Waters Road and Station Road did not exist until the mid 1800s and consequently the stone bed of the River Colne provided the only access to Eastergate. It was entered onto at The Green and provided a ‘watercourse’ road as far as Hey Green where the existing pathway leads to the packhorse bridge at Eastergate.
There was an ancient inn on the site near to the packhorse bridge run in the early 1800s by Esther Schofield, hence the name Eastergate. Officially the name is Close Gate.
Edwin Waugh, a Lancashire author, writing in 1880 said, “About the beginning of the 19th century this ancient roadside inn was a house of call for Old Lame Luke of Marsden”.
He served the village grocers or badgers as they were called with meal and flour which he brought into Marsden on the backs of a string of pack horses. Mrs. Hannah Bolton of High Fall, born 1825, was told of Old Luke by her mother although he had died before she was born. er mother knoe Her mother knew the road and the inn all her life. The inn was demolished c1850. The ancient track which crosses the moor is called Rapes Highway and leads to Rochdale. It remains a public footpath to be used in perpetuity following an unsuccessful 1908 court case brought by the Lord of the Manor, Sir Joseph Radcliffe against Marsden Council. Sir Joseph had wished to close the footpath as a right of way.
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