Middleton, a township, a parish, and a municipal borough in Lancashire. The town stands in a fertile vale on the river Irk, with a station on the L. & Y.R., near the Rochdale Canal, 6 miles N by E of Manchester, and 189 ½ from London. It took its name from being situated in the centre of several circumjacent towns; was only a village of twenty houses in 1770 ; has risen since 1780 into a populous seat of manufacture ; is now an important place, well supplied with water, thoroughly drained, and is so conjoined with Tonge in both proximity and trade as practically to include or absorb that town. There are extensive silk factories, numerous large cotton factories, calico-printing, bleaching, and dyeing establishments, iron foundries, and machine, soap, and chemical works. The town is a seat of petty sessions, publishes two weekly newspapers, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Manchester; has several good inns, a police station, a market-house, public baths, two churches, several dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a Queen Elizabeth's grammar school, a public free library, and a church reading-room and library. St Leonard's Church is of the loth century; but part of it existed in the llth century, and there is a fine Norman arch of that date. It comprises nave, three aisles, and chancel, with a low square tower; and three chapels, called respectively the Rector's, Hopwood, and Assheton. It also has a very fine E window, with a representation of the Middleton archers who fought at Flodden in the banner and armour of their leader, Sir E. Assheton. It also contains a fine carved oak 15th century screen, a marble reredos, an ancient font, and some brasses. Holy Trinity Church is in Parkfield, stands on an eminence, and is a good stone structure. The grammar school was founded in 1572 by Dean Nowell, is an old structure on a low site beside the Irk, and has scholarships at Brasenose College, Oxford. The dissenting chapels are Congregational, Baptist, Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist, Unitarian, "United Methodist, and Swedenborgian. A weekly market is held on Friday, and wakes are held on the last Saturday but one in August.
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The Registers of Middleton 1541-1663, are available to browse online.
The Registers of Middleton 1653-1729, are available to browse online.
The Registers of Middleton 1729-1752, are available to browse online.
Directories & Gazetteers
Transcript of the entry for Middleton (St. Leonard) from Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Lancashire newspapers online: