Townships: Entwistle

Pages 282-284

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

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Hennetwisel, 1212; Ennetwysel, 1278; Entwysel, Entwysil, 1292.

The greatest height in this township, about 1,080 ft., is reached at Soot Hill, near the centre of the northern boundary. To the east there is a valley, and then the ground rises again, reaching a similar height on the north-east boundary. From these points the ground slopes southward. The area is 1,668 acres. The population in 1901 was numbered with that of Edgeworth, in which township Entwisle was merged by the Bolton, Turton, and Westhoughton Extension Act, 1898.

The Bury and Blackburn road crosses the eastern part of the township, passing through the hamlet called Wayoh Fold. A minor road goes west through the hamlets of Entwisle, Edgefold, and Cadshaw. Cranberry Moss lies in the north-west corner, and Aushaw in the north-east. Bradshaw Brook, which forms the southern boundary, has been transformed into a reservoir of the Bolton Water Works. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's Bolton and Blackburn line passes north through the centre of the township, and has a station called Entwisle; there is a long tunnel at the northern boundary, passing under Whittlestone Head.

The soil is mostly in pasture. There are calico print works, and bricks are made. There are also stone quarries.

There were thirty-six hearths to contribute to the hearth tax in 1666; Francis Norbury's house had the largest number, seven. (fn. 1)


Two oxgangs in Edgeworth, or a fourth part of the manor, were by the father of the William de Radcliffe living in 1212 given to Robert de Entwisle in marriage with his daughter. (fn. 2) This was no doubt the township of Entwisle, but the' manor' of Entwisle appears to have been more properly the portion held by the local family of the Hospitallers, who had land here from an early period. (fn. 3)

The Hospitallers. Gules a cross argent.

The Entwisle family can thus be traced back to the latter years of the 12th century, but in this case, as in others, no proper account can be given of it, owing to the lack of evidence. (fn. 4) Anian Entwisle died in May 1442, having a fourth part of the fourth part of the manor of Edgeworth, held by the sixteenth part of a knight's fee and the service of 1s. 3d. a year; its clear value was 20s. He also held the manor of Entwisle of St. John of Jerusalem by the service of 12d. a year; its value was 100s.; also lands in Turton and Bolton. Ellis, his son and heir, was twenty-three years of age. (fn. 5) Of the same family is supposed to have been the Sir Bertin Entwisle who fell fighting on the Lancastrian side at St. Albans, 1455. (fn. 6)

Edmund Entwisle died 8 July 1544, holding the manor of Entwisle of the king in socage by a rent of 12d. yearly (i.e. the Hospitallers' rent); messuages and lands in Entwisle and Edgeworth, of the king by the third part of the fourth part of a knight's fee and rent of 15d.; also lands in Turton, Bolton, Radcliffe, and the Manchester district. George his son and heir was twenty-two years of age. (fn. 7)

George Entwisle in 1546 and 1551 made settlements of his estate in thirty or thirty-six messuages and various lands, largely moor and pasture, in Entwisle, Wayoh (' Wao '), Bolton, Chorlton, Rusholme, Ardwick, Withington, and Manchester. (fn. 8) In the second case the estate, after one week, was to pass to Thurstan Tyldesley, his younger son, and his heirs. (fn. 9)

Entwisle. Argent on a bend engrailed sable three mullets of the field.

Tyldesley. Argent three mole-hills proper.

The manor thus passed into the hands of the Tyldesleys of Morleys. (fn. 10) The hall and lands in the township were sold by Edmund Tyldesley between 1657 and 1670 to a large number of persons, (fn. 11) and the history of the manor cannot be traced further.

In 1808, however, John Brandwood paid £1 to Bamber Gascoyne, as lord of Much Woolton, for twenty years' rent known as St. John of Jerusalem's rent. (fn. 12) Of this family probably was derived James Brandwood, born in 1739, son of John Brandwood of New House, Entwisle, who joined the Society of Friends and achieved some distinction among them. He died in 1826. (fn. 13)

Entwisle Hall, a two-story stone-built house standing on a high situation about 1½ miles north of Turton Tower, was described by Camden (fn. 14) as a 'proper fair house,' but this probably refers to an older building than the present one, which seems to have been erected in the first half of the 17th century. It has a long front facing south and is of the type of plan having a central hall and projecting end wings; but has a further east wing with large stone chimney and end gable. The roof of the main portion of the building has been covered in modern times with blue slates, but the eastern end retains its ancient grey stone slates and stone coping and balls to the end gable; the two gables facing south are quite plain. The windows at this end too are the original ones, with stone mullions and hood-moulds, but those of the rest of the house have been mutilated and done away with altogether, and smaller modern windows inserted, though the hoodmould of a former long low window still remains in the centre part of the house.

