Mike Sumner
Salesbury along with its neighbours Wilpshire and Clayton-Le-Dale are located to the north-east of Blackburn forming part of its suburbs and could be described as the window into the Ribble Valley. However the boundaries of these three areas have taken many changes over time with Salesbury being of Saxon origin having the ancient Manor of Salesbury which originally included Salesbury, Wilpshire, Clayton-le-Dale and Dinkley. The whole Manor was controlled by the powerful Salesbury family who were the Lords of the Manor and resided at Salesbury Hall and later Lovely Hall. The Lord of the Manor in Norman times was Gilbert de Salesbury when much of its land that sloped down to the River Ribble was mostly used for pastoral farming.
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Map Showing the Salesbury Area Before 1800
This early map shows the location of Salesbury Hall within its Manor and the extensive park attached to the hall which historically was useful for the sport of hunting wild boar, deer and pheasant and nearby New Hall, another former residence of the Salesbury family. Copster Green at this time is a developed hamlet near Lovely Hall, as is Salesbury village which at that time was in Clayton-Le-Dale with Clayton Hey Fold dominating.
Originally when William 1 of England conquered Blackburnshire some of the Saxon Thanes who held lands under Edward the Confessor were left in possession of their estates or had them sub-divided or confiscated depending on how faithful they had been to the King. In this way the Manor of Salesbury descended to the first Lord of Salesbury named Ulkil. The tenure of the manor was by thenage with a rate payment of 5 shillings as its area was rated as 1 ploughland. Gilbert de Salesbury the son of Ulkil became the Lord of the Manor at the turn of the century following the Norman Conquest. Gilbert’s brother Waltheus also held lands here and donated some land to the abbot and monks of Salley as did his sons later. In the Coucher book of Whalley Abbey appears the names of Adam, Gilbert, Randolph, Richard and Roger-de- Salesbury. In time the De-Clitherhou family of Clitheroe and Mitton added Salesbury Manor to their family possessions when Hugh-de-Clitherhou married Hugh-de-Salesbury’s eldest daughter Cecelia and continued ownership from 1276. During the fourteenth centuary there were many changes of family controlling the manor and from 1357 via a marriage to Sibilla daughter of Richard-de- Hoghton it passed into the De-Hoghton’s possession and remained there into the fifteenth centuary via Richard-de-Hoghton. Sibilla-de-Clitherhou daughter of Robert-de-Clitherhou married three times with her last husband being Roger-de-Falthorp and during her widowhood to
Roger she issued a licence dated 27thDecember 1406 to build a chapel or oratory in her manor of Salisberie. This was to celebrate mass and other divine offices as long as it didn’t go against the Mother church for a period of three years. Sabilla died in December 1414 and her daughter Johanna Hoghton wife of Henry succeeded her but having no children the estate passed to the De-Hoghtons with the lands valued at £20per annum. In 1422 Isabella Talbot and her husband John from the Talbots of Bashall Hall were made heirs to the Manor of Salesbury under a settlement of Johanna Hoghton when she died. The Talbots were one of the great Catholic families of England residing in Blackburnshire for 250 years and whose banner was known on every field of battle on British soil from Flodden to Worcester and Preston. Their son John Talbot known as “Little John Talbot” took over the estate and assisted in 1464 in the betrayal of Henry V1 near Clitheroe during the Wars of the Roses being rewarded with a pension by Edward 1V and died in 1485. In 1464 Henry V1 (House of Lancaster) was a fugitive after the battle of Hexham when Edward 1V took the crown and hid at both Waddow and Bolton Halls. However Little John Talbot was one of the gentlemen who knew where he was and organised a black monk to follow his movements. As a result he was surprised at dinner in Waddow Hall but escaped through a window to Clitheroe and then Whalley before he was caught and taken to London on horseback and put in the Tower. Little John was succeeded by Sir John Talbot in 1483 and one of his children known as “Long John Talbot “ succeeded him aged 24 at his father’s death in 1511 and then married Isabella daughter of Richard de Townley but he died in 1515. His will bequeathed the Salesbury Manor worth £50 including messuages, lands, mills and rents in Salesbury, Dynkeley, Clayton-in-le-Dale Manors along with Whilipshire, Bylington, Dutton, Ribchester and Clyerowe to his 14year old son John Talbot of Salesbury. One of his sons called Thomas Talbot was the Clerk to the “Tower Records” in London and a noted antiquarian. John Talbot was a captain in the Lancashire section of Queen Mary’s army and he died in 1588 when Salesbury Manor consisted of 10 messuages, 10 cottages, 20 gardens, 20 orchards, 200 acres of land, 40 acres of meadows, 40 acres of pasture, 100 acres of woodland and 100 acres of moss and turbary. His grandson John was the next heir and was later knighted by King James 1 in 1607 but in 1642 when war broke out he claimed neutrality but was secretly tied to the