Heap

HEAP, a township, in the parish and union of Bury, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 3 miles (E.) from Bury, on the road to Rochdale; containing, with the town of Heywood, 14,856 inhabitants. The origin of the name is not at all obvious: in the earliest mention of the place, it is termed Hep, which may imply a tract overgrown with hawthorn-berries; or the designation may have arisen from the unevenness of the surface, heep, in the Saxon, indicating a mass of irregularities. A family called Hep or Heap held the lands from the paramount lords, but it has been extinct a considerable time: Heap Fold, one of the most ancient places of abode in the district, was the residence of this local family. The township is bounded on the north by Birtle-cum-Bamford, and is intersected by the river Roche; it comprises 2934 acres, of which 1876 are meadow and pasture, 561 arable, and 496 plantations, reservoirs, &c. The surface is undulated, the northern part partaking of the hilly character of the district on which it borders; the soil is various, and but little of it fertile. Several coal-mines are in operation, and excellent freestone is in abundance. The manufacture of cottons, woollens, and paper, is carried on to a great extent. The first cotton-factory erected in the township was Makin mill, on the banks of the Roche, about the year 1780, by the firm of Peel, Yates, and Company, the head of which was Robert Peel, Esq., afterwards Sir Robert Peel, father of the present distinguished baronet. Heap-Bridge is a small village on the old road between Rochdale and Bury, and has a bridge over the river. A church has been erected, dedicated to St. James, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Bishop of Chester; net income, £150. The tithes have been commuted for £169. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and others; also a small endowed school; and a national school for boys, erected in 1815.—See Heywood.

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

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