Local historian Roger Frost has delved into the Burnley Civic Trust collection once again, this time to take us for a pictorial guided tour through the historic parish of Cliviger and its villages.
Cliviger has four villages – Holme, Walk Mill, Mereclough, and Sothward Bottom – and is one of the largest parishes in England, but, until 1894, it was larger still as Cornholme and Porstmouth were removed to be included in the new Borough of Todmorden.
1. The Holme
The Holme, in its dramatic wooded setting at Holme-in-Cliviger, is first recorded in the fourteenth century but a house on this site may have been founded earlier. The name is Norse and refers to an island of dryer land in a flooded valley. Dr Whitaker inherited the estate in the middle of the eighteenth century and set about improving it, planting over 450,000 trees which he hoped, when they matured, to sell to the admiralty for ship-building.
2. Sunday School
A Sunday School procession on the road between Holme-in-Cliviger and Walk Mill. The image must have been taken in about 1900. One of the volunteers is wearing a straw hat of about that time as are the Vicar and another gentleman, on the left. The school and the church gates can be seen in the background.
The Kettledrum Inn is one of the well-known public houses of Cliviger. It was named after the horse which won the 1862 Epsom Derby for the Towneley family. and There is another tangible survivor of the victory which took place 160 years ago. This is the intersting Catholic Church at Dunsop Bridge which was paid for out of the winnings. As you can see, the Kettledrum, which is at Mereclough, was a Massey House and it looks as if a delivery of their famous beers in being made at the time the photograph was taken.
4. Walk Mill
This postcard view is simply named as “Cliviger” but the image is actually of another of the township’s villages, that of Walk Mill. Walk Mill gets its name from a process carried out in the wool industry, fulling, the cleaning of the woven cloth after it has been woven. The mill was to the right of the image. In the background, right of the middle of the image, you might be able to see a tall chimney. This was connected with another of Cliviger’s industries, that of coal mining.