Longdendale Historical & Descriptive Sketches, 1863 - Glossop.


Crossing Whooley Bridge, from Mottram, we come into the parish of Glossop. Glossop is in the hundred of the High Peak, and the county of Derby, and is the last of that high chain of mountains called, " The High Peak of Derbyshire. It comprises the hamlets of Hadfield, Padfield, Whitfield, Chunel, Simondley, Gamesley, Ludworth, and Dinting; the chapelries of Hayfield, Chapel-in-le-Frith, and Mellor; and the liberty of Chinley. It is situated in a deep basin-shaped valley, surrounded by hills - those hills studded with farms and hamlets - above which, on the south and east sides the grim-looking moorlands rise, in dark and sombre majesty; casting an air of gloom and solemnity on the place, that strikes the stranger at once. The highest and most impressive of these mountains is, Glossop Low, at the top end of the town, and Whittle Nab and Cown Edge, entering into the town - which, with bare heads, meet alike the storms of winter, and the glow of summer.

Glossop, in the good old Saxon times of St. Edward the Confessor, belonged to Levine. In the Doomsday Book it belongs the crown, as part of Longdendale.15 It was granted, along with other lands in the Peak of Derbyshire, by William the Conqueror, to William Peveril, his natural son; whose memory is perpetuated by the old ruined tower of limestone, perched like an eagle on a rock, on the top of the famous Peak Cavern in Derbyshire.
15 Glover's Derbyshire.

His son, Richard Peveril, being disinherited by Henry II, in 1135, for procuring, as it was said, the death of the Earl of Chester by poison, - Glossop, along with his other lands, reverted to the crown.

The same king, being on a military expedition in North Wales, in 1157, was made acquainted with the monks of Basingwerke, on which occasion he gave Glossop to Basingwerke Abbey, in frank almogne for ever. 16
16. Basingwerke Abbey, near Holywell, in North Wales, was originally founded by Ranulph, Earl of Chester, for the Grey-friars of Savigny, an order that subsequently became Cistercian, but, says Alban Butler, "it was so much augmented and enriched by King Henry II, that he is called the principal founder." The famous well of St. Guenvrede or Winefred, near Basingwerke, belonged to them; and Ralph Higden, a monk of Chester, in his Polychronicon, celebrates Basingwerke in connexion with this well. Basingwerke Abbey is also famous in a literary way, for "The Book of Basingwerke" - a M.S. history of the ancient British kings.

The following is the confirmation of the grant made at Chester soon after, which I translate from the Latin original, found in Dugdale. "Henry, by the grace of God, King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitain, and Count of Anjou; to the archbishops, bishops, &c., health. Be it known unto you, that I have given and granted, and, by this present charter, have confirmed to God, and Saint Mary, and the monks of Basingwerke, in free and perpetual alms, ten librates of land in Longdendale; to wit, Glossope, with the church that there is, with all the lands and other things pertaining thereto, as fully as William Peveril possessed them, in the time of King Henry, my grandfather." 17
17. Dugdale's Monasticon.

This charter is witnessed by Thomas, the Chancellor, afterwards famous as St. Thomas of Canterbury, Richard Hamet, the Constable of Chester, Richard .e Dunstanville, Jocelin de Baliol, and William Fitzhamon.

Glossop remained the property of Basingwerke Abbey, till the dissolution of the lesser abbeys in 1536, when Henry VIII seized it, along with the other abbey lands. He afterwards gave it to the Earl of Shrewsbury - that nobleman afterwards gave it to the Duke of Norfolk, in exchange for an estate in the north of Ireland; and in this noble and illustrious family it has remained to the present time.

The present owner, and Lord of the manor, is the Right Honorable Lord Edward Fitzalan Howard, M.P., brother of the late, and uncle of the present Duke of Norfolk.

This noble family, which has so long and so happily presided over the destinies of Glossop, it may be interesting to my readers to know, is descended from Thomas de Bretherton, second son of King Edward I, and his queen Marguerite, the granddaughter of St. Louis, King of France; and thus mingles the ancient royal blood of France and England - the blood of St. Louis, and that of Plantagenet. A true old English glory dwells around the name of Howard, and to those in the slightest degree acquainted with the history of their country, it is superfluous for me to expatiate on it.

