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CLOUGH FARM

(Plane Tree Farm)

WALSDEN

   
This is one farm that does not require crampons to reach. It is situated neatly at the foot of Inchfield Fold on the valley bottom. This is unusual in this valley due to the fact that the bottom of the valley was marshy and for the most part, impassable. Farms developed on the gentle eastern slopes and the plateau on Inchfield, so why Clough is located there is a puzzle.
   
Originally, it would have stood alone at the bottom of a track leading up to the ancient Inchfield Fold, with maybe a track leading across the valley bottom and upwards to Henshaw and North Hollingworth on the other side. The turnpike road arrived in 1764, making life much easier for the occupants of the farm.
   

The canal was next in the late 1790's, followed by the railway 40 years later. This could have been the end for Clough Farm, which lost some of its land to the Railway Company, and Walsden Station is its neighbour.

Nicholas and Christobel Fielden purchased Clough Farm in 1612 and it remained in Fielden hands for over 170 years.

   
John Fielden was the farmer at Clough. He was also a fustian maker, running a business from the farm whereby he handed out wool to local farmers who put their families to work spinning and weaving the wool, returning finished pieces and receiving payment for them.
   

About 1780, he decided to build a small cotton carding and spinning mill on his land behind the farm so cotton preparation and spinning could be done under one roof. This was the birth of Clough Mill, the story of which can be read from the link below.

Edmund Woodhead then took over the farm, and he too ran a fustian making business from the premises. He was there in 1784 paying a land tax of six shillings. The land was owned by William Greenwood, and in 1826, Edmund was paying rent to Mr. Greenwood of almost nine shillings a year. The farm became known as Plane Tree Farm. Edmund died there in 1838, leaving his wife Mary to continue with the running of their business.

   

All their children were born at the farm, including Joseph in 1809. Joseph was not a farmer; he left that to his older brother George. Instead, Joseph became a grocer and confectioner. He was widowed in 1847 and uprooted and left the area. Moving to Everton in Liverpool. There he succeeded in the confectionary business, having shops and a manufactory.

His brother George continued farming at Clough until his death in 1861.

Joseph with second wife Ann Ball

   

Calf Hey was the nearest farm, and there are no known farmers there following the deaths of the resident Haigh family in the 1820's. However, according to the 1843 land survey, it seems the lands belonging to Calf Hey were transferred at some point to Clough Farm.

 

It seems from the census returns that following the death of George Woodhead in late 1861, the land may well have been sold whereupon the farm became a domestic dwelling known variously as Plane Tree House and Plane Tree Cottage. It appears to have been a gentleman's residence.

 

 

CLOUGH FARM LINKS

COMPLETE CENSUS TRANSCRIPTION 1841 to 1891 and 1843 LAND SURVEY

CLOUGH MILL

WILL OF EDMUND WOODHEAD OF CLOUGH FARM

 

I am indebted to Barbara Greenwood for the photo and information

about her ancestor Joseph Woodhead.

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