Townships
Pendlebury

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Victoria County History

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William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)

Year published

1911

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397-404

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'Townships: Pendlebury', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4 (1911), pp. 397-404. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41444 Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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PENDLEBURY

Penelbiri, 1201; Pennilbure, 1212; Pennebire, 1226; Pennesbyry, 1278; Penilburi, 1300; Penulbury, 1332; Penhulbury, 1358; Pendulbury, 1561; Pendlebury, 1567.

Lying on the west bank of the Irwell between Clifton and Pendleton, but with a detached part—the ancient Shoresworth—to the south of Pendleton, this township has an area of 1,030½ acres. (fn. 1) The town proper lies in the north-west part of the district, while Agecroft Hall stands apart upon the Irwell in the north-east corner. The surface of the land slopes generally from west to east, from nearly 300 ft. to about 120 ft. above the ordnance datum. The population in 1901 was 8,493.

The principal road is that from Manchester to Bolton, from which the ancient Wigan road parts company near the southern boundary; a cross road leads through Agecroft by a bridge over the Irwell to Prestwich, and near the bridge another road from Manchester joins it. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's line from Manchester to Bolton runs north-westward, and that from Manchester to Hindley also crosses the township, and has two stations— Irlams-o'-th'-Height and Pendlebury. The former nearly follows the line of a fault which brings up the Coal Measures to the west, leaving the New Red Sandstone in evidence to the east. The Manchester and Bolton Canal runs along the easterly side of the former line, between it and the River Irwell.

There were thirty-five hearths liable to the tax in 1666. Agecroft Hall was the only large house, having eleven hearths. (fn. 2)

The manufacture and printing of cottons have long been the principal industries.

Pendlebury was joined with Swinton in 1875 to form a local board district; it is now governed by the Swinton and Pendlebury Urban District Council. (fn. 3) The Public Hall was built in 1870. The detached portion of the township was, with Pendleton, included in the borough of Salford in 1852. One of the Salford cemeteries is at Agecroft and another at New Barns. The great children's hospital on the southwest side was erected in 1873.

An ancient Campfield exists in the detached part of Pendlebury near Salford; and a neolithic hammer axe was found at Mode Wheel in the excavations for the Manchester Ship Canal. (fn. 4)

MANORS

The manors of PENDLEBURY and SHORESWORTH were in 1212 held of the king in chief in thegnage by a rent of 12s. (fn. 5) The tenant was Ellis son of Robert de Pendlebury, to whom King John had granted Pendlebury while he was Count of Mortain, confirming or renewing the grant when he obtained the throne. (fn. 6) Ellis was also master serjeant of the wapentake of Salford, and this office, like the manor, was to descend to his heirs. (fn. 7) Ellis was a benefactor of Cockersand Abbey. (fn. 8) He died in or about 1216, and his son Adam succeeded him in his manors and serjeanty. (fn. 9) But little is known of him, and his son Roger appears to have been in possession in 1246 and 1254. (fn. 10) He also was a benefactor of Cockersand. (fn. 11) At this stage of the descent there is some difficulty. In 1274 Ellis son of Roger came to a violent death, (fn. 12) and Amabel, as widow of Ellis son of Roger the Clerk, claimed dower in various lands against Roger de Pendlebury. (fn. 13) Again, a short time afterwards, Amabel having received her dower, she and Roger de Pendlebury had to defend a suit brought by one Adam de Pendlebury, who satisfied the jury of his title to the manor. (fn. 14)

Ellis had a brother William and daughters Maud, Lettice, and Beatrice. Maud married Adam son of Alexander de Pilkington, and had a daughter Cecily. (fn. 15) The manor was sold before 1300 to Adam de Prestwich. (fn. 16)

The new lord of Pendlebury married Alice de Woolley daughter of Richard son of Master Henry de Pontefract, (fn. 17) the eventual heir being a daughter Alice, wife of Jordan de Tetlow. Her heir also proved to be a daughter, Joan, who married Richard de Langley, (fn. 18) and the manor descended regularly in this family until the end of the 16th century. Joan de Langley died in or before 1374, and her son and heir Roger being a minor the sheriff took possession of the manors. Roger himself died in 1393, holding the manor of Pendlebury as one plough-land by a rent of 16s., and a messuage called Agecroft, the family seat, by a rent of 6s. 8d. Again the heir was a minor, Roger's son Robert being fifteen years of age, but already married to Katherine daughter of Sir William de Atherton. (fn. 19)


Langley of Agecroft. Argent a cockatrice sable beaked or.

Robert Langley died in April 1447, seised of the manors of Pendlebury and Prestwich, and various other lands; Thomas Langley his son and heir was then forty years of age. (fn. 20) Another son, Ralph, was rector of Prestwich and warden of Manchester. There was a third son, John. (fn. 21) Thomas had a son John, who succeeded him (fn. 22) in the manors and died in 1496, leaving a son and heir Robert about forty years old. (fn. 23) Dying in 1527, holding the manor of Pendlebury in socage by a rent of 16s. yearly, besides other manors and lands, he was succeeded by his grandson Robert son of Thomas Langley, the last of the male line in possession. (fn. 24) Robert was made a knight in 1547, (fn. 25) and died 19 September 1561, leaving four daughters as co-heirs. (fn. 26) On the division of the estates, Agecroft and lands in Pendlebury became the portion of Anne, (fn. 27) who married William Dauntesey, springing from a Wiltshire family. (fn. 28) The 'manor' of Pendlebury also was claimed by the Daunteseys for some time, (fn. 29) but was afterwards said to be held with Prestwich, descend ing in the Coke family (fn. 30) until about 1780, when it was sold to Peter Drinkwater of Irwell House, Prestwich. (fn. 31)

