Richard Ainsworth in his researches on the origin of Church Kirk presumes a close association with Oswaldtwistle and deduces and elucidates the evidence which links Church Kirk and Oswaldtwistle with Oswald, King of Old Northumbria. Church Kirk and Oswaldtwistle are both ancient names, the latter portion of each name being Northumbrian origin (547 - 827 A.D.), Oswald (twistle) owes its derivation to Oswald, Saint and King of Old Northumbria.
In support of this, Canon Wallis suggests that there are three possible claimants to the name Oswald or Oswaldtwistle;
- That Oswaldtwistle was the name of the territorial owner or Lord of the land who originally settled in the neighbourhood of Church Kirk.
- That he was St. Oswald, first Bishop of Worcester and later Archbishop of York, who died in 992, whose Saints Day was February, 28th.
- That he was St. Oswald, the hero king of the Old Northumbrian Kingdom, who fell in battle with the Mercian’s in the year 642 A.D.
Of the first two there is no record or evidence of any association with the district. It is to the last that all indications point as the person to whom Oswaldtwistle owes its derivation and Church Kirk its origin. The local evidence is singularly remarkable and strong in his favour, and cannot be ignored in arriving at a solution, and otherwise will require some difficulty in explaining away.
In support of the name of Oswaldtwistle originating from King Oswald allowing for variations of spelling in the early deeds, there has been no indication of any other name having been applied to the township.
Or is Oswald Street named after one of the Petres sons. They had four children altogether, Edward, Oswald, Henry, and George, all of which are street names in Rishton.
The street backs onto the bottom recreation area.
Rishton Street Names by E. Furber. Published October 1995.