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Tourist guide to Cliviger
NOW that the coal mining and cotton industries have declined, the Burnley village of Cliviger is idyllically rural in parts.
The name Cliviger translates from middle English and means Cliff Acre or Cliff Ground and this relates to the rocky Cliviger Gorge.
The settlement of Cliviger is confusing because it also encompasses Holme Chapel, Walk Mill, Mereclough and Overtown.
These are all situated in the Cliviger Gorge between Deerplay and the Worsthorne Moors.
Walk Mill takes its name from the days when workers used their feet to press down the wool as it was being prepared for dyeing.
Farming, handloom weaving and quarrying were the main early occupations in the area and coal mines then developed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Now traces of such industry have all but disappeared.
The first important building on the journey from Todmorden is a once-magnificent hall seen through trees to the right.
Holme Hall, built in 1605, is now a sad sight and derelict following a fire before which the building served as an old people's home.
It is a disgrace that gems such as this fall into ruin as it has such a wonderful tale to tell.
In the late 18th Century, the hall was the home of the Rev Dr Thomas Dunham Whitaker, the historian who wrote so voluminously about Whalley and Craven.
His works were illustrated by the famous painter Turner, who spent lots of time in the area.
Whitaker was responsible in 1787 for the demolition of an old chantry chapel, which gave its name to Holme Chapel in the parish of Cliviger In its stead arose St John's Church, which was consecrated in 1787.
Whitaker himself was vicar here from 1796 to 1821 and he used it as his own private museum.
Here he installed a wooden pulpit from Kirkstall Abbey, near Leeds.
It is thought that this may have been situated in the dining room in order that the brethren could be educated as well as fed.
There are also a couple of pews from Whalley Abbey and a beautifully carved screen on the East Wall which may be another reminder of the former glories of Whalley Abbey.
Look in the churchyard and opposite the entrance of St John's is the grave of General James Scarlett, whose home was at Bank Hall in Burnley.
On October 25, 1854 during the Crimean War the Light Brigade made its famous charge and which failed.
Tennyson made this charge famous. On the same day Scarlett led his men on the charge of the Heavy Brigade.
This was successful but is now sadly almost forgotten.
Close to this hero's grave is the resting place of Lady O'Hagan, who was the last of the Towneleys to live in their Hall before she sold it to the town of Burnley in 1902.
Close to the Ram Inn, the Lonk Sheep Fair is held every September.
The Lonk is a breed of sheep found in East Lancashire.
Trade at the Ram Inn increased as the Turnpike Road was driven through the valley in the late 18th century.
There is a milestone set into the wall between St John's Church and the ruins of Holme Hall.
Behind the school opposite the Ram Inn is a fine set of 18th century stocks.
From the car park of the Ram, look down at the Calder Valley, now much cleaner following remedial work by the local authority, environment agency and United Utilities.
Opposite the Ram and close to the school and churchyard, a well marked footpath leads to the Long Causeway.
This was the ancient route which still leads from Lancashire into Yorkshire.
It is a delightful stroll these days, but it may well date back to the Bronze Age and it was used by the Romans.
Close to Cliviger is the 24 turbine windfarm which first turned in 1992 and is still a controversial issue.
I hope that the hymn lyrics "and did those feet in ancient times" are sung in St John's Church.
Feet certainly trod on one of the most ancient tracks of old England.