A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Dentun, c. 1220; Denton, 1282, and usually.
This township, lying in the bend of the River Tame, which bounds it on the south, has an area of 1,706 acres, being nearly 2 miles square. It was sometimes called Denton under Donishaw. The highest land, reaching 340 ft., is on the eastern border, dividing Denton from Haughton. The population of the two townships, Denton and Haughton, together numbered 14,934 in 1901.
The principal road is that crossing the township from west to east, leading from Manchester to Hyde and passing through the village of Denton. Crossing it, on and near the eastern border, is the road leading south from Ashton to Stockport, with a bridge over the Tame. The London and North-Western Company's railway from Stockport to Ashton runs through the north-western half of the township, and has a station, called Denton, on the Hyde Road. Part of the Audenshaw reservoir lies in this township.
The place has long been celebrated for its hat manufacture. The trade, after a period of decline has revived. (fn. 1) A coal mine is worked.
The village wake used to be held on 10 August.
A local board was formed in 1857. (fn. 2) This has become an urban district council of fifteen members. The district includes Haughton also. There is a public library.
The manor of DENTON, rated as a plough-land, (fn. 3) was from early times divided into several portions. One moiety about 1200 was held of the lord of Withington by Matthew de Reddish; the other moiety was of the same lord held probably by a family or families bearing the local name, of whom there are but few traces. (fn. 4)
To Richard, rector of Stockport, and his heirs Matthew de Reddish granted four oxgangs of land in Denton, that was to say a moiety of the vill, at a rent of 12d. (fn. 5) Robert, rector of Mottram, no doubt an heir of Richard, granted all his land in Denton, namely two oxgangs, to his daughter Cecily, at 1d. rent to the grantor and 5d. to the lamp of St. Mary at Manchester. (fn. 6) Cecily was twice married—to a Norris of Heaton Norris and to Robert de Shoresworth. This Robert and Cecily his wife granted all their Denton lands, as well in demesne as in service, to their son William. (fn. 7) Later, in 1299, Cecily as widow of Robert modified the gift by granting half her father's land to her son Alexander and his heirs, with reversion to William. (fn. 8) A release was also procured from William le Norreys. (fn. 9)
William de Shoresworth had a son Robert, whose daughter Margaret inherited the Denton estate. (fn. 10) By Sir William de Holland she had a son Thurstan, who was liberally endowed by her and his father, the two oxgangs of land in Denton, i.e. the fourth part of the manor, being part of their gifts. (fn. 11) Thurstan seems to have acquired another fourth part from the heirs of the Moston family. (fn. 12) He was living as late as 1376, (fn. 13) and his son and heir Richard, (fn. 14) who added to his patrimony by a marriage with Amery daughter and heir of Adam de Kenyon, (fn. 15) died in 1402 holding 'the manor of Denton' of Sir Nicholas de Longford by knight's service; he also held the manor of Kenyon in right of his wife, a moiety of the manor of Heaton Fallowfield, and land called Mateshead in Claughton in Amounderness. (fn. 16) Thurstan his son and heir was over thirty years of age. (fn. 17)
Thurstan, (fn. 18) whose widow Agnes was living in 1430 and 1438, (fn. 19) left a son of the same name. The younger Thurstan was in 1430 divorced from his first wife, Margaret de Abram, (fn. 20) and lived on till about 1461, (fn. 21) his widow Ellen being named in 1462. (fn. 22) Richard the son and heir held the manors of Denton and Kenyon, and messuages and lands in Heaton, Bolton le Moors, Wardley, Barton, Manchester, Pemberton, and Myerscough. In 1481 he settled part of his lands on himself and Agnes his wife, with life remainders to younger sons. His eldest son Richard succeeded him in 1483, and in 1486 made provision for Joan daughter of John Arderne, who was to marry his son Thurstan. In the following year and in 1497 he made provision for younger sons, and in 1499 granted messuages and lands in Bolton and Myerscough to his son Thurstan and Joan his wife. Richard Holland was living in 1500, but seems to have died soon afterwards. (fn. 23)
