The Lordship of Bowland is a feudal barony associated with the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, England. The lordship fell into disuse between 1885 and 2008, during which time it was widely believed to have lapsed; it was revived in 2008.
In 1885, the estates of the Towneleys, an aristocratic family, were broken up following the death of the last male heir. These included the Forest of Bowland. In 1938, the Crown, in the form of the Duchy of Lancaster, acquired 6,000 acres (2,400 ha) of the forest, known as the Whitewell Estate, near Clitheroe; it was generally assumed that the Lordship of Bowland had been transferred to the Crown.
It was subsequently discovered that the sale of Whitewell Estate, while it included mineral, sporting and forestry rights, specifically excluded the Lordship of Bowland itself. In fact, ownership of the title had descended to an extinct Towneley family trust. Consequently, in 2008, Charles Towneley Strachey, 4th Baron O'Hagan disposed of the Lordship by private treaty.
The new 16th Lord of Bowland was later revealed to be a Cambridge University don who specialised in the history of Lancashire, its place names and dialects, and had ancestral links to the Forest.
While a lineage for the barony can be traced back speculatively through the Earls of Northumbria to Oswiu and his marriage alliance in 638 AD with the Urien kings of Rheged,the roots of the modern lordship are Norman.
Although Roger de Poitou is recorded as tenant-in-chief of the manors of Bowland in Domesday, what we now understand as the Forest and Liberty of Bowland was created by William Rufus sometime after 1087. It formed part of a larger parcel of lands granted to his vassal, either to reward Roger for his role in the defeat of Dolfin of Carlisle and the army of Scots king Malcolm III in 1091-2 or as a result of the confiscation of lands from Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumbria in 1095. These lands came to form the Barony, later the Honor of Lancaster in the closing decade of the eleventh century. By the late twelfth century, the disparate holdings within the Honor of Lancaster had cohered to form what became Lancashire, first explicitly recognised as a county in 1194.
In turn, the Forest and Liberty of Bowland, along with the grant of the adjacent fee of Blackburnshire and holdings in Hornby and Amounderness, came to form the basis of what became known as the Honor of Clitheroe. Ownership of the Forest followed the same descent as the Honor, ultimately passing with the rest of the de Lacy landsto the Earldom of Lancaster. After 1351, it was administered as part of the Duchy of Lancaster; from 1399, as a possession of the Crown up until the Restoration. During this period, the lords of Bowland were styled “Lord Kings”. The Forest ceased to be a part of the Honor in 1835.
Territorially, the Lordship of Bowland covered an area of almost 300 square miles (800 km2) on the historic borders of Lancashire and Yorkshire. It comprised a Royal Forest and a Liberty of ten manors spanning eight townships and four parishes. The manors within the Liberty were Slaidburn (Newton-in-Bowland, West Bradford, Grindleton), Knowlmere, Waddington, Easington, Bashall, Mitton, Withgill (Crook), Leagram, Hammerton and Dunnow (Battersby). Harrop was included within the Forest.
In 1661, the manors contained within the former Honor of Clitheroe, including the Forest and Liberty of Bowland, were granted by the Crown to General George Monck as part of the creation of the Dukedom of Albermarle. Monck had been a key figure in the restoration of Charles II.The Lordship of Bowland then descended through the Montagu, Buccleuch and Towneley families before passing to its present incumbent, the 16th Lord of Bowland. The caput or seat of the barony is Clitheroe Castle.
The Forest of Bowland, also known as the Bowland Fells, is an area of gritstone fells, deep valleys and peat moorland, mostly in north-east Lancashire, England, with a small part in North Yorkshire. It is a western outlier of the Pennines.
Blackburn Hundred is a historic sub-division of the county of Lancashire, in northern England. Its chief town was Blackburn, in the southwest of the hundred. It covered an area similar to modern East Lancashire, including the current districts of Ribble Valley, Pendle, Burnley, Rossendale, Hyndburn, Blackburn with Darwen, and South Ribble.
Lancashire is a county of England, in the northwest of the country. The county did not exist in 1086, for the Domesday Book, and was apparently first created in 1182, making it one of the youngest of the traditional counties.
Newton or Newton-in-Bowland is a village and civil parish in the Ribble Valley district, in the county of Lancashire, England, formerly known as Newton-on-Hodder. The civil parish had a population of 237 in 2001, according to the United Kingdom Census, increasing to 315 at the 2011 Census. The township covers almost 6,000 acres of the Forest of Bowland. Historically, the village is part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, but was transferred to Lancashire for administrative purposes on 1 April 1974, under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972.
Dunsop Bridge is a village in the Borough of Ribble Valley, Lancashire, England, 9 miles (14 km) north-west of Clitheroe, 15 miles (24 km) south-east of Lancaster and 24.5 miles (39 km) west of Skipton. It is in the civil parish of Bowland Forest High. Historically, the village is part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, but was placed under the administration of Lancashire County Council on 1 April 1974.
