Blackburn Road (A678)

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See also Reservoir Side Houses.

Post Codes

1 - 7   BB1 4HD
11 - 73 BB1 4EU
75 - 129   BB1 4ER
  2 - 48 BB1 4BS
  50 - 56 BB1 4BH
  58 BB1 4ER
The Turrets   BB1 4BS
Whitebirk North Cottage   BB1 4AU

Here’s a shot of Blackburn Road taken in 1904 from the top of the church tower.

Blackburn Road 1904, from the tower.

There is very little of the road developed in this picture, The Cricket ground exists, but there is little beyond it, and on the opposite side of the road there are just a few of the mill owners houses.

Blackburn Road starts at the Junction with Station Road, and the Parish Church.

Named because the road leads to Blackburn.

Roads off the Left Hand Side (facing towards Blackburn)

  • Highfield Road
  • Saint Albans Road
  • Churchill Avenue
  • Woodside Avenue
  • Cowhill Lane
  • M65 Motorway.

Streets off the Right Hand Side (facing towards Blackburn)

  • Westwood Avenue
  • Devonshire Road
  • Somerset Road
  • Sussex Road
  • Cut Lane
  • Lane to East Lancashire Sailing Club
  • Higher Side Beet Lane
  • Whitebirk Drive

Left Hand Side (facing West)

Right Hand Side (facing West)

Willow Lodge Saint Peter's & Paul's Church of England
The Willows 1 detached House unnamed. Former vicarage,  built 1880
Wickets Hotel 1 detached property, named MOORHOUSE, built 1886.
1 block of semi detached houses numbered 5 and 7, built 1914. Number 5 is named LYNDALE. 1 detached house, number 6, named THE TURRETS, built 1886.
Highfield Road 1 detached house with public garden to the fore. Previously the coach and stable house to the TURRETS. built 1886.
Cricket Club 1 detached property named SUNNYBANK, built 1897.
1 block of semi detached houses numbered 9 and 11. Number 9 is named LANSDOWNE, and number 11 is named ROTHERWOOD. 1 block of 3 garden fronted houses numbered 12, 14, and 16. The block is named Moorfield Place, and number 14 is named ASH-LEA, and number 16 is named LYNDHURST.
Saint Albans Road Westwood Avenue
1 block of semi detached houses, numbered 13 and 15. 1 block of 5 garden fronted houses numbered 18 to 28
1 detached house numbered 17 1 block of semi-detached houses numbered 30 and 32. Number 30 is named AMESBURY.
1 block of semi detached houses numbered 19 and 21. Number 21 is named HOMESTEAD. 2 detached houses numbered 34 and 36.
Unnamed Road (public footpath) Devonshire Road
5 blocks of semi detached houses numbered 23 to 41. Number 23 is named OSWALDENE.

Number 27 is named BILLENGE

Number 31 is named WHITENDALE
1 block of 4 garden fronted houses numbered 38 to 44.
Churchill Avenue 1 block of garden fronted semi-detached houses numbered 46 and 48.
War Memorial Somerset Road
Churchill Avenue Esplanade
1 block of semi-detached houses numbered 43 and 45 Sussex Road
1 block of semi-detached houses numbered 47 and 49 and named 47 - FAIRACRE, and 49 - FAIRHOLME 1 block of semi-detached houses numbered 50 and 52.
1 block of 3 houses numbered 51 to 55 1 detached house numbered 54 and named VYRNWOOD
1 block of semi-detached houses numbered 57 and 59 and named 57 - INGERSLEY, 59 - BRIARBANK 1 detached house
Woodside Avenue Cut Lane
1 block of semi-detached houses numbered 61 and 63 and named 61 - LANESIDE, and 63 - AINSGARTH Cut Wood Park
1 detached house numbered 65 and named WOODLANDS Rear entrance to BARNSTON
2 detached bungalows numbered 65A and 67 1 detached bungalow named LYNDALE
1 block of semi-detached bungalows numbered 69 and 71 1 detached bungalow named SUNNYBANK
1 bungalow numbered 73. East Lancashire Sailing Club
Railway Bridge 1 detached bungalow, number 58, named BARNSTON
6 blocks of semi-detached houses numbered 75 to 97. 79 is named LEIGHBANK, 89 is named HILLCREST, 91 is named TWMVARLYN Railway Bridge
1 block of semi-detached bungalows numbered 99 and 101. Wheelbase Engineering Factory
Stream feeding Reservoir RESERVOIR HOUSE now demolished.
3 blocks of semi-detached houses numbered 103 to 113. 103 is named GLYNNFIELD, 107 is named COLINDALE, 111 is named RODGER BANK, 113 is named EDRENA. Rishton Reservoir
2 detached houses numbered 115 and 117.  
2 blocks of semi-detached houses numbered 119 to 129. 121 is named BROOKLANDS, 125 is named HARRISON HOUSE, and 127 is named ROUBELH  

