Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Lime Bank in Chorlton, half hidden and half forgotten


The summer of 1848 was a fine one, and newspapers across England were predicting a good harvest.

For Charles Morton the short walk on the early evening of Tuesday June 20 from his home at Lime Bank to Chorlton Green would have been pleasant enough.  The route would have taken him down the Row from his home past fields and farms and onto the Green and the school where on this night he would chair a meeting of the local tax payers.

Lime Bank Cottage belies its name.  It may have been a grander place than the word cottage would suggest and over the next week I want to tell more of its story and the people who lived there.

In 1841 it stood in open countryside with views of the tree lined Chorlton Brook to the south, and Chorlton Row almost directly opposite.

It was continuously lived in from at least 1841 down to 1929 and in its time was home to some of what we would call the middle strata of the township.

The first recorded resident was Charles Morton who appears in the 1845 rate book.  He may well have been there even earlier.

He had married Harriet in July 1836 and their eldest child was born in Chorlton in the same year.  He continued to live at Lime Bank till his death in 1863.  He was a bank clerk who was prominent in local affairs.  

He was followed by a Mr H.M. Acton who married Ann Shaw on August 1st 1863 and then by Hugh Bethell Jones who was a curate at St Clements and wrote two books.  

Later just before the end of the 19th century it was the home of the Whittaker brothers and sisters.  Annie who at 37 was the head of the house in 1891 lived on independent means as did her sister, while two of her brothers were employers in the garment trade and a third was a dentist.

Later still it was occupied by another company secretary and only in the 1920s did it slide into multi occupancy.

Location; Chorlton

Pictures; detail from the OS map for Lancashire 1841-53, courtesy of Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.co.uk/ and the collection of Andrew Simpson

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