Whittle le Woods, Lancashire Family History Guide

Whittle le Woods is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Lancashire, created in 1832 from Leyland Ancient Parish.

Alternative names: Leyland Whittle le Woods St John the Evangelist, Whittle in le Woods

Parish church: St. John

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1830
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1830

Nonconformists include: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Roman Catholic, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

WHITTLE-LE-WOODS, a township, in the parish and hundred of Leyland, union of Chorley, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 2 miles (N.) from Chorley, on the road to Preston; containing 2295 inhabitants. One-half of the manor was granted about the reign of Henry I. to Gilbert de Witul, a descendant of whom in the reign of Henry III. gave it to Richard le Butler; and by marriage with the heiresses of John Butler, it came to the families of Standish of Duxbury, and Anderton of Clayton: the descendants of the latter sold their portion to the Crokes, in the reign of Charles II. The other half of the manor was given by the second baron of Penwortham to Richard Fiton, from whom it passed to the Lees, and, by marriage with the daughter of Sir Henry Lee, to Sir Richard Hoghton. The manor is now possessed jointly by the descendant of the Croke family, and the heir of the Standishes of Duxbury.

The township comprises about 1300 acres, of which the surface is undulated, and the soil chiefly a stiff clay, with sand and rock in the higher parts. The scenery is beautiful and romantic: from the hills are extensive views of the surrounding country, including the town of Preston, the rich lowlands of the entire hundred, and the river Ribble, which is seen winding towards its estuary at Lytham; while the coast and the Irish Sea bound the horizon. Shaw-Hill, on the west side of the Preston turnpike-road, the property of Thomas Bright Crosse, Esq., is a large mansion, remodelled in 1845, after the designs of Mr. Charles Reed, of Birkenhead. It possesses a distinctive architectural character; on the north a colonnade of the Roman-Doric order extends the whole length, and on the west side are terraces commanding fine prospects of the well-planted vicinity. A park of about 100 acres adjoins the house. Gorse Hall, the seat of John Heys, Esq., situated on the road to Blackburn, is a substantial stone structure, with 60 acres of land attached. Whittle-le-Woods is celebrated for its malt, for which there are two large kilns, in constant operation, belonging to Mr. Edward Craven, of Dalton Lodge, and his partners. A cotton-mill, established in 1838, and employing 150 hands, belongs to Mr. Edward Leese, jun., who has a neat cottage-residence close by; and near the Leeds and Liverpool canal, which runs through the township, are the chemicalworks and mordaunt manufactory of Mr. Thomas Coupe, of Oak-Vale cottage. There are also extensive quarries, producing an abundance of millstones for grinding, which are sent to Sheffield and other districts.

A church, dedicated to St. John, was built in 1830, by a grant from the Parliamentary Commissioners, aided by private subscription, at an expense of £2756; it is a handsome edifice in the later English style, from designs by Rickman. A district has been assigned to it, including the townships of Clayton and Whittle-le-Woods. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Leyland; net income, £150, with a house; impropriators, Robert Townley Parker, Esq., and the family of Silvester. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans, built in 1840; and at South-Hill is a Roman Catholic chapel, belonging to the Jesuits, erected in 1791. A school was endowed in 1769, by Samuel Crooke, with the interest of £220: the school-house was rebuilt in 1813. Ten almshouses were founded in 1842, by Lady Hogbton, for the poor of Chorley.

In 1836 an alkaline spring was discovered, when boring for coal, at a depth of 75 yards, on the estate of Mr. Heys. The water contains carbonate of soda and carbonic acid, and is almost free from earthy substances; it is particularly efficacious in bilious attacks, dyspepsia, &c., and its properties have been found, by a late analysis by Mr. Davies, the eminent chemist, to be fully equal to those of the best alkaline waters. The grounds around are tastefully laid out, and appropriate buildings have been erected, with every convenience for the numerous persons resorting to the spot. Plunging-baths, one for gentlemen, one for ladies, and two for other patients, have just been completed, and the number of visiters increases daily. On the same estate is a mineral spring, similar in its properties to the waters of Harrogate. Fossils are frequently met with in the sandstone in the township. In 1846, when sinking the foundations for the alkaline well, a Roman silver coin of the Emperor Valerian, and one of Philip the Elder, were discovered.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Parish Records

Lancashire Archives

Lancashire FH & Heraldry Society

Manchester Archives and Local History


Lancashire BMD

England, Lancashire, Parish Registers 1538-1910

England, Lancashire Non-Conformist Church Records, 1647-1996

Catholic Parish Registers of Liverpool 1741-1773

St James’ Cemetery Burials Liverpool

Manchester Burial Records

England, Lancashire, Oldham Cemetery Registers, 1797-2004

England, Lancashire, Rusholme Road Cemetery 1821-1933

Oldham Burial Records

Tameside Burial Records

Chorlton Upon Medlock Burials 1821-1933


Lancaster Convict Database 1800s

Lancashire Fusiliers

Lancashire Infantry Museum

Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Lancashire Roll of Honour

St. Helens Roll of Honour

Lancashire Police Records

Lancashire Lantern - archive of local old photographs, postcards and other images

Manchester Local Images

Records for England

Births and Baptism Records

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Great Britain, Births and Baptisms, 1571-1977

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Marriage Records

England Marriages, 1538–1973

Great Britain Marriages, 1797-1988

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Death Records

England Death Records, 1998-2015

England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991

Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778-1988

England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

England and Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1640-1660

Non-Conformist Records

England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977


England and Wales Census, 1841

England and Wales Census, 1851

England and Wales Census, 1861

England and Wales Census, 1871

England and Wales Census, 1881

England and Wales Census, 1891

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales Census, 1911


United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen Records, 1835-1941

War and Conflict

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners’ Service Records, 1760-1913

United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920

Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices

British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries


  • County: Lancashire
  • Civil Registration District: Chorley
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Chester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Manchester
  • Rural Deanery: Leyland
  • Poor Law Union: Chorley
  • Hundred: Leyland
  • Province: York