Category Archives: High Royd

High Royd is a large meadow to the west of the Hall and is one of the earliest man-made features of Towneley Park. Since 1967 it has been home to a popular pitch and putt course.

TOWNELEY PARK MUSIC PAVILION

The facts about the Pavilion have been drawn from the Burnley Express and Burnley News in November 1928 and July 1929. These articles have been transcribed by Andrew Johnson and Maureen Frankland in 2013.

1. The plans for the Pavilion were submitted to Burnley Corporation in November 1928.

2. The location was in a natural amphitheatre at the end of High Royd Field, 625yards from the Towneley Tram terminus on Todmorden Road, and 280 yards from Towneley Hall.

3. The money for the project was gained through the Stocks Massey Bequest Fund.

4. The total cost of the project was £3,900, with the Bandstand costing £1,700 and the terracing costing £2000.

5. The work was completed in May 1929 and the official opening took place on Sunday July 3rd 1929 at 2pm. clip_image002

6. The bandstand itself was 36’ wide, by 25’ from front to back, and a height of 18’. The stage was 4’6” above the ground, with flowerbeds on the ground in front of the stage.

7. The stage could hold 50 bandsmen or a choir of 100.

8. Beneath the stage were rooms for Artistes and Bandsmen, and chairs.

9. The auditorium was planned to seat 3,500 people seated on chairs, but the initial capacity was 2.000 seated with 1000 standing at the back.

10. There was also a room / building near the entrance for the “Collector”.

11. The rooms were made of stone. The stage and surround were made of wood. There were steel stanchions for the roof. The roof was covered in rubberoid shingles.

12. The Mayor of Burnley Councillor H. Lees JP performed the opening ceremony. Councillor Whitehead JP represented the Trustees of the Stocks Massey Bequest Fund who handed over the Pavilion to Councillor R. Place, who represented the Parks Committee of Burnley Corporation. The Pavilion was designed by Mr. A. Race the Borough Engineer.

In 1968 the Pavilion had to be demolished following a fire. The land was then allowed to return to its natural woodland state, and most of the Pavilion was removed.

Questions which remain unanswered

1. Was there a formal pathway to the back of the stage?

2. Where did the door at the back of the stage lead to? Were there steps down behind the stage.

3. How many rooms were there beneath the stage? Were there two rooms, one for men and one for women, and what size were they? Were these used to store the chairs when they were unoccupied by bands or choirs?

4. Were there any toilet facilities?

5. In 2013 there are some concrete pillars hidden among the woodland behind the demolished stage. Were these part of the Pavilion? If so, what were they used for?

TOWNELEY MUSIC PAVILION Taken from the Burnley Express July 3rd 1929

N.B. Parts of the print are indecipherable and have been left as ……… rather than guess at their content.

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New Structure formally opened and handed over to the Corporation

—————–

Burnley’s Debt to the late Mr. Stocks Massey

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“Finest Bandstand in Country “ : Mayor and the realisation of his dream.

A crowd of some thousands assembled in High Royd meadow, Towneley Park, on Sunday afternoon for the opening of the fine music pavilion which has been erected with funds provided by the Stocks Massey Bequest Trustees. The Pavilion was handed over to the Parks Committee and Corporation by Alderman Whitehead, the only serving Trustee on the Bequest, Councillor Place, as Chairman of the Parks Committee, accepted the gift and the pavilion was then declared open by the Mayor. (Councillor H. Lees).

The Municipal Choir afterwards gave a varied and interesting concert programme which fully tested the acoustic qualities of the Pavilion and the site in which it has been erected. Tea was provided to a large company of invited guests to Towneley Hall, and in the evening the Municipal Symphony Orchestra rendered a programme in the company of another great assembly.

The Mayor presided at the opening ceremony, accompanied by the Mayoress, Alderman Whitehead, Mr. Colin Campbell, …………. ……………., Alderman Sellers Kay, and …………………….. of the Bands sub committee. The ………………………….. of Preston ( Councillor W. Lucas) accompanied by the Mayoress and Mr. Howarth, ……………………… of Preston arrived shortly after the concert began and remained for the afternoon.

ADVANCEMENT OF MUSIC

The Mayor, in calling upon Alderman Whitehead ……………………. The occasion was felt to be so important that it was decided that there should be a formal opening of the Music Pavilion. (Hear hear). As the first step in the proceedings he had great pleasure in calling upon Alderman Whitehead, the only surviving Trustee of the Massey Bequest Fund, to hand over the Pavilion, on ……………………. The Trustees, to the Chairman of the Bequest Committee Councillor Place. (Applause).

