Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

chilly beam." The roof was thatched before the walls were built, to protect the "daub" from the weather. The living rooms were open above to the roof, with rafters overhead, the bed occupying the centre of the floor. Daub Hall in Chipping retains the name; perhaps it was formerly a remarkable specimen of the style.

The barns were often large open church-like structures, in some cases (as in the Dairy Barn, probably erected in Queen Mary's reign) made of large baulks of timber, entire oak trees, springing from a low wall and meeting in the centre in a pointed arch. The building projected in one part crossways, like transepts. The shippons occupied the floor following the walls, the centre being given up for hay and corn, with a space reserved for thrashing out the grain.

Those were the days of oaten cakes, when the farmers grew their own corn and sent it to the township mill, as they were obliged by their leases to do. Many lived in great measure upon the meal they thus obtained, and every cottage and kitchen ceiling was well stored with pendant cakes. After discontinuing the cultivation of corn, it became necessary to purchase meal in the market, and wheaten bread gradually superseded the ancient cake of the district. It is still, however, to be seen in every farm house and cottage, though often purchased from those who make a small business in retailing it.

The thatched roofs rapidly disappeared, being replaced in the first instance by heavy stone slates, and afterwards by the better slate of the Welsh quarries. In most cases their supporting walls had to be taken down, the roofs being often unnecessarily extended, and consequently new buildings had to be substituted, with improvements in their arrangements.

A storm of unprecedented violence, though of short continuance, from the south-west in November, 18—, effected a revolution in the roofs of the district. Every thatched barn and building was more or less stripped, and there being no straw to renew them, all repairs were made with the more

serviceable material. In Leagram at least thatched cottages disappeared from that date.

Many cottages, irrespective of the farm houses, existed. They formed dependencies of the latter, and in the days of hand-loom weaving, the sound of the shuttle was heard from morning to night, the different members of the family, young and old, taking their turn, and making among them a livelihood and securing the rent for their holdings. Weavers who had a numerous family and farmed a few acres made much money, and rivalled the larger farmers in expenditure at fairs and feasts, so that landlords were wont to say, "Get up farmers; weavers sit down." After the break-up of this industry, consequent to the introduction of the power-loom, the cottager became a burthen. His occupation gone, he migrated with his family to the towns of the neighbourhood to seek another subsistence. The cottages soon fell into decay, and at last were gradually taken down, there being no use for them. The change from arable to dairy and pasture also affected the population of the district. Previously, the farmer, however large his family, had had sufficient work for all on his farm. This was no longer the case. The rising generation were soon sent from the parental roof, to seek and make their own living in Preston, in the factories or other employments, the two eldest alone usually remaining to assist their parents at home, perhaps eventually to succeed them on the land. Many farms descended thus, without any pre-arrangement, from father to son, during many generations. The families of the present tenants of Loud Mytham and Moss Lane have in this manner continued on their land from the time of Charles II.

The old house of Loud Mytham, situated near to the junction of the Loud with the Hodder, had a claim at one time to be something more than a farm house. It is supposed to have been built by a Captain Marsden of the Pale, about the commencement of Charles I.'s reign, or the end of his predecessor's. Captain Marsden was living in 1682, being

then 83 years of age. It is a heavy-looking building, of rough walling, containing a ground floor, and rooms above, with one long chamber under the roof occupying its entire length, and lit by a window in the gable at either end. The house had many blocked-up windows with numerous mullions. The principal entrance used to be on the north side, approached by a descent of several steps; it is now closed. The old door had, a few years since, a large bar of oak used as a bolt, without any other fastening. Some oak panelling remains in the rooms. Two enormous arks of oak testify to the abundance that once existed, one being capable of holding at least fourteen loads of meal. There are also one or two supposed hiding-places, where temporary concealment might have been found in troubled times. The chimney in the centre of the building fills a large space, the fire-place being altogether out of proportion to present wants, containing room for several persons to sit down on either side within its extensive arch. Above is a soot chamber eight or nine feet square, occupying the entire height to the roof.