Thurstan Holland succeeded, but died in October 1508, leaving a son Robert, who though then but nineteen years of age had in 1500–1 been married to Elizabeth daughter of Sir Richard Assheton of Middleton. The manor of Denton was described as held of Sir Ralph Longford in socage; its clear annual value was £20. (fn. 24) Robert died in 1513, leaving his brother Richard as heir, he being twenty years of age; the manor of Denton was held by services unknown, and its value was returned as £11. (fn. 25) Richard was afterwards made a knight. (fn. 26) He died about 1548, and in that year licence of entry, without proof of age, was granted to Edward Holland, his son and heir. (fn. 27) Edward, who was sheriff in 1567–8, (fn. 28) died in 1570, holding the family estates, probably with some increase, the manor and lands in Denton being held of Nicholas Longford in socage by a rent of 15½d. (fn. 29)
His son and heir, Richard Holland, twenty-four years of age, married Margaret one of the daughters and co-heirs of Sir Robert Langley of Agecroft, and appears to have acquired a great addition to his Heaton estates. (fn. 30) He built a house at Heaton, and resided there and at Denton. (fn. 31) The former place soon became the principal seat of the family, and there Richard Holland died on 2 March 1618–19 holding, among other estates, the manor of Denton and lands, &c., in the township of Edward Mosley in socage by a rent of 12½d. He had no son, his heirs being his five daughters or their issue, and the estates went to his brother Edward. (fn. 32) Edward also died at Heaton on 5 May 1631, leaving a son Richard, thirty-six years of age. (fn. 33)
This son was the Colonel Richard Holland who was one of the chief Parliamentary leaders in the county during the Civil War, being a strict Puritan; (fn. 34) he assisted in the defence of Manchester in 1642, (fn. 35) though he advised its surrender; (fn. 36) he also served at the taking of Preston, (fn. 37) at Nantwich, (fn. 38) and at Lathom. (fn. 39) He represented the county in two of Cromwell's Parliaments, 1654 and 1656. (fn. 40) He died in 1661, and his only son Edward having died before him, the inheritance went to a brother Henry, and then to another brother, William. (fn. 41) The latter was living at Heaton in 1664, when a pedigree was recorded; (fn. 42) he was rector of a mediety of Malpas from 1652 to 1680, when he resigned, (fn. 43) dying two years later. His son Edward dying unmarried in 1683 the inheritance went to a daughter Elizabeth, who married Sir John Egerton of Wrinehill, ancestor of the Earl of Wilton, the present lord of Denton. (fn. 44)
Of Denton Old Hall only a fragment remains. The original house appears to have been either quadrangular or built round three sides of a courtyard, but of this, however, only a portion of the south or centre wing containing the great hall and the smaller chamber beyond is now standing, together with a detached building, now a barn, on the east side, the timber framing of which seems to indicate that it was originally part of the eastern wing. The Hall is now used as a farmhouse, and the present farm buildings, though modern and built of brick and extending very far westward, preserve to some extent what may have been the original quadrangular aspect of the house. Denton Old Hall was one of a number of houses standing in the valley of the Tame, which here separates Lancashire from Cheshire, and stands about half a mile from the north bank. It was a timber-andplaster building on a low stone base, built apparently in the 15th century, but has been altered from time to time and faced with brick at the back and ends. The usual arrangement of the great hall, screens, and the rooms at either end could, till recently, be seen, but internal alterations and the destruction of the west wing have rendered them difficult to follow. The front of the central part of the building faced north to the courtyard, and it is a portion of this which still remains. It is a very simple design made up entirely of crosspieces and uprights, with a cove under the eaves, but without any attempt at ornamentation except in the mouldings of the beam under the cove. The timber front now standing is the north wall of the great hall less the passage at the west end. The screens and the whole of the west end of the building were taken down in 1895. This west wing slightly projected in front of the hall and was about 25 ft. in width, and probably contained the kitchen and offices, but they had been much altered on plan by the introduction of a central through-passage from east to west. The elevation carried on the timber construction of the present front, but with more variety of treatment in its parts. The disappearance of this west wing with its long windows on each story, its overhanging gables and line of quatrefoil panelling, is very much to be regretted. At the east end of the great hall is what was probably the smaller hall, now entirely refaced in brick with a gable north and south. The roofs are covered with stone slates.
