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OPENSHAW, a township and a chapelry in Manchester parish, Lancashire. The township lies on the Manchester and Stockport canal, and on the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire railway, 2½ miles E by S of Manchester; contains a large village of its own name; and has a station on the railway, and a post-office under Ashton-under-Lyne. Acres, 571. Real property, £2,866. Pop. in 1851, 3,759; in 1861, 8,623. Houses, 1,688. The increase of pop. arose from the establishment of ironworks and chemical works. The manor belongs to G. Legh, Esq. There are a large cotton mill, weaving-sheds, extensive dye-works, a very extensive manufactory of railway carriages, and a depot for repairs of locomotive engines. The chapelry was constituted in 1840; was, till 1861 or later, conterminate with the township; and was subsequently curtailed, so as to have a pop. of only 2,777. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Manchester. Value, £300. Patrons, Trustees. The church was built in 1839, at a cost of £4,500; is in the early English style; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with tower and spire; and contains 800 sittings. A Wesleyan chapel was built in 1864, at a cost of £2,600; is in the Anglo-Italian style; and contains 600 sittings. There are also chapels for New Connexion Methodists. United Free Methodists, and Roman Catholics; and schools, called the Cobden Memorial schools, were built in connexion with the United Free Methodist chapel in 1866, at a cost of about £800. There is likewise a mixednational school, with £25 a year from endowment.

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


Archives and Libraries

Local studies information is held at Manchester Central library.




Civil Registration

The Register Office covering the Openshaw area is Manchester.


Description and Travel

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1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland

  • "OPENSHAW, (or Andenshaw) a township in the parish of Manchester, hundred of Salford, county Lancaster, 3½ miles S.E. of Manchester, its post town. It is a station on the Sheffield and Lincolnshire railway. It is situated on the Manchester and Stockport canal, and on the road to Ashton-under-Lyne. There are extensive cotton mills and dye works, also a large railway carriage manufactory, which together afford employment to a large number of the inhabitants. The soil is of a clayey nature, alternating with sand, and resting on a subsoil of sandstone. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Manchester. The church, dedicated to St. Barnabas, has a square tower surmounted by aspire. The church was erected in 1838 at an outlay of £4,500. There are commodious National schools for both sexes, endowed with £500, and in which a Sunday-school is also held. The Wesleyans and Roman Catholics have each a place of worship. George C. Legh, Esq., is lord of the manor.

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Historical Geography

In 1835 Openshaw was a township in the parish of Manchester.

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



Crossley Brothers built engines on Pottery Lane.


Probate Records

For probate purposes prior to 1858, Openshaw 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.