Pylesworth, 1243; Pilliswrthe, c. 1270.
The township of Pilsworth has an extreme length
of more than 3 miles; the area is 1,482½ acres.
The surface is undulating, being highest in the centre
and on the eastern side, over 400 ft. above sea-level,
and lowest along the Roch and the Hollins Brook,
which form the boundary on the west and south.
There is no village or considerable hamlet in the
greater part of the township, but in the north-east
is Broadfield, which is becoming a suburb of Heywood.
The population in 1901 was not returned separately.
The principal roads meet at Three Lane Ends near
the centre. From this point one road goes northeast to Broadfield and Heywood; another, north-west
to Heap Bridge and Bury, with a branch turning west
and south to Hollins in Unsworth; the third, southeast to Birch and Middleton. The Lancashire and
Yorkshire Railway Company's line from Bury to
Rochdale crosses the north-east corner and has a station
called Broadfield, opened in 1869.
The soil is sandy, with subsoil of clay; wheat and
potatoes are grown, and there is pasture. There are
bleach works and a cotton-mill.
There were thirty-eight hearths liable to the hearth
tax in 1666; the largest dwelling was that of Dorothy
Lomax with five. (fn. 98)
By a re-arrangement of boundaries made in 1894,
Pilsworth has ceased to exist as a separate township,
being divided among Heywood, Bury, and Unsworth. (fn. 99)
In 1770 a festival called a 'guild' was held at
Pilsworth; a procession and a musical performance
were the chief features of the programme. (fn. 100)
There does not appear ever to have
been a manor of Pilsworth. (fn. 101) The chief
residences were those called Meadowcroft
Fold, (fn. 102) long the habitation of a Wolstenholme family,
and Lomax's, so-called from the family dwelling
there, (fn. 103) ancestors of the Grimshaw Lomaxes of Great
Harwood. There are but few references to it among
the ancient deeds available. (fn. 104)
The Commonwealth surveyors in 1650 recommended that a church should be built at the End of
Streethough in Pilsworth, but nothing was done. (fn. 105)