Royalists and was appointed by the Earl of Derby as collector for Blackburn Hundred of the levy for county subsidy. During this period Salesbury Hall was occupied and pillaged, his son George was fighting on the Royalists side at Preston where he was captured causing John Talbot to pay a fine of £444 but he was later pardoned by the king and Parliament in1648. He died in1659 and was buried at Blackburn Church with his son John succeeding till 1666 when he died, then his child Dorothy married Edward Warren of Poynton in Chester with the estate being held by their various children eg. Edward followed by George in 1737 who became a governor of Blackburn Grammar School in 1757 and died in 1801. Sir George Warren in 1827 succeeded his father as second Lord de Tabley and held Salesbury, Dinkley, Osbaldeston and Clayton Manor Estates, the local hostelry was named after him namely the De-Tabley Arms. The estates were sold in 1866 to Henry Ward of Blackburn who was a cotton manufacturer for £140,000 and he proceeded to re-build many of the old delapidated farm houses of the Manor from the 17th century e.g. Harwood Fold and alter others into larger residences e.g. “The Oakes” later the property of Major Birtwistle.
Originally this was built on the left bank of the River Ribble adjacent to Sale Wheel – the pool where the River Ribble water wheels and swirls which gave its name to the Manor of Salesbury and the ancient manor house close by. Originally the hall had been an extensive cluster of buildings forming a quadrangle round a central courtyard. By the time of Charles Haworth’s drawing of the 1880’s only two wings had survived.
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 Reverand S.J. Allen Drawing of Salesbury Old Hall in 1834
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Charles Haworth Drawing of the Original Salesbury Old Hall
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The Courtyard of Salesbury Hall With its Tudor
Timber and Stone Buildings
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Another View of Salesbury Hall Outbuildings
The upper walls of the buildings were of timbered structures with massive oak frameworks with projecting cornices and the lower walls made of dressed stone (see pictures above). The interior of the west wing had on the upper floor a series of rooms reached via a long corridor and partioned with oak panels with the lower rooms being greatly altered making it difficult to decide their original layout. The hall in times gone by had been surrounded by a moat. On the north side of the site were fragments of a massive rubble wall which must have belonged to the earliest structure built there. In the garden was part of a Roman pillar and formerly there was an elaborately carved Roman alter dedicated to Appolo built into one of the walls of the old hall. This was later removed by Dr. Whittaker and donated to St. Johns College Cambridge with clear indications it had come from the Roman fort at Ribchester. Agricola’s military way from Ribchester Fort to York passed along the higher ground south of the hall on the hill slopes with traces of a paved road surface having been seen. The road to Dinkley in the front of the hall site is much younger than the hall being constructed in 1674 as a public highway with permission from Sir John Talbot for it to cross Salesbury Hall Park which had a game reserve for hunting and stretched as far as Copster Green and the Park Gates Inn with the park being contained along this northern section with a stone wall.
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Map Showing the Location of Salesbury Hall in 1898
The most ancient part of Salesbury Hall was originally a chapel and by the 1900’s it was being used for stabling and other accommodation connected with the farm that operated from the hall. As in the case of Osbaldeston Hall and other houses in the Ribble Valley the builders of the original Salesbury Hall made use of stone that was found at the old Roman fort at Ribchester. All traces of the original Old hall were pulled down in 1883 and a large mansion built on its site as the new Salesbury Hall and the estate continued as a large farm. In 1894 the estate of Henry Ward cotton manufacturer passed into the possession of the Duke of Somerset a name that survives via Somerset Avenue, Wilpshire. He however didn’t live there but rented it out although taking a special interest in the old farm houses that belonged to it, one of which was Bolton Hall at Copster Green. Later the estate passed to William Ward of Blackburn and Mellor who bought it for his love of sport but he didn’t survive long to enjoy it and a year after his death it was again on the market in 1920 when many of the tenant farmers purchased their own farms. In modern times the hall was demolished and a large modern mansion built in its place completed in 2005 at a cost of £3 million and covering 11,970 square feet as part of a 250 acre estate masterplan which included the restoration of adjoining stable buildings into a two bedroomed dwelling and planning permission to convert the neighbouring farm complex into a rural office park. This scheme received a civil design and conservation award in 2007. The hall’s grounds more recently have been used to host the Lancashire Agricultural Show.
