Why Lidgett?

A Lidgett (formerly Lyd-gate) is an animal or livestock gateway and was usually an area on the edge of settlements and pastureland.

Sitting on the eastern edge of the former mill town of Colne in Lancashire is the Lidgett (photo above) – a row of cottages built for handloom weavers in the late 1700s & early 1800s. The surrounding pasture would have provided the wool that was then spun in the upper floors of the cottages, before being replaced by cotton as the main industry. The land on which the cottages sit was owned by my 6x great-grandfather, Thomas Smith of Standroyd. Through marriage and inheritance by eldest sons the land and the title of the cottages fell to Thomas Whitaker (1790-1848), a local drapery hawker and publican. Before Thomas married, he had a relationship with Peggy Hartley (1797-1858) and had two illegitimate children, Joseph and Mary, likely born at Lidgett Hall. Joseph took his mother’s surname of Hartley. Joseph was my great-great-grandfather and lived at 22 Lidgett in 1841.

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