A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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This township (fn. 1) lies between Moston Brook on the north and the Medlock on the south; part of the western boundary is formed by two brooks which there unite to flow south-west through Manchester as the now hidden Shootersbrook. The area measures 1,585 acres. The population of Newton, Bradford, and Clayton was 83,501 in 1901.
The principal road is that from Manchester to Oldham, going north-east through the northern half of the township; in the same direction, but somewhat to the south, goes a fragment of a Roman road. The township is crossed by several portions of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's railway; the line from Manchester to Rochdale crosses the northwest corner, with a station at Miles Platting, where there are extensive goods sidings, and is joined by a branch from the west, another branch going east to Oldham, with a station called Dean Lane; yet another branch from Miles Platting bends to run along the southern border with stations called Park and Clayton Bridge; this last line has a junction with one from London Road Station. The Rochdale Canal passes through the centre of the township.
The hearth tax return of 1666 shows that there were 113 hearths liable. The principal houses were those of Mrs. Mary Whitworth, with nine hearths; William Williamson, with eight, and Thomas Byrom with six. (fn. 2)
The district to the north of the canal is quite urban; the western portion, known as Miles Platting, has long been a suburb of Manchester, and the eastern portion, or Newton Heath, has more recently become one. In the south-east corner of the township stands Culcheth Hall, and the hamlet formerly called Mill Houses (from Clayton Mill) is now Clayton Bridge, from the bridge over the Medlock. (fn. 3)
The detached portion of the township called Kirkmanshulme (fn. 4) appears to have been taken out of Gorton. It is separated from Newton proper by a distance of 2 miles. In its north-east corner lie the Belle Vue Gardens, formed in 1836; (fn. 5) the southern portion is known as Crow Croft; Gore Brook crosses the centre from east to west.
A local board for the whole township was formed in 1853, (fn. 6) but Kirkmanshulme was separated in 1859. (fn. 7) Newton was taken into the city of Manchester in 1890, and in 1896 became part of the new township of North Manchester.
A free library was opened in 1891. (fn. 8) Philips Park Cemetery lies on the border of Bradford. There is another cemetery near the centre of the township.
The inclosure of the Heath was effected in 1804 under an Act obtained two years previously. (fn. 9)
The industries are various. There are cotton mills, dyeing and bleach works, iron works, chemical works, a brewery, rubber works, and a match factory. (fn. 10) Coal mining was formerly carried on. (fn. 11)
A Marprelate press, the first printing press known to have been worked in Lancashire, was seized in Newton Lane, in or near the township, in 1588, by the Earl of Derby. (fn. 12)
The annual rush-bearing took place on 18 August, the wake being on the following Sunday. (fn. 13) Stocks were erected in 1721; they were placed at the west end of the chapel. (fn. 14) Two halfpenny tokens of the 17th century are known. (fn. 15)
The manor of NEWTON has from time immemorial been part of the endowment of the parish church of Manchester, being, there can be no doubt, the plough-land recorded in Domesday Book as belonging to the churches of St. Mary and St. Michael, and then free of all custom except geld. (fn. 16) To this Albert Grelley between 1154 and 1162 added 4 oxgangs of his demesne, which have been identified as KIRKMANSHULME, (fn. 17) long regarded as a hamlet in the township of Newton and parcel of the manor. The manor was taken by the Crown on the confiscation of the collegiate church estates by Edward VI in 1548 and restored about eight years later by Philip and Mary. (fn. 18) It is possible that in the interval some portions had been granted out by the Crown, which would account for some land not being held of the warden and canons; it seems, however, that the lords of Manchester had of old some land in Newton. The manor courts, though mere formalities, continue to be held. (fn. 19)
The principal estate was that known as CULCHETH, (fn. 20) long the property of a family of that name. (fn. 21) It was in the 17th century acquired by the Gilliams, (fn. 22) and by an heiress conveyed to John Greaves of Manchester, apothecary, (fn. 23) who was high sheriff in 1733. (fn. 24) This family held it for about a century, when it was sold; the owner in 1862 was named Assheton Bennett. (fn. 25)
A family named Holland was long resident in Newton. (fn. 26)
MONSALL was an estate which only in part belonged to the warden and fellows. The portion which did not belong to them was about 1872 purchased by the Manchester Infirmary for a fever hospital building, and in 1896 was sold to the corporation. (fn. 27)
In 1787 the principal landowner was Edward Greaves, who paid about a sixth part of the land tax. — Hulme, Edmund Taylor, and — Holland were the next contributors. (fn. 28)
The chapel, now ALL SAINTS' CHURCH, was built on the heath perhaps not long before the Reformation. (fn. 29) In the Visitation list of 1563 Ralph Ridde appeared as curate of Newton. (fn. 30) There was no endowment, and the minister in 1610 was paid by voluntary offerings. (fn. 31) The Parliamentary Surveyors in 1650 recommended that it be made a parish church; the minister had a stipend of £40 raised by subscription. (fn. 32) In 1717 it was certified that 'nothing belonged to it' except the minister's dwelling; surplice fees and subscriptions amounted to about £24. There were two wardens. (fn. 33) The chapel was then 'well and uniformly seated'; (fn. 34) it was enlarged in 1738, (fn. 35) and rebuilt 1814–16. (fn. 36) A separate chapelry was assigned to it in 1839. (fn. 37) The rector is presented by the Dean and Canons of Manchester. The following is a list of the curates and rectors:— (fn. 38)
|oc.||1609||Randle Bate (fn. 39)|
|oc.||1617||George Gee (fn. 40)|
|oc.||1637||Humphrey Bernard (fn. 41)|
|oc.||1642||William Walker (fn. 42)|
|1649||John Walker (fn. 43)|
|1704||Griffith Swinton (fn. 44)|
|oc.||1735||William Purnell, M.A. (Oriel Coll. Oxf.)|
|1764||Richard Millward, LL.B. (fn. 45)|
|1789||William Jackson, M.A. (fn. 46)|
|1792||Abraham Ashworth, M.A. (Brasenose Coll. Oxf.) (fn. 47)|
|1834||William Hutchinson, B.D. (Emmanuel Coll. Camb.) (fn. 48)|
|1876||St. Vincent Beechey, M.A. (Caius Coll. Camb )|
|1885||Ernest Frederick Letts, M.A. (Trin. Coll. Dubl. and Oxf.) (fn. 49)|
|1904||James Andrew Winstanley, M.A. (St. John's Coll. Camb.)|
The following more recent churches belong to the Establishment, the Bishop of Manchester collating to the rectories: St. Luke's, Miles Platting, 1875; (fn. 50) St. Anne's, 1883; (fn. 51) St. Mark's, 1884, and St. Augustine's, 1888. St. Cyprian's is a temporary iron church at Kirkmanshulme. (fn. 52)
A school was founded about 1688. (fn. 53)
The Wesleyan Methodists have churches at Newton Heath, Miles Platting, and Monsall. (fn. 54) The Methodist New Connexion also have three, the Primitive Methodists two, and the Independent Methodists one, at Miles Platting. The Congregationalists have a school-chapel at Newton Heath, built in 1893. (fn. 55) The Salvation Army has a barracks. The Unitarians have a church in Oldham Road.
For Roman Catholic worship St. Edmund's was opened in 1873, and Corpus Christi in 1889–1908; both are at Miles Platting. The latter began as a temporary church in a former glass works; it is served by Premonstratensian canons. The Alexian Brothers have a house at Newton Heath, and the Little Sisters of the Poor have one at Culcheth.