FROM WHITE'S HISTORY, GAZETTEER AND DIRECTORY OF THE WEST RIDING
OF YORKSHIRE 1837
a small but thriving market town, situated on the eastern confines
of the county, mostly in the parish of Rochdale, and hundred of
Salford, Lancashire, and partly in the parish of Halifax, and wapentake
of Morley, in the West Riding of the county of York; 9 miles N.
N. E. of Rochdale, 12 miles W. S. W. of Halifax and 20 miles N.
N. E. of Manchester, in one of the most picturesque valleys in the
north of England, which, taking its name from this place, is called
the Vale of Todmorden.
ancient orthography of the place was Todmaredene - the valley of
the Fox mere or lake. The chapelry of Todmorden includes the township
of Walsden, and they contain together 6,054 inhabitants. The townships
of Stansfield and Langfield, in Halifax parish, into which the town
extends, contain 10,776 inhabitants. Of this population, 16,830,
only about 6,000 are in close proximity with the town; the others
being in detached hamlets, &c., extending to the distance of
from four to six miles on each side of the boundary of the two counties.
branch of the family of Radcliffe, of Radcliffe Tower, was established
here as early as the time of Edward III., and continued to reside
at Todmorden and Merlay, alternately, for nearly four centuries,
till Elizabeth, the only child of Joshua Radcliffe, of Todmorden
Esq., married Roger Mainwaring, of Kerringham, in the county of
Chester, who dissipated the possessions, and about the year 1700
sold the Todmorden estates.
old Church, dedicated to St. Mary, is pleasantly situated on an
eminence, about the centre of the town. The date of the erection
is not ascertained, but it is presumed to be as early, at least,
as the Reformation. The land for the erection of the church , as
well as for the cemetery and old parsonage house, was given by the
Radcliff's, of Todmorden Hall. At the end of two centuries, the
parsonage having fallen into decay, it was rebuilt by subscription,
in 1770, under the superintendence of Anthony Crossley, of Scaitcliffe,
at a cost of £606. In 1826, a new parsonage house and sacristry
inquisition taken during the Commonwealth, returns the tithes of
the chapelry of Todmorden as of the yearly value of twenty pound,
eight pence. The commissioners recommended that the chapel should
be made a parish church, and that the boundaries of the parish to
be created, should be from Salter Rake to the Rokeing Stone, to
Dovehaw Stones, to Hallowe Pen, to Annenden Sike, to Sheble Crosse,
to Goodhill, to the Old ditch, on the east side of Uggshute, to
Sharneyford, to Healden, to Willowing coats, thence following the
water to Todmorden, and thence by Lower Swine's Head to Salter Rake
again. Nearly two centuries have wrought such changes, that many
of these names are now forgotten, but sufficient remains to show
that the boundaries of this intended parish to a south-eastern direction
along the division line of Lancashire to the first reservoir on
Blackstone Edge; that then, turning westward, it skirted Whitworth,
and passed up the east side of Cowpe Moor to the neighbourhood of
Bacup Booth, when taking an easterly direction to Scaitcliffe, and
descending southward by Swine's Head, it came to Salter Rake, the
point at which the line commenced. The
Chapelry of Todmorden includes the greater part of this district,
and is all in Lancashire. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, now
worth £134 per annum. The vicar of Rochdale is patron, and
the Rev. Joseph Cowell, incumbent.
Church is a handsome fabric, built by Government, in the new burial
ground. It was opened at Easter, 1832, and is now the parochial
chapel, the old church being used only for sepulchral purposes.
The Yorkshire part of the town is in the Chapelry of Cross-Stone,
as will be seen in Vol. 2nd. With the history of Stansfield and
Langfield townships, in Halifax parish.
Free School, which adjoins the churchyard, was endowed by the Rev.
Richard Clegg , vicar of Kirkham
, a native of Todmorden, in 1713, at a cost of £100,
contributed by himself, and £50 which he collected from others;
the interest to repair the school, and the remainder to the master,
who has the gratuitous use of the school house. The appointment
of the schoolmaster is with the majority of the freeholders of the
chapelry, with a power to make the trust perpetual by the existing
trustees appointing others.
There are no fewer than seven moderate sized places of worship in
this town and its immediate neighbourhood, belonging to dissenters,
namely, the Friends Meeting-house, built originally in the year
1750, in Langfield, and rebuilt in 1807, at Shrewbroad Bank; the
Methodist chapel, at Zion hill; Rehoboth Baptist chapel, at Millwood,
in Stansfield; Bethel Baptist chapel, at Lineholme, in Stansfield;
the Inghamite chapel, at New Chapel, in Stansfield; the Independent
chapel, at Myrtle grove; the chapel of the Methodist New Connexion,
on the Burnley road; and the Unitarian Meeting-house, at Cockpit
hill, in Langfield. To each of these places of worship, Sunday schools
are attached, except to the Quakers; and it is to the honour of
that community, that all their children, however humble may be the
circumstances of their parents, receive such a degree of instruction
in day schools as to render Sunday school instruction to them unnecessary.
The market is held every Thursday, for corn and provision, and for
cattle on the fist Thursday of every month. Two annual fairs for
three days each, commence on the Thursday before, Easter, and on
three great requisites of manufactures are found in the vale of
Todmorden, in perfection - building materials, coal, and water.
The river Calder winds its way through the valley, and the Rochdale
canal skirts the south side of the town, and opens a direct communication
with the navigations of Yorkshire and Lancashire. The four townships,
at the junction of which the town is situated, increased their population
from 8,453 in 1901, to 16,830 in the year 1832. Cotton spinning,
and the manufacture of calico, fustian, dimity, sateen, and velveteen,
form the principal trade of the valley, and give employment to the
greater part of the inhabitants, some of whom are, however, employed
in the manufacture of worsted. The mills are numerous, many worked
by water, and others by steam; and the vale is studded with cheerful
habitations, "equally distant from splendour on the one hand, and
from penury on the other."
Post Office is at the Golden Lion Inn, King-street. The Mail form
Halifax arrives at half past 9 morning, and departs at 3 in the