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A view of Blacko Tower taken from the top of the village in early winter
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Blacko // is a village and civil parish in the Pendle district of Lancashire, England. Before local government reorganisation in 1974 the village lay on the border with the West Riding of Yorkshire. The parish has a population of 672. The village is on the old turnpike road from Nelson to Gisburn (A682). The village enjoys views towards Boulsworth Hill to its southeast, the former cotton town of Nelson, about two miles to its south and Pendle Hill to its west across the valley of Pendle Water.
The parish adjoins the Pendle parishes of Middop, Bracewell and Brogden, Salterforth, Foulridge, Colne, Barrowford, Roughlee Booth and Barley-with-Wheatley Booth. Parts of the parish, west of the village are included in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Spring Field Mill was probably built around 1850 for cotton weaving and powered originally by a beam engine. Later the mill was extended and horizontal engine installed and it reached its fullest extent by 1910. Closed in the 1970s, the building survived into the 2000s, however a small housing estate now occupies the site.
Overlooking the village is Stansfield Tower (also known as Blacko Tower), which was built around 1890. A local grocer, Jonathan Stansfield, built this circular rough stone tower to provide himself with a view over Ribblesdale from the top, but the height fell somewhat short. A Bronze Age axe, believed to be 3,500 years old, was found near the tower in 1952.
The part of Blacko parish historically in Lancashire was once part of Barrowford township in the ancient parish of Whalley. This became a civil parish in 1866, however in 1894 the urban areas became and urban district and Blacko was created from the remainder, forming part of the Burnley Rural District until 1974. The area around Admergill formed part of Brogden township in Barnoldswick's ancient parish and later the Skipton Rural District, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
The Village also is home to Blacko Events Committee, which regularly hold fundraising events including the Annual Blacko Show, which is held on the recreational site every September. The committee raise funds which then is put back into the community. One noticeable community project was the donation of funds to the Parish Council, to provide new play equipment on the recreation ground, which then went on to win Pendle community Networks Play Setting of the Year Award.
Stone Edge (historically Stonehedge) was home to a branch of Burnley's Towneley family, some of whom emigrated to Virginia in the 17th century. As well as exporting the Towneley name, their descendants also included both George Washington and Robert E. Lee.
Blacko was the childhood home of Lancashire comedian Jimmy Clitheroe (1921–73), famous for his BBC radio series The Clitheroe Kid, who lived there from 1922 to 1935. Jimmy went to school in Blacko and appeared in many amateur concert party entertainments in the village's Methodist chapel, before turning professional in 1936.
Also during the 1930s it was the home of the comedian Tommy Trafford, who played many summer seasons in the Lancashire seaside resort of Southport between the 1960s and '80s, resulting in his nickname of Mr Southport.
- UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Blacko Parish (1170215068)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
- Forest of Bowland map (Map). forestofbowland.com. Lancashire County Council.
- Historic England. "Spring Field Mill (1307248)". PastScape. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
- "Blacko scoops Best Kept Village in Lancashire accolade". Lancashire Telegraph. Newsquest Media Group. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- Clayton (2007), pp. 266–7
- Historic England. "Monument No. 45476 (45476)". PastScape. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- Magill, Peter (15 September 2011). "Pendle and Ribble Valley joy in best-kept village awards". Lancashire Telegraph. Newsquest Media Group. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Blacko scoops best-kept village title". Pendle Today. Johnston Press. 11 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "From flooded disaster zone to best kept village - award joy for Croston". Lancashire Post. Johnston Press. 18 September 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Blacko CP through time". visionofbritain.org.uk. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Brogden Tn/CP through time". visionofbritain.org.uk. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
- "Higham with Pendleside". Ordnance Survey Linked Data Platform. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Pendle Retrieved 5 September 2015
- Tracing the Towneleys (PDF), Towneley Hall Society, 2004, p. 38, archived from the original (PDF) on 4 August 2017, retrieved 3 August 2017
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