Breightmet, or Brightmead

BREIGHTMET, or Brightmead, a township, in the parish and union of Bolton, hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 2 miles (E. by N.) from Bolton, on the road to Bury; containing 1309 inhabitants. The manor of this place, forming part of the possessions of Henry, Duke of Lancaster, in the reign of Edward III., seems to have been comprehended within the manor of Manchester. In the 1st of Richard III. it was one of the forfeited estates of "our rebell" Sir Thomas St. Leger, and was by that king conferred upon Lord Stanley. The ill-fated Sir Thomas, although he had married the Duchess of Exeter, sister of Richard, lost, not only his estates by attainder, but his life by the hands of the public executioner. The township comprises 825 acres of land, mostly pasture; the soil is red and gravelly, on a substratum of red rock, and the scenery viewed from the hills is very extensive. Several collieries are at work, in one of which the vein of coal is three yards thick; and there is a stone-quarry. Two cotton-mills are in operation, and a few of the inhabitants are employed in weaving quilts and counterpanes by hand: at Breightmet-Fold are the extensive bleachworks, established seventy years ago, of John Seddon, Esq. The river Irwell separates this township from Tonge. Among the chief residences here, are, Breightmet Hall, a substantial stone building, long possessed by the Parker family, who, and the Earl of Derby, are the principal owners of the soil; Oaken Bottom, formerly the residence of the Cromptons; and Crompton-Ford, an elegant mansion. R. A. Hibbert, Esq., has a cottage residence at West Breightmet, with good views. In 1729, William Hulton gave land for the erection of a school, which was built in 1750, and is endowed with £30 per annum. About sixty years ago, twelve Roman urns of earthenware were found in the township, a little below the surface, containing ashes of the dead; but on being exposed to the air they mouldered into dust: the vessels were of cylindrical form, and within the top of each was a small bone. Camden supposed that the Coccium of Antoninus was near this place.

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

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