The great hall, which was 35 ft. long including the passage and 23 ft. in width, had a massive open timber roof, a canopy at the east over the dais, and a gallery at the west end over the passage. It is now divided into two stories by the introduction of a floor, but some idea of the original appearance may still be gathered by an examination of the roof principals and framing in the bedrooms. There was a square bay at the north-east corner of the hall to the left of the high table, but there seems to have originally been no provision for a fireplace. The room was presumably warmed by a brazier, the coupling of the principals in the centre pointing to there having formerly been a louvre in the roof. The height from the floor to the underside of the tie-beam was about 17 ft. 6 in., and to the ridge 26 ft. The principals are very plain and are disposed in short bays at either end, with a middle one formed by the coupling for the louvre already mentioned, making three small and two large bays in the length of the apartment. The smaller bay at the west end is over the passage, but at the east the space was taken up by the projecting canopy over the high table. The plainness of the roof was only relieved by curved wind braces. At the west end the gallery occupied the space over the passage, but the screen itself was very plain, being constructed of simple chamfered posts and crosspieces on a stone base. The high table was lighted from the bay, and there were two windows at the west end of the north side high up in the wall, one lighting the gallery, the other the hall proper. These windows formed a feature of the north elevation, standing out from the wall on a plaster cove, but only one now remains, the other having been destroyed along with the west wing. The present door in the middle of the apartment is quite modern, having been inserted since the disappearance of the entrance at the west end. There appears also to have been a door at the north-east corner of the hall, now made up, but plainly visible on the outside. From the disposition of the timber framing there does not seem to have been any range of windows on the side of the hall facing the courtyard, the window now on that side, as well as the one on the south, being a modern insertion. At a later time a large fireplace 13 ft. wide inside, with deep ingle nook, has been inserted at the west end, taking up more than half the width of the apartment and entirely destroying the screen and encroaching on the passage way at the back. This seems to have been done before the introduction of the floor, as the upper part of the fireplace is carried up to the roof in an elaborate brickwork composition, with embattled cornices, herringbone panels, and other ornamentation. The upper part of this chimney can still be seen from the bedrooms, but is now covered with whitewash. In the upper part of the bay window, now a bedroom, on the east wall, some of the oak panelling of the hall still remains, together with a plaster frieze on which is a shield of arms bearing Holland impaling Langley. (fn. 45) The introduction of the great fireplace and ingle nook into the hall necessitated the partial destruction of the gallery over the passage, and the whole of the original arrangement of the hall at this end suffered a good deal of change. The fireplaces in the destroyed west wing are said to have been of ornamental brickwork corresponding in style with that in the great hall. They were later than the original arrangement of the kitchen passage, and may have been inserted as late as the beginning of the 17th century, at the time the plaster ornament in the upper part of the bay was put up.
The east end and south side of the house have been entirely rebuilt in brick, and when the west wing was pulled down that end was similarly refaced. The upper part at the east end is approached by a brick and stone staircase on the outside, but this end of the house has no points of interest in it.
In the detached east wing, which is 55 ft. long, are three principals, the tie-beams of which are moulded and ornamented with traceried panels and shields. They are unequally spaced, one being at the south end next the house, and the other two near together at the north. The principals are built from the ground, and have originally had floor beams, the building apparently having always been of two stories, but the lower beam is only retained in the principal at the south end, which on the first floor forms a fullyconstructed partition with door on the east side. The other two floor beams have been cut away. The wall posts and the underside of the lower beam are elaborately moulded, and the beam has a bracket on each side carved with a lion's head and foliage. The two tie-beams at the north end are panelled on both sides but those at the south on the north side only, being quite plain towards the house. Originally the work has been very rich, but the present disposition of the framing and its incomplete character makes it impossible to state what purpose the wing, which on the outside is entirely refaced with brick, served. Its north gable is of timber patched with brick, with quatrefoil panels but without wing boards.
