Walk No. 7

WALK NO. 7. BOSBURN – MELLOR BROOK – CARTER FOLD – BRANCH ROAD.

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Bosburn is at the eastern extremity of the parish and this short walk ol’ just ovcr two miles passes through parts of Mellor and Balderstone, before returning to Samlesbury.

The manager of the Windmill (Please ask permision as the windmill has since changed hands) has kindly given permission for occasional vehicles to be left at the back of their car park. Although not immediately apparent, the area is quite historical. In the 14th century there is mention of a place called Armet Ridding – :1 woodland clearing near Boseden, or Bosbum. Until recently, Branch Road was always called The Arm, which was probably a shortened version of armet, or hermit. Lancashire pronunciation being what it is, doubtless our 14th century forebears had little trouble turning ’ermit into ’armet!

The Arm was controlled in the early 19th century by the Blackburn and Clitheroe Turnpike Trust and there was a toll bar near its junction with Intack Lane.

ENTER THE TRACK OPPOSITE INTACK LANE AND WEND YOUR WAY DOWN TO BOSBURN BROOK, (WHICH BECOMES MELLOR BROOK FURTHER DOWNSTREAM).

This old lane is a further length of Park Lane/Intack Lane, which led across Bosburn, up the hill and past Brundhurst, to join the old Cuerdale Lane/Whalley Road as it continued up Mellor Brow. A present day footpath corresponds approximately to the old route.

TURN LEFT, WALKING ALONGSIDE BOSBURN TO ITS CONFLUENCE WITH ANOTHER LITTLE STREAM.

The path is well – used and can be muddy, but stepping logs have been thoughtfully provided. According to Teesdale and Hennet’s map of 1828/9, this is the mute of another old track leading from Preston New Road to Mellor Brook.

Bosburn forms the ecclesiastical boundary between Samlesbury and Mcllor for over a mile and also used to be the civil boundary. For some reason, however, in years gone by Preston Rural District Council exchanged this area for another at Ribchester, which Blackburn Rural District Council then controlled.

GO OVER A CONCRETE FOOTBRIDGE AND FOLLOW THE OPPOSITE BANK UNTIL YOU COME TO A NARROW TRACT OF LAND. CONTNUE IN THE SAME DIRECTION, THIS TIME FOLLOWING THE RIGHT-HAND HEDGE/FENCE TO A CAMOUFLAGED STILE BETWEEN TWO BUNGALOWS.

Mellor Brook Spinning Mill and its accompanying pond, used to occupy the ground over the left-hand fence. The Mill was demolished in 1923.

It has been surmised that the hermitage was also in this area, probably on the opposite side of the brook.

Records of 1258 and later, show land transactions between Sir John Dewyas, (lord of Samlesbury) and his neighbours in Mellor. One mentions the hermit’s ridding and lands adjoining Bosburn and the boundary of Balderstone, whilst a second deals with a plot formerly held by the hermit, lying between Bosburn and the Lydyate upon the Kings Highway and between Balderstone and the Hey.

A later one also deals with this area, when Sir John’s son, Nicholas, re-signed the land, with the appurtenances within the hedge called the Ryngherd – except the culture called le hermitage, to Alice de Hoghton. These references imply that the hermit had either moved on, or died.

PASS BETWEEN THE BUNGALOWS AND TURN RIGHT FOR A FEW YARDS, THEN LEFT DOWN MELLOR BROW INTO THE VILLAGE.

The end house of Victoria Terrace used to belong to the mill manager, and workers lived in the others. There was also a small farm/public house on the left called The Packhorse, which was burnt down in 1944. During the conflagration, Mr. Thomas Ashton saved the lives of two young people and as a result, received a certificate from The Society for the Protection of Life from Fire. The citation states that it was awarded:

“—– in testimony of distinguished conduct while engaged in the rescue of life —–”.

An Agricultural contractors’ business now occupies the site.

GO OVER MELLOR BROOK BRIDGE AND TURN RIGHT OPPOSITE FIR TREES.

This was an old Wesleyan Chapel built in 1852 to seat a congregation of 210. Unfortunately it had to close in March 1964 and was later converted into two flats.

CROSS LONGSIGHT ROAD INTO HIGHER COMMONS LANE, DROPPING DOWN THROUGH MAMMON WOOD AND THEN TAKING THE LEFT-HAND STILE AT THE TOP OF THE NEXT RISE.

On the left is the Community Centre, which has previously served as a Methodist Chapel, a Church of England chapel-of-ease (dedicated to St. Saviour), and a day school.

WALK OVER THE FIELD IN A STRAIGHT LINE TO THE NEXT STILE BY A GATE. THE THIRD STILE IS ACROSS A SMALL PIECE IF LAND, WHERE THE HEDGES MEET ON A CORNER.

FOLLOW THE LEFT-HAND HEDGESIDE TO THE NEXT CORNER AND BEAR LEFT, MAKING FOR A KISSING GATE ON THE OLD CARRIAGE DRIVE TO BALDERSTONE GRANGE.

There are several paths across the park and in the immediate neighbourhood, which can give a pleasing variety of walks.

GO ALONG THE CARRIAGEWAY, PAST CARTER FOLD, CROSS MELLOR BROOK FOR A FINAL TIME AND TURN LEFT ONTO WHALLEY ROAD.

On the left is the site of Sykes Holt, once a substantial gentleman’s residence. When it was demolished, a beautiful fireplace was transferred to a house in Mellor. Over to the right used to be another property, called Sykes Lumb. This was the scene of a well-known Lancashire haunting. It concerned a couple who secretly buried their cash during the Wars of the Roses and then died before recovering it.

Mrs. Sykes was obviously very troubled about their good money lying idle, but for many years her ghostly endeavours failed to achieve anything. However, one evening, a man who was considerably the worse for drink plucked up courage to follow her to a spot in the orchard where she pointed to the ground. The jars of money were soon recovered and since then, Mrs. Sykes has apparently rested in peace!

WALK TOWARDS MELLOR BROOK AND TURN RIGHT INTO BRANCH ROAD, FROM WHERE IT IS ONLY A SHORT DISTANCE TO INTACK LANE.