Monday, 9 April 2012

Pleasington (New) Hall

Following on from the posts of Woodfold Hall, Feniscowles Hall and Livesey Old Hall, here are a few images of Pleasington Hall, often referred to as Pleasington New Hall, to distinguish it from Pleasington Old Hall, which still stands to this day.
Pleasington Hall was built in 1805-07 by John Francis Butler and it was occupied right through until 1914 (Sir Harry Hornby being the last to occupy the place), but sadly, as seems to be the case with many of these large mansions, it fell into disrepair over the following 18 years and was finally demolished in 1932 by Blackburn Council, after they had purchased the hall and the surrounding 170 acres of land in 1931 to use as the new public cemetery.
It took me a while to figure out just where within those 170 acres it actually stood, but after overlaying the old OS map (part of which is included here) over later maps, I came to the conclusion that it was only a stones throw from the old hall, but on the other side of the main cemetery drive. If you take a look at the coloured cemetery plan below (courtesy of BwDBC), I have drawn a rough black line in the top left corner of approximately where the ''new'' hall stood.
The top two photographs, show the front entrance, with its curved porch, which would have faced west (kind of) towards Pleasington. I have marked the porch with a red squiggle on the OS map. The third and fourth images both show the same south facing, side elevation (marked in light blue on the OS map) and the bottom photo / postcard shows the lodge, which stood down at the bottom of the cemetery drive, where the entrance gates are today. In fact they may even be the same gate posts (I'll have a look next time I'm up that way).
You can see by comparing the two halls on the OS map section, that the ''new'' hall was substantially larger than the ''old'' hall (marked with a pink dot), though not quite as grand as Woodfold Hall.
The banked gardens in the third image, with the donkey pulling the lawn mower, and fourth image, would mirror the incline of the driveway, which is still, between the gates and the duck pond, a bit of a climb today. 
 
Map section courtesy of the Ordnance Survey.
Cemetery plan courtesy of BwDBC.
The grainy image / photo / etching courtesy of Stephen Barrow.
The rest courtesy of the CP collection.
The bottom image is Pleasington Old Hall
Information courtesy of Blackburn Reference Library, Eric Leaver & CP.

40 comments:

  1. Thanks for this Colin - I had no idea about this hall! I get confused with Feniscowles Old Hall, Fensicowles Hall, Pleasington Old Hall, Pleasington (New) Hall! I think the gateposts are at the entrance to the cemetary - I walk my dog there daily, and have often thought that the gateposts are very grandiose (and gateposts of that size/ ornament nearly always signify the existence at some point of a big, grandiose house) and slightly more modern than the architecture of Pleasington Old Hall suggests. We've really lost a lot...

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  2. You're not alone Lorcan. I get confused myself. Similarly with regards Witton House and Witton Old Hall.

    Cheers !

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  3. My nans father rented part of the hall from the d' houghtons in the 19hundreds. Mary her name was and she was an austin and came from pleasington.

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  4. Interesting. Thanks for your comment.

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  5. Interesting article Colin. Can't just think where the lodge is although I've been through Pleasington so many times! Will have to look it up on Google Earth.

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  6. You wont find the lodge on Google Earth Deborah, it was demolished long, long ago. If you know where the entrance to the cemetery is, after you have passed the sports pavilion / changing rooms and crossed over the river, well the lodge would have stood there. The gateposts are still in situ, but that's all.

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  7. There are still some stips in the woodland just to the west of the main road up to the cemetery - I took some photos of them the other day. I don't think they're part of the main house, but they are pretty big and significant carved stone.

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  8. Cheers Lorcan. I'll have a look at those next time I'm visiting my dads grave.

    Regards

    Colin

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  9. My Great Grandad and Grandad lived in the hall as per Samantha Marshlands comments above, my father who is still alive may have additional images of the hall, I recall that they used the main room for the village dance after folding back the tall bifold doors, my grandfather pointed out his bedroom and also the tennis courts - my surname is austin and great grandmother was Mary.

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    1. Your grt grandmother is my nanna and i have photos of her and her brother anselm. my mum is called josie her youngest daughter. I also have a photo of the hall and other ones.