The building is divided into three tenements and seems to have been so since the middle of the 17th century. A deed for the transfer of the middle part of Entwisle Hall to John Kay in 1657 speaks of 'all that capital Messuage or Manor House commonly known by the name of Entwisle Hall, and the demesne lands thereunto belonging, That is to witt, the Room called the Hall, containing three bays of buildings or thereabouts, standing and being betwixt the parlour and the kitchen, with all the chambers and rooms over the same room called the Hall.' Mention is also made of the 'out Ileinge adjoining to the Hall on the north side,' and of the 'court or yard lying on the south side of the Hall.' Another deed of the same year referring to the sale of the east end of the house to Roger Brandwood refers to it as 'the kitchen containing four bays in length with the chambers and rooms over,' and gives Brandwood the liberty 'to pass and repass through the fold or yard on the south side of the hall and parlour unto and from the kitchen.'

The building still fairly well corresponds with these descriptions. The middle part, or hall, seems always to have been of two stories, and probably the house as described in 1657 had been lately rebuilt. The court on the south side appears to have been a yard only as at present. The barn now on the south side of the house was erected in 1720, which date it bears, together with the initials I R B M, probably those of James and Roger Brandwood and Mary, the wife of James. (fn. 15) The Brandwoods also appear to have restored their end of the house in the 18th century, and later unimportant additions have been made to the building on the north and west sides.

In 1826, during the days of industrial distress and starvation, the old kitchen and other apartments on the ground floor at the east end, were used as a 'dowhouse,' and about the same time the rooms over the hall, most of which retain their oak floors, were converted into weaving places to find employment for those out of work. (fn. 16)

A Houghton family had some estate in the township. (fn. 17)

The Wesleyan Methodists have a Sunday service at Entwisle.


