An interesting feature of the lease is the water supply to Oakenshaw works and Clayton Hall, the pipes for these showing on the plan:

"and also liberty for the said James Lomax and his assigns and the person or persons entitled in remainder or reversion as aforesaid and his and their agents servants and workmen at all times during the Term hereby granted to enter into and upon all or any part of the said premises hereby demised to remove relay and repair the pipes for conveying the Water from the Well shewn on the said plan to Clayton Hall aforesaid and to divert the Water from Harwood Brook through any part of the said premises to Oakenshaw."

It is not known when these pipes were first laid, but James Lomax reserved the right to repair them showing that they were still in use.

Water rights were extremely important and became increasingly so as industrialisation advanced, both for industrial use and for a clean source of drinking water, and landowners were careful to retain the right to available water when leases were made. The plan is a wonderful and clear example of this right being exercised for both purposes. It shows the line of pipes to direct clean water from a well to Clayton Hall, most probably for domestic use, and water from Harwood Brook (which would probably be contaminated to some degree by small scale industrialisation and also the output from dwellings along the course of the brook) being diverted to Oakenshaw Printworks.

By 1854 industrial activity in the areas bordering the Hyndburn had been taking place for almost 80 years, beginning with printworks (using dyes and bleaches) such as Church Bank (1772), Oakenshaw (1786) and Broad Oak in Accrington (1792). This industry and the growing settlements associated with them would have polluted the river making a source of pure water, both for manufacture and domestic use a valuable commodity.

It is a strong possibility that James Lomax, or his father, had reserved the water of the well for the Lomax family when they lived at Clayton Hall (rather than Allsprings) and may have sold the water from the relatively unpolluted Harwood Brook to Oakenshaw Printworks.


Line of pipes to Clayton Hall


Line of watercourse to Oakenshaw works


pipe line