Clitheroe’s historic Browsholme Hall to stage ‘Dog Day’

Browsholme's owner Robert Parker with his own dogs.
Browsholme's owner Robert Parker with his own dogs.

EVERY dog has his day, and for some it’s just around the corner!

This Sunday, August 5th, has been designated Browsholme Hall’s official “Dog Day”. Visitors to the monthly Bowland Farmers’ Market and Craft Fair at the Tithe Barn already enjoy bringing their dogs to the historic house and gardens as, unlike many venues, responsible dog walking is encouraged in the parkland.

Owners bringing their dogs this weekend, however, will also enjoy free entry to the Farmers Market and, if the weather allows, will also be able to have a picnic with their canine companions.

Browsholme’s owner Robert Parker said: “With Clitheroe Food Festival, this is already a great ‘foodie weekend’ for the Forest of Bowland and the Ribble Valley and a key tourist attraction for the area. We thought we would add something special to it for the area’s dog lovers and really encourage them to come along so everyone in the family can have a good day out.”

Browsholme’s doggie history includes a unique “dog gauge” – a relic of the ancient practice of the “lawing” or “expeditation” of dogs. According to a 1215 charter made by King Henry II in relation to the forests, a person whose dog was found not lawed was to pay three shillings. The old law on this point of expeditation was to be observed, namely that three claws of the fore foot should be cut off by the skin.

It is said a dog should be able to pass through the Browsholme dog gauge to avoid expeditation. The stricture was last used against John Parker, MP for Clitheroe, in the mid-18th Century by his opponent – a nominee of the Duke of Buccleugh against a family pack of beagles; though their fate was not recorded.

Among many stalls selling local foods at the Farmers’ Market will be Bowland Outdoor Reared Meat, Alan McKenna, who is bringing his dressed ducks and chickens to the event for the first time, and Paul Knight with fresh fish. There will be artisan breads from Mandy Richardson, exotic curries and “Cheesecake Charlie”, who makes his debut at Browsholme.

Entry from 10 a.m. (without a dog) is just £1, which includes entry to the Browsholme Gardens and parkland and the coffee shop will be open for teas, coffees and refreshments. There will also be guided tours of historic Browsholme Hall from 2 to 5 p.m. on the day.