A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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TODMORDEN AND WALSDEN
INCHFIELD in Walsden was formerly reckoned a manor, having probably been the site of the manorhouse of the Savile family, who, as above stated, once held a moiety of the manor of Rochdale as heirs of the Hugh de Eland of 1212. (fn. 1) In 1626 it was held by George son of George Travis of the king by a rent of 40s. 5d.; the acreage was only 387 arable,with pasture lands of nearly 800 acres, and there were also of common land 300 acres. (fn. 2) The Walsden people had 788 acres of common in Inchfield. (fn. 3)
TODMORDEN was held by divers tenants, some of whose lands passed in 1364 to William de Radcliffe of Langfield in Yorkshire, the ancestor, or at least the predecessor in title, of the Radcliffes of Todmorden and Great Mearley. (fn. 4) Richard Radcliffe of Todmorden, who died in 1502, held six messuages, 60 acres of land, &c, in Swineshead and Genredewood of the king as of his manor of Rochdale; a messuage called Henshaw in Hundersfield of John Hamerton; also the manor or capital messuage of Todmorden of Sir John Savile, all in socage. Charles Radcliffe, his son and heir, was thirty-five years of age. (fn. 5) Charles Radcliffe died on 15 August 1536, holding certain messuages and lands in Todmorden of Sir Henry Savile in socage by a rent of 33s. 4d., and others in Walsden of the king by knight's service and a rent of 8s. 10½d. (fn. 6) Edward his son and heir was forty-six years of age, and died at Mearley in 1557, leaving the estates to his son Charles, forty-five years old. (fn. 7) Charles, at his death in 1590, held Todmorden of Sir John Byron and Walsden of the queen; the service for the latter was 8s. rent. (fn. 8) Henry the son and heir, then fifty-seven years old, died ten years later, his heir being his grandson Saville Radcliffe, aged sixteen. (fn. 9) Saville's grandson Joshua died in 1676, leaving as heir his daughter Elizabeth; she married Roger Mainwaring of Kermincham in Cheshire, and in 1717 the estate was sold. The purchaser was John Fielden, a Quaker. In 1796 it was sold to Anthony Crossley, from whom it descended to James Taylor of Calverlands, Berkshire. (fn. 10)
Todmorden Hall is a two-story stone-built house with gables and mullioned windows, originally in a pleasant situation on the north-west bank of the Calder, to which its gardens sloped; but it is now, however, almost completely shut in by other buildings, and its surroundings entirely altered. It takes the place of an older building on the same site of which it is probably a rebuilding or an enlargement. There is, however, nothing in the existing structure which appears to be older than the year 1603, at which date the rebuilding was carried out by Saville Radcliffe, though it is possible that a portion of the west wing may belong to the older building. The type and plan is that of a centre block with projecting end wings, the principal front, facing south, having stone gables and straight parapets with ball ornaments and large mullioned and transomed windows with hood-moulds. The centre and eastern wings are much loftier than the western, and suggest that the 1603 rebuilding may have comprised this portion of the house alone, the lower wing containing the kitchen being a part of the older house. The porch is an addition to the original west wing, as shown by a stiaight joint, but its detail suggests its having been erected at the same time as the rest of the house. The centre wing has two large four-light windows on each floor, those on the ground floor having double transoms, but the original windows of the east wing were cut away in the 18th century and larger square sash windows inserted on both floors, entirely spoiling the picturesque appearance of the house and altering the proportions of the front. These windows remained till 1908, when they were removed in their turn, and new mullioned windows put in their place. In 1626 Todmorden Hall is described in the Manor Survey (fn. 11) as 'a capital messuage fairly built of stone,' and in the will of John Fielden, who died there in 1734, the house is mentioned 'with its gatehouses and cottages.' From that date the hall seems to have been divided into two houses, when Abraham Fielden inherited it, except' the new parlour, the dyning room, the mealhouse, the new chamber with part of the cellar,' which were reserved for the use of his mother. (fn. 12) This probably refers to the west wing, to which an addition was built including a new kitchen, the original kitchen being turned into the dining-room. The Hall still consists of two houses, but the plan was apparently so much modified in the 18th century that the original arrangements are not clear. This work appears to have been done by the Fieldens somewhere about the year 1743 (that date being on a stone in the cellar), and includes the present large stone staircase in the eastern part. (fn. 13)