Glossop, from memorials still existing appears to have been one of the strongholds of the ancient Britons, and the scene of conflicts with the Saxon invader. Traditions, bearing the stamp of those times, speak of castles, and kings,and great and bloody battles fought along its hills - traditions of the times of Aurelius, Ambrosius, and King Arthur, that have come

"Floating down the tide of years"

mantled in mystery. It was populous and important in Saxon times, and the Ceorls pastured its hill slopes with cattle, sheep and swine. After the Norman Conquest, it appears to have been inhabited by farmers and shepherds; a sturdy and independent race of mountaineers, tenants of the Abbey of Basingwerke, and a number of gentle families living on their own freehold estates. 18
18. In a list of gentry named in a commission of the peace (12 of Henry VI, 1433), occur the names of John Hyde, of Long Lee, Robert Rattcliffe, of Mellor, Thomas and Nicholas Wagstaffe, of Glossop, John del Bothe, and Thomas Wholley, of Charlesworth.

The inhabitants of Glossop, in olden-time, were wont to go to the southern parts of England, to labour in the harvest, as the peasantry of Ireland do now.

Glossop, till a comparatively recent period, was a place difficult of approach, and, under some circumstances, almost impassable, owing to the peculiar situation of the place, and the nature of the roads. They seem to have had no roads scarcely, but such as the Romans, ages before, had made for them.

That, in its primitive state, it was full of wild romantic beauty, and abounded with many sweet wilding spots. and that the inhabitants viewed them with highly poetic eyes, is evident from the names they have given to places. The following lines, formerly inscribed with a diamond-ring on a pane of glass, at Glossop Hall, graphically describe Glossop in olden time.

Here hills with naked heads the tempests meet,
Rocks at their sides, and torrents at their feet.

The natural superabundance of water here, appears to have been turned to good account at an early period, namely, to work mills. We are told that there were as many as seven woollen-mills, and four fulling-mills here, at one time.

An incident, left on record, gives us an interesting glimpse into the state of society in Glossop, in olden time. It is as follows. When the Duke of Norfolk, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, came in possession of the manor of Glossop, he saw fit to restrain the tenantry from cutting timber, as they chose, for repairs. This gave great umbrage, and disaffection to the people of Glossop, for they had got, to look upon as a right, a practice that they had been suffered, by their former easy landlords. As dissatisfied people generally do, they met together, and discussed the subject with great warmth, and, at length, appointed a delegation to wend to London, and lay a complaint of their grievance before Queen Elizabeth, whom it used to be the fashion to call "Good Queen Bess." The names of those appointed to go on this delegation, are recorded; amongst them are names that still occupy a position amongst us as old inhabitants. Suffice to say, there are Garlicks, Wagstaffes, Hadfields, Coopers. Having previously settled their affairs, and made all meet preparation for so long a journey, they set off, and, arriving in London, were admitted to the presence of Queen Bess. She received them most graciously from the throne, heard their complaint, and promised to redress the grievance of her faithful lieges; then drawing sufficiently near to be heard by them, but not by her surrounding courtiers, she dismissed them in the following unceremonious terms:- "A pest on you for a set of lewd fellows - be off home, and obey your superior lord!"

Pilkington dates the rise of the cotton-manufacture in Glossop, in 1784. The first cotton-mill, however, worked by power, was built at Padfield, in 1777, by Mr. T. Thorneley.

Within the last twenty or thirty years, Glossop has become one of the great seats of the cotton manufacture, with it, the town has risen in size, wealth, and importance. It is now traversed in all directions, by excellent macadamized roads, and Howard Town, which, in the recollection of many, whose heads are not yet silvered with grey, could hardly boast four houses in the whole place, is now a populous town with streets, square, market-house, town hall, and other public buildings, that may yield to none in the county. 19
19. The present terrible "cotton-famine," has temporarily checked the tide of its prosperity, but we have good hopes to see Glossop, happy, thriving Glossop again.

