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Thursday, 18 April 2013

A-Z Challenge - P is for Poulton-le-Fylde - My Ancestral Home

 Join me on his A-Z journey  into  A SENSE OF PLACE where I reminiscence on places that are connected with my family history or are part of my own personal memories.

My Ancestral Home 

The small town of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire is at the heart of my Danson family history, with St. Chad’s Church at its focal point where Dansons were baptised, married and buried down the centuries from John Danson, christened there in 1739 to my own christening some 210 years later.

St. Chad's Church in photographs
taken by my uncle Harry Rawcliffe Danson

Poulton is a much older settlement than its more famous neighbour Blackpool.  The Doomsday Book of 1086 recorded three unmade churches in the Fylde, one thought to be St. Chad’s and the first documentary evidence comes from a deed of 1094.  Registers date from 1591 and the oldest part of the present church the Tower (left)  dates from before 1638. 

Reminders of the past are still visible in the  Market Square, with its market cross, stone slab for selling fish, whipping post, and stocks.


Here sitting  in the stocks is the only photograph I have of my great grandfather James Danson (1852-1906),  He is the bearded figure looking very merry and clearly enjoying life.  By all accounts of his grandchildren, James was something of a ne'er do well with anecdotal comments that "Granny had a hard time with him".

James was born in 1852 at Trap Farm, Carleton, the nineth child  of Henry Danson and Elizabeth Calvert. A joiner, he married 18 year old Maria Rawcliffe in 1877 at St. Anne's Church,  Singleton  and in 1881 they were living at Potts's Alley, off Poulton Square. It was ironic that Maria,  one of seven daughters,  and James with six sisters (and two brothers) should go on to have ten sons (eight survived infancy)  before their only daughter Jennie in 1897.   james died in 1906 at the age of 53.  

I love this photograph of my mother and aunt,  Kathleen and Edith  Danson,  who are the two little girls  at the front of this photograph
All dressed up, they are in some kind of procession (Empire Day or Gala Day? ) at Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, with the group lining up outside St. Chad's Church.   It must have been taken around 1912, judging by the age of my mother and aunt,  and also the dress of the bystanders.  My aunt recollected that the little boy behind (Thomas ?) had been sent the Indian banner by an uncle in America.

Poulton War Memorial in the Square, with the names of two of my great uncles - John and George Danson remembered.

 Copyright © 2013 · Susan Donaldson.  All


  1. Wow, that is definitely a sense of place. A lovely piece of history.

  2. AWESOME post!! I love the photo's!! Your Great Grandfater photo is a HOOT!!!!
    A to Z-ing to the end
    Peanut Butter and Whine

  3. Thank you, Joab and Connie, for taking the time to comment. Poulton is a special place for me and I was so delighted to get that photograph of my great grandfather - only about 10 years ago - through my mother's cousin.


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