C is for Compston, Cloughfold and Colliery

C is for... well lots of things actually.

C is for Compston, Dr Edmund Leach. Born in Settle, N Yorks, the family eventually settled in Rossendale where his father Samuel was alderman and Mayor of the former borough of Rawtenstall. He is commemorated by a stone cross on the top of the hillside between Dunnockshaw and Water, approx 3 miles from Springhill - directly uphill, beware of bog.

Edmund studied medicine in Manchester graduating in 1893 before settling in general practice. He added work with St John’s Ambulance and further training in homeopathy in 1894. He took further study in the latter in America in 1924 according to his obituary. In 1915 he was appointed Medical Director of the Auxiliary Military Hospital in Newhall Hey, Rawtentsall (another fine building demolished for road widening). It is said that under his leadership the hospital did not lose a single patient.

He bought a number of the Springhill properties in 1923 and shortly after proceeded to subdivide Springhill House further and to develop some of the outbuildings as separate properties. He sold one of these, Sunset View, to Harry Taylor and wrote the receipt for the purchase price on a medical invoice. He also made it out for the wrong house...

C is for Cloughfold, one of the many names by which the area has been known over the years. The land was known originally as Deadwenclough (of which more later) and a parcel of land known as ‘the Fold’ said to have been sold in the mid C16. It is unknown when the ‘Clough’ and the ‘Fold’ bits of the names became merged but it was known as such by c1800.

Originally ‘Cloughfold’ referred to the village on the Newchurch Road, the higher of the two roughly parallel roads along the valley. The settlement at the bottom road didn’t exist at that time and on development over the early C19 was originally known as Waterside. A street sign to that effect still exists on a house side there. Gradually the upper settlement became known as ‘Higher Cloughfold’ and the lower one as ‘Cloughfold’, the names by which they are known today.

C is for Colliery, the means by which the builder of Springhill House made his money. At their peak there were 18 collieries in Rossendale owned by Ashworth Hargreaves Ltd, and a further group in Baxenden, Accrington. In the 1860s a dispute arose between the partners which resulted ultimately in Chancery proceedings.

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