THE RURAL PORTIONS OF THE PARISH OF MANCHESTER
The rural portions of the parish of Manchester are the townships of Blakeley, Burnage, Chorlton-with-Hardy, Crumpsall, Denton, Didsbury, Droylsden, Failsworth, Gorton, Haughton, Levenshulme, Moss side, Moston, Openshaw, Reddish, Rusholme, Stretford, and Withington, and the estate of Kirkmanshulme; comprising an area of 28,472 statute acres. There are remains of a Roman road in Failsworth, and of another in Rusholme. Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Denton, Didsbury, Haughton, Rusholme, Stretford, and Withington, possess right of manor courts. Barlow, Hough, Clayton, Denton, Birch, and Slade are the principal old halls. The episcopal chapels amount to 8, namely, Blakeley, existed 1613, annual value of curacy £140; Chorlton-cum-Hardy, St. Clement, existed 1587, rebuilt 1782, annual value £103; Denton, built 1531, is of timber, annual value £135; Didsbury, St. John, erected about 1235, rebuilt 1620, annual value £154; Gorton, St. James, existed in 17th century, Annual value £140; Openshaw, St. Barnabas, built 1837, in the early English style; Birch, in Rusholme, built prior to 1662; and Stretford, St. Matthew, existed in 16th century, rebuilt 1718, annual value £124.-Episcopal chapels are projected at Withington, and Failsworth.- The patronage is principally in the dean and canons of the Collegiate Church. An episcopal chapel is annexed to the Deaf and Dumb school and Blind Asylum. The dissenters chapels are 19 : Wesleyan 11, Blakeley, Chorlton, Denton, Didsbury, Droylsden, Failsworth, Gorton, Haughton, Openshaw, Rusholme, and Withington; Unitarian 4, Blakeley, Gorton, Dob-lane Failsworth, and Platt Rusholme; Independent 2, Denton, and Stretford; New Connexion Methodists, Failsworth; and Moravian, Fairfield, in Droylsden. Fairfield is a neat Moravian village, laid out with great taste, 4 miles E. of Manchester, erected 1784. An episcopal or proprietary school, to be opened at Didsbury, was projected 1836. A college to educate young men for the Independent ministry is erecting in Withington. Fairs are held at Didsbury, April 30, October 22; and Stretford, November 10. The townships containing cotton mills are Gorton, Haughton, Levenshulme, Failsworth, Openshaw, Droylsden, and Crumpsall : the total cotton mill hands in 1836 was 6,500. There are various print and bleach works. Denton contains several hat manufactories. Chorlton-with-Hardy, Didsbury, and Withington, are free from manufactories. For canals and railways see Manchester township. The principal villages and townships are Blakeley, 3miles N.N.E. of Manchester, population 1831, 3,020; Denton, 6 miles E.S.E., population 2,792; Droylsden, 4 miles E., population 2,996; Failsworth, 4 miles N.E., population 3,667; Gorton, 3½ miles E.S.E., population 2,623; Haughton, adjacent to Denton, population 2,914; and Stretford, 4 miles S.W., population 2,463. In 1773 the population of the rural portion of the parish was 11,206; 1801, 17,267; 1811, 20,069; 1821, 24,386; 1831, 30,426; probable present population about 36,000. There are schools at Blakeley, Chorlton, Didsbury, £45. per annum; and Levenshulme, partially endowed : and large episcopal schools at Denton, Blakeley, Failsworth, Openshaw, and Gorton. The number of sunday schools is about 32. In Stretford is the School for the Deaf and Dumb, and Asylum for the Blind, forming one elegant pile, with a chapel in the centre, built 1836-7 - the former was opened in Salford in 1823, the present school in 1837; 46 boys and 28 girls were supported and educated in 1839 - the latter endowed by T. Henshaw. Esq. and others will accommodate 150 inmates; the whole edifice cost £15,000. Stretford also contains the Manchester Botanic Garden, comprising 16 acres, delightfully planned, formed 1831. There are few places of rural recreation in or near Manchester, but Victoria Park forms a public pleasure ground of 140 acres, opened 1837 - it is principally in Rusholme, and belongs to a company incorporated by act of parliament, 5 William IV. In the south part of the parish agriculture is well attended to, but upon the whole pasture preponderates over arable, average rent per acre £4. Stone and coal are the principal minerals. Peat moss is become scanty. Trafford moss and White moss are inclosing.
The parish of Manchester extends over 54 square miles,-contains 41 episcopal places of worship, 105 dissenters, 5 catholics, and 1 Jews, total 152, this is inclusive of 4 cemetery chapels. In 1839 the number of cotton manufactories was 182, woollen 2, worsted 2, silk 20, unoccupied mills 29, total hands employed 43,866. In 1774 the population was 41,032; 1801, 112,300; 1811, 136,370; 1821, 187,031; 1831, 270,061; present population about 340,000. The number of houses in 1774 was 6,639; 1831, 45,643. The day schools amount to 900, sunday 149, and infant 16. The annual value of property in 1815 was £489,233; 1829, £752,031.
(5) A Statistical Sketch of the County Palatine of Lancaster 1841 by Edwin Butterworth.