Cuerdale is a civil parish in the South Ribble district of Lancashire, England. It includes Cuerdale Hall and has no substantive settlements. It originated as a township in the parish of Blackburn, becoming a separate civil parish in 1866. From 1894, it formed part of the Preston Rural District, and under the Local Government Act 1972 became part of the South Ribble district in 1974.

The Cuerdale Hoard was found in the parish.


Cuerdale, was a township, in the parish, and Lower division of the hundred, of Blackburn, union of Preston, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 2.5 miles (E.) from Preston; containing 106 inhabitants in the 18th century. This place belonged to a family of the same name from the earliest times. About the reign of Richard II. it passed by marriage to the Molyneuxs,then Osbaldestons and since 1582 it has been the property of the Asshetons, of Downham, who formerly resided at Cuerdale Hall, a building of red brick with stone dressings, erected in a beautiful situation by William Assheton, in 1700 near the site of earlier buildings.

Kiuerdale,1190, xii-xiv cent.; Keuerdale, xiv-xvi cent.; Cuerdall, xvi-xviii cent. The township lies between the Rivers Ribble and Darwen to the north of Walton-le-Dale on a slight ridge of ground, varying from to above the ordnance datum, which slopes down to the banks of the two rivers. A detached portion of the township called Cuerdale Hey lies between the townships of Samlesbury and Hoghton, south of Beasting Brook. The subsoil is the pebble beds of the Bunter series, except over a very small area on the south-east, where it consists of the Permian rocks. Towards the River Ribble a large area is covered by alluvial deposits. The township covers an area of , and the population in 1901 numbered 51 persons, occupying nine houses. (fn. 1) The land consists of fertile meadows and pastures with woodland upon the steep bank above the alluvial ground. (fn. 2) The main road from Blackburn and Clitheroe to Walton-le-Dale passes through the township, a lane branching off to Higher Walton. The noted Cuerdale hoard of silver coins was discovered in 1840 whilst repairs were being done to the bank of the Ribble a short distance below Cuerdale Hall. (fn. 3) Some relics of early man have also been found here. (fn. 4) The township forms part of the ancient parochial chapelry of Low Church or Walton-le-Dale. A wayside cross formerly stood near the centre of the township. (fn. 5)

Cuerdale is the name of an area of land on the south bank of the River Ribble about east of Preston and one mile (1.6 km) east of Walton-le-Dale. Cuerdale was the name of a Norman Manor, part of the Blackburn Hundred. The location of the ancient town of Cuerdale is not known to this author. One document refers to the location as being along a ridge above the flood plain of the river. The town no longer exists. There was a town and church in the area since Norman times possibly located on the site of Cuerdale Cross, an ancient stone cross located south east of Cuerdale Hall. Another possible location of the town is just west of the present site of Cuerdale Hall where satellite images may indicate the remains of foundations of some stone buildings. Cuerdale cross was converted into a war memorial about 1921.

Cuerdale is known for the discovery of a large hoard of Viking silver called the Cuerdale Hoard. Part of this treasure is now in the British Museum in London. In about 905 the Cuerdale Hoard was buried slightly west of the site of present Cuerdale Hall on the South Bank of the River Ribble. This treasure rediscovered in 1840 comprising of 7,000 silver coins and silver ornamanets remains the largest Viking treasure found in Western Europe. One theory suggests that Cuerdale was chosen as the site to bury the hoard because it was the limit of the river that was navigable. The river could be navigated up to Ribchester in Roman times.

The original size of Cuerdale Manor and Cuerdale town and Church in the Middle Ages has not been established. Some historians believe that Cuerdale Manor could have been larger than 8,000 acres (32 km²). By 1805 the estates attached to Cuerdale Hall were around 250 acres (1 km²). Cuerdale Manor contributed one fifteen of the total levy charged on the Blackburn one hundred. Satellite images of Cuerdale Hall seem to show show foundations of perhaps a dozen buildings slightly west of the current site of Cuerdale Hall and farm Buildings. These images also suggest that the access road which terminates at the Hall today once continued North to meet the river just west of the modern expressway bridge. There are a number of contemporary references to leather tanning and tailoring including glove making in the Cuerdale area dating to at least the 14th century. The Cuerdale family were involved in the manufacture of linen then cotton from the 14th century.

CUERDALE HALL stands in a low situation near the south bank of the Ribble about a mile north-east of Walton-le-Dale, the principal front facing north to the river. The house, which is of two stories, is now divided into two and is of little architectural interest, so many alterations and additions having been made that the disposition of the original plan has been lost and the external appearance of the building completely changed. It appears to have been a 17th century structure of brick and stone, some portions of which remain at the back, where two stone buttresses against the old brick wall probably mark the position of the hall. The north front seems to have had two projecting gabled end wings, the plan most likely following the usual type, but additions have been made at either end and a long wing built at the south-east corner at right angles to the main building. The house now has a quite modern appearance with plain brick gables and blue slated roofs, and the north elevation has been spoiled by the erection in front of a low one-story brick addition. The house is said to have been partly rebuilt in 1700 by William Assheton and an old oak staircase with turned balusters and square newels in the east wing may belong to this period. A panelled room on the south side, however, appears to be of rather later date, and there is another staircase with flat pierced balusters in the west wing. The building was allowed to fall into neglect when it ceased to be the residence of the Asshetons, and is now partly used as a farm-house. On the north side are two well-designed stone-cased gate piers with coupled Corinthian pilasters and urn ornaments; but the gardens no longer exist, though there are still traces of the great avenue of trees on the south side by which the house was approached from the high road.

From: 'Townships: Cuerdale', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6 (1911), pp. 300-03.

