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Rivington & Blackrod 

High School

Arms of Rivington & Blackrod School

Rivington & Blackrod High School is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled Comprehensive school.

The School Badge

The right of the School badge represents the arms of Jacobus Pilkinton (James Pilkington), Bishop of Durham and Horwich Coat of Arms incorporates the cross being the emblem of Pilkington Family.  

James Pilkinton, Bishop of Durham Arms granted by Sir Gilbert Dethick, Garter 1551. Argent a cross patonce voided gules, on a chief vert three suns. No crescent.

Earliest Pilkington Seal

The seal of Alexander Pilkington shows a Squirrel between branches, replaced by the Mower later situated above the Shield of a Cross dated 1290.  

Lancaster Castle

At Lancaster Castle the Pilkington Cross is in displayed within the Heraldry Shields of the High Sheriffs of Lancashire. The cross is within the seal of 1290 of Alexander Pilkington of Pilkington (b.1225 to d.1291) The Seal of Sir Roger Pylkynton displays the cross with a Squirrel above on an Indenture of 1306. 

The Pilkington Knights fought in the War of the Roses and in the 14th century were High Sheriffs of Lancaster. Their Pilkington relatives include the Sheriff of Nottingham. A highly influential family.

Bosworth Field

 In 1485 after Bosworth field Sir Thomas Pilkington of Pilkington lost his estates by Royal Attainer to the Stanley's in 1489, who received the title 'Earl of Derby'. Sir Thomas Pilkington was granted Royal pardon in 1508.

It is around this period and during the later Civil War the ancestry is difficult to trace. Richard Pilkington is known by both his arms and through local history as the second son, the only other Pilkington's living in the same period as Richard, husband to Alice Asshawe were Hugh Pilkington of Anglezark and also a James Pilkington, again of Anglezark. Anglezark was held by the Earl of Derby and Earl of Cumberland until 1587, land taken from the Pilkington Knights after Bosworth field in 1485. From documents and records seen it can be deduced that Hugh is the elder brother of Richard Pilkington, therefore there exists an elder line from the Knights branch. The descendants can be seen to have continued to reside within the area. At the time of the Civil war it is noted a Hugh Pilkington of Coppull had his lands seized by Parliament after supporting King Charles I.

Manor of Rivington By Marriage

Alice Asshaw (Shaw)

The Rivington Estate came into Pilkyngton ownership by marriage of Richard Pilkyngton born 1486, he died 1551 age 65 and had married to the Alice Asshaw (Shaw) in c.1504 the daughter of Lawrence Asshaw of Hall O'th Hill, Heath Charnock Alice Asshaw (Shaw) and died in 1565. Alice Asshawe had two brothers called Roger and Lawrence. Within an indenture (B. No. 64) agreement between Richard Pilkington, son and heir of Robert Pilkington, shall marry Alice daughter of Lawrence Asshawe dated 31st October 20th year of Henry VII (1504) Roger Asshawe is stated as being son and heir to Lawrence Asshawe, Thomas Asshawe, son and heir of Jane Hulton and Roger, married Mary, daughter of James Anderton of Euxton, and Anne Asshawe was the only child of this marriage. Roger Asshaw of Hill is recorded on a deed of 1529

.The current Hall O'th Hill was built in 1724 by Thos. Wilkin M.P for Wigan, on the site of the old Asshaw residence. There is a ruined farm located in the grounds (noted by Thomas Hampson in his book, 'History of Rivington', 1893) the farm is considered what is left of the ancestral home. Its majestic structure being lost over the centuries

Junior Pilkyngton Coat of Arms

Richard Pilkyngton's arms shows the Pilkington Cross, which we can trace to the Knight's and appears in 1290. Richard's own arms are noted as showing a crescent, this tells us that Richard, the Bishop's father was a younger son. (By 1485/87 the senior lands were lost) The Pilkington family had been very powerful until Henry VII. After this the survivors took back to their roots as is seen in the Mower on the arms.

The School Coat of Arms

At the top of the School Coat of Arms is the Mower.  The mower is also seen on the Sign of the Man and Scythe at Churchgate, Bolton. This emblem originally is divided in half vertically the right hand side white, the left black, silver scythe the handle coloured red with Mower standing on a black and white wreath. 

It should be noted that the Stanley's,  Earls of Derby and Pilkington's fought on the same side many times. The Pilkington Knights fought for Richard III in 1485 and the Stanley's opposed Richard III and fought for Henry VII. However the Stanley's later joined with the Pilkington's in 1487 to depose Henry VII in favour of the House of York. 

