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Coordinates: 53°26′31″N 2°16′37″W / 53.442°N 2.277°W / 53.442; -2.277

Chorlton-cum-Hardy is located in Greater Manchester

 Chorlton-cum-Hardy shown within Greater Manchester
OS grid reference SJ815935
Metropolitan borough Manchester
Metropolitan county Greater Manchester
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district M21
Dialling code 0161
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Manchester Withington
List of places: UK • England • Greater Manchester
Chorlton Water Park

Chorlton-cum-Hardy is a suburban area of the city of Manchester, in North West England. It is known locally as Chorlton. It is situated about 4 miles (6 km) southwest of Manchester city centre. Pronunciation varies: "chórlton" and "chol'-on" are both common.

Historically, Chorlton was a village on Lancashire's southern border with Cheshire, and separate from Manchester. It was incorporated into the city of Manchester in 1904. Chorlton-cum-Hardy should not be confused with Chorlton-on-Medlock, which is a different area close to the centre of Manchester. Chorlton borders Stretford, Sale, Didsbury, Withington, Whalley Range and Old Trafford. The River Mersey runs past Chorlton along its southern boundary.




The name Chorlton-cum-Hardy may be derived from the Old English Ceorlatun-cum-Ard-Ea, meaning "the settlement of ceorls [Saxon freemen] by trees near the water". On some early maps Hardy is shown as a separate, adjoining settlement,[1] perhaps consistent with a slightly different Old English derivation of the name suggested by the Institute for Name-Studies: "Ceolfrith's settlement [at] Hearda's island".[2] According to the place-name dictionaries of E. Ekwall (1936) and A. D. Mills (1991) it is probable that the derivation from 'Ceolfrith's tun' is the correct one for Chorlton-cum-Hardy, while the other three Chorlton place-names are from 'Ceorla tun'. Hardy was a separate settlement to the south and its name was only combined with Chorlton when it became necessary to distinguish this township from Chorlton-on-Medlock.

From the Middle Ages to the Victorian Period

In mediaeval times the district formed part of the Manor of Withington (itself dependent on the Manor of Manchester). Hough End which originally belonged to Chorlton was removed in 1641. Hough End Hall replaced the old manor house of Withington and is now a listed building. The estimated population ca. 1640 was 85 and in 1714 325. The 1801 census recorded 513 inhabitants, and the 1811 census 619: by 1851 it had only increased to 761. The Tithe Commissioners' survey was carried out in 1841. Precise details of the size and tenure of every piece of land are given.[3]

Until the last quarter of the 19th century the population of Chorlton had increased very little though the development of public transport through Stretford had some effect on Chorlton. The building of Wilbraham Road to connect Fallowfield with Edge Lane in Chorlton in 1869 established the nucleus of a new residential area at the Barlow Moor Road crossing. A railway line from Manchester Central through Chorlton was built by the Midland Railway, and Chorlton station opened on 1 January 1880.[4] This led to considerable residential and commercial development (effectively the establishment of a new village centred on the Barlow Moor Road / Wilbraham Road crossroads, north-east of the original village with a centre at Chorlton Green and Beech Road).[5][6]

There was significant immigration to Chorlton in this period from Ireland and other areas of the British Isles. The Irish first came to domestic service and others came in pursuit of work in the industries of Manchester. The Irish community remains and the growth of Roman Catholicism originated with them. The church and convent school were established on High Lane and later came the Irish Association Social Club.[7]

Because the county boundary was originally determined by the course of the Mersey it traditionally did not exactly follow the river when it changed course: this happened occasionally in the period before improved flood control measures were introduced in the valley. Thus the Bridge Inn (commonly known as Jackson's Boat) was once in Chorlton. The Manchester–Trafford boundary has now been made to follow the present course of the river. The crossing here was originally by ferry boat fastened to a chain: in 1816 this was replaced by a wooden footbridge. By 1881 a new steel bridge had been built due to the damage caused to the old bridge and the old one was washed away altogether in October 1881.[8] For the area between Chorlton and the river, see Chorlton Ees.

