A view over Barnoldswick, towards Weets Hill
Barnoldswick shown within Lancashire
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North West England|
Barnoldswick (colloquially known as Barlick) is a town and civil parish within the West Craven area of the Borough of Pendle in Lancashire, England just outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The town is built in the shadow of Weets Hill, and Stock Beck, a tributary of the River Ribble runs through the town. It has a population of 10,859.
Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and situated on the lower slopes of Weets Hill in the Pennines astride the natural watershed between the Ribble and Aire valleys, Barnoldswick is the highest town on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, lying on the summit level of the canal between Barrowford Locks to the south west and Greenberfield Locks just north east of the town. It is approximately 30 miles (48 km) from the cities of Leeds, Manchester and Preston, and 27 miles (43 km) east southeast from the county town of Lancaster. Nearby towns include Clitheroe to the west, Nelson and Burnley to the south and Keighley to the east southeast.
Barnoldswick is one of the longest place names in the United Kingdom without repeating any letters. Buckfastleigh in Devon, Buslingthorpe in Leeds, West Yorkshire and Buslingthorpe in Lincolnshire are longer with 13 letters.
Barnoldswick dates back to Anglo Saxon times. It was listed in the Domesday Book as Bernulfsuuic, meaning Bernulf's Town (uuic being an archaic spelling of wick, meaning settlement, in particular, a dairy farm).
A Cistercian monastery was founded there in 1147 by monks from Fountains Abbey. However they left after six years, before construction was complete, driven out by crop failures and locals unhappy at their interference in the affairs of the local church. They went on to build Kirkstall Abbey. They returned after another ten years to build the isolated Church of St Mary-le-Gill close to Barnoldswick to Thornton in Craven road.
For hundreds of years Barnoldswick remained a small village. However, the arrival of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and later the (now closed) railway, spurred the development of the existing woollen industry, and helped it to become a major cotton town. The engine of the last mill to be built in Barnoldswick, Bancroft Mill, has been preserved and is now open as a tourist attraction - a 600HP steam engine which is still operational.
Barnoldswick was an ancient parish in Staincliffe Wapentake in the West Riding of Yorkshire (although Blackburnshire in Lancashire sometimes claimed the area). The parish included the townships of Brogden with Admergill, Coates and Salterforth, all of which became separate civil parishes in 1866. The civil parish of Coates rejoined the parish of Barnoldswick in 1923.
From 1894 until 1974, Barnoldswick formed an urban district within the administrative county of the West Riding of Yorkshire Until 1974 post used to be addressed via Colne, Lancashire, to addresses in Barnoldswick. Barnoldswick has had a Burnley telephone code even when it was in Yorkshire. Following the Local Government Act 1972, Barnoldswick and a number of surrounding Yorkshire villages, including Earby and Gisburn, were transferred to the Borough of Pendle in the Non-metropolitan county of Lancashire in 1974.
Barnoldswick receives TV from Leeds; ITV (Yorkshire Television) and BBC North are both transmitted from the TV mast at East Marton, 3 miles north-east of Barnoldswick. TV transmissions from the North-West region BBC North West and ITV (Granada Television) are blocked by Weets Hill. Up until 2011, analogue signals of Channel 4 could be received, but Five was extremely limited. Radio reception is also restricted in the town. There is a local low-power FM relay station, transmitting the four main BBC national radio stations (Radio 1 to 4), but no local stations. Fresh Radio in Skipton claims to cover the area on AM – 1413 kHz.
The town now receives digital terrestrial signals. and cable services as well as via Sky or Freesat.
The local press is published weekly; the Barnoldswick and Earby Times is published on Fridays and is covered at Pendle Today. The daily Lancashire Telegraph newspaper covers Barnoldswick in its Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale edition. Some of the Yorkshire press is circulated in the area, owing to both the geographical anomaly and the fact that many of the population still consider themselves "Yorkshire folk". The weekly, Skipton-based Craven Herald & Pioneer and the daily, Leeds-based Yorkshire Post newspapers are prominent.
