Townships: Winwick with Hulme

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.

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'Townships: Winwick with Hulme', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4, (London, 1911) pp. 140-142. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]

In this section


Winequic, 1170; Winewich, 1204; Wynewyc, Wynequic, 1212; Wynequick, 1277. The suffix -quick or -whick long survived.

Hulm, 1276; Holum, xiii cent.; Holm, 1279.

Winwick consists of open country, and is chiefly celebrated for the beautiful parish church in the village, which stands slightly elevated above the surrounding country. There are many picturesque old houses, some with thatched roofs. Some little distance north of the town is St. Oswald's Well, a shallow depression in a field, and easily overlooked on account of its in-significant appearance. There are still some fine beech trees around the village, which are particularly noticeable in a country where timber has dwindled to apologies for trees. The outlying land is composed of arable and pasture land. Crops of potatoes, oats, and wheat flourish in the loamy soil, with clay in places, over a solid sandstone rock. There is some marshy mossland, bare of trees, on the south-west. The geological formation consists wholly of the Bunter series of the New Red Sandstone; to the south-west of Winwick and south of Hulme of the Upper Mottled Sandstone of that series, elsewhere of the Pebble Beds.

This township, which has an area of 1,440 acres, (fn. 1) lies on the east side of the Sankey; Newton Brook bounds it on the north, while another small brook on the south cuts it off from Orford and Warrington. The southern end is called Hulme; there is no defined boundary between it and Winwick proper. The township was enlarged in 1894 by the addition of Orford from Warrington; (fn. 2) and it has been divided into three wards—Winwick, Hulme, and Orford—for the election of its parish council.

The principal road leads north from Warrington to Wigan; it is to the east of the old Roman road. At the church it divides; one branch goes by Newton and Ashton, and the other by Golborne and Ince, to Wigan.

The London and North-Western Company's main line to the north passes through the township, with a junction for Earlestown near the northern boundary. The Sankey Canal passes along the western boundary.

A great lunatic asylum has been erected by the County Council on the lands of the former rectory.

Two encounters took place here in the Civil War; in 1643 Colonel Assheton routed the Cavaliers (fn. 3) and in 1648 Cromwell overtook and defeated the Duke of Hamilton and his Scottish force. (fn. 4) This battle took place at Red Bank, near the border of Newton; and Gallows Croft, on the Newton side, is said to mark the place where many of the prisoners captured were hanged.

Winwick Wake ceased in 1828. (fn. 5)


The rector of WINWICK having been from before the Conquest lord of the manor and owner of almost all the land, the story of the place is the story of the rectors above related. The lords of Makerfield enumerated Winwick as a member of their fee, (fn. 6) but the only lay owners appear to have been the Southworth family, holding a little land directly of the lord of Makerfield. (fn. 7) Under an Act of Parliament passed in 1884 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners became lords of the manor in 1890, and the hall was sold to the County Council.

In 1086 the church of St. Oswald held two ploughlands exempt from all taxation, (fn. 8) and was given by Roger of Poitou to the canons of St. Oswald, Nostell. Under them in 1212 Richard, the rector of Winwick, held two-thirds of the land, and Robert de Walton the remainder. (fn. 9) Robert had granted out his portion—three oxgangs—to Alfred de Ince and three to Hugh de Haydock. (fn. 10) If Robert's interest were merely temporary his grants would probably expire at his death; but similar grants were made by the rectors, and a few particulars of them have been preserved. All the land seems to have been recovered by the rectors by the beginning of the 14th century. (fn. 11)

But few incidents are recorded of the township.

The lease of the rectory from time to time by absentee parsons resulted in the hall being occupied by the lessee or steward. One of these, Gowther Legh, founded the grammar school. A later one, Sir Thomas Stanley, son of Edward, Earl of Derby, made the rectory his residence. His son, Sir Edward Stanley, was in 1590 in 'some degree of conformity' to the established religion, but 'in general note of evil affection' towards it. (fn. 12) From the beginning of the 17th century the rectors seem to have been usually resident, and as they had complete authority it is not to be supposed that expressions of nonconformity were numerous. (fn. 13) Their rule appears to have been mild and readily acquiesced in by the people. (fn. 14)

