Turton Urban District

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Turton
Area
 - 1911 17,335 acres (70.15 km2)
 - 1961 17,334 acres (70.15 km2)
Population
 - 1901 12,355
 - 1971 21,553
History
 - Created 1894
 - Abolished 1974
 - Succeeded by North Turton, South Turton
Status Urban district, civil parish
 - HQ Turton Tower

Turton was a township and later civil parish and local government district in Lancashire, England. Its former area is now divided between two local authorities. North Turton is part of the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen, and South Turton is part of the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton. Although no longer used as an administrative area, Turton is still used as an historical area.

Etymology[edit]

Turton means "Thor/Þor's village", from the Old Norse personal name Thor/Þor and Old English tun "farm, village". It was recorded as Thirtun in 1185[1] and variously recorded as Turton in 1212, Thurton in 1277 and Terton alias Torton in 1282.[2]

The Scandinavian etymology would seem to fit, considering that there are other place-names in the area of this origin.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

Between Chapeltown and Egerton are the remains of prehistoric stone circles on moorland at Cheetham Close which date back to the Bronze Age. These stone circles are the earliest evidence for settlers in the Turton area. One of the circles was 15 metres (51 ft) in diameter and some of the stones were several feet in height.[3][4] In the 19th century there were many uninvited visitors to the site which caused the local farmer, a tenant of Turton Tower, to break it up in 1871 using his team of carthorses and sledge hammers. Before this happened, antiquarian, Gilbert French, had made sketches, maps and plans and written a detailed description which is now in Bolton Reference Library.

To the south are the remains of another circle, slightly larger in circumference, which is thought to have been a livestock enclosure.[1]

Turton Tower[edit]

Turton Tower
Main article: Turton Tower

Turton Tower in Chapeltown was home to the Lords of the Manor of Turton and dates to the 12the century. The earliest reference to the Manor of Turton is found around 1200 when it was part of the barony of Manchester by which time part of the manor was in the hands of the de Lathom family (sometimes called "de Torbac").

Turton Tower was inherited in 1420 by the Orrell family.[2] The pele tower was rebuilt in 1420 and around 1596 the height was increased and the floors raised, creating the three spacious rooms. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the timbered farmhouse buildings on the east and north of the Tower and the Entrance Hall were added. In 1628 the Orrells sold Turton Tower to Humphrey Chetham, the Manchester merchant responsible for the creation of Chetham's Library and Chetham's School of Music. The Tower passed to his descendants, the Bland, Green and Frere families who leased it to a succession of tenant farmers.[2]

The tower was sold in 1835 to James Kay (1774–1857), who had harnessed steam power and developed the first commercially successful wet-spinning process for flax in 1825. Kay restored the tower and few rooms in the main part of the Tower escaped his attention, but his valuable work was marred by his inability to resist the temptation to 'restore' what has never been there in the first place. James Kay sold the tower to Elizabeth and Anne Appleton who leased the tower to William Rigg, a calico manufacturer, whose daughter, Ellen, wrote her memories of Turton now published as "Victorian Children at Turton Tower".

In October 1903 the tower was bought by Sir Lees Knowles, 1st Baronet MP for Salford West for £3,875. He made his fortune from his family's collieries on the Manchester Coalfield. After his death in 1929, his widow, Lady Nina Knowles, presented Turton Tower to Turton Urban District Council in 1930, and it became the council chamber.

After local government re-organisation in 1974, Turton was split and the tower became part of the new Borough of Blackburn, and was administered by Lancashire County Museums Service. Following changes to the Lancashire County Museum Service, the tower was taken over by Blackburn with Darwen Council.[5]

The Summerhouse east of Turton Tower, a grade II* listed building is on the heritage at risk register.[6]

Industry[edit]

Cotton mills, printworks, bleachworks, an iron foundry, and a paper mill were important industries in Turton after the Industrial Revolution.

Governance[edit]

Until the 19th century Turton was a township in the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Bolton le Moors in the Salford hundred of Lancashire.

In 1837 Turton joined with other townships or civil parishes in the area to form the Bolton Poor Law Union and took joint responsibility for the administration and funding of the Poor Law in that area. There was a workhouse at Goose Cote Farm in Turton.[7] In 1873 a Local board of health was established for the Turton township area. In 1894 Turton became an Urban District of the administrative county of Lancashire. Then in 1898 the civil parishes of Belmont, Bradshaw, Harwood, Longworth, Entwistle, Edgworth and Quarlton were added to the Urban District.

