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Welcome Lords and Ladies to my tour of Samlesbury Hall, you will become Historical detectives after this short course of factual and interesting insights.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome Lords and Ladies to my tour of Samlesbury Hall, you will become Historical detectives after this short course of factual and interesting insights."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome Lords and Ladies to my tour of Samlesbury Hall, you will become Historical detectives after this short course of factual and interesting insights into the life of a still-working household. Firstly let me tell you where the name Samlesbury comes from. The Romans walked into England, not exactly an invasion and about 80 AD they arrived here in Lancashire, then known as Leyland and Amounderness. After a brief encounter with the population of only 600 “Lancastrians” from the Brigantes tribe an agreement was made with their Queen Cartimandua to live side by side in relative peace. To seal this peace the Romans married off their Goddess Belisama to the tribal God Belanos. Belisama was the Goddess of Fire, Water and Metal working and the Romans named the river Belisama, now the Ribble. Where the river Darwen meets the Ribble at Walton le dale, the Romans built a supply fortress called Belisama, manned by the Sarmatian cavalry regiment, it was a workshop where armour, weapons and supplies were made and stored. There is a park-and-ride car park there now. When the Romans left England, the Saxons took the name and changed it to Samlesbury, or Sama the Borough. Darwen means White Oak and the river ran through peat which discoloured it to become Blackburn. The original house was built by the D’ewyres, (The Eaves) family, descendents from a Scottish family who were related to King Malcolm of Scotland, after fleeing the tyranny of Macbeth they made their way eventually to Wales where they settled down. Movement in the family ended up in Lancashire where they built a 38 foot square Scottish castle on the banks of the Ribble, 2 miles from this house at Lower Hall. Tyranny was still following them because Robert the Bruce on his ransacking visit to Lancashire in 1322 burnt the castle down. The next stage in this family saga was the marriage of D’ewyres Daughter Alice to Gilbert De Southworth from Warrington. The first building, a medieval house was then constructed with a thatched roof. His land eventually amounting to13,000 acres at its peak! Look at the staircase in the entrance lobby, it is the wrong way round, clues can be seen at the window position and the blocked up doorway into the chapel. Thomas de Southworth wanted to upgrade his position from “Master of the House” to “Lord of the Manor”, where he needed to have the house renamed a manor. The qualifications are a farm, a large house, a store of fresh fish for Fridays, a granary and mill and lastly a Chapel complete with Priest. He built his Chapel facing east in a detached building with two entrances, the lower one for the workers, the upper one for the lord and lady, see where the commoners door has been sealed off. Facing east has made the buildings out of square in position to each other, precession of the equinox has given a 5 degree error over the 150 year gap between building phases. There was a wooden barrier between the congregation and the priest, this was looted later on in the house history by Braddyll for his own house at Connishead. Braddyll had been a creditor to the Southworths and took over the Hall to repay a debt, he decided to change it into the Braddyll Arms Inn.