Twentieth century developments

The further growth of Chorlton was aided by the tramway lines of the Manchester Corporation in the years before the First World War: a terminus for these was built on Barlow Moor Road a short distance south of the junction with High Lane. Chorltonville was developed as a garden suburb south of Chorlton Brook: the houses are mostly large and semi-detached and individual in design, standing on bending tree-lined roads. Alexandra Park Aerodrome (1917–1924) was Manchester's first major airfield and was located just east of the Midland railway overbridge on Mauldeth Road.[9]

After the World War came a period of residential development to the east of the 'new village' either side of Wilbraham Road and a council housing estate at Merseybank. From the 1960s onwards the story is more varied and includes a council estate on the southern side of Chorlton, at Nell Lane near Southern Cemetery; a small shopping precinct at Wilbraham Road and patchy redevelopment in various small areas. Chorlton Green and a small surrounding area have been designated as a conservation area by the City Council. Chorlton Park Apartments have been recognised for the quality of their design.


In the 19th century public transport in Chorlton was limited to the railway service through the southern suburbs of Manchester and horse buses from Chorlton Green towards Manchester City Centre. During the early 20th century the electric tramway reached Chorlton and remained in service until 1949. Subsequently motorbuses replaced the horse buses and also the trams from 1949 onwards. The railway services for passengers were ended in the mid-1960s and the bus services have been expanded and reorganized many times since then. In the 21st century traffic in Chorlton has become a serious problem, a situation which has not been helped by the lengthy delays in establishing Metrolink lines in the area. From 1982 the Metrolink ran through Stretford and the conversion of the former railway line through Chorlton to a Metrolink line was planned many years ago without getting the funding needed. As of 2009 work on the conversion of that line is in progress.[10]


The district was a township of the ancient parish of Manchester in the Salford Hundred of Lancashire. From 1876 to 1894 it was part of the district administered by the Withington Local Board and from 1894 to 1904 part of Withington Urban District. Chorlton was absorbed into the City of Manchester in August 1904, together with the rest of the urban district.[11] A separate Withington Committee of the City Council existed between 1904 and 1914.

Chorlton ward is now (in 2008) represented by two Labour councillors – Sheila Newman and Val Stevens – and one Liberal Democrat councillor – Paul Ankers. Chorlton Park ward (which incorporates the Mersey Bank and Nell Lane estates of south and south-east Chorlton) is represented by three Liberal Democrat councillors – Tony Bethell, Norman Lewis and Bernie Ryan.

Whalley Range ward also includes parts of Chorlton. John Grant (Lib Dem), Mary Watson (Labour) and Faraz Bhatti (Conservative) are the councillors for that ward.

Political manoeuvring

In 2006 Lib Dem Cllr Angela Gallagher defected to the Labour Party citing John Leech's Christie Hospital campaign as a major factor in her decision. Gallagher had donated over £22,000 to his General Election campaign fund.[12] Gallagher subsequently lost her seat in the 2007 "Manchester local elections". 2007.   by 42 votes to Liberal Democrat Paul Ankers.

South Manchester Police

Chorlton-cum-Hardy belongs to the South Manchester Division of Greater Manchester Police: the divisional headquarters is at Elizabeth Slinger Road in West Didsbury. The local neighbourhood policing team is the Chorlton Neighbourhood Policing Team, headed by Inspector Steve Hubbard. Chorlton Police Station is situated on Barlow Moor Road, between Beech Road and the bus station.



