I is for Inns

A hand drawn map of uncertain date shows three Inns in Higher Cloughfold:
The Weavers, on Newchurch Road just east of Sion Baptist
The Red Lion on the corner of Newchurch Road and Dobbin Lane
The Victoria, on the junction of Dobbin Lane and Peel Street, adjacent to the ‘Old Rectory” (of St John the Divine, Cloughfold).
In addition Kenyon’e Brewery is marked to the west of Dobbin Lane south of Newchurch Road. It was actually just north of Bacup Road in Cloughfold.

We know from newspaper reports that the Red Lion was operating in 1852. The 1841-1871 censuses only show one Innkeeper/victualler/beer seller with the address helpfully given as ‘Cloughfold’ as is typical of these censuses. In 1861 the victualler was also a stone mason and in 1871 the beer seller also a wheelwright, both of which seem odd combinations and must have been hard work. 1881 has one Inn which from the position of the surrounding houses was probably the Weavers’ Arms. Both the Weavers’ Arms and the Red Lion are on the 1891 census. I can’t find the Victoria on the censuses. The brewery was on Bacup Road and the 1911 census has both a brewery cellar man and a brewer’s traveller listed in the Springhill area.

Inns occupied an important civic as well as social function with inquests being held in the Red Lion until the early C20. There were of course occasional scuffles, often related to the non-availability of credit, and letters to the press about the disgraceful state of drunkenness in Cloughfold in 1859.

Today only the Red Lion survives but is a busy community pub.

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