Downham, Lancashire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Parishes

Downham St Leonard Lancashire contributor Mr T.jpg

Chapelry History

Downham St Leonard was created a chapel of ease by 1605 from, and lying within Whalley, Lancashire ancient parish.

Downham is a village and civil parish in Lancashire, England. It is in the Ribble Valley district The village is on the north side of Pendle Hill off the A59 road about 3 miles (4.8 km) from Clitheroe.

The village is part of the Assheton Estate owned by the Lord and Lady Clitheroe, and the owners do not allow overhead electricity lines, aerials or satellite dishes, making the village a popular location for filming period dramas. Downham Village - features as "Ormston" in the BBC TV series "Born and Bred", and was also used in the 1961 film of "Whistle Down The Wind".

"DOWNHAM,a chapelry, in the parish of Whalley, union of Clitheroe, Higher division of the hundred of Blackburn, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 3 miles east by northeast of Clitheroe."[1]

There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists.


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Online index of Lancashire Births, Marriages and Deaths Lancashire BMD

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes

Church records

Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection

Parish registers for Downham, 1653-1900 Microfilm of original records at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston.
Contains baptisms 1653-1887; marriages 1653-1837; banns 1884-1900; burials 1653-1812; register of services 1893-1900. Downham is a chapelry in the parish of Whalley.
Lancashire Record Office no. : PR 3188/1/1-9

Bishop's transcripts for Downham, 1606-1886 Microfilm of original records at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston.
Downham is a chapelry in the parish of Whalley
Lancashire Record Office: DRB 2/244-245; DRL 2/245

Census records

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library. for details of public houses in the 1881 census

Poor Law Unions

Clitheroe Poor Law Union, Lancashire

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lancashire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Web sites


  1. A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 84-88. URL: Adapted. Date accessed: 29 June 2010.