A chronological list of dates
Section One : Pre 1900
|Huncoat is a village on the rural eastern fringe of Accrington in the Borough of Hyndburn. It lies nearly 600 feet above sea level on the slopes of the Pennines below the 1,340 feet high Great Hameldon. Geographically, the parish of about 1¾ square miles straddles the A56 but with most of the 1,500 houses being situated in the central square mile on the lower western side of the road. The houses encircle a protected green space of playing fields and woodland totalling roughly 25 hectares. To the other side of the A56 the parish stretches for a mile onto higher inhospitable moors between The Coppice, Moleside and Great Hameldon with only a couple of hill farms in evidence. The political ward of Huncoat stretches a bit further and takes in parts of eastern Accrington.
|Huncoat originated as a small settlement by a cross roads which had neither the benefit of a watercourse or church. Therefore, until the 16th Century the villages fortunes, identity and early history were closely associated with the nearby Manor of Altham just over a mile to the north but the canal and then the railway brought industrialisation causing Huncoat to grow and gradually overtake Altham in size and importance.
|Geologically, Huncoat is “Millstone Grit” country so called because it was used for millstones before modern machinery took over. On top are various layers of coal measures, shales, slates, mudstones, sandstones, and fireclay with ganister. The coal has been mined and a particular sandstone “Old Lawrence Rock” quarried and from which the spoil dominates Huncoat’s southern skyline. Also examples have been found of glacial drift from the Lake District. When the last ice age ended Pre-Huncoat stood on the shores of a melt-water Lake Altham!
|Spelling of the name has varied from “Hunnicot to Hunnicotes, Huntcotes, Hunecote and Huncote”. “Cote” is a word widely used in Northern England relating to a small house or shelter for mammals or birds, especially pigeons. “Hun” could have been a personal name or a place where honey is stored. “Cote” could have originated from the Anglo-Saxon term “cottar” a lowly farmer mid way in the mediaeval social scale of yeomen between serfs who were the lowest and velleins who were tenant farmers.
|Until the Romans came Pre-Lancashire was likely to have been home to ancient Celtic tribes known as the Brigantes but they appear to have left no legacy in Huncoat.
|When the Anglo-Saxons came to Britain in the second half of the Fifth Century Pre-Lancashire was still quite a sparsely populated wild area of peat moss and woodland. The climate was probably warmer than today and the dense woodland sheltered deer, wild boar and smaller animals feeding on the shrubs and grasses that grew in natural clearings and in the woodland margins by the rivers whilst wildfowl inhabited the wetlands.
|A settlement at Altham/Huncoat seems most likely to have been established during Anglo-Saxon times when East Lancashire formed part of Northumbria under King Oswald.
|The earliest mention in written history of anywhere local was in 798, when, (according to the Anglo Saxon Chronicle) “during Lent on 2 April a great battle was fought on Billington Moor near Whalley where, Alric son of Heardbert was slain and many more with him.” The victor was Northumbrian King Eardwulf. The vanquished were conspirators led by Wada who had murdered Eardwulf’s father King Aethelred I.
|Whalley was already established as the centre of a large ecclesiastic Parish encompassing 45 townships including Accrington.
|After decades of Viking raids the Danes eventually conquered Northumbria and Mercia but not Wessex. Thus the Altham/Huncoat area fell under the Danelaw.
|Alfred the Great, Anglo-Saxon King of Wessex regained Mercia and reached an accord with the Vikings over the boundaries of the Danelaw.
|Edward the Elder, King of Wessex and son of Alfred the Great took control of the area south of the River Ribble and attached it to his Midlands Kingdom of Mercia. Ecclesiastically this now brought Altham and Huncoat under the Diocese of Lichfield.
|On Edward’s death his son Athalstan succeeded and in 927 he was proclaimed King of England.
|The Anglo-Saxon King Ethelred the Unready fearing a resurgence by the Vikings attacked some of their lands in the Danelaw and ordered the massacre of all Danish men in England.
|Swift retribution followed in the form of coastal raids by the Viking King Svein Forkbeard and eventually a full invasion conquered all England. However, Svein soon died and his son Canute being unprepared was expelled and Ethelred resumed the throne.
|Canute returned and was victorious at the Battle of Ashingdon (Ashingdown) over Edmund 'Ironside', Ethelred's eldest son and successor. Canute and Edmund drew up the Treaty of Olney, which allotted The Danelaw and the English midlands to Canute, while Edmund retained control of southern England. This was almost a repeat of what had happened between King Alfred the Great of Wessex and the Vikings in the ninth century. Edmund died shortly after this treaty and so Canute found himself the first Viking king of all England.
|On Canute’s death his two sons reigned in succession but both soon died without heirs. So the crown then reverted to the Anglo-Saxon line in Ethelred’s son Edward the Confessor.
|The local Anglo-Saxon Thane was Leofwine who presided over a domain that included Huncoat and Accrington from a riverside manor house at Altham (originally spelt Elvetham). The manor house stood on high ground in a strategic position near a ford across the River Calder.
Oxen were employed to plough the land for growing wheat, rye and barley, cattle were pastured and the rivers provided good fishing. The land was unenclosed except for dwellings which clustered together in small ‘folds’ for protection from raiders and wild animals such as boar and wolf. Wains or wagons were used for transport and people were allowed “waingate” right of way with corn to the mill and to return with flour, hence the name of the lane out of Accrington being Millgate.
Packhorses were heavily used in the transport of goods and minerals in England from medieval times up until the coming of the first turnpike roads and canals in the 18th century. Many of the routes crossed the Pennine Hills between Lancashire and Yorkshire, enabling salt, limestone, coal, fleeces and woven cloth such as wool and linen to be transported. Hence historic routes are now called packhorse trails.
