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For other uses, see Hollingworth (disambiguation).
Hollingworth is located in Greater Manchester
 Hollingworth shown within Greater Manchester
Population 1,505 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference SK006962
Metropolitan borough Tameside
Metropolitan county Greater Manchester
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HYDE
Postcode district 14
Dialling code 01457
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Stalybridge and Hyde
List of places
Greater Manchester

Coordinates: 53°27′48″N 1°59′28″W / 53.46326°N 1.99124°W / 53.46326; -1.99124

Hollingworth is a village within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in Greater Manchester, England. It is about twelve miles (19 km) east of Manchester on the Derbyshire border near Glossop. It is the name of a family who owned much of the surrounding area from before the time of the Norman conquest.



Hollingworth was recorded Holisurde before 1059 and in 1086.[1] Holling, holi, holy, holyn or holyng mean holly and vrde, wurde, wurth or worth meaning a farm or open clearing where there were meadows. In 1059, Hollingworth was surrounded by dense forests. The Latin word Surde, also means dense or dumb suggesting that the name Holisurde may have been a combination of a placename and a Latin description of that particular place.[2]

Early history[edit]

Hollingworth in Longdendale is located on an ancient pagan religious site known as Wedneshough Green. A grassy knoll opposite the Gunn Inn in Hollingworth, Wedneshough was anciently called 'Wedenshaw' or 'Wodens Hawe' after the pagan god Woden.[3] The region was populated by a tribe of Celts called the Pecsaetans who are thought to have be absorbed into the British Celts of Longdendale called the Brigantes. This group became a distinct ethnic tribe within the Mercian Kingdom of the West Angles.[4]

Hollingworth was part of the ancient Hundred of Hamestan before the year 1000 which is believed to be the ancient boundaries of the Pecsaetan tribesmen. After the Norman Conquest in 1086, The Hundred of Hamestan was redefined and renamed the Hundred of Macclesfield.[5]

The tribesman living in the Longdendale Valley were pagans until around 627AD when the surrounding districts are known to have started converting to Christianity.[6]


Hollingworth was an ancient manor governed by a local lord. A single local family were in possession of the lordship of Hollingworth for more than 700 years and were styled 'Hollingworth of Hollingworth' or De Hollyngworth (Holynworth). In this part of Cheshire, local lords assumed the name of their manor as their surname. Some families, such as the Hollingworths were even granted distinct arms by the Earl of Chester.[7] Certain members of the Hollingworth family from Hollingworth Hall may carry the family's ancient arms, being three holly leaves.[8][9]

Original facade of Old Mottram Hall
Facade to Old Mottram Hall as renovated by the Hadfield family
Hollingworth Hall
Inside Hollingworth Hall

In 1059 during the Saxon reign of Cheshire, Hollingworth was owned by a 'freeman' who owed his rights to his senior lord; the then Saxon Earl of Chester, Edwin. The Earl was the chief lord of all the manors within the Hamestan Hundred including Hollingworth. Earl Edwin leased the manor of Hollingworth to a 'freeman' for his lifetime and that of his descendants for an annual rent and military service. In 1059, Hollingworth was recorded as having 30 acres of productive farmland. The Saxon 'freeman' in possession of Hollingworth manor was later removed sometime before 1086 by the invading Normans.[10][11] The Hollingworth surname came into use after 1140 and before 1222, which contradicts Captain Robert De Hollyngworthe's (born 1791) claim, published in Burkes Landed Gentry, of the family's direct descent back to 1022.[12][13][14]

After the Norman Invasion, Earl Edwin's lands were forfeited and came under the control of the Normans. An account in 1086 for the Norman Earl of Chester, Hugh Lupus, shows that Hollingworth manor was barren and worthless during his reign.[15] Paul Howson and William Booth wrote that 'No population is recorded for the area covered by the later forest of Macclesfield or the Lordship of Longdendale ...'.[16] The Lordship of Longdendale was a term that came into common use around 1359, to describe a parcel of manors which includes Hollingworth.[17] The wholesale ejectment of the Saxons in possessions of manors in Longdendale appears to have specific to those lands under the control of Hugh Lupus as the Earl of Chester. The Earl replaced the original Saxon 'freeman' on the Cheshire side of Longdendale with a new group of Norman and Saxon farmers under the control of a local Saxon chieftain called Wulfric (pronounced Uluric). On the Derbyshire side of Longdendale, which was under the control of William the Conqueror (King William I), many ancient Saxon families were able to remain in control of their lands. Neighbouring towns in Derbyshire such as Padfield, Dinting, Charlesworth and Ludworth had the same Saxon owners before and after conquest.

