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MOSSLEY, a town and a chapelry on the mutual border of Lancashire, Cheshire, and W. R. Yorkshire. The town stands on the river Tame, the Huddersfield canal, and the Manchester and Leeds line of the Northwestern railway, under Heartshead Pike, 3 miles NE of Ashton-under-Lyne; was originally a hamlet of Ashton-under-Lyne parish, all within Lancashire; has risen, since about 1840, into great manufacturing importance; was recently placed under the provisions of the local government act, and then defined to include portions of Micklehurst and Tintwistle townships in Cheshire, and the entire tract of Quickmere in Saddleworth township. W. R. Yorkshire; includes suburbs called Mossley-Bottom and Mossley-Brow; carries on industry in handloom woollen weaving, in several woollen factories, and in extensive cotton factories; is supplied with gas from Staleybridge gasworks, and with water from Ashton and Staleybridge waterworks; and has a railway station with telegraph, a post office of Mossley, under Manchester, a post office of Mossley-Bottom, under Manchester, a church, four dissenting chapels, a mechanics' institute, and parochial, national, British, and Roman Catholic schools. The church was built in 1755, and enlarged in 1788; and contains nearly 1,000 sittings. The Independent chapel stands at Mossley-Brow, and is a large and handsome stone structure. The Wesleyan chapel stands in Stamford-road, was built in 1867, is in the Lombardo-Venetian style, and contains 600 sittings. The mechanics' institute was built in 1858, and is a large and well-contrived stone structure. Fairs are held on the last Friday of Feb., 21 June, and the last Monday of Oct.; and wakes are held on the last Saturday of July. The chief residences in the vicinity are Apsley House, G. Andrew, Esq.; Whitehall, G. Mayall, Esq.; Highfield House, J. Mayall, Esq.; Breage Hill, S. Shaw, Esq.; Waterton, E. and J. Buckley, Esq.; Limefield, if,. Andrew, Esq.; and Valley Cottage, J. Kershaw, Esq. The assessment under the local act, in 1864, amounted to upwards of £26,000; and the population, in that year, was upwards of 13,000. The chapelry was made ecclesiastically parochial in 1865; and is bounded from N to SW by the County brook, and the river Tame. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Manchester. Value, £300. Patron, the Rector of Ashton.

John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)


Archives and Libraries

Local studies information is held at Stalybridge library.



Church Records

Before 1889 this township was split between the three counties of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cheshire. The Lancashire part formed the chapelry of Mossley in the parish of Ashton under Lyne, while the Yorkshire part was in the chapelry of Saddleworth in the parish of Rochdale. Bishop's transcripts for both these parts are held in the Lancashire Record Office. The third part of the township was in the parish of Mottram in Longdendale, Cheshire, and its bishop's transcripts are held at the Cheshire Record Office. In 1889 the whole township was transferred to Lancashire and in 1974 to the Tameside district of Greater Manchester. Enquiries about ecclesiastical records, other than bishop's transcripts, should be made to the Local Studies Unit, Manchester Central Library and to the Cheshire Record Office.


Civil Registration

The Register Office covering the Mossley area is Tameside.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Mossley which are provided by:



Ask for a calculation of the distance from Mossley to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.



ENG-LAN-MOSSLEY-SADDLEWORTH is an e-mail list for Mossley genealogy.

Historical Geography

The 1888 Boundary Commission maps which show how the various districts were combined into Lancashire. Prior to 1888 the Yorkshire part of Mossley was Roughtown and Quickedge. The Cheshire section included Heyheads, Hollins, Micklehurst and the Lancashire section which remained was St Georges, Brown Edge.

You can see the administrative areas in which Mossley has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Probate Records

For probate purposes prior to 1858, Mossley was in the Archdeaconry of Chester, in the Diocese of Chester. The original Lancashire wills for the Archdeaconry of Chester are held at the Lancashire Record Office.

You can also see Family History Societies covering the nearby area, plotted on a map. This facility is being developed, and is awaiting societies to enter information about the places they cover.