Townships: Harwood

Pages 268-270

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section


Harewode, 1212, 1302.

The surface in this township has a general slope to the south-west, from over 800 ft. at the north-east corner to less than 300 ft. at the border of Breightmet and Tonge. Bowstone Hill, 825 ft., is at the junction of this township and Bradshaw in Bolton parish, and Elton and Tottington in Bury. The area is 1,239½ acres. The township as such ceased to exist in 1898, being incorporated with Turton, (fn. 1) and thus the population was in 1901 numbered with that of Turton.

The principal road is that south-east through the centre from Bradshaw to Ainsworth, passing through Harwood Lee; another road goes north-east to Tottington; the village or hamlet of Harwood lies on the southern boundary.

The land is chiefly in pasture. There are stone quarries and bleach works.

A library, reading-room, &c., were erected in 1872 from a gift by David Walsh, a miller of Harwood.

There were forty-two hearths liable to the tax in 1666, but only one house had as many as three hearths. (fn. 2)


The manor of HARWOOD, originally including Bradshaw also, was a member of the fee of Manchester, held as one plough-land by knight's service. In 1212 it had become divided, being held of Robert Grelley by Roger de Samlesbury and Alexander de Harwood. (fn. 3) The Samlesbury portion seems to have descended in the same way as the neighbouring manor of Breightmet, (fn. 4) and the Harwood moiety to the Traffords of Trafford. (fn. 5) The matter, however, is not quite clear, the separation of the manor of Bradshaw causing some confusion. (fn. 6) The Trafford moiety was sold in 1589 to Nicholas Mosley, (fn. 7) and he in turn sold it to five partners, who appear to have been acting for a number of others, for in 1615 the manor had been divided into thirty-five portions, of which Giles Ainsworth held one. (fn. 8) Large portions came into the possession of William Hulme, and form part of his endowment fund. (fn. 9)

A grant of free warren in Harwood was obtained in 1266–7. (fn. 10)

The Radcliffes and Bartons of Smithills (fn. 11) and the Hollands of Denton held lands in 'Harwood' for many generations. (fn. 12) Adam Mort of Astley in 1630 held a messuage and fulling mill of Edward Mosley, lord of Manchester. (fn. 13)

Manchester Church had lands in Harwood in 1528. (fn. 14)

Goodwin Fold was once the property and residence of Richard Goodwin, the ejected vicar of Bolton. (fn. 15)

In 1797 it appears from the land tax returns that the land was held by a number of small proprietors. (fn. 16)

The commons were inclosed in 1801. (fn. 17)

Christ Church was erected in 1840 and the patronage is vested in three trustees. (fn. 18) It contains old carved oak fittings which have been brought from various places.

There are Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels.


