WORSLEY

1853

WORSLEY 

Worsley is one of the prettiest villages of which our island can boast. It is about six miles to the westward of Manchester, and nearly two from the Railway station at Patricroft. On entering Worsley from Patricroft the visitor passes along the banks of the Bridgewater Canal, and enters the precincts of Worsley by a very handsome lodge of ornamental masonry, apparently built as an exordium of succeeding elegance. Pursuing the road skirting the banks of the canal, on the right are tastefully laid-out pleasure gardens, free of access to the public, evincing the munificence of the Earl of Ellesmere. Passing onwards, the eye is strikingly impressed with the extreme air of cleanliness, comfort and picturesque beauty which pervades the entire village, from the humble cottage to the stately mansion; houses with their stuccoed and lime washed walls glistening in the sun amidst blooming gardens, or gracefully relieved by the verdant foliage of the neighbouring trees, and the elegant church (erected and endowed by the Earl of Ellesmere), crowning the summit of an adjoining eminence, and pointing with “taper spire to heaven;” the elegant bridge over the canal, and the romantic aspect of the rock, at whose base is the debouchement of those vast subterranean canals, originated by the enterprise of the Duke of Bridgewater and the genius of Brindley, altogether form one of the most pleasing localities that can well be conceived. The Canal tunnels, which may well be accounted among the wonders of the world, may be thus described :- At the rock by the bridge the subterranean canals commence; the entrance to them is partly arched with brickwork and partly excavated, wide enough for passage of long flat-bottomed boats of about seven or eight tons burden, which are propelled by the navigators’ by means of hand rails on each side. This canal extends nearly three miles before it reaches the first colliery. It there divides into two channels, which have been extended with their branches in various directions, still under ground, to the length of nearly forty-five miles. The arch is five feet wide, and about six feet high; and it widens at places to allow two barges to pass each other. The workings under ground at Worsley are on four levels, with canals through them; the main line is nine feet high and nine feet wide; the water four feet deep. Two levels are respectively fifty six yards and eighty three yards below the main line, and the fourth level is fifty-seven yards below that. In planning and executing these gigantic schemes, the Duke was assisted by Mr. Brindley,  his first and famous engineer. Mr. Brindley was bred a millwright, and while an apprentice showed his skill in improving the silk mill at Congleton, in Cheshire. To the north of the village is the school, supported by the Earl of Ellesmere. In the centre is the Town Hall, a picturesque modern building of wood and brick, in the most ornate style of mediaeval architecture. To the westward is the Worsley Hall, a princely mansion erected by the Earl of Ellesmere, a few years ago. The style is the most florid Elizabethan character, and of modern erections is perhaps the most example of that style in the kingdom. Indeed, every thing about Worsley and the village in particular, is indicative of the highest refinement and cultivated taste, and evinces in an eminent degree the princely liberality, munificence, and industrial enterprise of its noble owner. The population of Worsley in 1852 was 10,188.  

SWINTON

Swinton is a hamlet of considerable importance, from the extensive colleries carried on there, as also from the Manchester Industrial schools, a magnificent institution for the purpose of training and educating pauper children of both sexes, preparatory to apprenticing them to various trades and situations in life. Female in particular are instructed in needlework, cookery and domestic economy with the utmost system, and at an early age become accomplished servants; and boys, for whatever trade they may be destained, are advanced by the same judicious management. So great have the benefits resulting from this excellent institution been, that it may be considered a most glorious and triumphant foreshadowing of the inestimable value of national education. Population of Swinton in 1851, including 621 in Swinton schools, was 3,132.

(1) Whellan & Co's Directory 1853