Tottleworth Introduction & Map

Website Information

What's New?

Why not try the "Interactive Map" of Rishton, move your mouse over the map and click on the hotspots to open the page.

Search This Website


Today in Rishton..

Current Weather

Currently Unavailable

Latest News Headlines

Currently Unavailable

For more news on Rishton use this link

Website Visitors

(See the web stats page in the utilities section of the site for previous visitors)

Since February 2009 -

free counters

Postcode: BB1 4AN

Click on the building on the map to read about them, or click here for a brief Introduction to Tottleworth Village.

If you are looking for Tottleworth Docks, please follow >>this link<<.

Tottleworth Bridge Lidgett Brook Norden Brook Norden Brook Moor Lane or Goosebutts Footpath Owd 'Elens Number 17 Tottleworth The Croft Number 15 Tottleworth, The Corner Cottage. Number 13 Tottleworth Site of Former Numbers 9 and 10 Tottleworth Tottleworth Road Number 12 Tottleworth Number 11 Tottleworth. Tithe Barn. The Cottages. Manor Farm, previously Hesketh House. Numbers 7 & 8 Tottleworth. Numbers 5 & 6 Tottleworth. Public Footpath to Spring Street. Aerial
An aerial photograph of Tottleworth from about 2002. Click on the buildings, streams, roads, footpaths and bridges to read about the particular place.


No history of Rishton would be complete without mentioning Tottleworth. A hamlet it would seem since time began!!!

Tottleworth 1929
The Hamlet of Tottleworth looking towards Close Brow in 1929. This particular picture shows owd Ellens in the middle as well as the croft, and number 13.

The ancient hamlet of Tottleworth in the township of Rishton is an interesting place. It still maintains its old world appearance and consists of a small group of dwellings. The back of one house opens onto the front of another and where you expect to find an outlet, there is a cul-de-sac. The gardens and backyards are closely intermingled and some of the dwellings are independent of any road levels.

The name itself can be traced to Saxon times, WORTH, the second half of the name comes from the Saxon era of English settlement, and means Fenced Land. We know that the Saxons were in this Country from 350 AD to 1000 AD, so it is possible that Tottleworth came into being about this time.

The Old English words 'Tottla' & 'worth' meaning 'Tottla's enclosure' and the first recorded use of the name was in 1204. This part of the name derived from the Saxons, said to describe a "homestead". The second, meaning an enclosure of land. So in effect Tottleworth is an enclosure of homes.

A charter of Maud de Praers granted Tottleworth to Uctred, who was the son of Roger de Rishton in about 1220.

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 Tottleworth
In A. D. 1258 Totleworth
In A. D. 1288 Tottilwort
In A. D. 1295 Totleworth
In A. D. 1300 Tatilword
In A. D. 1348 Totelworth

The hidden hamlet of Tottleworth which is now designated a conservation area, dates back to Saxon times and still reserves its ancient Layout. The most important building is the 17th century Manor House Farm once owned by the Hesketh family of Rufford. The Hesketh family were large landowners of Great Harwood.

The road throughout Tottleworth Village was nothing more than a dirt track, but during the 1990's the road leading into the village was tarmaced, and a 20 miles per hour speed restriction put in place.

Tottleworth Village in the snow January 2002

The narrow land from Holt, through Tottleworth was the great road to and from Great Harwood in the old days. This road was the salt road to Whalley and Clitheroe, from Manchester and the outside world. Hundreds of pack horses carrying salt, coal, iron, and cloth to and from Clitheroe market or fair helped to wear the paved track.

The road never really went through Harwood, instead when reaching the brooks, the track would turn slightly to the left and head towards Tottleworth Lee, and Close Brow.

The history of Tottleworth stretches far into medieval days. It was settled quite early, as it is mentioned in a document in the 13th century. Another interesting document dealing with Tottleworth in 1348 reveals that sea-coal was found and worked there. This coal was probably an outcrop found where Norden brook joins the Hyndburn River, known then as Broadridingwood.

The same document deals with the division of land between William de Hesketh of Harwood, and Adam de Rishton de Tottleworth. William gave his land in the west of Tottleworth to Adam and Adams father, Richard, and in return the Heskeths obtained Broadridingwoods from them.

Both parties were to share the sea-coal, William having 3/4 and Adam and Richard the other. Both parties were to also have roads for pack animals in the open season, and William and his heirs were retain responsibilities for any damage done to Adams land.

In the same document, the doles of land which belong to Henry de Rishton are:

  • On the croft of 6 selions (or beds), 4 lie together.
  • On Wallandes 3 selions, 2 lie together.
  • On berrybuttes 6 selions, 3 lie together.

This suggests that land in both Tottleworth and Rishton was enclosed and had been dating from before this document in 1348. The name Tottleworth meaning an enclosure of land anyway!

