Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Beech Road offs up some more stories

It’s not the best picture I have taken but this one of Beech Road early this morning offers up clues to our past.

Looking up Beech Road, June 2018
Ever since I wrote,  The Story of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, I have been fascinated by what the township would have been like in the 1850s.*

Now that is not as difficult or fanciful as it might seem.

The book was about what Chorlton would have been like during the first half of the 19th century and was drawn from contemporary accounts, old maps, along with census returns, rate books and the tithe records.

Putting all these together it is possible to reconstruct Beech Road as it would have been, including the location of the houses, and fields, and the residents, as well as the owners of both the land and the properties, and finally what was actually being grown in the fields on either side of what was then called Chorlton Row.

So looking again at the picture, it is possible to pick out the twist in what was really just a country lane, which in 1850, accommodated a set of cottages which jutted out roughly opposite the skip and later was dominated by a huge beech tree.

Further along on the left was the home of the Holt family and was known variously as Beech Cottage and later Beech House, while out to the right was a set of fields which were a mix of arable and pasture.

Along Chorlton Row and on to Round Thorn, 1853
From where I took the picture you would also have had a fine view of Lime Bank at Round Thorn.**

The house is still there, although much knocked about and is hidden by Carringtons.

It dates back to the early 19th century and may in fact have been built during the closing decades of the previous century.

In the 1840s it was the home of the Morton family and on the evening of evening of Tuesday June 20 Mr Morton took a stroll down the Row and onto the Green and the school where on this night he would chair a meeting of the local tax payers which threatened a rebellion.

But that is a story for another time.

Location; Chorlton Row

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

*The Story of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, 
https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.com/2011/11/the-story-of-chorlton-cum-hardy.html

 https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.com/2011/11/the-st

**Lime Bank, https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.com/search/label/Lime%20Bank


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