Return to Chorley Historical Society page

Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society.
History walk around Hoghton Bottoms.
Sun 18 June 2006

The walk around Hoghton Bottoms started from the Royal Oak car park, Riley Green. The weather did not look promising and before long the rain started. As we approached the descent to the River Darwen the possibility of a secondary Roman road crossing the river was discussed.

A delightful path along the river took us to the massive railway viaduct. When completed on 1st June 1846 is was one of the largest in the country. It was fully opened on 3 June 1846. It is 116ft at the highest point. Along the side of the path is the old mill race that used to power a series of three mills in Hoghton Bottoms. Surprisingly the first mill site was powered by a water wheel until 1952 when electricity was laid on to the area. The mill finally closed in 1971 and was later converted to a private residence.

Hoghton Tower Railway Viaduct

Biscuit break by the River Darwen

After crossing the river we walked to Lower Mill area and a short sit down on a welcome picnic bench. Thanks to Laura for smuggling in a pack of luxury biscuits. The Lower Mill site is now overgrown with nothing left of the buildings. It was burnt down in 1904, rebuilt and continued working until June 1971 when it was closed for the last time. The building fell into disrepair and had to be demolished when slates started blowing off and endangering passing pedestrians.

After crossing the railway we visited the quarry site adjacent to Hoghton Tower. This is private land and special permission was obtained to gain access. A path continued around the Hoghton Tower to return us to the Royal Oak. We finished a little wetter and hopefully a little wiser.

In Hoghton Quarry.