Briercliffe, with Extwistle

BRIERCLIFFE, with Extwistle, a township, in the parochial chapelry and poor law union of Burnley, parish of Whalley, Higher division of the hundred of Blackburn, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 2½ miles (N. E.) from Burnley; containing 1498 inhabitants. This place belonged to the De Lacys, one of whom obtained from Henry III. a charter for free warren in "Brerecleve;" and in this king's reign, the canons of Neubo held land in "Extwysell." Monk Hall, in the township, is supposed to take its name from a family, sometimes called Le Moin and sometimes De Monkys, who resided here as early as the time of Edward III. After the Dissolution, the Bradhills, and subsequently the Parkers, were proprietors. The township comprises 2577 acres of inclosed land, exclusive of commons: the surface is uneven, bordering upon the mountainous, with a wet soil; the prospects are very extensive. There are coal-mines, at present not wrought; and stone is obtained in abundance. The Cockden water passes through the township. The population is employed in hand-loom weaving, chiefly at their own homes. The greater part of the township belongs to Robert Townley Parker, Esq., of Cuerden Hall, near Preston. A district church, dedicated to St. James, was built in 1840, at a cost of £1500; it is a neat edifice in the early English style, and is a conspicuous object for many miles round. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Hulme's Trustees; net income, £150, with a parsonage-house built in 1847. There are places of worship for dissenters. The remains of Extwistle Hall, the old family seat of the Parkers, still exist; and vestiges may be traced of a Roman camp.

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

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