Saturday, 6 May 2017

Taking a walk along Didsbury Road in Heaton Mersey with Mr Crawley in the summer of 1848

Today I went walking the lanes of Heaton Mersey in the summer of 1848.

Now as daft as that might sound it is possible to recreate such a walk using the census returns the OS map for the period and the tithe documents.

And it is the tithe document and more especially the tithe map which has helped me with this imaginary stroll along the Didsbury Road, past St John’s and down to the bleach works.

It was based on a survey undertaken by Charles Crawley in 1848 and details the ownership of the land, the tenants who worked it and the use the land was put to.

In total the township of Heaton Mersey consisted of 2108 acres of which only 1840 were subject to a tithe payment to the church.

And of this 1840 acres, 670 were farmed as arable, 980 was meadow and pasture, leaving 100 acres occupied by buildings, 50 for roads and 40 for railways.

Moreover the map describes the size of each field and its rateable value along with who owned or rented the properties spread out across the township.

So armed with the map I know that as I made my way east along Didsbury Road I would have passed a mix of meadow and arable land with the odd little orchard before reaching St John’s which was still in the process of being built as Mr Crawley compiled his map.

And then if I so chose I could have wandered off down the lane to the assorted bleach works.
Later I may return with stories of some of the people who lived along Didsbury Road, but that will be for another time.

Location; Heaton Mersey Stockport

Picture; detail of the 1848 tithe map of Heaton Mersey, compiled by Charles Crawley, 1848 and redrawn by Frank and Teretta Mitchell, 1978

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