This early map shows the location of Salesbury Hall within its Manor and the extensive park attached to the hall which historically was useful for the sport of hunting wild boar, deer and pheasant and nearby New Hall, another former residence of the Salesbury family. Copster Green at this time is a developed hamlet near Lovely Hall, as is Salesbury village which at that time was in Clayton-Le-Dale with Clayton Hey Fold dominating.
Originally when William 1 of England conquered Blackburnshire some of the Saxon Thanes who held lands under Edward the Confessor were left in possession of their estates or had them sub-divided or confiscated depending on how faithful they had been to the King. In this way the Manor of Salesbury descended to the first Lord of Salesbury named Ulkil. The tenure of the manor was by thenage with a rate payment of 5 shillings as its area was rated as 1 ploughland. Gilbert de Salesbury the son of Ulkil became the Lord of the Manor at the turn of the century following the Norman Conquest. Gilbert’s brother Waltheus also held lands here and donated some land to the abbot and monks of Salley as did his sons later. In the Coucher book of Whalley Abbey appears the names of Adam, Gilbert, Randolph, Richard and Roger-de- Salesbury. In time the De-Clitherhou family of Clitheroe and Mitton added Salesbury Manor to their family possessions when Hugh-de-Clitherhou married Hugh-de-Salesbury’s eldest daughter Cecelia and continued ownership from 1276. During the fourteenth centuary there were many changes of family controlling the manor and from 1357 via a marriage to Sibilla daughter of Richard-de- Hoghton it passed into the De-Hoghton’s possession and remained there into the fifteenth centuary via Richard-de-Hoghton. Sibilla-de-Clitherhou daughter of Robert-de-Clitherhou married three times with her last husband being Roger-de-Falthorp and during her widowhood to
Roger she issued a licence dated 27thDecember 1406 to build a chapel or oratory in her manor of Salisberie. This was to celebrate mass and other divine offices as long as it didn’t go against the Mother church for a period of three years. Sabilla died in December 1414 and her daughter Johanna Hoghton wife of Henry succeeded her but having no children the estate passed to the De-Hoghtons with the lands valued at £20per annum. In 1422 Isabella Talbot and her husband John from the Talbots of Bashall Hall were made heirs to the Manor of Salesbury under a settlement of Johanna Hoghton when she died. The Talbots were one of the great Catholic families of England residing in Blackburnshire for 250 years and whose banner was known on every field of battle on British soil from Flodden to Worcester and Preston. Their son John Talbot known as “Little John Talbot” took over the estate and assisted in 1464 in the betrayal of Henry V1 near Clitheroe during the Wars of the Roses being rewarded with a pension by Edward 1V and died in 1485. In 1464 Henry V1 (House of Lancaster) was a fugitive after the battle of Hexham when Edward 1V took the crown and hid at both Waddow and Bolton Halls. However Little John Talbot was one of the gentlemen who knew where he was and organised a black monk to follow his movements. As a result he was surprised at dinner in Waddow Hall but escaped through a window to Clitheroe and then Whalley before he was caught and taken to London on horseback and put in the Tower. Little John was succeeded by Sir John Talbot in 1483 and one of his children known as “Long John Talbot “ succeeded him aged 24 at his father’s death in 1511 and then married Isabella daughter of Richard de Townley but he died in 1515. His will bequeathed the Salesbury Manor worth £50 including messuages, lands, mills and rents in Salesbury, Dynkeley, Clayton-in-le-Dale Manors along with Whilipshire, Bylington, Dutton, Ribchester and Clyerowe to his 14year old son John Talbot of Salesbury. One of his sons called Thomas Talbot was the Clerk to the “Tower Records” in London and a noted antiquarian. John Talbot was a captain in the Lancashire section of Queen Mary’s army and he died in 1588 when Salesbury Manor consisted of 10 messuages, 10 cottages, 20 gardens, 20 orchards, 200 acres of land, 40 acres of meadows, 40 acres of pasture, 100 acres of woodland and 100 acres of moss and turbary. His grandson John was the next heir and was later knighted by King James 1 in 1607 but in 1642 when war broke out he claimed neutrality but was secretly tied to the Royalists and was appointed by the Earl of Derby as collector for Blackburn Hundred of the levy for county subsidy. During this period Salesbury Hall was occupied and pillaged, his son George was fighting on the Royalists side at Preston where he was captured causing John Talbot to pay a fine of £444 but he was later pardoned by the king and Parliament in1648. He died in1659 and was buried at Blackburn Church with his son John succeeding till 1666 when he died, then his child Dorothy married Edward Warren of Poynton in Chester with the estate being held by their various children eg. Edward followed by George in 1737 who became a governor of Blackburn Grammar School in 1757 and died in 1801. Sir George Warren in 1827 succeeded his father as second Lord de Tabley and held Salesbury, Dinkley, Osbaldeston and Clayton Manor Estates, the local hostelry was named after him namely the De-Tabley Arms. The estates were sold in 1866 to Henry Ward of Blackburn who was a cotton manufacturer for £140,000 and he proceeded to re-build many of the old delapidated farm houses of the Manor from the 17th century e.g. Harwood Fold and alter others into larger residences e.g. “The Oakes” later the property of Major Birtwistle.
