Who Was Living in Heywood in 1820?

Makin Mill, Back o'th' Moss, as it looked in 1825.
Heywood experienced the biggest growth spurt in its history at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1800 it had still been more or less a village of fustian weavers and agricultural workers in the general vicinity of Heywood Hall, forming a part of the larger township of Heap (which was itself part of Bury). However, this was a time of rapid expansion in the cotton trade and the early concentration of industrial manufacturing in the village saw it grow quickly to prominence over neighbouring places such as Hopwood, Pilsworth and Heap.

The first cotton mills (Wrigley Brook Mill and Makin Mill) had been established in the 1780s, and by 1820 there were about ten mills around the area. That figure more than tripled over the next two decades. The population of Heywood in 1780 had been about 2,000 but by 1820 it was around 10,000. To put this in perspective, if this massive increase was repeated over the next four decades Heywood (current population about 28,500) would be home to over 142,000 people. This population increase was not the result of a baby boom, as James Butterworth noted in 1829 when he wrote that the town had '...very much increased in later years; the cotton mills built in the village and neighbourhood have caused an influx of strangers, and congregated together a very dense population'. Many of the new arrivals were pauper children from southern workhouses, brought north under new legislation to supply cheap labour in the cotton mills.

Place names of 1820s Heywood
In 1818 the cartographer brothers William and John Greenwood produced a map of Lancashire. Such maps were something of a rarity in those days, and their plan to create a series of county maps of the whole of Britain was never realised, largely because of competition from the newly-formed Ordnance Survey. The maps that the Greenwoods did produce, however, were finely crafted and give us a fairly detailed depiction of the area around Heywood. Here it is:

Greenwood's map, 1818.

The map is full of familiar names although some of the spelling might be a bit suspect. For example, Gooden House at the Manchester/Middleton Road junction is named here as Rooden House. Naden Head is Naddin Head, and Knowl Hill was spelt here as Knoll Hill, although it had been spelt as Knowl earlier in the 18th century. The word Knoll or Knowl is derived from the Olde English pre-7th century byname 'Cnoll', meaning a summit or a rounded hill.

To the south, the area of Collop Yate is remembered in the modern name of Collop Drive, Hopwood. A 'yate' is a gateway to a wooded area, and comes from the Old English word 'gete'. Further south again is 'Two Stoods', later becoming Two Studs and the site of a Heywood and Middleton Water Board reservoir.

Also very noticeable to the west of Heywood centre on this map is Wrigley Brook, which is now practically invisible as it runs through pipes and culverts beneath streets and fields to empty into the Roch at Bottom o'th' Brow. This brook once ran under the road at Bridge Street and helped to power Heywood's first cotton mill in the 1780s.

People of 1820s Heywood
A Lancashire directory listed about 120 people who were living in Heywood. It was far from being a complete list as it featured mainly farmers, smiths, and shop and factory owners.

Ashton (Adam)
Ashton (Dorothy)
Ashworth (John)
Aspinall (Robert)
Barnes (Lambert), Heady Hill
Beswick (John), Boohole
Bradshaw (Roger), Gooden Lane
Bridge (James), Heap
Collins (Samuel), Gooden Lane
Dawson (John)
Gee (Adam)
Gee (John)
Hall (John), Whittle
Hanson (Mrs), Boohole
Hardman (Zachariah), Gooden Lane
Holt (James), Bamford
Holt (Ralph), Whittle
Kay (John), Bit tie
Kay (Thomas), Back o'th' Moss
Kenyon (John), Crimble
Knowles (William), Whittle
Livesey (James), Heys
Livesey (Peter), Crab Eye
Monday (Edward), Pot Hall
Ogden (Abraham), Lomas
Partington (Charles), Whittle
Partington (George), Whittle
Partington (James), Back o'th' Moss
Partington (Jonathan), Whittle
Partington (Solomon), Whittle
Potts (John), Botany Bay
Read (John), Lower Lomas
Ridings (Peter), Heap
Rothwell (William), Spout Bank
Schofield (Edmund), Bamford
Schofield (John)
Shepherd (John)
Slater (Samuel), Whittle
Standring (John), Lomas
Taylor (Edmund)
Turner (John), Bamford
Warburton (Benjamin), Top of Heap
Wolstenholme (John)
Yates (Thomas), Boohole