Barnoldswick is home to Silentnight Beds, the UK's largest manufacturer of beds and mattresses. Silentnight is part of the Silentnight Group with the head office and manufacturing premises in the town.
Barnoldswick has also played host to one of the oldest standing Stove manufacturers in the UK. Esse has been manufacturing Stoves in Barnoldswick since 1854 and since then have provided stoves for the likes of Florence Nightingale, Shackleton and Scott (British explorers of the Antarctic), Alan Hinkes OBE (Mountaineer) and River Cottage. Esse have their Head office at Ouzledale Factory in Barnoldswick where to the Stove are manufactured. Esse distribute all their stoves through a close link of specialist stove retailers which can be seen on their dealer locator on www.esse.com
Rolls Royce plc is a large employer based in the town. It was originally a cotton mill that Rover used to produce the production version of Whittles gas turbine and was purchased by Rolls Royce in 1943. The model number of many Rolls Royce jet engines start with the initials RB (e.g. RB199) which stands for Rolls Barnoldswick, as Rolls Royce aero's design centre was situated in Barnoldswick.
Hope Technology, a manufacturer of mountain bike parts such as disc brakes, hubs, and headsets, is based in Barnoldswick.
Albert Hartley Textiles is the last remaining textiles mill in the town and is a big employer for the local area. Originally there was 13 mills in the town, the last being constructed in 1920. There are currently plans to renovate the mill and create a local apprenticeship scheme. Put in place by Manchester-based property developers, Capital & Centric Plc the scheme would involve construction of a new factory and a medium sized supermarket. In August 2012, the plans were approved over two other competing schemes, the council citing that, in addition to adhering with planning policy, the Harley site was favoured because of the job creation for the town.
Barnoldswick is served by four primary schools; Gisburn Road, Church School and Coates Lane, whilst St. Joseph's caters to the town's Catholic population. Most secondary age students attend West Craven High Technology College, a Technology specialist school situated in Barnoldswick itself, though a significant minority of students attend Fisher More Catholic Humanities College in Colne, and the Skipton Grammar Schools, Ermysted's and Skipton Girls' High School.
Barnoldswick is often cited as the largest town in the British Isles not to be served by any A-roads. However, in spite of this, road links to the town are comparatively good; easy access to the M65, A65 and A59 means that Manchester, Preston, Leeds, Bradford and York can all be reached in an hour by car.
Barnoldswick was formerly served by Barnoldswick railway station, the only station on the Midland Railway's branch line off the Skipton to Colne Line, though this was shut under the Beeching Axe in 1965. The pressure group Selrap is currently campaigning for the reopening of the Skipton to Colne line, and although their plans do not include the Barnoldswick Branch, rail travel to the town would be improved by such a reopening. At present, would-be rail passengers must travel via Colne for trains serving Lancashire, or via Skipton for trains serving North and West Yorkshire.
Public transport to the town is therefore restricted to buses. Pennine Motors services from Burnley to Skipton operate every hour, and there are three buses per hour operated by Burnley & Pendle to Colne, Nelson, Burnley and beyond. An infrequent (approx. 2-hourly) service to Clitheroe and Preston is operated by Lancashire United.
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Pendle Retrieved 2009-11-21
- "The Leeds & Liverpool Canal". Canal Junction. canaljunction.com. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
- Barnoldswick History
- Early History of Barnoldswick
- Bancroft Mill
- Monks' Lands at Barnoldswick
- Local Area History
- House of Kirkstall history
- Genuki website
- Vision of Britain website: Barnoldswick AP/CP
- A Vision of Britain Through Time : Barnoldswick Urban District
- About Barnoldswick
- Barnoldswick Town Council
- West Craven Committee (Pendle Borough Council)
- Craven/Skipton Area TV Transmitter
- Local BBC FM Transmitter
- Fresh Radio Website
- Silentnight Group Website
- Silentnight Beds Website
- North West Development Agency Press Release 2006
- LCC Lancashire Aerospace Heritage
- Hope Technology
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