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Facts about Longdendale

A comprehensive selection of historical photographs can be found at www.tameside.gov.uk/history.


  • Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887- 1976) was an artist of national repute, well known for his urban industrial landscapes and highly personal style, L S Lowry attended Walter Sickert's Manchester art classes in 1925 along with Harry Rutherford (qv). Although the majority of his subjects are Manchester and Salford based, he did draw and paint a number of Tameside scenes, while in his later life he developed a liking for sea and landscape pictures to the virtual exclusion for industrial subjects. Lowry lived for most of his life in Pendlebury, working as a clerk for the Pall Mall Property Company in Manchester, but retired to The Elms, on Stalybridge Road in Mottram. It was during the final years of his life here that he achieved national recognition with membership of the Royal Academy, the freedom of the City of Salford and doctorates from three universities. Nine months after his death a major retrospective of his work was held at the Royal Academy.

  • The earliest surviving building specifically built for the textile industry in Tameside is Dry Mill, Mottram which is now converted into cottages. This building was erected in the1790's by John Wagstaffe, probably for the hand- or horse-powered spinning of cotton. There were many such structures in the Longdendale area during the initial cotton boom of the 1780's and1790's, but this is the only known surviving example.

  • Lawrence Earnshaw (c 1707-67) was born at Mottram Moor into a poor weaving family. He had little formal education but from an early age, displayed a keen interest in all types of machinery especially clocks. He seems to have educated himself to a remarkable degree and to have mastered all manner of trades. Earnshaw made many clocks, usually the long case variety but one of his outstanding achievements was an elaborate astronomical clock. In Mottram Court House there is a long case clock which bears Earnshaw's name. Earnshaw died at Mottram on May 12th, 1767 and was buried in St. Michael and All Angels Churchyard in an unmarked grave.

  • St. Michael and All Angels Church, Mottram dedicated to St. Michael commands a magnificent view. It has been called the Cathedral of East Cheshire. It was first mentioned in 1291 when a tax was levied on ecclesiastical revenues by Edward I. Much of the exterior is fifteen century. The Church tower was erected with money provided by Sir Edmund Shaa. He is reputed to have been born in Mottram and is said to have walked to London where he became a goldsmith and was three times Lord Mayor. The Church has a chapel in which the stone effigies of the Crusader Knight Sir Ralphand Lady de Staveleigh lie. Apart from the chancel piers and arch most of the interior was renovated in 1854-55. The best features of the interior are the tower arch at the west end of the nave and the four centred pointed chancel arch. On either side of the north doorway are bread racks, dated 1619 and 1737. Bread was distributed to the poor on Sunday mornings after the service. To the left of the cemetery is a long stretch of land, the equivalent of about five graves which is said to have been left for the free burial of the first five men of Mottram to die of overwork.

  • Hundreds of Mottram people of all ages put their green fingers to good use. For they won the town runners up prize for best large village in the 1999 Britain in Bloom competition.

  • William Brereton (1490-1536) was a courtier under Henry VIII and became the most powerful individual in Cheshire and North Wales under that king by the acquisition of extensive estates and crown offices in the period 1522-34. Among these grants was the stewardship of Longdendale which he received in 1525. His enormous wealth and power led to his downfall and execution. A supporter of Queen Anne Boleyn's court faction, Brereton along with others was accused of adultery with the queen. He was executed on Tower Hill in London on 17th May 1536 and his lands confiscated by the state.

  • Tollemache Family - When Sir Thomas Wilbraham of the Wilbraham family of Woodhey died in 1692 his Cheshire estates, including the manors of Mottram and Tintwistle and the lordship of Longdendale, were inherited by his son-in-law Lyonel Tollemache, the earl of Dysart in Scotland. The Tollemache family were absentee landlords throughout their period of ownership and employed a steward to run their extensive Longdendale estates. There were at least 25 tenants in Mottram in 1727, and 100 tenants in 1799. In 1873 the family held 25,830 acres in Cheshire, which returned an annual gross rental of £27,602 11s. Although the Tollemache family sold parts of their north-east Cheshire estates in 1841 and 1852, most lands were kept until the Mottram estate was sold in 1919. The title of the lord of Longdendale was retained by the family until it too was sold, in 1980, to Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council.

  • John Frederick Bateman was born in 1810 at Lower Wyke, near Halifax. His blue plaque is located at the Mottram Tunnel, Longdendale

  • The blue plaque located on Mottram Court House, Jackson Street, Mottram was unveiled on 22nd August 2001 as a tribute to Francis Lovell, Lord of Longdendale.

  • The Green Plaque at The Broadoak Hotel in Ashton-under-Lyne, marks the site where the first 'Gardeners Question Time' was broadcast. On that first panel was Bill Sowerbutts.

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