Church of England

The first church in Chorlton was south of the present Chorlton Green (the churchyard is still in existence next to the Bowling Green Hotel). This Chapel of St Clement was established very early in the 16th century and was later replaced by a brick-built chapel (in 1780). (For about 35 years this would have been a Roman Catholic chapel, until the separation from Rome under King Henry VIII.) By 1860 there was a need for a larger church building and the new St Clement's Church was built at Edge Lane (opened 1866). Sir William Cunliffe Brooks was a benefactor to the township of Chorlton where he withdrew support from the building of the new church: two of his daughters who died in infancy are buried at the old church.[13] The old church remained for another 90 years and was then demolished though the ground plan is still apparent (it was excavated in the 1990s). A second Anglican parish in Chorlton was established in 1898: this was St Werburgh's in the newer part of the suburb. The church (on Wilbraham Road) was built in 1900–02.[14]

Nonconformist churches

Methodism was probably introduced to Chorlton in the 1790s and a chapel was built in Beech Road ca. 1805. This was replaced by a larger one in 1827 and (on a new site) the present Methodist Chapel in 1873. A later Methodist chapel was established on Egerton Road, Manley Park. The first Congregational Chapel was opened in 1883 and replaced by the present one in 1894 (this is now the United Reformed Church). The church was named the MacFadyen Memorial Church after the former minister, the Rev. J. A. MacFadyen. Some years ago the church was demolished and the congregation now meets in the adjacent church hall. Other denominations also established churches in Chorlton: the Unitarians in 1901 (in Wilbraham Road); the Primitive Methodists in 1902 (in High Lane); the Baptists in 1907 (also in Wilbraham Road); the Presbyterians in 1908 (again in Wilbraham Road); and the Emmanuel Free Church in 1909. The chapels of the Unitarians, Primitive Methodists and Baptists have all been demolished though the congregations are still in existence (the Congregationalists and Baptists have joined in the United Reformed Church in the former Congregational church hall). Later still the Evangelical Church came into existence at Ivygreen Road.

Roman Catholic churches

Roman Catholicism was re-introduced to Chorlton (following its suppression in the 16th-century Reformation) when Irish immigrants arrived in the mid-19th century. The parish of St Augustine was established in 1890 at the "Priory", Needham Avenue. Ten years later the priest moved into an existing building in High Lane which remained St Augustine's Church until 1927 (the site was on the corner of Church Road, now Chequers Road). Then it was replaced by the present church with a different dedication, further west on High Lane. This is the Church of Our Lady and St John but commonly known as St John's (the changes in dedication were influenced by the existence of St Augustine's, Chorlton-on-Medlock, and St Mary's, Mulberry Street, Manchester).[15]


Chorlton has been since 1847 in the Anglican Diocese of Manchester and Archdeaconry of Manchester; and since 1850 in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford. Between 1541 and 1847 it was in the Diocese of Chester and before that in the Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry.

Islam and Buddhism

Present day Chorlton has a considerable population of Muslims, mostly of South Asian origin. There is a mosque in the nearby suburb of Whalley Range and an Islamic High School for Girls at High Lane in Chorlton. There are relatively small numbers of Buddhists: one of their establishments is also in High Lane in the former Primitive Methodist Chapel and another also in High Lane in the former Tom Mostyn's Art School.

Annual events

Every year on a Sunday at the end of June or early July, Chorlton is home to a summer event called the Beech Road Festival which resembles garden fêtes of old. On the day of the festival stalls are set up along a large part of Beech Road, selling arts, crafts and foods of all kinds and on Chorlton Green itself there are more stalls and a traditional tug-of-war game is played between teams from most of the older pubs around the area. In Beech Road Park, at the opposite end of the road to the Green, there are more stalls, a small fairground, and a stage with live music. In recent years these festival days have proved highly popular with large crowds turning out, especially on hotter days. The profits from the event are used to improve such facilities as those provided in the park.

More recently a Chorlton Arts Festival[16] has taken place each year in the spring with a varied programme of events all over Chorlton in a nine-day period; a Chorlton Food & Drink Festival has also been instituted in early October.

Another event, called the Unity Festival takes place soon after the Beech Road Festival in Chorlton Park, but has a more political purpose; to encourage racial and cultural unity in the area. The event includes performances by young dancers, musicians and singers and has a small collection of stalls also.

