A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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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. 1)
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. 2)
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. 3)
There does not appear ever to have been a manor of Pilsworth. (fn. 4) The chief residences were those called Meadowcroft Fold, (fn. 5) long the habitation of a Wolstenholme family, and Lomax's, so-called from the family dwelling there, (fn. 6) ancestors of the Grimshaw Lomaxes of Great Harwood. There are but few references to it among the ancient deeds available. (fn. 7)
The Commonwealth surveyors in 1650 recommended that a church should be built at the End of Streethough in Pilsworth, but nothing was done. (fn. 8)