In memoriam

In memoriam:
Harry Dawson
James Driver
George Caygill
Harold Hart
Joseph Taylor

Springhill residents or neighbours who died in WW1. Rest in peace, gentlemen.



peace poppy

Census snippits

In my recent blog post for the Society for One-Place Studies I have opined on there being two ways to conduct an OPS - the organised and the random - and confessed that my approach was rather more random than I would like to admit. As part of putting this right I have been revisiting the 1861 census and extracting the immediate area around Springhill more fully.

The vagueness of enumerators in recording addresses has always been a bane for researchers and the chap who did the 1961 was no exception:

cloughfold addresses


Tracking down exactly where in Cloughfold is made more difficult by the non-production of a tithe map. Thankfully much of the village was owned by Springhill residents Charles and Mary Ann Patrick and their wills and various surrenders help enormously.

He was equally vague in recording place of birth, though this of course might be limited by the information given to him:


place of birth Australia

Then, glory be, one resident gave the place of birth down to the individual farm…

place of birth farms

'Myrtle Earth', aka 'Muck Earth' was the next farm to the west of Physic Hall with Saunder Height being the next to the north. Just for good measure Muck Earth, the next farm, is enumerated in the same manner.

Now why couldn't everybody have done that!

As an aside, it seems we may have had gay marriage for longer than we thought…

gay marriage?

A project for sometimes to see whose wife Betty Andrews really was.

Founding families

The Society for One Place Studies holds a shared endeavour every year in which members work in parallel on the same topic and share ideas and resources in doing so. The theme for 2019 is 'founding families' i.e. those families which were instrumental in establishing your place or its early development.

For Springhill the obvious place to start is with the tenants of Deadwenclough when the area emerged from Forest law in 1507. These were Jurden Brugge, James Crawsha, William Holt and Thomas Crawsha, of whom more later.

However these men weren't the first to live in the area and a document of 1295/6 (cited in Shaw, Royal Forests of Lancashire) lists the vaccary keepers for Rossendale as Henry of the Estock, John of Pycoppe, John son of Odousa, Robert of Couhoppe, Richard of Dunnockshae, Richard of Bencrofte, Thomas of the Estok, Henry of Houghton, William of Dynley, Alan of Rocliff and William son of Andrew.

Not much to go on there then.

Of these, Henry of the Estock is named as 'Sub-Insturator for Rossendale'. He was also the tenant of the pinfold in Dedwenclough (one of two in Rossendale) in 1324. Elsewhere he is recorded as Henry of the Stocks so his name may indicate his profession rather than his origin.

Pycoppe may be related to Pickup Bank on the moor east of Blackburn. Couhoppe is Cowpe, now a village south of the Irwell near what is now Waterfoot. Dunnockshaw is between Rossendale and Burnley, Houghton near Bolton and Rocliff not far from Rochdale. Bencrofte and Dynley I don't know.

I don't think I've much chance with john son of Odousa and even less with William son of Andrew.

By 1305/6 the vaccary tenants were William on Dynlay, John of Cleges, Richard of Dunnockschae, Henry of the Stocks, Alan Franceys, Haney of Berdeshul, Thomas of the Stockes, Henry of Dynley, William Cronschage, Henry of the Reved and Robert of Couhope.

There had obviously been a degree of movement in the 7 years between the two lists, with five of the tenants being the same and six being new. Henry of Dynley and William of Dynley may have been brothers, or father and son, or…

We will remember them

Springhill, like many areas, saw man serve in WW1 and some of these men did not return:
Harry Dawson,
James Driver
Harry Hart
Thomas Harvey
Wellington Pilkington
William Plaice
Joseph Taylor
Fred Taylor

Harry Hart was the brother of John Hart who bought the Springhill estate in 1923.

In 2018, to mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice, Rossendale, in common with many other areas, ran a scheme whereby poppies could be affixed to lampposts and dedicated to individuals or groups of servicemen. A number of these were fixed in Springhill or vicinity.



The following poppies are in the wider Higher Cloughfold area :

In memory of Jim Barnes, sponsored by Pam Barnes
Sponsored by Sion Baptist x3
Sponsored by Ruth Spencer, in memory of James Spencer
Sponsored by Andrew, Joan and Fudge Ainsworth. Dedicated to the soldiers, dogs and horses who never came home.
In memory of George and Nellie Livesey, sponsored by Steven Ireland
Sponsored by Jane Yates, dedicated to Melvyn Poole
In memory of Roger Jones, battle of the Somme, sponsored by Clarence Jones machinery Co Ltd
Sponsored by the Dempsy family, lest we forget
Sponsored by Steve and Sandy Kerfoot, in memory of Richard Henry Kerfoot

Whatever the weather


Springhill, like many places in the UK, is currently experiencing sub-zero temperatures and a few inches of snow and, whilst not particularly severe compared with other places, has left one resident at least somewhat exposed.

Mac 670


Thankfully severe weather events are relatively rare in the Springhill area but a flood in 1911 caused a lot of damage. As ever the local press report it graphically, as this extract from the Rossendale Echo demonstrates:
'Tremendous storms were experienced in Rossendale on Saturday and Sunday and it is almost miraculous that there was no loss of life. Ominous clouds began to gather about 7 o’clock on Saturday night and soon after rain came down in torrents and soon the streets were like rivers. On Sunday noon there was another great storm.
...
In Cloughfold district a great amount of damage was done and on Saturday evening an alarming incident occurred. It was rumoured that a man had been killed on the railway but it appears that the driver of the train from Bacup to Manchester due at Cloughfold at 10.40 pm, FELT THE TRAIN JUMP near Highfield crossing and a subsequent inspection of the line proved that a large quantity of debris had been brought down the line by the storm. What the consequences would have been had the train left the track is too fearful to contemplate. On Sunday the storm was again very severe at Cloughfold. At the top of Hareholme Lane a goit burst and the water ran down the street past the corner of what was formerly the Friendship Inn into Bacup Road like a raging torrent carrying all before it. People in the street barricaded their doors as well as they could but in many cases it ran in at one door and out the other and both husbands and wives had a very busy time with brooms endeavouring to keep it out... soon Bacup Road was like a river and pedestrians had much difficulty getting across...at Higher Cloughfold tons of debris was brought from the hill and deposited near Sion Baptist Chapel.... '
(Rossendale Echo 17 May 1911)

The ‘tons of debris’ is shown in this photograph of Edge Lane:

flood edge lane