The roofs are now covered with modern blue slates, and the main roof is carried down at the back between the gables, finishing with overhanging eaves, the north front of the house being straight and unbroken, and producing something of the nature of an H plan in the upper story. The north elevation has end gables of unequal height similar to those in the principal front, but the pitch of the western gable has been altered on one side by the later kitchen addition. The exterior of the house bears no date, but a stone bearing a shield with the arms of Radcliffe quartering Greenacres, found in one of the attics during the restoration of 1908, was placed over the porch in the same year. The spout heads, however, have a bull's head, the Radcliffe crest, within a circle. The interior has been considerably modernized, but the principal front room at the east end is panelled in oak to a height of 10 ft., and has a finely-carved oak mantelpiece, on which, in the centre, are the arms of Radcliffe quartering Greenacres, impaling Hyde of Norbury, with the crests of Radcliffe and Hyde, and the mottoes, 'Natale Solo Duce.' 'Ama Virtutem.' On the cornice is the date 1603, and above three black shields, the centre (larger) one being inclosed within a garter and surmounted with an earl's coronet. (fn. 14) Below are four shields: (1) a lion rampant, (2) Radcliffe, (3) Hyde, and (4) a cross flory and the Radcliffe crest in a circle, between which are the initials S. R. K. R. (Saville Radcliffe and Katherine Hyde his wife). In one of the upper rooms is a portion of a good plaster ornamental frieze, now on two sides of the room only, but formerly continued all round. There is a space 5 ft. high between the ceiling of the corridor of the eastern house and the floor of the landing above, entered by a trap-door, and giving rise to the usual story of a priest's hole. The upper part of the porch in the western house has an open arch and wooden balustrade, forming a kind of small gallery to the hall, and is approached from the bedroom, an arrangement which gives rise to the story of a minstrels' gallery. (fn. 15) The hall is said to have had coloured glass in several of its windows until recent years, (fn. 16) but all of this has now disappeared.
The Fieldens of Bottomley (fn. 17) and the Crossleys of Scaitcliffe (fn. 18) have long held their estates. Allescholes (fn. 19) and Bernshaw Tower in Todmorden (fn. 20) may also be mentioned.
The Chetham family probably held a part of Hundersfield at the beginning of the 13th century, for Thomas Earl of Derby, who died in 1521, held lands there as successor of the Pilkingtons, (fn. 21) and the Chadderton family also had some. The Survey of 1626 gives a full account of the owners and tenants at that time; some of them have been noticed in other parts of Rochdale, as John Butterworth of Turnagh.
The surnames of Howarth, (fn. 22) Lord, (fn. 23) and others (fn. 24) also occur in deeds and inquisitions.
There were 748 acres of copyhold land in 1626.
In 1788 the chief landowners were John Crossley and Hannah Greenwood. (fn. 25)
The town of TODMORDEN, which spread into Yorkshire, obtained a local board in 1861, (fn. 26) and this, after some changes, became an urban district council in 1894. A borough charter was granted in 1896; the area includes the former township of Todmorden with Walsden. In 1888 the whole was transferred to the West Riding of Yorkshire. A town hall, given by the Messrs. Fielden, was built in 1875. The gasworks belong to the corporation, but water is supplied by Rochdale Corporation from works recently purchased from a private company. Todmorden is forming a new reservoir of its own. The market days are Wednesday and Saturday; and there are two fairs, on the Thursday before Easter and the last Thursday in September. There is a free library.
The old parochial chapel of ST. MARY stands on a small eminence in the centre of Todmorden,but is architecturally uninteresting, having been entirely rebuilt in 1770, with the exception of the lower part of the tower, which belongs to the 17th-century structure. (fn. 27) It consists of a chancel, nave, west tower, and south porch, but the chancel and porch are modern additions erected in 1897. The 18th-century building, which forms the present nave, is a plain oblong structure faced with wrought stone and with a stone-slated roof. On the south side are twosquare-headed doorways, one now built up and the other hidden by the later porch, between which are two tall semicircular headed windows with impost mouldings and keystones. Over the doors are twosmaller semicircular headed windows, and at either end of the building two windows each of three lights,. one above the other, the centre lights of which have a semicircular head springing from the level of the cornice of the side lights.
