Local Visits: ‘Singleton Thorpe’

Visit Date:                       03 June 2014
Place Visited:                 Rossall Point for Singleton Thorpe
When was it built?              Not known
For what purpose was it built?      Fishing, arable & pastoral farming

Interesting Facts:

  • Singleton Thorpe was a village about 2 mile off the present coast line of Cleveleys (or as it was known then, Ritherham), although its exact location or even existence has been debated since Thornber reported the hearsay location of the village in 1837.
  • Porter in 1876, appears to simply refer to the earlier text in terms of ‘history’ ‘reputed’, ‘reasonable probability’ however, no real evidence
  • In 1554 the village or hamlet was inundated during a major storm. The very few survivors were said to have relocated inland to the present day Singleton.
  • 1877 C. E. de Rance went looking for the remains of Singleton Thorpe and recorded finding horse troughs and shippons full of sea water in the sand
  • 1893 Alfred Halstead published a booklet entitled ‘Singleton Thorpe: Discovery of Remains’ which followed his own expedition in search of the ruins. He found large joist or rafter timbers.  Several years later Halstead returned accompanied by Mr Pearson, Ben Bowman, J. Whiteside and a number of labourers, carts and equipment. They claimed to have taken away, a door post, a lintel and several other artifacts.
  • Whilst recent aerial photo’s show the remains of what have been described as ‘petrified tree stumps’, there has been no evidence of the village, nor the often recalled ‘cobbled’ route to the village.
  • Singleton Thorp was one of two villages thought to have been lost to the sea, the other was Waddum Thorpe, situated off Squires Gate, South Shore. Although linkage has been made with ‘Kilgrimol’ in St Annes, there is likely to be no association, all the researched evidence puts Kilgrimol sited at or near ‘Cross Slack’, now part of St Annes Old Links Golf Course. Kilgrimol seems to have been some sort of ‘Oratory’ or Chapel and graveyard.
  • There are casual ‘web’ references to Boat trips to see the ruins from Cleveleys, although these were probably entrepreneurial opportunities. Any ruins would only be visible in the mud at very low tides. (Reference during the visit to ‘Neap’ tides to view the ruins would have been false since Neap Tides are those when there is little difference between low and high tide.)

Sources & Further Info
wyrearchaeology.blogspot.com/2008/05/legend-of-singleton-thorpe.html
http://fyldeantiquarian.freeforums.org/singleton-thorpe-and-other-things-t284.html
http://www.visitcleveleys.co.uk/about/history/petrified-forest.php
http://wyrearchaeology.blogspot.co.uk/2007/07/legend-of-kilgrimol-part-one.html
http://www.amounderness.co.uk/kilgrimol_and_cross_slack.html

MPC
03/06/2014

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2 thoughts on “Local Visits: ‘Singleton Thorpe’

  1. Contribution from Andy Ball:
    Singleton Thorpe. The chap ( Crown51 ) who refers to the boat trips to see the ruins of Singleton Thorpe , well Crown51 is me 🙂 And the bloke who remembers the boat trips is Jim Battersby who lives in Thornton , he`s a lecturer at Preston Uni , or was when I wrote about it . His family owned or worked on a cafe that was built into the bathing station at the top of Beach road near the diving board that was . He swears blind when he was a kid and his parents worked the cafe , there were advertising boards on Cleveleys prom offering to show people the ruins of Singleton Thorpe . Now since i wrote about it in 2009 , I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that Singleton Thorpe never existed in the first place . So the advertising boards were a 1950s Cleveleys entrepreneur / business man`s way of making a few quid . I’ve searched weather records going back to the 1550s and before and after and there was no massive storm , a tsunami was even mentioned , but again there is nothing in the records . Another conclusion that has been reached is that there are no paper records of any disaster having happened and surely (were only talking 500 years or so ago ) the churches at Poulton, Bispham, St Michael’s, Churchtown and others were all well established by the 1550s, so surely a village disappearing on your doorstep would lead to a massive fundraising effort to help the poor local citizens who had lost their homes in such tragic circumstances .

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  2. Contribution from Nick Moore:
    Singleton Thorpe: Another great flood is said to have destroyed a village – possibly called Singleton Thorpe – and Gingle Hall (although Gingle Hall is listed in a gazetteer dated 1808 as being 5 miles north-east of Preston – it is now known as Chingle Hall). Most of the inhabitants were supposed to have escaped, and moved inland to settle in ancient Singleton Village.

    Pennystone Rock and the Carlin Stones: These boulders are said to be relics of the lost village, and Pennystone may even be the site of the Pennystone Inn, where the landlord “Thrifty Jack” sold his famous “penny pots” of local brew. Porter, in his 1857 book says “In olden time Penny Stone stood in the midst of a green plain, on which was a public inn, and that while the traveller was refreshing himself inside with a penny pot of ale, the bridle of his horse was attached to it by a ring. Hence originated the name of Penny Stone, from the price of a penny per pot being paid for the liquor”.

    It is worth noting that there is NO mention of any place called Singleton Thorpe anywhere apart from in statements by Dodsworth, Thornber, and Porter.
    There is also NO official record of any extraordinary weather in the area for several years either side of the “event”.

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