Townships: Levenshulme

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

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'Townships: Levenshulme', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4, (London, 1911) pp. 309-310. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]

In this section


Lewenesholm, 1361.

This township is bounded on the north by Nico Ditch, on the east by Pinkbank Lane, (fn. 1) and on the south by the Black Brook. The surface is level, sloping down a little towards the west. The area measures 605½ acres. (fn. 2) A house called the Manor House stands near the northern border. There was a population of 11,485 in 1901.

The Stockport Road from Manchester crosses the township in a southerly and south-easterly direction. Adlands Lane and Barlow Lane go eastward through the centre, passing through the hamlet of Back Levenshulme, to the south of which lies Cradock Fold. The London and North-Western Company's railway from Manchester to London passes through the western side of the township, having a station named Levenshulme and Burnage about the centre. The Great Central Company's line from London Road to Central Station, Manchester, crosses the other railway near the southern border, where there is a station called Levenshulme.

The western half of the township has become a residential suburb of Manchester; the eastern half has print works, bleach works, dye works, and mattress works, also several farms.

A local board was formed in 1865; (fn. 3) this afterwards became an urban district council of twelve members, but they have recently agreed to incorporation with Manchester. A Carnegie free library was opened in 1904.

John Ellor Taylor, a native of the township, 1837–95, has a place in the Dictionary of National Biography.


The manor of LEVENSHULME, a dependency of Withington, was in 1319 in the possession of Sir William de Baguley of Baguley in Cheshire, and by a settlement made in that year it passed to his grandson William Legh of Baguley, (fn. 4) whose descendants continued to hold it down to the 17th century, (fn. 5) when the land seems to have been sold to a number of different owners, the manor ceasing to exist.

Baguley of Baguley. Or three lozenges azure.

Legh of Baguley. Azure two bars argent, over all a bend gules.

The township has left scarcely any trace in the records. (fn. 6)

The principal owners in 1787 were Edward Greaves of Culcheth in Newton and John CarillWorsley of Platt, but together they contributed only a sixth part of the land tax. (fn. 7) In 1844 there were forty-nine landowners, the chief being Samuel Grimshaw, owning a tenth. (fn. 8)

In connexion with the Established Church, St. Peter's was built in 1860 near the centre of the township; (fn. 9) the patronage is vested in five trustees. Two new districts, St. Andrew's and St. Mark's, have been defined, but churches have not been built; the patronage is vested in the Crown and the Bishop of Manchester alternately.

The Wesleyans long had a place of worship. (fn. 10) The Primitive Methodists, United Free Methodists, and the Congregationalists have churches.

A convent of Poor Clares stands in Alma Park in the south-west corner; the chapel of St. Mary of the Angels and St. Clare was opened in 1853. (fn. 11)

A school was built in 1754, but the scheme appears to have failed. (fn. 12)


  • 1. Pink Pank Lane was the older form of the name; it was also called the Old London Road; see Booker, Birch Chapel (Chet. Soc.), 173.
  • 2. 606 acres, including 7 of inland water; Census Rep. 1901.
  • 3. Lond. Gaz. 2 May 1865.
  • 4. By the settlement named Sir William de Baguley and his son John arranged that in default of other issue the estate was to go in succession to William, John, and Geoffrey sons of Sir John de Legh of the Booths in Knutsford; Sir John had married Isabel (or Ellen) daughter of Sir William. On John de Baguley's death William de Legh succeeded accordingly; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 550, where an account of the family of Legh of Baguley is given. The date of the deed as given by Sir Peter Leycester appears doubtful in view of the other dates—e.g. that William de Legh was under age in 1359. John Savage and Margery his wife in 1359 claimed twenty messuages, &c., in Withington against William son of Sir John de Legh; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 7, m. 4d.
  • 5. William de Legh of Baguley, who died in Dec. 1435, held ten messuages, 200 acres of land, 40 acres of meadow, and 4 acres of waste in Levenshulme in Withington of Nicholas son and heir of Sir Ralph de Longford, by homage, fealty, escuage, and a rent of 4s.; it was recorded that Thomas de Legh, father of William, had done his homage for the lands, &c., to Sir Nicholas de Longford, father of Sir Ralph. The estate was worth 20 marks a year; Edmund, the son and heir of William, was one year old; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1482. Sir John Legh, son of Edmund, in 1505 settled a tenement in Levenshulme on his illegitimate son John for life; Ormerod, Ches. i, 552. In 1566 Edward Legh made a settlement of the manor of Levenshulme and thirty messuages, lands, &c., there and in Withington; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 28, m, 263. Ten years later he appears to have made a settlement or mortgage of a portion of the estate; ibid. bdle. 38, m. 15. Shortly afterwards Margaret Vaudrey, claiming by conveyance from Edward Legh, had a dispute with the lessees of William Radcliffe concerning lands in Levenshulme; there were some later suits; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 60, 86, 170, 230 (1577 to 1588). She was probably the Margaret daughter of Robert Vawdrey whose 'dishonest and unclean living' was censured by her father in his will; Piccope, Wills (Chet. Soc.), ii, 84. Richard Legh, son and heir of Gerard Legh of Baguley, and others in 1604 granted a lease of lands to Thomas Holme of Heaton Norris; note by Mr. E. Axon (quoting T. Holme's will). The manor and lands were in 1619 in possession of John Gobart (of Coventry) and Lucy his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle 95, no. 39. They left three daughters and co-heirs—Frances wife of Sir Thomas Barrington; Anne wife of Thomas Legh of Adlington; and Lucy wife of Calcot Chambrie; Visit. of Warw. (Harl. Soc.), 293; Earwaker, East Ches. ii, 252.
  • 6. Levenshulme is named as a dependency of Withington in 1322; Mamecestre (Chet. Soc.), ii, 374. In 1361 Richard son of William de Radcliffe did not prosecute a claim against Sir John de Hyde of Norbury regarding tenements in Levenshulme, Haughton, and Lightshaw; Assize R. 441, m. 1 d. 5. Sir John de Hyde appears to have been the son of Isabel sister and co-heir of John de Baguley (who died in 1356); see Ormerod, Ches. iii, 810.
  • 7. Records at Preston. The Greaves family here as elsewhere succeeded to the estate of the Gilliams, who were at first described as of Levenshulme; Booker, Didsbury, 232.
  • 8. Ibid. 233. The incumbent of Gorton Chapel had 26 acres, purchased in 1734 by a grant from Queen Anne's Bounty augmented by subscription. This land had in 1620 been conveyed by Richard Legh of Baguley and Henry, his son and heir, to John Thorpe of Levenshulme; from his grandson it passed to Obadiah Hulme of Reddish, whose son Samuel sold it in 1734; ibid. 231, 232. An abstract of the deeds is printed in Higson's Gorton Hist. Recorder, 86, 87.
  • 9. A site was given in 1853 by C. C. Worsley of Platt; a school built on it was used for divine service; Booker, op. cit. 234. A district was assigned to the church in 1861; Lond. Gaz. 28 June.
  • 10. Booker, op. cit. 235. The old chapel and graveyard were closed in 1866.
  • 11. The chief benefactor was Mr. Grimshaw of Buxton; Booker, op. cit. 235.
  • 12. Ibid.