A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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This township, (fn. 1) which has an area of 288 acres, lies between the Medlock on the north and Ashton Old Road on the south, and is crossed about the centre by Ashton New Road. It is now almost covered with streets of dwelling-houses. The Manchester and Stockport Canal crosses the northern end. To the north of the canal lies Philips Park, opened in 1846, in which are open-air baths; a recreation ground has been formed near the border of Ardwick. There is a small library, opened in 1887. The population in 1901 was reckoned with that of Newton.
The hearth tax return of 1666 gives a total of twenty-seven hearths; the largest house was that of Edward Charnock with five hearths. (fn. 2)
The industries include large ironworks, a mill, and chemical works; the coal-pits have long been worked. (fn. 3) There was a water-mill in the 14th and 15th centuries. (fn. 4)
Though Bradford was included in the Parliamentary borough of Manchester in 1832 it was left outside the municipal borough in 1838. A local board was formed in 1857, (fn. 5) enduring till the township was included in Manchester in 1885. Its existence as a separate township ceased in 1896, when it became part of the new township of North Manchester.
A schoolboard was formed in 1876. (fn. 6)
In 1282 BRADFORD and Brunhill formed part of the demesne of the manor of Manchester, and were worth 40s. yearly. (fn. 7) A century earlier the Norreys family claimed two oxgangs of land in Bradford, but nothing further is known of their title. (fn. 8) The lords of Manchester had in 1322 a wood in Bradford a league in circuit; also meadow and pasture land and heath; a grange and shippon had been built there. (fn. 9) Ten years later, at the request of his wife Joan, John La Warre granted his estate in Bradford to John de Salford of Wakerley and Alice his wife for life, £20 being paid down and a rent of £10 being due. (fn. 10) In 1357 Roger La Warre granted the manor of Bradford to Thomas de Booth of Barton in Eccles, (fn. 11) who at once bought out the Wakerley family, (fn. 12) and Bradford descended like Barton until the latter part of the 16th century, when it became the portion of Dorothy, youngest daughter and co-heir of John Booth of Barton. (fn. 13) By her first husband, John Molyneux of Sefton, she had a daughter Bridget, (fn. 14) who married Thomas Charnock of Astley in Chorley. (fn. 15) The manor was still in Bridget Charnock's possession in 1654, (fn. 16) and descended to the Brookes of Astley, a branch of the Mere family. (fn. 17) On the death of Peter Brooke in 1787 the estates went to his sister Susannah, who married Thomas Townley Parker of Cuerden. (fn. 18) Her son, R. Townley Parker, died in 1879, leaving this estate to his second son, Robert (d. 1894), whose granddaughter, a minor, is the present owner.
George Chorlton of Bradford had land in Manchester in 1613, and John Fletcher of Bradford in 1619. (fn. 19)
A constable of Bradford is mentioned in 1616. (fn. 20)
Christ Church was built in 1862 for the Established worship. (fn. 21) The rector is collated by the Bishop of Manchester. St. Aidan's, at the southern end of the township, begun as a mission church, was consecrated in 1899; the Crown and the Bishop of Manchester present alternately. The same patronage is exercised in the case of St. Paul's district, recently formed.
The Wesleyan Methodists, Independent Methodists, and United Methodist Free church have each a place of worship. The Unitarians have a chapel, built in 1900. The congregation was formed in 1894.
St. Bridget's Roman Catholic church was opened in 1879.