William Dauntesey of Agecroft, who died in 1622, (fn. 32) was succeeded by a son (fn. 33) and a grandson, also named William. The last-named, a minor at his father's death in 1637, was succeeded by his brother John, who, dying about 1693, (fn. 34) was succeeded in turn by his sons William and Christopher. (fn. 35) The latter of these married Mary daughter of Sir Edward Chisenhale or Chisnall, and had several children. (fn. 36) Edward, the eldest son, was subject to fits of lunacy, and his younger brother Christopher had the management of the estates, and succeeded. (fn. 37) He left a son John, in holy orders, who resided at Agecroft (fn. 38) till his death in 1811, and bequeathed his estate to cousins, the Hulls of Chorley. (fn. 39) John son of Richard Hull had but a short enjoyment of Agecroft, dying in 1813, when he was followed by his brother-inlaw, the Rev. Richard Buck, who had married Margaret Hull, and their son Robert succeeded. (fn. 40) His younger brother, John Buck, the next owner, took the name of Dauntesey in 1867, (fn. 41) and was followed by his sister Katherine Dauntesey Foxton, who died in 1878, when Agecroft Hall passed to Robert Brown, grandson of Thomas Hull. Mr. Brown took the name of Dauntesey on succeeding. Dying in 1905 he was succeeded by his brother, Captain William Thomas Slater Hull, who also adopted the surname of Dauntesey. (fn. 42)


Dauntesey of Agecroft. Per fesse dancetty or and gules a lion rampant seizing upon a wyvern erect counterchanged, a bordure engrailed ermine.

Agecroft Hall stands on slightly rising ground on the west side of the Irwell valley, where the river flows southwards towards Manchester between the high ground of Kersal and Prestwich on the east and north, and Irlams-o'-th'-Height and Pendlebury on the west. The surroundings of the house are now greatly altered from what originally obtained, the colliery workings of the neighbourhood and the immediate proximity of railway and canal having almost entirely destroyed the former picturesqueness of the scenery. The hall, however, yet stands in grounds which preserve to the building something of its original country aspect, though the trees have suffered much damage from the smoke and fumes of the surrounding district.

The house is a very interesting example of timber construction standing on a low stone base with portions in brick, built round a central courtyard. The ground on the west side of the building falls precipitously, the walls standing close to the edge of the cliff. The three remaining sides are said to have been protected by a moat, but there is no trace of this, and the position of the house, being not far from the River Irwell on the east side, does not make the probability of the moat having existed very great. (fn. 43)

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway from Bolton to Manchester and the Bury Canal both pass close to the house on the north side. (fn. 44)

The entrance to the court is on the east side, and the great hall is at the south end of the west wing, with the former kitchen and scullery at its north end. The chief living rooms are in the south wing, and the north and east wings were occupied by the offices and servants' quarters. The building appears to be of two main dates, but has been very much modernized both inside and out in the middle of the last century, considerable repairs and alterations having taken place there about the year 1865–7. There have also been subsequent additions and alterations, the last having taken place in 1894 after a fire which destroyed the roof of the greater portion of the east and south wings.


Agecroft Hall

The house was probably begun at the end of the reign of Henry VII, or the beginning of that of Henry VIII, and much of the carving under the bay windows on the east side is very Gothic in detail, and of excellent design. The south wing and the greater part of the west wing appear to have been rebuilt about a century later, though the south wing has been so much modernized that its original date is somewhat difficult to determine. The great hall shows toward the courtyard a wealth of ornament in the timber framing and gables, in great contrast to the very plain construction of the east front, which consists entirely of horizontal sill pieces and straight uprights with a cove under the eaves. The building is of two stories throughout, about 18 ft. to the eaves, and the roofs are covered with grey stone slates, which offer a charming contrast to the black and white work of wood and plaster. The chimneys are of red brick, giving a welcome note of colour, but they are largely rebuilt or covered with ivy. The west side of the house is wholly faced with small 2-in. bricks, and has two projecting plain gables and a large central chimney. The general external appearance of the building, however, lacks some measure of that picturesqueness which is common in many other Lancashire timber houses, owing to the monotony of its main roof-lines, one gable only (that at the end of the south wing facing east) breaking the long perspective of the eaves. The roof of the south elevation, which is 96 ft. in length, is broken by three chimneys, but there is little diversity in the long line of wall, the projections of the chimney, bay windows, and the brick in the walling being very slight. The east or entrance elevation, which is 101 ft. in length, had formerly only one chimney at the junction of the old and later work of the two wings, but a modern brick chimney added in the north end has had the effect of breaking the straight line where most needed, and giving a balance to the original elevation which it formerly lacked. The windows are for the most part slightly projecting wooden bays carried on carved brackets, the carving along the west wing being mostly original, but in the south side modern copies. Over the entrance archway is a small oriel, the corbel beneath it richly carved with Gothic tracery in a series of radiating panels springing from a shaft which rises from a small blank shield on the crown of the four-centred entrance archway. The projecting sills of the other first-floor windows exhibit equally good carved tracery, and one has the figure of a hart couchant, a fine piece of work. (fn. 45)

The entrance to the court on the east side is under a plain timber arch, 10 ft. 6 in. wide, the old oak door and wicket still being in position. An inner wall, however, has been built, blocking the open way to the court; the present entrance therefore now only leads into the corridor which runs along the east side of the courtyard. Originally this corridor, which runs round the court on the east and south sides, was an open one carried on wood posts resting on stone bases, but the greater part of it is now inclosed. Its original appearance, however, can still be gathered from the north-east corner of the courtyard, where a length of about 20 ft. still remains as built, forming a very picturesque feature of the inner elevation. The old stone and wood posts are still in position the full length of the east side, the later wall being merely filled in between them, and continue for a distance of about 12 ft. along the south side, opposite the junction of the dining and drawing-rooms. The open corridor may indeed only have extended this far, and the dining-room (which is said to have been the ancient chapel) may belong to the earlier portion of the building. Its present condition is so entirely modern as to make it impossible to say whether this is so or not. The dining-room and drawing-room, however, are clearly of different dates, the division between them consisting of two walls side by side with a small space between, and their floors on different levels. Probably the rebuilding of the south wing was begun from this point westward at some time in the 17th century, and the old chapel converted to its later use at some subsequent date.

