCH has been well established on the hill at Shore for a long time, and although a branch from it was built in the valley half a century ago, the old associations are still kept up and the members vie as they did before 1850 in raising a large collection at the Sunday School anniversary. The saying "Change and decay in all around I see" has not been verified in many ways at Shore, and yet changes have been going on all the time. The church, having followed popular ideas in supplying music and other advantages for the congregation worshipping there. John Spencer the minister there, died March 20th 1819. Another John Spencer of Shore fold (supposed to be a son), died June 28th in the same year. Peggy Spencer of Pitts-bottom died on August 17th 1823 aged 58 years. John Spencer the minister was also a handloom weaver much like another old Baptist minister, (Old) Driver of Millwood. He also used the loom wore an apron and on fine days walked out in his shirt sleeves, smoking a short pipe for relaxation. John Spencer of Shore married twice and the younger John was probably the son of Peggy the second wife. That at all events is the theory of other member of the family who inherited the elder John's wig.


Now down to the valley again, by the Wittonstall footpath, passing Hullet and the dam of water so called, the name being derived from the bird of the night, the owl or owlet. The small meadow between Holme-house Arch and Frieldhurst Mill formerly belonged to a Quaker family in Rochdale. John Sutcliffe, grocer and carrier, or his father who was one of the Stile Sutcliffe built the Holm House and the building at the bottom end of "Yeadhouse" farm meadow which stretched up to near the Waggon and Horses Inn. About midway was a lane and the Sunnyside farmstead Sunnybank was built in 1835, but is supposed to have come from the old farmhouse or to be a door top of the old church at Cross Stone.






Cornholme which has given a name to the district as a suburb of Todmorden, its market town was the holme stretching from Bankwell Wood and coal-pit to the extreme or narrow end near the railway stone bridge and once Mr Lawrence Wilson's garden and homestead. The conjecture is that at some earlier period this holme was sown with corn, hence came the name of Cornfield or Cornholme. Turning under the arch we come to Pudsey where John Hodgson and family had land and the freehold right to Paul clough water which came first to Pudsey cotton mill in the bottom, which was afterwards changed to bobbin manufacturing by Mr John Helliwell. Pudsey Clough divides Cliviger from Stansfield. Mr John Hodgson built the Springwood Mill about 1840, intending to run it by water power, but the goit to bring the water as it left Pudsey Mill was not made and later a steam engine and boiler were put in, and his sons began the bobbin making trade. Afterwards a son-in-law, Mr Parker Astin, used the higher rooms for powerloom manufacturing. About 1857-8 both the bobbin making and the cotton manufacturing came to grief and the place stood derelict until there was a boom in cotton again, when Mr Shackleton took it and began carding and spinning cotton once more.


Close by this place on the Cliviger side of the water, the Caldervale Company erected a weaving shed in 1856 intending to let it in small sections. The place in the first instance was for 300 looms and it was immediately occupied some of the small beginners doing very well in trade.


A small way up Pudding-lane was old Ralph's stone quarry which yielded a sort of rag or bastard flagstone which was good for foundations and drainage works. There "old Rove" plied his trade as a delver for many years but he was shortly better employed in building other works, such as weaving sheds, etc.


At Pitts higher up than old Pudsey about fifty years ago, Mr Thos. Marshall, grocer, erected a shop and house. Afterwards he became a manufacturer in partnership at Caldervale Weaving Shed out of which venture he did pretty well.


Higher up still, but whether at Lower or Higher Pitts, the writer does not know, there dwelt Mr Abm. Marshall, a shoemaker, and cousin to the Thomas Marshall before mentioned. This gentleman was reported to have been in London, consequently he went by the name of "the Londoner." Mr Marshall was a ripe politician and always ready for an argument and for a country dweller he was a very well known man. He also later entered the weaving trade and his going "On Change" in Manchester gave him still greater opportunities of manifesting his skill in debate. He was one of the prime movers in the erection of the Cornholme Town Hall (so-called), which was not a very late event. Mr Abm. Marshall was in his later days very enterprising as a manufacturer, and it is believed that he got through the cotton panic of 1862-5 with a whole skin. At any rate he went forward for a good while with new energy and was as lively as a young man who had made his fortune. The inhabitants of Pitts, Pudsey, were all akin and when the writer visited the Marshalls he also had a look in upon two other brother, Thos. And Robert Stansfield who for many years were repairers of the main roads.


Bernshaw Tower


This old and historic home of the Pendle Forest witches and other sleight folks has been degraded into a common inland farmplace for over a hundred years and nestles in a depression of the hillside. Over sixty years ago it was adorned with a good quantity of well grown trees - plane, ash, spruce and Scotch firs. There was formerly an outer wall which formed a sort of stockade or place into which to take cattle or sheep for protection. The Tower has many traditions of bygone days when the witches rode broomsticks when attending meetings, when the mythical white dove was seen. There are many wonderful things connected with this place, but it is so long since the writer read of them that he must refer interested readers to Roby's "Traditions of Lancashire," which is in the local Free Library or perhaps Harrison Ainsworth's works. This is the last farm on the Todmorden side of the boundary but there are the Carrs and the Crags on the common side. These were planted with trees many years ago which will be grown somewhat now. Also many new houses have been erected by the Carrs-road side.


