Monday, 23 July 2012

Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire

Oswaldtwistle is a town within the Hyndburn borough of Lancashire, England. It lies on the course of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, 3 miles east-southeast of Blackburn and is contiguous to Accrington.

Lowry refers to the town in his novel Under The Volcano;  "Hugh's aunt moved from London north to Oswaldtwistle in the spring." (Pg.161) and "Will always return Oswaldtwistle, parting words of prodigy" (Pg. 163).

Lowry may have been attracted to the unusual sounding name as there is no record of him visiting the town. The name is derived from "Oswald" and "Twistle". The word "twistle" is an old English word meaning "brooks meet". Legend has it that St.Oswald, King of Northumbria passed through, giving the area its full title of Oswald's Twistle, which in time came to be Oswaldtwistle. However, it is more likely derived from the name of the Anglo-Saxon who farmed the land.

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