A window originally from Hollingworth Hall

The Domesday Book shows that Hollingworth was held directly by the Earl of Chester with no local lord in control of the manor at this time. The Saxon chieftain Wulfric appears to have managed the various manors of Longdendale, including Hollingworth, on behalf of the Earl of Chester.[18] Heavily wooded and dangerous due to forest wolves, Hollingworth and the neighbouring manors of Mottram, Matley, Tintwistle and Stayley appear to have been a wilderness until as late as 1211. By 1140 local farmers in Longdendale begin to assume the name of their manor as their surname. Charters are recorded for the neighbouring manors of Newton in 1189, Bredbury in 1185 and Hyde in 1193 were the local lord is given a surname. Sometime shortly before 1211, a Norman knight of Saxon origins took up residence at Bucton Castle in neighbouring Tintwistle.[19] Sir William De Neville (De NovaVilla), ancestor had fought with William the Conqueror in 1066 and was therefore loyal to the Norman of Earl of Chester.[20] De Neville was installed as over-lord on behalf of the Earl of Chester to manage the local lords in possession of Hollingworth, Wolley, Broadbottom, Hattersley, Wernet, Matley, Stayley, Mottram-in-Longdendale and Tintwistle.[21]

In 1211, William De Neville gave his son-in-law, Thomas de Burgh or Burgo, control of all the manors in Longdendale as the supreme over-lord. Around 1222, Thomas de Burgh took the neighbouring manor of Godley away from Albinus and gave it to Adam, son of Reginald de Bredbury.[22] Witness to this deed was a 'Tomas de Holinwurthe'.[23]

The earliest records for the Hollingworth family of Hollingworth manor are Tomas de Holinwurthe circa 1222, 1246; and Henry de Holenwart in 1222.[24] The ancient manor of Hollingworth, which includes the minor manors of Thorncliffe and Wolley, was held by the senior family of de Holynworths of Hollingworth Hall by 'knight's service'. By 1359, the manor of Hollingworth was owned by different scions of the Hollingworth family. Greater Hollingworth was owned by the senior branch of the family living at Hollingworth Hall as lords of Hollingworth manor. Little Hollingworth was inherited by a younger brother who lived at Old Mottram Hall who also married the heiress to Matley Hall. A younger sister held a share of Thorncliffe manor, also called Little Hollingwoth manor and was at Thorncliffe Hall in 1359.[25]

The ancient family of Hollingworth migrated to London, Lincoln, Maidestone in Kent and Dale Abbey in Derbyshire. A pedigree for the original family shows they descended in a continuous male line from the original Lords of Hollingworth to the present day. Branches of this ancient family still live in England, Australia and New Zealand.

Local gentry owning lands within Hollingworth manor 1280–1378: A list of nobles and gentry owning lands at Hollingworth was recorded among the Davenport family's Puter Collections for Longdendale; which was a tax raised to finance a medieval constabulary. People required to pay puter for their lands in Hollingworth before 1342, include Nicholas Holynworthe, Robert the son of John de Holinworthe, Adam de Holinworthe, William Thortolgh (de Thorncliffe), Dolbe Traz, William Wolegh, William de le Soleris, Ralph de Wolegh, Dike de Wolegh, Robert de le Soleris, John de la Halle and Dikon de le Soler. By 1342, land owners now include John de Holynworthe (lord of Hollingworth), Robert de Holynworthe (Mottram Old Hall), Robert Godart, William son of Gilbert Godleigh, Richard Wolegh, William Peryson and Christiana daughter of John, Lord of Holynworthe who was the wife of Tom de Honford (Thorncliffe Hall). In 1357, the owners of land in Hollingworth remained much the same, however Robert de Holynworthe was managing the manor on behalf of his brother John while he was absent during the French wars. Note: John Hollingworth, Robert Hollingworth and Christiana Honford (née Hollingworth) all held their share of Hollingworth manor by knights service, so it was customary for members of the family to be absent during the various wars with the Welsh, Scots and French. By 1378, the ownership of lands must have changed considerably, as those paying puter were John de Holynworth, Thomas de Holynworth, Richard le Barker, William Godley and Richard Stavely.[26] By 1378, it would seem that at least seventeen different families had all owned lands within the manor of Hollingworth.