Alderman Whitehead said the Pavilion was one of the finest and most up to date structures in this country. Under the terms of the ………………… the late Mr. Stocks Massey the Burnley Corporation became entitiled to the residuary funds of the estate for certain charitable works for the benefit of the inhabitants of Burnley. One of these charitable purposes was the advancement of music. It was his further ……………………….. this latter object the Pavilion had been erected, and it was only by the beneficence of Mr. Massey that the Corporation were in a position to provide that magnificent structure for the benefit of the public of Burnley. As surviving Trustee of Mr. Massey, it was Alderman Whitehead’s duty and pleasure to take part I this ceremony and hand over the Pavilion to the Corporation. But before doing so, he wished to take the opportunity of expressing his profound regret at the death of his friend and colleague, and co-Trustee Dr …………………………. (Hear, Hear).

Alderman Whitehead pointed out that both the Municipal Choir and the Municipal Orchestra , which were giving concerts in the Pavilion that day, were subsidised out of Edward Stocks Massey’s bequest. So now, (Alderman Whitehead said addressing the Chairman of the Parks Committee) I call upon you to accept the Pavilion on behalf of the Corporation from me as Trustee of the Edward Stocks Massey Bequest, and hereafter, to maintain it and provide therein, concerts which will, under the terms of Mr. Massey’s will, be for the advancement of education in music among the inhabitants of Burnley (Loud applause )

GENEROSITY OF MR STOCKS MASSEY

Councillor Place said that in receiving the gift on behalf of the Parks Committee and the Corporation he could only say that he thought nothing would be more in keeping with the swishes of the late Mr. Massey than the erection, by his Trustees, of this splendid Pavilion, the provision of which, he was sure, would be the means of giving pleasure to thousands of music loving people. Burnley had been favoured by a number of people who thought so much of the town that they left money’s and land for the benefit of its citizens, and the land so given had been laid out as Parks. Among them was Mr. Scott who left money and lands which were now Scott Park. The late Sir John Thursby gave the land which was now Queen’s Park, and Lord Shuttleworth gave part of what was now Ightenhill Park. Lady O’Hagan sold Towneley to the Corporation at such a figure that they could practically call it a gift, and there was the late Mr. Thompson to whom the town was indebted for the lands near Bank Hall, which were now being laid out and which would include a boating lake and a garden likely to excite the admiration of the town.

They had also had Mr. Stocks Massey. Through his generisuty the town now came into the possession of this beautiful Pavilion, and in receiving the gift for the town and Corporation he (Mr. Place) felt certain that nothing could be more in harmony with Mr. Massey’s wishes and nothing was more likely to bring more pleasure to the citizens of the town. (Applause). He had great pleasure in accepting the gift for the town and hoped it would be fully used for the purpose it was intended, and that the Burnley would have many happy hours in listening to good music and singing there. (Applause)

MAYOR’S DREAM REALISED

The Mayor said he did not think there was anyone in the vast audience who at some time, on awakening from sleep, had not remembered a very pleasant dream, and wished sincerely that his dream had been realised. That afternoon he was in the fortunate position of a person whose whole dream had been more than realised. It was a long time since the question of suitable facility for music at Towneley Park was discussed and considered by the Parks Committee. It was something like 16 or 17 years since he had been doing what he could to push on the project, and it was something like 13 or 14 years since Captain Miller, the famous Conductor of famous bands, and he (the Mayor) along with other …………….. Alderman Kay and Whitehead went over Towneley Park with the idea of fixing upon a suitable spot for a stand. When they considered a matter of this kind in connection with Towneley Park, they always had to have in mind the fact that the chief asset of the Park was the historic Hall, and in choosing a suitable place for the Music Pavilion they had to have in mind that nothing must be done that would interfere in any way with the historic building. Almost any position in those beautiful grounds would have been suitable, they might say, but the positions varied in degree, and he was sure that the public who visited the Pavilion would agree that the most suitable position had been selected. (Hear, hear) In addition to the locality, they had had to take into account the convenience of the public who would want to listen to the music, and he thought they would agree that the chosen site lent itself admirably for that purpose. So one of his (the Mayor’s) dreams had been realised and indeed, more than realised. In that connection he wished to pay a special complement to the Borough Surveyor and the members of his staff who had been engaged on the erection of the pavilion. He (the Mayor) was going to claim that it was the best and the finest in the country at the present time (Hear, hear) . That was perfectly true to claim to ……………. Most of the modern bandstands had been visited and inspected, and in the erection of the Pavilion, care had been taken to avoid the weaknesses and drawbacks noted about others. It was a really modern stand and there was not in the country another to equal it (Hear, hear).

