New booklet: 'Transcripts of Six Inquiries by the Duchy of Lancaster Concerning the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire and Yorkshire Between 1592 & 1613'. Reports of statements by local commoners to provide evidence to the Duchy court investigating the killing of deer, forest and park boundaries, removal of timber to maintain properties etc. These are remarkable insights into the names, ages and lives of ordinary people in and near the forest. Ordering information on the Publications webpage
Forthcoming book on the history of Slaidburn: In June/July 2018, Chris Spencer (email) will publish 'The History of the King-Wilkinson Family and the Slaidburn Estate', a substantial and much anticipated history of the formation of the estate, comprising 480 pages and 225 illustrations. The book may be pre-ordered from the author, and your name and town printed in a list of subscribers near the front of the book. Full details and an order form are available here.
The Archive holds an extensive collection of historical resources for genealogical, village, farmstead and agricultural research in the Hodder Valley within the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Lancashire. The area of interest extends from Tosside, along the Hodder from Slaidburn to the Whitewell area and encompasses nearby villages such as Grindleton, Bolton-by-Bowland, and Bashall Eaves. Of particular interest is the area of Dalehead and the hamlet of Stocks-in-Bowland, much of which is now beneath Stocks Reservoir or the plantations of Gisburn Forest. Most of the Archive's geographical area of interest was within the historic county of the West Riding of Yorkshire prior to 1974.
The Archive has a part-time Administrator, Helen Wallbank, and two regular volunteers. Other supporters assist on an ad hoc basis. All records are open for inspection and research by members of the public, and this website provides a brief summary of our collections and advice for visiting the Archive. Some of the fruits of the research by the Archive are published in book form and are available for purchase at modest cost.
- Act as a repository for people to deposit family collections and memorabilia relating to the upper Hodder Valley;
- Record the history of farms, buildings and land as well as the traditions and customs of the inhabitants of the Hodder Valley;
- Provide information in the form of exhibitions, talks and walks to the community to further their understanding of the history of the local area;
- Involve young people, not only through local schools, but other youth organisations.
Church of St. Andrew, Slaidburn. Probably c. 1450 with early C17th alterations. Parts of the tower may date to c. 1200.
The Archive team undertake research and outreach programmes to inform and educate the local communities on the history of this beautiful valley. Current and recent activities include:
Continuing activities are updating the Archive inventory - checking the collections and adding new acquisitions - and working in the communities to gather photographs, documents, listen to oral history and promote our role.
Washing sheep at Lower Underhand Farm, Newton c. 1920.
Hodder Valley towards Dunsop Bridge from above Newton.