Examination of satellite images showing field alignments and local roads suggest that Cuerdale Hall was on the Western side of a road coming from the south that possibly crossed the Ribble immediately north of the hall. The last mile approximately of this road does not exist today. Sections of the road exist perhaps a mile south of the hall.The alignment of the hall does not correspond to modern roads or modern alignment of the river Ribble. The hall alignment suggests that this road may have passed from Cuerdale Hall through Cuerdale Cross the location of an ancient stone cross, which could mark the position of the ancient village of Keverdale.(ref Rob Curedale)

The remains of defensive ditches on the site of Cuerdale Hall were surveyed in the early 1990s. The hall is contained within a semi-rectangular area about 150 metres in extent formed by a deep ditch about 12 meters in width. There is a V shaped ditch about 7 metres wide and two meters deep on the southern side of the Hall. Parallel and a little further south there is a scarp which suggests that the 7 metre ditch may have been cut from an earlier and wider ditch that silted up. The evidence suggests that a fortified enclosure existed on the site that was large for a manorial enclosure in the area. Close to a ford in the River Ribble the site is of strategic significance. The fortifications have not been dated. Some moated enclosures around halls in Lancashire served a decorative rather than protective purpose.

There are many Curedale's living in Western Australia at this current point in time one is named Natasha, she currently attends John Wollaston school in year 12 she has made many achievements and hope to find out more of the Curedale History if anyone has information please contact her on


Ekwall's The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names (Oxford, 1960). Ekwall defines the origin of Cuerdale and Curedale as "Cynferth's valley". Cynferth is a Saxon personal name.

Early Lancashire Charters, and as "Keuerdale" in the Lancashire Inquests, dated 1293, the place was so called from the Olde English pre 7th (century) male given name "Cynferth", plus the Old Norse "dalr", cognate with the Olde English "dael", valley. Names ending in "-dale" are most frequent in the old Scandinavian districts, and most contain the Old Norse "dalr", Old Danish "dal", valley. The above personal name, pronounced "Kyen-ferth", eventually lost the internal "n" (a common occurrence before an "f"), and was pronounced "Kyferth", eventually becoming "Kiver" or "Kiuer", the interchange of "v" and "u" being widespread in early recordings. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere.

But Cuerden, a few miles away and just south of Preston, is probably Celtic. Richard Coates and Andrew Breeze, Celtic Voices, English Places (Stamford, 2000), contradicts Ekwall and gives the origin as 'rowan, mountain ash' (compare Welsh cerddinen 'mountain ash'). Reference Andrew Breeze.

An alternative explanation of the relationship of the two names is "Den" is the Saxon suffix meaning long valley. "Dalr" is the Scandinavian suffix meaning long narrow valley.

Cuerdale is not mentioned in the Domesday book. Earlier spellings were Kieurdale, Kiuerdale (1190), Kyuerdeleg (1246,1275), Kouirdale (1260,1280), Keuirdale (1279), Keurdale (1284, 1387/88), Keuyrdale, Kiverdale, Kyverdale (1300, 1366 to present, may be related to Kyverdale Road in London), Keuerdale (1281,1293, 1296, 1305,1309,1340,1379,1380,1387,1461,1590,1602), Keurdal, Keuerdall (1548), Kyerlay, Kiuerdale, Kiurdale, Kerdale (1337,1357,1432), Keuirdale (1341), Cunercheleg, Kyuerdeleg, Kynerdele (1301,1310),Kynerdale (1377), Keursdale, Keuresdale(1311), Keuresdeale (1329-1346), Keu'dale (1332), Kuredall (15th century), Kurdowe (1591), Curdowe (1612), Curedowe (1612, 1614, 1616), Couerdale (1484, 1555 to present - this name is found in Yorkshire and may not be from the same origin as Cuerdale variants found in Lancashire), Keverdale (1248, 1274,1375, 1515,1582,1599, 1613), Kewerdale, Kewerdall (1562), Curdall, Curdale (1538, 1544,1612,1616,1636,1649,1661), Couerdale(1555), Kieurdale (1107), Curedall (1463, 1597, 1600,1607,1610,1615,1617, 1622,1623,1630,1632,1638,1640, 1643,1655,1686,1690,1692,1694,1721,1814), Keuerdall (1643), Cuardall (1630,1679), Curdall (1616, 1621, 1645, 1702, 1820, 1885), Curdell (1616, 1738, 1843), Cuaredall (1615, 1631), Couerdayle (1642), Kurdall (1703), Curodale (1742), Kuerdale, Curidale (1862), Cuerdale,(1608 to present) Curedale (1438,1463,1622,1658,1697,1793 to present)Sources documents UK National Archives, Rob Curedale *

Another theory for the origin of the name Cuerdale is that early variants of the name Cuerdale such as Keuerdale (10th century) and Keverdale (14th century map) share derivation with the Yorkshire Saxon place name Coverdale. A variant of the name Coverdale is Couerdale. Early medieval forms of the word "cover" include: Keuere; Keure; Kouere; Kyuer; Kyuere. In the case of a pie, it means to put on the top crust.

The origin of the word Coverdale is thought by some historians to be an area of a rivercourse covered by vegetation. Cuerdale could have been a forested area of the River Ribble during Saxon times or may share some connection with the Coverdale area in Yorkshire. There are still wooded areas including Cuerdale Wood near the river at Cuerdale.


One of the earliest known references to the area was Warine or Swain de Keuerdale born abt 1112 (may be the same person as Swain De Salmesbury, Lord Of Hindley) and occupied site on or near location of present Cuerdale Hall. When Warine died, Gilbert received half of the Manor. The rest was dividedbetween the other sons. The rest of the estate was divided between the other sons. Alexander de Keuerdale son of Gilbert died before 1246 and was father of another Gilbert who was one of the jurors from this hundred at a special county court held in Lancaster that year. In 1322, the Scots army of Robert the Bruce set fire to Preston. Occupants of Samlesbury took refuge in the Church. What happened at Cuerdale is unknown. Robert de Keuerdale held the Manor in 1327 but died soon afterwards without issue. John de Keuerdale succeeded his grandfather John before 1356. His wife Denise or Dionesia was widow of John of Cuerdale, who died 15 October 1345, and as her dower they held part of the manor of Cuerdale and lands in Preston.