Note to the above: An email from South Africa from Eric Smith, who lived in Rishton from the age of seven (1940). "My parents having bought No. 129 Blackburn Road. It was then named "West Leigh", most of the houses on Blackburn Road at the time had names and no numbers were displayed. This name plus 129 was on our gate when we moved from the area in 1968. One point re. the name for 127. My recollection is that it was named Roubeth and owned by a Mr.& Mrs. Oddie, he was the manager of the Grand Cinema in Great Harwood, 127 was later bought by Jimmy Topping and his wife, a local character who had a milk round."

First known as "Blagborne Loyd" this term comes from the Roman for Blackburn.

At the side of the Church to the West, is the vicarage, built in 1880. Next to this is Moor House, built 1886 by Edward Eccles, owner of Wheatfield Mill. This is now owned by Lancashire County Council and used as a Social Services Office.

Blackburn Road
The Turrets in 1909, well hidden in foliage even then.

The third house, The Turrets, was the home of Robert Clayton, one of the partners of Bridgefield Mill, which was also built in 1886. This building is now owned by the Blackburn and Ribble Valley N. H. S. Trust, and is used as a Child Development Centre. The Turrets is a detached villa, built by Robert Clayton (the son of Thomas Clayton who built Bridgefield Mill). Features of the building include a crenellated tower above the main door, and a separate stable and coach house sited to the west of the house. This is now used as a private dwelling.

Correspondence was read from Messrs. Sandeman & Johnson, on the 19th October 1944, concerning the bequest by the will of the late Mrs. Mary Ellen Clayton, of the dwelling-house known as "The Turrets," Blackburn Road, Rishton. An extract from the will dealing with the bequest was also read. The bequest was accepted upon condition that the restrictions upon its use be rescinded to permit its conversion to Public Offices. On the 12th December 1944, The Council Clerk read correspondence from Mr. W. Slater concerning the action being taken to secure the amplification of the terms under the will of the late Mrs. M. E. Clayton on the use of "The Turrets," and also containing a request that the Eskimo canoe bequeathed to the Council be given to Stonyhurst College in view of the fact that "The Turrets" is not to be used as a Museum.

On the 8th February 1945, The council clerk reported that he had been informed by the Council's Solicitor that consent had now been received from all the beneficiaries under the will of the late Mrs. Clayton to the extended user of "The Turrets," and that negotiations were proceeding to effect the conveyance of the property. Mr. W. Slater was instructed to approach the Rishton Conservative Working Men's Club in connection with the acquisition of the land adjoining "The Turrets" on the west side and the buildings thereon. 

Toward Whitebirk
Blackburn Road looking to Whitebirk in July 2001.

The members of the deputation appointed on the 5th April 1945, to meet representatives of the Conservative Club on the question of the acquisition of the land adjoining " The Turrets " reported on the meeting. The land and the building thereon, were to be valued and that Mr. G. F. Singleton was engaged to act for this purpose.

Oakdene, also on Blackburn Road, is a brick built detached dwelling in its own grounds. It was erected by Thomas Clayton, and was later the home of Joseph Chambers of Spring Mill and Daisy Hill Mill.

Sunnybank was built in 1887, for the Methodists Minister. In March 2003 it closed it doors as a residential retirement home. In August 2003 a planning application was submitted to Hyndburn Borough Council for the property to be split into 2 residential houses. This was completed in early 2004, and the properties sold as residential properties once more.

Across the road from them is the cricket field. Still in the same place today.

Looking to Harwood Road and High Street from Blackburn Road past the Church.

It wasn’t until 1865 that that Rishton Cricket Club was formed and at first they played on a field on the South side, which is now part of the golf club. The panelled brick wall was erected around 1930.

The 3 houses at numbers 12, 14, and 16 are known as Moorfield Place. These are opposite the Cricket Club.

In 1925 planning permission was sought by the local builder, Mr. R. H. Kenyon, for 2 bungalows on the South side of Blackburn Road. It is assumed by the author that these are the house before the railway bridge. The house were built during 1926. Mr Kenyon was in trouble with the council at this time for other properties which he had built on Blackburn Road which had encroached onto the street line itself. It was left to the new owners of these houses to move the front wall back should the council ever require it!