On the first Saturday in May[17] morris dancing is performed on the Green.

Creative and performing arts

The area is well-populated with creative people such as artists, writers and actors, as the area is seen by some as being more 'bohemian' than others. Until the end of January 2009 Chorlton was the location for the Cosgrove Hall animation studios where the children's series Chorlton and the Wheelies (named after the area) and Dangermouse were both created, amongst many other titles. The area is also frequently used by film crews for TV locations, such as The Second Coming (TV serial), as it retains much of its original Victorian architecture. A number of poets and minor publishers of poetry have been active in Chorlton in the later 20th century and a poetry group still meets regularly at Chorlton Public Library.[18] There are also at least three local amateur dramatic societies which regularly rehearse and perform within Chorlton.[19]

Notable residents and visitors


  • Saint Ambrose Barlow, a member of the notable Barlow family, was born at Barlow Hall. He suffered martyrdom for his faith.
  • Charles Peace, a notorious petty criminal who killed P. C. Nicholas Cock in 1876 (at the Old Trafford end of Manchester Road). On conviction he was hung at Leeds.
  • Alderman James Herbert Dawson, one of the promoters of the garden suburb at Chorltonville, was a long-serving councillor in Manchester and in Lytham St Annes.[20].
  • Sir Arthur Whitten Brown

Public entertainment and popular music

Due to the signs (i.e. "Chorltonville") seen on the programme, Chorlton-cum-Hardy railway station was long assumed to be the venue for a notable Granada TV concert in 1964 by a number of visiting blues musicians including Sonny Boy Williamson and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.[21] However recent research by C. P. Lee has identified Alexandra Park railway station, at the end of Athol Road, as the actual location.[22][23]

The Bee Gees spent nearly eight years of their childhood living in 51, Keppel Road, Chorlton: in 1958 they moved to Australia. The street also lent its name to a Bee Gees documentary in 1997. The Stone Roses were a Chorlton band, with guitarist John Squire living and working for Cosgrove Hall in the suburb. Mike Pickering of M People lived on Ryebank Road. The members of the indie-rock band Polytechnic are also residents of the area.

Dunstable-born artist and musician Damon Gough, known as Badly Drawn Boy is also resident here. In an interview with the Manchester Evening News, he was quoted as saying "Chorlton's where home is. It's the place I would want to be if the world ended". Jim Noir, another musician based in Chorlton, recorded his album 'Tower of Love' in his own house. Another local musician who resides in Chorlton is Mark Collins of long surviving rock band The Charlatans. Former Happy Mondays star Shaun Ryder lived on Hardy Lane for a time in 2000, and his bandmate Bez continues to be a resident.

Notable residents have included locally-born actor Warren Clarke who lived at 8, Grindley Avenue, , and Freddie Garrity (of Freddie and the Dreamers). The area also attracts many soap actors who often stay temporarily in the area due to its reputation, such as Naomi Radcliffe, Craig Charles and Julie Hesmondhalgh.

Coronation Street actress Doris Speed lived in Sibson Road and for over twenty years she played Annie Walker – landlady of the Rovers Return in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street.

Quentin Crisp died in a house on Claude Road in Chorlton-cum-Hardy shortly before his 91st birthday, on the eve of a nationwide revival of his one-man show. His body was cremated with a minimum of ceremony, and his ashes flown back to New York and scattered over Manhattan.

Sport and recreation

Association football. Chorltonville recreation area has become a private football ground, currently owned by Chorlton & West Didsbury Football Club.[24 ] Many other amateur football teams are active in Chorlton and both the local Football League teams (City and United) are well-supported in the area. It was in Chorlton-cum-Hardy that George Best lodged when he first came to Manchester, on Sibson Road in the house next door but one to Doris Speed's house. Sir Matt Busby's funeral was held at St John's Church; former Manchester City footballer Nicky Reid was brought up locally.