In 1662 the puture rent for the township amounted to 3s. 4d. and was paid by: Richard Coope 5d., Thomas Thornley's tenement 5d., John Smith 3d., John Marsden 2d., Richard Seedall 4d., George Blakey 4d., Thomas Worthington 2d., John Dave 1d., Margaret Bruer, widow, 1d., Abraham Ernshaw 1d., George Coope 2d., Robert Blakey 3d., paid by the constable 7d. Cuerdale was rated as one plough-land, was charged with the sum of 11s. 10d. to the subsidy of 1332, and contributed to a 'fifteenth' 11s. 6d. out of £37 1s. 7d. charged upon the hundred. (fn. 6) Manor The first possessor of whom mention is found was Warine de Kiuerdale, living in the time of Henry II, Richard I and John, of whose charters two have been recorded. (fn. 7) He had a numerous family, Gilbert, who afterwards held half the manor, and Gospatric, Peter, Richard and Siegrith, to each of whom he seems to have given a share of the remainder. Gilbert eldest son of Warine attested with his son Alexander the charter of Hugh Bussel granting North Meols to the ancestor of the Singleton family, which was also attested by Richard de Vernon the sheriff (1189–94). (fn. 8) Alexander son of Gilbert died before 1246, and was father of another Gilbert, (fn. 9) who was one of the jurors from this hundred at a special county court held at Lancaster that year. (fn. 10) Alexander de Cuerdale son of Gilbert occurs from 1246 to 1284. He acquired various portions of the township from his kinsfolk, the most important acquisition being that of half the manor from Ellen daughter of Adam son of Gospatric de Cuerdale in 1285. (fn. 11) A few years earlier, and whilst Gilbert de Clifton was seneschal of Blackburnshire, he obtained from the Earl of Lincoln remission of the yearly service of 10s., which appears to have been paid as farm of the fishery within the manor. (fn. 12) Alexander his son occurs in 1296, 1305 and 1311 holding the manor of the Earl of Lincoln by the rent of 10s. at St. Giles. (fn. 13) By his wife Mary he had sons Robert and Geoffrey, and died before 1323. (fn. 14) Robert held the manor in 1327, (fn. 15) but died soon after without issue. His brother Geoffrey occurs in 1306 and in 1311, when he held a moiety of Over Darwen in right of his wife Alice, but he died before 1314. (fn. 16) His widow afterwards married William Lawrence, and was living in 1356. (fn. 17)

Cuerdale. Quarterly argent and sable four leopards' faces counterchanged. John de Cuerdale son of Geoffrey and Alice attained his majority about 1330, and two years later contributed to the subsidy. (fn. 18) He gave lands here and in Walton of 5 marks yearly value to Whalley for the health of his soul, and was buried in the 'new conventual church' there on 20 October 1345. Six months after his death the manor-house of Cuerdale was totally destroyed by fire. (fn. 19) By Dionisia his wife, who afterwards married John de Barton of Barton in Amounderness, he had issue two daughters, Alice, who married Edmund son of John Lawrence of Ashton, near Lancaster, and Joan, who married Thomas de Molyneux. (fn. 20) Thomas son of Thomas Molyneux of the Edge in Sefton was a man of some notoriety. He inherited the Edge in Sefton, Northbrook in Walton-on-the Hill and other properties from his father, who had received them as a provision from Richard de Molyneux lord of Sefton, his father. (fn. 21) He also acquired various small properties and in 1356 purchased from his wife's relatives their life interest in this manor and other settled estates. (fn. 22) Thomas Molyneux, esq., contributed to the poll tax of 1379, (fn. 23) and the year following received pardon at the instance of the Duke of Lancaster with several of his neighbours for some felony which he had committed, and in 1386 went to Ireland in the retinue of Sir John de Stanley, kt. (fn. 24) The year following, on 20 December, he was killed at Radcot Bridge in Oxfordshire in the engagement in which the king's favourite Robert de Vere was defeated by the Earl of Gloucester. (fn. 25) His wife, by whom he had no issue, survived him and was living in 1394. His brother Richard died before 1368, leaving issue by Leticia his wife Thomas, who married Joan le Boteler and died without issue before 1388. Thomas de Molyneux had also two sisters, Emma the wife of Richard son of Nicholas Blundell of Crosby, (fn. 26) who left no issue, and Katherine, who in 1336 had been married to Alexander de Osbaldeston. In accordance with his will (fn. 27) this manor, half the manor of Over Darwen and other estates descended after the death of his wife to his sister Katherine, then the wife of Thomas Banastre of Osbaldeston, and at her death about 1410 passed to her grandson Thomas Osbaldeston, as stated in the account of Osbaldeston. About this time a mesne lordship of the manor was created in favour of Henry Langton of Walton-le-Dale, whose daughter Isabel was married to Thomas Osbaldeston's son and heir Geoffrey in 1410–11. (fn. 28) From that time the manor has been held by the Osbaldestons and their successors of the Langtons and their successors by fealty and the render of a red rose. (fn. 29) During the next two centuries the manor passed with the other estates of the Osbaldeston family, until alienated on 1 March 1614 by Edward Osbaldeston to Ralph Assheton of Lever and Radcliffe Assheton his son, (fn. 30) whose descendant Mr. Ralph Cockayne Assheton of Downham is the present lord of the manor and owner of part of the township.

According to the Pedigree drawn up by Robert Squire (G. 1920) “Henry de Grimshaw” bought his marriage from [Thomas de] Molyneux, for 40 marks, who was then the owner of Mr. Osbaldeston's lands in Balderston and Cuerdale, 13, 15, 18, Rich. II, 1390, 1392, 1395." This transaction is apparently referred to in G. 613, which however is dated 6 Edw. III, 1332; but this date is impossibly early, and must be a copyist's error for (perhaps) 16 Rich. II. Henry de Grimshaw married (settlement dated 21 Apr. 1390) Joan, daughter of Henry de Shuttleworth (G. 574); not of John de Shuttleworth as generally stated. In 1398 John son of William de Walton and Catherine his wife, and Henry de Grimshaw agreed that Joan daughter of Catherine by her former husband John de Hacking, (in Aighton near Stonyhurst) should marry the son, not yet born, of Henry de Grimshaw; and that Hacking's property in Aighton should be settled on the intended married couple, after Catherine's death (G. 1055). In 1409 John de Birtwistle, chaplain, gave to Henry de Grimshaw all the lands etc. in Aighton which he had of the gift of John de Walton and Catherine his wife (G. 1056). In 1429 Joan widow of Henry de Grimshaw released to Robert her son and Catherine, her daughter all her goods and chattels (G. 1594), and at the same time released to Robert the moiety of the manor of Clayton (G. 1617, 1618).