The other moiety of Matthew de Reddish's estate in Denton was probably Haughton, but may have been the two oxgangs of land which in 1320 were held by the lord of Manchester, (fn. 46) Robert de Ashton holding of him at a rent of 13s. 4½d. (fn. 47) John de Hulton of Farnworth held the same in 1473. (fn. 48) In 1282 Robert Grelley was found to have held twothirds of an oxgang in Denton; this land, which is not mentioned again, may have been part of these two oxgangs. (fn. 49)
Two other oxgangs of land were in 1320 held of the lord of Manchester by John de Hyde and Adam de Hulton, who rendered 2d. at Christmastide as well as puture. (fn. 50) It is not clear whether the former tenant was of Norbury or of Denton.
The Hydes of Hyde and Norbury, who were lords of Haughton by Denton, held lands in the latter township, for Robert de Hyde gave to Alexander his son and his heirs all his lands of Denton, and in confirmation and augmentation of this John de Hyde about 1270 granted all the lands in Denton which he held, also land in Romiley in Cheshire, to his brother Alexander, son of Sir Robert de Hyde. (fn. 51) The oxgang of land held in 1320, however, if it were the tenement of the Hydes of Denton immediately, seems to have been acquired in another way from Ellis de Botham. (fn. 52) By a settlement of 1331 the lands of John de Hyde in Denton and Romiley were to remain to Richard, the son of John, and Maud his wife, daughter of Roger de Vernon. (fn. 53) Richard and Maud in 1366 agreed to make no alienation of the estate, (fn. 54) and two years later John, the father, made a grant to Richard, the son of Richard. (fn. 55) In 1320 the rent was paid to the lord of Manchester; but William Hyde, who died in 1560, was stated to hold his messuages and lands in Denton of Robert Hyde of Norbury in socage by the rent of 1d. (fn. 56) Richard Hyde, the son and heir of William, having died a month after his father, without issue, was succeeded by his brother Robert, thirty-two years of age. (fn. 57) William son of Robert died in 1639 holding the same estate, and leaving as heir his son Robert, thirty-five years of age. (fn. 58)
Robert Hyde was a zealous Puritan and took part in the defence of Manchester in 1642. (fn. 59) He died in 1684, (fn. 60) and his son and heir Robert in 1699, leaving as sole heiress a daughter Mary, who married Sir Ralph Assheton of Middleton, but had no issue. The Denton estate, however, was retained by her husband, and fell to the lot of Katherine, his daughter by a previous marriage; by her husband, Thomas Lister of Arnoldsbiggin, she had a son Thomas, after whose death in 1761 the Denton estate was sold to William Hulton of Hulton. It was again sold in 1813 to Francis Woodiwiss of Manchester, (fn. 61) whose daughter, Mary Woodiwiss, owned it in 1856. (fn. 62) The estate was afterwards acquired by Charles Lowe, whose executors in 1901 sold it to Mr. James Watts of Abney Hall, Cheadle, a descendant (through his mother) of the Hydes.
The situation of Hyde Hall is one of natural defence on rising ground, about a quarter of a mile from the north bank of the River Tame. The front of the house is towards the river, and faces southeast. It is a two-story building of timber and plaster on a stone base originally of the 16th century, but added to and altered in the 17th, when it was partly faced with brick. It appears to have had the usual H type of plan, with central great hall and east and west wings. The east wing, however, has disappeared, and that at the west has been remodelled to suit modern requirements and a new building added on its west side.
The house is entered on the north side through an open porch with stone seats at each side, built in brick with stone dressings, and with the date 1625 and the arms of Hyde on the door head. The porch, which has a segmental opening and moulded jambs, goes up two stories, and has a chamber over lit by a five-light mullioned and transomed window with two lights on each return, (fn. 63) and terminates in a square parapet with moulded coping above a plain string-course. There is a sundial over the window. The whole of the north side of the house has been rebuilt in brick, probably in the 17th century, and in recent years has been covered with plaster. The south side has been treated in a similar manner, and the plaster lined to represent stone, so that the north and south walls present little or nothing of their ancient appearance, except in the upper windows, which preserve their mullions and transoms, and in the wood and plaster cove under the eaves. The roofs are covered with grey stone slates, and the chimneys are of brick, that from the great hall rising diagonally on plan directly from the roof. The bay window and east wall of the hall, however, retain their timber construction, the bay window forming a picturesque feature at the east end of the south front.
