D-day - what's this about the dead woman?

Dead woman? Well there have doubtless been a few of those over the centuries, but not many have an entire area named after them.

The area around Springhill was known as Deadwenclough from at least the C14 and its use didn’t finally die out until C19. Deadwenclough was one of 16 areas which made up the old Forest of Rossendale and put to oxen farming. Manorial documents suggest that in 1609 Deadwenclough had 8 tenants and even allowing for some sub-tenanting it was scarcely well populated. Two of the eight tenants (William Heaton and John Nuttall) in 1609 are recorded as being ‘of Clough’. Interestingly, of the eight tenants, three are called Nuttall and two called Bridge, neither of which are common surnames in the area today. Interestingly, not an Ashworth...

It is thought that the name arose from ‘the clough of the dead quene’ or woman.

That leads to two obvious questions:

Where is the clough?
Tradition has it that the clough in question arises on Saunder Height (of which more later) and runs down Edge Lane (ditto), through Higher Cloughfold and onto modern Cloughfold were it enters the Irwell. Today it is known as Parrock Brook. That is quite possibly true as it is the main clough which lies entirely within Deadwenclough. It is pictured here, on a grey November day.

Who was the woman and how did she get there?
Domestic tiff? Cattle rustling? Alas, that will forever remain a mystery. But it’s fun to speculate.

(oh and there are numerous spelling variations, making it a nightmare to search for in archive catalogues)

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