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The Modern Salesbury Hall
George Talbot the second son of Sir John Talbot who died in 1659 built a residence for himself called the New Hall which stands on the south bank of the River Ribble just a short distance from Ribchester Bridge and the De Tabley Inn.
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View of New Hall-Early 1900’s
New Hall is a good example of a house built for lesser gentry at the time of Charles 11 and has a roof line broken by gables together with small mullioned windows and a gabled porch. In recent times it has been renovated for a private dwelling without altering its original appearance.
This is one of the most picturesque of the old halls in this area and is an ancient gabled structure originally built in the 17th century on the site of an earlier building. Over several generations it was the home of the Boultons and the Parkers who may have acquired it via marriage. In the 18th century it was owned by the Winders and John Winder repaired the building and left his initials dated 1735 on it. Later the property passed to George Nicholas Starkie of Huntroyde who restored and enlarged the property as an occasional residence and for the use of one of his sons who unfortunately died. During the 1950’s/60’s it was the residence of Albert Higham (cotton manufacturer) who developed the gardens and introduced electric lighting. Before the Highams it was occupied by a former Salesbury curate called A. Robinson followed by Mr. and Mrs. Stones and then Mr. and Mrs. Cayley. Mrs. Cayley was the daughter of Sir William Coddington (cotton manufacturer and Blackburn M.P.) Lovely Hall was always a working pastoral farm and could originally have been one of the Salesbury Hall Estates farms. On its lawn could be seen an interesting 17th century sun-dial and today the hall standing off Lovely Hall Lane is a private residence and still has a working farm with farm outbuildings 
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A 1905 View of Lovely Hall Lane with Pastoral animals
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Entrance to Lovely Hall
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Modern View of Lovely Hall
This area just off the Longsite Road (A59) has a number of older buildings including Copster Hall and Bolton Hall (see 1946 map later).
This was owned by Mr. H. Coar who lived and farmed there. It was clearly an old building, as at one time it had battlements reminiscent of the days when a gentleman’s home was his castle to ensure he could protect his home from rivals. Close to it was a never failing spring of water which supplied it and the rest of the settlement with a water supply whose purity was testimony to the fact that locals wouldn’t leave the area. Certainly the inhabitants of the area attained longevity of life with one cottager living to 105 years called William Hayhurst who only died when he fell down his stairs. Known as Billy Balshaw he was buried in Salesbury churchyard recording that he had 103 descendants. He was once given a new suit of clothes by Colonel Starkie of Lovely Hall when he reached 100 and even though he was clearly grateful the Colonel soon saw him in his usual old shabby garments and he explained that he was frightened of wearing the new clothes out!

This is one of the smaller Elizabethan old halls which have degenerated into farmhouses. At one time it was the residence of a Tudor gentleman with its outer walls still having old mullioned windows with diamond patterned glass in the 1920’s with its porch lintel bearing the initials L. B. (Lancelot Bolton) 1655. Nothing remains of the interior and its original carved oak furniture which required an army of domestics to clean. The hall was held for a number of generations by the Bolton family which is of very ancient stock whose pedigree can be traced back to the Norman Conquest with the name suggesting a lineal connection to Saxon proprietors of the earldom of Mercia. The earliest reference to a Bolton was Ulfred de Bolton who lived in Henry 1 time and held Bolton Hall in Bowland which can be regarded as the parent seat from which many Boltons came from with a roll of honourable descendants. The earliest mention of Bolton of Salesbury can be found in 14th century records when they settled at Lovely Hall and Copster with the Copster Estate remaining in the family till the 18thcentury when the family was involved with the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715 and the estate may have been sequested or passed on when some members of the family emigrated to America. Records show that Adam Bolton of Salesbury in 1592 executed a deed of trust in favour of his wife Jane and her children.