The climate was probably warmer than today and the dense woodland sheltered deer, wild boar and smaller animals feeding on the shrubs and grasses that grew in natural clearings and in the woodland margins by the rivers whilst wildfowl inhabited the wetlands.
Following the Norman conquest King William I divided up the country between his Barons and Roger of Poitou received the lands between the Ribble and the Mersey. Under him two Norman knights De Busli and De Greslet governed Blackburnshire which included Altham and Huncoat but Leofwine was permitted to retain some control of these estates in return for homage to the new regime.
Under the 'feudal system' a tenant held land from a lord in return for certain services. The arrangement when military service was not involved was called socage. (If military service was part of the deal it was known as knight service until it was merged by statute in 1660 with socage). In England all land ultimately belonged to the king. Land held directly from the king was held by tenants-in-chief. These might have their own tenants who might in turn have their own tenants, and so on, in theory indefinitely. The tenant at the bottom of this feudal ladder, directly exploiting an estate, was said to hold it in demesne; any lords who stood on the ladder between this tenant and the king were called mesne lords and held the estate in service.
The Domesday Book recorded that “King Edward had had two carucates of land at Hunnicot” in Blackburnshire. Only three other places in the Blackburn Hundred (North East Lancashire) are mentioned in Domesday and these did not include Altham.
The royal hunting grounds of the Forest of Blackburnshire covered Accrington, Pendle, Trawden and Rossendale. The Blackburn Hundred (Anglo Saxon) or Wapentake (Danelaw) meant the same thing, an administrative division.
Two carucates would be about 250 acres or approximately the same size as the area now bounded by Burnley Road, Bolton Avenue, Enfield Road, Station Road, Lowergate and Highergate. A carucate was the amount regarded as ploughable by a team of 8 oxen in a season and was supposed to be enough land to support one family. A smaller land holding was known as an oxgang or bovate being the amount ploughable by one ox in a season, being just over 15 acres.
The structure of the open fields system in Britain had been influenced by the introduction of the caruca a large wheeled plough, developed by the Gauls, which was much more capable of dealing with heavy English clay soils than the lightweight Roman version. The caruca required a larger team of oxen to pull it —as many as eight on heavy soils — and was awkward to turn around, so very long strips were ideal. Most peasants could not afford a whole team of oxen, just one or two, so maintaining an ox team had to be a joint enterprise. The medieval pattern of narrow fields can still be seen on the slopes above Spout House woodland.
|Roger de Poitou’s possessions and influence waned after his implication in split loyalties between the King of England and the King of France. He was finally disgraced by supporting a failed coup for the English throne by King Henry’s brother Robert Curthose.
|King Henry I granted Blackburnshire to Robert de Lacy 2nd Baron of Pontefract who built Clitheroe Castle. He was the son of Ilbert de Lacy 1st Baron of Pontefract.
|Henry de Lacy, 4th Baron of Pontefract, 2nd Lord of Bowland, granted by Charter the manors of Altham, Accrington and Clayton to Hugh the Saxon son of Leofwine.
|Henry de Lacy promised to dedicate an abbey to the Virgin Mary should he survive a serious illness. He recovered and agreed to give the Abbot of Fountains Abbey land at Barnoldswick to found a daughter abbey. Abbot Alexander with twelve Cistercian monks from Fountains went to Barnoldswick and after demolishing the existing church attempted to build the abbey on Henry de Lacy's land. They stayed for six years but found the place inhospitable. Abbot Alexander set about finding a more suitable place for the abbey and chose a site on the banks of the River Aire at Kirkstall near Leeds.
|Hugh the Saxon founded Altham church. Originally dedicated to St Mary it later became St James’s.
|The Cistercian abbey at Barnoldswick was relegated to a Grange (a farm run by lay brothers) when the monks founded a new Abbey at Kirkstall, Leeds.
|During the reign of Stephen there was civil war with Scotland and to ensure his allegiance Henry de Lacy granted a charter confirming Hugh the Saxon son of Leofwine legal possession of the estates of Elvetham, Clayton, Akerington, Bylington and the monastery of Elevetham. Such monastery could only have been a small monastic cell serving the ford across the river Calder.
|The County of “Lancashire” had come to be recognised if only to distinguish it from Northumberland in the “sheriff’s accounts of the shire”.
|Henry’s son Robert de Lacy detached the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Accrington and Huncoat from Altham in favour of Kirkstall Abbey. Thus began a long standing dispute by the Saxons of Altham over the status of their church and ill treatment lasting 80 years. Such was the bad feeling that three monks were murdered in Accrington and their “Grange” burnt down.
|Roger, the last Dean of Whalley handed over his church to John de Lacy in exchange for a life pension and de Lacy placed Peter de Cestria into the living who then made claim to Altham and thus Huncoat.
|Hugh the Saxon’s eldest son William inherited the manor and took the name de Altham. The younger brother Edward de Billington inherited rights to various lands including Huncoat and it was one of his descendants William who in residing at Huncoat acquired the name de Huncoat. Ellis de Pleasington was recorded as holding two oxgangs.
|Huncoat is said to have been listed as one of 57 “Manors of Lancashire held as a demesne”. Demesne meaning land retained by the lord of the manor for his personal use. Huncoat is likely in those days to have been regarded as just a farm rather than a hamlet or village.
|Peter de Cestria, rector of Whalley challenged the status of Altham parish church claiming it was merely a dependant chapelry of Whalley. The Pope delegated powers in respect of this dispute to the Prior of St Frideswide, Oxford ( which became Christ Church Cathedral in the reign of Henry VIII). The Prior decided in favour of Whalley so Altham lost its rights as a parish church not to be regained until the 19th century.
