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"The unused building gradually decayed, and the ground around the ruined chapel was in course of time used as a burial place by the adherents ofthe ancient faith (Catholics)."There is a Well, known as St Thomas's, about three hundred yards from the ruin. An ancient cross on three steps stands beside the chantry; on it is the date 1627."
"The east west route came from Liverpool and Prescot and down Croppers Hill to the Fingerpost, where one route headed for Bolton and the old Roman Road between Warrington and Wigan, and ever onwards through the Pennine valleys to the east, while the other went to Newton and Winwick (an important area in the Dark Ages). Maybe there was a gallows at this crossroads. There was a nearby chapel and graveyard.
"The ruined chapel of St Thomas of Canterbury at Windleshaw, popularly known as 'Windleshaw Abbey,' stands about a mile from St Helens. The chantry was founded by Sir Thomas Gerard in 1435, with an endowment of 4 16s. out of his lands at Windle, the priest to celebrate for the souls of the founder's ancestors for ever. There was some dispute between the Gerards and the crown as to the liability to pay the 4 after the abolition of the chantry.
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"North of the town is Windleshaw, and to the west are Cowley Hill and Denton's Giuseppe Zanotti Design Sneakers Green. On the south a brook divides it from Eccleston, and is joined by the Rainford Brook, which runs across Windle. The highest point to the west of the latter brook, 185 ft., is at the northern boundary of St. Helens; but to the east over 260 ft. is attained at Moss Bank.
where potatoes and corn are chiefly produced.
"For the most part the country is rather bare and undulating. Windle Hill from the north looks fairly steep, but from the south its height is completely dwarfed.
"Among the suits of the time of Edward III relating to Windle was one between the families of Hindley and Urmston. A family of longer standing was that of Colley, or Cowley as the name was spelt in later times.
"Towards the end of the eighteenth century it was held by John Penketh Cotham, from whom it has descended to Mr Alfred Angelo Walmesley Cotham. Certain manorial rights are still connected with it. Old Hardshaw Hall was pulled down about 1840; the new hall is used by the Providence Hospital.
"They appear from the end of the thirteenth century to the beginning of the seventeenth. The families of Harflynch and Eccles also appear in the sixteenth century; and others of the neighbourhood, like the Byroms, Parrs, and Woodfalls.
Alan de Windle was a tenant in 1212, during the reign of King John. We know Alan de Windle III was acting as juror at various inquests from 1242 onwards. In the 1300s, due to marriages etc. the whole inheritance was held by the Gerards and has descended regularly to the Gerards of Brynn to the 1900s.
"There was a crossroads here. The south route came down Marshalls Cross Road from Warrington (the first safe fording/ bridging point from the Mersey estuary) and Chester (via the Runcorn ferry),and led through the present town centre to Duke Street and Rainford Road onwards to Ormskirk and Lytham (once home to the Earls of Derby).
"The portion of it in the south eastern corner was called Hardshaw, 269 acres, and here, around St. Helen's chapel, the modern town of this name has sprung up, the borough including, since 1893, besides Hardshaw proper, a portion of Windle amounting to 720 acres.
"As a rule the hills of South Lancashire have their steepest incline to the west, but Windle Hill is an exception. The land is principally divided into cultivated fields, Jimmy Choo Wedding Shoes Discount
Back in the very early 1900s, the Victoria County History had plenty to say about Windle: "This township, stretching from east to west for over four miles, has a total area of 3,150 acres.
Spot the family and place names in the next chunk.
"On the east the township possesses more timber trees than westward, and there are more pastures. The eastern boundary line runs through Carr Mill Dam, a large sheet of water, with strictly preserved plantations surrounding it. In the extreme north west there is a narrow band of mossland, where the surface soil consists of clay and peat.
"The early history of Hardshaw is quite unknown. It was the property of the Hospitallers (an order formed in the Middle Ages) and ranked as a separate manor. It seems to have been Jimmy Choo Trainers Mens
"The township lies mainly upon the lower and middle coal measures, but at Windle Moss and Blindfoot in the north western corner, there intervenes the belt of lower mottled sandstone which, superimposed upon the coal measures, extends from Rainford village to the Chase in Knowsley Park."
"The progress of coal mining in the neighbourhood, which led to the formation of the Sankey Canal in 1755, also promoted the growth of St Helens, as the most convenient centre of trade and residence". Thus St Helens grew and swallowed the four surrounding rural townships, but that is another tale.
Windle is one of the four original townships. I am keeping the history of the town of St Helens as a separate topic, although most of it is within Hardshaw, within Windle.
held of them by the Orrells, and from about 1330 until the seventeenth century by the Travers family. It was afterwards acquired by Edward and Richard Egerton, holders about 1633, under the Earl of Derby.
one of four townships swallowed by St Helens From St Helens Star
"The land tax returns for 1785 show that the township was then divided into Moss End, Moss Bank End, and Hardshaw.
It's thought that the name is merely a shortening of 'windy hill'. Nothing seems to be known prior to the Norman Conquest, but after 1066 it was one of those manors granted to Pain de Vilers, the first baron of Warrington, and continued to form part of this fee until the dispersal of the estate about 1585.
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