There are two enormous cotton-mills here; one belonging to Messrs. Wood Bros., the other to Mr. Francis Sumner, and several smaller ones; and one of the largest calico print-works in England, at Dinting Vale, belonging to Mr. E. C. Potter and Co.

Glossop is a seat of the magistracy, who meet on Thursdays fortnightly. The sitting magistrates are John Wood, Francis Sumner, George Andrew, and William Sidebottom Esqrs. The town is well-provided with means of rational amusement and instruction. There is a club for the gentlemen-tradesmen of Glossop. In the town-hall, is a library and reading-room, provided and opened by Lord Edward Howard in 1860, with chess and draught tables, papers, &c. At Littlemoor, in connexion with the Littlemoor Mechanics Institution, is a good library, and evening-classes for the mutual improvement of young men in education and science. There is, also, a similar institution at Dinting Vale, provided by E. Potter, Esq., M. P.

One of the most interesting objects in Glossop Dale, is Glossop Hall, the residence of Lord Edward Howard. It was formerly, and is still by old inhabitants, called Royal Hall. It is a noble, aristocratic-looking building, in the French chateau style of the 18th century, and has been very much enlarged and improved by the late Duke of Norfolk, father of the present proprietor.

It stands on a gently-rising ground, above Howard Town, surrounded by trees. The lawn, in front, presents a picturesque and charming landscape, in my eye unrivalled. Before us, in the hollow, are the fish-ponds, with flowery margin, and tall reeds rising up and waving in the breeze, like the sword Exalibar, of ancient British romance; beyond, a long line of pleasantly-situated houses, the picturesque dome-like hill, Shire Hill, rising before us, clothed with copse-wood, and the Sheffield road winding at the foot, on which are those pretty spots - Pye Grove, and Cow Brook; on our left, the spire of Glossop church, embossed in foliage, and the solemn grove sighing to the evening breeze.

This, is a scene of calm, beautiful solemnity, which the author has often gazed on with delight, as he has strayed across on a summer evening, while, perhaps, the Glossop bells have been ringing a vesper peal, sounding low and musical, like the tones of a piano.

Across the Royal, on a green mound, stands the Catholic belonging to the hall dedicated to All Saints, erected by the piety of the Duke of Norfolk, in 1831. The Rev. Canon Fauvel, missionary-rector of Glossop, is chaplain. It is in the Tuscan style of architecture. Inside, are a great many valuable church-paintings, by old masters - the Twelve Apostles, brought from the chapel at Worksop, in 1853, the Crucifixion, and the Death of St. Hyronome over the altar - formerly in the Earl of Shrewsbury's collection at Alton Towers, given by the Duchess of Norfolk, in 1859. In the chapel yard is a picturesque cross, planted there August 31, 1861, by the Friars Preachers, as a memorial of their mission at Glossop.

Opposite the chapel is the house of the Sisters of Charity of St. Paul - an ivy clad cottage; and, across the road, the girls' school, conducted by the Sisters. Near the chapel, is an elevation called Castle Hill, the site of one of Glossop's traditionary castles, a place wearing evident marks of castrametation.

Romantically situated in the hollow, surrounded by the antique houses of the old town of Glossop, and embossed, on one side, with trees is the parish church, dedicated to All Saints. It has, of late years, been entirely rebuilt. The body of the church in 1831, the chancel some time after, and the tower in 1856, by the Duke of Norfolk. These two last-mentioned portions, of which, Mr. Hadfield of Sheffield was the architect, retain, perhaps, many of the general features of the old fabric - an ancient pile of the 14th century - the chancel, of Norman design, part, doubtless, of the original church built here by the Peverils. The interior is entirely barren of interest to the ecclesialogist.

Glossop, is a rectory, of which the lord of the manor is impropriator. The living is a discharged vicarage of £250 per annum.

In olden time the abbots of Basingwerke were rectors of Glossop, and appointed vicars for the church. Of these, the only name that transpires is Sir Thomas Poynton, 1503.