The courtyard is of irregular shape, and measures 43 ft. 6 in. across at its widest part from west to east, and 52 ft. from south to north. It presents a great contrast to the outer elevations of the house, the skyline being broken on the west side by three gables, two over the hall and one over the projecting bay formed by the old kitchen. The timber framing of the bay preserves something of the plainness of the garden fronts, but the vertical lines give place to diagonal tracings, and the upper story projects on brackets and a plaster cove. The gables over the hall, however, are richly ornamented with quatrefoil panels, and a panelled cove runs the full length of the hall, at the first-floor line, at a higher level than those of the old kitchen bay line, the lower portion of the wall being occupied by a long continuous window of fifteen lights on a moulded stone base 3 ft. 6 in. high. The gables are without barge-boards or hip-knobs, being quite plain, with overhanging slates. The only two gables in the building with barge-boards are shown at the ends of the south and east wings facing east and north, which have both been constructed in late years. The north side of the court preserves its old black and white wood and plaster construction, but in the west and south the elevations have been a good deal modernized, though in harmony with the old work, and much of the 'half-timber work' is paint or plaster. The east corridor runs right through the building to an outer door on the north side, and the south corridor leads direct to the great hall. A modern butler's pantry has been added in the south-east corner of the courtyard.

The rooms in the north and east wings, which are 9 ft. 6 in. high, are for the most part unimportant, being still used as the servants' part of the house, the present kitchen being immediately to the north of the entrance. North of the kitchen is a small staircase leading to the upper floor with good 17th-century flat pierced balusters. Another small staircase in the west wing north of the hall also preserves some 17th-century detail, but the main staircase in the south wing is modern. Internally the whole of the south wing is so much modernized as to be of little architectural interest; it contains the library, drawing-room, and dining-room, with the principal entrance and staircase. In the east window of the dining-room, which, like the oak panelling and other fittings, is modern, is preserved some ancient glass, some of which was formerly in other parts of the house. The initials R.L. (Ralph Langley) occur in several of the lights, either in a lozenge or circle, and sometimes with the Langley crest (a cockatrice). The centre light bears the Royal Arms (France and England) encircled by a garter, and surmounted by a crown, and in other lights are the badge of Edmund of Langley, Duke of York (a falcon in a closed fetter lock), a lion's head erazed gules collared and lined or, a red and a white rose with stalks entwined, and a crown and initials H.E. for Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, and a daisy (root and flower) with the head of a greyhound over. The Langley crest also occurs twice by itself. The drawing-room preserves its original square-framed oak panelling on three sides, and over the north door are four full-length figures and four heads, said to be emblematic of peace and war, originally part of the pulpit in the private chapel. (fn. 46) On either side of the same door are carved panels, some with tracery, and others with a variety of linen pattern. The library, which is wholly modernized, has also some fragments of heraldic glass in the window, one showing part of a shield argent, two hunting horns gules, stringed or. The staircase window preserves some old diamond quarries, five of which bear the initials R.L., while on another is scratched the name of William Dauntesey, and the date 'June ye 12, 1645.'

The great hall is 14 ft. in height, and has a flat panelled ceiling divided into four bays by three wide oak beams, and with intermediate moulded ribs. It measures 29 ft. in length and 23 ft. 6 in. in width, and is lighted on the east side by the continuous ranges of mullioned and transomed windows already referred to, and has three similar lights in the return to the lobby at the end of the corridor in the southeast corner. In each of the top lights are the initials R.L. with an interlacing pattern between, surmounted by the cockatrice, and in the lower middle light are the arms of Dauntesey with helm, crest, mantling, and scrolls. The walls are mostly panelled to a height of 6 ft. 6 in. The hall appears to have always had a flat ceiling, and there are no signs now of either dais or gallery. The position of the screens is marked by the vestibule and passage on the north side, and the kitchen and pantry have now been made into a sitting-room and smoke-room. Neither of these rooms retains anything of its original appearance except the great twelve-light kitchen window overlooking the courtyard, which occupies the whole of the east side of the room. The fireplace opening, now modernized, is 10 ft. wide, the wall above carried by a beam 12 in. square at a height of 5 ft. 8 in. from the floor.

On the first floor corridors run round the inner sides of the north, east, and south wings, opening to a series of rooms which have little architectural interest. In the south wing the bed-room over the drawing-room, known as the 'panelled room,' preserves its original square oak wainscot mouldings worked in the solid, and contains a fine oak bedstead. Other rooms also contain good oak furniture, though much has been taken away, the house being at present (1910) unoccupied. The rooms in the east range exhibit their timber construction throughout, and their ceilings, together with those on the south side of the house, partly follow the rake of the roof. A small room at the west end of the north wing has a good 17th-century angle fireplace with plaster ornaments and egg-and-dart moulding.

The upper corridors on the east and south appear to have been originally open to the court and carried on posts, forming a kind of upper gallery. A portion of what appears to have been external quatrefoil panelling is still in position on the inner wall at the east end of the south corridor. The appearance of the courtyard as originally erected must have been exceedingly picturesque, and in marked contrast to the plain work of the outside elevations.

The house contains a valuable collection of paintings, including a so-called portrait of Jane Shore, attributed to Holbein. (fn. 47)

In a deed dated 26 June 1694, and an inventory of the same year, (fn. 48) the following rooms and places at Agecroft Hall are mentioned:—'The great parlor and chamber over it, the hall, the dyneinge roome, the chappell, the chappell chamber, the farther chappell chamber, the greene chamber, the porter's warde, the kitchen, the buttery, the seller and chamber over it, the seller and brewhouse and the chambers over them, the great barn commonly called the new barn, the stable, the garden and orchard behind the garden.'


Plan of Agecroft Hall

An old painting of the house preserved at Agecroft shows a long building, either a stable or barn, standing at right angles to the east side of the house at the north end, apparently meant to be some distance away, with a stone wall and gate-piers along the east front. This building is said to have stood until the construction of the railway. The present stables and outbuildings are on the north side of the house, and are all modern.

