The Parish has two historical societies. One at Charlestown, which has spent several years building up information on its own website, relating to the lower part of the parish. The second – SHED (Blackshaw Local History Group) was formed in 2003 as part of “The Vital Villages” Initiative. It holds regular informal meetings ( see below) and carries out research on one main topic per year of historical interest relating to the parish. Presentations, displaying the results of our research are held in Blackshaw Head Chapel on annual fete days. Covered so far are census returns for 1851 and 1891, the History of Farming, Settlement, the Textile Industry, Non-conformity and the Chapel and the effect of the First World War on the community.
In this way a body of knowledge has been built up about the history of the area , which , hitherto, with the exception of Charlestown, had been almost wholly neglected in historical research. The following article strives to give a rough outline of the history of our parish, on the basis of information so far gleaned in preparing these presentations.
Charlestown History Group Website: www.charlestownhistory.org.uk