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White Coppice History Walk, Lancashire.
[9.7 km] Sun 26 Feb 2023

Lat/Long: 53.666561, -02.577675
OS Grid ref: SD 61928 19053
Met Tenine at White Coppice around 9am to discuss the walk. People began to arrive at 09:15 and those attending were all there by 9:25 so we set off up the Gorge. I began by describing the three famous White Coppice people that they’ve never heard of. Alfred Ephaim Eccles, Sir Norman Howarth & miss Elsie Whitehead (1908 – 2003) who was headmistress at Withnell Fold Primary School.

Sir Norman Howarth

Alfred Emphraim Eccles.
Across the cricket ground is Rose Cottage, formerly the home of the Whitehead family around 1920. Margaret Whitehead was the headmistress at the local school and her daughter, Elsie, also qualified as a teacher and later became headmistress at Withnell Fold primary school. Elsie was also head girl at Chorley Grammar School.

In 1835, Alfred Emphraim Eccles built and managed White Coppice Cotton and Muslin mill (see photo), living at Albion Villa (now known as “Northwood”). Eccles donated land, promoting the set-up of White Coppice Cricket Club. He also provided a meeting room for prayer, reading rooms and a games room with a billiard table within the factory.
White Coppice is also the birthplace of Sir Walter Norman Howarth (1883-1950), who was awarded the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1937 for his groundbreaking work on the synthesis of vitamin C.

TMiss Elsie Whitehead at Rose Cottage
in the 1920s.

Lead Mine entrance up the gorge.
TAs we walked upwards we could see White Coppice Quarries that were owned and run by William Waring.
Up on the moor we reached Coppice Stile House & Cheese press stone with its bench mark 260.85m (855.8 ft). The cheese press is used to keep the curds whole or stuck together.
Heading north we had a view of the 4,000 years old. Anglezarke Round Loaf Bowl Barrow Burial Mound. This huge mound is oval in plan and 65m at the longest dimension. It contains around 25,000 tonnes of earth fill. It has never been excavated. Then we came to the ancient Merestone boundary marker first mentioned in a “Perambulation of the Manor 1697” in the Hoghton papers.


The Flowering Jug ruins.


The Flowering Jug ruins.

Lunch stop in the woods.
Down Well Lane we had a view of Ratten Clough, one of the last moorland farms to be vacated in the 1960s. In the woods we had a lunch stop near the stone with graffiti carving. Further on we stopped by the ruins of New Ground where in 1861 New Ground James Heald age 48 was the farmer.
Heather Lea before demolition.

Animal Byre near Blackhurst.

One of the buildings was also and ale house called the “Flowering Jug”. Through the woods we passed the ruins of Heather Lea then Blackhurst Hall and the intact stables. We made a detour through the woods to reach the ruins of Marsden’s Farm lived in by Elizabeth Jane Dixon (1856 - 1938) who kept a diary that still exists.

Inside the Byre.

Ruins of Blackhurst Hall.

Tenon top gatepost.

The ford.
Down by the Goit were the ruins of Goose Green then we followed the path to “The Lowe” and the Tennon Top gatepost. Back in White Coppice we stopped at the Sunday Cafe which thankfully was open. I had coffee and cake.
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