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  10. Hi Mark

    Thanks for the additional info. It's always nice to see different images, other than the more common ones, so if your father does have some, I would be more than happy to add them to the ones above.

    Regards

    Colin

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  11. C Mueller-Hazenbos said...
    Dear Colin,
    Very interesting site with lots of valuable information on the history of Blackburn! Could you please get in touch with me - I have some questions re a research I am currently doing. I should be ever so grateful. Chris

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    1. Please feel free to ask your question(s) here Chris. If I can't supply the answer, then perhaps someone else looking in may be able to.

      Regards

      Colin

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    2. Dear Colin, Thanks for your reply. For my upcoming publication on a country house in Derbyshire and its inhabitants I need a photograph from Pleasington New Hall. May I make use one of those you have posted in your blog? It would make a lovely addition my collection of images. Regards Chris

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    3. By all means Chris. Please feel free to use any of them. If it is the map image or the cemetery plan, please be sure to credit the OS or Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. If it is one (or any) of the others, just make use of them.

      Regards.

      Colin

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    4. Dear Colin, Sorry, me again - it is impossible to download the photos from your site. If it is not too much hassle, could you send them to me? I would appreciate that very much. Regards Chris

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    5. Hi Chris

      Apologies for the late response, but I somehow missed your messages (I get a lot of spam).

      I can send you the images via e-mail, but you will need to send me an e-mail address.

      Your e-mail address wont be published on here, there's only me that will see it.

      Regards

      Colin

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  12. Dear Colin, Great, thanks a ton, that is so very kind of you. Could you just let me know how you want to be quoted? Thank you very much in advance! Regards Chris

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    1. Hello Chris

      Apologies for the delay. I have now sent you an e-mail with three images attached.

      If you haven't received it, firstly have a look in your spam as it may have gone into that folder, but if you haven't received it at all when you see this, just let me know and I will re-send it.

      Best regards.

      Colin

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  13. Hello Colin,
    I have recently purchased Higher Feniscowles Lodge,and would love to know some history on it,and some old pictures,so it can be restored as it was.
    I have looked on the internet and drawn a blank.
    Could you help point me in the right direction please,

    Regards,
    Gordon

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  14. Hello Gordon

    I don't know the lodge you mean and doubt I will have any photos (unless it's been in books).

    Your best bet would be the reference library in the central library.

    Where is it exactly Gordon? If I can locate it on an old map of that area, that could possibly give us some clues.

    Best regards and good luck with your search and restoration.

    Colin

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    1. Thank you for your reply,It is at the bottom of Links Lane Pleasington,next to Higher Feniscowles Hall,it has been suggested it was part of the Hoghton estate many years ago.Thanks for the reference library tip I will follow it up.

      Regards,
      Gordon

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    2. Hello Gordon

      I'm not familiar with that area at all. I have just had a look on the Old Maps UK site and none of the maps on there are very clear (in fact some are only partial maps when it reaches Pleasington). On a couple of them (1890's & 1930's), Higher Feniscowles Hall and the adjacent farm are marked, but they are very indistinct online and only blur even more when I've tried to enlarge them. If the reference library have a hard copy / paper copy, you might be able to see things a little more clear, but whether seeing the map a bit better will provide you with any clues, I couldn't say.

      If the hall and farm were once part of the Hoghton estate (which is highly likely, as it is very close by), then maybe Preston or Chorley reference libraries might have some information.

      As mentioned, I don't know that area at all, but looking at the maps, I'll assume Links Lane is so called because of the golf course and looking on the older maps, there doesn't appear to be any houses along the lane until the 1950's map, so I'm guessing that the houses / properties along the left hand side of the lane, as you head towards the bottom, are relatively modern (early-mid 20th century) builds.

      Your property is, by the sound of things, further down by the hall, so my guess is that it will be as old as the hall, so the more you can find out about the hall itself, the more you may discover about your lodge.

      Good luck and do come back and let us know if you do find anything.

      Kind regards.

      Colin

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    3. Thank you once again Colin for your efforts,we will keep on looking and advise you of the outcome,

      Regards,
      Gordon

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  15. The original Pleasington old hall seems to have had a priest hole in the attic. The best place to go for imfo about the early owners is British History Online/Pleasington in the search box. The Butlers had another branch at Rawcliffe hall, St Michaels on Wyre and Kirkland hall, Churchtown, Garstang. I assume these are all related.

