A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The principal part of this township (fn. 1) lies to the north of Withington; there are two small detached portions to the east, viz. on the north-west and northeast corners of Rusholme. (fn. 2) The total area is 421 acres. The whole is now urban, and forms an indistinguishable part of Manchester. Whalley Range lies on the south-west border. (fn. 3) The population in 1901 was 26,677.
Pepper Hill Farm, the scene of the opening chapters of Mrs. Gaskell's Mary Barton, stood in the main portion of the township until 1900, when it was taken down. The site forms part of the Westwood Street Recreation Ground.
Several relics of the Stone Age have been found in and near Moss Side.
There was no manor of MOSS SIDE, and the development of the township is obscure. Judging from the later ownership the main portion and the nearest of the detached parts were once included in the estates of the Prestwiches of Hulme, for they were, in the latter part of the 18th century, held by the Lloyds. The eastern detached portion, lying near the Stockport Road, may have been the estate formerly known as Holt in Rusholme. (fn. 6) Edmund Prestwich, who died in 1577, held messuages and lands in 'Withenshaw' of Nicholas Longford in socage, by a rent of 3s. 4d.; this is probably the Moss Side estate of the family. (fn. 7)
The Traffords and others also held lands in Moss Side, (fn. 8) but there seems no way of distinguishing their estate here from other lands held by them of the lords of Withington; some, or all, of their land in the Yeeldhouses was no doubt in Moss Side, as traces of the name remained till recently. (fn. 9)
George Lloyd, representing in his estate the Prestwiches, paid over half the land tax in 1797; the other estates in the township were but small. (fn. 10)
A large number of places of worship have been built in the township during the last half-century. In connexion with the Established Church are Christ Church, 1850, (fn. 11) rebuilt 1899–1904, with a mission room; St. James's, 1888; also, at Whalley Range, St. Margaret's, 1849, (fn. 12) and St. Edmund's, 1882. (fn. 13) The Bishop of Manchester collates the rector of St. James's; the other benefices are in the hands of the Simeon and other trustees.
The following also have churches: The Primitive Methodists, Wesleyans (at Whalley Range), Congregationalists, Baptists, (fn. 14) Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, (fn. 15) Church of United Friends, Salvation Army, and Swedenborgians (New Jerusalem).
The Presbyterian Church of England at Whalley Range dates from 1849; the present church was built in 1886.
There is no Roman Catholic church, but the nursing sisters of St. Joseph have a house at Whalley Range.