In the late 12th century, Lytham Priory, whose lands embraced present-day Lytham St Anne’s, was founded by Richard fitz Roger, and granted, by him, to Durham Cathedral Priory. The first known reference to Heyhouses (the word “hey” meaning an enclosure of land), is on a map, drawn in c1531, when Lytham Priory was in a boundary dispute with the Butler family of Layton.
Following the purchase of the manor of Lytham by Cuthbert Clifton in 1606 the practice of granting leases (never freehold) to Heyhouses farmers commenced, thereby providing a source of income for the Clifton family.
In the mid-19th century, the Clifton family, to diversity their income, embarked on plans for the development of the “west end” of the manor of Lytham, and in 1874 the foundation stone for the new town of St. Anne’s on the Sea was laid. As the new town expanded the Heyhouses farming community gradually diminished and, by 1960, had, all but, disappeared. The outline, however, is still identifiable through the names of former farms and long-established road names.
The earliest reference to turbary, the right to dig turf (peat) for fuel occurs in the Lytham Priory accounts for 1447/48. Following the purchase of the manor of Lytham by Cuthbert Clifton in 1606 there is reference to manorial moss reeves regulating the extraction of turf. In addition to cutting turf, from their turf “dale”, for personal use, most Clifton family tenants also had to provide turf for Lytham Hall. The Dales End which links Northouses Lane and Wildings Lane marks the southern end of the turf dales. The last turf to be dug in Heyhouses was taken from land at the junction of Kilnhouse Lane and Queensway.