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Help and advice for Middleton

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This is the Middleton near Manchester. There is also a Middleton township near Lancaster.

"MIDDLETON, a town, a township, a sub-district, and a parish, in Lancashire. The town stands in a fertile vale, on the river Irk, at the terminus of a short branch of the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway, near the Rochdale canal, 6 miles N by E of Manchester; took its name from being situated in the centre of several circumjacent towns; was only a village of 20 houses in 1770; has risen, since 1780, into a populous seat of manufacture; is now an important place, nearly a mile in length, well supplied with water, thoroughly drained, and under the management of a local improvement board by act of 1861; is so conjoined with Tonge in both proximity and trade as practically to include or absorb that town; carries on industry in extensive silk factories, in numerous large cotton factories, in calico-printing, bleaching, and dyeing establishments, in iron foundries, and in machinemaking establishments; publishes a weekly newspaper; is a seat of petty sessions; and has a post office under Manchester, a railway station with telegraph, several good inns, a police station, a market-house, public baths, two churches, five dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chape1, a grammar school, two national and infant schools, a free library, a church reading-room and library, an agricultural society, and a floral and horticultural society."
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John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)


Archives and Libraries

Local studies information is held at Middleton library.




There are more than 30 churches identified in this place. Please click here for a complete list.

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Middleton area or see them printed on a map.


Civil Registration

The Register Offices covering the Middleton area are Rochdale and Oldham.


Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Middleton which are provided by:



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

Click here for a list of nearby places.

1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland

  • "MIDDLETON, a parish and market town in the hundred of Salford, county Lancaster, 4 miles W. of Oldham, 5 S. of Rochdale, and 6 N. of Manchester. It is a station on the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway, and the Manchester and Rochdale canal passes within a mile of the town. The parish, which is extensive, comprises the townships of Ainsworth, Ashworth, Birtle-cum-Bamford, Great Lever, Hopwood, Middleton, Pilsworth, and Thornham. The manor was in early times in possession of the Bartons, and passed by marriage to the family of Assheton, to which belonged Sir Richard Assheton, who commanded the Middleton archers at the battle of Flodden. It is now chiefly the property of William Wagstaff, Esq., who is the present lord of the manor, and who holds courts leet and baron in October. In the time of the Commonwealth the parish is said to have contained 500 inhabitants, and till the end of the last century was only a small village, but since 1791, when it obtained a charter for holding a weekly market, it has rapidly risen into an important manufacturing town. It is situated in a fertile vale on the Irk, and extends into the parish of Prestwiekcum-Old-ham. It is nearly a mile in length along the road from Manchester to Rochdale, and is well paved, drained, and lighted with gas. It is supplied with water from the Heywood waterworks. The affairs of the town are managed by a board of commissioners under a special local Act. Petty sessions are held fortnightly on Wednesdays at the sessions room. The chief trade of the town and neighbourhood is silk weaving, chiefly for the Manchester and Spitalfields houses; also cotton spinning, weaving, and bleaching; there are also extensive dye works, including the calico-printing works of Silas Schwabe and Co.: these last are some of the largest in England, employing upwards of 1,000 hands. Iron founding and machine making are carried on, and in the adjoining townships of Hopwood and Thornham are extensive collieries. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Manchester, value £950. The church, dedicated to St. Leonard, is a venerable structure with a low square tower. The more modern part was built in 1524 by Sir Richard Assheton and his wife Anne.

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Historical Geography

In 1835 the parish of Middleton contained the townships of Middleton, Ashworth, Birtle cum Bamford, Great Lever, Ainsworth, Hopwood, Pilsworth and Thornham,

Information about boundaries and administrative areas is available from A Vision of Britain through time.

You can see the administrative areas in which Middleton 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, Middleton 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.