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West Riding
The 'Hark to Bounty', Slaidburn - - 874652.jpg
The 'Hark to Bounty', Slaidburn
Grid reference: SD715525
Location: 53°58’1"N, 2°26’6"W
Population: 351  (2011)
Post town: Clitheroe
Postcode: BB7
Dialling code: 01200
Local Government
Council: Ribble Valley
Ribble Valley

Slaidburn is a village and parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The ancient parish comprises the townships of Bowland Forest (Higher), Newton and Easington as well as Slaidburn itself. The latter township corresponds to the civil parish of Slaidburn, with a population of 351 at the 2011 Census.[1][2] Slaidburn lies near the head of the River Hodder and Stocks Reservoir, both within the Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Farming is still a major employer, but the area attracts tourists; for walking in particular.

The parish church of St Andrew has a superb Jacobean screen and a fine Georgian pulpit. The brass band composer William Rimmer (1862–1936) composed the now-popular march, named Slaidburn after the village, for the Slaidburn Silver Band. A new village hall has opened to much fanfare and is being well used.[3] There is a local pub, the Hark to Bounty, which upstairs houses the ancient halmote or courthouse of the Manor of Slaidburn [4]


From early times, the Manor of Slaidburn formed part of the ancient Lordship of Bowland, being held in demesne from the second half of the 14th century.

The Lordship of Bowland comprised a royal forest and a liberty of ten manors spanning eight townships and four parishes and covered an area of almost 300 sq. miles on the border of Lancashire and Yorkshire. The manors within the liberty were Slaidburn (Newton-in-Bowland, West Bradford, Grindleton), Knowlmere, Waddington, Easington, Bashall, Mitton, Withgill (Crook), Leagram (Bowland-with-Leagram), Hammerton and Dunnow (Battersby).

There was a major manorial reorganisation of Bowland in the second half of the 14th century, which may have been precipitated by a fall in population caused by the Black Death (1348–50) but was probably also a consequence of the absorption of Bowland into the Duchy of Lancaster. Among other changes, this saw Newton subsumed into the demesne of Slaidburn and the manorial caput shift from Grindleton to Slaidburn.[5]

Two of the Lord of Bowland's mesne manors - Battersby (Dunnow) and Knowlmere - fell within the bounds of the township of Newton but did not become part of the demesne of Slaidburn. See Newton-in-Bowland for further information.

According to a leading local historian, the historic Manor and Liberty of Slaidburn covered a wide area, not equivalent to the Slaidburn parish boundaries, but comprising the villages and town fields of Slaidburn and Newton-in-Bowland, including Ingbreak, a town field to the west of Slaidburn village; Raw Moor, part of the enclosed land of 1619 north of Slaidburn village in the Croasdale area; Brunghill Moor, Burn Moor and Dunsop, also enclosed in 1619 and near Back Lane and Burn Hill; Champion, also enclosed in 1619 and to the east of Slaidburn village; Woodhouse, to the north west of Slaidburn village; Youlstone Wood, also enclosed in 1619, and to the south of Newton village; and most of West Bradford and Grindleton villages and their town fields.[6]

Title to the Manor and Liberty of Slaidburn, West Bradford and Grindleton, including the township of Newton-in-Bowland, was bought by Tory MP, Ralph Assheton, later first Baron Clitheroe, in 1950.[7] In 1977, his second son, the Hon Nicholas Assheton, was granted title.[8] Since 2003, the Lord of the Manor and Liberty of Slaidburn has been Thomas Assheton, son of the Hon Nicholas Assheton and nephew of the second Baron Clitheroe.[9] Steward to the Manor of Slaidburn is Michael Parkinson. Parkinson, a land agent and chartered surveyor, also serves the Lord of Bowland as his Chief Steward of the Forest of Bowland.[10][11][12]


The Roman road known as Watling Street, that runs from Manchester via Ribchester to Carlisle, passes in a north-easterly direction to the west of the village before turning north-west on Low Fell. This section is also known as the Hornby Road.

The River Hodder flows through the parish, joined by Croasdale Brook on the eastern edge of the village.