|The monks of Kirkstall who still had financial interests in the lands at Huncoat defined a farmland boundary (then a vaccary or assart) at Wormley Clough (Warm Leaf), a small stream on the north side of the Coppice. “The pointed stone in Fernihalgh” was probably a 13th Century boundary marker, (see 1499 and 1844). Outside these vaccaries the countryside remained uncultivated hunting lands.
|Rights to use of land in Huncoat was the subject of dispute between Richard de Altham, the Abbot of Kirkstall and Peter de Cestria rector of Whalley. On 18th June Richard was obliged to surrender his claim to rights.
|William de Altham settled the long standing dispute with Kirkstall over Accrington and Huncoat rights by renouncing the claim in return for 80 marks of silver.
|Kirkstall Abbey got into financial difficulty and relinquished their Accrington and Huncoat estates to the de Lacy family on leasehold.
|After Peter de Cestria died Henry de Lacy granted Whalley to the monks of Stanlow Abbey against which William de Altham again disputed that Altham was a church not a chapel. A protracted legal wrangle ended in the Court of Arches on 20th October when William lost his case.
|William de Huncoat was living in Huncoat Hall and the site on the hillside above the Griffin’s Head is possibly the earliest still surviving of any building in the village.
|Simon de Altham continued to dispute the Altham church matter and managed to secure a settlement of £20 plus £300 costs in return for “resigning any rights he may have had!”
|The Halmot Court records of Accrington indicate that Huncoat tenants farmed 309 acres and paid an annual rent of around £5 to the de Lacy’s on the Feast of St Giles (1st Sept).
|John de Shuttleworth and John de Clayton were recorded as being granted to be free tenants of one oxgang each.
|Since 1249 the lands around the English/Scottish border known as the “Marches” or “Debateable Lands” had suffered deprivation and oppression due to frequent battles between the two nations so were fertile ground for bandits and raiders such as the “Reivers” who exploited the situation. Following the victory of Robert the Bruce of Scotland at the Battle of Bannockburn in June 1314 North Lancashire was repeatedly raided and lawless times ensued. The “Great Raid of 1322” laid the county waste as far south as Chorley and King Edward II who had retreated to Rievaulx after a failed campaign into Scotland had to flee for his life. Subsequently his son Edward III sued for peace and signed the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton on 17th March 1328 which recognised Bruce as King of Scotland and in defining the border between the two countries gradually restored order in Lancashire. However, it was nearly another 400 years before true peace came to the borders with the Union of Scotland with England under King James.
|John de Huncoat exchanged Huncoat Hall for a similar possession in Hapton belonging to a William de Birtwistle. Thus the family de Huncoat disappear from this history and the Birtwistles’ start 426 years of association with the village.
|The de Lacy estates which had passed through the marriage of Alice to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster were forfeited to the Crown when the Earl was declared a rebel and executed. Consequently the Abbott of Kirkstall had temporary difficulty in obtaining the annual revenue.
|Thomas’s brother Henry who had not been involved in the rebellion gradually recovered the de Lacy estates for the Duchy of Lancaster.
|Lancashire gained special powers delegated by the Crown and became known as the County Palatine.
|Brown Moor Farm known to have existed. A model of the farm was made by Albert Blackburn in his back garden in Lynwood Avenue. His bungalow was named after the farm with the original mill stone placed in the front garden.
|The land belonging to the Duke of Lancaster including Huncoat passed to his son who became King Henry IV and thus remained a royal possession until the Civil War in 1649.
|A Richard of Hill House was named in documented records (fined by the Court for chasing sheep).
|Farming was becoming more important than hunting leading to deforestation.
|Brown Moor Farm named in records as owned by Lettice, wife of Nicholas Towneley (see 1948).
|There is evidence that Hillock Farm existed in "Tudor" times but originally called "Fernihalgh Vaccary." Vachery meant enclosure for cows. (See also 1250 and 1844).
|King Henry VII appointed a Commission to grant out forests to copyholders which led to unprecedented development of lands for agriculture, mining and quarrying. (But see 1602).
|Huncoat had its own Local Constable to uphold the law.
|Oliver Birtwistle of Huncoat Hall died and his son Richard then aged 40 took over the Hall.
|The parish church at Altham was rebuilt but retaining some of the original stone. There remains a greater range and variety of Norman work at Altham than any other church in Lancashire.
|Eight yeomen from the village prosecuted John and Thomas Riley for trespass on Huncoat Moor but gained no satisfaction in court.
|During the reign of King Henry VIII Huncoat came under the newly formed Diocese of Chester.
|Matthew Jackson and the wife of Oliver Birtwistle held land according to the Subsidy Rolls (records of taxation in England made between the 12th and 17th centuries).
|Richard Birtwistle and Anne his mother exchanged some lands with Sir Richard Towneley.
|Records show that Huncoat had a pinfold enclosure where stray cattle and sheep were placed. Also that people were being fastened in the village stocks for wrong doings. (Also see 1722).
|The first recorded enclosure of land in Huncoat Lane by Richard Birtwistle of Huncoat Hall was disputed in the Halmot Court (Local Government of Accrington). This may indicate that Old Hall Farm was in existence there then.
|Kirkstall Abbey near Leeds was closed under the Dissolution of the Monastries and surrendered to King Henry VIII’s commissioners on 22nd November.
|George Birtwisle, Christopher Jackson and the widow of Nicholas Grimshaw held land according to the Subsidy Rolls.
|By this time another Oliver Birtwistle (son of Richard 1509) was living in Huncoat Hall.
|A right of way for the trade of corn and flour between Huncoat and Accrington was contested before the Halmot Court by Oliver Birtwistle but he was only partially successful. However, this implies that a flourishing corn trade must have existed at the time. (Also see 1952).
|Population of the area increasing with more and more land being enclosed and cultivated. These intakes were almost all held as copyholds with annual dues payable to the manor. It was a relatively peaceful era when yeomen tended crops and reared livestock for sale at market and packhorses carried a trade of lime and coal.
|Both Lower and Higher Brown Birks named in records.
|A coat of arms was granted to Oliver Birtwistle of Huncoat Hall.
