DROYLSDEN, a township and ecclesiastical parish, in the parish of Manchester, union of Ashton-underLyne, hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 4 miles (E.) from Manchester, on the road to Ashton-under-Lyne; containing 4933 inhabitants. It comprises 1570 acres, chiefly pasture and dairy-farms: the surface is in general rather flat, with distant views of the Derbyshire hills; the subsoil mostly stiff clay, occasionally with sand and bog. In the vicinity of the river Medlock, which touches the boundary on the northern side, the land is considerably undulated, and prettily varied with wood. The Manchester and Ashton canal passes through. The population is chiefly employed in four cotton-mills, in some printing and dye works, and in collieries. The Clayton colliery, here, has been extensively worked for the last fifty years, and produces a good engine-coal; the pits are from 200 to 300 yards deep: at Clayton, also, are two printing establishments, and a dye-house. Fairfield village, in the township, lies on the road from Manchester to Ashton, about three and a half miles eastward from the former place.
The ecclesiastical parish or district was formed in October 1844, under the 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 37: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Bishop of Chester and the Crown, alternately; net income, £150, with a house. The church was built in 1847, at a cost of £3100, and is in the early English style, with a tower surmounted with a spire. The tithes belong to the Dean and Chapter of Manchester. There are places of worship for Primitive Methodists and Wesleyans; and at Fairfield is a Moravian establishment, founded in 1784. The ground plot of the settlement forms a spacious square area, the houses in which are neatly built of brick; and as is usual with Moravians in their settlements, here is a large house for unmarried females, where beautiful needlework is executed; also boarding-schools for the education of young ladies and young gentlemen, respectively: annexed to the chapel is a burial-ground. There is a school on the national system. Clayton Hall was the seat of Humphry Chetham, the founder of various charitable institutions in Manchester.