1.Arnoldsbiggin (Arnold's Building)

A name synonymous with Gisburn is the Lister family, who were Lords of the Manor of Gisburn from the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) when John Lister married Isabel, daughter of John of Bolton who owned the Manor of Midhope (Middop). We know the Lister family moved to Arnoldsbiggin (close to where Westby Hall Farm stands now), in 1520, when Thomas Lister married Effamia of Westby and that the family moved to Gisburne Park, now a hospital, in the 1730s.

Today all that remains of the site of Arnoldsbiggin, which stood virtually at the boundary of the parish of Rimington and Middop with Gisburn, and was abandoned on the Listers’ move to Gisburne Park. The OS map shows a fishpond at location SD 8216 4785,  however now (September 2020) no evidence of that exists.

Map with Arnoldsbiggin location


No picture available (August 2020)

2. Bronze Age Axe

A Bronze Age axe head was found in the grounds of Oak Tree House, Newby (SD 8156 4595). It was unearthed by Mrs Eileen Anderson when she was digging in her garden in the 1970s.  She was a keen supporter of Ribchester Roman Museum and took it to there for identification and donated it to them. 

2a Axe head found at Oaktree House Newby e1970s   2b Axe head location

The museum kindly loaned it for the first local history exhibition held in 1988. The late Roger Dyson of Howgill Cottage provided an interpretive drawing for the event to show how the axe head would be attached to the wooden shaft.

3. Bulcock Monument (SD 8217 4385)

The Bulcock Memorial is situated just off the lane leading from Twiston Lane to Clough Head, outside Clough Head garden. It was erected by Thomas Bulcock in 1863 in memory of his relations buried in Whalley and Downham churchyards. The Bulcock family had a long association with the area and in 1637 an earlier Thomas Bulcock gave a plot of land near Brownlow corner for a Quaker graveyard that still exists. Descendants of the Bulcocks, the Palmer family, still farm in Twiston.

3 Bulcock Memorial 2

4 Howgill Packhorse Bridge (SD 8276 4597)

Howgill Packhorse Bridge straddles a tributary of Howgill Beck. It was reputedly washed away in the flood of 1967, but a version of it still remains.

4 Howgill Packhorse bridge

5 Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway

On 21st June, 1850 the line between Rimington and Chatburn was opened, and by implication Station Road, from Rimington Lane, was built by that time to access it.  However it was not until  after 1861 that it was providing employment in the neighbourhood, such that when the 1871 census was taken there was a Station Master, two railway labourers, two plate layers, two points men, a signal man and a railway contractor, all living in the village.  The extension to Hellifield junction was completed in 1879. Passenger numbers declined such that the station was closed in 1958 beating the otherwise inevitable Beeching axe by five years.  The line between Clitheroe and Hellifield remains open for goods and the occasional excursion trains. When the West Coast Line is shut, this line is used for re-routing trains. Part of the station is now Station House (SD 8000 4612).

5a Lancs Yorks railway station then   5b Lancs Yorks railway Station House now   5c Lancs Yorks railway viaduct near Downham Bridge 1  


6 Newby School (SD 8177 4597)

There were two schools within the parish, Newby School and  Rimington School, the latter built much later. It would be good to see an original plan or indenture of Newby School, what is now Pen-y-ghent, because the school did not take up the whole building. But more on that below.

Newby Day School was established in 1809, according to a school census completed after 1814 and signed by the then Vicar of Gisburn, Rev Knowles. It also shows that at the time of this census there were 20 boys and 4 girls attending Newby Day School and 25 boys and 25 girls attending Newby Sunday School, which had been established in 1811.  Access to the school room was via the steps that still rise from Newby Lane roadside to the upper doorway. 

It is interesting that there was an active Sunday School in the village from 1811 because Rimington's two chapels weren't built until some years later, and the parish church was three miles away in Gisburn.  So who was giving the children their religious education? On page 3 of the 2016 Bicentennial celebration book on Salem Congregational Chapel it is noted that Rev George Partington of Colne sometimes preached in Newby Schoolroom.  So maybe one of his good flock was undertaking that task.  However 'A History of Methodism in The Clitheroe Circuits Vol 1' by Cyril Ainsworth begins a paragraph – “A few years earlier a Sunday School had been started, and organised with considerable success, at nearby Newby, but it was not until 1815 that land was acquired in Stopper Lane giving the worshippers the opportunity to build a chapel.” Which implies it was members of the Wesleyan congregation that were providing the Sunday lessons.

Newby School closed in 1914, though it had not been used as a school for some time but as a reading room and venue for the annual Newby Ball fondly remembered in a letter from Canada to a relative at Whytha Farm, and maybe other dances.  (The Ball sounds very grand, yet not so grand that it warranted a report in the Clitheroe Times!)

The schoolroom was the length of the building beyond the steps and upper doorway near the roadside. The rest of the building was Newby School House. Its occupants can only be readily identified in the 1861 and 1871 Censuses, but the 1846 Rimington Tithe Award plan shows the building as a place of continual occupancy, though doesn't distinguish between what was the schoolroom and what was the school house, possibly because the school was on top of part of the school house.

The sale of the Newby School led to the formation of the Newby Educational Foundation Trust which still survives today. Qualifying children are given a small grant in recognition of their achievement. The school building comprised what is now a house known as Pen-y-ghent.