Under the Local Government Act 1972, Turton Urban District was abolished on 1 April 1974 and was divided in two. The larger rural area, North Turton, became a civil parish of the Borough of Blackburn. The smaller urban area, South Turton, became an unparished area of the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton.[8]

Geography[edit]

The Turton township covered an area of 4,614 acres (18.67 km2) and extended in a north and north-west direction for nearly 5 miles (8 km). The central part of the township is occupied by high moorland, Turton Heights at 1,100 feet (335 m) and Turton Moor at 1,280 feet (390 m). The Bradshaw Brook which formed the northern and eastern boundaries, was dammed to form two reservoirs for the Bolton Waterworks.[2][9]

The main road from Bolton divided at the southern end of the township to pass each side of the central hill, the eastern branch through Turton village to Edgworth and Darwen, and the western branch through Egerton, over Charters Moss at 916 feet (279 m) to Blackburn.[2]

Demography[edit]

Census population figures for only the chapelry/civil parish of Turton
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Population
1,369
1,782
2,090
2,563
3,577
4,158
4,513
4,942
5,653
6,354
Sources: (a) Local population statistics.[10] (b) Turton Ch/CP: Total Population.[11] (c) Four Bolton Directories.[12]
Census population figures for the whole of the Urban District of Turton
Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1939 1951 1961 1971
Population
12,355
12,648
12,154
11,847
12,173
10,956
13,698
21,553
Source: (a) Turton UD: Total Population.[13] (b) National Registration Act of 1939.[14]
Census population figures for each of the Urban District's electoral wards
Electoral ward Year and Population
1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 1971
Belmont
937
810
687
663
536
508
474
Bradshaw
2,205
2,480
2,422
2,455
2,440
4,147
Bradshaw North
4,223
Bradshaw South
4,298
Bromley Cross
1,493
1,586
1,588
1,809
1,649
2,555
2,255
Chapeltown
946
796
729
673
542
535
538
Eagley
2,361
2,375
2,390
2,167
2,279
2,955
3,700
Edgworth
2,518
2,634
2,557
2,433
2,065
1,870
1,975
Egerton
1,895
1,967
1,781
1,647
1,445
1,428
2,995
Source: Pauline Tatton: Local population statistics.[10]

Religion[edit]

St. Anne's Church

Turton had two Anglican chapels of ease in the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Bolton le Moors, in the hundred of Salford, Lancashire.[2]

The first chapel of ease at Chapeltown was built in 1111 and dedicated to St Bartholomew but was rededicated in the early 18th century to St Anne. This building, which was known as the Chapel of Turton, was rebuilt in 1630 by Humphrey Chetham and again in 1779. The present parish church was built between 1840 and 1841,[15] the architect was probably John Palmer.[16] The ecclesiastical parish was formed in 1837.

The second chapel of ease was at Walmsley, which was the old village name for Egerton. It is not known when Walmsley Chapel was built, but the Diocesan Church Calendar stated that it existed in the year 1500 and the first documentary evidence appears to be in the "Inventories of Church Goods 1552". The chapel was rebuilt in 1771 and demolished in 1839. The present Christ Church, Walmsley, Egerton, was consecrated in 1840.[1]

A mission church at Toppings opened in 1897, and services were held in the school at Eagley Bridge. The Wesleyan Methodists had chapels at Turton, Egerton, and Toppings and there were Congregational chapels at Turton and Egerton where the old Nonconformist chapel of 1713 became Unitarian. The Roman Catholic church of St. Aldhelm at Turton was opened in 1903.[2]

Sport[edit]

Turton Football Club is one of the oldest clubs, if not the oldest, in Britain. The club was founded in December 1871 by men from Chapeltown in Turton. The club plays at Thomasson Fold in Edgworth. Its old ground at Chapeltown, which is still used by the Old Boltonians team, is believed to be the oldest football pitch in the world in use today.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Billington, W.D. (1982). From Affetside to Yarrow : Bolton place names and their history, Ross Anderson Publications (ISBN 0-86360-003-4).
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Farrer, William; Brownbill, J, eds. (1911), "Turton", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5 (British History Online): 273–281, retrieved 24 August 2010 
  3. ^ Cheethams Close, megalithix.wordpress.com, retrieved 24 August 2010 
  4. ^ The Bronze Age Complex on Cheethams Close (pdf), manchester.ac.uk, retrieved 24 August 2010 
  5. ^ Peter Laws, G.E. A Guide to Turton Tower, Beric Tempest & Co. Ltd., St. Ives, Cornwall.
  6. ^ English Heritage At Risk
  7. ^ Workhouse, workhouses.org.uk, retrieved 24 August 2010 
  8. ^ "Greater Manchester Gazetteer". Greater Manchester County Record Office. Place Names T to W. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Turton map, genuki.org.uk, retrieved 24 August 2010 
  10. ^ a b Tatton, Pauline. Local population statistics 1801–1986. Bolton: Bolton Central Library Archives. 
  11. ^ Vision of Britain – Turton Ch/CP: Total Population. Vision of Britain. URL accessed 4 June 2007.[dead link]
  12. ^ Four Bolton Directories: 1821/2, 1836, 1843, 1853, Swinton: Neil Richardson (1982), ISBN 0-9506257-3-6.
  13. ^ Vision of Britain – Turton UD: Total Population[dead link]
  14. ^ The 1939 population is estimated from the National Registration figures, since the 1941 census did not take place because of the Second World War.
  15. ^ St. Anne's Church, Chapeltown
  16. ^ Nikolaus Pevsner North Lancashire (1969) ISBN 0-300-09617-8 attribution tentative.
  17. ^ Turton Football Club

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°38′N 2°24′W / 53.633°N 2.400°W / 53.633; -2.400