2 Feel the subsidence of the Chapel, look at the bow in the ceiling beams. When the chapel was a political liability to the safety of the Southworth's during the reformation, it was joined up with the main house and became the living quarters of the Lord and Lady, being divided into a corridor, and a bedroom. The chapel end became the Solar room or Library. At this time Whalley Abbey was raised to the ground and the windows ended up in this upgraded extension. Now let us walk back into the entrance lobby, see the bow in the floor, if you stand at the bottom of the bow it will be exactly at the centre of the fireplace. Notice the hearth-stone, how thick it is, much too strong for a mere hearth-stone because it is also a lintel for the roof of a tunnel. Now here’s some speculation, in the later half of the 16 th century and the beginning of the 17 century the search for priests was the biggest hunt in history. A man called Nicholas Owen, deformed and small in stature, became a folklore hero for his construction of Priest holes and escape tunnels. He built over 60 escape routes in Catholic houses around the country, his motto was “One way in two ways out”. He was caught hiding gunpowder plotters at Hindlip Hall and was tortured to death in the Tower of London. He was one of the martyrs to become St.Nicholas Owen. Not one of his escape routes and locations were ever written down, but we have one here which meets the description in the search for the tunnels in the 17 th century. The Fireplace has a false back wall, entrance is from the left of the fire and under the floor. There is sufficient space in the back enclosure for “11 desperate souls” a vent is clearly seen at the front of the house about 20 feet up the wall. The tunnel goes two ways, 20 yards South and 40 yards North, both ends meeting the moat for the final escape. Remember one way in two ways out. The tunnel is 2 feet wide by 4 feet high with an arched brick roof. Some of it has collapsed under the floor hence the bowing of the beams which sat on it. See how rough the Tudor cast iron is in the fireplace, open cast on brown sand. This house is termed a “half timbered house”, not because it was half wood/stone or even Wood/wattle, but because it was made from halved trees, each opposing main strut being from the same tree to equalise warpage movement. Trees were selected from the same area to be of similar character. This technique came from the ship building skills and so the house is termed “of ships timber” because of the way it was built and the quality of the wood used, non of the wood has actually been in a ship. Permiter footing of stone. Black and white a Victorian mistake of applying tar to protect the wood, should be grey and cream for true colours. Let us now go outside into the “yard”. Merchants would come here over the bridge to sell their wares, cloth was sold by the “yard”, centre of body to finger tips. There was three schools of Tudor building styles, Lower land from the midlands southwards the houses had vertical striped timber about 1.5 feet apart filled in with Wattle and Daub. The midlands houses had squares about 5ft square with diagonals for strength. Here in the upper north we had small squares strengthened by inserts in the corners, the inserts are patterned in a design called “quatrefoil” based upon heraldic emblems of lucky 4 leaf clovers. You can pick out the original quatrefoils by the direction of the wood grain which should be around the square not across it. The cross over points of the main beams are covered with decorated wooden plaques to stop water ingress into the joints. The house was built in frames on the floor then each frame was hoisted into position before being fixed to each other with dovetail joints and dowels. The wood mainly used is Wych Elm, a common tree here in Tudor times which was very straight, strong and water resistant due to the wetness of the Leyland moors. Oak is used for smaller lengths due to the twisting shape of the tree. The Horse chestnut trees in the grounds were not introduced to England until about 1700, so were not used in the construction. With so much intrigue and treachery going on in the country, houses had listening places usually in an overhanging roof or window, these were called “the eavesdrops” for spying on visitors.

3 This house has two eavesdrops, one goes into the old kitchen from an upper bedroom, even the staff were spied upon! And the other is more discreetly positioned to listen to visitors outside the house. Look at the upper oriel window with the Roman Emperor's head carved in the eave. See where the flower overlaps itself, an eavesdropping hole. So watch what you say. This window depicts the Bishop of Lancaster, Gilbert De Southworth and an Emperor of Rome whom Southworth claimed to descend from. Now walk over to the large Oriel bay window. This is technically the wrong name for this window, because oriels must return to the wall before reaching the ground. The term Bay also comes from nautical building and is usually the width of 4 oxen in a barn, about 16 feet. The Bay was originally a withdrawing room on the ground floor for the women, a Solar for the Lord on the upper floor in the jetty. When the original chapel was redefined this solar became the chapel. Behind this chapel is the second Priest hole, you can see into it later from upstairs access. The second emergency exit is where the unmortared wall meets the roof and is covered with just Daub. This “kick-out wall” leads to the roof for escape again the second way out. Look in the chapel for the white stains on the floor, There was originally blood stains there from the murder of a priest found hiding in the hole, his ghost is present. When later owners wanted to convert the hall into an Inn, nobody