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Early 1920’s View of Bolton Hall
Other old properties of the area can be found at Clayton Hey Fold, Harwood Fold and Showley Fold. At Showley Fold is a manor house that was owned by Mr. T.S. Ainsworth who himself is from an ancient family of Pleasington. Showley Hall also possesses ancient connections, as long ago it was owned by the Walmsleys a notable family of the neighbourhood who with the Talbots of Salesbury Hall and the Petres following the Reformation kept to the Roman church. Although greatly altered it was an imposing house built round three sides of a courtyard (similar to Salesbury Hall) and possessed a domestic chapel with rumours that it had a private burial ground that later became an orchard. In the last quarter of the 18th century it was the residence of Francis Petre (Bishop of Amoria and vicar Apostelio of the Northern Province under the Roman Catholic faith. Clayton Hey Fold and Harwood Fold can be traced to the 18thcentury and were always involved in pastoral farming. Clayton Grange is a more recent house and was once the residence of Colonel Rainsford Jackson when in May 1878 it was attacked by rioters during a cotton trade dispute as he was a mill owner and chairman of the Employers Federation involved in a wage dispute. Rough characters of the lockout dispute vented their anger on the owner’s house after marching in a body from Blackburn and set it on fire. However he was not at the house but they came across a carriage which they thought was his but which contained the Reverend P. Hopwood Hurst vicar of Salesbury and as they had no quarrel with him left him untouched. At the same time his wife and children having been told of the rioters intensions had escaped by carriage leaving a message at the Bonny Inn. At a later date the property was rebuilt by Mr. Henry Ward and was for a time his residence followed by Mr. W. Bickersdike J.P. before he built Bryers Croft at Wilpshire. In the 1920’s it was the home of Mr. Spencer Porter-Hargreaves.

The local hostelry of Salesbury namely the Bonny Inn can trace its records back to 1822 when it was called the Bonny Inn or The Sign of the Dog when the owner was described as a weaver but could dispense ale when he was not weaving. During the early days the pub had two closes of land suggesting it stood in a lonely lane (Long Lane now Ribchester Road) surrounded by fields. It was acquired by Daniel Thwaites in 1864 and it is known that the mob that fired Clayton Grange and learning that Colnel Jackson and family had escaped via the pubs landlord Richard Coar looted it and drank it dry with the local bobbies helpless to stop them. One of the leaders of the mob called Smalley was later given 15 years in prison for his share of the day’s activities. During its life right up to modern times the pub has remained at the centre of village life of Salesbury. At one time its landlord was a well-known character whose excesses at drinking and behaviour were legendry in the area especially his pranks and led their way into local poets verse.
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The Bonny Inn in the Early 1900’s
Prior to 1807 the only place of worship in Salesbury was a small private chapel at Salesbury Hall or chapels at Showley Hall or possibly Lovely Hall which covered the needs of landowners, tenants and servants. However for most villagers there was a journey involved either to St. Wilfred’s Church in Ribchester or St. Mary’s Church in Blackburn. As a result Old Ned’s bus which was a horse bus run by Ned Slater of Blackburn ran to St. Wilfred’s Church Ribchester picking up Salesbury residents on the way. In 1807 the parish of Salesbury village got its first church run as a chapelry of Blackburn and opened by the Bishop of Chester because prior to 1847 the diocese of Litchfield then Chester covered the Salesbury and Wilpshire areas. The original church was called the “Old White Church” and together with the original church school cost £584 to build. This church was located near the lower end of the present church’s churchyard and had a curate in charge as it was only later that that the district formed into a separate parish. There was no parsonage and at one time the parson lived in a part of Showley Fold and at another Lovely Hall. The church was a small charming rustic building with high pews and an interior as plain as the exterior apart from a gallery that ran round the inside wall for scholars who were overseen by their teachers. In the centre of the gallery there was a clock and the church had no heat other than a small stove in the centre which constantly had to be stoked up and straw was laid on the floor of the pews to keep peoples’ feet warm. The only music available was via a harmonium and occasionally an additional fiddle. Round the inside walls were wood panels with the 10 commandments on them. On the church roof was a small bell in a turret which was later taken to “The Grange” when the church was demolished and hung over the back door and used to summon the gardener! In time the simple building became dilapidated and was condemned in 1848 as it had been very poorly built and not very church-like and ruinous according to the rural dean. However despite its condition it survived for another 40 years with no vicarage for its clergyman and propped up with timber supports even after a committee had been formed to build a larger new church to seat 600 people along with a new school and schoolhouse, which in fact was built earlier than the new church.