Of the later vicars, it appears from the registers that Mr. Robert Onion, was vicar of Glossop in 1620, Mr. Richard Cryer in 1640, Mr. William Bagshaw, called "the apostle of the Peak," in 1651. He was ejected from the living for nonconformity, on the famous St. Bartholomew's day, In his farewell discourse, he laments that "on account of his principles he is driven from his beloved Glossop."

Mr. John Sandiford entered as vicar, February 10th, 1662, Mr. William Wagstaffe in 1673, Mr. Robert Wagstaffe, May 2nd, 1682, Rev. William Bagshaw, 20th of May, 1703, Rev. William Goddard in 1732, Rev. Christopher Alcock in 1770, Rev. Christopher Howe in 1793. He was vicar of Glossop fifty-six years, and died in 1849. The Rev. T. G. Manson, D.C.L , succeeded on his death in 1850.

The present vicar is the Rev. G. C. Jackson, on the death of the above in 1856.

Adjoining the churchyard is the grammar-school, built and endowed by the Duchess Dowager of Norfolk, in 1854, and the new vicarage built by Dr. Manson in 1854.

Opposite the church-gates is the old manor-house of Glossop, an ancient building, once the residence of the Langdales, and the old market-cross, round the steps of which, according to old inhabitants, the market-folks used to expose their butter for sale. Beyond here, I believe on the site of Mr Sykes's mill, called the old Tan-Yard, formerly stood a small devout chapel, called Harrop's Chapel, by which flowed a bubbling stream called the Eye-water, which had the reputation of curing diseases of the eyes. The chapel was, no doubt, a votive chapel, built on account of some miraculous cure obtained there. Both this chapel of "the ages of faith," and its wonder-working spring have disappeared. Very old inhabitants speak of its carved oak roof, and its altar recess.

Wending from the church by this place, and winding round the foot of Shire Hill above-mentioned, we come to a very picturesque scene, with a very poetic name - Mossy Lee. On the right, the Shire Hill rises in proud sublimity, clothed with coppice-wood, and slopes down into a deep basin-shaped valley, carpeted with green pasture, through which the moorland Course-Brook glides along, under a bridge of modern erection. Behind, and on the left, the dark sombre moors, rise in all their primeval ruggedness. Sombre hills and gloomy valleys, covered o'er with dark heath and whinberry bushes,relieved here and there with the beautiful "flower of broom," the bright green of the fern, or stragling patches of greensward, showing how cultivation has encroached on the barrenness of the moors - a pleasant object to contemplate.

The feelings inspired by some of these wild moorland scenes, are akin to those of Dante, in his Divina Commedia.

These moors are the favourite resort for grouse-shooting, on the 12th of August.

Wending from Mossy Lee, and going some distance on the Sheffield road, we come to a remarkable paved road leading some distance across the morass. The old inhabitants call it Doctor's gate, and have the following wild legend in explanation of it. Here, they say, that the renowned Dr. Faustus the sorcerer, at midnight riding on a coal-black steed, met the arch-enemy of mankind to deliver himself up, but that he persuaded Satan first to ride a race with him, and to pave a certain length of the road, as he went. This, however, was rather too much even for the Devil, and just as Satan was at his heels, the Doctor crossed the running stream, thereby, according to the laws of sorcery, the enemy had no more power over him.20 The tail of the Doctor's poor horse, however, according to the legend, bore terrible marks of Satan's attempt to capture his flying prey: being literally pulled off!! This road is set down by archaeologists as a part of the paved Roman road from the camp of Petuaria (Brough) to Melandra.
20. "If you can interpose a brook between you and witches, spectres, or fiends," says Sir Walter Scott (Notes to Lady of the Lake), " you are in perfect safety."

Overlooking Glossop at the other end of the town, is Mouslow, a high, picturesque hill, the site of another of Glossop's traditionary castles. It is of round form, surrounded by a trench, and appears to be an ancient British or Saxon castle. Bernard Howard, Esq., the then proprietor of Glossop, about seventy years ago, planted this hill with fir and other trees, and gave it the name of "The Castle."

It is worthy of remark, that the foot of this hill towards Dinting Vale is called the Mousbottom - Mousbottom Bridge.