The Mower

The Mower  is first seen in a seal appended to a deed dated 10th September 1424 in which Sir John Pilkington (1394 to 1451) who had married Elizabeth Trafford in 1435 on a deed granting land in Shipwalbothums in Bury to Geoffrey, son of John De Holt. On this seal the letter J appears between the Scythe blade and handle and the Mower stands on a Helmet with the family name Pilkington above. (British Library)

Other Adoptions of The Mower

The mower can also be found similar in style within the seals of Trafford (1533), Ashton of Middleton (1533) and Assheton of Great Lever (1613) Adoption of the Pilkington Mower maybe by Marriage.

Rivington Pilkington Family

On top of the School Coat of Arms sits the the Mower, Scythe in reverse. It is the emblem of the Pilkington, Rivington branch. The Pilkington motto 'Now Thus, Now Thus' an Elizabethan addition. The routes are indicating they were Yeoman  turn Soldier, and shows association with the Church. 

The House System

A tradition from the early 20th century is the division of Pupils into Houses who's names reflect the founders Pilkington, Holmes (Pilkington founded Rivington and Homes founded Blackrod) and Queens. The Houses compete in sports for  Trophies and the House Challenge Shield started 1910 bearing the Bishops Mitre and school motto. The Shield itself was filled and now has a plaque  with the names of later winners of the award. 

The Pilkington painting

A copy of the Pilkington Picture (35 by 53 inches) is in the Anglican Chapel at Rivington and Blackrod High School.. This was one of the alter pieces at the Church. The original was given to the School by Jacobus Pilkinton. The painting was on wood. In 1708 School accounts record Mr. Hide restored the painting and the School paid the bill.  In 1834 a fire occurred at Rivington Church and the painting was scorched. It is the later copy we see and it does have errors, most likely as the original was dark with age. The Bishop lived away from his family, he is depicted on the right of the painting. In 2003 Genealogy is now much assisted using Information Technology. 

Copy of Pilkington Painting

One of the Pilkington daughters had already made a copy and from this the painting was recreated. The original was moved to Rivington Hall then sold to Lord W.H Leverhulme by Col. Pilkington. 

Earliest Church Records

Some of the oldest records are bound with the early School Registers and are held at the records office. One of these includes a Christmas Day service held in Latin at the 13th Century Rivington Church. (Records held by LRO) The school registers date from 1615.

Grut Farm

Just before Lever Park Avenue joins Rivington Lane on the left after the River Douglas was Grut Farm. Grut farm was in existence during the fifteenth century, and probably earlier, as the rent from the farm in pre reformation days went towards the upkeep of a Chantry Chapel of St. Nicholas in Standish Parish Church. This Chantry was founded in the year 1479 by Alexander Fairclough, rector, and Robert Pilkington, chaplain, and six marks (80/-) of its annual income came from the rents of Higher Knoll, Lower Knoll, and Grut farms. Later some of the outbuildings of the farm were used as a warehouse by the Chapman who brought yarn to the handloom weavers of the district and collected the woven cloth from them. Grut Farms' location is given here in 1849.

Sandwiches and Milk From Grut Farm

During the early years of the Rivington and Blackrod School, day scholars who did not live nearby went to Grut Farm for Sandwiches and Milk, for lunch. Scholars traditionally walked to school past this farm. Today's School Pupil's walk past it location.

Pilkington Descendants Create Pilkington Glass

School Coat of ArmsRichard Pilkington (b.1628 d.1708) married Mary Hardman (b.1636 d.1672) estates were claimed by Richard Pilkington (b.1694 d.1786) husband of Elizabeth Brownlow (b.1723 d.1745) then Yeoman of Horwich claimed as inheritance the Hardman Estates including Allerton Hall as second cousin once removed of Richard (b.1628 d.1708). Descendants formed Pilkington Glass at St Helens. Diaries are located at LRO. Another branch attended Bank Street Chapel, Bolton. The Pilkington Glassworks Branch despite all odds stacked against them were able to make a success of the British Glass Industry.

Richard Pilkington Junior of Horwich

Richard Pilkington junior was highly involved in providing endowments for the Non Conformist Chapel at New Chapel (Pilkington and Morris endowment Charity 1832.) His father, prominent in Horwich History served on the board of Governors at Rivington Grammar School. The Pilkington Family of Carrick remained holded of fee simple of Halliwell at this same period