Thu 25 Aug 2011
360th anniversary of the Battle of
To mark the
360th anniversary of the Battle of Wigan Lane the Chorley
Guardian printed a report on the battle in their Flashback
section. For those who missed it the text is below.
approaching Chorley from the south along the A6 Bolton Road will
be familiar with the junction of Wigan Lane and Frederick’s Ice
Cream shop. There is nothing to indicate that 360 years ago this
area played a crucial part in the ending of the English Civil
War in 1651.
After 9 years of intermittent fighting one of the final
conflicts began in Lancashire with the Battle of Wigan Lane.
It was fought on 25th August 1651 between the Royalists under
the command of the Earl of Derby and elements of Cromwell’s New
Model Army under the command of Colonel Robert Lilburne.
Chorley Guardian Wed 31 Aug 2011
The junction of Wigan Lane and Bolton Road on a
sunny Thu 25 Aug 2011, 360 years after the Battle of
Wigan Lane. The people enjoying their ice creams
outside Frederick's will certainly be unaware of the
vicious battle which started near where they are
and his army were camped around Brindle and Hoghton while the
Earl of Derby was in Wigan after marching from Preston.
Colonel Lilburn with about 1,000 Parliamentarian troops left
Brindle and headed through Chorley towards Wigan hoping to track
the Earl of Derby’s 1,400 Royalist troops as they proceeded
south. Derby had other ideas and decided to confront Lilburn. A
running skirmish began in Wigan Lane at the Chorley end and ran
towards Wigan town. The full battle followed and the fighting
was extremely fierce. Over 300 were killed and 400 taken
prisoner but Colonel Lilburn was eventually victorious. The Earl
of Derby was wounded but survived. He had two horses shot from
under him and his breastplate armour had saved him from seven
shots. His faithful supporter, Sir Thomas Tyldesley, also had
his horse shot from under him but while rejoining the fighting
was cut down and killed.
Sir Thomas Tyldesley was a well respected soldier and often
referred to as ‘The Finest Knight in England.’ 28 years after
his death, Alexander Rigby, his standard bearer, erected a stone
monument to his memory at the spot where he fell on the
outskirts of Wigan. It still stands to this day on Wigan Lane
across from the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary.
The Earl of Derby survived to fight with King Charles II at the
Battle of Worcester 9 days later on 3rd Sept 1651. Here the
16,000 Royalist forces of the King were overwhelmed and defeated
by Cromwell’s 28,000 strong ‘New Model Army.’
The King survived and escaped into exile, hiding in the Boscobel
Royal Oak tree. He was restored to the throne 9 years later in
1660. Unfortunately James Stanley, the 7th Earl of Derby, was
captured, tried and executed in Bolton on 15th Oct 1651.
Sir Thomas Tyldesley
Sir Thomas Tyldesley's memorial in Wigan
Sun 21 Aug
Field Walk - Black Brook and Cowling - by John Harrison
On Sunday 21st August 11 members of the Society joined John
Harrison for a walk around parts of Healey and the Black Brook
valley. The area was once part of the Healey hunting park. This
suffered on several occasions in medieval times from Scottish
raids, but that was nothing compared to the changes brought
about through industrialisation. The attraction, first for corn
milling, and later for logwood grinding, printing and bleaching,
was the supply of water in the valley. Whilst a large part of
this came down Black Brook there were other supplies, such as
the stream off Healey Nab feeding Lower Healey top lodge, and
the mill race fed from a stream near Heapey Printworks that
travelled all the way to the other lodge at Lower Healey.
The period of industrialisation was itself a period of
continuous change; Lower Healey moved from Bleachworks to carpet
works; Crosse Hall Corn Mill later processed logwood and Madder.
Owners came and went, often in quick succession, and business
names changed with them. There is therefore scope for confusion,
in having two Cowling Bridges, and in the stretched out area of
Crosse Hall and it’s intermingling on Crosse Hall Street with
Black Brook where it had been
straightened prior to 1848
Sadly, a part
of the walk was spent looking at places and trying to imagine
what had been there; this included the former Bagganley Hall and
Crosse Hall, the sides of the Nab drying the products of bleach
works, and what Crosse Hall as an area might have looked like
before John Rennie put his canal through the valley. Early OS
maps helped our understanding of the area, supplemented by a few
Of what is left, perhaps the waterways provide the most
interest; the magnificent mill race feeding Lower Healey; the
straightened Black Brook with its weirs between Bagganley and
Crosse Hall and Rennie’s wonderful Black Brook Aqueduct with its
huge, low single arch.
tales of some of the people who lived and worked in the area;
the “generosity” of workers to their manager at Lower Healey;
the child workers at Lower Healey hiding in a hedge from a
factory inspector; the generosity of Richard Cobden, one of the
nations great Victorians, to his employees and their families
(Whatever happened to the bust of Cobden that used to grace
Chorley Library?); the joke elections of a “mayor” in Crosse
Hall (a century before Ken Livingstone!).
As always on our fieldwalks the collective wisdom of the group
was called upon to solve problems. In this case we found how
domestic water was supplied and stored at Lower Healey farm.
The afternoon was largely fine and when it did rain, it was
quickly driven off by the sight of our macs and umbrellas!
Bagganley Hall before its demolition for the motorway.
Cowling Mill, Cowling Bridge Print
Works and Hall i' th' Wood Mill c1918
Site of the old Talbot Cotton Mill on the banks of Black Brook
Tue 09 Aug
Keith Gledhill on the Lord Lieutenancy and Vice Lord Lieutenancy
Keith made a
welcome return to speak to the society after almost exactly 2
years. The position of the Office of Lord Lieutenancy of
Lancashire was created in Tudor times. It has military origins
and controlled the militia and looked after law and order aim.
In short, the monarch’s representative in that particular part
of the country.
The office’s main responsibility now is overall control of
visits of the Royal family and escorting royal visitors to
Lancashire. Other responsibilities include the presenting of
medals and awards on behalf of the Sovereign at County Hall and
the advising and vetting of nominations for honours. This would
involve consulting with deputies around the county.
include the participation in civic, voluntary and social
activities within the lieutenancy and leading the local
magistracy as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Justices of
the Peace. There are over 1,000 magistrates in Lancashire.
Lord Lieutenant is Lord Shuttleworth whose family came from
Gawthorpe Hall, near Burnley and as the holder of this office is
expected to serve until the age of 75. The office holder would
also be involved in charitable trusts.
The Lord Lieutenant has a Vice Lord Lieutenant who acts in the
absence of the Lord Lieutenant. There are also between 30 to 40
deputies who, amongst other things, vet the nominations for
Keith served as Vice Lord Lieutenant from 2002 to 2005. Keith’s
first duty was in 2002 when he had to attend Westminster Abbey
for a special service for Lord Lieutenants. Keith went on to
serve up a number of colourful anecdotes in that role. These
included personal meetings with Prince Charles and Princess Anne
that enabled Keith to give his personal insight.
Keith, as in 2009, provided an entertaining evening of
interesting facts and chat and, if required, could have gone to
much later in the evening.