White Coppice

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White Coppice is an attractive hamlet, a few miles out of Chorley, on the edge of the West Lancashire Moors. It was the start and end of my walk last Saturday.

There’s only a handful of stone cottages, located in two clusters a short distance apart. Some of them painted white, the origin of the hamlet’s name.

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Some of the cottages face on to what must be one of the most scenic cricket pitches in Lancashire, situated at the foot of Great Hill.

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Although a very pretty picturesque and desirable location, it’s origin was an an industrial settlement – originally lead mining and stone quarrying was carried out on the moors. Later it was the location of a cotton mill, originally powered by water from the lodges (small reservoirs) in the immediate vicinity, which were later used for the water supply for a steam engine.

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Today they’re used by fishermen.

Most of the houses standing today were built to house the mill workers. The mill was demolished many years ago and no traces of it remain.

White Coppice was the birthplace of a Nobel Laureate – Norman Howarth, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1937 for his work on synthesising Vitamin C – and Henry Tate, one of the founders of the Sugar giant, Tate and Lyle. An art collector, he donated his collection of 65 contemporary paintings to the nation which led to the founding of the Tate Gallery, which is named after him. Both of them were knighted. Not bad for a tiny Lancashire industrial settlement.

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