Boardmans is a set of 17th century cottages on Hawkshaw Lane near Bury. Hawkshaw Lane used to be the main road from Hawkshaw to Haslingden and thus on to Burnley. At the end of the 18th century and into the beginning of the 19th century a number of Magnalls have lived at Boardmans and in a number of the other local cottages. Boardmans cottages have now been restored by Mrs Jan Barnes and her husband and are available to let. Jan was extremely helpful in our family history research when we visited the area which is quiet and ideal for gentle country walking. If you are interested in a holiday there she can be contacted on 01204 882844 or by email at is also a web page at though this does not seem to be available at the moment!

The earliest record of a Magnall in the Hawkshaw area that I have is in 1793 when John (KM028) and Betty (KM029) Magnall were living in Hawkshaw Lane with their son James and daughter Betty. A survey of the Township of Tottington Lower End of 1794 refers to a John Magnall renting (?) one cottage on Hawkshaw Lane. Various Magnalls, probably all descended from John and Betty, lived in the area until the late 1850s when they seemed to have mainly moved to Habergham Eaves and Burnley. The first reference I have of a Magnall living at Boardmans is in 1813 and the last reference is 1853 when Mary Ann (FM232), daughter of Thomas and Rachel was baptised.

Boardman’s Farm dates from about 1707 and is one of the oldest buildings in Hawkshaw. It was owned by the Bridge family in the early 1800s and the building has an inscription on it. One Joseph Bridge from Boardmans was transported to Australia in 1806 for passing forged one pound notes whilst on a pub crawl! The Bridge family sold Boardmans to Andrew Knowles in 1868. At this time Boardmans consisted of a farmhouse, outbuildings, stables, 13 cottages and a public house known as the Peels Arms. By 1974 when the present owners bought the properties the Peels Arms no longer had a licence and six of the cottages had “disappeared”! Boardmans was previously known as Hawkshaw Meadows, this name appearing on a rental from 1662. By 1750 it had gained the name Boardmans. Further details of the history of Boardmans is available from the present owners (see above).

I hope shortly to draw up a chart showing the movements of the Magnall family around the Hawkshaw area covering these dates. If you had ancestors living in the Hawkshaw area about the same time I would be interested in hearing from to compare notes and to see if any of our families are linked in any way.

Photo of the cottages at Boardmans 1998

[Last updated 11 Mar 2003]