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| Rimington & Middop | Paythorne


Descendants of Robert Dodgson

The Methodists of Paythorne

The Intriguing History of Paythorne's Ribble Stepping Stones

Paythorne What's in a Name?


On one of your webpages you mention theories about the origin of the name Paythorne. I see in TD Whitaker's History of Craven that the Domesday book had Pathorp. Thorpe is an old English word for Village (Dutch Dorp, German Dorf). I believe there is a Paa Farm nearby?

Best Regards
Andrew Lancaster (with ancestors apparently having lived there) Belgium

The Intriguing History of Paythorne's Ribble Stepping Stones

For many years, long before the River Ribble at Paythorne was spanned with its four-arched bridge , a series of Stepping Stones set into the river bed provided a dry crossing for foot travellers to the village.

Two of those water-eroded Stepping Stones, now returned from whence they came, were retrieved from  the river by Mr John Duxbury; (1845-1916). He was a regular user of the crossing during his Sabbath preaching visits to Paythome from his native Earby, and his popularity as a local preacher increased with his every visit to the village. Indeed such was the warmth of the welcome at Paythorne  where he was so frequently called upon to lead the Sunday services at Bethel that Mr Duxbury and his wife Sarah eventually moved away from the Earby cotton mills, to reside in this quiet village. They first took up residence at Higher House before removing to Englands Head where a footpath led down to the river crossing. 

Of John Duxbury, the 1830-1930 "Short History of Paythorne Methodism" says: 'Such an acceptable preacher was he that for the first few years he was away, taking appointments almost every Sunday'. Mr Duxbury was also prevailed upon to devote his energy and talents to Paythorne and to take charge of the School.

 though well attended by adults and children alike,! the little Chapel lacked a regular player to accompany the small community's enthusiastic congregation. To alleviate this problem Mr Duxbury eventually decided that his eldest son, Walter should be trained specially to occupy that vacancy. Walter, however, had only received a basic education at Newsholme School  the  former Toll House on the Gisburn-Settle trunk road so a musician prepared to teach the child first had to be found. Assistance here was no doubt' provided by the then School Mistress at Newsholme School, Ms M J Wood.

When in 1884 the family removed to Crook Carr Farm, between Barnoldswick and Bracewell, the two retrieved Stepping Stones had become treasured heirlooms and, as such, were transported from village to' farm along with other family possessions.

After Mrs Duxbury's passing in 1925, having succeeded her husband by nine years, John Duxbury's youngest son, Wilson, continued to work the farm until the tenancy at rook Carr expired. The river Stepping Stones were then moved to Wilson's residence at Nether Kellett whilst he returned to Englands Head to work and raise funds to buy Spen Head Farm, at Salterforth, which had been owned by Wilson's aunt and uncle.

For upwards of 30 years the two river Ribble Stepping-Stones graced the entrance to Spen, Head Farm which remained in Wilson's possession until 1966. The farm stayed within the family until 1981 when it was auctioned by Richard Turner who, incidentally, had married one of John Duxbury's great grand-daughters. The heirlooms next. became the property of Wilson's nephew, Mr Arthur Duxbury, who likewise had the stones placed at either side of the entrance to the family bungalow. 'Monkroyd', at Bamoldswick. (An address once well-circulated throughout the canine world, due to Mr Duxbury's
'Ribbleside' Border Terriers).

More than a century has now passed since the river Ribble Stepping Stones were retrieved from their watery grave The heirlooms became the property in 1988 of one of John Duxbury's great grandsons, the family historian, and the remainder of the family agreed that it was only right and proper that the long-cared-for Stepping Stones formerly used by one of Paythorne's early preachers. teacher and farmer, should be returned to the village Chapel that brought so much pleasure and satisfaction to the man whose foresight prevented them from being washed downstream.

Owen B. Duxbury 1998