About the year 1897 when rubbing up some old matter of the above nature, the writer met with a young friend from the Cornholme district. We entered into conversation upon the subject of place-names mutually pointing out changes in many quarter and in some cases the entire obliteration of names not now applied to places which formerly were called by them. Somebody had then recently been giving a list of old names in the Burnley Valley many of which were greatly changed or had entirely gone out of use. Leaving out all contentious matter I will endeavour to give the gist of my friend's story.



  Chatham, Whithave and Portsmouth


In olden times the Roebuck Inn and farm were in the occupation of a family named Clegg. The father was generally known as "Tommy," and his sister was the wife of "Jone-o'-Bens," a noted blacksmith in Todmorden. The Roebuck Inn is situated at the bottom of Beater Clough about three miles from Todmorden on the Burnley road. Whether the name of the place at first came from the clough as "Beater-clough-bottom," cannot now be positively stated. The name by which the village is now known was given to it by a member of the Clegg family. Thos. Clegg and his wife had a son who as a young man left home and wandered far from his native place. He enlisted as a mariner being for several years stationed at Portsmouth and other naval stations around the coast. On the termination of his engagement he returned to his people at the old home in the Cliviger valley, Todmorden.


At this point it may be stated that in Cliviger many of the farms had formerly, besides the homestead barn, one or two outside "Laithes," where the occupier could stow a portion of the hay or other produce and also seal young or lying-off cattle during the winter months. In those times one such place stood in a field behind the public house, being then known as the milking house standing beside the footroad leading to Brownbirks farm and other parts of Cliviger. The "Joiner's house and barn " stood higher up the road leading to Burnley, just below a bend in the road close to the entrance to the way leading to the "Deyne," or the later Langfield's farm situated up on the hillside.


Those three laithers - Beater-clough-bottom, Milking-house and Joiner's house - then formed something like the feet of a three-legged stool, the last named being the back leg and the two former, the front legs. Sometime after the younger Clegg had come home again he is reported to have discovered something that reminded him of Portsmoouth, Whitehaven and Chatham. So he named the public-house "Portsmouth", the Milking-house, "Whitehaven" and the Joiner's-house, "Chatham." There is no reason whatever to doubt the story as the names were most certainly changed and the places have been known by the latter names ever since.


The old inn remains much the same, but Chatham is now almost in ruins being much dilapitated. While Whitehaven became "The Haven" over sixty years ago. Whitehaven was an old black tumbledown house in 1846, and was then occupied by an old widow woman. She had reared her family there and in the month of October in that year there was a sale of black oak furniture, as she was going to live with one of her married daughters. The writer was present at the sale and it was then stated that the place was to be taken down and a new house built upon the site for Mr James Green, a member of the Cliviger Coal Company and the architect of the new Portsmouth Mill, the house being built later and called "The Haven." This explanation will show in some degree how these small unpretentious inland places obtained their names  - the names of three of the most important naval stations or coast towns of our country. The idea was novel to a degree to most of the then inhabitants but many other have since followed the example.


A man of the name of Robert Whitaker and his wife Mally kept the Roebuck Inn eighty or ninety years ago. They built two good houses at the higher end of Portsmouth-row on the other side of the road, at the end of the highway leading by Carrs to Bernshaw Tower, Old Guide, and Sourhall to Todmorden. Mr Whitaker died and his widow a hearty old woman continued the business for a long time after. She was a pleasant and sympathetic friend to call and see, and coal or lime carriers could not afford to pass the house without seeing and speaking with old Mally. John Luke Whitaker succeeded his mother at the house and married Mary Heyworth a native of Whiteslack, Walsden. She had been in the service of Jane (Haigh) Hill-Fielden of the Waggon and Horses, Bottoms, and later of the White Hart Inn Todmorden, where the landlady became JANE FIRTH AND JANE CROSSLEY in succession.


After Portsmouth Mill had been at work for a few years, the old houses were occupied by Jim o' Steen's, Old Harry Greenwood, Th' Old Painter, Th'Old Butcher, Davy Banks (a tailor), Charles o'Dicks (watchman), Mr Capstick (the engineer) and John and Ashton o'th' Quakers. Ashton Greenwood (o'th' Quakers) married Sally o'th' Butchers, and set up house in a small shebeen on the other side of the water, and kept a spice, nuts and gingerbread shop where "John at Whoam" and "John o'th' Safe Side" used to spend pleasant evenings. The writer knew them all.


On a fine summer Sunday in 1847 we went to old Peter Ormerod's of Highgate farm up in the hill country of Cliviger going by Chatham, the Cabin and Newhey, Mr Chaffer's farm. Mr Ormerod's place and house was in grand order and the old man was very chatty and instructive. He told us that he and his fathers had held the farm for over two hundred years and had buried some of their dead in the croft where we saw one or more gravestone. And now, at the end of this chapter the writer is free to confess that he was never exactly at Brown-birks farm, but he knew Mr Greenwood, the farmer of those back days, and he was a nice clean and respectable man in or out of company.