From Mouselow is a wide expanse of picturesque and beautiful scenery. Glossop Dale on one side, and Mottram-in-Longdendale on the other.

At the foot of this hill, on the road to Hadfield, is a flat field or table-land called Almanseth, said to be corrupted from Almand's Death; where, tradition says, that a great battle took place between the rival powers of Mouslow and Melandra, at which, the chief of Mouslow, called Almand, was slain; and points out a place adjoining called Red Gate, as the place where blood ran down after the battle. A farmer here, has often turned up rusted spear-heads with the plough in this field.

A parochial cemetery has been made here, with small chapels in the early English style, for the catholics, the established church, and the dissenters. The church of England portion was consecrated June 27th, 1859, the catholic portion May 29th 1860.

Above here is Windy-Harbour - expressive name! It is a delightful walk along here to Torside, abounding in magnificent scenery - the beautiful Vale of Longden, the Woodhead reservoirs, the bold moorlands called the Devil's Elbow, Nell's Pike, and Pickness. Here is a pleasant woodland road, reminding one of "the fair forest" of olden time. Other points of interest in Woodhead, I have noticed in the Mottram part.

I shall now give some account of the townships in Glossop parish. The first is Hadfield, an antique village. Hadfield Hall is an old residence of the Hadfields, bearing date, 1646. Here is an old Wesleyan chapel, of the early days of Methodism, and a large day and sunday-school. Here is the catholic church of St. Charles Barromeo, erected by Lord Edward Howard in 1857. Inside are many valuable and beautiful church paintings, by old masters, formerly in the Alton Towers collection. The rector is the Rev. C. L Monahan, appointed on the death of its first rector, the Rev. Bryan O'Donnell, November 2nd, 1862.

Below, is Padfield, a large ancient village. The Romans, it would seem, had a settlement here. About twenty years ago, many silver coins of the Caesars were found among the rocks in Hooley Wood. Here are the cotton-mills of Messrs. Lees, Platts, and Fisher Bros.

Below, is Waterside - the large cotton-mills of Messrs. Sidebottom, and a large factory population.

Adjoining Glossop is Dinting, an elevated tract of land, sloping down into a beautiful valley called Dinting Vale, through which the Course-Brook, winding through Glossop, flows along a deep hollow or ravine, shaded with coppice-wood. Along here, a pleasant walk leads from Mousbottom Bridge to Glossop, and the valley is spanned by the lofty and imposing arches of the Manchester and Sheffield Railway Viaduct, and hard by is the large printworks of E. C. Potter and Co. At Dinting are many good farms. The name, I would remark en passant, is of British origin.

This beautiful hamlet has contributed its martyr for religion. At Higher Dinting was born Master Nicholas Garlick, of respectable parents, who, after passing the days of childhood and youth there, went to teach a school in Tideswell, in the Peak. From thence he went, accompanied by three young men - scholars of his - to Douai College in France, where he was ordained priest in 1582, and sent to England to minister to the catholics, who still, amid the terrors of those times, dared to follow the religion of their ancestors. He laboured, for some time, in his native county of Derby, but was caught, at last, saying mass in the house of John Fitzherbert, Esq. of Derbyshire, for which offence he was tried and condemned to suffer the barbarous death of being hung, drawn, and quartered.

He suffered at Derby in the year 1588, along with Mr. Richard Ludlam and Mr. John Simpson - brother priests and fellow-labourers in the same vineyard.

The following stanzas in the Sternhold and Hopkins style of poetry of those days, have been preserved - written, it would appear by one who witnessed their joy and constancy in death.

When Garlick did the ladder kiss,
And Simpson after hie,
Methought that there Saint Andrew was,
Desirous for to die.
When Ludlam looked smilinglie,
And joyful did remain,
Methought that there Saint Stephen was,
For to be stoned again.

Gamesley, or Gamis' Pasture, as the name signifies, is a pretty rural place, consisting of farms, thickets, and bye-lanes.