would stay in this room, so about 1750 the floor was taken up and a new one built, but the stains came back in white!!! Spooky eh? Look for window glass with circular ripples in them, these are called Quarries and they were made by spinning molten glass into a disc before cutting up into the panes. These are original Tudor glass. Glass was so expensive in Tudor times, that the cost of a house for sale did not include the windows, the previous owner would take them with them for their new house. See the roof tiles. The ones that go smaller as they go up the roof are original Tudor, made of Dittonian stone they were graded into stone sizes before cutting and then fitted in this fashion for strength and roof loading. Slates did not appear until about 1700 in the Northwest. Let us now go back into the house and into the Parlour, from the word to parley, to talk. A sitting room where conversations went on, there was a corridor, tapestries hanging at each end as a sign of wealth. See the stone fireplace with Roman numerals. Smoother Victorian cast iron inset. M means Millennium or 1000, a Mille was a Roman 1000 paces and we get our Mile from this. C = 100, X = 10 and V = 5. Can you work it out? The answer is The inner fireplace is a Victorian modification, when the 7 families of weavers left the house, leaving the fireplace damaged to hold a cooking eye in the centre. The coats of arms are Hoghton, Southworth and Langton. A ghost was recorded here by the workers who were removing the chapel barrier, warning them not to remove the Great Hall screen, which they refused to do when asked. Furniture was made of Oak but could discolour with the rays of the sun, so they were stained dark for effect and for protection. Stains were expensive, the cheapest being Pigs blood and Urine,up to the most expensive being the powdered shells of Lac Beetles mixed with spirit. It took 10,000 beetles to make 1 litre of stain. The terms Shellac and Lacquer come from this stain.

4 See King Henry VIII’s carving over the old corridor, good looking man eh! The other carving opposite him is of Queen Katherine of Aragon, his wife for 20 years. A lot of hoo-ha has been said about Henry and Katherine, they were in fact deeply in love for 10 years of marriage until her Father, King Ferdinand of Spain betrayed Henry against the French by not turning up for battle and letting Henry’s army be beaten. Henry never trusted Katherine after that. Let us not digress. On to the Great hall. The word Hall means All, a place where all eat and meet. The original medieval hall had a thatched roof, no chimney and a central fireplace. The Lord and lady would sit at the Solar end at their Board (The word table was not in use as it is French in origin). The Board was a large single piece of Oak on Trestles, The Lord sitting at the middle, a priest on his right side and his wife on the left. All negotiations and business was done at this board. Words such as as Chairman of the Board, Boardroom, Sideboard, Cupboard, across the board, above board and room and board came from this. Look for the Roses in the ceiling beams, “Sub-rosa” means under the rose, a medieval meaning that anything told under the rose was to be a secret. The Rose emblem came from Greek mythology, Aphrodite was having many lovers, her son Eros gave the rose to his best friend to keep quiet about her indiscretions. The Rose is for love, trust and honour. Imagine the central fire, a wooden cowling over it guiding the smoke up to the centre of the roof. Not piercing the roof but stopping short allowing the smoke to exit slowly through the thatch. On the other side of the beam a block and tackle carrying 3 chains which hung a large cast pot onto the side of the fire, the cook’s assistant would raise the pot from the floor to turn it 120 degrees for thorough heating. This conserva lidded pot, “eternal kettle" became known as the Hotpot. Now let’s study the Medieval day. You fasted over night and awoke at 5 AM where you ate Break the fast (breakfast) of water and bread. Then you worked for 4 hours until 9 AM when you have dinner, meats, fruit etc. You ate off bread trenchers, the “upper-crust” being for the Lord and Lady. Leftover food was put into the Hotpot and boiled all afternoon. You worked a further 8 hours until 5 PM when you had the Pot soup (Supper), you then went to bed at 9PM and fasted again. Your life expectancy was 40 years, 1 in 2 children died before 5 years old, you married at 12! Remember the ghost story about the Great hall barrier, well it was located across the end doors so the Lord would not see the workers, it was not taken out of the room. It was dismantled and made into the minstrels gallery as an effect for the Inn. But alas, the scallywag, Braddyll, who did this act of vandalism put it at the wrong end, the gallery should be seen by the Lord, not over his head! Look for the original tree which formed the Cruck beams and see how they are mirror imaged (half timbered). The main portrait at the other end is of Queen Anne, the Oriel stained glass added in the early 1900’s are of Catholic Monarch’s. King Henry VII, was the first Tudor King, Tudor a Welsh family from Penmynydd, Anglesey took the throne from Richard III in Battle. Tudor means “House of Iron”. The Greyhound in the Crest is the Tudor symbol, King Henry VII and VIII favourite pet was a greyhound. Mary Tudor was Bloody Mary who married King Philip of Spain, the eagle crest. James I son of Mary Queen of Scots inherited the throne of England after Queen Elizabeth I died. The Great hall screen before being dismantled to make the “Minstrels Gallery” history.co.uk/places/penmynydd/ Tudor Welsh origins website A Carving Screen to hide the cook with a Knife, no knife to be in the presence of the Lord of the Manor.