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Salesbury Old White Church
During the vicarage of Reverend P. Hopwood Hart a committee again agreed to build a new church in 1873 and it was eventually built in 1887 above the site of the old church on the edge of Hazel Common. Its foundation stone was laid on the 8th. May 1886 with Masonic honours by Colonel Le Gendre Starkie the Provincial Grand Master of East Lancashire, attended by the whole village. The site for the new church had been donated by the lord of Salesbury Manor and the contract prior to its construction was for £3350 with an extra £300 for drainage as it was built over a former duck pond! When the foundations were being laid apart from boggy marshland they came upon shifting sand so branches of gorse were laid on top of the sand and soil to form a raft. The corner foundation stone was brought by horse and waggon from a quarry at Longridge Fell. Messrs. J.H. Stones and A.R. Gradwell of Richmond Terrace were chosen as the architects for the new church. When built it was a small church seating 400 people but attractive with its ivy covered walls and pointed bell turret and a well laid out churchyard. Within the church there was a beautifully carved oak Holy Table, clergy seats and panels, a gift of Mrs. Stones of” “Warren Holt” in memory of her husband and mother. The warden’s stalls at the west end were given by Mr. James Crabtree when he was warden. Above the font was a brass plaque for those who lost their lives in the wars with another plaque in the north wall commemorating Viscount and Viscountess Bulkeley formerly Lords of the Manor and benefactors of the parish. There was also a memorial window near the pulpit commemorating the Reverend P. Hart’s ministry as vicar of Salesbury. The churches recent additions of the Lady Chapel, Vestry and Lynch Gate were dedicated by the Bishop of Lancaster in 1968.
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New Salesbury Church in the Early 1900’s
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Salesbury Church Yard
At the turn of the century a Church Army Van from Manchester visited the area and stayed for a week with the men from it cycling round the district to hold prayer meetings. Cottage prayer meetings were regularly held at one time on Copster Green at Bolton Hall and also at the old manor house at Park Gates Farm.
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Horse Driven Church Army Van
The first school in Salesbury village was built in 1805 and was a small primitive two roomed structure built in the corner of what is now the churchyard. The accommodation it provided and the education offered was very rudimentary covering reading, writing and arithmetic. In 1850 the first portion of the present school and school house was started and finally completed in 1859 due to the efforts of Reverend Dickins Haselwood of the parish church. This school was originally an L shaped building consisting of two rooms approximately 40ft. x 20ft. and separated by a stone wall with a communicating door and one of the rooms had a small gallery round it. The entrance was near the north end of the building and the door at the south was for access to the head-masters house which was reached by a cobbled pathway on the side of which was a grass area with a flower border. Climbing rose trees were trained to grow by the east window of the infant’s room to give a colourful approach. Drinking water for the children was carried from the nearby Ben Well. At this time there was no cloakroom with the children’s coats and caps hung on hooks round the classroom walls with no facilities for washing hands, so open ditches found on both sides of the road outside the school had to be used. In the early 1880’s the dividing wall between the two rooms was partly removed and a revolving screen introduced. Originally the school had its own bell in a structure attached to the building and when rung could be heard throughout the parish and beyond but in time the structure became unsafe so the bell was removed and was later lost. In these early days financial matters were a big problem and although “school pence” paid by pupils brought in some revenue the problem was finding the school masters salary of about £90 out of which his assistant had to be paid. An extract from Her Majesties Inspectorate in 1886 stated “On the whole this school is a fair one although reading requires more intelligence, writing is small and requires neatness, sewing and singing are fair as also is English. However with English the upper standards fall between those in the lower section and more than half the slates need correction. The diocese Inspector however said the school followed its syllabus carefully and answering questions was excellent as was repetition of texts and it was obvious the head teacher and one assistant worked hard. In 1888 financial difficulties forced the school to close with the head teacher Mr. Robinson accepting a post at Messrs. Joseph Appleton & Son with the school re-opening the following year under a Headmistress called Miss Ainscow who stayed till 1892. In these early days it was common at New Year Tea Parties with the clammer of excited youngsters at tables for the senior teacher to make his rounds of the tables distributing from his hat liberal slices of current bread followed by his assistant teacher giving out seed bread from their hat. In 1892 Blackburn Orphanage was opened and there was an influx of new scholars which led to the appointment of the first pupil teacher called Sarah Frankland on an annual salary of £5! Later in 1892 Mr. W. Robson became headmaster which led to more rigid discipline and excellent teaching with him also becoming in charge of the Sunday School. At the start of the 20th century there was a row over the religious teaching because non-conformists objected to their children being taught the Baptismal Covenant from the Church of England catechism. As a result a new syllabus of religious instruction was drawn up to meet the wishes of all concerned and was also covered during debates for the 1902 Education Bill in the House of Commons. In these early days there was no such thing as school dinners and long distance pupils who walked to school from Ramsgreave, The orphanage, Copster Green and Shawley Fold all carried their dinners to school in baskets. Mugs containing tea or cocoa ready to brew were placed on shelves that stood near the infant’s entrance door to be easily accessible for the caretaker to brew in time for dinner. At the same time it was common for mice to sneak out from cracks in the walls to investigate the contents of the dinner baskets.