Notable descendants of the Lord de Holynworth[edit]

  • Tomas de Holinewurthe (ancient lord of Hollingworth and soldier to Sir Richard de Fitton of Bollin, Justice for Cheshire 1245)
  • John Holnewortht (ancient lord of Hollingworth served on Foreign Juries in 1287)
  • Thomas de Holynwrth the fugitive in 1286
  • John, Lord Holyngworth 'The Archer'. Served in the Macclesfield contingent in the personal bodyguard of Edward Woodstock, the Black Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester 1351.[27]
  • Thomas de Holyngworth alias de Throntley. Served in the personal bodyguard of King Richard II as members of Cheshire's elite archers of The White Hart in 1367.[28]
  • Hugh de Holynworth of Mottram Hall. Served in the personal bodyguard of King Richard II as members of Cheshire's elite archers of The White Hart in 1367.[29]
  • Thomas de Holynworth the archer. Served at Carmathen Castle in Wales against Prince Owain Glyndwr in 1403.[30]
  • Hugh de Holynworth of Mottram Old Hall, Royal Archer and Yeoman Valettus served at the battle of Agincourt in 1415[31]
  • Alexander de Holynworth. Served as an archer during the Welsh rebellion of 1443[32]
  • John, Lord of Hollingworth, Man-at-Arms died in the French wars 1443[33]
  • Thomas Hollingworth, Esquire and Royal York Herald; Herald Pursuivant Extraordinary, Rose- Blanch (1470-); Herald for York (1480–84)[34]
  • William Hollyngworth, Archer in the Garrison of Calais 1529
  • John Hollingworth of Mottram Old Hall, slain at the Battle of Boulogn in 1546
  • Peter Holyngworth, a member of the Skinner's Company 1483 present at the Coronation of Richard III
  • Thomas Holyngworthe, Upholder for London 1482 present at the Coronation of Richard III
  • John Hollingworth the Diplomat 1552. Royal Herald for Risebank Castle at Calais, France 1554–1557 and Pursuivant Herald Blue-Mantle 1551–1559[35]
  • William Holyngworth, a member of the Skinner's Company 1557
  • Reginald Hollyngworthe, Lieutenant in the Earl of Leicester's private household guard 1586–1588
  • Reynold Hollinworth of Stondon Massey, The King's Collector for Essex 1571[36]
    Reynold Hollinworth of Stondon Massey and wife Helen
  • Martin Hollingworth, Mayor of Lincoln 1560[37]
  • Leon Hollingworth, Mayor of Lincoln 1594, 1604[38]
  • Edward Hollingworth, Sheriff of Lincoln 1594[39]
  • Francis Hollingworth of Stapleford representing a junior scion of Hollingworth Hall in Nottingham and Sandiacre Derbyshire in 1618[40][41]
  • The Revd James Hollingworth, rector of Claypole 1622[42]
  • Valentine Hollingsworth died 1710. Founder of the Hollingsworth family in America.
  • Higham Hollingworth died 1759. Higham was the last Hollingworth to own the Old Hall Mottram (Nether Hall) within the ancient manor of 'Little Hollingworth'
  • Admiral John Ibbetson Hollinworth Esq. Royal Navy, greatgrandson of Higham Hollingworth of the Old Hall in Mottram died 1861.[43]
  • The Revd Joseph Hollingworth of Dale Abbey, representing a junior Derbyshire scion of the Hollingworths of Hollingworth in 1836, Memoirs of the Rev. Joseph Hollingworth[44]
  • The Revd Arthur George Harper Hollingsworth of Stowmarket, representing the Hollingworths of Hollingworth in 1844 and author 'The history of Stowmarket'[45][46]
  • The Revd Olive Hollingworth of Stalisfield representing the parent line of Hollingworths of Hollingworth in 1858[47]
  • Captain, Robert de Hollyngworthe 6th Dragoon Guards, with which regiment he served in India. He was a Deputy-Lieutenant for the County of Cheshire, and magistrate for Hyde. He died 31 January 1865 and was the last member of the Hollingworth family to reside at Hollingworth Hall.[48]
    The family arms from a plate owned by Capt. de Hollyngworthe
  • Thomas Hollingworth, 11th Australian Field Artillery Brigade, ANZAC awarded the Military Medal for bravery 1917[49]
  • Flight Sgt Alexander Hollingworth pilot of RAF Whitley bomber Z9289. Died 6 January 1942 when his plane crashed at Hollingworth Park in Pogmoor Fields, Barnsley in Yorkshire. Alex Hollingworth belongs to a junior line of Hollingworth Hall living at Brisbane in Australia. Coincidentally, Flight Sgt Alexander Hollingworth died in the same fields owned by his family and kinsman, John Hollingworth, Gent of Tintwistle and Mottram in 1660.[50][51][52][53]
  • Flight Sgt Robert Mead Hollingworth pilot of RAF Halifax bomber DT730 KN-B and brother of Flight Sgt Alex Hollingworth.[54] Died 4 December 1943 in battle over Cloppenburg, Germany. Buried Becklingen War Cemetery, Germany.[55] Robert Hollingworth belongs to a junior line of Hollingworth Hall living at Brisbane in Australia.
  • The Right Reverend Peter Hollingworth AC, OBE, Archbishop of Brisbane and the 23rd Governor-General of Australia[56] Peter Hollingworth belongs to a junior line of Hollingworth Hall living at Melbourne in Australia.