The great hall is similar in plan to that at Denton Hall, and though smaller may have been copied from it. The door is at the north-west corner, opening into a passage which once formed the screens, but is now separated from the hall, as at Denton, by the later insertion of a large fireplace. The passage is still open at both ends, and has the two usual doorways leading from it opposite the hall. Both the north and south walls, which are 1 ft. 9 in. thick, have an external buttress, and there is a third at the north-east angle where the timber and brickwork join. The east wall of the great hall is of timber and plaster, and was no doubt originally the interior wall between the hall and the east wing of the house. The timber construction shows on the outside, but there is no attempt at ornament, the spaces between the timbers being wide and filled with plaster. The hall, including the passage, is about 32 ft. 6 in. long, and its width about 20 ft. It is lit on the north side by two modern windows, and on the south by a bay window in the south-east corner 8 ft. 6 in. square inside. The floor is paved with stone flags, and the ceiling is crossed by chamfered oak beams, two each way, forming square panels filled in with plaster. The walls are panelled in oak except in the bay window and on the fireplace side, and the room contains a collection of old furniture, the only piece, however, which belongs to the house being the high table. (fn. 64) The hall was divided till recently into three rooms, the bay window being one, and a wall down the centre forming the others. When it was restored to its original condition the great fireplace at the west end, which is 11 ft. wide and 4 ft. deep, was opened out. The bay window of the hall is in two stories, as originally designed, built of timber and plaster, but on the ground story the window opening is a modern one of three lights with plaster at both sides and on the returns. In the room above there are ten lights extending the whole length of the front of the bay, but those in the returns are made up. The upper part projects on a plaster cove, and the cove which runs along both sides of the house under the eaves is carried round the top of the bay under the gable, the halftimber work of which is now covered up with plaster, and the barge boards of which have disappeared. The doors at each end of the passage at the end of the hall are the original ones of thick oak, nail studded, and with good hinges, the doorways themselves being of stone with chamfered jambs and four-centred heads. The original character of the passage has been altered by the building of the hall chimney and the insertion of a modern staircase.
At the north-east corner of the hall is a small room measuring about 9 ft. by 7 ft. which seems to have been added later, constructed of timber and plaster, and with a window on the south side. It goes up two stories, and has a similar apartment above it opening from the room over the hall.
The plan of the first floor only differs from that of the ground story by the bay window being made into a separate apartment connected with the landing over the passage by a corridor on the south side. The room over the hall is panelled in oak all round, the panelling on the south side, which is made up of odd pieces, forming a partition between the room and the corridor; it has a six-light wood-mullioned window on the north side, the bottom lights of which are blocked. The room over the bay window extends the width of the corridor over the great hall, and in two upper lights of its window preserves fragments of well-designed lead glazing. In the south wall upstairs, facing the corridor, is an eight-light stonemullioned window now built up and invisible from the outside, and the landing is lit by a smaller stone window of four lights, the mullions of which (through the settlement of the building) have fallen out of the perpendicular.
The floor of the room over the porch is now nearly level with the side of the window, the lower lights of which are made up, but was formerly much lower, presumably at the level of the present porch ceiling. (fn. 65) It seems to have been raised to the level of the upper floor at the time the present stairs were erected. (fn. 66)
There are no features of interest in the west wing. It has been wholly modernized internally, but it preserves its 17th-century mullioned windows on the upper floor. The building is now used as a farmhouse, but the great hall and rooms over are unoccupied, and after careful restoration are now preserved in something like their original aspect.
To the north of the house are the farm buildings, forming three sides of a large quadrangle, of which the house occupies the fourth side. These were mostly erected about 1839, but a portion of the west side is older, the initials R H M with the date 1687 being carved on a wood beam over the stable door. (fn. 67)
The oxgang of land held by Adam de Hulton had been acquired in 1319 by Adam and Avice his wife from Alexander son of Roger de Denton and Cecily his wife. (fn. 68) This land, described as the eighth part of the manor, (fn. 69) descended in the Hulton family for many centuries (fn. 70) and being augmented by the Hulton of Farnworth land, (fn. 71) Mr. Hulton's tenants were in 1597 called upon for the second largest contribution to the minister's stipend. (fn. 72) This land seems to have been sold with the Hyde estate, as above.