Richard Assheton's house had twelve hearths liable to the tax in 1666, but no other had as many as three; the total number of hearths in the township was twenty-five. (fn. 31) Langton. Argent three chevronels gules.

Around 1150, the area was a hundred division of the Blackburn Hundred and was a Norman Manor. The De Keuerdale family including Swain and his sons Gospatric and Gilbert lived in manorhouse near the present site of Kuerdale hall around 1145. An unusual name Cospatric is recorded in Scotland from the 11th century or perhaps earlier. The element Cos- is cognate to Welsh gwas "servant", and is thus equivalent to the Gaelic Giolla. The name appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Gospatric, in 10th to 12th century Latin documents as Cospatricius, Gospatlicus, Caius Patricius, and Gaius Patricius. Later we find Cospatric MacMadethyn 1220, also recorded as Cospatrick filius Madad 1224 The date of this construction appears to be similar to nearby Samlesbury Hall. It seems possible that Gospatric de Samlesbury (Kendal and Workingtom" who constructed Samlesbury Hall and Chapel was the same individual as Gospatric De Keuerdale.

“Gospatric, son of Orne, and great-grandson of Eldred, 2nd feudal Lord of Kendal, Alan, 2nd Lord of Allandale, his cousin-german, gave High Ireby, which remained vested in a younger branch of the Curwens, which terminated in female heirs. This Gospatric was the first of the family who was Lord of Workington, having exchanged with his cousin, William de Lancaster, the lordship of Middleton, in Westmoreland, for the lands of Lamplugh and Workington, in Cumberland. Gospatric had (with four younger sons Gilbert ; Adam ; Orme ; and Alexander) his successor” Camdens’s Brittanica Isle of Man. 1695,

The family of Cliff, probably descended from Richard a younger son of Warine de Cuerdale, held lands here which John de Elleslegh in right of his wife Alice daughter and heir of Richard del Cliff claimed in 1354 from the Abbot of Whalley, but unsuccessfully. (fn. 32) Gilbert de Styholme was the grandfather of Richard, whose son was charged in 1353 with depasturing the crops of John son of Alexander de Longleigh in Cuerdale. (fn. 33) William Langley held at his death in 1592 a messuage here which descended to his nephew Robert Woodroffe of Walton-le-Dale. (fn. 34) Christopher Smyth died in 1589 seised of a small estate here which was held of John Osbaldeston, esq., in socage and descended to Edmund Smyth his son, who held of Radcliffe Assheton, e.q., in 1620. (fn. 35) The subsidy rolls record no persons assessed on lands except the lord of the manor. In 1626 Robert Langton and William Cowpe were assessed upon goods. (fn. 36)

"No apology is necessary for the insertion of a corrected descent of the manor of Cuerdale, all the printed pedigrees of the family of the same name, who were lords thereof, being very incorrect. Alexander de Keuerdale was the first lord of Keuerdale on record, who, with his brothers John and Richard, attested the grant of Balderston by Ailsey, son of Hugh, to William, his son, before 1223. He was the father of Gilbert de Keuerdale, whose son and heir Alexander occurs from circa 1250 to circa 1300. Alexander, son and heir of Alexander, occurs until the 16 Edw. II, 1323, when Maria, his relict, releases her right to lands in Balderston, which she held in the name of dower. He had issue Robert, who probably died s.p., and Geoffrey, who held one moiety of "Ourederwent" at the death of the Earl of Lincoln in 1311 by knight's service in right of his wife, but died in his father's lifetime, for in the 7 Edward II. 1314, John de Langton, knight, granted to Alice, who was the wife of Geoffrey de Keuerdale, the custody of the lands which were formerly the said Geoffrey's in Little Derwent, and the marriage of John, son and heir of the said Geoffrey. Geoffrey and Alice had issue, besides the said John, a daughter Joan, who is named in the Fine no. 17 following, under which a life interest in the moiety of the manor of Ribbleton was limited to her, who released in the 1 Richard II., 1377–8, all her right in Keuerdale and in the moiety of the manor of Over Derwent to Thomas Molyneux and Joan his wife. Her brother, John de Keuerdale, was styled "lord of Keuerdale" in the 7, 10, and 16 Edward III. He gave lands in Walton-in-le-Dale and Keuerdale to the monks of Whalley to find a priest to celebrate masses for his soul for ever (Whalley Coucher, p. 1141; Hist. of Whalley, edit. 1876, II., p. 335). He died on Saturday, 15th October, 1345, and was buried in the new Conventual Church on the Thursday following. On Thursday, 12th April, 1346, by a mischance the manor house of Keuerdale was wholly burnt down (ibid.). He left issue Alice and Joan, his daughters and coheirs, who held Keuerdale of Lady Isabella, Queen of England, as appears by inquest taken at the Chapel of the Lawe on Wednesday after St. James the Apostle, 20 Edward III., 1346, on a writ of ad quod damnum to inquire touching lands to be alienated in mortmain to the Abbot of Whalley (Inquisitions, 20 Edward III., 2nd nos., 62). Alice married William Laurence, who died in or before 1355, having had issue a son, Edmund, who released his right in the manor of Keuerdale, the moiety of the manor of Ouerderwent, and in lands in the towns of Walton, Livesay, Preston and Hethchernock, which were formerly the inheritance of John de Keuerdale, to Thomas Molyneux and Joan, his wife, by deed dated 2 Richard II. (Keuerdale deed, no. 48). William, son of John de Merclesden of Colne, made a similar release in Lent, 1 Richard II., 1378; sealed with a seal bearing three lozenges in bend. In the year 1355, Alice gave the manor of Keuerdale and other lands to her sister Joan and her husband, Thomas Molyneux, son of Richard Molyneux of Sefton. These notes are mostly derived from the Osbaldeston deeds (Dodsworth's MS., cxlix.). The following is a copy of the will of Thomas Molyneux, as preserved in Kuerden's MS. in the College of Arms (vol. ii., fol. 256b), "I Thos. Molinex says my Wil is that my frends bein feoffed in al my lond etc. that my lond be given to Jenet my wife for life, remainder to Thomelyn the Molinex, Richard son my brother and his heirs male, remainder to Thos. Gefra son of Osbaldeston and his heirs male, remainder to John his brother and his heirs male, remainder to Richard his brother and his heirs male, remainder to my right heirs. I will that a place cald North-broc be given after the death of my wife to Raulin the Molinex and the heirs of his body male, remainder to Raulin, Richord son of Longworth and to his iongre brother after him and their heirs male remainder to my right heirs. That a place cald Harwood by [after] my wyf death be given to Jo: Jefray son of Osbaldeston and his heirs male, and to Richard his brother and his heirs male, remainder to Raulin the Molinex and to Will: Longworth sons in the same manner. I will that Jo: Benet son be fefeit [enfeoffed] in the land be woods (sic) and the land caled Thalwons in Derwent to him for life and that Paulin [Jankin?] Heari son le Molinex have a rent charge of 10li. [40s.] out of my lands in Ines, Thornton, and Crosby for his life after the death of my wif, and that Dicones lond Eli son of Ines be given to Janekyn Dykon son and to the heirs of his body goten, remainder to his brother H[enry] and the heirs of his body gotten, remainder to his yonger brother Wilkin [William] and the heirs of his body goten, remainder to Thomas right heirs the Molinex." Probably the original Will was in French. The date would be before 1387, as Thomas Molyneux is said to have been slain at Radcot Bridge, when Robert de Vere, the favourite of Richard II., was defeated there by the Duke of Gloucester. Thomas and Joan had issue Thomas, son and heir who died without issue in 1387 (Cf. Inquisition, Chetham Soc., xcv., p. 28), and Katherine, then aged forty, who was thrice married, and survived until the reign of Henry V. The estates of the Keuerdale family descended through her first marriage to the house of Osbaldeston." Numerous deeds relating to these estates are preserved in Kuerden's MS., Coll. of Arms, iv., K. 9 et seq.

