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In the Past

About Newton with Scales, Clifton, Salwick and Boltons Croft

This section relies on the books “A Brief History” of Newton with Scales, with references to Clifton and Salwick, and “Clifton” some aspects of it’s history, written by Mr James C Plummer. Thank you!

It is believed that the land that the Parish occupies was inhabited long ago by Ancient Britons known as Celts, from a sub division of the tribe Brigantes, the Setantii, which translated “the people of the waters”.  The low-lying land was at that time marshy and forested on the higher land.  It is believed too, that a tributary of the river Ribble at some time in the past could possibly have washed up to the high ground of both Clifton and Newton.

When the Romans came they cleared some forests and drained some of the marshes, settling in what is now Kirkham.  There was a Fort at Mill Hill and a settlement on Dowbridge Hill.

In our Parish one major Roman road colloquially known as the Dane’s Pad has been identified, it is marked on the O. S. maps of the area roughly running, west to east to the North of Lund Church. It is believed the name Dane’s Pad stems from Anglo Saxon times.

There is little physical sign now of Anglo-Saxon and Viking occupation, though there is in some places evidence of their ridge and furrow field cultivation, i.e. the playing field at Newton Bluecoat School.

Some of the Parish’s place names however have survived from the Anglo Saxon or the Vikings, i.e. Newton was a new township to the Anglo Saxons.

Clifton means the township on the cliffs, which stand out clearly when viewed from Freckleton marsh.

“Salwick means the dwelling or farmhouse amongst the sallows.” Sallow is the Anglo-Saxon word for willow, so we can assume that there were many growing in this area then, which also indicates that the ground was marshy in that time.

All three places are also mentioned in the Domesday Book, which was compiled over twenty years in the reign of William the Conqueror. These names are spelt differently but it is clear they are the same places.  Newton is recorded as Neutune, Clifton as Cliftun while Salwick is written Saleuuic. The w is a recent invention for the double uu.

In the past...The name of the hamlet of Scales comes from Skali, the Old Norse name for a hut. This area lay partly in Clifton and partly in Newton and the most likely explanation for the name is that it arose from the Chieftain of this area’s dwelling place or hut.

The name of Lund also derives from the Old Norse name, for a grove, possibly a sacred one, Lundr.  It may be that the area where Lund Church now stands has been a site of worship for the ancient druids or back still further to Roman worship.  The latter is very possible as the Roman Rd. passes directly behind the Church.

Newton with Scales was in its present form in Christopher Saxon’s map of 1577, and Salwick was down as Sowick, of which pronunciation can still be heard locally.

Coming forward through time to 221 years ago Newton, Clifton and Salwick were still sparsely populated, as can be seen by the 1786, William Yates’ Map of Lancashire.  In Newton with Scales , some of the buildings shown then which still exist today are Scales Cottage to the North of the A583, Highgate Hall, which is now part of the Bell and Bottle and which possibly was once the meeting place of the Quakers. 

In Newton Bottoms then the most populated area of Newton, (now Grange Lane and Oak Lane,) stood Grange Lane Farm, plus the many buildings and cottages that served these farms.  One of these, Hillhouse Cottage on Grange lane is a fine example of a renovated cruck built cottage.  On School Lane, Moons Cottage was only recently demolished, but the old buildings of Newton Blue Coat School and the Headmasters House, which had been in operation since 1707, were nearer to School Lane than the present ones which were built in 1967.

In Clifton too, some of the old buildings from 1786 still remain, two of the oldest are numbers 1 and 2 Silver St. which was originally one property along with the addition of number 3 later. It is believed originally to be a farmhouse, though local legend has them as being fisherman’s cottages.

In the past...The 6 whitewashed cottages on the south side of Preston Old Road towards Clifton Lane are very old as is the detached house named Newholme, to the east of these cottages.

The present Windmill at the junction of Clifton Lane and Church Lane was erected in 1785, though it is believed that this had replaced an earlier one.

Clifton and Salwick was in the possession of the Clifton family from the early 1200’s, they were most probably Norman and took their family name de Clifton from the village name. There has been a Clifton Hall for many hundreds of years, the present Hall replacing one that burned down in 1745. Only the cellars of the old Hall remain under the present Clifton Hall.

 Lund Chapel was the place of worship in Clifton before the present Church came into being. There was also a school in Clifton from the 1680’s, until the last one to be built for Queen Victoria’s Silver Jubilee in 1887 closed in the 1930’s. This building is now Lund Church Hall.

Salwick Hall which had a Roman Catholic chapel was in existence before 1786 and was most probably built in 1719 as a stone at the front depicts this date.