Thursday, 14 June 2018

Walking out from Clayton Hall ....... fields, a tea garden, Clayton Dingle and the creeping business of dye works, tanneries and coal mines

Now the romantic in me, or perhaps just the downright curious would love to know what the people who lived in Clayton Hall in 1851 thought about the area.

Clayton Hall, 2018
There were three families living in the Hall, two of whom, described themselves as farmers and one who was a small ware dealer.

Together that made fifteen people, ranging in age from 65 down to just one and they were drawn from Ireland, Yorkshire, Cheshire and Rusholme, along with eight from Manchester and only one from Droylsden.

As now the Hall sat in a small garden inside a moat and surrounded by an area of trees.

Clayton Hall and round about, 1854
Beyond that to the north was Clayton Dingle and to the south the Manchester, Stockport and Ashton Under Lyne Canal.

Close by was the Bowling Green and Tea Garden and even closer the Clayton Tavern.

There was plenty of open land, but already there were signs of what was to come, which included two collieries, a chemical works, dye works, tannery and fustian mill, all to the east of the hall, while south west just beyond the hall were a set of brick kilns.

So while there was still something of a rural character, I guess the smells and noises from those many busy enterprises might well have intruded on our families sitting in their moated garden.

And just over 122 years later when we lived just down the road beside Bradford Pit, our Sundays could be interrupted by the sound of the nearby engineering factory on Pottery Lane and on weekdays by the coloured smoke from Clayton Aniline.

All there is to do and see, 2018
But back to the Hall, because this Saturday there is another of those open days, hosted by the Friends of Clayton Hall.

The poster offers a “step back in time”, with the opportunity to explore the period rooms, and if you have a desire to “dress up in Victorian clothes”. Added to this there are displays on the history of the Hall and a fine cafe, with much that is interesting to eat including some excellent cakes.

So that is about it.

In time I will go looking for more on our three families, but for now I will plan my trip east from Chorlton to Clayton.

Location; Clayton

Pictures, Clayton Hall 2018, from the collection of Andrew Simpson, poster, from the Friends of Clayton Hall and Clayton in 1854 from the OS map of Lancashire, 1852, courtesy of Digital Archives Association,

*1851 Cenus, Enu 1e Droysden, Lancashire

*And for more information,

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