SHORESWORTH

SHORESWORTH, (fn. 49) though the name has long been forgotten, was the detached part of Pendlebury. In 1212 it was held as one oxgang of land by Ellis de Pendlebury in thegnage by a rent of 2s., and of him it was held by the same service by his nephews, or grandsons, Richard, Adam, Henry, and Robert. (fn. 50) From these descended one or more families taking the local surname, but no detailed account can be given of them. (fn. 51) Early in the 14th century the Radcliffes of Ordsall acquired it, and held possession for several generations. (fn. 52) The place-name occurs as late as 1590 in the inquisition after the death of Sir John Radcliffe, who held '20 acres of land, &c. in Showersworth in the town of Pendlebury,' but it was then included with Ordsall so far as the service was concerned. (fn. 53) On the alienation of the Radcliffe estates in the 17th century it was obtained by Humphrey Chetham, (fn. 54) and descended through the Chethams of Smedley and Castleton to Samuel Clowes, who owned it about 1800.

The principal landowners in 1798 were the Rev. John Dauntesey, Thomas William Coke, and Samuel Clowes, whose lands together paid three-fourths of the tax. (fn. 55)

A monument to Joseph Goodier of Mode Wheel, Pendlebury, who died in 1854, is in Eccles Church.

In connexion with the Established Church, St. John the Evangelist's, Irlams-o'-th'-Height, was built in 1842; the patronage is vested in five trustees. (fn. 56) The Bishop of Manchester is patron of Christ Church, built in 1859, (fn. 57) and of St. Augustine's, built in 1874; (fn. 58) the latter has a mission hall—St. Matthew's.

The Wesleyan Methodists have two churches in Pendlebury; the United Free Methodists also have two, and the Primitive Methodists one.

The Congregationalists began preaching on Sundays in 1819, the population of the place having at that time an evil reputation for profligacy. The first chapel was built in 1821, and a somewhat larger one four years later. The congregation declined, but in 1832 a fresh start was made, and in 1882 a new church was built in Swinton, the old building being used for a school. (fn. 59)

A Swedenborgian church was erected at Pendlebury in 1852.

