52 residents # 41 William Spence

Or residents number 41, 42 and 43; William Spence father, son and grandson. All farmed Springhill Farm, together for 80 years or so.

William Spence I was born in Slaidburn in 1862. By 1891 he was farming at Chapel Hill. His father, also William, (b ~ 1818) was also living in Cloughfold in 1881, occupation 'Chapel Keeper'.

William I moved from Chapel Hill Farm to Springhill Farm between 1901 and 1911. This was virtually next door and the fields were probably connecting. He died in 1914 and is buried in Sion Baptist graveyard, less than 10 yards from his old front door.

gravestone 7 Spence 1 thumbnail


After William I's death, the farm passed to his son, William II. William bought the farm in 1923 when the estate was broken up and sold. In 1924 he sold land at Marl Pits and later in the 1920s The Paddock or New Cross Meadow was sold to Rawtenstall Corporation. It remains waste land and has so far resisted various attempts to purchase for building, probably because of poor access and poor drainage.

William II married Annie in 1926, having three children, William III, Harry and Betty. The three children lived in the farm until the 1970s when Betty married (in 1975) and William III eloped with a local resident to live in a caravan near Myrtle Earth. William II died in 1979.
farm lands 1923 200 land valuation springhill farm plan thumbnail

The northern part of the Croft was sold in 1986 and the rest of the land plus the farm buildings in 1988 for development. Springhill Farm itself remained with the Spence family until the death of Harry in 2007.