The tower is 15 ft. square on the outside, and hasa pointed window on the west on the ground-floor stage. The upper part was rebuilt and raised in 1860, and terminates in an embattled parapet; it retains, however, its 18th-century cock weather-vaneThe interior is quite plain, and the fittings, with the exception of the west gallery, the front of which hassome good 18th-century detail, are all modern, the building having been completely restored in 1860–8, and again in 1897. The new chancel is Gothic, and has a good east window. There were formerly galleries all round, and that on the north side was standing in 1868, when Glynne visited the church, which he describes as 'scarcely worth notice.'
There is a clock in the tower and one bell, on which is the inscription: 'In dulcedine vocis cantabo tuo (sic) D'ne. In jucunditate soni sonabo tibi D'ne. W [..] O. LAM . SRE . 1603'; and below, ' Recast, tower raised new clock 1860 Mears, Lond. fecit.'
The churchyard is on the south and west sides, raised high above the roadway, and contains a few stones with good 17th-century lettering. It was closed for burials in 1858.
CHRIST CHURCH (the parish church) stands on high ground on the west side of the town in a position commanding a fine view down the valley westward towards Burnley. (fn. 28) It was built between 1830 and 1832, and consists of chancel, nave, with north and south aisles, and west tower. The chancel, however, is new, having been added in 1886, the original building, which is in the Gothic style, having been designed, according to the custom of the day, with a small square east end. The interior is very lofty and has galleries over both aisles and at the west end. Considering the time when the church was erected, its architecture, though poor, is rather better than the usual Gothic of the period.
There are twelve bells, one by Thomas Mears, 1836, and the rest by Taylor of Loughborough, 1897 (eight ringing bells and three chimes). The old bell is fixed stationary.
The church plate, which is common to Christ Church and St. Mary's, consists of two chalices, a paten and flagon of 1832, two chalices and three patens of later date with the Birmingham marks.
The registers begin in 1666, but the first entries are fragmentary on loose sheets pasted in. There are some quaint entries by the Rev. Henry Crabtree (1662–85), who frequently added astrological comments. (fn. 29) The registers are in a very dilapidated condition. The first volume begins with burials and baptisms for 1678, and the years 1666 and 1667 follow, the volume containing entries up to 1758. The second volume comprises the years 1675 to 1709, and the third 1729 to 1812. Many of the entries are on loose sheets, now very much decayed and mildewed. The registers require a thorough overhauling.
The churchwardens' accounts begin 1720.
A chapel probably existed at Todmorden by 1500 ; (fn. 30) though it was but scantily furnished in 1552, that may have been due to its confiscation by the Crown as a chantry. (fn. 31) It was repurchased by the inhabitants for 6s. 8d. (fn. 32) Soon afterwards the chapelyard was used for burial. (fn. 33) As there was no endowment it was probably difficult to find a curate, (fn. 34) and only fragmentary notices occur before 1640. (fn. 35) The Commonwealth Commissioners in 1650 recommended that the chapel should be made a parish church. (fn. 36) After the Restoration the people seem to have been largely Nonconformists, the Quakers being very numerous. About 1706 the curate had an income of £16, of which £14. was from the people's contributions ; the clerk begged wool through the chapelry for his maintenance. (fn. 37) Canon Raines states that John Welsh, curate from 1713 to 1726, was 'very successful in reclaiming Dissenters.' (fn. 38) The benefice became a vicarage under the Rochdale Vicarage Act of 1866 ; the Bishop of Manchester presents the incumbents, of whom the following is a list since the Restoration:— (fn. 39)
|oc. 1695||Daniel Pighells (Pickles)|
|1699||Robert Whitehead, B.A. (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.) (fn. 40)|
|1704.||Robert Butterworth (Jesus Coll., Camb.)|
|1731||William Grimshaw (fn. 41)|
|1742||Robert Hargraves, B.A.|
|1770||John Crosse, B.A. (St. Edmund Hall, Oxf.)|
|1821||Joseph Co well|
|1846||John Edwards, M.A. (Lincoln Coll., Oxf.)|
|1864||Anthony John Plow|
|1868||Rennell Francis Wynn Molesworth, (fn. 42) M.A. (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)|
|1875||William Augustus Conway (fn. 43)|
|1883||Edward James Russell, (fn. 44) M.A. (St. Mary Hall, Oxf.)|
|1910||Charles Paul Keeling, M.A. (St. John's Coll. Camb.)|
More recently, in connexion with the Church of England, St. Peter's, Walsden, has been erected ; it was consecrated in 1848 ; the Crown and the Bishop of Manchester present alternately. (fn. 45)
A school was founded at Walsden in 1713. (fn. 46)
There are several Methodist churches at Todmorden and Walsden, the Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and United Free Methodists all being represented.