  • 1. By the Bolton, Turton, &c. Extension Act, 1898.
  • 2. a Subs. R. Lancs. bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 3. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 54. It was part of a composite fee which Richard de Lathom held—5½ plough-lands in Child wall, &c., Harwood being the other plough-land. Hence each of the parceners should have been liable for the thirteenth part of a knight's fee, but in 1302 Harwood was held as the eighth part of a fee.
  • 4. That is, it became divided; one half descended through D'Ewias to Southworth and was sold in the 16th century, afterwards passing through several families; the other half descended to the Hollands, and was forfeited in 1461, afterwards being granted to the Stanleys apparently. These portions of Harwood seem to have been considered by their possessors as merely appendages to Breightmet, though the tenure was quite distinct; thus the Southworths certainly held part of Harwood, but it is not separately named in the inquisitions; part of Breightmet also was granted to Lord Stanley in 1484, without distinct mention of Harwood, though this must have been included. As to the Southworths' portion, it will be seen in the account of Breightmet that their successors, the Ainsworths and others, spoke of their manors of Breightmet and Harwood. In 1655 Alexander Baguley and Katherine his wife sold the manor of Harwood to William Hulme, founder of the Hulme charities; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 157, m. 50. As to the other portion, it is on record that Robert de Holland and Elizabeth his wife in 1292 secured the third part of a moiety of the manor of Harwood from William son of Turcok de Blackrod, and Maud his wife; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 169. It does not appear how the latter pair had obtained this portion. John D'Ewias and Cecily his wife put in their claim. Robert de Holland and Maud his wife held the sixth part of the manor of Harwood, i.e. the third part of a moiety, in 1322; ibid, ii, 193. The sixth part of the manor of Harwood was held of the Baron of Manchester by a rent of 6d. by Sir Robert, Lord Holland, who died in 1373; Inq. p.m. 47 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 19. In 1451 the estate of Sir John Holland is described as 2 oxgangs in the vill of Harwood, held of Sir Reginald West, and worth 33s. 4d.; Lancs. Rec. Inq. p.m. no. 45–6. The manor of Harwood is named among the possessions of Thomas, Earl of Derby, in 1521, but the tenure is not stated; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 68. It appears from the rental that tenants at will paid 29s. 3½d. a year, and that 4d. of new rent was due from one Peter Greenhalgh, for a house built on the waste, &c., in addition to 12d. paid to Edmund Trafford for the same encroachment; Rental of 1523–4 in possession of Lord Lathom. This looks as if the Earl of Derby then claimed a fourth part of the manor and Edmund Trafford three-fourths.
  • 5. In 1227 Alexander de Harwood acknowledged the suit of court claimed by the lord of Manchester; Final Conc. i, 47–8. From a fine of 1241 it appears that John de Harwood held the half plough-land of William de Samlesbury, for he called upon his mesne lord to acquit him of the suit at the court of Manchester required by Thomas Grelley; ibid. i, 90. If John de Harwood were the heir of Alexander, he would then hold the entire manor, half immediately of the Grelleys, and half of the Samlesburys. In 1278 Alan de Harwood complained that Richard D'Ewias, Margery his wife, Robert de Holland, and others, had disseised him of half the manor of Harwood. The defence was that Richard had gone to the war in Wales, and that Margery had wrongly made a grant to the plaintiff; he showed, however, that the grant was made by her in her widowhood, after the death of Robert de Hampton her former husband. The service was 30s. a year until 15 marks had been paid, then 1d. a year; Assize R. 1217, m. 32b. This Alan de Harwood may have been the Alan de Bradshagh who held lands in Harwood (or Bradshaw) in the time of Edward I; De Banco R. 345, m. 64 d. Maud widow of John son of Thomas de Harwood in 1283 claimed dower in Harwood and Longworth against Thomas de Harwood; De Banco R. 50, m. 4. Cecily daughter of John de Harwood was a plaintiff respecting a tenement in Harwood in 1292, the defendants being John D'Ewias and Robert de Holland, but was non-suited; Assize R. 408, m. 34 d. This may be an indication that the Harwood family had ended in several daughters and co-heirs. The mode in which the Traffords succeeded is not known. In the same year John son of Adam son of William de Radcliffe claimed a messuage and lands in Harwood against Henry son of Henry de Trafford; but it was found that the defendant derived his title to it from Thomas de Longworth, and not from Adam de Radcliffe; ibid. m. 70, 15d. Henry de Trafford was defendant in another suit; ibid. m. 57. The Traffords held part of the other moiety of the manor, for in 1306 Nicholas son of Sir John D'Ewias made a grant of his land in Harwood to his brothers Roger and William, the service of Henry de Trafford being included; Dods. MSS. liii, fol. 19, no. 37. In the Trafford inquisitions, their tenement is not called a manor, and was stated in 1564 to be held of Lord La Warre, by a rent of 12d. for all services; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, no. 11.