Near Gamesley is Melandra, or, as the villagers call it, Melandra Castle - a place interesting not only for its natural beauties, but for its romantic fame. It is an hill or promontory, overlooking the valley of Longdendale at the confluence of the two streams, the Course Brook and the Etherow, with steep precipitous sides toward the valley. The top called by villagers the Castle-Yard, is of square form, and around may be seen traces of a vallum or wall, while around lie heaps of stone, red tile, &c., dug out from time to time. Melandra is an ancient Roman camp. In 1771, a farmer on the estate in search of stone for building purposes, found a stone near one of walls having on a curious inscription, which the Rev. John Watson, rector of Stockport, a learned archaeologist at that day, on examination found to be a Roman inscription, commemorating the presence at Melandra of the Friscian cohort — part of a regiment stationed at Mancuinium (Manchester.) He furnished a learned account of Melandra in the Archaeologist, Vol. III.

This inscription, in abbreviated Roman characters, is still to be seen walled over a door at the back of a house hard by:- as decyphered by Mr. Watson, it is as follows. "COHORTUS PRIMAE FRISCIANORUM. C. VALERIUS vitalis." That is, "the cohort of the First Friscians. Centurian, Valerius Vitalis." Captain de Hollyngworthe, of Hollingworth Hall, also has in his possession an ancient stone found at Melandra. It is a square stone,broken diagonally, having on, inside a peculiar border, in Roman characters, IMP. C, below which may be traced an F, which appears to have been an inscription of the Emperor Caesar's Friscan cohort. These stones were originally walled into the vallum or wall, as trophies. At Hadfield, also, near the village-cross, are a number of stones walled in the gable end of a house, which, tradition says, came from Melandra. They have on strange figures carved in bas-relief, among which may be seen, a rather elegant letter A, that appears to have begun some inscription; which seem to point to a period subsequent to the above.

Among other relics found from time to time at Melandra, are Roman coins, one, inscribed CAESAR IMPERITOR DOMITIAN, in the possession of Mr Shepley, of Brookfield; a small earthen vase, formerly in the possession of Mr. H. Lees, of Whooley Bridge; a large sword and a bronze British battle-axe, at Glossop Hall. Roman bricks, tiles, &c., have been frequently dug up here; and recently, the huge square blocks of stone, and the keystone of an archway, rounded by the washing of ages, has been dug up near the south wall.

The romantic name - Melandra, it is proper to remark, is of Latin derivation. 21 It is marvellous, that through the changes of ages, this name should have come down unchanged.
21. It is one of those Latin words of Greek origin, Latin - Melandrium, Greek, Melandryon - meaning first, a white corn-flower; then, the pith of oak.

The Roman road, as remembered by very old inhabitants of Glossop, came from Brough (Ad Petuarium) through the Woodlands, by Doctor's gate, down the Shelf by the back of Messrs. Woods' mill, through Whitfield, Hobroyd and Simondley, to Melandra; and thence, by Werneth Low, to Stockport.

As the Romans became settled in Britain, their camps lost their original form, and became castles. These, on their departure from Britain, became British castles 22 - the abode of British chieftains, and the scenes of conflict with the Saxon invaders. Doubtless, Melandra was one of these. This will account for its castellary fame, and the ancient tradition concerning it.
22. See Whittaker's Manchester.

Romantic is the tradition of Melandra. In the concise, but not less poetic, words of my authority, it is told as follows.

In ancient times a castle stood at Melandra, occupied by a great prince. Wholley, opposite, was a city then. On Mouslow stood another castle, occupied by another prince. These two were at constant war, until, at a great battle, ended on the plain below Mouslow. The prince of Mouslow, called Almand, was slain, just as victory was inclining to his party; the rays of the sun setting in golden glory behind Mottram-hill, gilding the helm and breast-plate of the dying warrior. 23
23. The name Almand is Saxon, meaning "All Peace." Near Huddersfield, is a place called Almandbury Castle, which antiquarians suppose to have some connexion with the hero of this legend.

The old castle of Melandra was perhaps standing after the Norman conquest, as some fields below on the other side of the river, are called in old deeds " The Castle Carrs." But the monks of Basingwerke, having no use for such a thing, would probably let it go to ruin. The ruins, according to old inhabitants of Gamesley, existed till a comparatively recent period, and tradition says, that out of them most of the houses and outbuildings at Lower Gamesley were built.

