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Hoghton, Lancashire

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Situated between Blackburn & Preston the name is that of the family who dominated the area since William the Conqueror came to power. The de Hoghton baronetcy is the second oldest in England. The word Hoghton means "township at the bottom of the hill".

The churchyard of the Holy Trinity church has a number of the de Hoghton graves as well as that of Mr Gatty who invented khaki dye used in military uniforms around the world. Past the Boars Head pub are a number of cottages called "The Barracks". These were used by Cromwellian troops in 1651. The priest St. Edmond Arrowsmith said his last mass before being arrested at a white-stone house in the village. The sideboard which he used for mass is now the alter at St. Joseph's Church.

The village is best known for it's famous Towers built by Thomas de Hoghton in 1565. The fortified manor house is difficult to see from most angles, as it sits on top of a heavily wooded hilltop.

The story goes that in 1617, King James I while staying at the tower, was so impressed with the loin of beef he was served here, that after a few drinks he took his sword and knighted the meat thereby giving the name to sirloin steak! To remember the event the local pub was renamed "The Sirlion" and still goes by that name today. Sir Richard de Hoghton was forced to entertain the King for three days at great expense. Unfortunately this left him penniless and he was sent to prison due to his debts.

The tower also played host to Sir William Shakespeare who once performed here with a group of traveling players. It is thought by many historians that Shakespeare may well have lived at the hall for a year while a young man. The tower is open to the public at specific times of the year. There are various displays including family documents and the story of the Lancashire witches.

In the 18th century weaving was the way of live here with the hamlets of Hoghton Bottoms Riley Green the main centres. However, farming and quarrying were also important to the area.

The Boatyard pub is next the Leeds/Liverpool canal & the Royal Oak Hotel can be found on the A675, both worthy of a visit.

From Website 1/2002

Link to website  http://www.lancashire-online.co.uk/towns/Hoghton.html