Originally this was built on the left bank of the River Ribble adjacent to Sale Wheel – the pool where the River Ribble water wheels and swirls which gave its name to the Manor of Salesbury and the ancient manor house close by. Originally the hall had been an extensive cluster of buildings forming a quadrangle round a central courtyard. By the time of Charles Haworth’s drawing of the 1880’s only two wings had survived.
Reverand S.J. Allen Drawing of Salesbury Old Hall in 1834
Charles Haworth Drawing of the Original Salesbury Old Hall
The Courtyard of Salesbury Hall With its Tudor
Timber and Stone Buildings
Another View of Salesbury Hall Outbuildings
The upper walls of the buildings were of timbered structures with massive oak frameworks with projecting cornices and the lower walls made of dressed stone (see pictures above). The interior of the west wing had on the upper floor a series of rooms reached via a long corridor and partioned with oak panels with the lower rooms being greatly altered making it difficult to decide their original layout. The hall in times gone by had been surrounded by a moat. On the north side of the site were fragments of a massive rubble wall which must have belonged to the earliest structure built there. In the garden was part of a Roman pillar and formerly there was an elaborately carved Roman alter dedicated to Appolo built into one of the walls of the old hall. This was later removed by Dr. Whittaker and donated to St. Johns College Cambridge with clear indications it had come from the Roman fort at Ribchester. Agricola’s military way from Ribchester Fort to York passed along the higher ground south of the hall on the hill slopes with traces of a paved road surface having been seen. The road to Dinkley in the front of the hall site is much younger than the hall being constructed in 1674 as a public highway with permission from Sir John Talbot for it to cross Salesbury Hall Park which had a game reserve for hunting and stretched as far as Copster Green and the Park Gates Inn with the park being contained along this northern section with a stone wall.
Map Showing the Location of Salesbury Hall in 1898
The most ancient part of Salesbury Hall was originally a chapel and by the 1900’s it was being used for stabling and other accommodation connected with the farm that operated from the hall. As in the case of Osbaldeston Hall and other houses in the Ribble Valley the builders of the original Salesbury Hall made use of stone that was found at the old Roman fort at Ribchester. All traces of the original Old hall were pulled down in 1883 and a large mansion built on its site as the new Salesbury Hall and the estate continued as a large farm. In 1894 the estate of Henry Ward cotton manufacturer passed into the possession of the Duke of Somerset a name that survives via Somerset Avenue, Wilpshire. He however didn’t live there but rented it out although taking a special interest in the old farm houses that belonged to it, one of which was Bolton Hall at Copster Green. Later the estate passed to William Ward of Blackburn and Mellor who bought it for his love of sport but he didn’t survive long to enjoy it and a year after his death it was again on the market in 1920 when many of the tenant farmers purchased their own farms. In modern times the hall was demolished and a large modern mansion built in its place completed in 2005 at a cost of £3 million and covering 11,970 square feet as part of a 250 acre estate masterplan which included the restoration of adjoining stable buildings into a two bedroomed dwelling and planning permission to convert the neighbouring farm complex into a rural office park. This scheme received a civil design and conservation award in 2007. The hall’s grounds more recently have been used to host the Lancashire Agricultural Show.
The Modern Salesbury Hall
George Talbot the second son of Sir John Talbot who died in 1659 built a residence for himself called the New Hall which stands on the south bank of the River Ribble just a short distance from Ribchester Bridge and the De Tabley Inn.
View of New Hall-Early 1900’s
New Hall is a good example of a house built for lesser gentry at the time of Charles 11 and has a roof line broken by gables together with small mullioned windows and a gabled porch. In recent times it has been renovated for a private dwelling without altering its original appearance.
This is one of the most picturesque of the old halls in this area and is an ancient gabled structure originally built in the 17th century on the site of an earlier building. Over several generations it was the home of the Boultons and the Parkers who may have acquired it via marriage. In the 18th century it was owned by the Winders and John Winder repaired the building and left his initials dated 1735 on it. Later the property passed to George Nicholas Starkie of Huntroyde who restored and enlarged the property as an occasional residence and for the use of one of his sons who unfortunately died. During the 1950’s/60’s it was the residence of Albert Higham (cotton manufacturer) who developed the gardens and introduced electric lighting. Before the Highams it was occupied by a former Salesbury curate called A. Robinson followed by Mr. and Mrs. Stones and then Mr. and Mrs. Cayley. Mrs. Cayley was the daughter of Sir William Coddington (cotton manufacturer and Blackburn M.P.) Lovely Hall was always a working pastoral farm and could originally have been one of the Salesbury Hall Estates farms. On its lawn could be seen an interesting 17th century sun-dial and today the hall standing off Lovely Hall Lane is a private residence and still has a working farm with farm outbuildings
A 1905 View of Lovely Hall Lane with Pastoral animals
Entrance to Lovely Hall
Modern View of Lovely Hall