Bashall Eaves is a village and civil parish in the Ribble Valley district of Lancashire, England, about four miles (6 km) west of Clitheroe. The placename element eaves is Old English and refers to Bashall's location on the borders of the Forest of Bowland. Historically, the village is part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, but was transferred to Lancashire for administrative purposes on 1 April 1974, under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972.
Slaidburn is a village and civil parish within the Ribble Valley district of Lancashire, England. The parish covers just over 5,000 acres of the Forest of Bowland.
Bowland Forest Low is a civil parish in the Ribble Valley district of Lancashire, England, covering some 5,500 acres (22 km2) of the Forest of Bowland. According to the 2001 census, the parish had a population of 168, falling to 160 at the 2011 Census. The parish includes the hamlets of Whitewell and Cow Ark. From northwards clockwise, it borders the civil parishes of Newton, Bashall Eaves, Aighton, Bailey and Chaigley, Bowland-with-Leagram and Bowland Forest High. Before 1974, it formed part of Bowland Rural District in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Bowland-with-Leagram is a civil parish in the Ribble Valley district of Lancashire, England, covering part of the Forest of Bowland. According to the census, the parish had a population of 181 in 1951, 128 in 2001 and 169 at the Census 2011.
de Lacy is the surname of an old Norman family which originated from Lassy, Calvados. The family took part in the Norman conquest of England and the later Norman invasion of Ireland. The name is first recorded for Hugh de Lacy (1020–1085). His sons, Walter and Ilbert, left Normandy and travelled to England with William the Conqueror. The awards of land by the Conqueror to the de Lacy sons led to two distinct branches of the family: the northern branch, centred on Blackburnshire and west Yorkshire was held by Ilbert's descendants; the southern branch of Marcher Lords, centred on Herefordshire and Shropshire, was held by Walter's descendants.
Clitheroe Castle is a ruined early medieval castle in Clitheroe in Lancashire, England. It was the caput of the Honour of Clitheroe, a vast estate stretching along the western side of the Pennines.
Whitewell is a hamlet within the civil parish of Bowland Forest Low and Ribble Valley borough of Lancashire, England. It is in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Historically, the village is part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, but was transferred to Lancashire for administrative purposes on 1 April 1974, under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972. It stands above a bend in the River Hodder.
Paramount is the highest authority, or that being of the greatest importance. The word was first used as a term of feudal law, of the overlord, the lord paramount, who held his fief from no superior lord, and was thus opposed to a mesne lord, one who held fief from a superior. Those who held their fiefs from one who was not a lord paramount were given the correlative term "paravail",. The word was confused by English lawyers with "avail," help, assistance, profit, and applied to the actual working tenant of the land, the lowest tenant or occupier.
West Bradford is a village and civil parish in Lancashire, England, 27 miles (43 km) west of the larger city of Bradford, West Yorkshire and 2.5 miles (4 km) north of Clitheroe. The population of the civil parish taken at the 2011 census was 788. It covers some 2000 acres of the Forest of Bowland. In Domesday, it is recorded as Bradeford and in the thirteenth century, Braford in Bouland. It was part of the West Riding of Yorkshire until 1974. "West Bradford" was introduced in the nineteenth century at the time of the introduction of postal services to help distinguish the village from its larger eastern neighbour of the same name.
Grindleton is a village and civil parish in the Ribble Valley district of the English county of Lancashire, formerly in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Its 3,700 acres sit within the Forest of Bowland. The population of the civil ward taken at the 2011 census was 772.
The Honour of Clitheroe is an ancient grouping of manors and royal forests centred on Clitheroe Castle in Lancashire, England; an honour traditionally being the grant of a large landholding complex, not all of whose parts are contiguous. In the case of Clitheroe, this complex was loosely clustered around the ancient wapentake of Blackburnshire.
Great Mitton is a village and a civil parish in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire, England. It is separated from the civil parish of Little Mitton by the River Ribble, both lie about three miles from the town of Clitheroe. The combined population of both civil parishes at the 2011 census was 266. In total, Great and Little Mitton cover less than 2000 acres of the Forest of Bowland, making it the smallest township in the Forest. Historically, the village is part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, but was transferred to Lancashire for administrative purposes on 1 April 1974, under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972.
The Towneley or Townley family are an English (UK) family whose ancestry can be traced back to Norman England. Towneley Hall in Burnley, Lancashire, was the family seat until its sale, together with the surrounding park, to the corporation of Burnley in 1901. Towneley Hall is now a Grade I listed building and a large museum and art gallery within Towneley Park (UK).
Lord of the Fells is a customary title of the Lords of Bowland. The title is thought to have become customary during the high medieval period as a description of the Lords' rugged upland demesne. Bowland Fells, more widely known as the Forest of Bowland, is an area of barren gritstone fells, deep valleys and peat moorland, mostly in north-east Lancashire, England. A small part lies in North Yorkshire, and much of the area was historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Easington is a civil parish within the Ribble Valley district of Lancashire, England, with a population in 2001 of 52. The Census 2011 population details have been grouped with the parish of Slaidburn. Before 1974, it formed part of Bowland Rural District in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It covers just over 9000 acres.