> > > Highbrake Hall

(Situated north of Huncoat close to the railway line)

Highbrake Hall, built by Richard Fort about 1790, is finely situated, overlooking the Calder Valley. It is a plain classic structure of the Georgian type, substantially built without any ornamentation, large windows and pointed doorway, a good example of the period. Approached by a carriage drive from Altham road, surrounded by stately trees, with its gardens and orchards, it was a beautiful place, but when the railway was out through the grounds were despoiled of its original seclusion. After the Forts ceased to reside there it was occupied for many years by the Rev. William Wood, for forty-four years incumbent of Altham Church. In addition to his ministerial duties, Mr. Wood conducted an academy, or high-class school for boys of well-to-do families in the district. These included the Rawcliffes and Yates of Huncoat, Dugdales of Lowerhouse, and Simpsons of Oswaldtwistle. An interesting memorial of this old boarding school is an exercise book used there by Robert Yates in 1815, now in the possession of one of his descendants, Mr. Robert Firth, of Accrington. The Rev. William Wood was a well built man fully six feet high. He had three sons: Mr. William Wood, J.P., of Barrowford; Rev. Joseph Wood, Vicar of All Saints, Clayton-le-Moors; Rev. John Wood, a former curate of St. James' Church, AccrIngton. The Rev. William Wood died in 1848. There is an oil painting of him in Altharn Church Vestry.

Highbrake Hall in more recent times was the residence of Mr. H. H. Bolton, J.P., three of whose sons fell in battle at Gallipoli, another son being Colonel G. G. H. Bolton, M.C.


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