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    1. Thanks for the additional information. Your comment reminded me to upload an old image of Pleasington Old Hall.

      Now done, it's the bottom image.

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  16. Hi Colin, just for info - I used to visit Tongue Hill Farm quite often when i was young, this was a working farm but now a private residence located through the gates at the end of Bowden Avenue.
    Inside the large farmhouse was a hidden entrance to a tunnel which originally lead under the field to the Priory - although the tunnel had collapsed long ago. This tunnel was supposedly a means of escape for the priests.
    I beleive Tongue Hill farm was occupied by Anselm Austin (mentioned in a previous comment) prior to it being sold as a private residence.

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    1. I was born at Tongue Hill in 1947 and was always fascinated by the stories of the 'tunnel'. There was a cellar which, as children, we imagined to be where the 'tunnel' started, but I think that they were really just 'stories' as both the farmhouse and the Priory were built after the persecution of priests in the area.
      To the best of my knowledge there is a 'priest-hole' at Pleasington Old Hall, which was occupied by the Pawson's when I lived there.
      Yes, Anselm Austin lived at the farm when I was there - the house was divided into two and we, the 'Eyles's' lived in one half and the Austins ( my cousins ) in the other. My Uncle Anselm lived there until he died in 1994?

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    2. Ha ha, thanks for clearing up the story about the tunnel, i never saw it myself so did wonder if it was just urban myth.

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    3. Also, i remember your Uncle Anselm roaring along on his motorbike & sidecar!

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  17. Hi -- Thank you for your comment. All interesting stuff.

    I don't know the Pleasington area too well, just the main road that passes through it really and of course the Priory, but I'm sure some of the previous contributors to this thread will know exactly where and what you are talking about.

    Thanks again.

    Kind regards.

    Colin

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    1. Originally, Tongue Hill Farm could be accessed via a lane to the left of where the cemetry gates are. The lane is now overgrown and doesn't look to have been used in a long time.

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    2. Yes, there still is a footpath which leads past the farm, along the railway side and comes out at Pleasington railway station.
      I lived at Tongue Hill when I was a boy and the path used to run right through the middle of the farmyard, but now it runs around the edge of the garden.
      It is still in regular use even though it may look a little overgrown.

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  18. I would like any information about Tongue Hill Farm as my great grandfather William Clarkson farmed 47 acres with two labourers there as in the 1851 Census. He was then aged 34 and lived with his wife, formerly Elisabeth Ashurst and his 3 elder children Mary Ann later Farrimond, William and Elisabeth. Ellen Jane, later Barnes, my grandmother was born there. Unfortunately he died in 1854, the year she was born. I do not kown where he is buried. I have visited Pleasington to see what I can find out with little success. Help would be appreciated , - Georgina Barnes-Sadler

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    1. I was born at Tongue Hill in 1947 and at that time there were only 26 acres. I think the other 21 acres may be over the railway - Brownlow Farm - and were farmed by Harry Bolton.
      My grandfather ( Thomas Moxham ) was landlord at the Butlers Arms in Pleasington, and I believe the farm and land at Tongue Hill belonged to the brewery at that time.
      My grandfather was moved by the brewery from the pub to look after the shire horses at Tongue Hill.
      He was married twice and had 5 children. My mother Catherine ( Kitty ) and her half-sister Elizabeth ( Lizzie ) stayed on to live at Tongue Hill after they were married and my grandfather had died.
      The house was divided into two and my mother's family ( the Eyles's ) lived in one half and my Auntie Lizzie's family ( the Austins ) lived in the other.
      We moved to Cherry Tree in 1957 but the Austins remained at Tongue Hill until my Uncle Anselm died in 1994?
      I moved back to Pleasington in 1993 and visited my uncle at the farm on a regular basis before he died.
      The farm was then sold by the family and has known renovated and is occupied by the Oxleys.
      If your family were Catholics then they are probably buried at the Priory.

