The decipherment of Manor deeds affords many curious
examples of the way place names were spelt according to their sound by the
men responsible for writing these documents. Lack of education was
responsible for this, and this phonetic spelling has caused many curious
changes within a few years as can be seen from the following:-
|In A. D. 1200 Kuhill|
|In A. D. 1220 Cuhill|
|In A. D. 1280 Couul|
|In A. D. 1295 Cowhul|
|In A. D. 1300 Cowill|
|In A. D. 1379 Cowhill|
|In A. D. 1640 Cowell|
The fold once consisted of four farms, Cowhill being
just one of them.
This farm is situated on Cowhill Fold and is 80 acres
in size. The farmhouse and outbuildings are constructed of stone, dating
from about 1850. The buildings are used for their original purposes, the
barn and dairy having been added later.
The fields vary in size from 20 to 10 acres. Fences
except one that has a hedge and ditch bound the fields. The stream forms
the sides of 5 of the fields.
The farmhouse is on the higher land of Cowhill fold. There is a gentle
slope down the fold and the fields at the bottom are flat. The flat land
is used for meadowland, the slopes for grazing.
The drainage is good except for near the stream where
the land is always marsh. There is a little artificial drainage, as pipes
have been laid under one field recently. The gentle slopes allow water to
drain into the stream.
The soils have high clay content and need constant
liming and manuring. The farm is not sheltered and is exposed to the
winds. Again there is no arable farming.
The grass is permanent; Kale was grown at one time but
not now. The grass is for grazing and the hay for fodder.
The farmer had a herd of 20 Friesian cows. In the
winter they are housed in the shippon. Again fodder is bought for them to
supplement the hay, mostly in the form of cattle cake.
A few sheep are bought each autumn for wintering, then
sold the following spring. They usually graze on the meadowland.
Hens are kept on the farm, the eggs are sold locally or
sent to the packing station.
Pigs used to be kept on the farm, and turkeys reared
for Christmas but the farmer no longer keeps pigs or turkeys.
The farm is one that has been in the family for about 3
generations. The farmers wife again helps around the farm. One boy is
permanently employed and temporary help is employed at hay making time.
Machinery is adequate with a tractor and haymaking
equipment. As at farm A, during haymaking, a farmer with a bailer loans
himself to the farm.
Milk is again Tuberculin tested, but all the milk is
bottled on the farm, the farmer having a retail round in Rishton.
A North East Lancashire Cotton Town by Marian Sleigh