John Launder paid to the subsidy of 1628 as holding lands. (fn. 15) Under the Commonwealth, Thomas Goulden, member of a recusant family of long continuance in the district, petitioned to be admitted as tenant of the sequestered two-thirds of his estate. (fn. 16)

Among the miscellaneous deeds preserved by Towneley is an agreement made in 1546 concerning Pagefield, lying between Winwick and Southworth. (fn. 17)


  • 1. Including 1,091 in Winwick and 349 in Hulme. The census of 1901 gives 2,081, but this includes Orford. The population, 1,253, also includes Orford.
  • 2. a Local Govt. Bd. Order 31665.
  • 3. 23 May 1643. 'Whilst the duty (of prayer and fasting) was in performing tidings came of the taking of Winwick Church and steeple, they on the steeple standing on terms till God sent a deadly messenger out of a fowling piece to one of them; also a strong hall [the rectory] possessed by professed Roman Catholics and stored with provision, as if it had been purposely laid in both for our supply and ease'; Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc.), 138. For a counter attack on the parsonage in 1650, and its tragic results, see the account of Rixton.
  • 4. Cromwell wrote: 'We could not engage the enemy until we came within three miles of Warrington, and then the enemy made a stand at a pass near Winwick. We held them in some dispute till our army came up, they maintaining the pass with great resolution for many hours, ours and theirs coming to push of pike and very close charges, and forced us to give ground; but our men, by the blessing of God, quickly recovered it, and charging very home upon them, beat them from their standing, where we killed about a thousand of them and took (as we believe) about two thousand prisoners, and prosecuted them home to Warrington town'; Civil War Tracts, 264. It is stated that the 'foot threw down their arms and ran into Winwick Church,' where they were kept under guard; ibid. This fight took place 19 Aug. 1648. Another account states: 'The greatest stand they (the Scots) made was between Newton and Winwick, in a strait passage in that lane that they made very strong and forcible, so that Cromwell's men could not fight them. But by the information of the people thereabouts and by their direction they were so guided into the fields that they came about so that they drove them up to that little green place of ground short of Winwick church and there they made a great slaughter of them, and then pursued them to Warrington'; Lancs. War (Chet. Soc.), 66. In the notes (p. 145) is an extract from Heath's Chron. (323): 'The Scots at Red Bank fight were commanded by a little spark in a blue bonnet who performed the part of an excellent commander and was killed on the spot.'
  • 5. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 647.
  • 6. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 99, &c. Winwick seems to have been at one time appropriated to the church and rectory, Hulme having been the township name.
  • 7. This seems to have begun in a grant by William de Sankey about 1260 of land in Hulme held by a charter of Henry de Ince; Towneley MS. HH, no. 1654. In the inquisition after the death of Thomas Southworth, taken in 1547, the tenement in Hulme is grouped with the others 'held of Sir Thomas Langton in socage'; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vii, no. 23. Thurstan Southworth, as a landowner, paid to a subsidy in Queen Mary's time; Mascy of Rixton D.
  • 8. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 286a.
  • 9. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 72.
  • 10. Ibid.
  • 11. Two charters relating to the township are contained among the Legh of Lyme deeds in Raines' MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxxviii, 393: (1) Robert de Winwick released to Gilbert de Haydock all his claim to four oxgangs in Hulme, being a fourth part of the vill, which Hugh de Haydock had formerly purchased from him, the said Gilbert having given Robert 40s. 