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A Short History of Longridge

Longridge is a small town in the borough of Ribble Valley in Lancashire, England. It is situated at the end of Longridge Fell, a long ridge above the River Ribble, several miles north-east of the city of Preston. Its nearest neighbour is the Roman town of Ribchester, 3.5 miles to the southeast. It has a population of around 8,000.

The town began to develop over 500 years ago as a small settlement around St Lawrence’s Church on Chapel Hill. Farming was the main industry and the Longridge area consisted of a patchwork of farms centred on a ‘fold’, where the farmer and his workers lived together in the same group of buildings. An example of this is Sharley Fold off the top of Berry Lane. Farm diversification led to the brewing and selling of ale in farms located on the main roads, and these eventually became public houses. Slaughterhouses, butchers and provender merchants all became established in the town to service the local farms.

By the end of the 18th Century many families supplemented their farming income by making goods in outbuildings or rooms within their homes. Most wove cloth on handlooms and this resulted in three groups of cottages with workshops being developed. The first was ‘Club Row’ on Higher Road where a terrace of 21 cottages was constructed from 1794 to 1804, each with a basement for one or two handlooms

By 1801 the town consisted of almost 1,200 inhabitants in the two parishes of Dilworth and Alston & Hothersall, growing to over 1,900 by 1821.

The opening of the railway in 1840, initially to transport stone from the local quarries, saw other industries opening in Longridge including four large steam-powered cotton mills. By 1880 this had led to a population of nearly 3,000. The town was finally formed into an ecclesiastical parish in 1861. By 1883 it had become a Local Government District and an Urban District Council by 1884. By this time, almost 70% of the workforce was employed in the cotton industry; 20% in the stone extraction industry; and less than 10% in agriculture.

Many of the traditional industries of Longridge declined or ceased altogether during the 20th Century. Following the final closure of the railway in 1967, the former line has been largely built over and the quarries and textile mills that it served have either found alternative uses or been cleared for development. The last quarry closed just after World War II - although one opened briefly to supply stone for motorway building in the 1970’s – and the former quarries at Tootle Heights now house a caravan park. The only cotton mills remaining are Queen’s Mill and parts of Stone Bridge Mill.

Modern Longridge continues to grow and the 2011 Census population of 7,491 is double the number of residents in 1950, as many people have moved into what is now a thriving small country town. The town is home to 11 pubs, several restaurants and a number of primary and high schools.

Club Row

Club Row in the old days 
This terrace was erected between 1794 and 1804. Thought to be the oldest surviving example of properties built by a building society in the world.

Club Row present day
Club Row seen in the present day.

Longridge and District Local History Group



Visitors and Guests are welcome to come along to our meetings. Please click here to visit our website.

These are usually held on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month from September to March in the Centenary Room at St Paul's Church, starting at 7:30pm.

Membership is £12 per year and guests are £2.50, includes light refreshments.

E-mail: contact@ldlhs.org.uk

Longridge and District Walking Group

TUESDAY 10 am SHORT WALKS    


Moderate pace 2.5 to 3.5 miles. About 1.5 hours

We meet from various locations in and around Longridge, and the walksinclude stiles, steps and gradual gradients.

July 6 CIVIC HALL Calder Ave. PR3 3HJ Denis & Carol

July 20 BEACON FELL VIEW CARAVAN PARK Higher Rd., John & Hilary

Aug 3 SAINSBURYS SUPERMARKET Doreen & Sheila

Aug 17 ‘MOSS’ Lower Lane PR3 3SL Owen & John

Sept 7 CIVIC HALL Calder Avenue PR3 3HJ Peter & Lib

Sept 21 CIVIC HALL Calder Ave PR3 3HJ John & Carol

Oct 5 LINEAR WALK FROM GRIMSARGH (Post Office)

Meet at bus from Berry Lane to Grimsargh Denis & Peter

Oct 19 ‘MOSS’ Lower Lane PR3 3SL Owen &John

MONTHLY TUESDAY TEACUP TRAILS 2pm

These walks are primarily aimed at those walkers who do not feel they can manage the normal Tuesday walks but miss the camaraderie of the group. The walk is of no more than I hour on flat terrain with no stiles followed by tea and a chat.

July 20 CHIPPING Peter & Lib

Aug 17 RIBCHESTER Lib & Pauline

Sept 21CIVIC HALL Peter & Lib

Oct 19LITTLE TOWN DAIRYDoreen & Sheila

WEDNESDAY STOP & STARE 10.30 am

Moderate pace, 5-8 miles, about 4 hours

The walks are mainly off-road and involve stiles and gradients, but we do allow plenty of time to negotiate these and to take in the views and the flora and fauna. We have a planned stop and invite you to bring a packed lunch. If you are in need of transport, or wish to have any information regardingthe walk, please contact the leader on the numbers below.

July 14 JEFFERY HILL

Isobel & Jan 01254 878060

July 28 LITTLEDALE. LITTLE CRAG CAR PARK, Littledale LA2 9ET

Lynda &Madelaine 01772 864405

Aug 11 WADDINGTON. Waddington Arms. BB7 3HP

Vicky &John 01772 930423

Aug 25 LANGDEN INTAKE 1.75 miles NW of Dunsop Bridge Map ref 632 511

Peter &Lib 01254 820611

Sept 15 LEIGHTON MOSS

Lynda & Madelaine 01772 864405

Sept 29 CINDERBARROW PICNIC SITE LA5 BX

Vicky & John 01772 2930423

Oct 13 KNOWLE GREEN Village Hall

Peter &Lib 01254 820611

Oct 27 BEACON FELL Main car park

Isobel &Jan 01254 878060

 

LONGRIDGE & DISTRICT WALKING GROUP

Dear Fellow Walkers,

I am pleased to advise you that we intend to re-start our walking programme from the 1st July. This of course is dependent on no unforeseen restrictions coming into force.We have decided that the Stop & Stare walks will now take place on Wednesdays. This is to accommodate some of the current leaders wishes who find this day will be more convenient. On the subject of leaders we really are getting down to the bare bones of numbers, so if anyone feels they can lead the odd walk or know of anyone that would like to join the group as a leader it would be appreciated.

With regard to the contribution of the £1 per annum per walker the persons who paid last year will not need to register or to pay again for the coming year. Anyone who did not get round to registering please fill in the details below and hand this to the leader together with £1 to cover printing costs etc. Thank you, and we look forward to getting together again.

Name

Address

Tel. No

Email

Signed