Tatham was first recorded in the Domesday Book as ‘Tathaim’.
The name comes from the Old English (Anglo-Saxon) personal name ‘Tāta’ and ‘hām’ – which was the Old English for a smaller settlement, or ‘home’. In this case the ‘hām’ has been altered to the Old Norse ‘heimr’, also meaning ‘homestead’.
Tatham is a fascinating place. It is an ancient single township parish – which again is very unusual in Lancashire generally, but less so in the Lune Valley area. The church was mentioned in Domesday and the present church has some parts dating back to the 1100s.
The local historian, Mary Higham, argued that in the North-West the ‘hām’ ending often indicates an early religious site and was similar to the ‘llan/lan’ sites of Wales and Cornwall.
At Tatham the church is in a curvilinear churchyard in land between two Roman roads. Also at one point it was probably right on the edge of the River Wenning. Taken together, these can indicate a possible early religious site. Mary Higham even suggested that it might be a British site that was taken over by the Anglo-Saxons in the 600s.
In 1086 at Domesday Tatham was part of the lordship of Bentham. The church was strangely tucked away in a little corner on the other side of the river from most of the parish. The ancient manor was named Robert Hall after Robert Cansfield, who inherited it in 1515 aged 3 years old.
The images dates from the early 1900s and shows Tatham parish church, which mainly dates from the 1400s.