The Three Fishes
Great Mitton is a village and a civil parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire, adjacent to the border with Lancashire. The civil parish corresponds to the township of the ancient parish of Mitton and had a population of 266 in 2011. It is bounded on three sides by the River Ribble, which also forms the county border. The civil parish of Little Mitton lies beyond the river in Lancashire, with both about three miles from the town of Clitheroe. In total, Great and Little Mitton cover less than 2,000 acres of the Forest of Bowland, making them the smallest townships in the Forest.
Great Mitton has an ancient church, All Hallows, an ancient manor house and a pub, The Three Fishes, where in former times manorial courts were held. A second pub,The Aspinall Arms, sits across the Ribble in Little Mitton.
The ancient parish of Mitton took its name from the Old English, being a settlement at the mythe, the confluence of the Hodder and Ribble Rivers.
The Domesday manor of Mitton encompassed both Great and Little Mitton, straddling lands on both sides of the Ribble. From the late eleventh century, it fell under the Lordship of Bowland, the Lords of Bowland being lords paramount of a Royal Forest and a Liberty of ten manors spanning eight townships and four parishes and which covered an area of almost 300 sq. miles on the borders of Lancashire and Yorkshire. The manors within the Liberty were Slaidburn (Newton-in-Bowland, West Bradford, Grindleton), Knowlmere, Waddington, Easington, Bashall Eaves, Mitton, Withgill (Crook), Leagram, Hammerton and Dunnow (Battersby).
Mitton was a mesne manor from the early twelfth century. Its first lord, Radulphus le Rus, may have been a scion of the de Lacy family. Descendants of Radulphus assumed the surname de Mitton. In the late thirteenth century, the family adopted the surname de Sotheron, later Sherburne by marriage, thereby laying the foundation for the dynasty of Shireburne of Stonyhurst. The manor passed out of Shireburne ownership in the fourteenth century but was re-acquired in 1665. With the extinction of the Shireburne male line in 1717, the manor passed to the Hawksworth and finally, Aspinall families.
The Mitton Hoard of eleven mediæval silver coins was found to the west of the village near the River Hodder. The coins are now in Clitheroe Castle Museum.
The manor of Withgill (Crook) lay within the boundaries of the township of Mitton but was small (around 40 acres in 1258). It was held by the de Bury family until the late fourteenth century. The Singletons held the manor from 1379-1503 after which it passed to the family of Sir William Leyland and finally, the Tyldesleys. The Tyldesleys, leading Jacobites, forfeited the manor for their role in the 1715 Preston Rebellion.
All Hallows Church (previously known as the Church of St Michael) was built in the 13th century, with 15th and 16th century additions. It contains Shireburne of Stonyhurst family tombs. Since 1954, it has been designated a Grade-I listed building.
- Great Mitton http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/WRY/Greatmitton
- "Civil Parish population 2011". http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadKeyFigures.do?a=7&b=11123941&c=Great+Mitton&d=16&e=62&g=6442483&i=1001x1003x1032x1004&m=0&r=1&s=1453303989993&enc=1. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- "Lord of the Fells, Guardian of History". Rural Life. November 2014. http://www.forestofbowland.com/files/uploads/pdfs/lord_bowland.pdf.
- Forest of Bowland official website
- Frederick George Ackerley, A History of the Parish of Mitton in the West Riding of Yorkshire (Aberdeen University Press 1947)
- Coin hoard BM-193206, Finds.org.uk, Retrieved 16 September 2015
- Kneale, Kenneth (1992); Essex Heritage, Leopards Head Press, pp.3-14. ISBN 0904920232
- Morris, Richard; "Sir William Addison (1905-1992) – a retrospective" in Loughton and District Historical Society: Newsletter 165, March/April 2005, pp.3-5
- National Heritage List 1163432: Church of All Hallows
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