The doles or strips, belonging to the de Rishton are given as lying together, this tells us that perhaps strips of land were being exchanged so that their strips all lied at the side of each other, this would have formed a small field or enclosure. This was called "making a close" and was unusual in this period of time. It became more common in the 16th Century, mainly because of its many advantages.

with 17
Picture of Village with the now Demolished 17.

Richard, Henry de Rishtons oldest son, married Margaret Holt (the name was purely coincidental!), who was the daughter of William, the son of Peter Holt of Stodlegh, or Studley in Warwickshire, some time during or before 1414. This was how the de Rishtons of Dunkenhalgh acquired their estates in Warwickshire. In that year, Richard and Margaret received the de Rishton estate of Tottleworth from Henry, presumably as a dowry, at the same time receiving more lands in Tottleworth from one Richard Catlowe, who was a chaplain.

All the land around this area has changed dramatically with new trees having grown and parts of the gardens refurbished, but the buildings still remain to this day, as can be seen in the photo's around these pages.

The first weaving shop where weavers appropriated looms was also built there, the cotton coming from the West Indies. The Rishton cotton mills were the outcome of this early loom shop at Tottleworth.

The roads for pack animals from Tottleworth are, in the main still in existence today. For many years the ancient paving stones were visible along the length of the road, particularly round the bottom of the hill where the road joins Moor Lane, and at the summit to the hill, by Manor House Farm, there still exists the pack animal paving on the elbow.

The other track from Spring Street is narrow, and it is obvious that travellers on foot, or horse, and packhorses made this road, and it was never intended for carts. In some places the trees meet overhead, and high banks are covered with Hawthorn bushes, branches or rough grass.

Harry Allen, reputed to be the last hangman in the Country also lived in Tottleworth.

The village green was slightly down the hill with a well on it for clear water. This has gone with the building of two driveways to the houses.

Owd Ellens
Owd Ellens house, and the bottom of Moor Lane.

On the 20th August 1925, Mr. A. Haworth, the estate agent, attended and interviewed the council with regards to the water supply at Tottleworth, and the condition of various farms in the district. The sanitary inspector was to deal. The Spring supplying Tottleworth Hamlet with water for domestic purposes was upon analysis proved to be seriously polluted, and immediate steps were taken. As a consequence the well was cleansed and permanently sealed as also was the source of supply to Holt Farm, the quality of the water has greatly improved since this work was carried out. It was twice reported during the year that this area ought certainly to be supplied with Town’s water.

The Council Chairman reported that an estimate had been received from the Accrington District Gas & Water Board, on the 13th August 1936, 11 years after it was found that the water was polluted, as to the cost of providing town water to Tottleworth, and the same had been forwarded to the County Council and also Mr. Scurrah, and a meeting had been arranged between Mr. Scurrah, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Broughton, Mr. Eginton, and the Chairman and Officials of the Sanitary Department.

A deputation, consisting of Messrs. Mallett, Birtwistle and Riding, was received from the inhabitants at Tottleworth on the 10th October 1936, with regard to the Water Supply at Tottleworth. They were informed that the same was receiving the attention of the Council. The Chairman read a letter on the 12th November 1936, from the Lancashire Agricultural Committee with reference to the water supply at Tottleworth and asking the Council if they were willing to bear their share of the annual cost of the proposed water main. The Council were not prepared to go on with the present scheme but that the first scheme should be gone on with.

Tottleworth with number 13 and the Croft. Owd Helens which can be seen in a picture higher up this page, now appears to have been demolished, as it is no longer visible between the two buildings at the bottom of the hill.

A letter was read from Mr. Harrison, General Manager of the Accrington District Gas and Water Board, on the 3rd December 1936, that the cost of Water Supply to Tottleworth from Lee Lane was approximately £260, then there would also be a further fixed charge of £2 per house for the stop tap and service pipe, payable by the owner or tenant and that he estimated the revenue from the gross rental would be £14 per annum and the Board would require a rental of not less than 10% on the actual cost and asking if the Council would be responsible for the difference between the assessed revenue income and the 10% revenue required on the actual cost. Resolved that the Scheme be accepted subject to the Dunkenhalgh Estate and the County Council contributing towards the revenue required by the Board.

A letter was read from the Dunkenhalgh Estate on the 14th January 1937, that they were prepared to assist in the proposed scheme for a main water supply from the Harwood end of Lee Lane to the Tottleworth Cottages via Lidgett Bridge, by making ten annual payments of one-third of the annual rental, which would be equal to 10% of the ascertained actual cost of the proposed scheme, which must not exceed £27 and that the actual cost referred to includes the several stop taps to be fixed at suitable points. The Accrington District Gas & Water Board to be liable for any claims for surface damage or compensation. A letter was also read from the County Council with regard to the Tottleworth Water Supply, that they only contributed towards Capital Expenditure in connection with the provision of Public Water Supplies in the Administrative County. Resolved that application be made.

