Neolithic and Bronze Age: 6000 BC – 800 BC

N.W.Manchester . Workers in Gold. Celts and Goidels. Local tribes Brigantes and Cangi, farmers and metal workers, Horses, Cattle, Sheep, and Pigs kept.

54 BC. Julius Caesar launches a full scale invasion of England.

Roman General Ostorius defeated the tribes and may have founded Manchester in 48 A.D. Tacitus expressly mentions woods and fields of this area when Agricola subdued the Brigantes. Governed by Romans until 410 A.D. and by that time was quite possible of Christian faith

About 407 A.D. The Angles and Saxons started to. raid the North Yorkshire coast and gradually spread over Eastern England in 449 A.D. Vortigern one of the British Kings in the South East of England called in the Jutish Dukes Hengist and Horsa with their army to assist him against the Saxons, they took his money and stayed and by 547 A.D. they and the Saxons had overrun all England with the exception of Cornwall, Wales and South West Lancashire and Cheshire. As the invaders drove the Britons to the West, they gave to them the name of the Walch (an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "foreigners" or "jabberers) The Welsh. In 616 A.D. Ethelfrith King of Northumbria swept through the district to defeat the British near Chester and it is on record that on that day Ethelfrith slaughtered 1,200 Monks who had feasted and prayed before the battle, one can readily understand the loathing that the British had for the Saxons and why they made no attempt to spread Christianity among them It was about this time that Chorlton took its name.

It is derived from two Saxon words CEORL (Freeman) and TUN (Place). The Ceorls were the Freemen under the Chiefs and were the heads of the small communities. Cum is derived from another Saxon word which means (With). Hardy is derived from Arden (a woody place). There was also another small Hamlet known as Martledge.

By 633 A.D. the district would most likely be once again Christian again for Edwin who was King of Northumbria had married a Christian wife and had encouraged the Irish Monks from St. Columbas Monastery on lona to settle in his kingdom. From this time the district must have had very many disturbing times from the invasions of the Danes and the Vikings and very little is known until the Norman invasion of 1066 A.D. In the 12th year of the reign of Stephen 1148 we find that Gospatric de Chorlton was possessed of lands from the Lord of Manchester. Roger of Poictu. The Cresleys became Lords of Manchester after Roger and from this time the pattern of Chorlton becomes clear. By a deed undated but probably executed some time before 1290 Gospatric de Choreton gives to his brother Adam who is about to fight for me against William son of Wulfrith de Withinton, one eighth part of Chorlton. Henry de Trafford held five bovates of land in the township in the reign of Edward 1 and we find that another Henry de Trafford paid rent to Edmund, Earl of Lancaster in 1316.

The Forest of Arden covered both sides of the River Mersey, the trees growing there being Willow, Birch and Oak with a large flood plain ether side of the River Mersey. In the past the only people who came anyway near to where Chorlton is sited are the Romans who built a road from Chester to Manchester crossing the River Mersey at Stretford. It is difficult to determine the period when Chorlton was founded but after much reading we will say roughly between the years A.D. 600 and A.D. 900. It is about this time that Chorlton took its name. We can probably say the first settlement was about where Chorlton Green is now as everything grew outwards from that point.

The GROWTH OF CHORLTON-CUM-HARDY may be gauged by the census records of houses better than by any other means. In 1851 there were 146 inhabited houses. Ten years later they numbered 147, and the population had decreased from 761 to 739. In 1871, there were 341 houses and 14 others in course of erection. In April, 1881, fifteen months after the railway was opened, there were 461 houses and 9 in course of erection, whilst in 1891 these had in¬creased to 1,004 and 33 respectively. The total number of houses occupied and empty at the beginning of December, 1909, is 3,337 without taking account of those in course of erection.

Copyright © 2008 Anthony F Walker
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