Townships: Burnage

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

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'Townships: Burnage', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4, (London, 1911) pp. 310-311. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]

In this section


Bronadge, Bronage, (Copies of) 1320 survey.

Burnage is a rural township of 666 acres, (fn. 1) separating Withington from Heaton Norris. It contains the hamlets of Green End and Lady Barn. (fn. 2) The population in 1901 was 1,892.

The Manchester and Cheadle road passes through it from north to south, and there are cross roads. The village lies near the centre; Green End is further south, and Lane End and Catterick Hall border upon Didsbury. The district is partly residential and partly agricultural.

Burnage was customarily included in Didsbury chapelry, but this was contested in 1814, an expensive lawsuit being necessary to establish the right of the chapelry. (fn. 3) The township was included in the Withington local board district in 1877. (fn. 4)


There was never any manor of BURNAGE, which was a border district between the lordships of Withington and Heaton Norris, pertaining, it would seem, rather to the latter than to the former, (fn. 5) as the 356 acres of common pasture land it contained (fn. 6) were described under Heaton in the survey of 1320. While Thomas Grelley was a minor Sir John de Byron and Sir John de Longford had inclosed for themselves 100 acres and turned it into arable; and after that, Sir John de Byron and Dame Joan de Longford had inclosed yet 36 acres more; these 136 acres, it was considered, might be taken by the lord of Manchester and approved by him, provided enough pasture for the commoners were reserved. (fn. 7) Some compromise was no doubt made; the Byrons do not appear again, and John La Warre and Joan his wife afterwards granted to Thomas son of Henry de Trafford 100 acres of moor and pasture in Heaton and Withington, 'namely, that moiety of the place called Burnage lying next to Heaton, which moiety remained to the said John and Joan after a partition of the whole place made between them and Sir Richard de Longford.' (fn. 8)

The Longford moiety passed, like Withington, to the Mosleys (fn. 9) and Egertons; the Trafford moiety seems to have been sold to a number of small holders. In 1798 William Egerton was the principal contributor to the land tax, paying over a third; (fn. 10) and in 1844 Wilbraham Egerton owned about half (fn. 11) the land.

Burnage was a township in 1655. (fn. 12)

In connexion with the Established Church, St. Margaret's was consecrated in 1875; the Bishop of Manchester is the patron. (fn. 13) A temporary district of St. Chad has recently been created at Lady Barn; the patronage is vested in the Crown and the Bishop of Manchester alternately.

The Wesleyan Methodists have a chapel at Lady Barn. The Congregationalists also are represented.


  • 1. 686 acres, including one of inland water; Census Rep. 1901.
  • 2. Lady Barn is named in the will of Sir Nicholas Mosley in 1612; Booker, Didsbury (Chet. Soc.), 134.
  • 3. Ibid. 175–6.
  • 4. 39 & 40 Vict. cap. 161.
  • 5. The ancient boundary between Heaton Norris and Withington was Saltergate, supposed to be the present road south through Burnage, but the line of the road had been changed before 1320; Mamecestre (Chet. Soc.), ii, 275. The tithes were formerly gathered with those of Withington; Booker, Didsbury, 175. For the complicated boundary of the township of Burnage in recent times see Mr. H. T. Crofton's essays in the Manchester Literary Club's Manch. Quarterly for 1887, and in Trans. Manch. Geog. Soc. for 1893; maps are given.
  • 6. It may be noted that 356 Cheshire acres is somewhat larger than the present area of the township.
  • 7. Mamecestre ii, 283–4. If the land should be recovered by the lord of Manchester its value would be 34s. (or 3d. an acre) annually.
  • 8. Charter printed by Booker, op. cit. 173; the grant was made in exchange for 30 acres of pasture in Barton. A rent of 70s. was payable, and 20 acres of other land seem to have been added.
  • 9. See the will of Sir Nicholas Mosley, ibid. 134.
  • 10. Returns at Preston.
  • 11. Booker, op. cit. 175.
  • 12. Ibid. 174.
  • 13. A school, used for service, was built about 1857; Booker, Didsbury, 176. For the district assigned see Lond. Gaz. 29 Oct. 1875.