As part of a 2013/14 Heritage Lottery funded project to explore the history of Towneley Park and its landscape some of the project researchers interviewed local people to record their memories of Towneley.
Grateful thanks to Brenda Rochester for this interview, carried out 16th April, 2013. Research by Prue Wilkinson & Jackie Hindle South.
Brenda’s great, great grandfather was James Shackleton born around the mid 1820s and on the 1841 census he was already a gamekeeper living at Clough Foot, Widdop where now only a barn remains. On his marriage to Alice Helliwell on December 27th 1852 he was already 28 years old, still a game keeper and living in Widdop. Their first daughter Mary Jane Shackleton was born just two days later on the 29th of December1852. Mary Jane Shackleton married James Foulds and Brenda is descended from the Foulds line.
James and Alice had a son born 11th June 1857 when their address is given as Towneley Park and it is believed James worked as a gamekeeper at Towneley from 1853 onwards until at least 1856. Brenda’s grandmother said that James did not live in Towneley Cottages behind the hall but in the gamekeeper’s cottage at the other side near where the present Offshoots is now. James died in the Old House at Cliviger, which was also owned by the Towneley family.
Brenda had many happy memories of her own including the path through the golf links called the rabbit walk. She also remembered visiting the bandstand which it was felt may be what is known as the theatre.
Part of interview here http://youtu.be/6x-nLZnSE3A