Ainsworth, or Cockey-Moor

AINSWORTH, or Cockey-Moor, a parochial chapelry, in the parish of Middleton, union of Bury, hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 3 miles (E. by N.) from Bolton, on the road to Bury; containing 1598 inhabitants. The family of Aynesworth, located here, was of considerable antiquity, and is mentioned in the reigns of Edward III. and Richard II., at which latter time John de Aynesworth was of Pleasington, in Blackburn parish. The lordship passed to the Asshetons of Middleton, at what period does not appear; but by the marriage of the younger coheiress of that family, it became the property of the Earl of Wilton, in whose grandson, the present earl, it is now vested. The township comprises by measurement about 1200 acres: the population is chiefly employed in two large cotton-mills and some bleach-works, in calico-printing, and in collieries and extensive stonequarries. The village is called Cockey-Moor, and this name is better known than the name of the township. There is a station of the Bury and Bolton railway. Ainsworth Hall has been modernised, and now possesses few traces of antiquity. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Rector of Middleton. The rectorial tithes have been commuted for £48; the glebe belonging to the perpetual curate consists of 55 acres, with a house. The church was formerly surrounded by a moat, and stood in the centre of a common; it was rebuilt in 1832, in the early English style, has a square tower, and, standing on an eminence, is seen at a great distance. There is a neat place of worship for English Presbyterians, built in 1715, enlarged in 1773, and altered in 1845; it has a considerable endowment, with a residence for the minister or curator: the present curator is the Rev. James Whitehead, who succeeded his father-in-law, the Rev. Joseph Bealey. Near the church are excellent national schools. The late Sir Ralph Assheton, Bart., gave a piece of ground and a house, now valued at about £15 a year, for the maintenance of a schoolmaster. Roman coins have been found.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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