Barton-Upon-Irwell, so styled from the river Irwell, on which it is located, is a populous township about one mile to the west of Eccles, and about five from Manchester. It possesses several manufactures, to the increase of which its proximity to the Manchester and Liverpool Railway and Bridgewater Canal, have materially contributed. The facilities of passenger traffic offered by the former have induced several of the opulent classes of Manchester to reside here, and this has tended materially to improve the township. The Bridgewater Canal crosses the Irwell by a noble aqueduct – a splendid triumph of Brindley’s genius – and the first of the kind ever constructed in this country. There is a beautiful new Church dedicated to St. Catharine; and spacious chapels of various denominations. Immediately adjoining Barton is the hamlet, or so to speak more graphically, the village of Patricroft, where the extensive iron works of Messrs. Nasmyth, Gaskell & Co. are situated – who have acquired a world-wide celebrity by their contributions to mechanical science and engineering. Here also her Majesty, on her recent visit, embarked and debarked from Worsley; accompanied with such demonstrations of loyalty and welcome as will not be forgotten by "the oldest inhabitant." The population of the township in 1851 amounted to 7,936, of which 3,193 reside in the village of Barton.


Eccles, a pleasant village, which derives its name from Ecclesia, a church, is situated in a large parish of the same name, about four miles from Manchester, and is proximate to the Manchester and Liverpool Railway. Manufactures of silk and cotton are extensively carried on here, and in the neighboring villages, notwithstanding which, both in point of situation and scenery, Eccles presents a pleasing and picturesque appearance. Though not possessing historical associations of particular interest, Eccles has claims to a very high antiquity. Its parish was traversed by two Roman roads – one from the station at Blackrod to Manchester, and the other from the Manchester to the Warrington station. The illustrious family of the De Trafford’s were settled here long anterior to the Norman conquest; and within this parish is Trafford Park, the seat of Sir T. J. De Trafford, Bart. It is a remarkable feature in ancestral history, that this noble line has never failed in direct male heirs, notwithstanding the political changes and civil commotions of the country for the last nine hundred years. The Parish Church, situated in the center of the village, is a venerable gothic structure, and of the most antique style. It contains many interesting monuments, amongst which are several of noble families who have figured prominently in the manorial history of the county. The living is in the gift of the Crown, and the present Vicar is the Rev. William Marsden, and the Rev. M. F. Smyth and the Rev. E. Williams, curates. The Grammar school to the south – east of the church, Mr. Robert Sharpe, master, is supported by charitable bequests, and is an excellent institution. There is also an Infants’ school, under the management of Mr. and Mrs. Bent. There are several chapels of various denominations, with schools attached, evincing the most laudable provisions for spiritual welfare. On the western side of the village is the course where races are annually held, and conducted with the characteristic spirit of the British turf. The wakes are also held annually, but they are no longer disgraced by bull-baiting and cock-fighting, and other barbarous sports for which Eccles, in past ages, acquired an unenviable notoriety. The well known and popular article of pastry – "Eccles Cake," originated here, and is still made in high perfection. Here at the vicarage house the late lamented William Huskisson, M.P. breathed his last, consequent on the accident at the opening of the Manchester and Liverpool Railway, Sept. 5th, 1830.


Monton, Peel Green, Cadishead, Irlam, Hollins Green, are small hamlets, whose population is principally engaged in manufactures, and similar pursuits to that of Eccles and Barton.

(1) Whellan & Co. Directory 1853