The arms of Captain Robert de Hollyngworthe include both the paternal arms of the Hollingworths (top left) emblazoned with the maternal arms of the Hollingworth family. The arms include De Holynworthe arms (top left), De le Grene arms (top centre), the Haywood arms top right. The arms of a junior branch of the Davenports (bottom left), unidentified arms bottom centre and the Masci arms bottom right.[57]


In the neighbouring manor of Ashton-under-lynne another family used the surname of Hollinworth in 1422. The rental roll of the manor of Ashton-under-Lynne in Lancashire, records a John de Hollinworth renting a farm at 'Birchenshaw', Syssot the wife of Dycon de Hollinworth, using 'Palden Wood', Richard de Hollinsworth with the farm at 'Palden Legh' and possibly the same Richard de Hollinworth, renting tenements within the village of Ashton.[58]

These people do not appear to have come from Hollingworth manor in Cheshire. When Hibbet-ware compiled the Ashton-under-lynne rental roll for 1422, he notes that the family of Hollinworth documented within this rental roll, obtain their surname from the farm located at a place called the 'hollies' within Lord Asshton's manor. This is evidence of men with a single name such as John, Dycon and Richard, being given the surname 'de Hollinworth'. Families originating from Ashton-under-lynne with the surname Hollingworth appear to be unrelated to the family of de Holynworthe of Hollingworth Hall. This example, demonstrates how the surname of Hollingworth came to be used in places other than the village of Hollingworth.[59]


The family estate or manor was known as Hollingworth Hall, no longer standing, but the family's chapel does still remain. The Hollingworth/Hollingsworth name is an early Saxon name originating around 1022. The name means a "Farm of Holly Trees". The Domesday Survey made during the Norman Conquests lists this manor as lying on the edge of a great woods at Macclesfield.[60]

A visitation by an official herald in 1580 included the gentry, John Hollingsworth, Gentleman and Robert Hollingsworth of Hollinsworth. A further record of the time period states that Robert of Hollingsworth Hall is of whom the family descends. He was listed as the Magistrate for the counties of Cheshire and Lancaster. The church and hall belonging to this family that contain the Hollingsworth Coat of Arms is still standing. The last family member to own the hall, Capt. Robert Hollingsworth, died in 1865. The motto included was "Learn to suffer what must be borne."


The village is served by the A628 road (leading to the Woodhead pass to Barnsley) and the A57 road (leading to the Snake Pass to Sheffield). Going west, the A57 joins the M67 motorway a couple miles from the village. The M67 goes towards Manchester. It has severe traffic congestion.


There are two schools in Hollingworth:

  • Hollingworth Primary and Nursery School, for children up to age 11
  • Longdendale High School, a comprehensive school for children aged 11–16.

Culture and community[edit]

  • Hollingworth Cricket Club plays in the Derbyshire and Cheshire League.
  • Hollingworth Brass Band rehearses at Longdendale Community Language College.
  • Etherow Bowling Club is located just off The Boulevard at the bottom of Taylor Street. They have 6 teams (5 Men's & 1 Ladies) who play Crown Green Bowls.
  • 1st Longdendale Scouts troop night is held at the Cannon Street Community Centre weekly.


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  5. ^ Oman, Sir Charles (1949). England Before Norman Conquest. 
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  20. ^ Swallow, Henry (1885). De Nova Villa: or, The house of Nevill in sunshine and shade. 
  21. ^ Harrop, John (1359). Extenta dominii de Longdendale anno xxxiiij° Edwardi tercij: Extent of the lordship of Longdendale. 
  22. ^ Barraclough, Geoffrey (1957). Facsimiles of early Cheshire charters. Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire. 
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  45. ^ Hollingworth, Rev Arthur George Harper Hollingsworth (1844). The history of Stowmarket: the ancient county town of Suffolk, with some notices of the hundred of Stow, compiled in a popular form from Doomsday-book--M.S.S. in the British Museum--parish papers in Stow Church chests, &c.--and connected with the history of the county. F. Pawsey. 
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External links[edit]

Media related to Hollingworth at Wikimedia Commons