From: 'Lancashire Fines: Henry, Duke of Lancaster (1351-61)', Final Concords for Lancashire, Part 2: 1307-77 (1902), pp. 130-67.

In 1354 William Lawrence and Alice his wife made a settlement of their estate in Thornton, Great and Little Layton, a moiety of the manor of Ribbleton and a fourth part of the manor of Ashton. The remainders, after their children (John and others), were, so far as Ashton was concerned, to the right heirs of Alice; and as to Ribbleton to Joan daughter of Geoffrey de Cuerdale for life, and then the same as Ashton; Final Conc. ii, 141–2. The fine proves that Lawrence held in right of his wife. Joan de Cuerdale was then wife of Thomas de Molyneux, and much of her estate went to the Osbaldeston family. John Lawrence died in 1398, having made a settlement of his estate on his wife Margaret in 1368. He left a son William, aged eighteen; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 72.

From: 'Townships: Ribbleton', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7 (1912), pp. 105-08.

About 6 months after John's de Keuerdale's on 15 or 20 Oct 1345 death the Manorhouse of Cuerdale was totally destroyed by fire.

The remains of a moated enclosure on the site today of uncertain date suggest that there was once a larger structure on the site than exists today. This was possibly the remains of the building destroyed by fire in 1346.

Ownership of the Manor passed to the Molyneux family (Earl of Sefton) when the De Keuerdale family line had no male heir and Thomas Molyneux, Constable of Chester Castle married Joan De Keuerdale around 1343.

At Preston, on Monday the morrow of the Close of Easter, 3 Henry, Duke of Lancaster 1st April 1353, and afterwards recorded on Monday next before St. Margaret the Virgin in the said year 15th July 1353.

Between Thomas le Molyneux [of Keuerdale], and Joan his wife, plaintiffs, and Adam de Redleghes, chaplain, deforciant of the manor of Kyverdale [Cuerdale], and of 4 messuages, one shop, 80 acres of land, 50 acres of wood, and 4d. of rent in Preston, Walton-in-the-Dale, Lyvesay, and Hethchernok, and of a moiety of the manor of Overderwent. (fn. 4) Thomas and Joan acknowledged the said manor, tenements, and moiety to be the right of Adam, of which the said Adam had a moiety of two parts of two parts of the said manor, of two parts of a third part of the said manor, and of two parts of the said tenements and moiety of the gift of the said Thomas and Joan, for which Adam granted the said moiety to Thomas and Joan; to have and to hold to them and to the heirs issuing of their bodies. Besides Adam granted that the third part of two parts of the said manor, and the third part of the said tenements and moiety which William Laurence and Alice his wife held in dower of the said Alice, and that the third part of the third part of the said manor, of two parts of two parts of the said manor, and of two parts of the said tenements and moiety, which John de Warton and Dionisia his wife held in dower of the said Dionisia; and also that the moiety of two parts of two parts of the said manor; of two parts of the third part of the said manor, and of two parts of the said tenements and moiety, which Edmund Laurence held for term of life by the law of England, of the inheritance of the said Adam in the said towns, after the decease of the said Alice, Dionisia, and Edmund should remain to Thomas and Joan and to their heirs aforesaid, in default to remain to the issue of the said Joan, in default to remain to the right heirs of [Geoffrey de Keuerdale ?].

From: 'Lancashire Fines: Henry, Duke of Lancaster (1351-61)', Final Concords for Lancashire, Part 2: 1307-77 (1902), pp. 130-67.

In 1354 William Lawrence and Alice his wife made a settlement of their estate in Thornton, Great and Little Layton, a moiety of the manor of Ribbleton and a fourth part of the manor of Ashton. The remainders, after their children (John and others), were, so far as Ashton was concerned, to the right heirs of Alice; and as to Ribbleton to Joan daughter of Geoffrey de Cuerdale for life, and then the same as Ashton; Final Conc. ii, 141–2. The fine proves that Lawrence held in right of his wife. Joan de Cuerdale was then wife of Thomas de Molyneux, and much of her estate went to the Osbaldeston family. John Lawrence died in 1398, having made a settlement of his estate on his wife Margaret in 1368. He left a son William, aged eighteen; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 72

From: 'Townships: Ribbleton', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7 (1912), pp. 105-08.