It was a “Sable a cheveron ermine between three weasels proper.”
|The original Hill House in Towngate was built in the Tudor times of the mid 16th Century. Towngate was the central area of Highergate and Lowergate. The word gata is Danish (gate in Anglo Saxon) and means street. Ancient packhorse routes formed a crossroads at Towngate. One designated as a “Kings Highway” from Clitheroe coming via Altham to Haslingden and the other (according to the Jubilee Souvenir Book of Accrington Corporation) from Accrington to Burnley via Penny House, Millgate and Cleggs Lane. However, on maps this route is very unclear. No tracks were shown anywhere near the direct route eventually taken by the Burnley Road Turnpike, only “Low House” on Laneside and “Mill Road to Huncoat” crossing the fields to Within Grove which subsequently became the cemetery. Just how the route got from Old Accrington to Penny House and from Within Grove across Spout House Clough to Cleggs Lane is a mystery? Another ancient route came from Church Kirk over Whinney Hill to connect with the Kings Highway at Altham Lane. Packhorse routes tended to keep to high ground to avoid the risk of ambush in forests and marshes near rivers.
|Oliver’s son James had married Agnes daughter and heir of George Ormerod.
|Huncoat was shown on Christopher Saxton's map of Lancashire.
|The date put on the oldest surviving stonework of Huncoat Hall.
|There is evidence that there was extensive lead mining on the slopes of Hameldon.
|The boundaries of "Huncoat" began to be properly defined, a total of more than 640 acres.
The population seems to have been about 100.
|James Birtwistle died leaving his son John to inherit. John had married Dorothy sister of Thomas Worthington of Blainscough.
The population seems to have been about 100.
|An Edmund Townley of Greenfield held half a messuage (farm).
|Early in the 17th Century the first beer house the Black Bull, was established on the Kings Highway.
|John Birtwisle, John Jackson and Janet his mother held land according to the Subsidy Rolls.
|Huncoat Hall featured on William Smith’s map of Lancastria.
|The new King James I disputed the legality of the 1507 tenures of copyholders and landowners because he wanted to raise revenue. To avoid the risk of losing their homesteads and lands the owners agreed to pay a levy on them. (Also see 1618).
|Slate Pits Farm built by the Hargreaves family below Moleside.
|A farm existed on top of Whinney Hill called Hard Farm, 'Hard' meaning head or top of.
|A total of 12 tenements in Huncoat were recorded as yielding copyhold rents. (See 1550).
|John Birtwistle died and his son Thomas then aged 19 became the incumbent of Huncoat Hall.
|A Decree of Confirmation was granted by the Crown on 4th June recognising the tenures of copyholders and landowners but this did not resolve the dispute. (See 1662).
|Thomas Birtwisle and his mother (both convicted recusants) and Christopher Jackson held land according to the Subsidy Rolls.
|A John Ormerod paid a fine of £10 for refusing a knighthood.
|Parliamentarian forces won the Battle of Whinney Hill on 2nd December (the actual battle site was Henfield or Enfield Moor - probably now quarried away).
|Lancashire was predominantly a Parliamentarian area but Thomas Birtwistle of Huncoat Hall had his estate sequestered for being a Royalist and religious non-conformist although he claimed never to have born arms against the Parliamentarians.
|Richard Birtwistle regained the estates on the restoration of Charles II but suffered penalties for recusancy (non-conformism).
|The 100 years from 1650 to 1750 was the period of great rebuilding in stone throughout England because timber, previously the main stay of all but the grandest houses was in short supply. Hill House seems to have been re-constructed in stone around this time so is probably the oldest surviving intact building in the village.
|Brown Moor Farm was occupied by the Bentley family. They were shoe makers and their descendants carried on the craft there for two centuries.
In the 17th century, farming was still the chief occupation but there were other domestic industries and crafts. Even at this time the textile industry, then mainly wool and linen, played a part in the economic life. So farmers had dual roles as millers, masons, blacksmiths, butcher, shoemakers, clothiers or weavers.
|An Act of Confirmation was passed by Parliament properly legalising copyholds etc.
|37 hearths were declared in Huncoat for the "Hearth Tax" 7 of which were in Thomas Birtwistle’s Huncoat Hall and 4 in the next largest house. The tax was abolished in 1689 but the “Window Tax” began in 1695.
|Altham Hall ceased to be the manorial seat when Mary Banastre married Ambrose Walton of Marsden Hall.
|Cotton processing had taken off in Lancashire and John Hacking of Huncoat perfected one of the earliest cotton carding machines. He and his wife lived in a cottage in Town Gate and are buried in Altham church yard. The east window of the church commemorates several members of the Hacking family. Handloom weaving was still a cottage industry in the area up to this time.
|The Huncoat Stocks are inscribed with this date but were clearly in use much earlier. (See 1532).
|When ecclesiastical parish boundaries were determined Huncoat formed a chapelry of Church Kirk. Previously it had been a chapelry in Whalley Ancient Parish but no church or chapel building existed in Huncoat. Consequently, numerable processions had to be made over Whinney Hill for christenings, weddings and funerals to take place at St James’s (see 1882).
|Huncoat Hall reconstructed.
|Middle Hill House built.
|Stone Hey Barn and probably Stone Hey Cottage built.
|John Birtwistle sold Huncoat Hall and estates ending a 426 years family connection.
