Waddington is a beautiful, small rural village situated to the north east of Clitheroe. It is the seat of the Waddington Family, who have lived in Lancashire since at least the sixteenth century.
Although now in Lancashire, Waddington itself was actually just across the county border in Yorkshire up until 1974.
The following extract relating to Waddington is taken from An Illustrated Itinerary of the County of Lancaster, published in 1842:
"Two short miles brought us to Waddington. It is a neat, white looking village, with a clear rivulet running through it, over which is a small picturesque bridge, with an old house or two near it, combining to make a scene we thought worth sketching.
Our arrival in this place produced a suspension, not of hostilities, but of labour. The appearance of two well-dressed strangers in a chaise was evidently no every-day event. The smith ceased his heavy blows, leaned on his sledge-hammer, and surveyed us and our proceedings narrowly; a farmer's man who wished to have his horse shod, stopped in the midst while unharnessing the animal, and fairly gaped in staring; the village barber hastened to the smithy, and began to talk most glibly; three or four clodhopper boys stood with their hands in their pockets, eagerly bending forward to catch the conversation. A chandler's shop higher up the street was the meeting-place of some half-dozen village gossips, who soon gathered together, some with children in their arms at their side, and all without covering for the head or shoulders. And along both sides of the village, doors were opening, or eyes straining through the casement. We meanwhile quietly pursued our course; here asking a question, there contemplating an object; in a third place taking a sketch, and in the fourth consulting about future operations. But surely ours was enviable popularity, if there is any sense in the Roman's preference, that he would rather be the first man in a village than the second man in Rome! After all, the wisdom was perhaps not all on our side; for we know not that we could charge the simple-minded villagers with folly, if they chanced to wonder what sufficient reason there was for such a visit to their poor, humble, and secluded spot.
Just beyond the bridge is an enclosure of almshouses, entered by a good archway, bearing an inscription to the effect that the "hospital" was built and endowed in the year 1700 by Robert Parker of Mosley Hall, Yorkshire, for reception of poor widows. They consist of twenty-seven small but comfortable dwellings, with a large garden in front, and a chapel in the centre, where "prayers are read by Mr. Pearson, who lives in the village." At present there are twenty-three widows dwelling in the place, one is absent from illness. The widows assist each other in sickness. They are divided into two classes: one class receives 10/-. a-year, the other 18/-. It would be difficult for anyone view the place, marking the neatness and propriety which reign there, and the kind of inmates which it has, without gratefully admitting that Mr. Parker had made a wise as well as a benevolent use of his superfluity in founding this pious retreat."
Waddington Hall is famous for its link with Henry VI, who was held there following his capture in 1464.
Further information about Waddington is contained in the following extract from The Rambler, a Record Of Ramble, Historical Facts, Legends, 1905, by J.T. Fielding:
"Then we pass into the open air, and proceed with our perambulations of the village of Waddington.
The village of Waddington is named after the great chief, Wada, who was a hero in Saxon times. Report saith that he was one of the combatants against Eardulph, King of Northumbria, in the Battle of Lango, in the year 798, and that he there suffered a great defeat, and immense numbers were slain on both sides. There is no doubt that a terrible battle was fought around Brockhall Farm, near Hacking Boat, as many remains have been unearthed, pointing to such conclusion.
It would be a gross mistake to visit Waddington, and omit the church. The tower, with the exception of a small portion at the opposite end adjoining the river, is. the only old portion standing. From all data at hand, the old church appears to have been erected in the reign of Henry VIII The other portions have lately been completely rebuilt and fitted with modern conveniences. Dedicated to St. Helen, the popular English saint, it bears the same name of dedication that may be observed in sixty or seventy other churches throughout the country.
Tradition would, no doubt, trace her popularity to the fact that she was a British princess. She was the mother of Constantine the Great, who was born at York, and accepted the Christian religion. Her memory is preserved in the stained window in the church tower. The tit-bit of the church however, lies in the tower window. The whole history of Waddington shines in the streaks of coloured light that filters through this aperture. The beautiful piece of workmanship was presented to the church by J. Waddington, Esq., the aforesaid owner of the adjacent hall. Its three panels hear record as follow: The centre one depicts the Patron Saint of the church, St. Helen. On the right, woven in the most fascinating blend of colour, the observer beholds a very suggestive picture of Henry VI. with his crown in his hand, ready to give it up at the calls of his victors. The panel to the left sets forth a warlike figure of Wada, the leader, A.D. 798. He is pictured in full war paint, and carries all weapons of his day. Stern of countenance, and strong of limb, the characteristics of a warrior bold have been forcefully portrayed in this splendid glassy memorial tablet."