Sat 26 Nov 2011
Museum of Lancashire re-opens
The Museum of
Lancashire, Stanley St., Preston, re-opened on Sat 26th Nov.
2011. I thought we would go along and view the improvements. We
were very impressed with the improved entrance section. There
were new additions i.e. The Gold Thread Works machine and
badges, and an old decorated fish and chip range, all tiled,
coal fed and very colourful. There is also a cafeteria in the
entrance area, very useful. A lot of the other exhibits, were
old faithfuls but very nice to re visit, none the less. But the
STAR OF THE SHOW, as far as C.H.A.S. are concerned, thanks to
our own Julie ( and Dot Boughton, of course) was the display
from the flints collection which was given to C.H.A.S. a few
years ago. It stood out like a star. (I am biased, of course.)
Thu 24 Nov 2011
Lizzie Jones at Astley Hall
performs 'Mary Queen of Scots'
On Thu 24 Nov
2011 Lizzie Jones made a very welcome return to Astley Hall to
give her presentation ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ covering the life of
Mary Stuart from her birth in 1542 at Linlithgow Palace,
Scotland to her imprisonment at Tutbury Castle near Derby. The
event was organised by Chorley Historical and Archaeological
Society who have been arranging annual visits to Astley Hall by
Lizzie for many years.
Astley’s Great Hall was filled to capacity as Lizzie, dressed as
Mary Stuart Queen of Scots, gave a captivating and moving
monologue of her life so far.
She assumed the position of Mary after 15 years of captivity and
currently imprisoned in the cold and uncomfortable Tutbury
The life of Mary was filled with tragedy and political intrigue.
Her father King James V of Scots died 6 days after Mary was born
and Mary subsequently became Queen Mary I, Queen of Scots. To
protect her from various political plots she was taken to France
to marry Francis II, son of the King. The following year in 1558
the King died so Francis became King and Mary the Queen Consort
of France. Sadly Francis died in 1560 so Mary returned to
Scotland in 1561. She was still Queen of the Scots and proceeded
to try and unite the various factions in her country.
Lizzie Jones at Astley Hall as Mary Stuart
Mary Queen of Scots while in captivity.
At the same time the English throne was occupied by Queen
Elizabeth I and Elizabeth was concerned by an earlier claim to
the English throne by Mary, who was her cousin. Another major
concern was that Mary wanted to return the English Protestant
Church to the Roman Catholic faith. Mary’s Roman Catholic faith
stayed with her all her life but she always said she had no wish
to impose in on England.
In 1565 Mary married Henry Stuart also known as Lord Darnley.
The marriage was not a success but they had a son James who
eventually became King James VI of Scotland and on the death of
Elizabeth I of England became King James I of England in 1603.
King James visited the Chorley area in 1617 when he visited
Political intrigue continued in Scotland and Mary was imprisoned
in her own country. She managed to escape to England in 1568,
hoping that her cousin Elizabeth would help her to return to
Scotland. Unfortunately the only reception she received was 19
years imprisonment in various castles and houses culminating in
her execution at Fortheringhay Castle in 1587.
Her execution was as a result of a shady conspiracy called the
Babington plot. This is where another Chorley link was pointed
In 1586, a man called Anthony Babington devised a plot to kill
Elizabeth, rescue Mary and then see her as the next Queen of
England. The plot was real but it is debatable whether Mary knew
Queen Elizabeth’s spies found out about the plot and Babington
and his associates were tried, found guilty and executed in
September 1586. One of Babington’s associates was Chorley’s own
John Charnock (1551 – 1587). He was executed on 21 Sept 1586.
Mary was also tried, found guilty and executed on 8 February
1587. One of the consequences of the dubious trial and
execution was the anger felt in Catholic countries, especially
Spain. The following year in 1588 King Philip II of Spain sent
his Spanish Armada to invade England and hopefully remove
Elizabeth from power. The attack failed and England remained
under the reign of Elizabeth.
Tue 08 Nov 2011
Kevin Illingworth – Vernacular
Buildings in Lancashire
Kevin, who has
a strong connection with the society, spoke about, mainly, 16th
and 17th century architecture. He made the trip over from his
Hebden Bridge home to give us a taste of architectural styles
that covered the traditional area of Lancashire.
He started with
timber-framed buildings and gave 2 fine examples with the barn
at Causeway Farm, Hoghton, which is late C15th early C16th, and
has 4 cruck-trusses. Next came Harrock Hall Barn, Wrightington,
of a similar date and with 7 cruck-trusses. These were followed
by the box-framed Mawdesley Hall and Rawcliffe Hall (Fylde).
Indeed, many of these buildings featured in the latest Pevsner
guide to North Lancashire. Kevin stated that there are more
timber-framed buildings in Lancashire than people realise. The
steeply pitched roofs of cruck buildings were usually thatched,
but flagstones often covered the roofs of box-framed buildings.
Local straw for thatching is now unavailable except for 37 acres
of wheat grown at Shepley, near Huddersfield. Reed also comes
from other areas, such as Norfolk and the Firth of Tay, and is
imported from several European countries such as France, or even
China. The cruck barn at Tatton Old Hall was re-thatched with
Chinese reed in 2010. Scotch Green Farmhouse at Inglewhite has a
roof covered of reed from Perpignan, France.
though, Kevin said there were 4 different styles of architecture
in Lancashire from this time, Lake District, West Riding
(Rochdale area), North Midlands (Warrington) and an Irish style
(West Lancashire coastal area).
Stone buildings came next and
Kevin showed numerous examples of houses and halls in east
Lancashire. These included stone porches with jettied, or
oversailing upper storeys, of which there are similar numbers in
Pennine Lancashire and Yorkshire, but rarely found elsewhere.
Interesting gargoyle waterspouts featured on several buildings
around the Rochdale/Littleborough area.
Causeway Farm, Hoghton
knowledge about his subject and particular eye for detail was
displayed in his explanation of Shuttleworth Hall, near Burnley,
a fine example of typical Lancashire/Yorkshire Pennine gentry
house. He brought out the subtle differences in architectural
style from area to area. Heck posts, whose role was to support a
large smokehood beam, were sometimes carved with a St. Andrew’s
Cross and roll-mouldings in order to ward off witches and evil
spirits. These were called witch-posts, and four farmhouses
containing witch-posts have now been identified in East
Lancashire. In addition, a horizontal witch-beam can be seen in
the Boar’s Head Public House in Newchurch, Rawtenstall, not far
from 2 houses with a witch-post. A witch-post can be seen.
In-situ, in the re-erected Stang End Farmhouse at Ryedale Folk
Museum, Hutton-le-Hole, North Yorkshire. Peculiar to Lancashire
though was a 2 storey porch with staircase; an example is at
Bury Fold, Darwen.
Finally, Kevin gave us some
examples of brickwork, of which Samlesbury Hall was the earliest
dated 1545. His examples came thick and fast and included more
fine halls, farmhouses, public houses, decorated brickwork and
chimneys from across Lancashire and the Lake District.
Unfortunately, Kevin ran out of time but not out of his passion
for his subject that made for an excellent evening that was well
received by those present.
Peter Robinson, with additions
from Kevin Illingworth