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Owners of Heptonstall Manor 


       William Warren,the 2nd Earl, was granted Heptonstall Manor as past of Wakefield Manor  by Henry 1st in 1107.  Later in 1121 'ownership' was given by the Warrens to the Priory of Lewes [founded by the Earls Warren] in  order to help provide income for the Priory. They probably sub-let the land to tenants;  I've enquired of Sussex CRO whether any tenancy records of remain --without success!


        Archives record the later transference of ownership of Heptonstall Manor as follows---

                                                                 Priory of Lewes                           1121-1534                                                                                                                                                                                                              Robert Waterhouse                    1534

                                                                Anne of Cleves                             1540 [given by Henry VIIII as part of divorce settlement]

                                                                John Waterhouse[reversion]     1545

                                                                Robert Waterhouse                     1583

                                                                Edward Waterhouse                   1598

                                                                Arthur Ingram                             1609  [DDSR/30/49 Notts Archives Office]

                                                                Charles Greenwood                    1626  [DDSR/1/7/5  Notts Archive Office]

                                                                William Savile                               1643

Analysis of archives

   As in the Wadsworth section[s] I'm trying to establish which farms in the earlier leases can be matched with the named farms in the census returns. Unfortunately the leases DO NOT specify the names of the farms--apart from the 3rd leasehold which DOES specify LATHMANS farm.                                                   Census enumerators didn't follow a set, logical, route around the farms when they carried out the surveys nor did each census enumerator follow the same route as previous ones. Sometimes acreage for farms is given which can help, but not always, and acreage did vary on some farms from one census to another . I'm also trying to match any known occupants to their 'specific' farms.

 Preston/Lancashire Archives documents

amongst the Towneley Estate, Burnley [ref; DDTO A/6/1-13]


          1. a 'pinned' book/bundle entitled 'Pedigree of Mitchell family' which records the progression of transfers of ownership of the 3 leaseholds from 1577-1826. From 1771 ownership of all 3 was in possession of Richard Mitchell and eventually the' whole ' was purchased by the Towneley Hall Estate, Burnley.

           2. a collection of loose documents, mainly leases' of which some are referred to in the 'bundle' but some are NOT!


In the documents, one beginning as early as 1577, the 3 leaseholds transfers can be followed.


It’s important to remember that leaseholders were not necessarily the occupants; most properties were sub-let to others at a higher rent than the annual cost of the lease


Where they ARE different below I've 'bracketed' them on the adjacent link--''Leaseholds 1577-1826''

                                                                                                                                                                        1. The first leasehold was of TWO farms;

apart from the named leaseholders other occupants are named twice--                                                                          

           1n 1604 the occupants were James & Abraham Crabtree                                                                

           1n 1750 the occupants were Jonathon Robinson & John Brooks                                                 but there's no mention of NAMED farms.


     2. The second leasehold was ONE farm;                                                                                              apart from named leaseholders other occupants were named twice                                                                      

            In 1747, John Kershaw                                                                                                            

            In 1763, John Stansfield [previously Solomon Crabtree AND Jonathon Robertshaw shared occupation but again there's no mention of a farm name.


     3. The third leasehold was ONE farm;                                                                                                  apart from the named leaseholders other occupants were named twice                                                                            

           1n 1669, John Laycock was occupier                                                                                                  

          but from then on John Mitchell paid an annual rent, by sub-let, which was continued by various heirs through to 1695+[did he become occupant or not?]                                                                    

          In 1720, the recently deceased leaseholder William Shackleton[senior] HAD occupied the farm with John Eastwood----this farm IS named in 1720 as ‘LATHMANS’ --a name  which does not appear on maps.                                                      

[William's son. William, then grandson, John, remained on the farm and was listed in the Land Tax Assessments [see link below] thereby proving that the later Bradshaw farm, Wood Plumpton, was previously 'Lathmans'.