|It is more than likely that Grime Row cottages were erected in the 17th or 18th Century. Greenwood’s map of 1818 implies something was there near Brown Moor Farm. The “Grime” family are reputed to have founded a candle factory on the site.
|Existence of Broad Meadows Farm recorded on a datestone.
|Though turnpikes had started around the turn of the 18th Century none were built near Huncoat until the Blackburn to Burnley turnpike came through Altham. Turnpikes were trusts set up by Parliament to improve roads and were empowered to charge tolls on users (see 1789).
|The date on the old barn of Woodnook Farm a building adjoining the Whitakers Arms.
|The date on the famous Huncoat Old Hall Farm tablet preserved in the wall of the Peace Garden on the corner of Burnley Lane. It bears the names of Daniel and Dorothy Barroclough and the Arms of the Birtwistle’s because as Oliver Birtwistle’s daughter she was the last of the family line. The datestone was originally over the doorway of the farmhouse situated on the crest of Highergate Road below Huncoat Bank and its farmland is now the Old Hall Drive and Sutton Crescent housing estate.
|The population of Huncoat thought to have been around 200.
|The present day buildings of the Black Bull and the White Lion date from around this time. Two slaughter houses once existed in the village, one next to the Black Bull and the other in Burnley Lane.
|The Industrial Revolution was well under way and Lancashire's cotton industry developing but it was slow to reach Huncoat where handloom weaving was still prominent.
|Richard Fort of Stone Hey in partnership with a Mr. Taylor and a Mr.Bury founded the Broad Oak Calico Print Works in Accrington. His father was also called Richard Fort but resided in Altham and was a leading member of the Oakenshaw Baptist community. It was he who facilitated the building of the Meeting House and Macpelah burial-ground on land he owned next to the Corn Mill on Hyndburn Road, Accrington. The grandfather was a Lawrence Fort who had lived at Hard Farm.
|Huncoat had for hundreds of years been in the constituency of Blackburnshire Hundred a sub-division of the County of Lancashire. It sent MP’s like Lord Stanley of Knowsley Hall and 13th Earl of Derby to the House of Commons. Also John Blackburne an Independent who supported William Pitt. These were the days of the “Rotten Boroughs” and “Pocket Boroughs” where only the landed gentry and privileged townsmen appointed MP’s made up of Knights and Burgesses (see 1832).
|The two chief contributors to the land tax were a Mrs Chadwick and Messrs Brewer and Carus.
|For hundreds of years the Kings Highway through Huncoat coming over from Rossendale past Mary's Holy Well on the slopes of Great Hameldon had been an important road but it declined in the 18th and 19th centuries with the coming of the turnpikes. These were quicker and easier to build than canals. In 1789 the new Manchester to Whalley Road was authorised by Act of Parliament which came through Accrington. It was the last road built by John Metcalf the blind road-maker of Knaresborough. It took 2½ years to complete and cost £40 over the budget of £500 (see 1827).
|The Georgian Highbrake Hall was built by Richard Fort (see 1815).
|Up until the end of the 18thC places like Mary's Holy Well were places of pilgrimage and fairs on the first Sunday in May (see both 1844 and the miscellaneous facts section).
|Before the railway was built James Allen of Spout House Farm ran local stagecoaches, the horses for which were changed at the Walton Arms and brought up to be stabled near Burnley Road. The route from the farm to the stocks became known as Clegg's Lane because the Clegg family lived in Spout House Farm for over 100 years.
|Population of Huncoat recorded to be 480.
|Around this time Baptists started to meet in a small cottage behind the White Lion.
|The Leeds Liverpool canal reached Huncoat from the east but only went as far as Henfield (Enfield) at Clayton-le-Moors. The link to Blackburn was only made in 1810 and it was not until works west of Blackburn were completed that the full east west transit could be made. The canal was officially opened on 19th October 1816 and at 103¾ miles it was the longest built in Britain. The first sections were built between 1770 and 1777 but then economic depression delayed things. The original budget for its construction had been £260,000 but by the time work was completed it had cost £1,200,000. Houghton Barn in Altham Lane was the canal packet station for passengers to Huncoat. Only a short stretch of the canal (350 metres east from Shorten Brook) actually falls within the parish boundary. The original route authorised by Parliament in 1770 would have by-passed Huncoat entirely following a more westerly and northerly route closer to the Ribble touching Copster Green, Langho and Billington before rounding the northern shoulder of Whalley Nab. An 80ft high aqueduct over the Calder near to Moreton Farm would have brought the canal through Read and Padiham. In October 1772 work actually started on the foundations of the Whalley aqueduct but work was halted within 2 years because construction costs for the entire canal were proving excessive. In 1793 Parliament approved a change of route via the towns of Blackburn, Accrington and Burnley. But for this the canal would have come no nearer to Huncoat than 2 miles! The industrial face of the area might have been entirely different.
|The Baptists extended their building with another cottage next door to act as a meeting house.
|The Baptists extended again next door with a much bigger chapel and the access alongside the White Lion became known as Chapel Street. A major figure in these buildings was a one Lawrence Rawcliffe, a Huncoat man who was also for a time the landlord of the Walton Arms.
|Population of Huncoat recorded to be 514.
|The area had a very severe winter in 1813/14 when the canal froze and again about 20 years later Huncoat was cut off by deep snow falls.
|Highbrake Hall had become an elite boarding school run by the Rev William Wood, vicar of Altham.
|Greenwood’s map of Lancashire showed a system of roads in Huncote with most buildings clustered around Towngate. He named High Break, Branbirks and Windy Harbour. Also Higher Luishaw on the Kings Highway over Moleside Moor and Carr near High Riley. The north-south road was clearly the Kings Highway whilst the eastern road ran along Burnley Lane. To the west Enfield Road went over Whinney Hill to Enfield passing close to Holker House and Hard Farms.