  • 6. In 1302 Robert de Holland, John D'Ewias, and Henry de Trafford held of Thomas Grelley the eighth part of a knight's fee in Harwood; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 313. In 1320 the same names are given as those of tenants of the eighth part of a fee in Bradshaw and Harwood, from which two suits were due to the court of Manchester, also 18d. for sake fee, 18d. for castle ward, and puture of the serjeants; Mamecestre (Chet. Soc), ii, 288, 400. A few years later Robert de Holland and Thomas de Southworth were said to hold the plough-land in Harwood; ibid. 260. In 1473 Christopher Southworth and Sir John Trafford each held a moiety of the manor—the Holland holding being ignored—by the sixteenth part of a fee and suit of court, also 4½d. for sake fee and 4½d. for suit of court. It will be noticed that the whole of the knight's service due and half the sake fee and castle ward are accounted for; the remainder of these payments was due from Bradshaw; ibid, iii, 479–80.
  • 7. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 51, m. 115. Sir Nicholas Mosley in 1601, stating that he had for fourteen years held the manor of Harwood, with waste ground and moor called Harwood Common and Harwood Lee, complained that John Bradshaw and others had entered therein and filled up a coalpit sunk there at plaintiff's great cost, and further that John Bradshaw had sunk a shaft on his own land but also took coals under the plaintiff's land, caused water to flow into plaintiff's pit, and took slate, stone, and turf in Harwood; Duchy of Lane. Plead. Eliz. cciv, M. 4.
  • 8. Hulme D. no. 108. The deed recites the sale of the manor or lordship of Harwood and all messuages and lands in Bolton by Sir Edmund Trafford and his son Edmund; and the sale of the same in 1612 for £1,100 by Sir Nicholas Mosley and Sir Edward Mosley to Ralph Higson, Henry Haworth, Edward Greenhalgh, Lawrence Horrocks, and Matthew Harrison; and the purchasers in 1615 for £38 sold to Giles Ainsworth certain messuages and lands in the hands of occupiers named, and a thirty-fifth part of the moors, commons, &c., belonging to the manor. Another part was soon afterwards sold to John son and heir of William Brooke; ibid. no. 109. This perhaps afterwards came into the possession of William Hulme, for in 1664 he leased to William Brooke the tenement in Harwood then occupied by the said William Brooke and Margaret his mother, and previously by John Brooke, the father of William; the rent was 13s. 8d. All corn and grain grown there were to be brought to Oakenbottom mill to be ground, or 10s. rent was to be paid to Charles, Earl of Derby; ibid. no. 112. Edmund Brooke died 2 May 1628 holding a messuage and lands in Harwood of Edward Mosley; George, his son and heir, was of full age; Towneley MS. C, 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), fol. 70. The Rev. Samuel Brooke of Dorking, 1698, was a benefactor to the poor of Harwood; End. Char. Rep. for Bolton Parish, 1904, p. 10. Edward Greenhalgh died 14 Nov. 1624, holding a similar tenement; John, his son and heir, was about thirty years of age; Towneley MS. C, 8, 13, fol. 459.
  • 9. In the preceding notes it has been shown that he purchased various parts of the manor: he included his estate in Harwood in those destined for the benefit of 'four of the poor sort of Bachelors of Arts' at Brasenose College, Oxford; Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc), ii, 72.
  • 10. A charter to Robert de Hampton of free warren in Allonby in Cumberland, Formby, Harwood, &c, in Lancashire; Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 55; Cal. Rot. Cart. (Rec. Com.), 94.
  • 11. The land was perhaps partly or wholly in Bradshaw; q.v.
  • 12. This was probably in Sharples; q.v.
  • 13. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxv, 33.
  • 14. Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 201.
  • 15. It had been held by John and James Crompton, and was purchased by Richard Goodwin in 1645, together with lands of Joshua Lomax of St. Albans, and John Lomax of Harwood; afterwards it came to James Okey, and in 1790 was the property of James John Heywood, having been bought from Richard Jones and Sophia his wife; Bolton Journ. 21 Aug. 1875.
  • 16. Land Tax Returns at Preston; the estate of Brasenose College (or Hulme's trustees) paid an eighth part of the total.
  • 17. The inclosure was brought into consideration in 1781; the Act was obtained in 1797 (37 Geo. III), and the award made in 1801; Bolton Hist. Glean. i, 357–8.
  • 18. For endowments see Lond. Gaz. 9 July 1867; 16 Nov. 1877; 29 July 1881. It was constituted an independent parish church in 1857. Its erection was due chiefly to the efforts of Robert Lomax, of Lomax Fold, the representative of a family long resident in the township. Joshua Lomax of St. Albans, by his will of 1685, charged his messuage, mill, and lands in Harwood with certain charitable payments.