Plenty of Evidence
There are plenty of early farming sites on and around Rooley Moor. Medieval records are also plentiful (from the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey) too and when combined with manorial records and other sources a detailed study of farming in the area will be possible.
But It’s moorland! How could you farm it?
If the soil, climate and farming techniques are right you can farm! Rooley Moor has been farmed since prehistoric times! poorer land was used for pasture.
Want to see the early fields?
Retrieved from Microsoft Bing, Copyright Microsoft You can see the stone walls of the recent fields overlaying the early fields (dark brown grass).There appear to be severaly early field systems overlaying each other at SD 855177. These fields are overlooked by the Bronze Age cairns on Bagden Hillocks, on the higher ground to the east of the fields, above Rooley Moor Road.
You can see the ploughmarks here
In a visit to Rooley Moor in 2010, Al Oswald of English Heritage thought these fields were likely to be the site of prehistoric settlement. The Fields are overlooked by the Bagden Hillocks cairns to the north east.
Old wall next to Ding Quarry
North of these early fields (an area called Clegg Ding) and nearer Ding Quarry there is a covering of peat but still the area was in use because a wall was built along the eastern edge Ding Clough, perhaps to stop sheep from going over the edge. There may be other features visible in the foreground of the picture too.
Birchen Holts (ruin) – Farmstead next to Rooley Moor OS grid reference: SD 847 173
Birchen Holts was reclaimed from waste and included five closes, in the 1626 Rochdale Manor Survey it was recorded as being 73 acres one rood and 20 perches in total. The annual rent was £7 and 6 shillings Note the sheltered site and the fields south of the Ding in the background. Birchen Holts by Stuart Davies SD 847173