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Present St. Peter's School Salesbury
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1890’s/1900’s Classroom View in Salesbury School
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All the Pupils of Salesbury School Assembled For a Group Photograph
In 1913 three new classrooms were added to the school and washbasins installed with cold water taps and toilets installed. These changes were brought about with the influx of more children from the Orphanage and as the school couldn’t find the money a public meeting was called and ratepayers in the surrounding area agreed to the levying of a penny rate, the Orphanage also helped but the largest benefactor was the Railway Company. At one time there was over 100 children attending the school from the Orphanage who wore a set uniform and walked to school in a line with an Attendant, however eventually through the efforts of the Headmaster their uniform was discarded and the children given pocket money.
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Orphange Children Attending Salesbury School
Practically all the children wore clogs as shoes or boots were too expensive and saved for Sunday. It was much cheaper to replace the irons (or corkers) on your clogs than new leather for your shoes. In these early years “Half Timers” attended Salesbury School which meant for half a day pupils worked in a local mill, one week attending school in the morning and the mill in the afternoon and the next week reversing the arrangement. In 1924 Mr. Robson retired and Mr. Croft was appointed supported by Mrs. Cross with a more modern curriculum introduced which included the development of a school garden on a field across from the school. By 1930 the boys were attending Belper Street Baths once a week and until 1934 light in the classrooms was supplied from a gas pipe which had four arms and originally provided a naked fan shaped flame later replaced by mantles. In 1934 electric fittings were installed to give more efficient lighting to help pupils work and also marked the time when school dinners were introduced but as there was no school hall arrangements were made to have them in the local Memorial Hall on long trestle tables, with the meals served from hot containers. During the 1920’s/30’s Lady Bukeley created a scholarship to give the school an opportunity for its pupils to proceed to secondary School for a more advanced education. At the start of the 2nd World War children who had been evacuated to Salesbury/Wilpshire areas attended the school. In 1948 Salesbury School became a junior and Infants School and children at eleven could now sit for the Scholarship Exam which enabled them to attend Clitheroe Royal Grammar School with the other children moving to either St. Wilfrid’s School in Blackburn or Ribblesdale in Clitheroe. In 1951 Mr. Kirkham took over the leadership of the school and led it through changing regulations and schemes for improving the premises.
Class Room View of Pupils in The 1950’s
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1950’s View of Pupils in The Gymnasium
During 1962 the school took on its more modern form with additional classrooms, wider corridors, new toilets and cloakroom together with the construction on an assembly hall and new entrance hall. During modern times there were further enlargements to the school buildings in the 1990’s together with the redevelopment of school play areas, the development of school playing fields for sports and the creation of a school lay-bye for parking.
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Modern Extension to Salesbury School
This is the last significant building in the area which today is a very well used Community Centre. The foundation stone for this building was laid in 1927 by the Bishop of Blackburn after the local community raised funds for its construction led by the vicar Reverend T. Walker. In 1928 it was officially opened on a site just off Ribchester road close to the Bonny Inn by Colonel G.H. Bolton commander of the East Lancashire Regiment.
The total cost of building the Memorial Hall was £3500 with the institute opening with a large assembly room, kitchen, cloak room and secretaries office on the ground floor with a large room upstairs which would develop into a billiards room together with another room. Attending the opening of the Hall were Reverend Walker, Mr. A. Parker-Hargreaves (chairman of the Memorial Hall Committee) and Major Brian Bickerdike. The purpose of the hall was to provide a community facility in memory of the local men who had lost their lives in the 1st World War and whose names were placed on a memorial tablet within the hall. After the opening speech a concert was held in the main hall. In later years on land surrounding the hall playing fields were developed for local children along with a tennis court, a bowling green and club house. A car park was later developed to complete these excellent facilities.
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Salesbury War Memorial Hall
This was hard and very different to today as its population was in decline due to the poverty because its people only earned a frugal living by hand loom weaving and tending  farmsteads often little better than a smallholding or worked as a farm labourer at local farms. Most of the farms were dairy farms due to the climate and landscape together with some sheep and poultry. Similarly Copster Green consisted of a number of hand loom cottages where the inhabitants scraped a living by similar means to those at Salesbury. Most of the hand loom weavers of both areas would carry their cloth to a small warehouse off Lovely Hall Lane which later became the original school building below St. Peters churchyard from where it would be collected and taken to Blackburn. On the open green at Copster could be seen ducks wandering about as they were allowed to inhabit the area. The smallholders of both areas grew oats as a staple crop which was ground at Mill House farm by its miller Billy and used by the poor inhabitants to make porridge. The houses of the hand loom weavers in Salesbury formed a triangular plot above the school and opposite the new church with the village shop on the corner at the junction of lovely Hall Lane and Ribchester Road. This due to the isolation of the village dispersed a great range of goods and utensils and remained in place till the 1950’s.
