Spotland, Lancashire Genealogy

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Spotland St Clement contributor David Dixon

Chapelry History

SPOTLAND, a division or township, in the parish and union of Rochdale, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 1¼ mile (N. W.) from Rochdale; containing, with the hamlet of Whitworth, 18,469 inhabitants. This manor was part of the possessions of Gamel, the thane, and descended immediately after the Conquest to the Lacys. The lands were subsequently divided among the de Burys, the Spotlands, the Healeys, Wolstenholmes, Chadwicks, Holts, Bamfords, Whitworths, Ellands, Butterworths, and Garsides. These families emulating each other in their donations to the church, transferred a great part of their property here to the abbeys of Stanlow and Whalley (the latter superseding the former), till the district became almost absorbed in monastic lands. On the dissolution of Whalley Abbey, Henry VIII., having seized the possessions of that house, and consigned the abbot to the hands of the executioner for his share in the "Pilgrimage of Grace," made a grant of the manor to the Holts, of Grizzlehurst, in the neighbouring parish of Middleton; from which family it was conveyed, on their removal to Castleton, in 1667, to the Curzons, now represented by Earl Howe. The township stretches from the Roche, on the southwest of the parish, to the Irwell, on the north-eastern extremity; it is six miles long and four broad, and part of it forms an extensive suburb of the town of Rochdale. The district is divided into four valleys or glens, watered by the Spodden (from which it derives its name), the Irwell, the Roche, and the Nadin water; and from these valleys rise bold and wide-spreading hills of considerable elevation. The Roman road from Ribchester to Manchester skirts the sides of the hills on the western border of the township. The increase of the population has been very rapid within the present century, the inhabitants largely participating in the cotton manufacture and every other branch of trade carried on in Rochdale. Inexhaustible quarries of flags, other stone, and slate, are worked in the township, affording an abundant supply for the neighbourhood and for distant parts of the country. Modern inclosures have divested the tract called Brandwood Common of much of its forest character. The living of Spotland is a district perpetual curacy, with an income of £200, derived partly from the interest of £2000 left in 1840 by Jonathan Fildes, and partly from fees and pew-rents; patron, the Vicar of Rochdale. The church, dedicated to St. Clement, is in the later English style, with a campanile turret; and was erected in 1835, at an expense of £4430, raised by subscription and by public grants. In 1846 a portion of the township was formed into the church district at Healey: the living is also a perpetual curacy, endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; patrons, the Crown and the Bishop of Manchester, alternately. At Whitworth is a third incumbency. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and other dissenters. Samuel Taylor and Robert Jaques, in 1740, conveyed to Presbyterian (now Unitarian) trustees certain property for education, of which the income is £20: the school premises were rebuilt in 1819, at a cost of £400. A church school at Whitworth is endowed with £14. 10. per annum.

From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 159-164. URL: Date accessed: 21 July 2010.

Spotland St Clement is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Lancashire, created in 1840 from Rochdale St Chad, Lancashire Ancient Parish.

Other places in the parish include: Brandwood, Brandwood Higher End, Brandwood Lower End, Catley Lane, Chadwick, Woodhouse Lane, Clay Lane, Failinge, Failworth, Wolstonholme and Cheesdon, and Cheesedon.


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church records

Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection

Parish registers for Spotland, 1835-1919 Microfilm of original records at the Manchester Archives Central Library in Manchester, England. Spotland was a chapelry in Rochdale parish. The church was known as St. Clement.
Manchester Archives Central Library call nos.: L 247.

Baptisms, 1835-1894.
2356366 Items 5 - 6
Marriages, 1835-1892. Burials, 1835-March 1864.
Burials, February 1864-1871. Banns, 1859-1919.
2356369 Items 1 - 4

Bishop's transcripts for Spotland, 1837-1843 Microreproduction of original manuscripts housed at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston.Bishop's transcripts of the chapelry of Spotland (St. Clements), in the parish of  Rochdale_St_Chad,_Lancashire.Lancashire Record Office: DRM/2/305a

Baptisms and burials, 1837-1843.
1545804 Item 5

Census records

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Poor Law Unions

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lancashire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

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Web sites

Add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above. British History online Spotland