Report problems or contribute information

 
1 Introduction 2 Message details 3 Upload file 4 Submitted

Help and advice for St Leonard the Less Church of England, Samlesbury

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

If you wish to report a problem, or contribute information, then do use the following form to tell us about it.

We are in the process of upgrading the site to implement a content management system.

St Leonard the Less Church of England, Samlesbury

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no connection with the churches themselves. For current information you will need to contact them directly.

St Leonard the Less,
Potter Lane,
Samlesbury
Lancashire

Cemeteries

The church has/had a graveyard.

Church History

It was founded in 1096.

In Saxon times the area was held by Edward the Confessor but by the late 12th century Cospatric de Samlesbury was the manorial lord, holding it in thegnage to the de Laceys.

Cospatric is believed to have built St. Leonard's-the-Less as a chapel-of-ease for his family and dependents. The site was close to the ferry, a short distance from his home and, presumably, at the original centre of the population. It was first mentioned in a document of 1192 and in 1196 the graveyard was irregularly concecrated by two travelling bishops.

Eventually Cospatric's great-grandaughters, Cecily and Elizabeth de Samlesbury inherited half the manor each and the parish was divided. Their husbands, John Dewyas and Robert de Holland respectively, became lords of the manor - two lords and in time, two manor houses. Lower Hall, which lay within the Ribble's Horse-shoe Bend, was included in the Holland's share, whilst Gilbert de Southworth built the Higher Hall in the eastern moiety, when he married Alicia Dewyas c1325. The latter remained with the Southworths for about 350 years, but the Holland's portion was given to the Stanleys in 1485.

By 1558 the chapel was in a ruinous state and Edward Stanley, the 3rd Earl of Derby successfully appealed to all his loving friends' for financial assistance with the re-edifying of it.

Another major restoration was carried out in 1899, when Thomas Miller Crook of Stanley Grange bore the cost of a new roof, tower and installation of a clock and eight bells. He also added the porches.

The church contains a Norman tub font, medieval bell and Sir Thomas Southworth's funerary armour (1546), besides a church chest, 2-decker pulpit and a complete set of box pews dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.

The grave of a reputed witch lies near the yew tree. According to tradition, long iron spikes were driven through the horizontal gravestone, when all other means of keeping the uneasy occupant down had failed. It was supposed to have fractured when she realised that her husband was planning to re-marry. However, the spikes may just have been a deterrent to body snatchers. They held until 1971, when the grave was vandalised and the lower part stolen.

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no connection with the churches themselves. For current information you should contact them directly.

Church Records

Whilst every effort has been made to record exact details of record office and library holdings you are recommended to check with them before visiting to ensure that they do hold the records and years you wish to examine. Similarly check with transcript publishers to ensure they cover the records and years you require before making a purchase.

Original Registers

Baptisms
Marriages
Burials

Copies of Bishop's Transcripts

Baptisms
Marriages
Burials

Register Transcripts

Burials

Indexes

Marriages

Maps

It is located at SD5898730362 (Lat/Lon 53.767978,-2.623690). You can see this on maps provided by: