Medieval Iron Working

There are a few medieval references to iron working in Medieval Salford Hundred, some iron may have come from local “ironstone”.

We have a 14thC. mention of a dispute over iron in Whitworth, invloving Whalley Abbey, mentioned in Fishwick’s History of Rochdale. There is also a 15thC. Blackley reference to a shortage of wood for charcoal and associated iron working.

Hundersfield (Rochdale)

It would appear that iron ore could be found in Hundersfield (near Walsden):

” it shall be lawful for Robert and Alice, and the heirs of Alice to assart the whole of that wood, which is on the north side of Lichitheselegh, and  there to make meadow or arable land at their will, and to put up forges, and dig for iron and steel ore to supply those forges, wherever they will on the moors and in the woods which belong to the town of Hunewrthefeld. ”

‘Lancashire Fines: 12-19 Henry III’, Final Concords for Lancashire, Part 1: 1189-1307 (1899), pp. 54-74. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=52533&strquery=iron Date accessed: 16 July 2012

Archaeological evidence

Castleshaw

For research in Castleshaw, see this document here.

Cutler’s Green

Fishwick mentions (History of Rochdale p.44) iron working and slag associated with the Ashworth family at Cutler’s Green in what was the north of Spotland township, Rochdale.

Healey

A probable medieval bloomery was discovered on a bank of the Spodden river above the ruins of Broadley Mill near Healey by a William Grindrod. The site was excavated by JL Maxim from 1917-9

Pilsworth

Medieval iron working (“tap slag”) was revealed in excavations by Norman Tyson of the Bury Archaeological group at Meadowcroft Fold, Pilsworth 1983-4. Further evidence of iron working and associated medieval pottery was found during field walking in 1997.

Under construction…

References

Medieval Iron and Steel – Simplified

Maxim J L 1917-19 ‘Discovery of a Bloomery at Birches, Healey’ Transactions of the Rochdale Literary and Scientific Society 13, 136-56.

Cutler’s green “bloomery” Lancashire and Cheshire Historical Society, XXIV, 64.

 

 

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Medieval References to Boundaries and other Landscape Features

The most famous  medieval boundary in the region is the Nico Ditch, but there are many other medieval references to boundaries, usually ditches. There were many references to natuaral boundaries too, such as rivers and streams.

Ditches

The Nico Ditch was mentioned in the 12th C. it is the longest recorded ditch in the region. Read more about the Nico Ditch here.

Ditches mentioned in the Coucher Book of Whalley

There are many references to man made boundaries in the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey, here are some examples.

Rochdale castle ditch

Rochdale’s castle was in a commanding position overlooking the confluence of the Roche and Spodden rivers, and the route to Manchester. The charter transcribed in medieval Latin and published well over a hundred years ago, is from volume 2 of the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey. The charter refers to “Merlond,” modern Marland, and Castleton. The castle ditch in Latin is “fossatum castelli” in the extract below.

castle ditch reference

Rochdale castle – the castle ditch

TBC

Parish Boundaries

Parish surveys usually started by defining the features used to delimit the parish. These could be streams, ditches or lanes, for example. These features were  still used in the post medieval period, in this survey of Rochdale from 1610, summarised here, you can still read the names of features first mentioned in medieval charters and other documents.

Boundary Stones or “Meres”

Large stones were often used as boundary markers between townships or parishes, such as open heaths or moorland.

Here is a 16th Century reference to the size of stones used to mark the boundary of Rochdale and Oldham, near Buersill.

“Sir John Byron caused “divers great stones, every stone as
much as twenty oxen could draw,” to be set up much within the
boundary line of Hathershaw moor, and if not removed will soon be
taken to be the “meres” rightly set up between the two wastes . Sir
John Byrori s reply to this was to the effect that he was seised as of
fee of his “own severall enherytance” in Buersill moor, which was
divided from Hathershaw by certain “meyers” which by the informers or
other “evilly disposed persons” have been removed, and to remedy this
he had obtained the writ as set forth by the plaintiffs, and by virtue of
it Sir John Atherton caused “certain honest persons” to make the
perambulation and set the ” meyers ” in such places as they had always
been ; since then he had caused to be placed on his own lands certain
stones that the boundaries might be the better known.”

Fishwick description of a 1552 Duchy of Lancaster Court case from the History of the Parish of Rochdale – Castleton Township.

Natural Boundaries

Rivers were often used as boundaries, the river Mersey means boundary river. Prominent rocks or large stones were used as well, the “Wolf  Stone” in Naden near Rochdale, for example.