Footnotes

1 This includes the detached part, now included in Pendleton. The census report of 1901 gives only 866 acres, including 36 of inland water, for the reduced township.
2 Subs. R. Lancs. bdle. 250, no. 9.
3 See Worsley.
4 Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. x, 251.
5 Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 68. Pendlebury was assessed as one plough-land, and Shoresworth as an oxgang; the separate rent of the former was 10s.
6 Chart. R. (Rec. Com.), 26. This grant is among the Agecroft D. (no. 1). It concerns Pendlebury only, one ploughland 'in free thegnage by the free service of 10s. yearly.' Ellis de Pendlebury's other lands, as shown by the survey of 1212, were Shoresworth (1 oxgang), Hope in Pendleton (2 oxgangs), and Snydale in Westhoughton (? 1 oxgang); Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 68, 65, 58. He also had lands in Westhoughton, which went to Thomas, a younger son. Robert de Pendlebury, probably the father of Ellis, raised a dyke in Westhoughton; Cockersand Chart. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 679.
7 Chart. R. 27. Ellis is mentioned in the Pipe Rolls down to 1208; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 151, 232, &c.
8 Cockersand Chart. ii, 688—grant of Priestscroft in Westhoughton.
9 Ellis de Pendlebury and Adam his son were witnesses to a grant by Gilbert de Notton and Edith his wife; Wballey Couch. (Chet. Soc.), i, 47. Adam de Pendlebury is named in 1216; Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), 251. He succeeded his father as serjeant of Salfordshire in 1218 (ibid. 366); but this office had been lost by 1222; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 133. In October 1219 the king ordered livery to Adam, who had done homage, of the lands his father Ellis had held, viz., a plough-land in Pendlebury and the fourth part of an oxgang in Shoresworth; Fine R. Excerpts, i, 38. 'The farm of the land of Adam de Pendlebury in Pendlebury,' 10s., occurs in 1226, but Adam may have been dead; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 137.
10 Roger is mentioned in Assize R. 404, m. 1; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 193; Cockersand Chartul. ii, 676. He granted land in Westhoughton to Richard son of Geoffrey de Byron, held about 1244 by Geoffrey and by Thomas, brothers of Richard; Whalley Couch. i, 66, 62.
11 He gave all his land in Westhoughton; Cockersand Chartul. ii, 677.
12 Cal. Close, 1272–9, p. 97.
13 De Banco R. 5, m. 102. It seems probable that Roger the Clerk was Roger the son of Adam de Pendlebury, while the defendant Roger was a trustee for the daughters of Ellis. Amabel's claim was for the third part of 11 oxgangs, 16 acres of land, two-thirds of an oxgang, the half of two mills, and two-thirds of one mill with appurtenances in Pendlebury, Pendleton, Whittleswick, and Halliwell. At the same time she sought dower in 26 acres in Clifton, the holder being Alice daughter of William the Clerk of Eccles.
Roger de Pendlebury granted Whittleswick to his son Ellis, and the latter regranted it to his father; De Trafford D. no. 276, 278. This Roger seems to be the 'clerk' of Amabel's plea. The Clerks of Eccles appear here as in Whittleswick.
Among the Holland of Denton deeds are some further illustrations of the pedigree. Thus William son of Roger de Pendlebury made a grant in Sharples of lands which should come to him after the death of his brother Ellis's daughter Maud; Harl. MS. 2112, fol. 145b/181b. Lettice and Beatrice, other daughters, also occur; ibid. fols. 160b/196b, 145b/181b.
14 Assize R. 1238 (6 Edw. I), m. 31 d. It was ordered that Amabel should receive equivalent land for dower from Roger. Drailesden, the Mill ridding, and half of a mill were excepted from the disseisin by Roger.
15 From pleas relating to Whittleswick, cited by Mr. Bird in the Ancestor, pt. iv, 211, it appears that Maud daughter and heir of Ellis recovered land, &c., there in 1284; Assize R. 1265, m. 21 d. She was dead in 1291, when William de Pendlebury, as uncle and heir, claimed it from Adam de Pilkington, who said he had an estate for life because his wife Maud had borne him a daughter Cecily. William asserted that the child was stillborn, but the jury found that she lived a short time and was baptized; Assize R. 1294, m. 8 d.
16 In 1297 Adam de Prestwich granted his manors, &c., of Prestwich, Alkrington, and Pendlebury, to John, his son and heir, and Emmota his wife and their heirs; Agecroft D. no. 4. In 1300 Adam procured a release of all her right in the manor from Beatrice daughter of Ellis de Pendlebury; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 188. Probably, as in the case of Whittleswick, which was included in the fine, William de Pendlebury had already transferred his claim. Shortly afterwards Beatrice brought a suit of novel disseisin against William; Assize R. 1321, m. 3.
There are considerable difficulties in the Prestwich succession. Adam's 'son and heir' John, married by 1297, must have surrendered the manors to his father, as they did not descend to his issue. Adam had another son Henry, to whom he gave Whittleswick in Barton. About 1300, as stated in the text, Adam married Alice de Wolveley or Woolley, and her children were made his heirs.
The elder family continued to appear. In 1319 Thomas son of John de Prestwich released to Alice widow of Adam de Prestwich all his right in the manors of Prestwich, Alkrington, and Pendlebury; Agecroft D. no. 13. In 1340 appeared a John de Prestwich the younger, the grandson of John son of Adam; Lord Wilton's D. Later, in 1375, Thurstan son of John de Prestwich released all his right to Robert de Holland, and gave a similar release in 1416 to Robert de Langley; Agecroft D. no. 37, 72.
17 In 1304 Alice daughter of Richard son of Master Henry de Pontefract sought leave to concord with Adam de Prestwich concerning tenements in Pendlebury; De Banco R. 149, m. 34. Two years later Henry de Trafford and Henry his son made an agreement concerning the manor of Pendlebury; ibid. 161, m. 382d. In 1307 Alice widow of William de Pendlebury claimed dower in the manor of Pendlebury against Alice de Woolley (whose attorney was Thomas de Pontefract), and in Halliwell lands against Adam son of Robert de Shoresworth; ibid. 164, m. 47 d. Adam de Prestwich, called to warrant as to Pendlebury, denied that the plaintiff's husband had ever been in seisin; ibid. 170, m. 35 d.
An Agecroft Deed (no. 7) shows that Thomas de Clifton, perhaps as trustee, gave to Adam de Prestwich and Alice de Woolley various lands and services in the vill of Woolley which he had had from his kinsman William de Bri . . . hton, with remainders to Alice daughter of Adam and Alice and her heirs, and then in succession to Robert and Joan, other children, and in default of issue to the heirs of Adam. Henry brother of the said Alice de Woolley was a witness.