A track once led from Lower Brown Birks into Lower Huncoat (between the future sites of the Redac Brickworks and Perseverance Mill), across Clough Brook and down the fields to Rabbit Hole. This track also connected with Clough Bank Bridge and the canal swing bridge at Lower Clough Bank.
|Population of Huncoat recorded to be 629.
|Methodist services began to be held in various cottages but were not very successful so were discontinued within 12 months.
|Huncoat Hall was owned by a Mr Foot.
|Whinney Hill was the site of a mass meeting of hand loom weavers in May protesting about new machinery putting them out of work. Huncoat Jack was one of the leaders who incited violence through speeches during these ‘Loom Riots’. The hungry mob marched straight to Accrington to smash up the machinery that was depriving them of means.
|A Blackburn to Burnley Turnpike through Accrington and Huncoat was authorised by an Act of Parliament (see 1834).
|Altham Vitriol Works was set up beside the canal at Lower Clough Bank accompanied by a row of cottages for the workers called Rosy Bank.
|Hennet’s map of Lancashire showed the same pattern of roads in Huncoat as Greenwood had eleven years earlier but with the anticipated footprint of a new turnpike included. However, the Kings Highway was still shown as a significant road. He named High Break Hall, Rappet Hall, Hard, Enfield Nook, Brown Birks, New Hall, Spout Hall, Hollock Bank, Broddas (later Ing Field), Rake Head, Higher Luishaw and Hameldon Hall.
|A local brick making industry was in evidence but was restrained by a brick tax dating from 1784.
|Hard Farm house on Whinney Hill rebuilt.
|Population of Huncoat recorded to be 502.
|Following the Reform Acts of 1832 onwards Huncoat fell under the North Lancashire constituency. The voting franchise steadily increased, firstly extending to the middle classes, then to town workers and eventually to agricultural workers (see 1885).
|In Altham Lane there were two farm buildings known as Blind Lane Ends. They stood at grid reference SD778312 but were demolished in 1948 to make way for the power station.
|Construction began of the Burnley Road turnpike (see 1838).
|A Methodist Sunday School was founded in the top floor room of an old cotton warehouse situated between the White Lion and Bank Terrace.
|John Smith’s Recollections says that a Richard Eatough resided in Hameldon Hall (sometimes misspelt Hambleton). Other local farmers were Daniel Redman at Windy Harbour, Roger Bramley at Rake Head, Abraham Riley at Moleside End and John Rawcliffe (Owd John Hoyle) at Hillock Farm. He also mentions a Thomas Marshall of Walsh Place who moved to Top Hill House, a Robert Towler of Woodnook Farm, Riley’s Farm and Cunliffe’s Farm all somewhere in the vicinity of Hillock Vale and Brown Birks. He goes on to list Edward Newhouse at Brown Birks, Thomas Haworth at Huncoat Hall, George Pickup at Broad Meadows, Robert Yates of Hill House, Robert Lingard of Middle House and John Bentley of Brown Moor.
|Huncoat was included in Burnley Rural area for Poor Law and Registration.
|Burnley Road turnpike opened being the last turnpike to be built in the area and when road classification started in 1921-22 it was designated as the A679. Toll posts were located near the Boar’s Head in Accrington* and at Lane Ends near the Hapton Inn. Other nearby toll posts were at the bridge over the Calder in Altham and Enfield over Whinney Hill near the Greyhound. *The Accrington Jubilee Souvenir Book of 1928 records that the Burnley Road Toll Post was later removed to the lower corner of the cemetery.
|The Griffin's Head pub was built by Shaw's Brewery, although it was originally for a short time called the Cross Gates because it was at the cross roads of Burnley Road and Kingsway. It is most likely that the Whitakers Arms also dates from this period to serve the new road.
|Terrace adjacent to Read View erected in Station Road.
|Huncoat Hall was owned by the Towneley family who eventually inherited the title of Earl of Abingdon from a distant relative.
|The first Sunday School Anniversary was held on 25th August when the preacher was a Mr. Ingham Walton of Barrowford and the singing was led by the choir of Union Street Church Accrington.
|The first small reservoir in Burnley Road was built at Hillock Vale.
|Population of Huncoat recorded to be 447 in the first proper national census.
|The Whitakers of Simonstone put their Huncoat estates up for sale by auction on 24th July.
These included Old Hall Farm, Spout House Farm, Lower Gate Farm and Broad Meadows Farm.
|Purpose built Methodist Sunday School completed in Burnley Lane. The land was bought from Mr. Charles Townley of Townley Hall at a cost of one penny per yard. By July 1844 the new Sunday School was built and finished at a total cost of £250.
|William Herd a former Baptist pastor started a day school in Broad Meadows Farm.
|The Ordnance Survey map of this date showed -
* The newly constructed Burnley Road Turnpike although the Kings Highway and Cleggs Lane were also given prominent status
* Numerous small sandstone quarries to produce building blocks
* The centre of the village was clustered around the cross roads of Towngate
* The location of the village stocks is unmarked despite their existence for 300 years
* That there was a cross on the knoll of Huncoat Bank before the War Memorial
* The Whitakers Arms, White Lion, Black Bull and Griffin's Head Inn
* The Baptist’s 1810 chapel showed as a long terrace behind the White Lion
* The first Burnley Road reservoir at Hillock Vale which was built in 1841
* Two separate buildings named Warm Leaf in the Within Grove area
* Higher Brown Birks
* Lower Brown Birks
* Within Grove, Spout House, Hillock Bank and Mount Farm
* Rake Head Farm in the first field at the northern end of Miry Lane
* Miry Lane, Ing Field, Slate Pits, White Riding, Hameldon Hall and Windy Harbour adjacent to the King's Highway
* But no signs of Higher Luishaw which may simply have been a temporary shanty-town for sandstone quarrying or building Hameldon Reservoir
* Hameldon Reservoir supplying “The Oak Print Works.”
