June Field Walk around Tockholes Sun 21th June 2009

One of this year’s field walks, on 21st June 2009, will be around Tockholes. Although the village is outside the boundaries of Chorley Borough, it is only just over the border, and has some fascinating links to Chorley and District.

The manor house for Tockholes was at Hollinshead Hall. One of the leading figures in late 18th century Chorley was John Hollinshead. He was responsible for the development of Hollinshead Street, gave Chorley its first Town Hall, financed canal development, and was involved in coal mining and stone quarrying. When he died in 1802 he was Lord of the Manor of Tockholes and owner of Hollinshead Hall.

In 1826 there were riots, disturbances and attacks on mills and factories by Loom-Breakers from East Lancashire. One of the main incidents was an attack on Hilton’s Mill in Water Street, Chorley, run by Harrison and Lightoller. The meeting that plotted that attack took place in Tockholes; one of the “Captains” of the plotters was Thomas Sharples, a Tockholes handloom weaver; the attackers gathered on the moors by Tockholes and were led by Sharples who was familiar with the many lanes and tracks to guide the attackers clear of the Blackburn to Chorley turnpike.

One of the more famous sons of Tockholes was Alfred Ephraim Eccles. Those of you who joined Boyd’s field walk last year will remember that he was the White Coppice mill-owner and Lancashire Temperance Reformer. He was born in Tockholes in 1830. His father had built the first cotton mill in Darwen. His grandfather had manufactured cotton cloth for Sir Robert Peel senior to print.

John Harrison