Thomas was slain at the Battle of Radcot Bridge in Oxfordshire on 20 December 1387.

"In 1387, King Richard II. sent secretly to Robert de Vere, Duke of Ireland, who was levying troops in Wales, to come to him with allspeed, to aid him with the Duke of Gloucester and his friends; and commissioned at the same time Sir Thomas Molineux, Constable of Chester, a man of great influence in Cheshire and Lancashire, and the Sheriff of Chester, to raise troops, and to accompany and safe conduct the Duke of Ireland to the Kings presence. Molineux executed his commission with great zeal, imprisoning all who would not join him. Thus was raised anarmy of 5,000 men. The Duke of Ireland, having with him Molineux, Vernon, and Ratcliffe, rode forward "in statelie and glorious arraie." Supposing that none durst come forth to withstand him. Nevertheless, when he came to Radcot Bridge, four miles (6 km) from Chipping Norton, he suddenly espied the army of the lords; and finding that some of his troops refused to fight, he began to wax faint hearted, and to prepare to escape by flight, in which he succeeded ; but Thomas Molineux determined to fight it out. Nevertheless, when he had fought a little , and perceived it would not avail him to tarry longer, he likewise, as one dispairing of the victory, betook himself to flight ; and plunging into the river, itchanced that Sir Roger Mortimer, being present, amongst others, called him to come out of the water to him, threatening to shoot him through with arrows, in the river, if he did not. "If I come," said Molineux,"will ye save my life?" "I will make ye no such promise," replied Sir Roger Mortimer, "but, notwithstanding, either come up, or thou shalt presently die for it." "Well then," said Molineux, "if there be no other remedy, suffer me to come up, and let me try with hand blows, either with you or some other, and so die like a man." But as he came up, the knight caught him by the helmet, plucked it off his head, and straightways drawing his dagger, stroke him into the brains, and so dispatched him. Molineux, a varlet, and a boy were the only slain in the engagement; 800 men fled into the marsh, and were drowned ; the rest were surrounded, stript, and sent home. The Duke of Ireland made his escape to the Continent ; and the King returned to London. Vide" Holinshedand, The History and Antiquities of Pleshy. Ref Raphael Hollinshed (1520-80) chronicles

On Saturday 22 September sir Thomas Mortimer was summoned to stand triial as a traiter Mortimer’s alleged crime was the slaying of Thomas Molineux, constable of Chester Castle, at the skirmish at Radcot Bridge in 1387, As Gillespie has observed, Molineux had been one of the most important Royal agents in the Chester Palinate, and had been responsible for the daily exercise of de Vere’s power in the region. In spite of Richard II’s enduring resentment against the killer of his trusted servant, there were deeper political considerations behind the proceedings against a man who had been merely one of many gentry supporters of the Appellants (The Politics of Magnate Power in England and Wales 1389-1413 Alastair Dunn)

In 1387 Thomas Osbaldeston inherited the manor and estate of Cuerdale. The relationship to Thomas Molineux is uncertain. He may have been married to Katherine, Thomas Molineux's daughter.

At Lancaster, on Monday in the third week of Lent, 4 Henry IV. 19th March 1403

Between Henry, son of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, knight, William Thirnyng, knight, John de Meeres, John de la Launde, Roger Welby, Nicholas Motte, parson of the church of Swyneshead, Thomas Barneby, parson of the church of Rothewell, Simon Luffenham, William Auncell, John Overton, and William Houghton, chaplain, plaintiffs, and Thomas La Warre, clerk, deforciant of the manors of Mamcestre and Keuerdale and of the advowsons of the churches of Mamcestre and Assheton [Ashton-under-Lyne].

Thomas La Warre acknowledged the said manors, &c., to be the right of William Houghton, to have and to hold to the plaintiffs and to the heirs of the said William Houghton for ever (with warranty), for which the plaintiffs gave him 1000 marks of silver. (fn. 9)

From: 'Lancashire Fines: Henry IV', Final Concords for Lancashire, Part 3: 1377-1509 (1905), pp. 60-70.

The earliest known spelling Curedale is in a document contained in Lancashire pleadings dated 1438-39 involving a case where Laurence Aynesworth lays claim to some property in or near Preston at that time occupied by Margaret and Gracia Curedale. Laurence claims an historical right to the property through a relationship to Margatet and Gracia's ancestors 8 generations earlier. The Curadale descent is given as Elmain, Ymayn, Johem Curadale, Galfridu, Alex married to Elizabeth, John, Margaret then Gracia.

Cuerdale Hall passed into the ownership of the Osbaldeston family and then the Asheton Family and the presentday owner is a member of the Asheton family, Lord Clitheroe who sublets Cuerdale Hall Farm.

22 October 1602 "Commission: Elizabeth I to the sheriff and his deputies - delivery of peaceable possession to Alexander Barlowe and Anthony Parker, executors of the will of Edward Scaresbrecke, esquire, dec'd, of the manor of Osbaldeston, the manor of Cuerdalle alias Keuerdale, fishing in the Ribble, the manor of Over darwen, and property in Walton-in-le-dale, Preston and Ribchester, in payment of John Osbaldeston's debt of £1400"

Nearby Samlesbury Hall was the home of the infamous Samlesbury witches. It is likely that the occupants of Cuerdale at that time were involved in the struggle between the Catholic and Protestant faiths and institutions in Lancashire. On 30 July 1837, the first Mormon baptisms were undertaken in the River Ribble west of Cuerdale on the south side of the river, upstream from the bridge near the end of Ribblesdale Road.

Cromwell's army camped in the area before the Battle of Preston in 1648.

Richard Kuerden was a lecturer at Oxford University and an antiquarian in the 1600s. He compiled a history of Lancashire in 11 volumes that was not published. Several of the hand written volumes exist in the College of Arms in London. He claimed that the Kuerden family were descended from the Keuerdale family though records to substantiate this claime have not been found.

