Thursday, 24 May 2012

Thursday Tour - the lovely village of Downham

Downham is a small village at the foot of Pendle Hill (more of that in a later post when I look at the story of the 'Pendle Witches'). It’s claimed to be one of the loveliest villages in Lancashire, with a real ‘village green’ complete with a small stream, and stone cottages. When I was a child, my cousin and I loved to splash about in the stream near the old stone bridge.

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!


  1. Wonderful post, Paula - it's a right dash of nostalgia and I remember that film!

  2. Interesting town. Can't wait to hear more about the witches.

  3. wonderful pictures! i love learning these histories:)

  4. And yet another English destination for my wish list!

  5. Rosemary - we often went to Downham when I was a child and had picnics there. I loved the film too!

    Em, it's a small village, much smaller than a town! More about the witches in a few weeks' time!

    Nutschell - thanks for visiting, and so glad you enjoy today's visit!

    Jo - I'll now set up my Pendle Witches tour for you, as well as my Lake District tour!

  6. I like the idea of no overhead electrical lines and other types of modern conveniences. Thanks for sharing ;)

    Cheers, Jenn