Aighton, with Bailey and Chaigley

AIGHTON, with Bailey and Chaigley, a township, in the parish of Mitton, union of Clitheroe, Lower division of the hundred of Blackburn, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 5 miles (W. by S.) from Clitheroe; containing 1795 inhabitants. Aighton, under the name of Halghton, was granted by Ilbert de Lacy, prior to 1102, with other lands, to a family who is supposed to have taken the surname of Mitton. The hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem had lands in Aiton in the 20th of Edward I. The three hamlets of Aighton, Bailey, and Chaigley, meet on the north and south summit of the eastern side of the crescent of Longridge Fell. Aighton occupies the east-south-east brow, whence it gradually recedes by a gentle decline into a finely wooded country, watered by the Hodder and the Ribble. It is remarkable as the seat of the Roman Catholic College of Stonyhurst. The heads of the college having been driven from their establishment at Liege by the proscriptions of the French revolution, were induced, in consequence of the mitigation of the penal enactments in this country against Roman Catholic seminaries, to seek an asylum here. In 1794 a long lease was obtained of the mansion of Stonyhurst, the ancient seat of the Sherburne family, and of the farm, on moderate terms, from the late Thomas Weld, Esq.; and at great expense, a large and handsome new building was added to the house. The whole now comprises, a hall of study, seven class-rooms, a library, museum, room for philosophical apparatus, exhibition-room, music-room, drawing-room, recreation-hall, chambers for the president and directors, apartments for the professors and teachers, and, in the upper stories, dormitories for the students, &c.: the public rooms in the new building, which is 300 feet in length, as well as those in the old mansion, are on a noble scale. The area of the college, the play-grounds, and the gardens, occupy upwards of ten acres; and the stately pile, with its towers and park-like grounds, forms a magnificent object to the whole of the surrounding country. On the south angle of the front of the college, is a handsome chapel dedicated to St. Peter, of which the first stone was laid in 1832.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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