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Early Salesbury Housing and Shop in Centre of Village up to Bonny Inn
In one of the cottages opposite the church lived “Old Lofty” who was well known for his violent opinions and leadership in the power loom breaking activities which threatened the villager’s livelihood and caused the population of the village to shrink as villagers left to work in the new cotton weaving mills of Blackburn during the Industrial Revolution e.g. Salesbury population in 1851 was reduced down to 350 but by 1871 had shrunk further to 202. In these early days there was little time for recreation but on the spot of the present church there was a sort of race track with foot races and donkey and barrow races run round an old duck pond on land cleared from Hazel Wood to form a common. These were organised from the Bonny Inn with wagers on the outcomes usually in pints of ale and therefore it was common for people to drink to excess at these meetings. The 20 acres of common land at Salesbury have been jealously guarded over the years where commoner’s rights allowed people to graze animals and share rights of way across it, with the rights well recorded to ensure its protection even to today. Originally it had a stone wall boundary between it and nearby Long Row (Ribchester Road) which eventually got into disrepair and was removed.
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Salesbury Common Wall alongside Ribchester Road 1900
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Ordnance Survey Map of Salesbury-1848

This shows the area of Salesbury between the Preston to Whalley turnpike road (now the A59) down to Showley Brook. Long Row (Ribchester Road) can be clearly seen splitting the area forming a link from Wilpshire down to Ribchester. Lovely Hall Lane was then a mere track to Copster Green meeting Long Row at the centre of the village with the triangular plot of land between the two consisting of hand loom weavers/farm workers cottages together with the Bonny Inn and another row of old cottages beyond the Bonny. Hazel Wood shown on the pre 1800 map had been cleared with its name preserved by Hazel Moor which became Salesbury Common. The original church and school below the present day churchyard can be seen with the church indicated as a chapelry. Clayton Hey Fold was a sizeable hamlet with the main building (mentioned earlier) together with its farmhouse and workers cottages. Lovely Hall also shows the main residence and its farmhouse. Other residences mostly with farmland visible are the Oaks, The Low, Palmers Greave and the farm settlement at the Ashes. Evidence that there was no water supply to the inhabitants at this time is the number of wells in the area which together with local streams provided the water supply. Copster Green village to the far north at the bottom of Lovely Lane had a quarry indicating a source of stone for the local buildings along with a corn mill described earlier as the place where oats were ground into flour. Apart from tracks and lanes connecting the various farmhouses the main form of transport for local people was footpaths which created a local network for access with crossing points of streams/rivers indicated by stepping stones/foot stick (Showley Brook). At this time only farmers and local dignitaries would have horses and carriages/carts to use on the two roads visible.
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Ordnance Survey Map of Salesbury-1898
This map shows in the passing fifty years there has been both an increase in housing numbers and an enlargement of some properties especially in the central area and the development of a village shop opposite the newly built St. Peters Church now in its present position (see below).
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St Peter’s Church Salesbury
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Village Shops and Early Property’s Opposite The Church
The 1898 map also shows the new school situated further down Lovely Hall Lane on the opposite side to the original. Other significant changes have been the building of fine new Victorian detached properties as the wealthy cotton manufacturers of Blackburn move out to develop properties in a more rural setting eg. Clayton Grange (Colonel Jackson) mentioned earlier whose house was burnt down by cotton workers, Clayton Lodge, Ellerslie House and Mayfield Cottage. Enlargements of existing properties are clearly visible to Lovely Hall, The oaks and Palmers Green (formerly Greeve). Quarries and an old clay pit close to Low Farm indicate the increasing need for building materials although by now brick was also being used for construction. The remnants of Hazel Moor are shown on both sides of Lovely Hall Lane as are newly established gardens around Lovely Hall, The Oaks and Clayton Grange, evidence of the increased wealth of the owners and a new interest in gardening together with the invention of new gardening equipment. Evidence that more properties now had a clean water supply and toilets can be seen by the Sewage Works and reservoir to the south by Showley Brook together with local ponds. Salesbury Church graveyard can now be seen isolated from the church as the remnant of the original church site. By 1898 the field boundaries are more distinct often outlined by rows of trees. The road surfaces by this date had been improved, roads had been widened and many former tracks upgraded into minor roads as transport improved and was more widely used. However the number of footpaths across the area had increased which showed the increased use of outdoor pursuits, especially popular by now were day outings by Blackburn workers to the Salesbury/Wilpshire areas made possible by the tram service to Wilpshire Terminus and the easy access to Salesbury via Wilpshire Bottoms.