* May Road Well on the south western foot of Great Hameldon (See both 1795 and the miscellaneous facts section)
* A boundary marker stone on the moor summit between Ing Field and Warm Leaf Clough (possibly the Fernihalgh Stone (see 1250 and 1499)
* Brown Moor Farm, Grime Row and Blind Lane Ends Farms east of High Brake Hall & Stone Hey
* Brick Barn in fields east of Blind Lane Ends)
* Blind Lane End Farms (located a little north of Grime Row)
* Brick Barn in the fields east of Blind Lane End Farms
* The isolated buildings of Broad Meadows in what later became Station Road
* Nearer Holker House (later the RSPCA sanctuary)
* Further Holker House (located on the east side of Whinney Hill
* Hard Farm on top of Whinney Hill (later a quarry and then the landfill site)
* Sankey House Farm on the south side of Whinney Hill Road
* Rabbit Hole; a cottage in the fields above Clough Brook, later covered by the tarmac of the M65
* Altham Vitriol Works beside the canal at Lower Clough Bank
* Pipers Row, a terrace of 6 houses forming a narrow throat in Highergate Road (See 1906 and 1993)
* Bank Brewery in Burnley Road just above the bowling green near Peel Park
* That the name Enfield was originally Henfield, the area between Clayton and Altham
|The opening service of the new Methodist Sunday School took place on 16th July conducted by the Rev. W. Illingworth of Hull.
|Construction began of the East Lancashire Railway but work was held up when four piers of the twenty one arch Accrington viaduct began to sink and had to be replaced.
|The East Lancashire Railway opened to Huncoat on 18th September and the original village station was off Altham Lane near what later became the Power Station site (see 1866).
|The second reservoir was completed in Burnley Road (see 1890).
|The repeal of the Brick Tax, coal mining, the arrival of railways, increased industrialisation and mechanisation paved the way for the brick making industry to take off.
|Census gave the population as 598. The window tax was abolished on 24th July.
|Household handloom weaving though declining was still a significant village industry whilst in farming cereal and vegetable production gradually gave way to dairy farming to supply the much more profitable trade of supplying milk to Accrington.
|The mill workers cottages in Yorkshire Street, Prospect Terrace and Highbrake Terrace were built.
|Huncoat Cotton Mill was built by John S. Grimshaw (later called Perseverance Mill and sometimes Highbrake Mill). It was located on the east side of the railway line to the south of the level crossing. The four storey spinning mill housed 20,000 spindles and the weaving shed 200 looms.
|Mill workers cottages built at Hillock Vale (Vale Court, South Street and Parker Street).
|Building of Hillock Vale Cotton Weaving Mill, initially called North Rake Mill, was completed by the Shutt Brothers in Burnley Road.
|Stone Hey Terrace built by John Pollard.
|Completion of a first reservoir at Mitchell’s House.
|Census gave the population as 839, a 40% increase in 10 years largely due to the new cotton mills. Many of the new immigrants came from the Settle and Ribblesdale area.
|Woodside House built by mill owner John Grimshaw.
|Cemetery opened off Burnley Road with a curved driveway across fields leading to the gates.
|White Lion first mentioned by name in a directory. In those days many pubs including the Black Bull were just classed as "Beerhouses".
|The “ancient manor” of Huncoat became a Civil Parish in Burnley RDC.
|The date on the pediment of Highergate (or Howard's) Farm situated on the corner of Burnley Lane (see 1960).
|On 4th July the Accrington railway viaduct suffered a collapse similar to what happened during its construction in 1846 and had to be closed for remedial work costing £11,215. So for about a year all trains terminated at Huncoat with a service of horse vehicles connecting to Accrington.
|An Act of Parliament started the process of dis-turnpiking roads and the last turnpike in Lancashire was dissolved in 1890. Accrington's toll bars were abolished in October 1871.
|The Whitakers Arms had become known as the Cemetery Hotel.
|The first General Election with a comprehensive franchise was held in November. Huncoat formed part of a North East Lancashire area which elected two Conservative MP’s – James Maden Holt and John Pierce Chamberlain Starkie. The Government though was Liberal.
|A larger Methodist (Wesleyan) Church and Institute were built in Station Road at a total cost of £1,138:5s:11d and the old Sunday School in Burnley Lane was sold.
|Coal extraction began at Whinney Hill Colliery sited south of Whinney Hill Road at Altham. Sometimes this was called “Altham Colliery” because it was part of the Altham colliery company which also included pits at Altham Clough, Houghton Barn and Moorfield.
|A Day School commenced in the Methodist Institute.
|Huncoat Hall reconstructed again (see 1730).
|Census gave the population as 990.
|The two Conservatives James Maden Holt and John Pierce Chamberlain Starkie retained their seats in the February General Election. Conservatives formed the Government.
|Highbrake Hotel built for Bentley's Milnshaw Brewery (see 1893).
|The Baptist’s extended their terrace yet again with a large Sunday School next to their chapel.
|Accrington became a municipal authority in May but Huncoat was still part of Burnley Rural District.
|Use of land on the eastern and southern flank of Huncoat Bank was granted to the village as a recreation ground by the Peel family famous for founding the police force (see 1911 and 1930).
|Marl House on Enfield Road was originally built as a small chemical works and dry-saltery with work sheds to the rear.
|In the April General Election North East Lancashire returned two new Liberals the Marquess of Hartington and Frederick William Grafton. The Liberals formed the Government.
|Rockdale (later re-named Middleton House) built in Burnley Road (see 1909 and 1931).
|The railway station had been moved to the south side of the level crossing in Enfield Road but a local petition complained about "the disgraceful accomodation."