A MAGNIFICENT BEQUEST

The Mayor added that he also wished to say how grateful he was that the public of Burnley had the advantage of such a magnificent bequest as described by Alderman Whitehead. They were under great obligation to the late Mr. Stocks Massey, and they were also under great obligation to the Trustees of the Bequest, the Massey Bequest Committee allowing it to be used from the money to be used for that particular purpose. The provision of the Pavilion would give enjoyment and pleasure of the most real kind for a long time to come.

Necessarily, the major portion of the activities of the Corporation was devoted to the provision of physical comforts and conveniences of the people of the Borough. I had been written however that “Man doth not live by bread alone”, and, recognising that truth they realised that further provision was necessary to secure fullness of life for the people. From now onward it would be readily claimed that the Burnley Corporation, through the facilities of the Massey Bequest, were providing not only for the body, but for the soul. (Hear,hear). He was proud of the music Pavilion and he hoped the public would appreciate its value, and that it would ever be used in such a way as to provide enjoyment, and happiness for the people of the town and district. He had great pleasure in declaring the Music Pavilion open. (Loud applause).

FEATURES OF THE PAVILION

The situation of the new Pavilion is a very picturesque one, and at any rate, to the layman in such matters, seems to afford many advantages to the musician who wants to have his music properly put over to his audience, and correspondingly, to the audience for their proper reception and appreciation of a musicians work. High Royd field , in which the Pavilion is erected is a large piece of meadowland which extends from the top of the timbered slope on the right of the Avenue as one approaches the Hall, to the belt of wood which curves round the dingle at the back of the Hall and reaches to the Todmorden Road Boundary walls. Picnic Parties have had the use of the field on occasion, and in recent summers the Girls Clubs associated with the activities of the League of Social Service have had the use of it for games.

The Pavilion is placed well down the fall of the ground at the Towneley end of the field, ………. The actual border of the field in fact, though the slope of the ground continues to the bottom of the wooded dingle. This gives a backing to the Pavilion of tall trees filling the deep hollow through which the Towneley Hall stream runs, and the Pavilion fronting the high and steep slope of the field, lies in the natural amphitheatre or auditorium, with the slope terraced for seats and a wide fringe left for a standing audience.

The Pavilion is a handsome structure, adequately decorated, and fronted with a flower border in which, on Sunday, there was a huge array of fuschias in bloom. It has a frontage of 36’ and a depth of 25’ while the maximum height, to the underside of the roof is 18’. It will accommodate 50 bandsmen or a choir of 100. The construction is mainly of wood, on account of its acoustic properties, with stations and steel beams encased to carry the roof. The base is of course of stone and the external covering of the roof is of rubberoid shingles. Provision had been made for electric lighting. There are two artistes rooms at the rear, with lavatory accommodation, a large room in the basement for choristers and bandsmen and storage for chairs. The terracing for seats at present completed accommodates an audience of 2000, but it is intended to increase it so as to provide for seating for 3,500, while a great number of listeners can still find standing room higher on the slope. The estimated cost of the Pavilion was £1700, with an expenditure for terracing, footpaths and cahirs of £2200, making a total of £3900.

THE OPENING PROGRAMMES

Sunday afternoons programme by the Municipal Choir – with Mr. D. Duxbury conducting, and MR. Harold leaver as pianist – provided a reasonably wide test both of the qualities of the choir and the acoustic properties of the Pavilion. Loud speakers were fitted during the opening ceremony, but were not of course used for the choir’s performance. From the reserved seats, grouped in front of the Pavilion, and more or less on a level with it, the audition was all that could be desired.