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    2. Mr Eyles I really appreciate your later history of the farm. Thank you. William and Elisabeth Clarkson were definitely Catholics as they were married in Weld Bank, Wrightington in 1842. Their 3 eldest children were baptised at the Priory in 1844, 1848 and 1850. According to her birth Certificate Ellen Jane, my grandmother, was born on the 9th January 1854 at Tongue Hill, Pleasington, the informant being her father William Clarkson, Farmer, Tongue Hill, Pleasington. He died in the September quarter of that year, when she was about eight months old. There are no records on line for burials at the Priory. I have not yet found any record of Ellen Jane's baptism as on line records for the Priory end in 1853. Her mother remarried a Hugh Ainscough from Wrightington on St. Valentine's day in 1856. How they came to leave the farm and where they went I have no idea, but by 1861 the family were living in March Green, Pemberton, where Hugh was farming 22 acres. All four Clarkson children were living with them then, then by 1871 Mary Ann had married and William and Ellen Jane were living with her and her husband, Thomas Farrimond in Pemberton. My husband and I I have visited Pleasington twice and had the pleasure of seeing around the Priory thanks to Father Kevin Kenny. I hope to return and find the farm house and see where original local records may be found. Ellen Jane evenyually married a Unitarian from Atherton! How they met will probably remain a mystery. My father was the youngest of their children. He was over 50 when he had me. I must have been quite a disruption. I never knew any of my grandparents or their siblings but finding out as much as possible about them all is being a wonderful journey.

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    3. Hello, Sorry I could not give any earlier details. My cousin did some research on the Austin / Moxham families but only got as far back as my great granddad who was born in Salmesbury.
      I still attend mass at the Priory so I will have a look around the graveyard when I get some time to see if I can find any of the names you mention.
      You can see Tongue Hill farm from the back of the Priory - it is just across the field. If you wanted to get a close look the best way is to go to Pleasington railway station and walk down the path at the side of the railway and then across the field to the farm. The main way to the farm is down Bowden Avenue but there is a locked gate at the end of the driveway.
      Good luck with your research - if I find anything that may be of interest I will let you know - David

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    4. I have researched the Austin family tree back to 1737 a lot of this was done in consultation with my father in law Joseph Anselm Austin who grew up living in Pleasington Hall.

      In 1894 Wm.Hornby took a 20 year lease on the Hall and in 1914 when the lease expired he did not renew it and moved his family from Pleasington. No other tenants could be found and with the Butler Bowden family having settled elsewhere it left the estate with the problem of what to do with the Hall.

      In 1915 Joseph Austin and his wife Clara (nee McLeod) were , with their young family living and working in Pleasington village shop which at that time was situated on Brownlow Terrace.

      The manager for the Butler Bowden estate approached them and asked if they would be prepared to move into Pleasing Hall, Joseph as caretaker and gardener and Clara as Housekeeper. After a lot of thought and discussions this they agreed and in the spring of 1916 Joseph and Clara along with their children Joseph Anselm, Gertrude Mary. Thomas and Celia moved into the Hall. There 5th child Marie Theras was born at the Hall in 1918.

      Joseph and Clara’s son Thomas died on the 29th January 1927 after being electrocuted at work.
      Clara died on the 28th August 1928 from a heart attack.

      In 1931 Blackburn corporation purchased the Pleasington Hall Estate consisting of 170 acres from the Butler Bowden family.

      In 1932 Test graves were dug.

      In February 1933 Joseph Anselm married Mary Elizabeth Moxham and moved from the Hall to Tongue Hill Farm.
      I have no information as to when Gertrude Mary married or left the Hall but Joseph senior, Celia and Marie Theras, had left and were living at the Off Licence, 2 Preston Old Road Cherry Tree on 5th September 1933.

      The 1947 Barret’s Directory has Pleasington Hall listed as still standing but vacant..

      Hope this information helps.




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    5. Thank you for the additional information. Interesting stuff.

      Best regards.

      Colin

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  19. I too was extremely interestedinterested to read the above comments about the Austin family.Clara Mcleod was my grandfather's sister and Ihave spent quite a long time researching the Mcleod family.Bunny Tomlinson and Eric were in touch a few years ago but sadly died before we could exchange information.I would love to exchange information and maybe photos of Clara and her families in Wigan and Pleasington.

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