|Census list gave the population as 930 and included residents of Yorkshire Street, Prospect Terrace, High Brake Terrace, and Providence Terrace.
|Anglican villagers weary of trekking to Church Kirk started religious gatherings in a cottage at 2 Parker Street, Hillock Vale (see 1723 and 1886).
|The Moorfield coal mine shaft was sunk between 1879 and 1881and subsequently connected with the Whinney Hill mine shaft. Collectively these two mines were known as the Altham Colliery. On 7th November a massive underground explosion killed 68 men and boys in the Moorfield Pit Disaster.
|Huncoat first received a mains water supply.
|Huncoat was part of the North East Lancashire Accrington Division constituency that elected Frederick William Grafton as a Liberal MP (see 1918).
|Huncoat Pit founded with the sinking of the first shaft, which eventually reached 850 feet deep.
It was called the Broadmeadow Colliery and operated until 9 Feb 1968.
There were two major seams worked at various times – the Lower Mountain and Upper Mountain. These seams ran throughout the Lancashire coal field varying in thickness but being about 2ft 4ins and 3ft 4ins respectively under Huncoat .
|Cooperative Society store built in Station Road but the village centre was still around Towngate with small shops opposite each other at numbers 5 and 16 Burnley Lane. The latter on the corner with Towneley Avenue being R Suthers Grocer & Confectioner.
|Holyrood Terrace erected in Burnley Road.
|St.Augustine's Chapel of Ease founded in June, later rebuilt as a full church (see 1882, 1896 and 1908).
| The Accrington Brick and Tile Co (Nori) began production of very hard and durable bricks which also became known as “Accrington Bloods.” The strong hue being due to the iron in the clay and the name “Nori” being the spelling of iron backwards.
This 30 metre deep layer of red clay known as Accrington Mudstone or Shale was deposited during the Carboniferous era when the Accrington area was flooded by a large lake.
The Accrington works was one of the first to successfully use the “semi dry” production method. Accrington bricks have been used in some iconic buildings around the world such as Blackpool Tower and the Empire State Building.
The works and the quarry were never actually in Huncoat but on the other side of Whinney Hill straddling the parish boundary between Altham, Enfield and Clayton. Ownership later passed through various hands such as the Macalpine family, Courtaulds and George Armitage.
|Secret gambling was common in the hills around Hapton and Huncoat which probably led to the local name of “Gamblers Caves” of a quarry near the Kings Highway,
|A newsroom was opened in the Coop store but closed in 1903 owing to “the practice of gambling”.
|The Ordnance Survey map of this date showed -
* The main Burnley Road Reservoir had been built below the 1846 one and enlarged in 1896
* At this time the Huncoat Bank recreation ground was divided into two fields by a fence and a well was marked by the roadside opposite to Old Hall Farm
* The extended Baptist terrace with it’s new Sunday School, corner to corner with the Methodist building of 1844 in Burnley Lane
* Mount Quarry and Hey Head Quarry situated on the north side of Burnley Lane
* Altham Brick and Tile Works had been established on the canal side next to Clough Brook
* Altham Vitriol Works and Rosy Bank Cottages had disappeared
* The Enfield Brick and Terra Cotta Works existed between Henry Street and Whinney Hill and the Accrington Brick and Tile Works (Nori) had been established on the south-west side of the hill
* Whinney Hill Colliery was marked as “Altham Colliery” between a saw mill on the corner with Whalley Road and the Accrington Brick and Tile Works (Nori)
* Huncoat Colliery was marked but the workings were not extensive at this time
* The level crossing signal box was at this time located on the north side of the tracks and the station platforms were staggered either side of the level crossing. Also that Huncoat Cotton Mill had its own siding and loading bay on the station
* The crescent shaped terraces of High Brake and Prospect either side of Yorkshire Street
* Industrial Terrace existed adjoining the Cooperative Society Store in Station Road
* St.Augustine's School existed in the unmade road then called Church Lane (later Bolton Avenue)
* The original Within Grove from 1844 was now named Within Grove Cottage with new farm buildings named Within Grove located further NW nearer the railway line
* Marl Place existed on Enfield Road
* Whinney Hill Cottage had been built at the corner of Whinney Hill Road near Sankey House
* Accrington Football and Cricket Ground had been established
* Some rifle ranges existed below Rake Head Farm
|Census gave the population as 956.
The main occupations being cotton working, mining and agriculture.
|Carlton Terrace erected in Station Road.
|Highbrake Hotel became known as the Railway Hotel.
|The Huncoat Plastic Brick and Terra Co. (trademark Redac, based on "Red Accrington") was founded in Yorkshire Street next to Huncoat Cotton Mill. Ore originally came from a quarry behind the works but later from Rakehead Quarry by means of a tramway passing under Burnley Road in a tunnel near between numbers 454 and 482. After a fatal accident to the village policeman’s daughter an aerial ropeway was built over the road (see 1965).
|Huncoat Fireclay works started operations making pipes and chimney pots etc.
|A network of mineral railways grew up around Whinney Hill. Connections with the main line were made at a triangle behind the cemetery and at the coal sidings east of the colliery. Branches ran to Nori brick works, Whinney Hill brick works and Altham Colliery.
|Altham Brick and Tile Works was acquired by the Burnley Brick and Lime Company.
|Perseverance Mill closed down compelling many families to leave the area in search of work which left sparse attendances at St Augustine’s Chapel but they were to revive by the turn of the century (see 1886 and 1908).
|Oak Bank Terrace built on Enfield Road.
|Whinney Hill Plastic Brickworks was founded but was taken over by Macalpines in 1916.
|Perseverance Mill passed into the ownership of John Barnes (Cotton Waste, Spinners and Manufacturers).