The proceedings opened with the singing by Choir and crown of the hymn, Jesus shall reign. The Official party, after the opening ceremony, vacated the Pavilion and the choir then filled it. Their programme was as follows:

Unison Song: Jerusalem (Parry): Choir songs (a) Thank God for a Garden (Delriego), (b) Oh tell me nightingale( Liza Leleman), Miss Hoyle : part song. Weary wind of the west (Elgar). Choir: Anthem in memory of the late Mr. T.W.Crabtree, What are these? (Stainer), Choir: Air – Honour and Arms (Handel), Mr. J Holt , part song, Eriskay Love Lilt, (arrangement by Robertson, Choir: Drakes Drum (Bantook), Choir: Male Voices: Chorus Hail Bright Abode (Wagner), Choir: Recit and Air – Slumber Dear Maid (Handel), Miss. M. Cunliffe: Sing Shepherds All (Nicholson),

Choir: Song -The English Rose (German), Mr. L. Bannister: Chorus – Hallelujah (Handel). Choir –Hail Bright Abode, perhaps on account of its variously stimulating appeal was particularly appreciated, as was the Eriskay Love Lilt, with its haunting rhythms. At Mr. Duxbury’s invitation the audience joined in the Hallelujah Chorus and the National Anthem closed the programme.

The evening programme by the Symphony Orchestra ( under Mr. Camden) was as follows: Huligung’s March (Wagner): Overture, Piqde Dame Suppe: Invitation to the waltz (Weber): Scenes Napolitaines (Massonet): selections from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Operas: Overture, Orpheus in the Underworld (Offenbach): God Save the King.

 

Posters held at Burnley library for events at the music pavilion

All large posters include “In inclement weather there will be a cancellation”

All small posters include “Convenient service of omnibuses will be run.”

All promoted as “Special concerts” except the 1939 and the unknown year.

Year

Date

Time

Cost

Concert Party

Town Clerk

Printer

Other

1935

8th June

7pm

Chair 3d

Tonics

Colin Campbell

Burnley Express Printing Co

 

1935

20th July

7pm

Chair 3d

Dominant

Colin Campbell

Burnley Express Printing Co

 
               

1936

27th June

7pm

Chair 3d

Grosvenor

Harry Plowman

Burnley Express Printing Co

 

1936

1st August

7pm

Chair 3d

Cantemus Entertainers

Harry Plowman

   

1936

15th Aug

7pm

Chair 3d

Merrymakers

Harry Plowman

Burnley Express Printing Co

 

1936

29th Aug

7pm

Chair 3d

Meister Singers

Harry Plowman

Burnley Express Printing Co

 
               

1937

5th June

7pm

Chair 3d

Dominant

Harry Plowman

Burnley Express Printing Co

 

1937

17th July

7pm

Chair 3d

Clifton Singers

Harry Plowman

Veevers and Hensman

 

1937

31st July

7pm

Chair 3d

Crescents

Harry Plowman

   

1937

14th Aug

7pm

Chair 3d

Merrymakers

Harry Plowman

   

1937

28th Aug

7pm

Chair 3d

Sylvians

Harry Plowman

   
               

1938

28th May

7pm

Chair 3d

Debonair (Keighley)

Harry Plowman

 

Cancelled. See June 11th

1938

4th June

7pm

Chair 3d

Sylvians

Harry Plowman

Burnley Corporation Printing Dept. Elizabeth Street.

 

1938

11th June

7pm

Chair 3d

Debonair

   

Re-arranged from May 28th

1938

18th June

7pm

Chair 3d

Meister Singers

Harry Plowman

   

1938

2nd July

7pm

Chair 3d

New Camelias

Harry Plowman

   

1938

6th Aug

7pm

Chair 3d

Clifton Singers

Harry Plowman

   

1938

13th Aug

7pm

Chair 3d

Merrymakers

Harry Plowman

   

1938

27th Aug

7pm

Chair 3d

Grosvenor

Harry Plowman

   

1938

3rd Sept

7pm

Chair 3d

Grosvenor

Harry Plowman

 

Cancelled. See June 3rd 1939

               

1939

3rd June

7pm

Chair 3d

Grosvenor

Harry Plowman

   
               
               

Not

known

26th June

2.30pm

 

Nelson Scottish Dancers and Accrington Pipe Band

 

Burnley Borough Council Recreation and Leisure services

 

 

A pavilion can still be seen at Oak Hill Park in Accrington

Music Pavilion Accrington

The second largest deer park in Lancashire – 1577

saxton_tmap

Christopher Saxton’s Map of Lancashire, published in 1577, shows Towneley’s large park, not at Towneley but at Hapton Tower. Throughout Lancashire, only Knowseley Park, home of the Earl of Derby, was greater in size. After the Civil War, Hapton Tower was abandoned and a deer park was established on the Brunshaw side of the Calder.

