Downham Hall has been owned by the Assheton family since the 13th century. A large stone by the entrance to the Hall is said to mark the grave of two Roman legionaries who died on the Roman road during trouble with the local Celtic tribe of Brigantes. The Asshetons were also responsible for building new homes in the village in the 19th century, restoring the church and providing a school for the children.
The present owner of the hall, Lord Clitheroe of Downham, does not allow any overhead electricity lines, aerials or satellite dishes in the village. This makes it a popular place for filming period dramas. The original “Whistle Down the Wind” was filmed here in the early 60’s with the child-star Hayley Mills. Children from local schools played other parts in the film and endeared themselves to the cinema audiences everywhere with their broad Lancashire accents!