The Cuerdale family were members of the Preston Guild through the fifteen and sixteenth centuries. Richard Cuerdale was an alderman of the Guild.

Current status

No known members of the family now use the spelling Cuerdale. There were about 20 individuals in 1900 who used the spelling Cuerdale and another approximately 20 who used the spelling Curedale. The last known member of the family who used the spelling Cuerdale was married in Lancashire around 1943. The Curedale family who take their name from the area today consist of about 30 individuals living in Dublin, Ireland, Hertfordshire England, Western Australia and the US. The Irish members of the family are descendants of John Standish Curedale who moved to Ireland in the late 1800s and was a designer and craftsman of stained glass windows. He won an international competition to design the circular stained glass windows in St Georges Hall Liverpool. His some Jackie or Sean Curedale was a member of the Irish Republican Army during the unrest in the early twentieth century.

The Australian branch of the family are descendants of George Ward Boustead Curedale who was transported from England to Fremantle around 1860 on the convict ship Nile. George was the owner of a cotton mill in Lancashire. He later established one of the first wineries in Western Australia and was a pioneer of the wine industry. He had at least seventeen children. There are two streets; one in Burnley Lancashire and one in Fremantle Western Australia named Curedale Street after George Curedale. The street in Burnley was the location of the Curedale Cotton Mill.

'News of The World', August 17, 1856 Article titled: Uttering Forged Bills

"George Curedale, described as a “cotton manufacturer,” has been charged at Liverpool with having issued a forged bill of exchange. On the 26th March, the prisoner went to the office of Mr Henry Omrod, commission agent, George Street, Manchester, and presented a bill of exchange for £300, purporting to have been accepted by Mr Bamford, cotton manufacturer, of Burnley. The prisoner asked Mr Omrod to discount the bill, but that gentleman refused. The prisoner then asked that it should be placed to his credit (he being indebted to Mr Omrod) which was done. On the 17th of March, it appeared the prisoner had offered Mr. Omrod another bill for £476, purporting to be accepted by Mr Bamford, and on the 7th of the same month he had offered at the establishment of Messrs. Dilworth, of Manchester, a bill purporting to be accepted by Mr Henry Rawlinson, for £360. Mr Bamford said that neither of the bills bearing his name was accepted and signed by him, though he had accepted previous bills for the prisoner. Messrs. H and G Rawlinson, partners in the firm of that name deposed respectively that the bills bearing that name were not accepted by either of the firm.

The prisoner, shortly after these transactions, escaped to the Continent, and was captured in Hamburg by a Manchester detective [PC] Buckley. Mr. Atkinson for the defence, rested only upon some legal points, and called witnesses to previous good character.

The jury returned a verdict of Guilty, and the prisoner was sentenced to fourteen years transportation."

From the 1700s members of the family adopted the spelling Curedale though this had been used occasionally interchangeably with Cuerdale since the fifteenth century.

The 1841 England census shows 9 individuals Curedale and 27 individuals Cuerdale Today the UK phone directory shows 4 individuals Curedale and 0 Cuerdale.

There was a branch of the Curedale family living in Brooklyn, New York from 1873. Mary Curedale wife of William Henry Curedale and her son David, arrived New York 5 Jul 1871 aboard ship City of Limerick from Liverpool England. The last known member of that branch of the family is Jonathan Curedale Calvert living in Texas.


1 The Census Rep. of 1901 gives , of which 19 are inland water.

2 The agricultural returns of 1905 were arable land 1½ acres, permanent grass , woods and plantations 52 acres.

3 V.C.H. Lancs. i, 258; Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. iv, 332.

4 V.C.H. Lancs. i, 233.

5 Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xviii, 58.

6 Bk. of rates, MS. penes W. Farrer.

7 To his son Peter be gave 1½ oxgangs of land in Cuerdale and 20 acres of land, viz. 10 acres of assart land and 10 acres of underwood lying between Aldeschalecloht and Longesnape cloht, in free thegnage by the yearly service to the grantor and his heirs of 22½d. at St. Oswald; Kuerden MSS. (Coll. of Arms), iv, K 9. The service was proportionate to the thegnage service of 10s. which Warine paid to the lord of Clitheroe.

8 Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 378. Gospatric son of Warine de Cuerdale gave to Gilbert his brother half an oxgang of land with the sixteenth part of the vill rendering 7½d. at St. Oswald. Alexander de Cuerdale and Gilbert his son were witnesses. Kuerden MSS. K 9. Gilbert was probably brother of the half blood to Gospatric, Peter and Richard.

9 Ibid. K 14. Before 1230 William de Osbaldeston demised to Avice daughter of Gilbert de Cuerdale for her life 2 oxgangs of land in Cuerdale, namely, one which Alice the grantor's mother formerly held and one which Adam her brother (probably Adam son of Gilbert de Cuerdale) had held; ibid.

10 Lancs. Assize R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 61.

11 In the house of the friars minor of Preston in 3 Edward I an agreement was made that Alexander de Cuerdale should give Ellen daughter of Adam de Cuerdale for her right in half the vill of Cuerdale 8 marks, besides 2 marks to the Chapel of the Lawe; Kuerden MSS. (Coll. of Arms) ii, 256b. Ellen released her right in half the manor with the feudal adjuncts which her ancestors had held of Alexander's ancestors, including the service of Adam Francis of 1 oxgang of land; ibid. iv, K 9; K 14. Ellen had brought a plea of novel disseisin against Alexander at the assizes at Lancaster in 1284; Lancs. Assize R. (Rec. Soc. xlix), 187; Assize R. 1268, m. 12 d. Alexander also acquired from Adam son of Robert de Cuerdale an eighth part of the manorial mill; from Roger son of Henry son of Baye his right in the vill and wastes, saving the right to common of pasture and turbary which Alexander had demised to his other free tenants; Kuerden MSS. K 8; from Richard son of Henry de Cuerdale lands and the sixteenth part of the mill; ibid.; and divers other lands from other persons.

12 Ibid. K 9.

13 De Lacy Compotus (Chet. Soc.), ii, 107; Inq. p.m. 4 Edw. II, no. 51.

14 Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 41. On 17 Oct. 1321, at Balderston, he settled his lands in Balderston upon Richard de Balderston and Alice his wife, sister of the grantor.

