Wish You Were Here > Cliviger, Hurstwood and Worsthorne

Cliviger remains an area made up of small, diverse settlements although the spread of housing has made boundaries less clear. The settlements were semi rural with a small cotton mill, coal mines, potteries, brewery, farms and churches. The area is cut through by the railway and there was once a plan to link the Rochdale and Leeds Liverpool Canals by one through the Cliviger valley.

The Holme was associated with local antiquary Dr TD Whitaker whose History of the Parish of Whalley is still referenced. He was friendly with the Towneley’s and celebrated artist JMW Turner illustrated Whalley as well as providing Towneley with a watercolour painting of the Hall. This is in Towneley’s collections and is exhibited from time to time. Despite extensive recent damage The Holme has been restored and is in use again.

The Ram inn was a convenient stop off. Opposite is St John the Divine church which now houses the war memorial. A second memorial is outside the church. Gone are the cotton mill, and railway station. The mill is a typical cotton weaving shed with north light roof and cramped alleys which housed the loom machinery. The railway station served both the area and day trippers destined for the hills. The gradient on the railway meant there was always a danger of ‘runaways’ in both directions with fatal results. The gradient also meant the location was popular with railway buffs. The summit at nearby Copy Pit achieved almost mythical status with enthusiasts out to photograph an 8F steam engine struggling up the valley.

Ormerod Street, Worsthorne with the 1870s school and reading rooms at the far end. A modern view can be seen on google maps.

The Thursby family were great benefactors to Burnley and Worsthorne. Descended from the Hargreaves’ of Goodshaw, their wealth from coal mining allowed them to give much back to the town but whose name has been largely forgotten. In Worsthorne, they built the original church of St John, transformed the old building as well as providing a reading room in the square.

The view from the church tower about 1904 shows the other religion in the village – the Methodist chapel behind the mill and the reading room.