The archives


   The census returns of 1841-1871; the 1851 O.S. map [adjacent link] and the Widdop Farm map [MP41 at Halifax Archives] clearly show there were FOUR FARMS on the southern, HEPTONSTALL, side of Widdop Valley----- ---

        ----   'OLD HOUSE'

                  LADIES WALK                                                                       WOOD PLUMPTON

                  WORLDS END


Map MP15 [0f 1833]shows many fields consistent with all 4 farms being occupied in 1841.      

 The census of 1851 shows only 2 farms  as indicated on map MP 41 [0f 1850];'Lady Walk' of  53 acres and 'Worlds End' of 42 acres.

'Pedigree Mitchell family' bundle


At the end of this bundle an Indenture dated October 29th 1824 is mentioned specifying the names, acreage and occupants of the farms-----

     Lowmost Farm    67 acres     occupied by Thomas Hargreaves                                                                                  [Land Tax 1824 11/10]

     Second  Farm      24 acres     occupied by  Thomas Hargreaves  

                                                                           [Land Tax 1824 7/7 ½]

     Third  Farm         18 acres     occupied by  Henry Bradshaw                                                                      [Land Tax 1824 11/9 ½]

     Highmost Farm   42 acres     occupied by James Cockcroft      

                                                                          [Land Tax 1824 10/11 ½]


     Comparing this to information from the censi of 1841 and 1851 helps to 'match' a couple of the farms;

        Un-named [Old Farm?]    occupied by Wm Collinge then Mary Hellewell                                                                                                                      

       Ladies Walk   53 acres   occupied by Richard Rawsthorn                                                                                                                                          Un-named[Wood Plumpton?] occupied by Henry Bradshaw  

                                                                                                                             Worlds End    42 acres   occupied by John Cockcroft



Where was Lathe Hill Close?

Amongst the third leasehold documents is separate mention of a leasehold for one field of one and a half acres called 'Lathe Hill Close'. It is first mentioned in the 1604 lease between Edward Waterhouse and Simeon Crabtree-as originally being in possession by William Crabtree [the 2nd leasehold].


In 1636 the close is described as ''adjoining Richard Wadsworth's lands on the EAST, Simeon Crabtree's lands on the NORTH WEST and on the SOUTH parts, being in the occupation & tenure of Matthew Greenwood''.


Richard Wadsworth possessed the first leasehold of 2 farms though it isn't known whether they were next to each other or separate; looking at the 1851 map the only farm which could be to be EAST of Lathe Hill Close would have to be 'Old House' [because there's no other farm east of another] suggesting that the close was somewhere in the proximity of Ladies Walk and Wood Plumpton.


Also, for Simeon Crabtree's lands to be NORTH WEST that ALSO means 'the close' would have to be near to Ladies Walk and Wood Plumpton.


The name 'LATHE Hill Close' indicates that it might be likely for it to be relatively near to LATHMANS Farm which is why Simeon wanted it?  IF -'Lathe Hill Close' WAS just NORTH of Ladies Walk Farm, but belonged to Wood Plumpton's fields then all the directional information would make sense!? There only appears to be two fields of about one and a half acres; they both lie between Worlds End and Wood Plumpton. If you look at the adjacent link and then look at the 1851 map either one could fulfill the specifications!


This more or less fits in with the above conclusions.



Archaeological finds

Widdop Pot


Brian Howcroft and friend's more recent field-walking  explorations have been discovering lots of  artefacts on the shoreline of the reservoir just to the north of 'Old House'. The adjacent link 'Archaeological finds' [already on Medieval page] itemises the finds on both North and South shores-as far back as Mesolithic and Neolithic eras with the majority Post-medieval.

The adjacent WYHER report was carried out on the 'Old House' site in 1990 and confirms dating from medieval era onwards


  Brian has also identified the remains of the ancient, medieval, pack-horse trackway only visible at very low water levels. It is entirely accurate with it's position on the 1851 O.S. map. This would have been the Widdop to Worsthorne route for the early wool-merchants.  [thanks to Brian for the photos]


This coin found at 'Old House' site 2013 has now been identified as a Charles 1st, silver six-pence;



History of


 'Old House'

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