Wigglesworth, Cappleside and The Ribble Way

2 April 2006: Leader - Alan Aspden

On a ferociously wet afternoon we had some excellent exercise and in-depth historical information from Jan Rhodes, firstly on Wigglesworth Hall. The old hall was in the possession of the Hamerton family until the attainder (outlawry in respect of treason) of Sir Stephen Hamerton in 1537 concerning the Pilgrimage of Grace. By the 1560’s it was in the possession of the Townley family, namely Sir Richard Shireburn, which meant that their estates stretched from Stoneyhurst to Wigglesworth. It was a manor formerly surrounded by a deer park. Soke Mill was on the angle of the beck supplied from Wiggglesworth tarn. It fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1860. The Tudor Hall was also demolished and replaced by the current Georgian style building. The hall was sold when the Shireburn/ Stoneyhurst estates were broken up at the end of the 18th century with the failure of a male heir. The tithe barn was described by Thornesby in 1694 as “one of the finest barns possibly in England” and he measured it as 22 yards wide and 46 yards long. There is a large barn at Stoneyhurst. Our walk then passed Cappleside which was formerly in possession of the Nowell family. The house is 17th century at the back; the 18th century fašade was added by Geldard. John Geldart born in Beauty House, Rathmell on March 19 1799, married Elizabeth Abbotson of Wigglesworth Hall on 24 May 1810 at Long Preston and they moved to Cappleside as tenants of the Nowells. Her inheritance enabled them to buy Cappleside in 1818 and they added Far Cappleside in 1827. She also had property in Long Preston and farms at Langcliffe and Arncliffe. John Geldart died in 1852 at Cappleside. They were responsible for the coach house at the right of the house. Far Cappleside barn has a datestone of LN(owell) 1679 and over the door of Cappleside stables there is CN(owell) 1721.