From Melandra, is a wide expanse of beautiful scenery. The sparkling Etherow, or, as it was anciently called, Edrowe, in the valley, with the traditioned Wholley on its margin, the hamlet of Hague and Mottram church on the opposite hill, and in a long line, the villages of Mottram, Hollingworth and Tintwistle, with the lofty Woodhead moors - opposite, to the east, the picturesque Mouslow - Melandra's ancient opponent.

There is a general tradition, which may be called The Tradition of Glossop, that the valley of Glossop was once on a time covered with water, which was let off here by cutting through the rocks at Besthill; and the appearance of the ground here, and the rocks at Besthill, strongly corroborates this tradition.

It is a delightful summer's stroll from Brookfield, at the foot of Melandra, by a pleasant coppice or shaw thronged with wood-flowers, and breezy meadows on the river side. Taking an half-hid path across the meadow here - such a path as Geoffrey Chaucer describes in his Flower and the Leaf:-

A path of little brede,
That greatly traversed is not used to be,
So overgrown with grasse and weed
That scarcely can a wight at first it see,

we come into a sequestered shady wood or thicket, where the trees are hung with the waxy bloom of the woodbine, and the throstle sings its gayest notes. Adjoining, is Robin Wood, an enclosed wood overhanging the sparkling current of the Etherow.

Below, is Besthill - a picturesque scene, a deep clough or ravine between high rocks, as perpendicular and regular as a wall, seeming at one time to have been cut with the labour of man. The highest part of these rocks is called Cat Tor - a name purely British, meaning - The Mountain Rock. Over these rocks, extends another viaduct of the Manchester and Sheffield Railway. Below, is the cotton-mill of Messrs. Marsland. Here is Pim Parlour, a overhanging rock, on the river's brink - a picturesque, romantic spot - in the belief of former days famous as a fairy haunt. Here many ancient coins of a square form were found some years ago.

Here, an antique bridge, called "Broadbottom Bridge," built in 1686, leads over to the Cheshire side. The first bridge here was built in 1386, 10th of Richard II.

Broadbottom, called "le Broadbottom," was granted in the reign of Edward I, by Thomas de Burgo to "Simon, son of John de Hae and his heirs;" paying yearly for the same, three shillings of silver - 18d. at the feast of Pentecost, and 18d. at the feast of St. Martin. It passed from this man's family to the Wholleys before-mentioned.

Above Besthill is Charlesworth, or Ceorl's Court, an ancient village, consisting of farms and some small cotton-mills. It is called "Chevenswrde" in the Doomsday Book. In the time of Edward the Confessor, it belonged to Swen. It was a place of importance in olden time, and had a market on Wednesdays, and a fair on St. Mary Magdalene's day, granted by King Richard I, to the abbot of Basingwerke in 1198, 23 and an ancient chapeldedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, erected in consequence of a pious vow. This chapel is mentioned in the King's-Book (Valor Ecclesiasticus, 1535).
23. Glover's Derbyshire.

William Wholley of Riber, in 1507, gave certain lands in Chesterfield, Newbold, Tapton and Dronfield, to Ottiwell Needham of Thornset, and Sir Thomas Poynton, vicar of Glossop; to find a priest, to celebrate divine service in "the chapel of Charlesworth," for the souls of the said William Wholley and his benefactors for ever; which said lands were worth 73 shillings per annum.

According to the description of a very old inhabitant, it was an ancient lowly pile, with a roof of peculiar construction - formed of bent timbers "resting on the floor on crucks," and meeting at the top in a pointed arch. This roof, according to tradition, was of Irish oak, and neither spiders nor any kind of vermin were ever found near it. It was deserted after the Reformation, and sheep from the common used to enter it for shelter. It fell into the hands of the independents about the year 1736, by whom it was pulled down about sixty years ago, and the present independent chapel built on the site.