5 St. John Southworth. English martyr, b. in Lancashire, 1592, martyred at Tyburn, 28 June, A member of a junior branch of the Southworths of Samlesbury Hall, Blackburn, he was ordained priest at the English College, Douai, and was sent on a holyDouai mission, 13 October, He was arrested and condemned to death in Lancashire in 1627, and imprisoned first in Lancaster Castle, and afterwards in the Clink, London, whence he and fifteen other priests were, on 11 April, 1630, delivered to the French Ambassador for transportation abroad. In 1636 he had been released from the Gatehouse, Westminster, and was living at Clerkenwell, but frequently visited the plague-stricken dwellings of Westminster to convert the dying. In 1637 he seems to have taken up his abode in Westminster, where he was arrested, 28 November, and again sent to the Gatehouse. Thence he was again transferred to the Clink and in 1640 was brought before the Commissioners for Causes Ecclesiastical, who sent him back there 24 June. On 16 July he was again liberated, but by 2 December he was again in the Gatehouse. After his final apprehension he was tried at the Old Bailey, and as he insisted on pleading "guilty" to being a priest, he was reluctantly condemned by the Recorder of London, Sgt. Steel. He was allowed to make a long speech at the gallows, and his remains were permitted to pass into the possession of the Duke of Norfolk's family, who had them sent to the English College at Douai. The relics of the Saint's body, hidden during the French Revolution, were rediscovered in 1927, and brought back to England, where they are enshrined in Westminster Cathedral.]DouairelicsFrench Revolution The windows from Whalley Abbey Well that’s the tour folks, I hope you enjoyed it and that it gives you the interest to follow your own course of study into an intriguing part of our Country’s history that shaped our destiny more than at any other time before. Please do not believe all the malicious gossip that the media puts out about Henry’s Kingship, he was a strong, but well loved King and very misunderstood. His English Bible brought together the many local languages to become the English Language as we know it today.

6 St. Nicholas Owen Belisama the Bruce geneology Victorian use of the Great hallDittonian Stone and Quatrefoils The upstairs corridor The White Lady. I have already mentioned two spooky happenings but Samlesbury Hall is most famous for the White Lady Ghost. Dorothy Southworth loved the Son of the Protestant Hoghtons, forbidden to see each other by her father, the couple planned to run away together. Dorothy’s brother found out about the plan and ambushed the lover and his two friends, killing them all. Dorothy was sent to a nunnery in France to keep the murder secret where she died broken hearted. Her spirit returned to Samlesbury and she has been seen meeting her lover near to where the draw bridge was situated. Many years later three skeletons were found at this same spot. The White Lady Story Curious Fact: The term “nicked” for stolen is medieval! A Lord of a manor with metals in his land would let miners dig it out for a 50:50 share. With only 5 days allowed off work per year there was a rule that any days over the 5 were against the partnership. Anybody could take over the working of the mine if they could prove that 5 extra days were taken off. They would watch the mine daily, if the miner missed an extra day, a mark was made on the wooden lintel at the entrance to the mine, this nick would be evidence, if there were 5 nicks the mine changed hands! It’s been nicked.


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