Worsley, Lancashire Family History Guide

Worsley is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Lancashire, created in 1847 from Eccles Ancient Parish.

Other places in the parish include: Newtown, Little Houghton, and Boothstown.

Alternative names:

Parish church: St. Mark

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1826
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: None

Nonconformists include: Independent Methodist, Independent/Congregational, Swedenborgian/New Jerusalem/New Church, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

WORSLEY, a township, in the parish of Eccles, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 7 miles (W. by N.) from Manchester, on the road to Leigh and Wigan; containing 8337 inhabitants. One of the earliest crusaders, Elias or Elizeus, founder of the family of Worsley, is said to have held the manor of Workesley soon after the Conquest. It remained in this family until the reign of Edward III., when Alice, sister and sole heiress of Sir Geoffrey Worsley, conveyed it by marriage to Sir John Massey, of Tatton, who, with his eldest son, Thomas, by this marriage, was attainted 1st Henry IV. The manor and estate remained in the Masseys three generations, when the heiress of Sir Geoffrey Massey married into the Stanley family; and the property came subsequently (temp. Elizabeth) to the family of Egerton. Worsley is eminently celebrated in connexion with inland navigation. In the 10th of George II., an act was obtained for making the Worsley brook navigable, but the design was not carried into effect. In the 32nd of the same reign, the Duke of Bridgewater obtained an act, and afterwards other acts, enabling him to construct a series of canals from his extensive collieries here to different places, affording the means of conveying coal and other necessaries through a populous manufacturing district. A canal, one of the earliest undertakings of the duke, and the first great canal constructed in England in modern times, runs through the village, and penetrates by a tunnel upwards of three miles in length to the collieries of Walkden. The under-ground canals and tunnels at Worsley are said to be 18 miles in length, reaching nearly to Deane, and their construction to have cost £168,960.

The township comprises 2584¾ acres, Cheshire measure, whereof one-eighth is arable, and 82¼ acres woodland. The surface in the upper part is undulated, but the greater part is flat, with hedge-rows and many plantations, of which more are being made; the soil in some places is a light sandy clay, in others peat, and the views are fine and extensive. The coal wrought here is oi very superior quality, and produces the best coke in England. In the township are several cotton-mills (some established upwards of forty years), employing about 1500 hands.

Worsley Hall, the seat of the Earl of Ellesmere, is a stately modern structure with an elegant portico, erected on an elevated site which overlooks the park-like grounds, and commands a view into seven counties. The old Hall, seated at the northern extremity of the gardens of the present mansion, was successively the residence of the Worsleys, Masseys, Stanleys, Breretons, and Egertons; and was remarkable as the depository of a series of spirited grotesque and allegorical heads, with an intermixture of ornamental devices, engraved in oaken panels, and brought, within the present century, from one of the state rooms of Hulme Hall, Manchester. This sculpture, referred to the 16th century, has been removed to the new Hall. Among other ancient mansions in the township are, Kempnall and Wardley Halls. The village has the appearance of neatness and comfort, and its inhabitants are extensively employed by the Earl of Ellesmere, owner of large property around: in its vicinity is the working-establishment for boat-building, and for the manufacture of all articles necessary for the canals. There are several useful institutions, among which are, a reading-room and library, supported mainly by the earl, and which numbers more than 150 of the villagers as subscribers; a savings’ bank; and a clothing-fund, A troop of Yeomanry has lately been formed here, called the Worsley Troop, consisting of fifty members and three officers, and commanded by Viscount Brackley: it has a superior band.

A very handsome church in the decorated style, dedicated to St. Mark, has recently been built at the sole expense of the Earl of Ellesmere, by whom it is endowed. It stands on elevated ground, and consists of a nave, south aisle, chancel, and private chapel, with a square tower and graceful spire 185 feet high, having pinnacles and flying buttresses springing from the angles. The arch of the west door is of elegant design, and above it is a three-light window with bold tracery; there is also a fine arch between the chancel and nave: the eastern window is of five lights. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the noble Earl; income, £100, with a residence. On the borders of the township is the chapel of Ellenbrook: the living is a perpetual curacy, also in the patronage of the Earl of Ellesmere; income, £137. At Swinton and Walkden, which see, are other incumbencies. The Wesleyans have a small place of worship; and schools for boys, girls, and infants, in which about 350 children are instructed, are supported principally by the noble family of Egerton. Three of these schools, and St. Mark’s church, have been erected in a field called Cross Field.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Parish Records

Lancashire Archives

Lancashire FH & Heraldry Society

Manchester Archives and Local History


Lancashire BMD

England, Lancashire, Parish Registers 1538-1910

England, Lancashire Non-Conformist Church Records, 1647-1996

Catholic Parish Registers of Liverpool 1741-1773

St James’ Cemetery Burials Liverpool

Manchester Burial Records

England, Lancashire, Oldham Cemetery Registers, 1797-2004

England, Lancashire, Rusholme Road Cemetery 1821-1933

Oldham Burial Records

Tameside Burial Records

Chorlton Upon Medlock Burials 1821-1933


Lancaster Convict Database 1800s

Lancashire Fusiliers

Lancashire Infantry Museum

Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Lancashire Roll of Honour

St. Helens Roll of Honour

Lancashire Police Records

Lancashire Lantern - archive of local old photographs, postcards and other images

Manchester Local Images

Records for England

Births and Baptism Records

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Great Britain, Births and Baptisms, 1571-1977

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Marriage Records

England Marriages, 1538–1973

Great Britain Marriages, 1797-1988

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Death Records

England Death Records, 1998-2015

England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991

Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778-1988

England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

England and Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1640-1660

Non-Conformist Records

England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977


England and Wales Census, 1841

England and Wales Census, 1851

England and Wales Census, 1861

England and Wales Census, 1871

England and Wales Census, 1881

England and Wales Census, 1891

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales Census, 1911


United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen Records, 1835-1941

War and Conflict

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners’ Service Records, 1760-1913

United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920

Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices

British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries


  • County: Lancashire
  • Civil Registration District: Barton upon Irwell
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Chester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Manchester
  • Rural Deanery: Eccles
  • Poor Law Union: Barton upon Irwell
  • Hundred: Salford
  • Province: York