Whittle le Woods, Lancashire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Parishes

Chapelry History

Whittle le Woods St John the Evangelist is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Lancashire, created in 1832 from Leyland Ancient Parish.

The Diocese of Blackburn is a Church of England diocese, covering much of Lancashire, created in 1926 from part of the Diocese of Manchester. The Diocese includes the towns of Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, and the cities of Lancaster, and Preston, as well as a large part of the Ribble Valley.

Whittle-le-Woods is a village and civil parish of the Borough of Chorley in Lancashire, England. Residents of Whittle-le-Woods are called Whittlers.

Whittle-le-Woods lies on the A6, about three miles north of the town of Chorley, and to the south of the city of Preston. It is divided into two areas, the older part on the old coach road running through Waterhouse Green to Brindle and the more modern part on the A6 road where the church of St John is situated.

The name of this village comes from 'a white hill' with the 'le-woods' part added at a later date with a subsequent meaning 'A white hill in the woods'.

The Preston England Temple is the of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is situated in the parish. Fittingly it stands high above the surrounding area and is visible for several miles on nearby motorways.

WHITTLE-LE-WOODS, a township, in the parish and hundred of Leyland, union of Chorley, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 2 miles (N.) from Chorley, on the road to Preston; containing 2295 inhabitants. One-half of the manor was granted about the reign of Henry I. to Gilbert de Witul, a descendant of whom in the reign of Henry III. gave it to Richard le Butler; and by marriage with the heiresses of John Butler, it came to the families of Standish of Duxbury, and Anderton of Clayton: the descendants of the latter sold their portion to the Crokes, in the reign of Charles II. The other half of the manor was given by the second baron of Penwortham to Richard Fiton, from whom it passed to the Lees, and, by marriage with the daughter of Sir Henry Lee, to Sir Richard Hoghton. The manor is now possessed jointly by the descendant of the Croke family, and the heir of the Standishes of Duxbury. The township comprises about 1300 acres, of which the surface is undulated, and the soil chiefly a stiff clay, with sand and rock in the higher parts. The scenery is beautiful and romantic: from the hills are extensive views of the surrounding country, including the town of Preston, the rich lowlands of the entire hundred, and the river Ribble, which is seen winding towards its estuary at Lytham; while the coast and the Irish Sea bound the horizon. Shaw-Hill, on the west side of the Preston turnpike-road, the property of Thomas Bright Crosse, Esq., is a large mansion, remodelled in 1845, after the designs of Mr. Charles Reed, of Birkenhead. It possesses a distinctive architectural character; on the north a colonnade of the Roman-Doric order extends the whole length, and on the west side are terraces commanding fine prospects of the well-planted vicinity. A park of about 100 acres adjoins the house. Gorse Hall, the seat of John Heys, Esq., situated on the road to Blackburn, is a substantial stone structure, with 60 acres of land attached. Whittle-le-Woods is celebrated for its malt, for which there are two large kilns, in constant operation, belonging to Mr. Edward Craven, of Dalton Lodge, and his partners. A cotton-mill, established in 1838, and employing 150 hands, belongs to Mr. Edward Leese, jun., who has a neat cottage-residence close by; and near the Leeds and Liverpool canal, which runs through the township, are the chemicalworks and mordaunt manufactory of Mr. Thomas Coupe, of Oak-Vale cottage. There are also extensive quarries, producing an abundance of millstones for grinding, which are sent to Sheffield and other districts. A church, dedicated to St. John, was built in 1830, by a grant from the Parliamentary Commissioners, aided by private subscription, at an expense of £2756; it is a handsome edifice in the later English style, from designs by Rickman. A district has been assigned to it, including the townships of Clayton and Whittle-le-Woods. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Leyland; net income, £150, with a house; impropriators, Robert Townley Parker, Esq., and the family of Silvester. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans, built in 1840; and at South-Hill is a Roman Catholic chapel, belonging to the Jesuits, erected in 1791. A school was endowed in 1769, by Samuel Crooke, with the interest of £220: the school-house was rebuilt in 1813. Ten almshouses were founded in 1842, by Lady Hogbton, for the poor of Chorley. In 1836 an alkaline spring was discovered, when boring for coal, at a depth of 75 yards, on the estate of Mr. Heys. The water contains carbonate of soda and carbonic acid, and is almost free from earthy substances; it is particularly efficacious in bilious attacks, dyspepsia, &c., and its properties have been found, by a late analysis by Mr. Davies, the eminent chemist, to be fully equal to those of the best alkaline waters. The grounds around are tastefully laid out, and appropriate buildings have been erected, with every convenience for the numerous persons resorting to the spot. Plunging-baths, one for gentlemen, one for ladies, and two for other patients, have just been completed, and the number of visiters increases daily. On the same estate is a mineral spring, similar in its properties to the waters of Harrogate. Fossils are frequently met with in the sandstone in the township. In 1846, when sinking the foundations for the alkaline well, a Roman silver coin of the Emperor Valerian, and one of Philip the Elder, were discovered.

From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 557-560. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51401 Date accessed: 03 August 2010.


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 http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/

Church records

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Census records

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Index for the Census may be searched at FamilySearch Historical Records

http://www.1881pubs.com/ for details of public houses in the 1881 census

Poor Law Unions


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

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Web sites

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