Clitheroe Castle, Lancashire Genealogy
Clitheroe Castle is an extra-parochial place. Search surrounding parishes for records and information. England Jurisdictions 1851 can assist in this.
The castle included an ancient chapel dedicated to St Michael within the Ancient parish boundary of Whalley, Lancashire and was the private chapel of the castle. The oldest records for Clitheroe are those within Clitheroe, Lancashire St Mary Magdalene.
It is argued to be the smallest Norman keep in the whole of England. It stands atop a 35-metre outcrop of limestone and is one of the oldest buildings in Lancashire. It is also the only remaining castle in the county which had a royalist garrison during the English Civil War.
The castle's most prominent feature is the hole in its side which was made in 1649 as was ordered by the government. It was to be put in "such condition that in might neither be a charge to the Commonwealth to keep it, nor a danger to have it kept against them".
"In the Civil war the castle was among the last surrendered to the parliament, by whose directions, in 1649, it was dismantled; the keep, a square tower, being all that remains. The site, and a certain portion of ground occupied by the demesne and forests of the baronial edifice, are extra-parochial, and commonly designated the Castle parish. A modern castellated edifice has been erected within the precincts of the castle. An hospital for lepers, called the Hospital of Edisforth, founded here by some of the earliest burgesses, and dedicated to St. Nicholas, shared the fate of the smaller monasteries at the Dissolution.
There is a court of pleas, having jurisdiction to an unlimited amount, in actions of debt arising within the borough. The powers of the county debt-court of Clitheroe, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Clitheroe."
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- A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 639-644. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50885 Adapted. Date accessed: 29 June 2010.