At Manchester on August 10th 1517 Sir John Towneley and others were required to enquire into enclosing a park at Whalley made by the abbot of Whalley. This enquiry was also to consider other enclosures in the area including a park at Hapton (12 Hen.VII), containing 40 acres of arable land & 10 acres of wood & moor & 200 acres of waste; and another park at Towneley (6 Hen.VII) containing 30 acres of arable land & 40 acres of wood & pasture [LRO DDTO O 1/65].

The best evidence of the state of Towneley at the end of the mediaeval period comes from the Rent Roll of Sir John Towneley dated 1st January in the 27th year of Henry VIII (1535-6). The vellum roll was given to Chetham’s Library [E.6.10 (3) ] by Francis Raines in 1878. Raines published the contents in full in Chetham Miscellanies VI, Chetham Society, o.s. vol. 103 (1878). It lists Towneley’s lanes, orchards and gardens along with the old park, the little park and the intakes of the old park. In accompanying notes, Raines wrote they “may simply signify enclosures, …. No deer are named in this rental, nor was a park mentioned in the great surveys of the demesne in 1603 and 1612.” Towneley field names in the Rent Roll still in use today are High Royd, Broad Ing and  Castle Hill. Fisher Ing is now the site of Higher Towneley Playing Fields and the Chapel Lee the site of Offshoots.

Across the Calder in Brunshaw was Argam Rode and three “water earths”. Their location can be seen on the copy of Lang’s survey map of 1735 and are recorded as fields K22 and K3 to K5 on Hamilton’s map of 1661. The nature of these long and narrow water earth fields has never been described by later historians. Raines reported that Argam Rode was elsewhere written as organroode and suggested organ was another name for a freshwater ling. The Riverside Car Park now takes up part of Argam Rode, whilst the rest of it and the water earths stretch west across the land now occupied by Unity College. All this land, along with much of Fulledge, is part of the Environment Agency Flood Plains Zone 3.

Today little can be added to the Raines account of Towneley Park at the end of the mediaeval period. Stuart Wrathmell’s 1982  evaluation survey of archaeological remains in Towneley Park identified remains of ridge and furrows that may date from mediaeval times but much of the park has been subjected to mining subsidence during the first half of the 20th century making it harder for a casual observer to distinguish possible mediaeval features. A site assessment of the Triangle and Avenue in September 2004 [Professional Sportsturf Design (NW) Ltd] reported – “Visual examination of surface levels indicate that they undulate considerably, … possibly associated with mining.”

High Royd Pitch and Putt – watch out for the wolf

Before the Deans of Whalley were granted land for a hunting lodge at Towneley, around 1200, the people of Burnley were sharing land there as common pasture for cattle. Then it was called Tunleia and since then has been written in many ways including Tunlay, Thonlay, Touneley and Townley. It means the clearing belonging to the town.

The area was mainly woods and wet boggy ground were little grew. Cattle were taken to pasture on the hills in the summer and returned to lower land before winter. Young animals needed constant protection from wolves and so clearings were made in the woodland and enclosed with fences to prevent the cattle roaming. A woodland clearing was called a rode or royd. High Royd was probably one such an enclosure and these enclosures caused all the surrounding area to be named Tunleia.

The original grant of land from around 1200 no longer exists but another grant from 1273 records land owned by Gilbert de la Legh lying on both sides of the River Calder and named Weterode and Waderode.

O_1_12

Manuscript DDTo O/1/12 dated 1273 in Latin [Lancashire Record Office]

Around 1304, Cecilia de Thonlay, widow of Richard, brother of Roger, the last Dean of Whalley, gave to John de la Legh, son of Gilbert de la Legh, the land she held at Towneley.  John de la Legh had married one of her three daughters, also called Cecilia and John’s second son Richard took de Towneley as his surname and his descendants continued at Towneley for another 600 years.

box25_11

Manuscript DDTo 25/11 dated 1303-4 [32 Edward I] in Latin [Lancashire Record Office]

There is nothing apart from legal documents to give any details about Towneley itself early in the 14th century but two documents dating from 1296 and 1305 give a clearer picture of the state of agriculture across East Lancashire as a whole at this time.  These are the accounts of the Lancashire and Cheshire manors of Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln. They record Gilbert de la Legh was a farm manager for Henry de Lacy and show that in 1295 Gilbert paid a man 14 pence to guard calves from the wolves on the farms in Rossendale. It is likely that cattle were prey to wolves across East Lancashire well into the 14th century. { Chetham Society OS 112 Two compoti of the Lancashire and Cheshire manors of Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, 24 and 33 Edward I [1294-6; 1304-5] (ed. P.A. Lyons, 1884). }