In 1311 a settlement of the manor of Pendlebury was made, whereby Adam de Prestwich granted it, with land in Prestwich, to Alice daughter of Richard de Pontefract for her life, with remainder in succession to her children—Robert, Alice, and Agnes; Final Conc. ii, 12. Two years later a more extensive settlement was made by the agency of Thomas de Woolley; by this the manors of Prestwich, Alkrington, and Pendlebury, and the advowson of Prestwich, were, after the death of Adam de Prestwich, to go to Alice de Woolley for her life, and then to her children—Thomas, Robert, Alice, and Agnes, with final remainder to Roger de Prestwich and his heirs. Claims were put in by Alice sister of John de Byron, John son of John de Prestwich, Adam de Worlegh, Emma his wife, and John and Thomas sons of Emma; ibid. 16. About the same time Alice de Woolley secured from Alice daughter of William the Lanedyman various tenements in Woolley, with remainders to her children— Thomas, Robert, Alice, Joan, and Agnes. Henry son of Richard de Pontefract was a witness; Agecroft D. no. 10. In 1316 Henry de Bury of Woolley leased all his manor in that vill to Adam de Prestwich and Alice his wife, reserving for himself and his son John 'proper sustenance' in board and bed during the lives of Adam and Alice. Robert de Pontefract of Woolley was a witness; Agecroft D. no. 12.
Alice survived her husband, and was a plaintiff in 1323; Coram Rege R. 254, m. 24 d. In 1324 she held a plough-land in Pendlebury, paying 10s. yearly; Duchy of Lanc. Rentals and Surv. 379, m. 13. She was dead in 1332, when her son Robert claimed under the fine of 1311, the elder son Thomas having taken possession of Pendlebury in accordance with the later fine; De Banco R. 290, m. 4; 292, m. 64d. Hugh son of Hugh de Atherton and Richard son of William de Radcliffe were joined with Thomas as defendants. In 1349 Adam son of Thomas de Prestwich released to John de Radcliffe the elder all his claim to the manor of Pendlebury; Agecroft D. no. 27.
The separate descent of Pendlebury freed it from the disputes which arose about Prestwich.
18 Adam son of Thomas de Prestwich demanded the manor of Pendlebury against Robert de Prestwich in 1344, a messuage and lands in the manor being excepted; De Banco R. 340, m. 557 d. In 1346 Robert de Prestwich held lands in Pendlebury in thegnage, paying 26s. 8d. a year and double for relief; Add. MSS. 32103, fol. 146.
In 1350 Richard de Langley and Joan his wife, daughter and heir of Alice sister of Robert de Prestwich, claimed the manor of Pendlebury in accordance with the fine of 1311. They stated that Robert had died childless, and as to the objection to Joan's legitimacy the Bishop of Lichfield made inquiry and adjudged in her favour; De Banco R. 362, m. 120. It had been alleged that she was born before marriage; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 2, m. 5 d. A settlement was made of the manor, together with lands in neighbouring townships, in 1352, William de Langley, rector of Middleton, being trustee for Richard and Joan; Final Conc. ii, 132. The remainder was to William de Walton and Katherine his wife. John de Radcliffe the elder and Richard his son put in a claim. John son of Richard de Radcliffe was defendant in a Pendlebury case in 1358; Assize R. 438, m. 8d.
In Booker's Prestwich it is suggested that Richard de Langley derived his surname from a place called Langley or Longley in Middleton. His parentage does not seem to be known. A pedigree of the family is in Misc. Gen. et Herald. (Ser. 2), iii, 75.
19 Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 50. In this the fine of 1313 is recited, and a statement made regarding the descent, whereby it appears that Thomas, the elder son, who had Prestwich, left two daughters, Margaret and Agnes; the former became a nun at Seton in 1360, and the latter died without issue, so that Roger de Langley came into possession of the whole estate. Further details will be found in the account of Prestwich.
The descent through Alice de Tetlow and her daughter Joan de Langley is also fully stated in the plea quoted ibid. 52. It appears that Margaret, the nun, was married to Robert de Holland, who put in a claim to the lands; but in 1376 Robert son of Thurstan de Holland and Margaret his wife released to Roger de Langley all claim on the lands of Robert son of Agnes de Woolley in the vills of Pendlebury, Agecroft and Prestwich (near the ferry); Agecroft D. no. 49. They further released all claim to the manors and lands of Thomas son of Adam de Prestwich; ibid. no. 50. Roger de Langley made a settlement of lands in Pendlebury, Prestwich, and Middleton in 1390 in favour of his son Robert, probably on the latter's marriage; ibid. no. 52, 53.
The reason of the increase of the thegnage rent from 10s. to 16s. does not appear, and though Agecroft or Achecroft continued to be the manor-house, the rent of 6s. 8d. for it is not recorded in the later inquisitions. From the inquisitions of Thomas Langley quoted below it would appear that Pendlebury proper continued to be liable for 10s. and Agecroft for 6s. 8d., yet the total of 16s. instead of 16s. 8d. seems later to have been accepted.
Dower was assigned to Margaret, widow of Roger, in her husband's lands in 1394; Agecroft D. no 56. In Pendlebury she received the Crimbles, Anesley, the Lumns, &c.
Robert de Langley proved his age in 1403. John de Langton stated that Robert was born at Huntingdon on 6 June 1379, and baptized at Eccles by Robert de Monton, Robert de Worsley and Ellen Gawen being sponsors; he remembered because he was present in the church at the obit of Robert Johnson; Towneley's MS. DD, no. 1466.
In 1416 Robert de Langley leased to Piers de Holland for life lands called the Wete Park in Agecroft, which Piers thereupon leased to Robert for eighty years; Agecroft D. no. 70–1.
20 Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. 541. Pendlebury was held in socage as I ploughland by a rent of 10s., and the residue of the manor by a rent of 6s. 8d. Margaret, the widow of Roger, was still living and in possession of Tetlow, which would revert to Katherine, the widow of Robert. Thomas Langley, the son, was in 1412 contracted to marry Margaret daughter of Sir John Ashton; Piers and James, brothers of Thomas, are mentioned; Agecroft D. no. 60. Thomas and Margaret were married in 1419; ibid. no. 74.
21 Thomas and John Langley were living in 1470, when the latter was defendant in an Alkrington case, in which the fine of 1313, with pedigree, was recited; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 37, m. 12d.; also R. 55, m. 7, where John Langley is called the son of Robert.
22 Thomas Langley died 20 Jan. 1471–2, seised of the manors of Pendlebury and Prestwich, the advowson of Prestwich Church, and of various lands. The tenure of Pendlebury is stated exactly as in the preceding inquisition. John Langley, his son and heir, was forty-two years of age, and had married Maud daughter of James Radcliffe; Agecroft D. no. 80, 81.
In 1475 John Langley enfeoffed Ralph Langley, warden of Manchester, of all his manors, &c.; Thomas son of John was one of the attorneys to deliver seisin; ibid. no. 82.
23 The inquisition (taken in 21 Hen. VII) after the death of John Langley, who is stated to have died in Aug. 1496, is given in a plea of 1511; Pal. of Lanc. R. 112, m. 4; printed in Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 145. Robert the son is said to have been fifty years of age and more at the time of the inquisition. He and his wife Eleanor daughter of William Radcliffe of Ordsall, recovered the disputed lands. Robert Langley received a general pardon from Henry VII in 1486, and an annuity of 10 marks for services rendered and to be rendered; Agecroft D. no. 88, 89.
