Friday, 10 February 2017

The story behind that path in Chorlton Park ............ discovering Sir Nicholas Mosley's grand drive

Walking towards the Hall. 2015
I must have walked this route countless times and never made the connection with that 400 year old house which sits away in the distance.

The house is Hough End Hall and we are in Chorlton Park.

Old maps show what will once have been a grand drive up from Barlow Moor Road to the hall.

In its time it will have been wide enough to accommodate a carriage and horses and may also have been flanked by avenues of trees.

This after all was the first glimpse that visitors would have had of the home of Sir Nicholas Mosley who made a fortune trading in the city of London, was elected its mayor and walked with royalty.

The end of the path with the hall opposite, 2015
And long after the Mosley’s had left Hough End and it had become a more humble farm house this was still the main way to get to the hall.

It shows up on maps from the 18th and 19th centuries and so when in the 1920s the Corporation created Chorlton Park it made sense to incorporate it as a pathway.

Now I grant you that this discovery may not rank with the great tales of history but it is the sort that I like pointing as it does to that simple observation that quite often there is a story where you least expect it.

The grand drive in 1845

Pictures; Chorlton Park looking towards Hough End Hal, May 2015, from the collection of Costel Harnasz, and the route to Hough End Hall,from the 1845 OS for Lancashire, courtesy of Digital Archives Association,

*Hough End Hall The Story,

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