Detailed history pages
It is planned to develop pages on the following subjects:
- Industry including:
Mills (cotton, silk, paper, corn) -
Extractive (quarrying, coal,
Kerridge Wharf and Stone Saw
Fine Spinners & Doublers'
We are trying to identify our war dead,
Arnold (family tree)
Aston, Rev J A
Beard (family tree)
Broome (family tree)
Chadwick, Sir James
Coope, Dr John (obituary)
Greg, Samuel Jr (family)
Grindey, Arthur, farmer
Harlington, Claud (obituary)
Hough (family tree)
King, Alfred J, MP
Pleeth, Harry (obituary)
Simpson, Enid (A Kerridge Childhood)
Snape (family tree)
Martin I, II, III, IV
Turner, Sir William
Unwin, Samuel and family
Warburton family (watch makers)
Wright, Richard, Martha Ann
St Gregory's (Chapel Street,
St John's (Church Street)
Water Street Secondary
St Gregory's (Chapel Street)
Big Sunday School (School Brow)
Methodist Sunday School (Arts Centre)
- Miscellaneous including:
History of Bollington Festvals
& Marple Railway
Kerridge canal breach
Rediffusion Service station
1928 Recipe & Quotations
- Listed buildings
In this section of the Happy Valley web site I am developing
a set of pages on the History and Heritage of Bollington,
the Happy Valley. I hope my work will be significantly enhanced
by the activities of the newly reformed Bollington Historical
Group (April 2011) - see below
for details. Not a lot happened round here for a very
long time. The region was shaped by the last ice age, more
than 10,000 years ago, and our distinctive hills and valleys
were formed by the movement of ice and its subsequent melting.
Natural growth would then have taken hold with large areas
of trees spread over grass and scrub.
Bollington's boundary was established by 1270 and has remained
almost exactly the same ever since. Bollington was once part
of the Macclesfield forest - not all trees though. But once
the industrial revolution began in the 1760s, just 30 miles
away at Arkwright's Mill in Cromford, Derbyshire, the river
Dean from Gin Clough (just above Rainow village on the road
to Whaley Bridge) down to Lowerhouse, Bollington, together
with the smaller Harrop Brook, suddenly became an important
source of power. Power was required to run the industrial
machinery, so the valley through what is now Bollington became
an important industrial asset, ripe for development. And
one of the great things about water power is that you can
use it over and over again so long as the river bed falls.
Bollington is in the hills so the falls are significant.
Downstream from Lowerhouse the ground becomes more level,
the river more placid, and provides less opportunity for
extracting its energy. The next mill downstream today is Quarry
Bank at Styal (NT),
located just beyond where the Dean joins the river Bollin.
The history section of the web site will concentrate on
the history since the start of the industrial revolution,
c.1760, with just a few earlier references. If you would
prefer a short history then please look at the Short
History of Bollington or, for a longer history of a longer
time, you could read Bollington Through the Centuries,
a delightful book written in 1934 by the then Vicar of St.
John's Church, Revd. R. Norton
Betts. This book is available at the Discovery Centre.
In addition there is an extensive bibliography available
on the books page.
There is a logical juxtaposition of all that we find here
today. Once someone decided to build a mill there was a need
for stone with which to construct it, so quarries were opened
up. Mills and quarries needed labour so cottages were built
and roads laid out with the same stone. Homes needed warmth
so coal mining developed. People needed the comfort of religion
so churches were built throughout the town to welcome a variety
All of these facets of urbanisation required trade skills
- shopkeepers of many kinds, butchers, brewers, publicans,
liverymen, farriers, carters, churchmen, cordwainers (cobblers)
or cloggers (wooden clogs were very fashionable for mill
workers!), dressmakers, hatters, and so on. Very soon an
entirely urban community was developed being provisioned
by the surrounding rural community.
As time went on other services and skills were introduced,
such as schools and teachers, undertakers, printers, chimney
sweeps, and even a few policemen. And, of course, every imaginable
skill required by the cotton industry was represented here.
in 1831, followed by the Macclesfield
Bollington & Marple Railway (MB&MR)
in 1869 (then but a single line, passengers only) - each
of these brought further requirements for new skills together
with new opportunities for trade and industry.
A slightly longer short
history can be found on another page.
Display of wealth
Mills were developed by imaginative entrepreneurs. They
were risky enterprises and several failed. Those that became
profitable enabled the mill owners and operators to build
their grand houses around the town - Ingersley Hall (actually
built by a Lancashire industrialist in 1775 before Bollington
industry developed), Rock Bank, Limefields, Waterhouse, Hollin
Hall, Mount, Turner Heath House
- developing in some cases their estates with landscaped
gardens and parks.
Trees - past, present and future
It is interesting to note that it is our generation (late
20thC, early 21stC) that is enjoying the real benefits of
the tree planting of more than a century ago with the fine
stands of mature trees we find all around the town today.
What will it look like in another century when these trees
have gone and all we have left for the future is a town full
of scrappy sycamores? It's just a thought.
The Bollington Historical Group has been reformed in April
2011. If you have an interest please
see the page on this. We also need an author to write
a number of biographies and histories - see
the page on this.