2013 Events

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August 2013: Field trip – Tatham Hall and the prehistoric enclosure

Led by John Wilson and Mike Winstanley. Click here for photos

John related the early history of Tatham Hall, which is mentioned in Domesday. It is thought that a manor house may have stood close to the site of the present farm, but no trace remains. From its original owner, the manor passed through the hands of several families, and eventually to the Harringtons, who also owned Hornby Castle, and who supported the Yorkist cause in
the Wars of the Roses. Hornby and Tatham passed through marriage to the Stanley family, who were instrumental in Henry Tudor’s (Henry VII) victory over Richard III at Bosworth in 1485.

Tatham Hall farm was finally sold off from the Hornby Castle estates in the 1930s. Exactly when the manor house fell into disuse and eventual ruin is unknown, but its disappearance led to the farm’s being known for a period as Hall Barns.

Mike had used Land Tax data (compiled by Mike Kelly), Tithe Act listings, the census, Lythe Fell stintholder, and other records, to discover the occupiers of Tatham Hall from 1781 to the present, and read descriptions of the farm as surveyed in 1913 and 1941. He also described the role and workings of the Manor Court of Tatham, which was held twice-yearly at Hall Barns until the 1840s.

After inspecting the enormous barns, and the house exterior and yard, the party walked a quarter-mile south-east, and through 2½ millenia of history, to the site – on a low hill – of a prehistoric defended enclosure, scheduled as an ancient monument by English Heritage. The earthworks are not obvious, and their significance was in fact only recognised in the 1970s. Click here for more about the site. What was obvious was the superb view from the hill-top, encompassing the Wenning valley from Tatham Church to Hornby.

June 2013: Field trip – Tatham Colliery, Old Schools, and Deer Park

Led by Mike Kelly, Mike Winstanley & Edward Huddleston. Click here for photos

34 members enjoyed a beautiful – if breezy – afternoon tour, which spanned, in a walk of less than a mile,, seven centuries of history.

Mike Kelly talked about the colliery at the start location, from which most of the mine site could be seen, though with very little now remaining on the surface. One of the few still-visible mine-shafts was visited later. Mike summarised his excellent web article on the colliery, and helped us to relate the history and maps to the land we see today.

Across a field, at the old Low Tatham school houses, Mike Winstanley outlined the development, over three centuries, of education in Low Tatham, and how it related to the national context.

Edward Huddleston took us further still into the past, when an area of land on the slope between the school and the river Wenning was a fenced and wooded Deer Park, reserved for hunting by the Lord of the Manor. It was later a source of timber for meeting the local need for products such as gates and carts. The remaining timber was sold for smelting in the late eighteenth century, and very little woodland now remains.

May 2013: Workshop: Living in Tatham in the 1950s

Led by Mike Winstanley & Edward Huddleston. Click here for photos