At the time of the Domesday Survey, the manor of 'Ghisebum' was part of the Percy fee. It was passed to the Abbot of Salley (Sawley) in 1224 and disposed of by the King at the dissolution. In 1613 it passed to the Lister family. In 1797, on threat of invasion by Napoleon, Thomas Lister raised and equipped a troop of cavalry and yeomanry, for his patriotism he was made Baron Ribblesdale of Gisburne Park. The Lister family once lived at Westby Hall on the Blacko Road.

[Articles by Dorothy Taylor on the later Ribblesdales]


The first Lord Ribblesdale is reputed to have planted over a million oak trees in this stretch of the Ribble Valley; another Lord maintained Stags for hunting, and the Fourth Lord always used to carry his stirrup leathers in his bag when he travelled, being too keen a horseman to risk borrowed leathers. King Edward nicknamed the last Lord Ribblesdale ’the ancestor’ because of his dignified appearance.

The fourth Lord Ribblesdale had two sons, both were killed in action, one in the Boer War and the other in the 1914-1918 conflict. Memorial tablets can be found in the Ribblesdale Chapel in St Mary's Church. Part of the estate was sold in 1927 to cover death duties of the last Lord Ribblesdale who was survived only by his two sisters. On their deaths in 1944, the remaining estate was sold.

The early history of the Listers (later Lords Ribblesdales)

Lister v de Bolton of Bolton by Bowland.

The first record of the Listers in the Parish of Gisburn was in 1312 when a Lister of West Derby married Isabel de Bolton. She had firstly been married to Roger de Clitheroe who died young. She is recorded in " Pudsey Deeds" and in "Memorial of an Ancient House" by "Lister Denny" and in "A general Introduction to Domesday" Vol II by Sir Henry Ellis, as being descended from the Kings/Earls of Mercia, namely Leofric who had married Lady Godiva.

Mercia included Clitheroe at one time. Leofric and Godiva also had two sons,Algar who succeeded to the King/Earl of Mercia in 1057 and his younger son Hereward the Wake. Herewards heroic character is alluded to in Vol I of the aforementioned books by Sir Henry Ellis, (he was Principal Librarian of the British Museum.)

Hereward was chosen by the Prelates and nobility to be General of their forces, when they retired to Ely after the Norman Invasion. He was Lord of Brune in Lincolnshire and the marshes adjoining. He left Jurfrida his only daughter and heir, married to Lord Deeping (Hugh de Evermont). The Wakes became Dukes of Loncaster and later descendents were known as the Lords Wake.

In 1938/39 we were taught about Hereward at Gisburn School. Off and on all my life since, over sixty years I have puzzled about him, this heroic character who held out from the Normans longer than anyone, who was the very last man to be caught in the Marshes, by William the Conquerors forces. Who was he? Who was his family? He MUST have been a somebody.

Whilst doing research for something else, I found who he was, and who his family was. The Listers of Gisburn were descended on the female side from the Kings/Earls of Mercia, amazing, the coronet on the top of the Lister Tablat in the Lady Chapel depicts the Royal descent; for they were the Royalty of their time,to me all this is just so wonderful, especially after all this time, I never expected to find who he was, but to find he was one of the Listers ancestors at Gisburn is truly amazing.