Huncoat Hall, Hillhouse and Slatepits Farm
Map of Huncoat (1848)
Old Hall - Huncoat
Huncoat Hall seems to have been the residence, of the Birtwistles. Birtwistles Ice Cream may have belonged to the Hall.
John Hargreaves settled at Haslingden as a yeoman and he and his wife, Mary, were interred at Deardengate Congregational Chapel, Haslingden, John, aged 62, in 1845, and Mary, aged 80, in 1852.
"Indenture, 15th July, 1746. John Birtwistle, of Huncote, gentleman, Oliver Birtwistle, his eldest son, and Ann, his wife, 1st Part. Robert Hayhurst, late of Whalley, now of Eaves within Wiswell, gentleman, 2nd Part. Miles Aspden, of Brookfoot, in Pendle Forest, 3rd Part."-
Hayhurst had a mortgage on the property, but John and Oliver Birtwistle finally sold the Hall to Miles Aspden, "absolutely for ever." Later the Hall and estate again came into the possession of two of the sons-in-law of Dorothy Barraclough, as the following sale announcement shows:
"At Lawrence Rawcliffe's in Huncote, 3rd July, 1783. For sale, Huncote Hall, 87 acres, the property of Richard Hargreaves and Richard Brewer, bankrupts."
In these transactions the name is spelt Huncote, which shows that the present spelling of Huncoat was not in use in the 18th century.
After this period some members of the family clung to the old Hall, for John Holden, yeoman, who married into the Birtwistle family, resided there until his death.
Huncoat Hall was in the possession of Mr. Foot in 1825, but later acquired by the Towneleys, of Towneley Hall, Burnley, and in 1839 was in the occupation of Henry Sudall. Later the Hall was occupied by the Haworth family for many years. The last of the male line of the Towneleys left two daughters who married Lord O'Hagan and Lord Abingdon. When the estates were divided Huncoat Hall estate passed into the possession of Lord Abingdon, who sold it to Mr. James Crook, the present owner and occupier, a member of the last Huncoat Parish Council previous to amalgamation with Accrington in April, 1929.
Huncoat Old Hall on Lowergate, was only demolished in 1969. the family crest, in stone, which used to be on the front of the building, was 'refound' a few years back (It was at Haworth Art Gallery) and has now been displayed on a little walled garden in Huncoat.
"Hillhouse has long been the home of the Sudall family. First there was John Sudall and now his son James, who was born in the old homestead. Mr and Mrs Sudall take a pride in this, the oldest of Huncoat's homes that has preserved its Tudor features intact. The rooms are spacious, with massive oak beams and stout walls, one formerly being the loomhouse, where the handlooms were installed, upon which members of the household worked in the intervals of farming. In the porch is an interesting relic of other days - a massive stone cheese-press, with a groove down each side and an iron ring at the top. In the entrance hall of Oak Hill Museum is an illustration of a similar one. Several of the mullioned windows are blocked up with stone: this was done to evade the Window Tax. There are also stone benches worn smooth through centuries of wear"
From "History and associations of Huncoat and Altham"
Map of Slatepits Farm 1848
Slate Pits farm (seen at the bottom middle of the above map) can be found by taking the road due south from the Griffin's Head Inn (near Huncoat hall). The road due north at the middle top of the above map ultimately leads to the Griffin's Head Inn.
According to the book 'History and associations of Huncoat and Altham', the Sudall family have resided at Slate Pits Farm for many years.