It was that area stretching roughly from the four banks up towards the Library and fell victim to the housing development of late 19th century.
Here could be found the same mix of small farms, market gardens, cottages and beer shops that were typical of where we lived when we were still a rural community. But from the 1880s the Egerton estate began selling parcels of land to speculative builders and businessmen. I say sell but the deal was a little more complicated. The land changed hands subject to the payment of a yearly chief rent which freed up capital for the developers to build the properties.*
And it worked. Within 30 years much of Martledge was built over, and in recognition that something new and different had happened to this part of Chorlton became known as New Chorlton, leaving those who lived around the village and Beech Road to describe their area as Old Chorlton. It was a division which lasted into the 1970s and can still be heard on the lips of some of our oldest residents.
So in an effort to bring Martledge out of the shadows what follows is a short series on what was once there.
I have decided to start with the old cottage between Warwick and Selbourne Road. It is difficult to date it but I don’t think despite its appearance that it was more than 30 years old when this photograph was taken around 1885. Either way they had gone by the end of that decade just as the advance of the new properties began.
Despite the rural appearance on what looks like a sunny summer's day the railway had already come through Chorlton and its station had been opened for business for five years, so just behind our cottage was the busy future.
Later we will visit the New Buildings usually known as Renshaw’s Buildings, and take another look at the Royal Oak and Redgates Farm.
Picture; from the collection of Alan Brown