Walton le Dale, Lancashire Genealogy

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Walton le Dale St Leonard

Chapelry History

Walton le Dale St Leonard was a chapel of ease from ancient times, created by 1609 from and lying within the boundaries of Blackburn St Mary, Lancashire Ancient Parish. Other places in the parish include: Higher Walton and Cuerdale.

The Romans built a working fort at the junction of the River Darwen and River Ribble at Walton-le-Dale. This fort was named Belisama.

The church of St Leonard, situated on an eminence to the east of the town, was originally erected in the 11th century. The earliest portions of the present building are the Perpendicular chancel and tower, the nave having been rebuilt in 1798, while the transepts were erected in 1816.

There are a number of interesting old brasses and monuments.

Cotton-spinning is carried on, and there are market gardens in the vicinity. Roman remains have been found here, and there was perhaps a roadside post on the site.

The manor of Walton was granted by Henry de Lacy c.1130 to Robert Banastre. It afterwards passed by marriage as the Manor of Walton le Dale to the Langtons and later to the Hoghtons of Hoghton who held the manor as mesne lord.

The Lord of the Manor in 1601 was Robert Pilkington of Rivington who also held the Manor of Rivington. On the death of Robert Pilkington the manor was held of an overlord, Thomas Langton Knt. The manor of Walton le Dale is mentioned in the Inquisition Post Mortem of Robert Pilkington 12 March 1610 as passing to Richard Hutton, Thomas Tydesley and Katherine Pilkngton who were seized of the reversion of the manor by Roberts will on his death in 1605.

Walton was the principal scene of the Battle of Preston, fought on 17 August 1648 between Cromwell and the Duke of Hamilton.

In 1701 the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Derwentwater and other Jacobites incorporated the town by the style of the mayor and corporation of the ancient borough of Walton.

In 1715, during the second Battle of Preston, the bridge over the River Ribble was successfully defended against the Jacobites by Parson Wood and his parishioners of Chowbent.

Close to Walton-le-Dale on the River Ribble in 1840 at Cuerdale workmen found the Cuerdale Hoard, the largest Viking treasure discovered in Western Europe.

The Diocese of Blackburn is a Church of England diocese, covering much of Lancashire, created in 1926 from part of the Diocese of Manchester. The Diocese includes the towns of Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, and the cities of Lancaster, and Preston, as well as a large part of the Ribble Valley.

WALTON-LE-DALE, a township and chapelry, in the parish, and Lower division of the hundred, of Blackburn, union of Preston, N. division of Lancashire, 2 miles southeast of Preston. The eminence on which the chapel is built. The chapel, dedicated to St. Leonard" and was built by the year 1609.[1]


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Online index of Lancashire Births, Marriages and Deaths Lancashire BMD

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/

Church records

Online Records

Church of England

Walton le Dale chapelry's registers of christenings, marriages and burials, along with those of the ancient parish of Blackburn to which it is attached, have been mostly transcribed and are displayed online at the following web sites and ranges of years:

AC = Ancestry.co.uk (£)
FMP = FindMyPast.co.uk (£)
FREG = FreeReg
FS = FamilySearch.org
JOIN = Joiner's Marriage Index (£)
LBMD = LancashireBMD.org.uk
LOPC = Lancashire Online Parish Clerk

WALTON-LE-DALE ST LEONARD Chapelry  (1609) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1609-1854, 1872-1889 1609-1637, 1654-1848 1809-1894
LOPC 1751-1760, 1807-1831, 1839-1854, 1871-1900 1751-1760, 1807-1812, 1815-1848 1751-1760, 1807-1812, 1815-1889
LBMD 1837-1974 None 1837-1974
JOIN 1813-1830
AC 1609-1812 1609-1812 1609-1812
BLACKBURN ST MARY THE VIRGIN PARISH (1600) Indexes (ancient parish containing WALTON-LE-DALE ST LEONARD Chapelry)
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1600-1910 1600-1704, 1720-1900 1720-1900
LOPC 1600-1611, 1614-1628, 1653-1848, 1854-1881 1600-1680, 1698-1705, 1722-1900 1651-1652, 1746-1900
LBMD 1837-1885 1837-1957 1837-1885
FMP None 1600-1705 None
AC 1600-1660 1600-1660 1600-1660

For a full list of all those chapels surrounding Walton le Dale and comprising the whole ancient parish of Blackburn to which it was attached, be certain to see "Church Records" on the BLACKBURN ST MARY PARISH page.

Census records

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.

Poor Law Unions

Preston Poor Law Union, Lancashire

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lancashire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Web sites


  1. A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 453-457. Adapted. Date accessed: 03 August 2010.