SITUATED around three miles from the rest of Burnley on the way to Accrington, Hapton is often underrated.

It is "only a product of the industrial revolution." What an insult.

The history of this settlement takes us back many centuries and may well have been settled in the Iron Age.

Castle Clough Gorge signed just off the Accrington Road was carved out as the ice ages melted some 10,000 years ago and glaciers ground out a valley.

This produced impressive rock formations which can be explored overlooking a nature trail.

This is a real joy at bluebell time, but of interest all through the year.

Nearby are a few bits of masonry, all that remains of Hapton Castle.

This was not so much a castle as a fortified manor house built in 1242.

From the 14th century this was the house of the de-la-hegh family. Later this passed by marriage into the Towneley family.

Later in the 16th century, Sir John Towneley built Hapton Tower on the top of Hambledon Hill.

This was the base for his huge hunting park, but by the 18th century all the deer hunters had gone and the tower was demolished.

Some of the water spouts of the tower were taken to Dyneley Hall near Cliviger.

This is still the home of the Towneleys and the spouts still adorn this buildingIn 1886 Hapton was the first to be illuminated by electricity.

The Bridge Inn has a ghost story as it is said to be haunted by a girl who drowned herself in the Leeds to Liverpool Canal.

During the 18th and 19th centuries Hapton earned its living from cotton, coal and stone quarryings.

Good communications were vital and the village was close to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal which opened in 1816 and the railway which was built in 1848. The M65 also passes close to Hapton.

Manchester Road passes through the steep main thoroughfare and here is St Margaret's Church built in 1927.

This is small but attractive and is towerless, but there is a bellcot housing just a single bell.

A sad chapter in Hapton history was the tragic pit disaster at during the early 1960s.

A ghostly tale concerns the Bridge Inn when it is said that a young girl's host haunts the building in which she committed suicide.

A much happier episode in Hapton's history dates to 1886 when the village became the first small settlement in England to be powered by electricity.

Hapton is surrounded by wonderful old buildings including Shuttleworth Hall.

This was built in two wings during the 17th century as a yeoman farmer's house.

On the Nature Trail at Castle Clough, look for the point where a stream passes close to the railway.

Then look out for an old disused reservoir built to provide water for a cotton dye works.

Hapton is surprisingly good walking country and the towpath of the centre is always of interest.