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The History of Claughton-on-Brock

Claughton was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 and was under the control of Earl Tosti(g) a brother of King Harold Godwinson but Roger of Pitou was given these estates after the Norman Conquest. Claughton was a township of Garstang St. Helen Parish, but a chapel later existed in Claughton until the end of the 16th Century.

Two Roman Roads ran through Claughton, one near the Bleasdale boundary and one following much of the A6 North. Garstang Road appeared on the map of 1675 as a main arterial route. The road was turnpiked in 1751 and this created the southern check point to Garstang at the southern end of Garstang road (at what is now the junction with the A6). This point is still known as the ‘Toll Bar’.

The Lancaster Canal was begun in 1792 and the Railway in 1840. With 784 inhabitants at the beginning of the 19th Century Claughton had the largest population of the Garstang Parish.

Claughton remained a centre for Catholicism after the reformation. In 1745 the Priest had a house built and probably its library was used as a church. The Church of St. Thomas was built adjoining the house in 1794. A school was established at Brow Top in 1838.The school’s supervision transferred to the priest in 1854 and the present school was built and a house provided for the schoolmaster.

Claughton possesses a number of Grade 2 listed buildings many from the 17th and 18th Century. Some have ‘priest holes’, evidence of the difficult times experienced by Claughton residents during the reformation.

1286 recorded the arrival of the Brockholes family to the area. The family purchased land in the mid – 14th Century and throughout the centuries since taking residence each generation of the family has played its part in the development of the Parish and a significant part in ensuring the prosperity of Catholicism in the Parish. The Claughton Estate has a considerable presence and is at the heart of the Parish and the Fitzherbert-Brockholes family’s members continue to make a significant contribution to Parish affairs.

Farming has always been a predominant industry at the centre of business and social life and some farms have passed down several generations of the same family. During the 20th century and beyond a number of industrial and service related businesses have established themselves in Claughton and many of these make a significant contribution to the social and economic well-being of the Parish.

In recent years the Parish has seen an increase in housing development and currently plans are being processed for a further increase in housing stock on open countryside. Only future history will be able to inform us as to the wisdom or otherwise of any decisions for our Parish that are currently being worked on by the Borough Council.

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