N.B.  Newby Lane was much wider here than it is now. The whole school building stood in the middle of the lane with another lost lane heading down past Newby Hall Farm and beyond. If you stand at the iron gate above Pen-y-ghent and look through it, or look over the gate at the roadside at the top of the field you will see the lane used to be double the width it is now, and was so right up to Salem Chapel. There used to be a line of beech trees along the former lane boundary in the field behind Pen-y-ghent. They were cut down in the early 1960s.

6a Newby school then   6b Newby school now Pen Y Ghent 2   

 7 Plaque legend at Field House (SD 8198 4708)

According to a past occupier of Field House, the history of the tablet on the wall there centred on a quarrel between neighbours, builder and owner, that raged for two years while Field House stood roofless!

7 Plaque legend at Field House

8 Rimington School (SD 8122 4594)

Rimington National School opened some time after Newby School at what is now Greystones in Stopper Lane on a date presently unknown but possibly in the early 1840s when it is identified  as 'New School and Garden'  in the 1846 Tithe Award Schedule.  

There was a good number of scholars in the village to fill both schools right up into the 1870s but then the number dived by the 1880s as families moved away to the towns and cities or migrated abroad.  By which time the schools now had chequered histories and an uneven opening record such that eventually there were not enough children to warrant both being open. In time Rimington National School became the only one, probably by the early 1890s at a time when the woes of Newby School were being debated in no uncertain terms in letters to the Editor of the Clitheroe Times, and it was struggling to appoint a teacher according to a Blackburn newspaper.

The school not only catered for the local village children but was the nearest school for those living in Twiston too.   It closed in May 1937 and the schoolchildren transferred to Gisburn Primary School which continues to be the main primary school for the area today. Any Twiston children would have then attended Downham School.

8a Rimington school then 1   8b Rimington School then1905   8c Rimington School now Greystones


9 Roman Road

A section of the Roman Road from Ribchester to Elslack crosses Rimington from near the confluence of Twiston Beck and Ings Beck, and the section finishes on Coal Pit Lane just north of Howgill Lane (SD 8447 4668)Some evidence of the road can be seen near where Howgill Lane meets the A 682 at (SD 8341 4622)

9a Roman Road map   9b Roman Road Lidar image

10 Rufus Carr’s garage (SD 8119 4585)

Rufus Carr’s inventive and mechanical skills helped him to build a popular garage business, with sites at Stopper Lane and Bawdlands, Clitheroe. He had a great passion for traction engines, restoring and exhibiting them and was the subject of several profiles in newspaper articles and magazines. In his early years he was known as a bit of an ‘airum scarum’ lad but is now a fondly remembered character who was famous for his brightly painted steamroller which would rumble heavily through the village after a visit to a local show. His original wooden garage was only demolished a few years ago. It had petrol pumps just to the right of the doorway.

11 Salem Congregational Chapel (SD 8210 4573)

Salem Congregational Chapel was founded in 1816 and is better known locally as Martin Top Chapel. It is still offering a warm welcome to worshippers. Its date of completion is marked out in smooth river pebbles in the ground in the chapel yard gateway – 1817.

11a Salem Congregational Chapel Martin Top a Festival then   11b Salem Congregational Chapel now

12 Swanside Packhorse Bridge (SD 7850 4538)

The major building period for packhorse bridges was 1650 to 1750. Though not strictly in the parish it is very near to it. The charming and possibly early 17th century Swanside Packhorse Bridge, also known as Monks Bridge probably because it was on a route between Whalley Abbey and Sawley Abbey, supported pony traffic but not carts, as it is under 6ft wide.

12 Swanside Bridge

13 The Old Manor House (SD 8074 4589)

The Old Manor House, Rimington was possibly the last house in the district with a thatched roof. In June 1935 the parish council sent a letter to the then owner, H.M. Walton Esq., expressing the hope that the property, then undergoing repair, would remain a thatched cottage ‘as it is one of the most picturesque old dwellings in Ribblesdale.’ Other Rimington buildings photographed with a thatched roof were the Black Bull Inn, Yew Tree Farm, Newby, and what are now Abbotsdene and Holmelea.

13a The Old Manor House then 2   13b The Old Manor House then 1    13c The Old Manor House now

14 The Wesleyan Chapel (SD 8127 4588)

Cyril Ainsworth's 'A History of Methodism in The Clitheroe Circuit Vol 1' gives a detailed account of the history of Stopper Lane Wesleyan Chapel. He mentions that Methodism earlier flourished in a farmhouse at Gazegill prior to the building of the chapel at Stopper Lane which was founded in 1815.

It is most well known for its association with Francis Duckworth’s hymn tune ‘Rimington’. 

The chapel had a gallery, the front of which was occupied by an orchestra providing the hymn music until an organ was installed in 1859.  Francis and several of his brothers were part of the orchestra. The chapel was enlarged in 1887, and the organ was replaced a few years later.  However the society numbers were never great and around 1950 were  down to 10 when it was discovered that the building was unsafe due to a defective roof.  Closure was recommended by a special committee in October, 1963.

 It was also sometimes the venue for village meetings.

14a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel then   14b Wesleyan Methodist Chapel now