From an article by by Beth Pickup, in "The Flat Iron”, published by Chorley Library, date unknown.

The name BALSHAW is ancient and goes back to the time of the Druids when, on the eve of Mayday, large fires were lit in honour of the sun. PENNANT notes “it was no uncommon thing to witness a BAAL (or BELENUS, BEAL, BEALAN, BAL or BELTUNE) fire kindled in honour of the sun”.

The preceding words are ERSE and CELTIC terms for sun. As late as 1790 a BAAL fire was lit on Mayday in Ayrshire. BAAL was the title of the chief idol among the Chaldeans, Moabites etc. and some historians believe that it was originally applied “to the creator himself’ but given, after religion had been corrupted, to rulers and great benefactors. The name always indicated immense power and honour.

The suffix SHAW signifies a place of shelter, or a heath. BALSHAW is therefore a pure compound of PHOENICIAN and SAXON. Collateral descendants of the BALSHAW’S of GOLDEN HILL were still in the Leyland area in the late nineteenth century.