Naze Farm





As you look up towards Inchfield Moor from Bacup Road at Gauxholme, there is no evidence to be seen of the farm that once existed there. Only by walking up the steep and winding pack horse track do you eventually reach a spot, right on the edge of the moor, where piles of stones lie in a jumbled heap. They are the remains of Naze Farm which stood on this track, high up above the valley floor, and which linked all the other farms in the area, before it eventually dropped down again into Walsden at Ramsden Wood.


Naze Farm 2004


A more inaccessible place would be hard to find and even today it can only be reached on foot by way of this track. Evidence of its steepness can be imagined from an incident in 1899, when two horses, pulling a cart full of stone up the steep incline, slipped and fell over the edge. The shaft horse managed to survive but the other one was killed.

The track up to the farm is so steep that it wa a popular place for motorbike scrambling, witnessed by this photograph.

The inhabitants of this farm would have had the most spectacular views, but this would not be of much comfort, whilst working in the harsh, unforgiving winter of an isolated hill top farm.

The photo shows the view from Naze overlooking Gauxholme

The living must have been tremendously hard, especially in winter, and to get to church on a Sunday, would have been a particularly difficult task, but one that was no doubt undertaken gladly, as it would have been a chance for a social gathering and exchange of news, as well as attending Sunday service. In 1775, 3 pews were allotted to Naze in St. Mary's Church.
In the past it was the home of several different families and the names of these will be familiar to anyone researching the area. Records from the early 1700's up until the middle 1800's, show that it has been occupied variously by the following families:   Crowther, Farrar, Haigh, Stansfield, Woodhead, Scholfield, Howarth and Greenwood. No doubt some of these families intermarried and all lived together.
In 1841, John Greenwood was a farmer at Naze and he and his daughter were also calico weavers for the Fielden brothers of Waterside Mill. According to the 1843 Land Survey, Naze had just over 9 acres. It was common practice to subsidise the farming side by also working at home, weaving for the mills. It meant a bit more money for the family to make life a little more tolerable. By 1881, the farm was no longer being worked and had passed out of local hands. A man by the name of Longthorne, from Hebden Bridge, and his wife who came from Haslingden, were residents. He worked at the coal mine and his daughters worked at the cotton mill. His sons all followed his lead, with jobs in the mines. Industry had taken over from farming.
And now it stands in ruins, with tales that could be told if only stones could speak. What harsh stories they would tell of desperate families eking out a harsh living from the land and surviving as best they could. No doubt there would have been happy times at weddings and christenings and unlike today, they took pleasure from the simple things in life.

George Mitchell with his wife Christiana at Naze

In very recent times, a local man wishes to restore the ruin to its original form. As may be expected, he is experiencing problems with the local planning officials, due mainly to the lack of vehical access. His grandfather, George Mitchell, purchased Naze in 1935 for the princely sum of £150. His father grew up in this isolated spot, living there until he joined the Navy for the Second World War at the age of 16.

The above photo was kindly sent in by George's great grandson, Chris Wadsworth. He tells a story of his great grandmother, Chrissie:

"My Great gran Chrissie had a grand pair of brass candlesticks which she polished every week. One week she got fed up of cleaning them and threw them out of the kitchen window. Slowly week by week they got covered with soil. When my great gran told me the story of her candlesticks my next birthday present was a metal detector. I was only young but raced up Naze to find the afore mentioned sticks. Hours I spent, I even got her to draw a map but to no avail. There is a midden (old rubbish dump) half way up the Naze track on the left, which I dug but found nothing only old bottles and shoes."


There is another tale about Naze Farm and the beginnings of the Haigh family, but to read more of this fascinating tale, you will have to look at the link below.