A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Walmersleye, 1289. The name was frequently corrupted: Womersley and Wamessley (xvi cent.); Walmsley (xix cent.).
Suttelesworth, 1227; Shyotlesworth, 1241; Shytlesworth, Shitleswurth, 1246; Schutelesworth, 1292.
Of the component parts of this township Walmersley lies to the south of Harden Brook, and Shuttleworth to the north of it. Out of a total of 5,064½ acres, (fn. 1) the former has an area of 2,949½ acres, the latter of 2,115. The surface is hilly, spurs shooting out from the eastern side towards the valley of the Irwell, which bounds the township, and is fed by tributary streams running down the valleys between the spurs. Deeply Vale is on the eastern border. The north-eastern part of Shuttleworth is occupied by Scout Moor, which at one point rises to 1,534 ft. The brook forming the northern boundary is called Scout Moor Brook and Dearden Brook. The population in 1901 was 711.
The principal road is that running north from Bury to Haslingden, about half a mile to the east of the Irwell, crossing Pigslee Brook, the boundary, and passing through Walmersley village, Bassfield, Gollinrod, Park, Shipperbottom, Bank Lane, and Shuttleworth. Roads branch off to the west to Summerseat and Ramsbottom. Shuttleworth is also crossed by the main road from Rochdale to Haslingden, which passes the hamlet called Turn and joins the former road at Edenfield. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's line from Bury to Accrington passes in part through this township, and has a station called Summerseat.
Shuttleworth was in 1829 described as 'a small village on the border of the dreary waste called Rooley Moor.' (fn. 2)
The Grant Tower in Walmersley was built by that family in 1829, and stands on the hill over against Nuttall and Park.
On Whittle Pike in Shuttleworth were formerly the remains of a beacon. (fn. 3)
A pot containing Roman coins of the 3rd century was discovered at Throstlehill, Walmersley, in 1864. (fn. 4) 'Castlesteads' is supposed to have been an entrenchment; it is on a bluff overlooking the Irwell. (fn. 5)
The hearth-tax return of 1666 shows twenty hearths liable in Shuttleworth, and sixty-seven in Walmersley; no house had more than four hearths. (fn. 6)
John Kay, the inventor of the fly-shuttle, was born at Park in Walmersley 16 July 1704, and died in France, as is supposed, after 1760. (fn. 7)
The cotton manufacture, with its mills and bleach and dye works, is the chief industry along the Irwell; inland the chief product is grass; the soil is heavy, with subsoil of rock.
The present township of Walmersley-with-Shuttleworth is much smaller than the former hamlet or township, portions having been taken into Ramsbottom and Bury, and some minor alterations effected. (fn. 8) It has a parish council.
Under the lords of Bury WALMERSLEY seems for some time to have been held by a family assuming the local surname. (fn. 9) In later times, however, a number of families appear holding small estates in this part of the township, for example, the Kays of Cobhouse, (fn. 10) Rothwells, (fn. 11) and Woods. (fn. 12) Shipwalbottom, now Shipperbottom, also occurs as an estate and a surname. (fn. 13) Gollinrod was the estate of a Nuttall family. (fn. 14)
The estate of Oliver Nabb in Walmersley was sequestered by the Parliament. (fn. 15)
SHUTTLEWORTH appears to have been a part of Tottington, acquired by an ancestor of Adam de Bury, who in 1227 established his right to a moiety of it. (fn. 16) Henry de Bury in 1311 held half the manor of Shuttleworth of the lord of Tottington by a rent of 12d. a year. (fn. 17) The Shuttleworth family is occasionally mentioned. (fn. 18) There is little further to record of this part of the township. (fn. 19) If the suppositions here made are correct this composite township represents an originally diverse tenure, Walmersley being an integral part of the manor of Bury, while Shuttleworth was part of the manor of Tottington, and came to be joined with Bury through a grant to the ancestor of Adam de Bury.
In 1796 the principal landowners were Richard Nangreaves, John Lancashire, and the Rev. [Richard] Formby. (fn. 20)
Christ Church, Walmersley, was built in 1838 for the Established worship, and rebuilt in 1883; the patronage is in the hands of five trustees. (fn. 23) At Shuttleworth, St. John's in the Wilderness was built in 1848; the incumbents are presented alternately by the Crown and the Bishop of Manchester. (fn. 24)
The Wesleyan Methodists have a church at Summerseat, opened in 1847, where the Primitive Methodists have a chapel also.
The Baptists have a chapel in Shuttleworth.
The Congregationalists have one at Park. It originated in a separation from Dundee Chapel, Holcombe, in 1798. (fn. 25)