Blackburn Corporation Electricity Undertaking were granted permission to lay underground electric cables on Blackburn Road and Church View (Church Street) in 1937.

Moorfield Place 1920

On the 5th August 1937 it was decided by the council to extend the street lighting on Blackburn Road to the junction of Cowhill Lane.

Reservoir House, in 1785, was a farm, or small enclosure which was known by the name of Aincross. Based on Rishton Moor, there was a house, a meadow and a pasture. Near to this small farm, only about 9 acres in total size, ran the two streams that fed the canal reservoir, running from Cowhill and crossing a rough track which later became Blackburn Road. It was about this time of the building of the canal reservoir that the house was renovated or even rebuilt. This was 1828.

Because of the Sand Quarrying that took place here in the 19th Century, the house became known as Sandholes.

In 1909 it is recorded that the house was occupied by John Plant, a descendant of a Buckinghamshire Family, and in 1928 George Plant stated a business there. The owner was a spare time wheelwright and became interested in cart bodywork repairs and eventually cars. The farm was converted and replaced.

By 1939 the house was known as Reservoir house, and it wasn't until the 1980's that the house was finally demolished. Part of the Wheelbase Engineering factory is now built on the site of the house.

1928 Blackburn Road front
VISIBLE IMAGE - Blackburn Road on a postcard from 1928.
HIDDEN IMAGE - The writing on the rear of the postcard, and addressee.

The Council Surveyor was instructed to have three lamps illuminated all night at certain points on Blackburn Road and High street to act as pilot lights on the 13th November 1947.

On the 10th January 1952, the Council Clerk submitted correspondence with the Accrington Water Board regarding the giving of a supply to the Bungalows at Reservoir Side, and the guaranteeing of a minimum annual income by the Council. Before giving consideration to this matter, the Committee instructed the Clerk to ascertain from the occupiers whether they were desirous of taking a supply or not.

Barnston and the rest of the houses by the side of the reservoir now have their own page on this website.

The Council Clerk reported upon the residents who had agreed to take a supply of water on the 21st February 1952, which was approximately half of the residents on Reservoir Side. The Clerk also stated the financial obligations of this Council if a supply were given to this property. It was resolved that, in view of the poor response of the residents no further action was taken in the matter.

Complains were received of variations of lighting intensity in properties along Blackburn Road in November 1937. The council surveyor was to contact the Blackburn Corporation Electricity Undertaking.

The Clerk read correspondence from Mr. F. Bradshaw, of 41 Blackburn Road, concerning seating which had been placed against his garden wall on the 14th June 1940. The seats were against his wall, and gave view to the War Memorial, being the corner house on the junction with Churchill Avenue. The council agreed to move these seats higher up the footpath towards the railway bridge, and placed somewhere at the Council Surveyors discretion.

Ribble Motor Services proposed the placing of Bus Stop Signs on Blackburn Road on the 19th September 1940, which the council agreed to. On the 17th October 1940, Application was made by the Council, to the Ribble Motor Company, for the provision of two further bus stops signs beyond the railway bridge on Blackburn Road.

Blackburn Road is the highest Road in Rishton Town, reaching a height of 152 metres above sea level, just past its junction with Cutt Lane.

The Council Surveyor reported that he had been informed by representatives of the Ministry of Works and Buildings and the Ministry of Home Security, on the 11th December 1941, that it was their intention to erect temporary wooden buildings on sites in Lee Lane and Blackburn Road respectively for use as sleeping quarters for the military.

A letter was read from the Clerk of the Blackburn Assessment Area Committee, on the 4th January 1944, concerning assessments in Blackburn Road, Rishton. A letter on the subject was read from Mr. S. Crawshaw and considerable discussion took place. Proposals were made in respect of 13 and 15, Blackburn Road, Rishton, to revise the present Gross Value £35, Rateable Value £26, to Gross Value £29, Rateable Value £22 in each case.

An offer of 5s. 0d. per tree was received for approximately 55 trees which would be felled on Blackburn Road on the 8th November 1951, such offer including the sawing off at ground level. The offer was accepted subject to the Contractor taking out a Policy of Insurance against damage to persons or property.

HIGHWAYS bosses set aside £25,000 for two traffic safety schemes on Friday 16th January 1998. The projects are part of a £1.4 million package of safety improvements for the county's roads over the last 12 months. But there are still more than 400 roads waiting for improvements and the County Council is calling for more Government funding. The aim is to reduce the number of accidents and injuries on the roads and work is likely to start on the two projects within the next two months.