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the trials of the Pendle witches, a new long-distance walking route called the Lancashire Witches Walk has been created. Ten tercet waymarkers, designed by Stephen Raw, each inscribed with a verse of a poem by Carol Ann Duffy have been installed along the route, with the fifth located here.[13][14]


  • Thomas Sanderson, (1793-1878) Farmer of Woodhouse, Slaidburn. He was also for many years Overseer of the Poor for the Slaidburn District and an Officer of HM Customs & Excise. In 1850, he and his wife Frances (née Bland - sister of the Rev Stephen Bland of St. Wilfrid's Church, Burnsall in Craven) and their children emigrated to Wisconsin, USA, on the SS Arctic where several of his sons rose to prominence - see below.[15]
  • Robert B. Sanderson, (1825-1887) Wisconsin Senator who became one of the largest sheep breeders in Texas
  • Thomas Sanderson (1827-1912) Farmer and State Legislator/Politician.
  • Jonathan Sanderson, (1837-1914) He was known as the Pioneer Giant of Nebraska, standing six feet nine inches tall. Whilst he and his wife were still newcomers in Nebraska William F. Cody, (Buffalo Bill), and a scout stopped by and asked for shelter during a storm. They stayed two or three days playing cards and repairing and cleaning their guns. He was in the area as there had been some fighting on the little blue river about 20 miles south of the Sanderson home.[16]
  • Joseph Sanderson, (1841-1914) Wisconsin farmer and State Legislator/Politician. He was very active in support of legislation beneficial to agricultural interests.
  • Robert Parker (1731-1796) a prominent lawyer and attorney of Halifax, Yorkshire was born at Gamble Hole Farm in Newton in Bowland. He was baptised at Slaidburn Parish Church in March 1731 (1732 new style), the son of George Parker, a yeoman farmer. He is most famous for investigating and identifying the Cragg Vale Coiners who clipped gold and silver coins. He was also the attorney of choice for the owners of many of the large Yorkshire landed estates.[17]
  • James Radley (1884–1959) one of the first English aviators, who was born at Dunnow Hall in Slaidburn.
  • Tempest Slinger (1683-1728) a prominent lawyer and attorney of Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn, London and whose practice was the beginning of the law firm Farrer & Co, the Queen's solicitors. He was born at Dunnow Hall in Slaidburn in 1683, the son of Nicholas Slinger.


The church of St Andrew was built in the Perpendicular style: the powerful stone tower contrasts with the long, low, rendered walls of the nave and aisles. There is a fine interior with a great variety of box and bench pews ranging in date from the 17th to the 19th century. The font-cover is Elizabethan, the screen Jacobean and the three-decker pulpit is Georgian.[18] The church is designated a Grade-I listed building, having been listed in 1954.[19]

Media gallery


  1. "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  5. C J. Spencer and S.W. Jolly, 'Bowland: the rise and decline, abandonment and revival of a medieval lordship' The Escutcheon: Journal of the Cambridge University Heraldic & Genealogical Society 15, 2010 Download
  6. CJ Spencer Manor of Slaidburn Court Rolls
  7. HM Land Registry, 22 June 1950
  8. HM Land Registry, 26 August 1977
  9. HM Land Registry, LA937696, 1 June 2003; ownership of common land is registered under LA955806, LA955807, LA955808, LA955809
  10. "Michael Parkinson, Esq Authorised Biography – Debrett's People of Today". Retrieved 2011-04-05 
  11. Clitheroe Man is Chief Steward of All He Surveys, Lancashire Telegraph, 1 June 2011:
  12. "Lord of the Fells, Guardian of History". Rural Life. November 2014. 
  13. ""Tercet" waymarkers". Green Close Studios. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  14. "Lancashire Witches Walk: Day 4". Lancashire County Council. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  15. All of the material about the Sanderson family, and more, can be found in: The Garden Spot of the World - Sanderson Family History compiled by Edith Hurlbutt Sanderson 1971
  16. A Pioneer Life: The Story of Jonathan and Rebecca McCloughan Sanderson. Privately Published, May 1981.
  17. 'Robert Parker, Attorney' Parts I and II, by C D Webster MA, published by the Halifax Antiquarian Society, 1966 and 1967
  18. Betjeman, John, ed. (1968) Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches: the North. London: Collins; p. 349
  19. National Heritage List 1163738: Church of St. Andrew

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Slaidburn)