The Chapel as it stands from the Gateway entrance
As a follow up from my previous blog "A little bit of local history.." I bring to you the sequel, "A little bit more local history..". Following suit from my first entry the information and pictures where compiled from the surrounding areas of my home town Maghull. All the places described are not technically in Maghull as they are taken from the neighbouring town of Lydiate however frankly it is close enough.
Firstly I want to give you some information on one of Lydiates' main cultural and historical assets. Lydiate Abbey as it is known locally, or St Catherine's Chapel, stands in the heart of Lydiate. Lydiate, along with Maghull is featured in the Domesday Book, the 1086 survey of England executed by William I (William the Conqueror).
You can visibly see that there are no windows on the opposing wall
Lydiate and it's surrounding towns are very rural and all can be found in the Domesday with pre-adaptations of their current names. The name Lydiate stems from the Old English word "Hlid-geat" meaning "Swing-Gate" which potentially ties together with farming of animals and similar activity. The abbey is linked closely to the Ireland family who were very influencial to the area around the 15th Century. Lawrence Ireland built nearby Lydiate Hall sometime around 1470 and the chapel seems to date around the same time period. The initials of Lawrence Ireland and his wife can be found located in the porch of the chapel. It is alleged the the abbey was abandoned when the practice of Catholisism was prohibited under the rule of Henry VIII in the 16th Century.
Legend has it that an underground tunnel exists from the Chapel to the nearby Hall and also to the public house some 300 yards away in order to allow the monks to obtain a port of access and escape although there is no documented evidence confirming this. The northern wall of the chapel has no windows which is said to prevent too much light however the lack of access to money during the time seems to be more plausible reasoning.
Secondly I would like to focus on the Scotch Piper Inn which is the afore mentioned public house. The pub is the oldest in the historic county of Lancashire. The premises itself is captivating. It dates back to the year 1320 and is a Grade II listed building which makes it a"particularly important building of more than special interest".
The Scotch Piper on "Biker Wednesday"
The original name of the pub was The Royal Oak however certain stories give indication for the name the Scotch Piper. It is believed that the association with a "Scotch Piper" is related to that of the march of Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart). Bonnie Prince Charlie was an exciled Jacobite to the thrones of Great Britain and Ireland. It is said that the prince lead an army out of Scotland to ensue battle and subsequently regain his birthright to the thrown. He is only believed to have reached as far as Derbyshire were he was stopped in his tracks. The Royal Oak was believed to have been en route either to or from the battle where the troops would have stopped to be watered. The landlords daughter is said to have had "her heart won" by one of his men who subsequently settled in the area. The name "The Scotch Piper" is said to pledge tribute to this chain of events.
In modern years the Scotch Piper has become a huge favourite amongst the biking community. Every Wednesday sees a plentiful amount of budding bikers congregating in the pub's facinity. Maybe in years to come biking will add to the folklore.