  • 1. Subs. R. Lancs, bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 2. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, ana Ches.), i, 67. The father's name is not known, but he may have been Henry de Radcliffe, witness to the Burscough charter in 1189; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 350.
  • 3. The Hospitallers' lands in 'Edgeworth' are named in 1292 in the Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 375. The term would include both Entwisle and Quarlton; in Edgeworth proper nothing seems to have been held by them. The rental of c. 1540 states that the Hospitallers 'manor of Entwisle' was held by the heirs of Ellis Entwisle by a rent of 12d.; Kuerden MSS. v, fol. 84.
  • 4. Ellis son of Richard de Entwisle was in 1276 called upon to defend his title to 20 acres of wood in Edgeworth. He stated that his ancestors had held the pasture in severalty, and that his father had inclosed part of the common ; Assize R. 405, m. 3 d. Ellis de Entwisle in 1292 claimed that the Prior of the Hospital of St. John should acquit him of the service required by the Earl of Lancaster out of the free tenement in Entwisle and Edgeworth, of which the prior was mesne lord. The prior appeared, and Ellis was then unwilling to plead against him, and so the prior was acquitted; Assize R. 408, m. 56. Ellis again occurs in 1297; Inq. and Extents, i, 297. In 1329 the Prior of the Hospitallers claimed from John de Entwisle the services due for a messuage and 40 acres in 'Turton'; De Banco R. 279, m. 180 d. John de Entwisle contributed to the subsidy in 1332 ; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 40. He was tenant of the third part of the manor in 1346; Add. MS. 32103, fol. 46. Ellis de Entwisle is mentioned in 1394, 1398, and 1407; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 57, 61, 65, 68 ; Towneley MS. RR, no. 1549 ; and an Ellis son of Ellis de Entwisle in 1410; Final Cone. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 69. Edmund de Entwisle occurs in 1412; Towneley MS. RR, no. 1556. In 1420 John de Entwisle and Margaret his wife had settled upon them lands in Withington, Manchester, and Chorlton, the wife's inheritance; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 77. The trustees were Ellis de Entwisle and John de Lever. A brief note has been preserved of the inquisition after the death of John Entwisle, dated 1436; he held the manor of Entwistle of the Hospitallers by a rent of 12d.; Towneley MS. Lanes. Tenures, fol. 11. The writ of Diem clausit extremum was issued 23 Mar. 1435–6; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 36.
  • 5. Towneley MS. DD, no. 1478; 'the fourth part of the fourth part,' may be an error of copying. In 1444 and 1445 Margaret the widow of John Entwisle claimed dower in certain messuages, &c, in Entwisle, Turton, and Bolton, against Elizabeth, the widow of Anian Entwisle; the defence was that John had not been in seisin either at the time of his marriage or later; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 6, m. 12b ; R. 8, m. 11b. Ellis Entwisle occurs in 1473; Mamecestre (Chet. Soc), iii, 482.
  • 6. Paston Letters (ed. Gairdner), i, 333. There is a biography of him in Baines, Lancs, (ed. 1836), iii, 93–4. In 1446 Sir Bertin Entwisle was one of the trustees of Robert Catlow of Oswaldtwistle; Add. MS. 32104, no. 1156.
  • 7. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vii, no. 30.
  • 8. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 12, m. 305.
  • 9. Ibid. bdle. 14, m. 247. See also Lanes, and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches), ii, 255.
  • 10. Edward Tyldesley and Anne his wife in 1570 sold messuages and lands in Entwisle and Over Darwen to John Osbaldeston; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 32, m. 48. He asserted in 1577 that Alexander and Richard Entwisle had wrongfully taken possession of parts of the manor of Entwisle and its lands which he had acquired from George Entwisle; but it was shown that Alexander's lands were at Broadhead [in Edgeworth], not parcel of the manor of Entwisle; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. cv, T. 5. Edward Tyldesley, being seised of the hall of Entwisle and twenty-six messuages and lands in the township in 1586, granted them to feoffees for the use of the said Edward for life, then of Elizabeth, widow of Thomas Tyldesley for life, then of Edward, infant son and heir of Thomas. The rent payable for Entwisle was given as 10d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiv, no. 10. Like Morleys, the manor descended to the famous Sir Thomas Tyldesley, slain at Wigan in 1651, and was claimed by the guardians of his son Edward, the whole estate having been sequestered by the Parliament ; Cal. Com. for Compounding, iv, 2568.
  • 11. Sixty deeds relating to the sales and later course of the history, with notes, will be found in James C. Scholes' Documentary Notes relating to the district of Turton (Bolton, 1882). The hall was divided, and in 1657 the eastern part was sold to Roger Brandwood, and the western (including the room called the hall) to John Kay; no. 5, 54. By Kay's will of 1671 his daughter Jane, wife of Robert Norbury and afterwards of Nathan Walker, inherited his part of the hall; she in 1723 appears to have transferred it to a nephew, John Wood-, no. 17, 18, 38. It afterwards came into the possession of the Kays of Turton. who, according to a pedigree inserted in the same work (p. 78), descended from Alexander, a brother of John Kay. According to Canon Raines, Edward Tyldesley sold Entwisle property to Entwisle and Norbury in 1657, and they dispersed it among the tenants; Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc), ii, 24. A similar sale to a large number of the tenants in 1670 seems to have ended the Tyldesleys' connexion with the district; Scholes, op. cit. no. 41. Details of the descent of several other properties in Entwisle will be found in the work stated: Overhouse, Edge, Edge Foot, Lowerhouse or Crow trees, &c. Many field names are given: Paggas, Armagraves, Aspden field, Farnecar, &c.
  • 12. The receipt is in the possession of Sir Lees Knowles, bart., who, according to the pedigree in Baines, Lancs, (ed. Croston), iii, 223, is a descendant of Andrew Knowles of Quarlton and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of a John Brandwood of Entwisle; she died in 1757, aged twenty-six. The descent of the Brandwood moiety of the hall and its demesne lands is traced by Mr. Scholes, op. cit. no. 54, 56–7. Roger Brandwood, the purchaser, was succeeded in 1678 by his second son Roger, and he in 1707 by his son James, who died in 1711. His first and second sons, James (died 1715) and Roger (died 1761), followed; and the latter's daughter Anne carried it by marriage to Christopher Baron. Their son Roger Baron became bankrupt in 1785, and Roger Hamer purchased it in 1786. He held it till 1841, when it passed to his son Richard (died 1849), and to the latter's daughter Elizabeth, wife of Henry Field Fisher. It was sold in 1853 to William Barlow, again in 1854 to James Winder, and in 1857 to John Barlow, nephew of William; he died in 1870 and his executors held it in 1882. A pedigree of the Barlow family is given; op. cit. 118. A settlement of thirty messuages, watermill, lands, &c, in Entwisle, Edgeworth, Sharples, and Bolton, was made in 1762 by Christopher Baron and Anne his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 367, m. 39. John Brandwood in 1779 paid a duchy rent of 1s. 3d. for Entwisle Hall; Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, 14/25. James Brandwood of Charnock Richard, and formerly of Entwisle Hall, in 1762 left £100 to the poor stock; End. Char. Rep. for Bolton Parish, 1904, p. 67.
  • 13. A biography of him was compiled by James C. Scholes, and published in 1882. He is in Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 14. Britannia (ed. 1697), 746.
  • 15. J. C. Scholes, Documentary Notes relating to the district of Turton, 1882.
  • 16. Ibid.
  • 17. Final Conc, iii, 146 ; Excb. Deps. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 34.