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Jannock Bread

Lancashire, Northamptonshire

The word 'jannock' means straightforward or genuine, and has been applied to plain bread loaves in both Lancashire and Northamptonshire.

TT Wilkinson's 'Lancashire Folklore' of 1867 says of wooden shoes and jannock bread that;

"Both these are said to have been introduced by the Flemish immigrant weavers about the year 1567. Their sabots, however, were made entirely of wood, lined with a little lamb's skin, to protect the top of the foot; while the clogs of the present day have strong leather tops (often brass clasps) and thick wooden soles. The kind of bread introduced by the Flemings into Bolton and other manufacturing districts of Lancashire was made of oatmeal in the form of a loaf, and called jannock; but the gradual change in manners and improvement in social condition have almost banished this food, and wheaten-bread and oat-cakes have almost altogether taken its place."

In the Shepherd's Play, performed at Chester in 1577, in honour of the visit to that city of the Earl of Derby, the third Shepherd says:-

" And brave ale of Halton I have,
And what meat I had to my hire;
A pudding may no man deprave,
And a jannock of Lancaster-shire.

Jannock is now used in Leigh more commonly than in most other parts of Lancashire. Warrington ale was no less celebrated than Halton ale, and a song in praise of the former is printed in 'Harland's Lancashire Ballads' "

For other traditional bread types, see:
Jannock Bread
Wastel Bread

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