Barley is a small picturesque village at the foot of Pendle. It embraced three older divisions: Barley Booth (booth literally meant cowshed), to the west, and to the east and north Wheatley Booth, which includes the ancient Haw or Hay Booth and Whithalgh (now known as White Hough). On Barley's west side is the highest point of Pendle, rising abruptly at Pendle End to 1,830 ft and on the east is Stank Top. Down the valley between them flows Black Moss Water from its source near Firbar House on the Yorkshire border. In the southern end of the valley, are the hamlets of Barley and Barley Green. Near them the stream is joined by another flowing east down Ogden Clough, and combined as Pendle Water they head eastward towards Barrowford.
Barley war memorial
View over Barley
Online records of the British Library show that in 1323 the herbage of Whithalgh yielded 28s., that of Barley the same, and Haghebothe (Haw Booth), with the tenants being Gilbert de la Legh, Robert de Penhille and John de Dinelay respectively. These tenants changed over and over down the years, with many of the surnames of the tenants synonymous with the area's history. By 1474 the tenants were Hugh Gartside holding Barley Booth and William Nutter Haw Booth and Whitehough Booth, and then in 1495 the tenant of all these was Sir Thomas Walton.
The soil of the area is mainly clay, overlying rock, and the agricultural land is almost entirely used for pasture. Barelegh means an infertile lea or meadow and in 1324 was the original name of Barley. The Nelson Corporation originally acquired the water rights of the Ogden and Black Moss streams, and these waters (and reservoirs) are now overseen by United Utilities. Barley was mainly an agricultural township until the 18th century, when industry started to appear. Initially small handlooms were maintained in cottages to supplement farm income, and then two mills were built to utilise Barley's natural water resources at Narrowgates and Barley Green.
Chimney at Narrowgates Mill
A cotton twist mill at Narrowgates was built by William Hartley in around 1799 to spin cotton warp thread. All that remains at Narrowgates is an isolated chimney, which belonged to the water powered cotton mill. When the Mill was advertised to let in 1864 it contained 5,532 mule spindles. It burnt down in 1867 and was rebuilt as a 3 storey building by Thomas and John Moorby. In 1948 there was another bad fire, which temporarily closed the mill, but when the mill eventually closed in 1967 the oldest parts of it were demolished and the remainder converted into a private house. The two rows of weavers' cottages were then restored in the 1970s and are all now private houses. The mill pond was later filled in to create the visitors' car park. The current size of the car park is an indication of the popularity of this village with walkers and tourists alike, and is the starting point for many of the walks on this site.
The other mill at Barley Green built around 1791, is now the site of the water treatment plant. In its heyday, Barley Green Mill worked just over 200 looms. Floods temporarily closed the building in 1880, and it was then bought by the Nelson Corporation in 1888. In 1912 plans were implemented for a water filter station to cleanse the water from the Ogden reservoirs, filters were built near to the location of the waterwheel and the mill was then demolished.
Water treatment works
Barley signpost with water treatment works
In 1652 George Fox, coming from Yorkshire and on his way to Sedburgh, tells of the impression the view from the top of Pendle had upon him above Barley: "As we travelled, we came near a very great high hill called Pendle Hill, and I was moved of the Lord to go up to the top of it; which I did with much ado, it was so very steep and high. When I was come to the top, I saw the sea bordering upon Lancashire. From the top of this hill the Lord let me see in what places he had a great people to be gathered. As I went down, I found a spring of water in the side of the hill, with which I refreshed myself, having eaten or drunk but little several days before". Historians mark 1652 as the beginning of the Quaker movement. This vision signified that proclaiming Christ's power over sin would gather people to the kingdom. And it did, by 1660, there were 50,000 followers. Zealous young men and women ("the valiant sixty") joined Fox in preaching at fairs, marketplaces, in the fields, in the jails, in the courts, and through the printing press. Some men left Cromwell's army to join what James Nayler termed "The Lamb's War."
In the US, George Fox University was founded in Newberg in 1891 by Quaker pioneers. Now, more than 3,200 students attend classes on the university's campus in Newberg, at its Portland, Salem, and Boise centres, and at other teaching sites in Oregon. There is also a religious printing house called Pendle Hill Publications.
At Barley there used to be two chapels of the Wesleyan Methodists and Primitive Methodists. The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was founded in 1803 and closed in 1939. The building is now used as the village hall. The Wesleyan Methodist Church was formed in the 18th century from religious societies founded by John Wesley and his preachers and was the largest Nonconformist denomination in the 19th century. In 1932 the Wesleyan Methodists joined with the Primitive Methodists and the United Methodists to form the Methodist Church of Great Britain. The Primitive Methodist Chapel was founded in 1823, and still performs services today.
Barley Village Hall
Barley Methodist Church
The present day Barley has changed little, and now includes the Pendle Inn public house (built in 1930), the Barley Mow restaurant and a very welcoming tea rooms, whilst there is also a café, picnic area and public toilets by the large public car park.
|Walks near Barley|