15 Lansdowne Feodary in Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1870), ii, 692, correcting the date.

16 Kuerden MSS. ii, 257b end; Inq. p.m. 4 Edw. II, no. 51.

17 Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 112, 149.

18 Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 75. The heir of Geoffrey de Cuerdale paid 40d. for respite of his suit at Clitheroe Court in Dec. 1323; Court R. (Rec. Soc. xli), 52. He had a daughter Joan who as Joan daughter of Geoffrey de Cuerdale in 1377–8 released to Thomas Molyneux and Joan his wife her right in the manor and family estates; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1532.

19 Add. MS. 10374, fol. 142; Whitaker, Whalley (ed. 1876), ii, 335.

20 There were legal proceedings long protracted between the husbands of Alice and Dionisia, the respective widows; Geoffrey and John de Cuerdale, and the husbands of Alice and Joan, daughters and co-heirs of John de Cuerdale, before their respective dowers and pourparties were settled; De Banco R. 347 (Trin. term, 1346), m. 226 d.; 349, m. 355 d.; 353, m. 379 d.; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 3 (1), m. 2 d. The final settlements were embodied in fines levied in 1353 and recorded in 1356; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 135, 148.

The Abbot of Whalley had licence to acquire lands here in 1346; Cal. Pat. 1345–8, p. 192. In the inquiry taken before licence was granted Alice and Joan were stated to hold the manor of Cuerdale of Isabella Queen of England by suit to the three weeks court of Clitheroe. They were at the time unmarried; Inq. a.q.d. file 281, no. 29 (20 Edw. III). An interesting and detailed description of the lands acquired by Whalley is given in Add. MS. 10374, fol. 142, and in Whalley Couch. (Chet. Soc.), iv, 1139– 43.

21 Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 31.

22 Kuerden MSS. iv, K 9, no. 77. In 1350 Thomas son of Thomas Molyneux was indicted of the slaying of Adam son of Nicholas son of Geoffrey of Preston the previous year. Ellen Hobbedoghtre of Cuerdale had received him into her house after the deed; Assize R. 443, m. 3. He was probably acquitted.

23 Lay Subs. Lancs. bdle. 130, no. 28. There were twenty-four other contributors, all husbandmen or labourers, including a spenser, 'coke,' potter, ferryman, wright and 'cariour.'

24 Cal. Pat. 1377–81, p. 505; 1385–9, p. 156.

25 Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 31.

26 Cuerdale D. Kuerden MSS. iv, K 9; ii, fol. 256.

27 Kuerden has preserved an abstract of his will in which he leaves his lands to his wife Joan for life, remainder to 'Thomelyn Molinex Richardson my brother' in tail-male, remainder to 'Thomelyn Gefreson of Osbaldeston' in tail-male with successive remainders to Thomas' brothers John and Richard; Harwod he bequeathed to 'John Jefrayson of Osbaldeston'; Thalwons in Over Darwen and Northbroc in Walton-on-theHill and other lands to other relatives; ii, fol. 256b; iv, K 9. There is no record of any claim having been made to the manor by the next of kin of Joan de Cuerdale, but it is significant that in 1433 and 1434 Geoffrey Osbaldeston obtained releases from John son and heir of John Cuerdale and from Christopher Marsden, late of Swinden, in Great Marsden, of all their rights in the manor and other tenements here; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1503, 1516.

28 Ibid. OO, no. 1547.

29 Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 108; Duchy of Lanc. various Inq. p.m. In the inquest taken after the death of Edward Osbaldeston in 33 Eliz. he is stated to have held the manors of Cuerdale and Over Darwen of Thomas Langton, esq., in socage by fealty and a yearly rent of 9s.; ibid. xv, 40.

30 Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 313, m. 9 d.; 326, m. 17; Feet of F. bdle. 84, no. 13. Described as the manor of C. a water-mill, a fulling mill, 20 messuages, of land, meadow and pasture, of wood, heath and moss, and a free fishery in the Ribble and Darwen. In 1650 Elizabeth widow of Radcliffe Assheton of Cuerdale begged for the discharge of half a messuage here which her husband had leased for ninety-nine years or three lives to Edward Thornley and Robert and Thomas his sons, which had been sequestrated for the delinquency of Jane widow of Robert Thornley; Cal. Com. for Comp. 2413.

At this time the free rent, formerly 10s., amounted only to 1s. 8d., which Richard Assheton paid in 1662 'for his demesnes at Cuerdall'; MS. penes W. Farrer.

31 Lay Subs. Lancs. bdle. 250, no. 9.

32 Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 3 (1), m. 4 d.

33 Kuerden MSS. iv, K 9; Assize R. 435, m. 32 d. In 1345 John Hare of Cuerdale and Diota relict of John de Cuerdale were charged with assaulting William de Longlegh; De Banco R. 345, m. 95 d.

34 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvi, 52. In 1668–9 John Woodroffe of Waltonle-Dale made complaint as to certain lands in Cuerdale and Walton and a burgage in Clitheroe which had been held by Robert Woodroffe forty-three years previously. Plaintiff was son of Christopher son of John Woodroffe, cousin-german and heir of the said Robert. The defendants were Richard Woodroffe of Wheelton (brother of plaintiff) and Robert Woodroffe of Samlesbury; Croxteth D.

35 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxii, no. 40 (Rec. Soc. xvi, 154).

36 Lancs. Lay Subs. bdle. 131, no. 317.

From: 'Townships: Cuerdale', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6 (1911), pp. 300-03. URL: Date accessed: 04 June 2007.


Further reading

The Treasure of Consanguinity Author: Ward Curedale 2006 ISBN I 876763 84 1

External links

A descendant from a cabin passenger on the Nile has provided two transcripts of personal letters written by Mathew Hale, the Bishop of Perth (Australia). Janice Hayes's transcripts give readers a different impression of convict behaviour at sea. In letters written from Bahia, Brazil on November 3 and later while approaching the coast of Western Australia on January 1, Bishop Hale described periods of convict unrest on board before he joined the Nile in Plymouth and in the months that followed.

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