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Early Rural View of Ribchester Road seen by Walkers c1920
At the turn of the century Salesbury Cricket club was formed initially for the Sunday School scholars with a pitch rented from a local farmer which meant before each home match members had to get to work with buckets and shovels to clean up the out-field after a week’s grazing.
Salesbury Area 1946.jpg
Ordnance Survey Map of Salesbury-1946 
During the 48 years that have passed the most significant change to the area is the increase in housing especially along Ribchester Road and at Copster Green. Along Ribchester Road from its boundary with Wilpshire, especially on the side opposite the Common there are now a whole series of semi-detached houses and bungalows interspaced with detached houses built in the 1930’s/40’s and beyond Clayton Hey Fold are a considerable number of detached properties with extensive gardens as more and more people move out of industrial Blackburn. At Copster Green there was a growth of more detached houses and bungalows with a growth along the A59. Significantly this lateral growth along existing roads indicated the growth of the motor car in the area from the 1920’s as former tracks were upgraded to at least minor road status to cope with the increased movement of people as people now commuted to nearby towns. As a result some rural farmland was by now lost. By this time the village had developed another shop to meet its needs.
 29 Shop and Garage Salesbury.jpg
A. Fletcher Shop and Gas Station for Early Motorists on Ribchester Road
Salesbury Memorial Hall was a popular local facility especially as the population of the area had risen considerably even though work available in the area had fallen dramatically especially at local farms as farm machinery was now dominant and textiles had totally moved out of the district. During this period the stone wall that separated the common land from Ribchester Road had completely disappeared. Vicarage Lane had by now become a housing area with mostly semi-detached houses constructed with large gardens together with St. Peters vicarage (hence the name).
006 Salesbury Map pre 2015.jpg
Ordnance Survey Map of Salesbury-2015
Over the last 70 years the area has yet again gone through another transformation taking it into the modern era. There has again been a significant increase in modern housing all with gardens and garages especially off Ribchester Road with estates of detached and semi-detached houses built in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s such as the Hazels, St. Peters Close, Knowsley Road West and adjoining Beech Close area and additional mostly detached housing developments in the 1990’s and 2000’s infilling Ribchester Road towards the A59 and other growth along the A59 itself and in the Copster Green area. As a result the population of the Salesbury area has increased significantly.
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1970’s View of Durham Road. Modern Housing between Ribchester Road and Knowsley Road
 Another feature of the area since 1935 has been the greatly increased and improved leisure facilities available especially at Salesbury Memorial Hall which is now surrounded by football pitches, for junior football, tennis courts, Salesbury Bowling Club with its own green and club house which supports teams in a variety of local leagues. The Memorial Hall itself has been adopted to offer a wide range of activities to meet the local needs including keep fit classes. On the outer edge of the common a cricket ground has been developed with facilities which have encouraged cricket development especially at youth level so that the club can put out a wide range of teams playing in very scenic surroundings overlooking the Ribble Valley. Salesbury Common itself which is still protected has been upgraded from its wetland days and is maintained with its vegetation protected and is well used by walkers and children playing games. Another modern feature of the area was the development by Lancashire County Council of sheltered housing for older citizens at Showley court with a central apartment block surrounded by sheltered bungalows.Alongside this has developed a private housing development of detached houses at Showley Court to infill the remaining area with separate access.
31 a View of Salesbury.jpg
More Modern View of Ribchester Road with Semi-Detached Houses Opposite the Common
 Other large modern detached houses and conversions have been created further down Vicarage Lane and many original farm houses and outbuildings in the Salesbury area have been converted into private homes eg. Low Farm, Harwood Fold and Clayton Hey Fold. As the new housing areas have grown they have created many roads, avenues and closes to provide access to motorised transport and all main roads are now tarmac surfaced. Today in 2016 Salesbury is a very popular and vibrant area in which to live illustrated by the increased school population reflecting the demand to live in this community which no doubt will increase the pressure to further develop the remaining green areas that become available.