infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 53.9147
longitude= -2.1895
official_name= Barnoldswick
population = 12,000
shire_district= Pendle
shire_county = Lancashire
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= Pendle
postcode_district = BB18
postcode_area= BB
dial_code= 01282
os_grid_reference= SD875465

static_image_caption=A view over Barnoldswick, towards Weets Hill

Barnoldswick (colloquially known as Barlick) is a town and civil parish within the West Craven area of the Pendle district of Lancashire, England just outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The town is built in the shadow of Weets Hill, and Stock Beck, a tributary of the River Ribble runs through the town.

Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and nestling on the lower slopes of Weets Hill in the Pennines astride the natural watershed between the Ribble and Aire valleys, Barnoldswick is the highest town on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal,Fact|date=April 2008 in-between Clitheroe in Lancashire and Skipton in North Yorkshire, and approximately 30 miles from the cities of Leeds, Manchester and Preston.

Barnoldswick is one of the longest place names in the United Kingdom without repeating any letters. Buckfastleigh in Devon is longer with 13 letters.


Barnoldswick dates back to Viking times. It was listed in Domesday Book as Bernulfsuuick, meaning Bernulf's Town (uuic being an archaic spelling of wick, meaning settlement). [ [ Barnoldswick History] ] [ [ Early History of Barnoldswick] ]

A Cistercian monastery was founded there in 1147 by monks from Fountains Abbey. However they left after six years, before construction was complete, driven out by crop failures and locals unhappy at their interference in the affairs of the local church. They went on to build Kirkstall Abbey. They returned after another ten years to build the isolated church of St Mary-le-Gill close to Barnoldswick to Thornton in Craven road.

For hundreds of years Barnoldswick remained a small village, however the arrival of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and later the (now closed) railway, spurred the development of the existing woolen industry, and helped it to become a major cotton town. The engine of the last mill, Bancroft Mill, has been preserved and is now open as a tourist attraction - a 600HP steam engine which still can operate. [ [ Bancroft Mill] ]


From 1899 until 1974, Barnoldswick lay within the administrative county of the West Riding of Yorkshire (although Blackburnshire in Lancashire sometimes claimed the area [ [ Monks' Lands at Barnoldswick] ] [ [ Local Area History] ] [ [ House of Kirkstall history] ] . More informally, post used to be addressed via Colne, Lancashire, to addresses in Barnoldswick - prior to 1974. Barnoldswick has had a Burnley telephone code even when it was in Yorkshire. Then, following the Local Government Act 1972, Barnoldswick and a number of surrounding Yorkshire villages, including Earby, Waddington and Gisburn, were transferred to the Pendle district of the Non-metropolitan county of Lancashire in 1974.

At present, Barnoldswick [ [ About Barnoldswick] ] has a Town Parish Council, which is part of the West Craven Area Committee on Pendle Borough Council. [ [ Barnoldswick Town Council] ] [ [ West Craven Committee (Pendle Borough Council)] ]

Local Media

Barnoldswick can only receive TV from Leeds; ITV (Yorkshire Television) and BBC North are both transmitted from the TV mast at East Marton, 3 miles north-east of Barnoldswick. [ [ Craven/Skipton Area TV Transmitter] ] TV transmissions from the North-West region BBC North West and ITV (Granada Television) are blocked by Weets Hill. Radio reception is also restricted in the town. There is a local low-power FM relay station, transmitting the four main BBC national radio stations (Radio 1 to 4), but no local stations. [ [ Local BBC FM Transmitter] ] Fresh Radio [ [ Fresh Radio Website] ] in Skipton claims to cover the area on AM – 1413 kHz.

The local press is published twice weekly; the Barnoldswick and Earby Times is published on Fridays and the Pendle Express is published on Tuesdays. The daily Lancashire Telegraph newspaper covers Barnoldswick in its Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale edition. Some of the Yorkshire press is circulated in the area, owing to both the geographical anomaly and the fact that many of the population still consider themselves "Yorkshire folk". The weekly, Skipton-based Craven Herald & Pioneer [] and the daily, Leeds-based Yorkshire Post newspapers are prominent.

Local Industry

Rolls Royce plc is a large employer based in the town. It was originally a Rover (car) plant that Rolls Royce purchased in 1943. [ [ North West Development Agency Press Release 2006] ] The model number of many Rolls Royce jet engines start with the initials RB (eg. RB199) which stands for Rolls Barnoldswick, as Rolls Royce aero's design centre is situated in Barnoldswick. [ [ LCC Lancashire Aerospace Heritage] ]

Besides Rolls Royce being a major employer based in the town, Silentnight, part of the Silentnight Group; which produces beds and mattresses at several sites across the UK, is also a large employer, with the head office and manufacturing premises in the town. [ [ Silentnight Group Website] ] [ [ Silentnight Beds Website] ]


Barnoldswick is served by four primary schools; Gisburn Road, Church School and Coates Lane are non-denominational schools, whilst St. Joseph's caters to the town's Catholic population. Most secondary age students attend West Craven High Technology College, a Technology specialist school situated in Barnoldswick itself, though a significant minority of students attend Fisher More RC School in Colne, and the Skipton Grammar Schools, Ermysted's and Skipton Girl's High School.


Barnoldswick is often cited as the largest town in the British Isles not to be served by any A-roads. However, in spite of this, road links to the town are comparatively good; easy access to the M65, A650 and A59 means that Manchester, Preston, Leeds, Bradford and York can all be reached in an hour by car.

Barnoldswick was formerly served by Barnoldswick railway station, the only station on the Midland Railway's branch line off the Skipton to Colne Line, though this was shut under the Beeching Axe in 1965. The pressure group Selrap is currently campaigning for the reopening of the Skipton to Colne line, and although their plans do not include the Barnoldswick Branch, rail travel to the town would be improved by such a reopening. At present, would-be rail passengers must travel via Colne for trains serving Lancashire, or via Skipton for trains serving North and West Yorkshire.

Public transport to the town is therefore restricted to buses. Pennine Motors [] services from Burnley to Skipton operate every hour, and there are three buses per hour operated by Burnley & Pendle to Colne, Nelson, Burnley and beyond. An infrequent (approx. 2-hourly) service to Clitheroe and Preston is operated by Lancashire United.

The nearest airports are Manchester (about 1¼ hours by car or about 3 hours by public transport) and Leeds Bradford (just over 1 hour by car or about 2 hours by public transport). []


External links

* [ Barnoldswick Town Council web-site]
* [ West Craven Online]
* [ The Leeds Liverpool canal at Barnoldswick]
* [ Stephen Taylforth's Homepage - with a large collection of photographs]
* [ One Guy from Barlick] , a local history site.
* [ Barnoldswick History Weblog]
* [ Barnoldswick at]
* [ Paul Kabrna's look at Barnoldswick]
* [ Unite Craven Campaign]
* [ Historic map of town] , provided by Lancashire County Council.
* [ My-Barlick web site of Trevor Ashby]

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