Cock Hall today comprises a range of farm buildings with some dating back to the 17th C. This name appears to derive from ‘Cokgreues’ underlined in red in the Latin charter (number 59) transcribed below.
This charter describes land boundaries, which refer to features such as ditches, (fossatum) and streams such as Cowm Brook (Cumbebrok). The features are described in relation to compass points, so for example ‘occidentum‘ is west and ‘orientem‘ is east.
The charter also indicates the land use in the area, so there are references to meadows (pratem)and grassland (Campum). So the area was open in medieval times. With the aid of this and the dozens of charters in Whitworth we should be able to create a land use map and associated features in the landscape.
Who was involved?
The charter refers to “Andrew and Alan” of Whitworth and the Abbot of ‘Stanlawe‘ ( Stanlaw Abbey later relocated to Whalley).
What can be seen today?
Cock Hall is still surrounded by fields and aerial views show banks and ditches which may correspond to the features described in the charter shown above.
This brief look at just one charter shows the wealth of historical and archaeological information for just Whitworth, which features in nearly 100 charters from the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey. When you include all the charters for land in SE lancashire you see the wealth of information that is yet to be researched. How many other archaeological features can be gleaned from the study of this vast untapped archive? Indications from other sites mentioned in the charters would appear to show a huge number of surviving sites yet to be surveyed.
A systematic study of this area will surely challenge and change our view of the history and the landscape of SE Lancs.
Want to read more?
Download the Coucher Book of Whalley (in Latin) for free here.
Download a free Latin dictionary here