Stalybridge Old St George, Lancashire Genealogy
Stalybridge Old St George ins an ancient parish in the county of Lancashire created in 1798 from the ancient parish of Ashton Under Lyne [St Michael] It was in the diocese of Chester until the Manchester Diocese was created.
The settlement was originally called Stavelegh, which derives from the Old English staef leah, meaning "wood where the staves are got". The medieval Lords of the manor took de Stavelegh as their name, later becoming Stayley or Staley. The lordship of Longdendale was one of the ancient feudal estates of Cheshire and included the area of Stalybridge. William de Neville was the first lord of Longdendale, appointed by the Earl of Chester between 1162 and 1186.Buckton Castle, near Stalybridge, was probably built by William de Neville in the late 12th century. As this was the only castle within the lordship it was probably the seat of the de Nevilles. The lordship of Longdendale included the manors of Staley, Godley, Hattersley, Hollingworth, Matley, Mottram, Newton, Tintwistle and Werneth; the manor of Staley was first mentioned between 1211 and 1225.
Staley Hall today
The first records of the de Stavelegh family as Lords of the Manor date from the early 13th century. Staley Hall was their residence. The present hall was built in the late 16th century on the same site as an earlier hall of the Stayley family, dating from before 1343.
Sir Ralph Staley had no male heirs and after his death his daughter, Elizabeth Staley, married Sir Thomas Assheton, uniting the manors of Ashton and Staley. Elizabeth and Thomas had two daughters and no sons. Margaret, the eldest of their two daughters married Sir William Booth of Dunham Massey The younger daughter, Elizabeth, was widowed without children. She continued to live at Staley Hall until her death in 1553. In her will her share of the lordships of Staley and Ashton were left to the Booths.
The manor of Staley remained in the possession of the Booth family until the death of George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington on 2 August, 1758. Upon his death, the Earldom of Warrington became extinct. His only daughter, Lady Mary Booth, the wife of Henry Grey, 4th Earl of Stamford, inherited all the Booth estates. The manor of Staley was owned by the Grey family until the extinction of the Earldoms on the death of Roger Grey, 10th Earl of Stamford in 1976. At this point the family estates were dispersed. Stamford Street, Stamford Park, Stamford Golf Club and the two Stamford Arms public houses in Stalybridge are all named after the Grey family.
The Municipal Borough of Stalybridge received its charter of incorporation on 5 March, 1857, having been formed from part of Ashton under Lyne parish in Lancashire and parts of Dukinfield and Stayley parishes in Cheshire.