Rivers

Rivers were often used as boundaries and are amongst some of the earliest places mentioned in medieval documentation of the region. The name Mersey, as in the river Mersey means boundary river, according to Ekwall and other place-name experts.

Fords

A ford over the river Roche was  called “Irreford” in medieval times. This led Ekwall to wonder if the Roche was originally called “Irre” similar name  to the nearby  Irwell and Irk rivers.

Lakes

Lakes were an important source of fish as well as being a natural landmark. Marland in Rochdale was owned by Whalley Abbey, while Lake Kor near Prickshaw in Whitworth was mentioned in a medieval charter in the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey. Sadly both lakes have gone, the former was in what is now Marland Park, the latter may be where the ponds east of Prickshaw are now.

Ashworth – an example of medieval boundaries and disputes.

Ashworth was a township of the Parish of Middleton, due to the detached portions (parish districts. distant from, but not connected to the main parish) of Middleton Parish boundaries were complex, perhaps some of the most complex in England. There are detached portions that

There are many references to boundaries and boundary disputes in Ashworth, several are mentioned in the footnotes of the Chapter here.

Note

There is a 1287 reference to ‘syke,’ a dialect word for an artificial ditch usually dug as a boundary, see footnote 11 here.

There was also a well documented dispute in the 16th C. also documented in the Ashworth Township chapter.

Under construction…

Bagden – Valley of the Bees

Aerial view of Bagden (note early cultivation)

Bagden was called Bikden in medieval times, and as this extract shows it was called “Bargden” around 1600. Like many names in and around Whitworth it was mentioned in Medieval times. This was because many small pieces of land were traded or granted to Whalley Abbey, one theory is that the Abbey acted as a bank. There were also local contacts with the Abbey monks, some were from Whitworth.

Medieval references to Bagden (Bikden in medieval times)

Bikden – what does it mean? Valley of the Bees.

 

Bagden was called Bargden

Under construction!

General Medieval Links

Here are some general sites about Medieval England.

Medieval English Society

Medieval Timeline

English Legal History (including Medieval English Law)

Early English Laws (up to 1215)

English Medieval Legal Documents
AD 600 – AD 1535:

Medieval Economy

English Medieval Towns

Digital Medievalist (Digital Resources for Medieval Studies).

Medieval Sourcesonline from Manchester University Press.

Under Construction!

The Whalley Coucher Book and the dialectal phonology of Lancashire and Cheshire

The Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey is a treasure chest of medieval historical data for Lancashire. Sadly, despite being transcribed in the 19th C. it has been little studied.  Many archaeological surveys have failed to refer to the Coucher Book’s references to the areas they purport to cover (for example a study of Rooley Moor failed to mention a single medieval charter, yet there were nearly 100 in the nearby village of  Whitworth alone).

King’s thesis, detailed below, is a valuable contribution to the study of the Coucher Book and also has a really useful chronology of land tenure in Lancashire and Cheshire. This work also contributes to place-name research in Lancashire and Cheshire.

King, C. D . – The Whalley Coucher book and the dialectal phonology of Lancashire and Cheshire 1175-1350 . – University of St Andrews PHD Thesis, 1991 (Unpublished).

Download it here

ILS catalogue number: 15280797

EThOS Persistent ID: uk.bl.ethos.493393

David Collins
Repository Administrator
University of St Andrews Library

Great News -Thanks David!

Wardle

Wardle is mentioned several times in the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey, here are the names from the published index:

“Suanus” would appear to be a Scandinavian name often written as Swain, Orm is also a Scandinavian name. Note the variation in the spelling of Wardle,  “Wardul” and “Wordul”.

The “de” means “of,” so the names were Petrus of “Wordul” and so on.

These people gave land to Whalley Abbey, which was granted land by many individuals in the Parish of Rochdale. This indicates that many freemen held land, not just the main landowners of the parish of Rochdale.

Under construction!

Published in: on May 22, 2010 at 9:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Newbold

from Fishwick’s History of Rochdale

A brief history of Newbold can be seen here,  in chapter 16, page 313 of the History of Rochdale by Fishwick. Newbold was mentioned in charter XXX (30) from Whalley Abbey:

Published in: on December 27, 2009 at 1:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Naden

Naden is the name of a valley in what was Spotland township, Rochdale parish. Naden was first recorded in 1107, it was also mentioned in the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey in the 13thC.

A general history of Spotland with a footnote (6) about Naden can be found here in the Victoria County History of Lancashire.

Naden Brook

Naden (“Nauden” as it was in medieval times)was mentioned in a grant to Stanlaw Abbey (the monks later moved to Whalley).

