Tockholes history


Tockholes lies three miles south of Blackburn on the edge of Darwen Moor. The village is triangular in shape, bounded on the east by Earnsdale Brook and on the west by the River Roddlesworth. In all it covers about 2000 acres. The shape and character of the village have changed little in the past 1000 years.

Tockholes usually hits the headlines of the local papers each winter as the altitude and exposed situation of the village result in it being cut off by snow drifts. Consequently the original settlement and most of the older houses are to be found in lower, more sheltered locations, away from the 'top road'. In fact, of the 24 'listed buildings' in Tockholes only two are visible from the 'top road' through the village. 

The name Tockholes has been spelt in a variety of different ways over the centuries - Tockolis, Thocol, Tokhol. One of the earliest spellings 'Tokholes', on a document dating from 1227 is very similar to the present form. Various suggestions have been put forward as to the origin of the name. It is now generally thought that the name comes from 'Toka's hol' - a person named Toka who settled in a 'hol' or hollow. This would take the name back to the ninth or tenth centuries when the Danes raided the old kingdom of Northumbria (which included the present day Lancashire).

The solid stone built cottages and farmhouses date mainly from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There are some larger late seventeenth century yeomans houses.

In 1801 the population was 758. This rose steadily until it reached 1269 twenty years later. Thereafter the population began to decline, by 1881 it had fallen to 484 . At that time the village consisted of 121 cottages, 51 farmhouses,  3 public houses, 2 beershops and a mill.