Wedding Venue

Downham Village is your ideal Lancashire wedding venue, what better backdrop could you have for your special day than in probably the most beautiful village in the Ribble Valley.

Click Here For Details

Downham Banner

The conservation and display of the Centenary Banner of the Downham Benevolent Society.

Click here for details

CHATBURN REMEMBERS
10th NOVEMBER
from 10.00 am
Christ Church
An exhibition to mark the centenary
of the end of WWI

stage2

there but not there

OUR installation, There but not There , honouring the seven men of Downham and Twiston who died in the Great War 1914-18 was completed exactly one hundred days before the anniversary of the Armistice on 11th November and will remain open until Remembrance Day. The exhibit comprises even Perspex cut-out men spread around the church in the pews that they left unoccupied one hundred years ago. At each pew there is a brief description of the fallen man and, at the back of Church, a booklet with some additional information. There is a Poppy banner at the gate inviting everyone to come inside and view the installation.

The Assheton family is responsible for keeping the village and surrounding well managed estate, including the farms and some of the houses in neighbouring Twiston, in its present unblemished condition. None of the properties on the estate is privately owned. The manor has been in the family’s ownership since 1558 and has passed through a direct male line of the Assheton’s since 1680.

Settlers came to the Downham area over 1000 years ago, probably in the 8th or 9th century, although the village does not get a mention in Domesday. Place names suggest early settlement and a reference to the village elder or lord, Aufray [Alfred] the Saxon in early records suggest a settled community at the time of the Norman Conquest. Two ancient roads passed by taking travellers across this area of the Ribble Valley: the well known route of the Roman road from Ribchester to llkley passes along Downham Green to the north of the village merging beyond Downham with a much older route, probably part of the Irish Gold Road, which passes the south end of the village.

Its long history makes Downham one of the foundation villages of Pendle; the manor court rolls record a Halmote [local court] held here since the 14th century. A much larger community some 200 years ago, it has a typical Pennine village history of agriculture and handloom weaving. In 1816 a Wesleyan chapel [now the village hall] was built on the ridge at the end of the village opposite the church. Most of the present stone cottages were built on older sites between the reigns of the ‘great’ queens Elizabeth I and Victoria. The oldest [Tudor] house is dated 1580.

As well as a constant flow of tourists and walkers the village is attractive to film makers because of the lack of apparent modernity. The absence of aerials makes it ideal for historical drama and many films have been shot in the village and its surroundings. Most recently the 1950s production ‘Born and Bred’ was filmed in Downham [2001-3]. At an earlier date a shot from ‘Wuthering Heights’ was taken on church brow and other films have been made here. One of the most famous films [although this one did have TV aerials in view!] was the 1961 ‘Whistle Down the Wind’ starring Hayley Mills and Alan Bates, shot largely at Worsaw End Farm and including local children from Downham and Chatburn schools in the roles of many of the children in the film.

Downham History Group page

This site uses cookies to aid the use of this site, by continuing to use this site you consent to using cookies.
Ok