Chisworth and Ludworth are hamlets below Charles-worth. In the former is a colliery, and some small cotton-mills. This locality abounds in ancient British and Druidical remains, in the shape of barrows or cairns. One of them was opened in 1809, and human bones, an urn of peculiar shape, and an acorn were found. Near Comb's Rocks are Robin Hood's Picking Rods - oblong stones, having conical pillars mortised into them, which connects with the exploits of “the good outlaw;" evidently the remains of some Druid temple, which being notable stones, were used by our forefathers as landmarks. They are the boundary stones of Glossop and the Great Hamlet.

A tract of ground here, between Ludworth and Mellor, was in olden time a forest liberty of the king. It is still called the King's Part, and tradition speaks of a forest here once. Between Rowarth and Glossop is King's Clough.

Between Charlesworth and Glossop is Simondley, or Simond's pasture - an old-fashioned hamlet consisting of farms. Simondley Hall is an antique building of the time of James I, formerly belonging to the Hadfield family—old inhabitants of Glossop.

Whitfield, standing on the rising ground above Howard Town, is a populous township. Here is an handsome district church, in the early English style. Thomas le Ragged held lands here in the reign of Henry III, which he gave in 1330 to John Folijambe, Esq., of Derbyshire. There is a tradition that many freeholds here were acquired by people enclosing parcels of ground and building cots, when the land here was waste.

Above Whitfield is Hobroyd or Hobroad - so called doubtless, from the old packhorse-road that went by here - a pleasant spot. Mounting on the Nab, from here we see Glossop to advantage; we have it before us as an expansive and beautiful picture.

Chunel, above here, is an ancient farm hamlet, on the road to the High Peak. Richard Folijambe and John Holt, Esqrs., granted this place to the Abbey of Basingwerke in 1336.

Above, is Hollinworth Head, the verge of the Glossop estate. By this place, an old road leads at the back of the hill to Charlesworth. In this road, and in several objects around, the memory of the good monks of Basingwerke, is preserved in a way quite remarkable. The road itself, still goes by the name "The Monk's Road," among the old inhabitants, perhaps because it was their road from their abbey in Wales to their manor of Glossop, and in a corner of this road, under an hawthorn, is an ancient square block of stone, curiously scooped out at the top and bottom, like a rude seat or chair, which the inhabitants call " The Abbey Chair," or Abbot's Chair, probably because, after the grant of Chunel to the abbey in 1336, it was placed as the boundary-mark of the abbey lands. Here, 'tis said, the abbot of Basingwerke used to hold a kind of open-air court for the manor of Glossop. It is still the boundary-mark of the Glossop estate. Near this place also, is " The Abbot's Croft."

Higher up this road is Charlesworth Cross, where a wayside-cross stood in the recollection of old people of Glossop. It is along here, where, in olden time, in pensive autumn, when mists hang like a shroud on the moorland heights, and night soon comes on: that a lone traveller was wending his way on foot, as the shades of evening were deepening around, in hopes, no doubt, of reaching, some town or village before night, when, bye and bye, a thick impervious mist came on - what a moorland mist is, can only he understood by those who have been in one - and, bewildered with the mist, he lost his way, and strayed into the wildest and most dangerous part of the morass, where he wandered up and down, vainly endeavouring to win his way off the wild moors, till night, all at once, came on with more than wonted gloom.

Not daring to proceed any further in the dark, filled with dread at the dreariness, perhaps peril,of his situation, and perishing with the cold clinging mist, he prayed to God and his patron saint for protection, and vowed to build a chapel for divine service on those moors, if he got off in safety. He had scarce breathed his orison, when the mist cleared away, the moon shone out, and the darkness vanished; and as he was breathing thanks to Heaven, and marvelling at this answer to his prayer, a shepherd came along driving a few sheep, who led him off the lonely moors to his master's house, where he rested for the night. Having arrived safe at his home in Ireland, he came again a while after, bringing with him a oak-timber roof, and on the brow of those moorlands had his chapel made in fulfilment of his vow. This is the old chapel of which I have given an account, as formerly existing at Charlesworth.

Along here, is the rugged chain of rocks called the Combs Rocks.

Main Longdendale Historical page; Mottram-in-Longdendale; Chapelries.

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Last updated: 9 February 2021