The Denton family's holding it is difficult to trace in the absence of deeds. Roger de Denton in 1309 granted Alexander de Heaton land belonging to two oxgangs in Gotisbucth, and land belonging to one oxgang in Bedecroft, in exchange for land between Thorisbrook and the Merebrook between Denton and Haughton. (fn. 73) In 1341 Richard son of Alexander de Denton claimed by right of inheritance a fourth part of the manor of Denton against Adam son of Richard de Hulton and Robert the Tailor of Tatton. (fn. 74) The latter defendant was omitted in subsequent suits, (fn. 75) and in 1348 Richard continued his claim against Avice widow of Adam de Hulton; (fn. 76) four years later he renewed it against Thomas de Booth. (fn. 77)
Among the other landowners of Denton in the 16th and 17th centuries were the Barlow, (fn. 80) Hulme, (fn. 81) Reddish, (fn. 82) and Tyldesley (fn. 83) families. In 1597 an agreement as to twenty-four messuages on forty parcels of land reclaimed from the waste of Denton and Haughton was made between Richard Holland, Robert Hyde of Norbury, Alexander Reddish, Alexander Barlow, Adam Hulton, Robert Hyde of Denton, Thomas Ashton of Shepley, and Ralph Haughton on the one part, and Sir Robert Cecil, Hugh Beeston, and Michael Hicks on the other. (fn. 84)
From the land tax returns of 1789 it appears that Lord Grey de Wilton and William Hulton paid twothirds of the tax; the remainder was contributed by a number of owners in small sums. (fn. 85)
In 1846 the land was held by twenty-seven proprietors, the principal being the Earl of Wilton, Miss Mary Woodiwiss, and the trustees of Ellis Fletcher, these together holding two-thirds of the total area. (fn. 86)
The church of ST. LAURENCE (formerly St. James, the dedication having been changed about 1800 by the rector) (fn. 87) stands on the south side of the town, and is a low timber building on a stone base, consisting of chancel, north and south double transepts, and nave with a bell-turret at its west end. The nave alone is ancient, and is a simple parallelogram 76ft. long by 23 ft. wide. The chancel and transepts were added in 1872, and are built in a style similar to that of the original structure. The chancel is 26 ft. in length and 18 ft. in width, and the transepts project 18 ft to the north and south, and are 35 ft. wide. These measurements are all internal. The framework of the original structure is composed of oak posts and transverse beams in the usual manner of timberframed buildings. At the end of the 18th century the church was in so dilapidated a condition that the roof was taken off and reslated with the old stone slates, and the ancient walls encased in cement on the outside and lath and plaster within. There were further repairs in 1816, 1837, and 1862.
The exterior of the building, though retaining in general its original appearance of black and white work, preserves in reality no ancient detail. The north wall has a plaster face painted to represent halftimber work, while the south and west walls have been boarded over and treated in a similar manner. The lines of the ancient timbers are apparently followed, the walls being divided at about half their height by a horizontal piece, and the lower division filled with upright studs, while the upper part has four windows on each side, and the spaces between filled with diagonal battens. A cove runs round the entire building under the eaves. The west gable is now without a barge board, but is said to have had an ornamental one at the end of the 18th century. The bell-turret, which is painted to represent halftimber work, has a pointed roof with a weather-cock.
The original church is divided into six bays, the four western of which are 14 ft. from centre to centre and formed the nave, and the two at the east end, which are only about 10 ft. wide, the chancel. At the end of the 18th century, and probably earlier, there was no division between the nave and chancel, a space at the east end being simply railed off for the holy table, but about the year 1800 a small projecting chancel was added. This remained till 1872, when the whole of the present east end of the church, which is faced all round with genuine timber and plaster, was added.
The interior is almost entirely modernized, the division of the bays alone marking the original arrangement. A gallery, which still remains in a modernized form, was set up at the west end in 1728 with a baptistery and churchwardens' pew under. A large family pew was built out at the north-east, but was done away with when the transepts were dded. The east end of the chancel projects 10 ft. beyond the walls of the transepts, the western part being open on each side to the transepts and fitted with wooden screens, against which the quire seats are set. It is lit by a five-light window at the east and two-light square-headed windows on the north and south.