The above is a description of the house previous to 1879, in which year it was entirely rebuilt, except the outside walls. The roof, which had been covered with heavy stone slates, and had given way in some places, was repaired, and recovered with Welsh slates. The central chimney and soot chamber were done away with, and the whole interior re-arranged more in conformity with present requirements. The old blocked-up windows, souvenirs of the window tax, were all re-opened and filled with large panes.

Out of doors are traces of a strong wall, and embankment on three sides, which enclosed formerly a garden to the south, forming as well a very necessary defence against the encroachment of the river in time of floods.

The house, if built by Captain Marsden of the Pale, must have been placed on the site of a more ancient one, as a house is indicated in the same place, in an old map of the park, at least as early as Henry VIII.'s reign. It stands in that part

of Bowland which is in the angle between the two rivers and the out-fence of Leagram. It was purchased by Sir Nicholas Shirburne, bart., about the end of the 17th century, and has formed part of the estate since.

IV. THE CHAPEL.

Of an early religious foundation in Leagram there is nothing known. The chapel belonging to the township in common with Little Bowland is that at Whitewell. The Shirburnes had seats there as belonging to Leagram, and such of the tenants as belong to the Church of England can make use of them. These pews, before the chapel was rebuilt in 1817, occupied the front and principal places, but owing to the neglect of the steward at the time of the alterations, they were removed to the bottom of the chapel, in which situation they have continued. The few inhabitants of the Park Lodge in early times and especially those of Little Bowland, doubtless repaired when so inclined to the forest chapel, but those of the Park, perhaps more frequently, from its greater accessibility, to the church of the neighbouring parish at Chipping. After the Reformation, the Catholic occupiers of the Lodge would have for some time to practise their religion by stealth, and content themselves at rare intervals with the ministrations of some ecclesiastic who could risk discovery in face of the terrible penal enactments against the missionary priest.

The Lodge, as shown above, was occupied in the 16th and early 17th centuries, and in all probability there was a chapel of some kind, more or less hidden or secret, the greater part of this time.

The oldest chapel of which there is any knowledge was situated at the north-western extremity of the court-yard, beyond the site of the present laundry, and on the high ground. According to the testimony of one or two old

persons yet living in 1871, it was existing, though in ruins, when they were children. William Bamber, born at the Laund in 1788, says the walls were in part standing for many years, apparently ancient. It was very small. The door was on the north side on the high ground; it was also approached by a flight of steps on the opposite side. Richard Rogerson, born a month later the same year, remembered it being taken down; his uncle, he said, who lived on the estate at Dairy Barn and died in 1831, remembered it in use, also that the floor was of oak and on a level with the top of the hill.

Many portions of mullions and worked stones belonging to its windows were found when digging for foundations for the laundry in 1823 or 1824. In the winter of 1869 a passage was cut through the high ground at the back of the laundry down to the level of the court-yard, in order to make some additions to the premises. In doing so the ancient wall supporting the hill at this side of the court was removed. It was three feet in thickness of large irregular blocks of rough limestone, the whole as solid and hard as rock. At the same time a strong embankment wall was discovered running parallel to the gable wall of the laundry, at six feet distance from it, with its base below the level of the court, and rising to the height of the ground above, which it supported. It extended to a point beyond the centre of the laundry, where it met a short wall, four feet thick, at right angles with it. On levelling the surface on the top of the bank on the north side of the supporting wall, the foundations of the side wall of the old chapel were exposed, running south-west and northeast, about 14 feet apart. They extended beyond the wall about 20 feet; a paved walk or road leading to the northern end and entrance, was likewise laid bare, indicating the extent of the chapel on this side. On the opposite end, owing to numerous vestiges of walls at different depths, it was not possible to determine its exact limits.

A large covered drain or sewer three feet in depth, and nearly the same in width, passed from below the court-yard,

« AnteriorContinuar »