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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?


Paythorne What's in a Name?

Concerning the origin of the name Paythorne, I notice your webpage on the subject focuses on the "n" spelling but the oldest spellings had Pa and Thorpe as the two components. I do not know what Pa means, but it is in several places around Gisburn (Nappa etc). Thorpe is of course a word for a village.

Best Regards
Andrew Lancaster
Of Belgium and Australia.

The earliest record of the name Paythorne, but with several different spellings, is in William the Conquerors great Domesday Book which recorded details of' 11th century land ownership throughout the country. In more recent years several interpretations of the meaning of 'Paythorne' have also been suggested, possibly 'a thorn bush beside a pathway', or even 'a peacock shaped thorn bush', but much the most popular definition results from the placing of the village in Gisburn Forest. The inn in Paythorne was traditionally in Medieval times the meeting place for huntsmen, a nearby large thorn marking the place where the steward of the hunt paid his retainers  the 'pay-thorn'. At that time:

.... there were only three farms in Paythorn: the Old Manor, Higher House, and Old Bank Top. During the 17th and 18th centuries however,....all available common and waste land was enclosed; Gisburn Forest was cleared, and ploughing and reaping took the place of deer and hunting. A mill to grind the corn stood at the old ford, near to the present bridge. Farms or small holdings increased to about 20, and these with some 40 cottages, eventually housed a population of 300

Many families worked both in farming and in other trades.... .... Colne, eight miles distant, was the market town. Farmers, shopkeepers and weavers would attend this market every week to exchange their goods.

The link with Colne would be emphasised by the greater importance of the rough road through Paythorne. It was not until the early l9th century that the turnpike road linking Gisburn, Nappa and Long Preston was built and before that time many travellers would be familiar with the more direct route from Gisburn to Settle through Paythorne. No doubt this road would be travelled by many Protestant preachers before the Methodists first came  the vicars of Gisburn, the Quakers, Presbyterians, Baptists and Independents from nearby villages. In the 18th century Methodism was just one of many influences at work in Britain, each attempting to fill the vacuum left by the disastrous breakdown of communications between the Church of England and a large part of the country's population.

It is not possible to assess the strength of the influences at work in Paythorne a hundred years ago, but it is certain that both Quakers and Presbyterians had established meeting places in Newsholme before the first recorded visits of Methodist preachers to the area.