The nave has three modern square-headed windows of three lights at each side, placed high in the walls, with a five-light window at the west on each side to light the gallery. Under the gallery are two small windows on the north side, and one on the south. The roof is the original one of plain timber restored, with a ceiling at about half its height. The gallery is gained by a staircase on the south of an inner wooden porch, but seems to have been originally approached from the outside by a door which still remains. (fn. 88)
The church was re-seated in 1859, (fn. 89) but the two square pews at the west end under the gallery still remain. That on the north side has a good 18th-century stone font on a new shaft, and the churchwardens' pew on the south side has a portion of a well-shaped 18th-century pew back, which formerly bore the date 1726 on a plate. The seats north of the central passage were originally allotted for the exclusive use of the inhabitants of Denton, and those on the south to Haughton and Hyde.
The fittings are modern, but in the chancel are ten oak panels, of late Gothic style, now much obscured by paint, measuring 2 ft. by 1 ft., let into the front and ends of the modern quire stalls. They are said to have been, in the 18th century, in the front of the gallery, but there is nothing to show whether they were originally made for the church.
In the north and south windows of the chancel and in the window under the gallery on the south side, are collected fragments of 16th-century glass, and other smaller pieces occur in the middle lights of the transept windows. In 1855 (fn. 90) these were all in a five-light window at the east of the chancel, but not in their original position. They are evidently parts of a very interesting set, but are too fragmentary to make it possible to discover their original arrangement. The window on the north of the chancel has a shield in each of its lights, one made up of fragments being quarterly, and over all a bend with three escallops (perhaps for Spencer), with helm, mantling, and imperfect crest, while the other has Argent on a cheveron between three lozenges sable, a crescent of the field (probably intended for the arms of Hyde though the tinctures are wrong), and underneath it a female (?) figure in purple with hands uplifted, kneeling before an altar on which is an open book, and with a label bearing the words 'Miserere mei.'
The window on the south side has in its eastern light an angel with a label on which is inscribed 'Ave Maria gratia,' and in the second light the figure of a saint in a green robe holding in his hands what has been taken to be a gridiron (St. Laurence). Underneath is a portion of a dedicatory inscription, 'Armigi' et Katherine … fenestrã fieri feceru …' The glass in the window under the gallery is still more fragmentary and confused, showing portions of inscriptions, figures, and shields.
The fragments of inscriptions have been probably brought from other windows and mixed up in an entirely unintelligible manner. In the three lights of the window they appear to be as follows, but are difficult to decipher in places owing to the presence of the leading:—
(1) 'Edward cui Knolis et … uxis … [fi]eri … feceru[nt].
(2) … et Christian W … d[omin]i m'ccccc'x
(3) Jahane uxors sue … [Ri]cardi supprt et Rod Catherine uxors sue … . an hac dau Johane uxors sue … .
Booker gives three inscriptions on glass in different parts of the building, portions of which bear some resemblance to the fragmentary inscriptions given above, but most of those noted by him appear to have been lost or destroyed. Two of these bore respectively the dates 1531 and 1532, and the names of Hyde and Nicholas and Robert Smith occurred. Judging from the fragments remaining and the records of those that have now disappeared, the 16th-century chapel at Denton seems to have been rich in coloured glass.
The fragments of old glass in the transept windows are very small and include 'I.H.C.' in a circle, the arms of Hyde, part of a figure in red, a head, a shield of arms (Argent a lion rampant gules crowned or), the head of a martyr saint, and a shield with the letter R.
On the west wall of the north transept are two 17th-century monuments, one with a long Latin inscription, (fn. 91) to the memory of Edward Holland (died 1655) and his wife Ann (Warren). The inscription is on a brass plate beneath an entablature supported by columns, and above is a shield with the arms of Holland with a label for difference impaling Warren, Checky or and azure on a canton gules a lion rampant argent: and two crests for Holland (Out of a coronet or a demi-lion rampant holding in the dexter paw a fleur de lis argent), and Warren (On a cap of estate gules turned up ermine a wyvern with knotted tail argent, wings expanded checky or and azure.)
