Recollections of a Moorland Lad

by Richard Robinson

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Withnell Moor in Lancashire appears a lonely wilderness today, to be enjoyed by walkers and wildlife. But only 120 years ago, it was a thriving community and where today piles of moss-covered stones scatter the land, there once stood farms and cottages, green pastures and meadows, all thronging with families who lived, worked and played there.

Botany Bay Farm once stood where the tree on the jacket of this book now marks the spot, and here lived the author of this book, stonemason Richard Robinson (1883-1963) one of a large family, and this is his account of his life and times on the moor. He writes of his schooling, his childhood games, his first incredulous visit to Blackburn. He recalls the mills and the millworkers, the local customs and trades, and the characters and travelling salesmen who worked on the moors.

Richard Robinson began work at Marriage & Pinnocks Mill, Withnell, at the age of 11, before becoming a local stonemason. A keen amateur historian, his unique first-hand account of a moorland life now gone forever, is a remarkable and important insight into a lost era.


75 Black & white photographs


Sep 01, 2016


About the Author:

Richard Robinson was brought up by his grandparents at Botany Bay Farm, on the Withnell Moorlands, where he spent the first 19 years of his life.

He served his apprenticeship as a stonemason and worked on Blackburn Cathedral and the building of Darwen Tower. He left the district in 1902 and enlisted in the King's Shropshire Light Infantry Regiment.

After the war he returned to Withnell carrying on his trade as stonemason, working mainly in the locality, into his 70s.

A keen amateur local historian, he died at his home in Brinscall on 12 June 1963.


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