WHO OWNED THE LAND?
The Manor of Great Harwood formed part of the holdings of the de Lacy family but in 1177 it was bequeathed to Richard de Fitton. In 1289 when William de Fitton died his lands were divided between his three daughters Matilda, Elizabeth and Annabel.
· Matilda, who was married to William de Hesketh, was given the Manor House of Martholme and the demesne land.
· Elizabeth and her husband Roger Nowell inherited the Netherton (Lower Town).
· Annabel and Edmund de Legh received the Overton (Upper Town)
When Edmund and Annabel de Legh sold their share of the manor to the Heskeths it meant that the Heskeths became Lords of the Manor as they now possessed two thirds of the manor.
Great Harwood belonged to these two families for nearly five hundred years until in the early 1770s Alexander Nowell was forced to start selling land to cover his debts. He died 1772 and the remainder of his lands were sold at auction in the following year when James Lomax was the buyer of nearly all of the Nowell land.
Sir Thomas Dalrymple Hesketh decided to sell his major part of the town in 1819, and once again it was a Lomax, Richard Grimshaw Lomax, who was the buyer. One man, the new Lord of the Manor, now owned nearly the entire town a state that had not existed since 1289.
James Lomax, builder of Our Lady and St. Hubert's Church, inherited the estate in 1849 to add to land he already owned in the town and continued to buy up any pieces of land the family didn't already own.
In 1886 Mrs. Helen Trappes and her niece Helen Mary Maxima Segar (later Mrs. Howell) inherited the Clayton Hall Estate including much of Great Harwood. In 1891 Mrs Helen Trappes (later Trappes-Lomax) inherited the Allsprings Estate which included almost all the rest of Great Harwood. The Clayton Hall Estate was auctioned in 1925 but some property did not reach its reserve, particularly the residential ground rents, and this was divided between Mrs. Howell and Richard Trappes-Lomax. The Allsprings Estate was retained by Richard Trappes-Lomax but further sales to cover death duties have reduced it to Ground Rents in Great Harwood.