'in his great need.' (2) John the clerk of Hulme granted to Hugh son of John de Haydock, in free marriage with Margery his daughter, two messuages in Hulme and a croft called Flaxhalgh. Henry de Hulme granted a house for a rent of 4d. payable at Halton Fair; Towneley MS. GG, no. 997. William son of John de Hulme granted to Robert, 'called Robin,' land between that of Robert de Holland and Hugh de Hulme. In 1276 Simon the Messer, of Warrington, claimed four oxgangs of land in Hulme against Richard de Haydock, and other messuages, &c. against Robert the Smith, Austin vicar of Winwick, Richard de Houghton, Hugh son of John de Haydock, and others; De Banco R. 15, m. 15 d.; 17, m. 84 d. At the same time the vicar (rector) of Winwick had leave to withdraw his plea against Thurstan de Holland and other tenants in Hulme; Assize R. 405. He proceeded against William son of John and others respecting three oxgangs of land of which he alleged his predecessor Robert was seised in the time of Henry III, Henry de Sefton having taken possession after Robert's death on the allegation that they were a lay fee; De Banco R. 18, m. 15; 19, m. 54 d. William son of John called the Prior of Nostell to warrant him. Margery, widow of Robert de Kinknall, who claimed dower in two oxgangs in Golborne against Robert Banastre, also claimed lands in Hulme against Peter the chaplain and others—including Austin the vicar—in respect of four oxgangs of land; De Banco R. 20, m. 15d, 26 d. Austin the vicar prosecuted his claim against Robert de Holland respecting three oxgangs in Hulme, and William de Aintree, on being called to warrant, averred that his father Henry died seised, the charter to Thurstan, father of Robert de Holland, never having been executed; De Banco R. 23, m. 21; 28, m. 41; 30, m. 33. In 1292 John son of Hugh de Hulme claimed an oxgang in Hulme from John the vicar of Winwick, but did not prosecute it; Assize R. 408, m. 21. In 1313 John de Bamburgh, then rector, claimed six messuages and three oxgangs in Winwick from John son of Hugh de Hulme, who called John, Prior of Nostell, to warrant him, alleging that he held by charter of Henry de Aberford, a former prior; De Banco R. 199, m. 37 d.; 207, m. 108; 212, m. 431 d. It should be remembered that Henry de Sefton represented the Alfred de Ince of 1212, and that William de Aintree was a Haydock. John de Chisenhale, rector of Winwick, asserted in 1334 that William le Boteler of Warrington and others had disseised him of a mill and certain lands in Winwick. In reply it was urged that John was 'vicar,' not 'parson,' of Winwick, but in general the jury sustained his claim. William le Boteler, grandfather of the defendant, had purchased from Richard son of Hugh de Hulme an acre of land in Winwick, from olden time arable; Coram Rege R. 297, m. 6 d.
  • 12. Lydiate Hall, 244; quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz. ccxxxv, 4. He was 'of great living.' His wife, Lady Lucy, was an indicted recusant. Sir John Fortescue, who married Sir Edward Stanley's daughter and enjoyed the rectory, was also a recusant; Cal. of Com. for Compounding, iv, 2539.
  • 13. In Beamont, Winwick, 41, 42, may be seen presentments made at the visitations of the chancellor and archdeacon of Chester in 1632 and 1634. 'Roger Burchall was presented as a depraver of religion as established in the Church of England and a negligent comer to church, and as having reported that my lord suffered seminary priests to walk hand in hand and did not so much as point at them.' 'My lord' was perhaps the Bishop of Chester, or the Earl of Derby. Another was presented for having a candle on the bier, and others had 'sent for the blesser to bless cattle that were sick at Winwick.' John Norman was presented in 1669 for saying that 'this Church of England is not a true church, and that the worship therein is odious to God and hateful to man'; Visit. books at Chester.
  • 14. See Baines, Lancs. Directory of 1825, for the methods used by Rector Hornby to promote good conduct; ii, 717.
  • 15. Norris D. (B.M.); Elizabeth Lunt (or Williamson) and Thomas Goulden, as convicted recusants, paid double on goods; for these see Trans. Hist. Soc. (new ser.), xiv, 244. The Launder family acquired an estate in Ashton in Makerfield.
  • 16. Cal. of Com. for Compounding, iv, 3160. Thomas and John Goulden, in Elizabeth's time, had fallen under suspicion because they were recusants and had been known to resort to the seminary priest at Samlesbury; Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1870), i, 180 (from Harl. MS. 360, fol. 32b). The family occurs in Southworth, Pendleton, and St. Helens; See J. Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of Engl. Cath. ii, 324. For Fortescue Goulding, born at Winwick Hall, and educated at St. Omers and Valladolid, see Pal. Note-book, iii, 103. The will of John Goulden of Southworth, dated 1701 and proved 1715, in the Ches. Reg. mentions his wife Katherine, his son Thomas, and his nephew Richard Hitchmough. The testator had property in Southworth, Croft, Poulton, Woolston, Fearnhead, and Moscroft.
  • 17. Towneley MS. GG, no. 1069.