24 The first part of the inquisition is torn off, but Robert Langley's will, dated 22 Feb. 1524–5, and proved 1 Apr. 1528, is printed in Wills (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 62. He desired to be buried in the new chapel on the south side of St. Mary's, Prestwich, and left legacies to his younger sons Edmund and Lawrence, his grandson and heir Robert, and his sisters; also money for trentals of masses. The executors were his brother Thomas, late rector of Prestwich, his son William, then rector, and his wife Eleanor. The bequests to Robert included 'all things appertaining unto the chapel, that is to wit, a chalice, a mass book, all vestments for a priest to say mass with, an altare portatile, with other cloths belonging to the altar.'The will of Eleanor widow of Robert Langley, dated 1532, is printed in Piccope's Wills (Chet. Soc.), ii, 16–18.
Thomas, the father of the heir, had in 1504 been contracted to marry Cecily daughter of William Davenport of Bramhall, and they were married by 1518, when various lands in 'Pendlebury in the vill of Pendleton' and elsewhere were set apart for Cecily; Agecoft D. no. 94, 98.
The possessions of the family in 1528 included the manors of Prestwich (with the advowson of the church), Pendlebury, and Alkrington, messuages and lands in Tetlow, Cheetham, Crompton, Oldham, Middleton, Broughton, and Salford. The date of death is given as 'the Friday before the feast of St. Peter last,' i.e. probably June 1527. Robert the grandson was of full age and married to Cecily daughter of Edmund Trafford; he had younger brothers, William and Ralph; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 7. Dower was assigned to the widow on 6 Mar. 1527–8. Lands producing £10 17s. 2d. a year were granted, including Anesley, the deer park, and Little Oxhey in Agecroft; Agecroft D. no. 105.
For pedigree see Visit. of 1533 (Chet. Soc.), 70.
25 Metcalfe, Bk. of Knights, 94.
Leland writes: 'Coming from Manchester towards Morleys, Sir William Leyland's house, I passed by enclosed ground partly pasturable, partly fruitful of corn, leaving on the left hand a mile and more of a fair place of Mr. Langford's [sic] called Agecroft; and there is a bridge very high and great of timber, on Irwell'; Itin. v, 94.
In 1540 Sir Alexander Radcliffe, deputy bailiff of the Wapentake of Salford, gave a receipt for 37s. 4d. to Robert Langley, for his chief rents in Prestwich, Pendlebury, Tetlow, and Alkrington; Agecroft D. no. 114. The rents are stated differently at different times; in the inquisition last cited they amounted to 34s.
Sir Robert Langley in 1559 procured a general pardon; ibid. no. 123.
26 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, 16; mostly illegible. The manor of Pendlebury was held of the queen as of the Duchy of Lancaster in socage, by a rent of 16s.; the tenure of 'the manor of Agecroft' is not separately recorded. His daughters and heirs were Dorothy, aged thirty, wife of James Ashton; Margaret, twenty-four, wife of John Reddish; Anne, twenty-five, and Katherine, eight years.
Sir Robert's brief will is printed in Wills (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 190. The executors were his wife Dame Cecily, and his 'cousin' Edmund Trafford.
Seisin of a fourth part each was given to Anne, Margaret, and Dorothy, in 1563, and to Katherine, then wife of Thomas Legh, in 1568; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. 556.
Dame Cecily, who afterwards married Edward Holland of Denton, died in or before 1572, when in accordance with her nuncupative will William Dauntesey gave certain of her goods to Francis Wolryche of the Inner Temple, in trust for his son John Dauntesey; Agecroft D. no. 139.
27 Three days before his death Sir Robert had given to trustees for his daughter Anne the 'capital messuage or mansion house of Agecroft with its appurtenances in the vill of Pendlebury, and also all the closes, lands, &c., in the vill aforesaid, commonly called Pendlebury demesnes, and known by the several names of the Old Agecroft, the Lower Copies, the Over Copies, the Park, the Great Ryefield, the Little Ryefield, the Sourbutts, the Lumns, the Warth, the Crimbles, Aynesley, the Oxhey, and the Little Oxhey'; also the water-mill in Prestwich, and a meadow called the Springs, &c.; also common of pasture and turbary on Swinton Moor; Agecroft D. no. 130. These lands were given to Anne in June 1562; ibid. no. 134. She had married William Dauntesey by 1571; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 390. Two of Sir Robert's daughters, Dorothy and Katherine, died childless, but the lands assigned to them appear to have remained in their husband's families.
28 Dauntsey is near Malmesbury. From deeds at Agecroft it appears that John Dauntesey died in or before 1506, when the wardship of Richard, his son and heir, was granted by the king to Philip Baynard. John had two brothers, Ambrose of West Lavington, and William, citizen and mercer of London; the latter's estate appears to have descended to his nephew Richard. This nephew, who was usher to Queen Katherine Howard and then to Queen Mary, married, apparently as his second wife, Mary widow of—Wolrych, and is afterwards described as 'of Dudmaston, Salop.'He died in 1556 and left a son and heir William, who came of age in 1563. The estates included the manor of Compton Bassett in Wiltshire, and various lands in Wiltshire, Middlesex, and Essex. William had a younger brother Robert. There is a pedigree in Booker's Prestwich, 228, 229.
29 The manor of Pendlebury is not named in the inquisitions, but was the subject of fines in 1613 and 1625, the deforciants in the former being William Dauntesey and Anne his wife, and in the latter William Dauntesey; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 83, m. 46; 107, m. 14.
30 The manor of Pendlebury was in 1630 counted as the inheritance of Sarah Coke, who died in 1623–4; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvi, no. 53; see also Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 179, m. 92; 217, m. 20.
31 Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1870), i, 599.
32 Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 349. The rent of 8s. is half of the old composite rent for Pendlebury. William Dauntesey died 19 May 1622, his wife Anne having died in 1618; William, the son and heir, was over forty years of age. He had entered Oriel College, Oxford, in 1590, giving his age as nineteen; Foster, Alumni.
In 1613 a settlement was made on the marriage of William son and heir apparent of William Dauntesey and Anne his wife with Katherine daughter of Lawrence Crompton, late of Breightmet, and Alice his wife; Roger Downes of Wardley was the principal trustee; Agecroft D. no. 143. The subsequent fine is recited in the Inq. p.m. In 1624 William Dauntesey acknowledged the receipt of the goods due to his wife from Lawrence Crompton her brother; Agecroft D. no. 147.
33 William Dauntesey II paid £10 in 1631 as a composition on refusing knighthood; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 215. He died 2 Jan. 1636–7, his son and heir William being about fifteen years of age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxviii, no. 78. In 1634 he had made a settlement of Agecroft Hall and the rest of the estate, eight children being named: William, John, Mary, Anne, Elizabeth, Sarah, Alice, and Katherine. A third part having been assigned to his wife Katherine, another third was given to his son William for his maintenance, and provision for the other children was to be made from the rest; Agecroft D. no. 152. His will, dated the day of his death, mentions the £500 bequest from Sir John Dauntesey of Bishop's Lavington, a kinsman; ibid. no. 153, 317. See also Fun. Cert. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 202.
The king granted the wardship and marriage of the heir to the widow, Katherine; Agecroft D. no. 155.