NadenRiverStanlawHere is another reference to Naden (Naueden) in the transcription of the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey, Chetham Society. Green Booths is also mentioned.

“de Naden” Origin of the Name

According to this history (Victoria County History), land was granted to Gilbert de Notton when he married Margery, the daughter of Hugh de Elland.

It gave a name to the immediate holders. Maud widow of Thomas de Naden claimed dower in a messuage and land in Wolstenholme in 1277 against Roger son of Robert de Naden; De Banco R. 21, m. 5 d, 58″  – Volume V Victoria County History Of Lancashire Spotland p. 206-213

Coucher640

This charter also mentions Naden Brook and is a transcript from Volume III of the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey, published by the Chetham Society in the 19th. Century.

Naden Brook

 

 

 

Naden Head – Holt’s Spotland Manor House

By the 16th. Century the land at Naden had been aquired by a member of the Holt family,  and the hall there was known as Naden Head.

Naden Head -1626 Manor Survey of Rochdale

Nadenland

“In a deed of partition in 1534 part of the land is called Nadenland in Spotland, Thomas Holt and Ralph Naden being tenants; Robert Holt paid 6d. for the attachment of a mill in Wolstenholme, and there were other messuages and lands in Spotland and Hundersfield; Raines D. in the Chetham Library.”

‘Townships: Spotland’, A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5 (1911), pp. 206-213 footnote 33. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53029 Date accessed: 18 August 2010.

Naden Head

The site of the hall and outbuildings (it was later a farm) can still be seen, there is more about Naden Head  here.

Read more about the Naden family name here.

Natt Bank, Meeting Place for  the Manor Court of Spotland

Natte Bank was in Bamford, a detached township of Middleton Parish. Yet this was the place that Holt’s Manor Court met in the 16th Century. The minor name Natt Bank can be found in the 19th. C. first series OS maps of the area.

Aerial View of  Natt Bank.

Here, east of Crimble Lane.

The Claim to The Manor of Spotland

Since Whalley Abbey held so much land in Spotland in the medieval period they claimed the rights to the manor of Spotland and came into conflict with the manor of Rochdale on one occasion. After the dissolution of the monastereies, the Abbey land in Spotland was aquired by a member of the Holt family. They continued to claim the rights to the Manor of Spotland and it is clearly recorded in the Rochdale Manor Court Records that Holt held his court a Natt Bank, overlooking the river Roche and in Middleton Parish. Natt Bank was to just the South of Spotland, but not in Rochdale Parish.

It gave a name to the immediate holders. Maud widow of Thomas de Naden claimed dower in a messuage and land in Wolstenholme in 1277 against Roger son of Robert de Naden; De Banco R. 21, m. 5 d, 58
Published in: on August 21, 2009 at 3:16 pm  Comments (5)  
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Download The Place-Names of Lancashire

Many places in Lancashire were mentioned in medieval documents and there are many books and articles about their origins. Ekwall’s 1922 Place-names of Lancashire is a classic and is available copyright free.

Here is the contents page of this important 1922 study of the origin of Lancashire place-names.

Contents

Note This is a large file of 45 megabytes!

DOWNLOAD Place_names_of_Lancs_Ekwall

You will need the free Adobe Reader program to view the book, if it is not installed you can download it here.

Published in: on August 11, 2009 at 12:14 am  Comments (2)  
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Salford Hundred Heritage Society

SHHS

A society has been formed to research the archaeology and early history of Salford Hundred, initially with emphasis on the area covered by the NE of Salford Hundred. The society’s website will be located here, it is currently under construction.

Why Salford Hundred?

Salford Hundred was the SE division of the historic division of the historic county of Lancashire. This historic area is now includes parts of the modern counties of Greater Manchester, Lancashire, West Yorkshire.  Studying the history of the area it makes more sense to research the historic region rather than the modern boundaries which cut across historic parishes areas. For example, the historic parish of Rochdale is now included in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire.

What are the aims of the society?

This blog has outlined the rich and little known medieval archives that relate to Salford Hundred and Lancashire. A long-term goal is to transcribe, translate and publish relevant medieval documents.

Projects

As well as history, archaeological survey complements the research into the early origins of the area. The first project will be the survey (including geophysical survey) of a site discovered from aerial photographs.

Latest

Geophysical survey reveals exciting results, and a detailed survey on a site on Rooley Moor Rochdale confirms the the archaeological potential of the site. More details will be available to members of the society.

After advice from English Heritage a project has been started with Groundwork volunteers to survey recent archaeological discoveries, watch this space!

Contacts

Contact details on this new website under construction! Please contact me via a comment to this blog.

Under construction…