The owners of 9 and 10 Tottleworth, and Fairholmes cottages were reported to be in a dangerous condition and were to be inspected on the 15th April 1937. On the 1st June 1937, Demolition orders were served on numbers 9, 10, and 15 Tottleworth, also on Higher Cutt cottages and Far Holmes cottages.

In May 1937 A water scheme to provide Tottleworth with water was approved by the council. The Accrington and District Gas and Water Board were requested to commence work as soon as possible.

The question of providing seats on Holt Street recreation ground and the footpath to Tottleworth was raised and discussed by the council committee on the 5th July 1938. Gifts of seats were offered by Councillor Worsley (on behalf of the Regnal Circle No. 2) and Councillor Tattersall for use on Holt Street Recreation ground, and by Councillor Sanderson for use on Tottleworth footpath. It was resolved by the council that the offers be accepted, and best thanks offered to the donors for their generosity, and that the surveyor should obtain and fix the seats in the positions referred to.

A petition was read from the residents of Tottleworth, to the District Council, on the 20th February 1941, concerning the provision of Air Raid Shelters and instruction in Incendiary Bomb Control. Arrangements were made to give a fire fighting demonstration.

It was reported that a lamp had been damaged at Tottleworth by a motor vehicle, on the 14th January 1943, the property of the Ministry of Home Security. The matter has been taken up with the Councils Insurers. The Clerk reported on the 21st January 1943, that the Co-operative Insurance Society, Ltd. had paid the claim for damage in respect of the lamp post at Tottleworth in full.

The Council Clerk reported upon the position with regard to liability for repairs to the footpaths to Tottleworth on the 9th September 1943. The Council resolved that the necessary repairs should be carried out and the cost should be borne by the Local Authority.

The Surveyor submitted plans showing a proposed lay-out of temporary housing at Tottleworth and at Butler Street on the 5th April 1945. An application was made for fifty temporary houses, using the former balloon site in Tottleworth itself. The Surveyor was also to submit an alternative lay-out for temporary housing on Holt Recreation Ground. The Tottleworth site was selected for temporary housing.

On the 24th May 1951, Gas Lamps were removed and the spigots cleaned off and painted which were found to be in not bad condition, and the manufacturers were instructed to proceed with the making of the brackets and switch-boxes for new electricity lighting. The Gas Board and the Electricity Board were instructed to deal with the old and new services. The old lanterns and time clocks were offered for sale to the Great Harwood U.D.C., and they were  asked if they would undertake the maintenance of the gas lamps which remained on Lee Lane and Tottleworth on a time and material basis. Similarly, the Clayton-le-Moors U.D.C. were asked to carry out the maintenance of the four lamps in Hermitage Street.

On the 31st May 1951, The question was raised of the necessity for a telephone to be installed in the Tottleworth area particularly in cases of emergency, and it was resolved That a communication be forwarded to the Post Office telephone Manager putting forward a strong case for early consideration.

On the 12th July 1951, The Council Clerk reported that the Great Harwood U. D. C, were prepared to maintain the gas street lamps on Lee Lane and Tottleworth on a labour and materials basis plus 20 per cent. establishment charge. A letter of thanks was forwarded to the Great Harwood U. D. C, for their offer.

Lamp Columnsâ€"Bridge Street to Tottleworth. It was decided on the 11th October 1951, to leave six columns in position for the time being.

On the 10th January 1952, The Surveyor was instructed to arrange for the all-night lighting of two of the lamps.

The Council Clerk submitted a letter from the N. W. Electricity Board on the 12th March 1953, stating that as they were unable to obtain the minimum annual guaranteed revenue from the occupiers of the property at Tottleworth, the Board were unable to agree to a supply being given to this area, and that the matter was now left in abeyance.

2011 Tottleworth Conservation PlanHyndburn Councils 2011 conservation plan outline.
The Cottages 1-4The old cottages in Tottleworth, now numbered 1 to 4.
Owd HelensOwd Ellens, now demolished.
Manor FarmHesketh house, or Manor farm.
Number 11
Number 12
Number 13
Corner CottageNumber 15, or corner cottage.
Number 17
Numbers 5 and 6
Numbers 7 and 8
Original 17
The Barn
The Croft
Tottleworth Bridge


Rishton remembered Kathleen Broderick

Parish Church and School Jubilee 1927 by Carlton Noble.

Council Minutes

A Lancashire Cotton Town Marian Sleigh

Mrs. Hilda Lucas.

Hyndburn District Towns and Villages Website (No longer available, it was