Townships: Quarlton

Pages 284-285

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

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Quernedon, 1301; Querndone, 1302; Quordone, 1309. Quarndon or Quarnton was the usual spelling till modern times.

This boundary township on the hill-side has an area of 798 acres. The hamlet of Quarlton lies near the western border at a height of about 650 ft. above the sea; the ground rises rapidly to the north-east, over 1,250 ft. being attained at the boundary. The population was in 1901 included in Edgeworth.

Wickenlow is in the northern part of the township, and Waives in the south-eastern.

The road from Bury to Blackburn crosses the western corner of the township.

There are old-established calico-printing works on the border of Turton. The land is chiefly in pasture.

As a township Quarlton was joined to Edgeworth in 1898, and so ceased to exist. (fn. 1)

In 1666 the houses in Quarlton were few and small; none had more than two hearths liable to the tax, and the whole number for the township was only twenty-one. (fn. 2)


The manor of QUARLTON appears to have been the two oxgangs of land in Edgeworth which the Radcliffes reserved on granting the main portion to the Traffords. (fn. 3) It afterwards came into the hands of the Radcliffes of Smithills, and their successors, the Bartons, (fn. 4) and was sold in 1723 by Lord Fauconberg. (fn. 5)

The Hospitallers had land in Quarlton from an early date; and this was occupied by the Smithills family. (fn. 6)

Mrs. Julia Wright of Mottram Hall near Macclesfield is now said to hold the manor. She inherited it from her father the Rev. Henry Wright, on his death resuming her maiden name. She married the late Capt. J. F. D'A. Street. (fn. 7)

Ellis de Quarlton contributed to the subsidy in 1332. (fn. 8) A Warburton family appears in the 16th and 17th centuries. (fn. 9)


  • 1. By the Bolton, Turton, &c. Extension Act, 1898.
  • 2. Subs. R. Lancs, bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 3. See the account of Edgeworth. In an extent of 1324 it is stated that William de Radcliffe held Edgeworth by the service of 2s. 6d.; Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 105. The service is that due for a fourth part of the whole, i.e. for two oxgangs. Roger de Radcliffe made a claim against Richard de Radcliffe in 1301 and 1302 respecting lands in Quarlton, but did not prosecute it; Assize R. 1321, m. 9; R. 418, m. 12 d. In 1304. Richard de Radcliffe of Radcliffe had a grant of free warren in Quarlton; Charter R. 97 (32 Edw. I), m. 2, no. 17. The manor of Quarlton is named in 1309 among the Radcliffe estates; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lanes, and Ches.), ii, 5. In 1340 Richard de Radcliffe claimed a messuage, &c, in 'Edgeworth next Turton' against William son of William de Radcliffe, and recovered by default; De Banco R. 321, m. 305; R. 323, m. 198. A pleading of 1358 gives some particulars, from which it appears that the Traffords had an interest in Quarlton, which is probably the 'third part of the manor of Edgeworth' in dispute. William son and heir of Robert de Radcliffe demanded that third part against Richard son of William de Radcliffe, it having been given by Sir Richard de Trafford to Robert de Radcliffe in free marriage with Anabil his daughter in the time of Edward I; from them it descended to Richard as son and heir, then to Robert as son and heir, and then to the plaintiff. The jury decided in favour of the plaintiff; Assize R. 438, m. 7d. The plaintiff seems to be the head of the Smithills family, and the defendant the head of the parent Radcliffe stock.
  • 4. The preceding note gives the clue to the descent. Lands in Quarlton (or in Edgeworth) are regularly mentioned in the Radcliffe and Barton inquisitions, but are usually said to be held of the Hospitallers. In that after the death (1417) of Margery widow of Sir Ralph de Radcliffe, however, her dower in 'three parts of the manor of Edgeworth,' was stated to be held of the king as of his Duchy of Lancaster by knight's service and a rent of 2s. 6d.; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 127. Also in that of John Barton in 1517, the Edgeworth lands are stated to be held of the king; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 82.
  • 5. Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), Hi, fol. 220, from Roll 8 of Geo. I at Preston.
  • 6. Ralph de Radcliffe in 1406 was found to have held three messuages in Edgeworth of the Hospitallers by a rent of 16d.; the clear annual value was 100s.; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1504. The Hospitallers' rental of c. 1540 shows that Andrew Barton paid 16d. for the lordship of Quarlton; Kuerden MSS. v, fol. 84. In his inquisition, however, the rent is given as 2s. 2d.; Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m. ix, no. 27. This is repeated later, e.g. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lanes, and Ches.), i, 211.
  • 7. See pedigree in Earwaker's East Ches. ii, 353. In 1797 the lands of H.O.Wright contributed over a third of the land tax. There is in Mrs. Wright's possession an interesting estate plan, endorsed 'The Plan of Quarnton belonging to the right worshipful Sir Thomas Barton of Smithills, knight. Taken by William Senior, Professor of the Mathematics. Anno Domini, 1620;' information of Sir Lees Knowles, who has given a copy to the British Museum.
  • 8. Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 41.
  • 9. Thomas Warburton the elder and Ellen his wife in 1558 made a settlement of four messuages and lands in Edgeworth, Quarlton, and Butterworth; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 19, m. 23. Thomas Warburton, who died 31 May 1634, at Stubbins, held two messuages, &c, in Quarlton in Edgeworth of Sir Thomas Barton, and other lands; Francis, his son and heir, was fifty-seven years of age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxx, no. 93. Hannah, a daughter of Thomas Warburton, is said to have married Robert Knowles of Quarlton; Baines, Lancs, (ed. Croston), iii, 222. Richard Knowles of Quarlton occurs in 1583; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 252, m. 12.