Swinton and Pendlebury local history



During the Middle Ages, Swinton (whose name is said to derive, in its early form of Swynton, from pig-rearing) belonged to Whalley Abbey.

At the suppression of the abbey, lands at Swinton were granted to Thurston Tyldesley of Wardley Hall - although documents still exist to record that certain areas of Swinton belonged to the Knights Hospitallers. Swinton's history remained uneventful until 1817 when some of its weavers joined in the 'Blanketeer' demonstration, marching to London to put their grievances to the Prince Regent.

Trouble also flared in 1842 when certain Swinton people took part in Chartist agitations and tried to destroy a local colliery. Sunday schools and libraries were established in Swinton at quite an early period, and the very fine local Industrial School was visited by, and received high praise from, Charles Dickens. It had been opened in 1843 and survived until the 1920s. Its site was used for the present impressive Town Hall, completed in 1938.


Pendlebury's records go back to 1201 when it was linked with the Manor of Shoresworth before that manor became part of the Salford borough area. One of the most interesting buildings in the area was Agecroft Hall which was erected of half-timbering on a stone base, by Sir Robert Langley in the 16th century. This handsome building stood until 1924. but in that year it was purchased by a Mrs Williams, dismantled and shipped by her across the Atlantic and re-erected at Windsor Farms in Virginia, where it is now a museum.

One of the greatest artists of our century, L S Lowry (1887 to 1976), lived in Pendlebury for 40 years. His parents came here from Rusholme, Manchester and it was the scenes in and around the Bolton Road area which first inspired Lowry to develop the style which has since made him famous. Many of Lowry's paintings are to be seen on permanent exhibition at The Lowry at Salford Quays.


The 'third part' of the former Borough of Swinton and Pendlebury, had the earliest reference, for it was mentioned in a Pipe Roll of 1183. Its manor was held by several well-known Lancashire families, including the de Traffords and the de Hollands. Robert Ainsworth, scholar and compiler of a famous Latin dictionary, was born at Clifton in 1660. The mid-18th century saw James Brindley, of Bridgewater Canal renown, divert water from the River Irwell through a tunnel to a waterwheel at Wet Earth Colliery and so solve a flooding problem which had up to then rendered the mine unusable.

One of the greatest industrial families of the Clifton area were the Pilkingtons, who were associated both with coal mining and with the famous tile producing works. They played an important part in establishing the Royal Lancastrian Pottery. One member of the family, Lawrence, distinguished himself in other ways; he wrote several volumes of prose and verse, including two novels that were based on Clifton village itself.

Other information

Swinton District Local Board of Health was set up in 1867 and renamed Swinton and Pendlebury Local Board of Health in 1869. It consisted in area of part of Worsley township (separated in 1894 to become Swinton township) and of the part of Pendlebury township not included in the Borough of Salford. The greater part of Clifton civil parish or township was added to the Urban District in 1933. Swinton and Pendlebury became a Municipal Borough in 1934. Over the years, Swinton, like Salford, has been a famous name in the sphere of rugby league football.

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This page was last updated on 9 April 2013

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