Talks & Meetings


Monday 3 February, 2020

The History of Shaw Cottage Shawbridge

Barbara’s talk will provide us with
‘a glimpse into local history with the story of
one of Clitheroe’s oldest houses and the people who made it their home, reflecting the development of the town throughout the past 340 years. From its origins as a yeoman's property and connections with the aristocratic hierarchy in Clitheroe , on through the industrial revolution and the growth of the cotton industry, the history of Shaw Cottage encapsulates the history of the town itself’.

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The History of Shaw Cottage 1680-2020.

How does one condense a presentation covering three and a half centuries in 200 words maximum ?? It is impossible !! Barbara Alty’s “talk” for Clitheroe Civic Society caused just such a problem .

The oldest continually inhabited house in Clitheroe took us back to the reign of King Charles II. ( Yes, he of the flowing locks and silken hose ! ) This was when permission was granted to Edward Page to build a house on the “shey”, or wasteland, between the town boundary and the moorland to the south of town . A short description of the local history of that time and we saw the building of the house – many parts of which are still in situ – the thick walls , certain mullioned windows , local stonework, oak staircase and an ancient door bear evidence of this fact. The occupants were yeomen – burgesses and bailiffs of the town who kept peace in a more naïve Clitheroe – doling out punishments and fines to keep the town a fit place to live. Page, Standen and Bawdwen were their names – eventually followed by the landed gentry of the town - who were eligible to vote simply because they owned the burgage house. The Curzons ( one who became Lord Howe ) leased out their property – to local folk, and then to the mill owners responsible for the growth in Clitheroe’s population between 1800 and 1850 from 1,400 to 6,000. – ( we are witnessing a similar explosion at the moment !! ).

William Horsfall of Garnett and Horsfall, owners of the great Low Moor Mill, followed by Stuttard Brothers of Salford Bridge Mill.

In 1847, Clitheroe Royal Grammar School took over ownership of the house , (along with large chunks of the High Moor), leasing again to mill owners, Robert Dewhurst , then Henry Robinson, whose son established a poultry farm at the property and at neighbouring Brooklands.

In 1901 a new house , Ashgrove, was built adjoining the old house, by Ambrose Veevers Joiners & Funeral Directors. Later leased to the Parker family in the 1950’s, and then sold to the Armisteads.

Four Prudential agents – Summersgill, Freeman, Johnston and Dinnis were next to live in Shaw Cottage. Thomas Dinnis’s son, Richard , purchased the property in 1955 and it remained in the Dinnis family until its sale to Peter Hill & Family in1987.

Upgrades were made on the way to facilitate modern living conditions …. and then….in 2004, Barry Swarbrick fell for the property as he walked in the front door !! There is little left to tell …… apart from the love and sensitive refurbishment done by Barry and Barbara over the years … and latterly by Barbara on her own, as she breathes the magic back into this unique homestead.

Next month – 7-30 p.m. Monday, 2nd. March 2020, - will be “A circular presentation of Old Clitheroe “ - the postcard views of Clitheroe by Arthur Langshaw and Edmondson Buck, explained by local historian and author, John Lambert… be early !!!

Clitheroe Civic Society’s new permanent venue is St. Michael and St. John’s Parish Centre , Lowergate BB7 1AG – opposite the car-park . Entrance is £3 to guests and includes light refreshments- Students free.



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11 May 2020

The Archaeology of the Ribble Valley

Talk by David Johnson


8 April 2020


Currently rescheduled for 15th September 2020


3 February 2020

The History of Shaw Cottage Shawbridge

Talk by Barbara Alty

Note change of venue

The Old School Rooms , St Michael & St John's Parish Centre, Lowergate Clitheroe BB7 1AG

6 January 2020



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