The second monument is a small marble tablet 18 in. square to Eleanor Arden wife of Ralph Arden (or Arderne) and daughter of Sir John Done, from which the inscription is almost effaced, the letters having only been painted. Above on a separate shaped piece are the arms of Arderne, Gules three crosslets fitchy and a chief or impaling Done, 1 and 6 Azure two bars argent over all on a bend gules three broad arrows of the second. 2, Vert a cross engrailed ermine, over all on an escutcheon argent a bugle sable. 3, Gules a lion rampant argent. 4, illegible. 5, Azure two bars argent; with the crests of Arderne, Out of a coronet or a plume of five feathers argent, and Done, A hart's head couped at the shoulders proper.
On the corresponding side of the south transept is a good 18th-century monument to Dame Mary Assheton (died 1721), daughter of Robert Hyde of Denton, with the arms and crest of Assheton, and over all a shield of pretence with the arms of Hyde.
During the restorations in the first half of the last century, on the whitewash falling from the walls, several words in an old English lettering were revealed, and eventually the whole history of Dives and Lazarus was laid bare. This was covered up when the walls were newly plastered, but is still in existence.
There is a single bell in the turret, originally cast by Abraham Rudhall in 1715, but recast in 1896.
The plate is modern with the exception of two 17th-century chalices, one inscribed 'The coppe for the Lord's table,' and the other 'A communion cup given to Denton chappel by Mris Mary Done.'
The registers of burial begin in 1696 (fragments in 1695) and baptisms in 1700. There are marriage registers from 1711 to 1723, after which there is a gap of fifty-five years.
The churchyard surrounds the building, with roads on the east, south, and west, and entrances at the east and south-west. The latter entrance has an ancient timber lych-gate with stone slated roof, probably of the same date as the church. There was formerly a yew tree on the south side, but it was in a very decayed state in 1796, (fn. 92) and was cut down four years later. Another tree now marks its position.
The chapel of St. James was built on the waste in 1531–2, (fn. 93) and in 1534 an agreement was made by the tenants as to the levy for the payment of the chaplain. (fn. 94) Beyond this there was no endowment, (fn. 95) but Richard Holland in 1618 left £100 towards the purchase of an annuity of £20 for 'a godly minister to preach the word of God and read divine service,' to be nominated by the Hollands and Hydes or their successors. (fn. 96) In 1719 the certified income was £12, to which voluntary contributions of about £10 were added. (fn. 97) The right of patronage was disputed in 1677, the warden and fellows of the Collegiate Church claiming to present to this as to the other curacies; the Hollands, however, succeeded in acquiring or retaining the patronage, which has descended to the Earl of Wilton. A formal renunciation was made by the warden and fellows in 1750. (fn. 98) A district chapelry was assigned in 1839. (fn. 99) The following is a list of curates and rectors:— (fn. 100)
|c.||1611||Humphrey Tylecote (fn. 101)|
|c.||1630||Charles Broxholme (fn. 102)|
|1631||John Angier, B.A. (fn. 103) (Emmanuel College, Camb.)|
|1677||John Ogden (fn. 104)|
|1679||Roger Dale (fn. 105)|
|1691||Joshua Hyde (fn. 106)|
|1695||Noah Kinsey, M.A. (fn. 107) (Pembroke College, Camb.)|
|1696||Daniel Pighells (fn. 108)|
|1707||John Berry, M.A. (fn. 109) (Sidney-Sussex College, Camb.)|
|1709||John Jackson (fn. 110)|
|1720||— Grey (fn. 111)|
|1723||Joseph Dale (fn. 112)|
|1750||William Williams, M.A. (fn. 113) (Brasenose College, Oxf.)|
|1759||William Jackson, B.A. (fn. 114) (Brasenose College, Oxf.)|
|1791||William Parr Greswell (fn. 115)|
|1853||Walter Nicol, M.A. (Glasgow) (fn. 116)|
|1869||Charles James Bowen, B.A. (fn. 117) (Trinity College, Camb.)|
The Roman Catholic school-chapel of St. Mary, with the title of the Seven Dolours, was built about 1870; the mission was separated from Ashton in 1889.