Spinners and Manufacturers
Ashton (Thomas), Gooden Lane
Bentley and Wild, Cotton
Chadwick (Samuel and James), Heady Hill
Clegg (James), Cotton
Collins (Jonathan), Wham
Fenton and Sons
Gee (James), Cotton
Gee (William and Robert), Cotton
Gee (Samuel), Fustian
Hardman (Josiah), Cotton, Toll Bar
Holmes (James), Macon Mill
Kay (John), Cotton
Kay (Robert), Cotton
Kershaw (James), snr, Wrigley Brook
Kershaw (James), jnr, Wrigley Brook
Melladew (John), Bamford
Schofield (John), Cotton, Heap
Smith (Isaac), Cotton, Brook
Smith (Jonathan)
Spencer and Greenhalgh, Cotton, Nat Bank
Turner (John)
Wolstenholme (James), Toll Bar
Wrigley (James, and Sons), Gigg

Barlow (John), Heap Brow
Chadwick (Robert), Heady Hill
Cheetham (Moses)
Cheetham (Charles), Hairdresser
Collins (Robert)
Collins (Samuel)
Dearden (John), Hand
Fitton (George), Brook
Gee (William)
Greenhalgh (William), Bamford
Hargreaves (James), Gooden Lane
Hartley (William)
Howarth (Robert), Shoemaker, Gooden Lane
Kershaw (John), Wrigley Brook
Mason (Joseph)
Rhodes (Samuel), Top-o'th'-Heap
Richardson (John)
Schofield (John), junr
Schofield (Josiah)
Smethurst (George), Heap Brow
Spencer (George), Butcher
Wilson (Andrew), Bottoms

Aspinall (Robert)
Bolland (Edmund), Heap Bridge
Livesey (William) 

Dove (Samuel), Brook

Bentley (John), Queen Anne
Chadwick (John), Black Bull, Birch
Gee (Samuel), victualler and butcher, Duke of Wellington
Hardman (John), Boar's Head, Heap Bridge
Horrocks (James), victualler and butcher, Star
Horrocks (Thomas), War Office
Schofield (Thomas), King's Arms

Ashton (James), gentleman
Bridge (John), schoolmaster, Heywood Hall
Chadwick (James), snr, Crab Eye
Chadwick (John), gentleman, Captain Fold
Collins (Thomas), overseer
Fenton (J and J), and Son, Crimble
Hill (Alexander), gentleman
Hood (Rev Richard), minister of Heywood Chapel; resided at Higher Millgate, Bury
Howarth (James), schoolmaster
Mills (Robert), joiner, cabinet-maker, and builder
Oldham (Mrs Mary), gentlewoman
Rothwell (Edward), gentleman
Schofield (Edmund), gentleman, Sand Hole, Bamford
Schofield (Henry), gentleman, Gooden Lane
Taylor (John), surgeon
Wrigley (J and F), paper makers, Bridge Hall Mills

   Related pages   

  • James Butterworth, A historical and topographical description of the town and parish of Bury in the county of Lancashire, W.L. Varey, Manchester, 1829. 
  • James Bell (ed.), A New and Comprehensive Gazetteer of England, Wales, etc., Fullarton & Co., Glasgow, 1833. 
  • Lancashire County Council, 'Greenwood's Map of Lancashire' 1818'. 
  • British History Online, 'The Parish of Bury'.


Lapinbizarre said…
Have just come back to this post after viewing a recent "Remembering Heywood" facebook post, with a link to the 1850s 6" OS map, and seeing Gooden House marked to the SE of the town. In the mid 60s there was a short row of stone-built terraced houses, apparently constructed within an earlier, late 17th or early 18th century structure. Now demolished, but parallel to Manchester Road, and probably at the intersection (NE corner) of Prospect Street and Links Road. The structure was clearly the remnant of something far grander, with a tall, blocked-up, classically-framed entrance door on the narrower south side of the structure. I would hazard, from the 1850s map, that it was probably originally the south (and main?) entrance to Gooden House. Great pity it it gone.