Stalybridge Old St George is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Lancashire, created in 1798 from Ashton under Lyne St Michael Ancient Parish.
Parish registers begin:
- Parish registers: 1776
- Bishop’s Transcripts: 1782
Nonconformists include: Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Roman Catholic, and Wesleyan Methodist.
A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848
STALYBRIDGE, a market-town, in the union of Ashton-under-Lyne; partly in the Hartshead division of the parish of Ashton-under-Lyne, hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster; partly in the township of Dukinfield, parish of Stockport, and partly in the township of Stayley, parish of Mottram-in-Longdendale, hundred of Macclesfield, N. division of the county of Chester; 1 mile (E. by S.) from Ashton, 7 miles (E.) from Manchester, and 8 (N. E. by N.) from Stockport; containing about 24,000 inhabitants. The town is seated in a deep valley, extending along both sides of the river Tame, which here divides Lancashire and Cheshire, and flows into the Mersey at Stockport. The name of Staly, originally Staveleigh, is derived from an ancient family who, in the reign of Edward III., occupied Stayley Hall, a portion of which mansion still remains; the addition arises from a bridge over the Tame, that connects the two counties, and which has been rebuilt. The town has been paved, and otherwise much improved, under an act obtained in 1828, authorising the appointment of commissioners for the direction of its police affairs, &c., and by which it was constituted a market-town. It is lighted with gas under an act granted for that purpose in 1842. A spacious town-hall, combining a marketplace, was erected in 1831, and opened December 30th in that year. The hall is a stately and well-built fabric, with a handsome entrance surmounted by massive pillars; the portion of the buildings appropriated to the market contains ample and neatly-arranged stalls for butchers’ meat, fish, and fruit, and a gallery for the sale of general wares. The market-day is Saturday; and four cattle-fairs are held in the year. The magistrates for the two counties hold weekly petty-sessions in the great room of the town-hall; and the Ashton-under-Lyne court of requests for the recovery of small debts, presided over by a barrister, comprises Stalybridge within its jurisdiction. A police force has been maintained since 1828.
The cotton manufacture is almost the exclusive branch of trade; and its increase, and that of the town and population, have of late years been exceedingly rapid. For several centuries, a few straggling habitations were all that constituted the place; and little improvement was observable until its situation, and its proximity to ample supplies of coal, caused it to be chosen as a site for factories. The first cotton-mill was erected by a person named Hall, in 1776, and the first steam-engine was introduced in 1795. In the year 1814 the number of cotton-mills was 12; in 1825 the number was 22: it had increased in 1841 to 33, and is now more. In 1748, the village contained but 34 houses and 140 inhabitants; at present, the town ranks as one of the principal places for cotton-spinning in the kingdom, and it is calculated that at least 14,000 persons are now employed exclusively in the manufacture. Excellent fire-bricks are made here in large quantities. The facilities of communication have extended commensurately with the prosperity of the district. The road from Manchester runs on the north side; the Huddersfield canal passes parallel with the Tame through the centre of the town, and there are two railways at present completed; one being a short branch of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire railway, and the other a branch of the Manchester and Leeds railway. A third railway is in progress, connecting the district in a direct line with Huddersfield, in Yorkshire. The neighbourhood was formerly much covered with wood; it still presents some bold and impressive scenery, and from the hills near the town, one of which is 1300 feet above the level of the water, many fine and extensive prospects are obtained. The house of Thompson’s-Cross received its designation from a plain cross which stood at the junction of several narrow lanes, at the entrance of the town from Manchester.
The old living of Stalybridge is a perpetual curacy, with an income of about £100; patron, the Earl of Stamford and Warrington. The chapel, at Cocker Hill, dedicated to St. George, was erected by subscription in 1776, and is of octagonal form; its interior is remarkably light and elegant, and the elevated site upon which it stands renders it a fine object when viewed from the vale of the Tame. An additional church, also dedicated to St. George, was built in 1840, partly by a parliamentary grant and partly by subscription, at a cost of £4500; it is situated to the west of Cocker Hill, is in the early English style, with a square tower, and contains 1200 sittings, whereof 500 are free. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rector of Ashton; net income, £140. At Stayley and Dukinfield are other churches. There are places of worship for General and Particular Baptists, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, Methodists of the New Connexion, Independents, and Roman Catholics. A day school, under the auspices of the British and Foreign School Society, has been established; and handsome and commodious day and Sunday schools have been built by the National Society, aided by subscription. Several other schools are maintained in connexion with the dissenting congregations. A mechanics’ institution, to which an excellent library is attached, was opened in 1825; the laboratory is provided with very superior chemical and pneumatical apparatus, and there is a well-arranged and valuable collection of fossils and other geological specimens, principally obtained from the coal-measures in the immediate district. Among other buildings are, a Temperance Hall, erected at a cost of about £800, for scientific lectures and a school; and a “ Forresters’ Hall,” built in 1836, at an expense of about £2200. The chief room of the latter has a gallery and organ, with a handsome window of stained glass 72 feet in height and 36 in width. In this Hall, is an evening school for the children of the members. Besides a branch of the Manchester and Liverpool District Bank, here is a savings’ bank, established in 1828; the number of depositors in a recent year was 822, and the amount of deposits, £34,115. The interest of £100 was left in 1822, by the Rev. John Cape Atty, to be distributed on Christmas-day, to the poor attending Cocker Hill chapel. A petrified tree, the trunk about twelve feet in length and ten or twelve inches in diameter, was discovered in a stone-quarry in March 1831; it lay in the bed of a rock about 30 feet below the surface, and is now preserved in the museum of the Natural-History Society at Manchester.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848
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- County: Lancashire
- Civil Registration District: Ashton under Lyne
- Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Chester (Episcopal Consistory)
- Diocese: Manchester
- Rural Deanery: Ashton Under Lyne
- Poor Law Union: Ashton Under Lyne
- Hundred: Salford
- Province: York