The Congregationalists have a church at Todmorden. (fn. 47)
The Baptists have long held an influential position in the Todmorden district; they have several churches. A meeting house was erected at Shore in 1777 for the General or Arminian Baptists. (fn. 48)
The Society of Friends also has long been established here, the history going back to the 17th century.
There is a Unitarian Church, built by Samuel, John, and Joshua Fielden.
The small Roman Catholic church of St. Joseph was opened in 1868.
In 1471 the Abbot of Whalley allowed the inhabitants of Butterworth and Hundersfield the use of the chapel which they had lately built at LITTLEBOROUGH, provided no injury was done to the mother church of Rochdale. (fn. 49) The inventory of 1552 shows that the chapel was but poorly furnished. (fn. 50) It was repurchased by the inhabitants for 40s. (fn. 51) A plan of the seating in 1556 has been preserved. (fn. 52) In this place also there was no maintenance for the curate beyond the contributions of the people, but the list of curates is fairly continuous from 1580. (fn. 53) The Commonwealth Commissioners in 1650 recommended that it should be made a parish church. (fn. 54) In 1717 the inhabitants contributed £10 a year for the curate's stipend; (fn. 55) and in 1747 a subscription was made to meet a grant from Queen Anne's Bounty which enabled a tenement in Shaw to be purchased. (fn. 56) The old building, having long been dangerous, was at last pulled down, the present church of the Holy Trinity being erected in 1820 on an adjacent site. (fn. 57) It has since been enlarged by the addition of a chancel in 1889. The vicar of Rochdale presents the incumbents, who have been styled vicars since the Vicarage Act of 1866. The following is an imperfect list of them since 1582:— (fn. 58)
|oc. 1582–93||William Greaves|
|oc. 1602||Richard Knowles|
|oc. 1604||Joseph Marcroft (fn. 59)|
|oc. 1622||— Poston (fn. 60)|
|oc. 1627||William Walker|
|oc. 1641||Robert Dunster|
|oc. 1647||Isaac Allen (fn. 61)|
|oc. 1649||Thomas Bradshaw, M.A. (Caius Coll., Camb.) (fn. 62)|
|oc. 1669||Thomas Parry|
|oc. 1671||Thomas Guy|
|oc. 1694–6||Edmund Thornley, B.A. (Jesus Coll., Camb.)|
|oc. 1730||Joseph Sutcliff|
|1745||John Keighley (fn. 63)|
|1769||Barton Shuttleworth, B.A.|
|1816||Thomas Steele, B.A. (St. John's Coll., Camb.) (fn. 64)|
|1845||Thomas Sturgess Mills|
|1864||Thomas Carter, M.A. (Queen's Coll., Oxf.)|
|1872||Alfred Salts, LL.D. (St. John's Coll, Camb.)|
The following additional churches have been erected during the last century: St. John's, Smallbridge, 1834; (fn. 65) St. James' the Apostle, Wardle, 1858; (fn. 66) St. James's, Calderbrook, 1870; St. Andrew's, Dearnley, 1895; St. Barnabas', Shore, 1901. The vicar of Smallbridge presents to Wardle, but the patronage of the others is vested in the Bishop of Manchester, except that the present vicar of Littleborough presents to Calderbrook during his incumbency.
A school was built in 1700 near Pike House. (fn. 67)
The Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, New Connexion, and Free Methodists have churches at Littleborough; and the last-named have a church also at Smithy Bridge.
The Congregationalists have churches at Littleborough, Smallbridge, and Calderbrook. (fn. 68)
The Baptists have a church at Littleborough.
At the same place is the Roman Catholic church of St. Mary of the Annunciation, founded in 1879. (fn. 69)