Traffic calming costing £10,000 was to be introduced on Blackburn Road in Rishton. The work is the second phase of a long running project aimed at increasing safety for cyclists in the town.

Councillor Toon added: "These spending proposals are the best provision that can be made within the limited resources available. "I am pleased that we have been able to maintain the level of resources to provide alternatives to the private car".

On Friday 14 January 2000, A woman was killed in a road accident close to her home in Rishton.

Aileen Wood, who was 55 years old, of Haworth Street, Rishton, died in Blackburn Royal Infirmary after she was in collision with a car in Blackburn Road.

Police said Mrs. Wood had parked her car between the Whitebirk roundabout and the junction with Woodside Avenue and was going to visit a house near Wheelbase Engineering.

She was crossing the road, which had a 60mph speed limit, when she was struck by a Volkswagen Golf driven by Peter Yates, who was then 20 years of age, who lived at a farm in Belthorn.

Mrs Wood was taken by ambulance to Blackburn Royal Infirmary and underwent surgery but later died.

Blackburn Road was closed at the Whitebirk roundabout for three hours after the accident while police examined the scene.

Because of this accident, on Friday 14 April 2000, Highways chiefs were criticised for not taking enough action after a fatal car crash.

An inquest heard a badly-sited traffic island played a significant part in the death of a woman knocked down by a car.

Mother-of-two Aileen Wood, 55, of Haworth Street, Rishton, died in Blackburn Royal Infirmary after she was knocked down in Blackburn Road, Rishton, on a dark evening in January.

Lancashire County Council, which was ordered to file a report to the coroner, had suggested that slim line bollards could be used at the crash spot to help drivers see pedestrians.

But Hyndburn councillors wanted more action, and some think road planners should have considered building a pelican crossingor removing the bollards.

Hyndburn transport and highways committee approved plans to cut the speed limit on roads including Blackburn Road.

A police expert told an Hyndburn inquest that the car driver had no chance of avoiding a collision because his view was impaired by the traffic island.

Hyndburn Council technical officer Dave Law told the committee that the police and county council discussed changes to the traffic island after Mrs Wood's death. He said the county council was considering slimline bollards.

But Councillor Russ Davies said that was not enough. He said: "Crossing the road there is like playing Russian roulette."

The committee approved plans to cut the road's 40mph speed limit from Station Road past Rishton Esplanade to 30mph, and agreed to cut the 60mph stretch leading to the Whitebirk roundabout to 50mph. Councillor Adrian Shurmer said council officers should face an independent inquiry. He said: "What is the point of the coroner requesting information about a traffic calming measure from the very people who designed them? Are we seriously expecting council officers to write and criticise themselves?"

Councillor Stan Horne said residents had asked for a lower speed limit after years of witnessing people risking their lives by crossing the road. He said the police needed to reinforce the limit by catching drivers who speed.

Councillor Davies said a pelican crossingshould have been installed in the first place. Mr Law said pelican crossings were expensive and said there had to be a certain number of accidents before one could be built.

Other speed limits approved by the committee were a 30mph limit on Whalley Road between Great Harwood and Clayton-le-Moors; a 40 or 50mph limit onLee Lane, Rishton; a 30mph limit on Burnley Road, Altham, from Syke Side Bridge to Altham Road; and an extension of the 30mph limit on Burnley Road, Accrington, from Carlisle Road to the Whitakers Arms pub. All schemes were approved subject to consultation with residents and organisations including the county council and police.

Results were reported on the 20th April 2005, of a speed survey carried out on Blackburn Road opposite the Esplanade on 25 January 2005 between 18.45 and 20.45 in dry weather conditions.

The following speeds had been recorded:-

East (into Rishton) Average Speed 32mph 85th percentile 37mph (366 vehicles)

West (towards B/burn) Average Speed 32.5mph 85th percentile 38mph (270 vehicles)

The Highways Section had therefore included Blackburn Road, Rishton (Cut Lane to Highfield Road) in the Community Concern Speed Enforcement Sites submission to the Community Safety Partnership for consideration. The sites would be evaluated by Lancashire County Council and a prioritised list drawn up for the 2005/06 target roads.


Area Council Minutes

Council Minutes 1925.

Council Minutes 1937 - 38

Rishton remembered by Kathleen Broderick.

Barry Smith, Grandson of the former owners of Barnston.

Lancashire Evening Telegraph, Friday 16th January 1998.