34 He was party to an indenture of 15 Feb. 1692–3, but deceased in June 1694; ibid. no. 159, 160. His children's names are recited in the latter deed: William, Christopher, John, Thomas, and Byron; Katherine, Elizabeth, and Jane.
35 William entered Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1686, aged 17; Foster, Alumni. He died in Aug. 1695, Christopher succeeding; Agecroft D. no. 162.
36 The marriage agreement is dated 18 Jan. 1696–7. Mary Chisenhale's portion was £1,000; Agecroft D. no. 197.
In 1703 Christopher Dauntesey was appointed captain of a militia company commanded by Sir Ralph Assheton; ibid. no. 175. He was appointed sheriff in Dec. 1705; ibid. no. 182. He died in 1711.
37 An agreement made in 1733 recites that 'whereas the said Edward Dauntesey hath been for several years past and now is at certain times and seasons unhappily visited with a melancholy or lunacy, though often enjoying clear, lucid, and very sensible intervals and as now of sound mind, which continue not long enough thoroughly to manage and improve his real estate to his and his family's best advantage, whereby he is rendered incapable to marry in such manner as his quality and estate would and do otherwise require'; and arranges for the conveyance of the estates, in consideration of an annuity of £30, to his brother Christopher, so that the latter may make a suitable marriage and prevent the extinction of the name and family; ibid. no. 194–6. Christopher in 1735 married Elizabeth daughter of Robert Billinge of Eccleston in Leyland; ibid. no. 200–3. By his will, dated in 1747 and proved in 1748, he provided for annuities to his wife Elizabeth and his brother Edward; his lands went to his son John, but £600 was to be paid to his daughter Katherine when she came of age; ibid. no. 204.
A monument in Eccles Church states that Christopher Dauntesey died 28 Apr. 1748, aged 44, and his wife 15 July 1791, aged 77.
38 John Dauntesey in 1779 paid the free rent of 9s. 4d. for Agecroft; Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, 14/25.
39 John Dauntesey was a student of Peterhouse, Camb., in 1757; M.A. 1762; ordained deacon in 1760, and priest in 1761; licensed to the curacy of Ashton on Mersey; in 1780 described as of Agecroft (Agecroft D. no. 205–20). The will of his sister Katherine was proved in 1805; ibid. no. 221. His own will, dated 10 Oct. 1811, left sums of £500 each to two of his servants and others. His lands, &c., in Pendlebury, Pendleton, and Prestwich, he bequeathed to John Hull, son of the late Richard Hull of Chorley, surgeon, with remainders to John's sister Margaret wife of the Rev. Richard Buck of Fletton, to their brother Thomas Hull of Beverley, and their sister Elizabeth Hull of Chorley; ibid. no. 222. John Hull was not a descendant of the Daunteseys; Manch. Guardian N. and Q. no. 1084; see also no. 970, 998, 1042, for other particulars of the families of Agecroft.
40 Booker, Prestwich, 227. The Rev. Richard Buck (who was second wrangler in 1783) and Margaret his wife in 1823 procured an Act of Parliament to grant building leases. The duchy rent was purchased in 1826. For the Buck family see the account of Much Hoole, and for the Hulls that of Poulton in the Fylde.
41 a Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1870), i, 599.
42 b Burke, Landed Gentry.
For an account of the Agecroft Hall deeds see Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. iv, 199–220.
43 A small pond in the grounds to the south-east of the house is sometimes said to be the remains of the moat, but there seems to be no good evidence of this. The course of the Irwell is stated to have been formerly much nearer to the hall, forming a natural protection on that side.
44 a When the line of railway was first projected between Manchester and Bolton, Agecroft Hall narrowly escaped destruction, the owner, Mr. Buck, offering the most uncompromising opposition; a slight diversion in the contemplated route of the line was made, and the hall preserved intact. See Booker, Prestwich, 201.
45 b This has made Booker (Prestwich, 200) suppose that the figure is the badge of Richard II, and makes him think the work may date back to the reign of that monarch. But, as he himself allows, the animal has no collar and chain, and there is nothing in the rest of the work to suggest such an early date.
46 Booker, Prestwich, 198.
47 a Booker, op. cit. 199.
48 b Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. iv, 214.
49 Chadeswrthe, 1212; Schoresworth, 1241; Scheresworth, 1276; Shorswrth, 1292. A deed quoted in the account of Little Bolton in Pendleton describes land in that hamlet as situate between Shoresworth Brook and the Millbrook. A century ago three fields were still known as Shoolsworth.
50 Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 68. Ellis de Pendlebury had a brother Richard (Cockersand Chartul. ii, 725), and these may have been his four sons. By 1219 one of the parts into which it was divided seems to have escheated to the Pendleburys; Fine R. Excerpts, i, 38.
51 Hugh de Shoresworth in 1241, as tenant of the fourth part of an oxgang of land there, had his title recognized, but agreed to pay Richard son of William de Bolton 2s. a year; Final Conc. i, 80. It was probably the latter who, as Richard son of William, at the same time acquired an annual rent of 1s. from Richard son of Robert, the holder of another fourth part; ibid. i, 87. In 1276 Hugh son of Alexander the Mey claimed a messuage and acre of land from Hugh son of Adam de Shoresworth; De Banco R. 13, m. 32. In 1292 Avina widow of Roger son of Loueote was non-suited in her claim against Adam the Smith and Isabel his wife for a tenement in Shoresworth; Assize R. 408, m. 44. Margery widow of John de Shoresworth occurs in 1292; De Banco R. 92, m. 113; Assize R. 408, m. 72d.
Others of the family will be found mentioned in the accounts of neighbouring townships. The most notable is the Margaret de Shoresworth who married Henry de Worsley, and was mother of Thurstan de Holland, ancestor of the Denton family; see Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 150.
52 The particulars of the acquisition are not known. Richard de Hulton was in 1324 returned as paying 7s. 7d. (?) for an oxgang of land in Shoresworth; Duchy of Lanc. Rent. and Surv. 379, m. 13; but John de Radcliffe the elder, of Ordsall, appears to have held the oxgang in Shoresworth by the old service of 2s. about the same time; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 38. The Hulton and Radcliffe estates in Pendlebury in 1316 and 1337 respectively may have relation to Shoresworth; Final Conc. ii, 23, 103. Henry, Earl of Lancaster, in 1341 demanded from John de Radcliffe a messuage, &c. in Pendlebury which Robert de Shoresworth had held of him and which ought to revert to the earl; De Banco R. 328, m. 123.
In 1380 Richard de Radcliffe was found to have held Shoresworth by 2s. rent. There were a messuage and 60 acres of land, worth 60s., and 2 acres of meadow worth 4s.; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 8. In 1422 it was called a 'manor,' and again in 1498; ibid. i, 148; ii, 124.
53 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xv, no. 45.
54 Humphrey Chetham (Chet. Soc.), 114, 247; Sholsworth otherwise Suzeworth.
55 Land tax returns at Preston.
56 See End. Char. Rep. for Eccles, 1904, p. 46.
57 For district see Lond. Gaz. 15 Oct. 1861.
58 For district ibid. 20 Oct. 1874; End. Char. Rep. 44–7. This church is considered one of the finest works of the late G. F. Bodley, the architect.
59 Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. v, 16–21.