Broughton Park Rugby Union F.C., is one of the oldest rugby union clubs in England and was established in 1882, just one year after the Lancashire County Rugby Union was founded and eleven years after the formation of the national Rugby Football Union. The club has had a number of different grounds in its time, mainly in the Salford/Prestwich area, but also in the south of Manchester. Since 2004 its present new facility is at Hough End in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester. Originally the club had only one senior side, but now fields four senior sides and supported by one Colts (U19), four youth (U13-U17) and four mini (U8-U12) teams; a total involvement of some 220 players each week. Broughton Park R.F.C. is the City of Manchester's highest placed representative in the Rugby Union Leagues.[25]

Chorltonville After the Second World War the Owners' Committee sold off the tennis courts and recreation area. The tennis courts were absorbed by gardens of adjoining Chorltonville houses, and the recreation area became a private football ground, currently owned by Chorlton & West Didsbury Football Club.[24 ]

Cricket and golf South West Manchester Cricket Club is one of the oldest in the Manchester area and has four adult teams who all play in the Manchester and District Cricket Association: the ground is at Ellesmere Road North. Chorlton cum Hardy Cricket Club is based at Hardy Lane. Barlow Hall serves as the club house of the Chorlton-cum-Hardy Golf Club.[26]

Parks and water parks Stretford Stadium, within Longford Park, is the home of Trafford Athletic Club. Most of the area of the park is in Stretford but the eastern part is in Chorlton with an entrance on Ryebank Road. Also in the park are tennis courts and bowling greens. An area of Chorlton Park was used many centuries ago for horse racing. As a public park it dates from 1928: there are gardens, many trees, and recreational facilities. The Recreation Ground (Beech Park) was opened in 1896 having been donated to the community by Lord Egerton. Chorlton Water Park is on the north side of the Mersey: access from southern Chorlton is via Maitland Avenue. It may be reached from the southern banks of the River Mersey by a small footbridge. In nearby Chorlton Ees, a proposed development of football pitches and a clubhouse are the subject of local opposition.[27] Chorltonville recreation area has become a private football ground, currently owned by Chorlton & West Didsbury Football Club.[24 ]

Public houses The oldest public house in Chorlton is reputedly the Bowling Green (1693 but moved to a new site in 1908); the Horse and Jockey, Chorlton Green, occupies a building reputedly of the 16th century though the half-timbered look is Victorian and the licence early 19th century. Near the new centre of Chorlton are the Royal Oak (built on the site of an earlier house) and the Lloyd's Hotel, Wlbraham Road (ca. 1870). The Beech Inn occupies what was once the Methodist schoolroom.[28] Bowls has been for many years a popular sport in the area: many of the greens are attached to public houses, e.g. the Lloyd's Hotel and the Bowling Green Hotel. The Bridge Inn on the south bank of the Mersey was once in Chorlton but is now in Sale, Cheshire.

Chorlton railway station awaiting redevelopment

See also


  1. ^ Cooper 2007, p. 42.
  2. ^ "Chorlton cum Hardy". A Key to English Place-Names. Institute for Name-Studies. Retrieved 2008-06-17.  
  3. ^ Lloyd 1985, p. 4
  4. ^ Butt 1995, p. 61
  5. ^ Hartwell, Clare [et al.] (2004) Lancashire: Manchester and the South-east. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press ISBN 0-300-10583-5, pp. 411–418
  6. ^ Cooper 2002, pp. 42–47.
  7. ^ Lloyd 1972
  8. ^ Lloyd 1972, pp. 69–70
  9. ^ Scholefield 2004, pp. 216–217
  10. ^ Manchester Metrolink Extension Project,,, retrieved 2009-11-10  
  11. ^ Anon (2003-07-31). "A select gazetteer of local government areas, Greater Manchester County". Greater Manchester County Records Office. Retrieved 2008-06-17.  
  12. ^ "Lib Dem quit over MP's Christie closure claim". South Manchester Reporter. Retrieved 2006-08-08.  
  13. ^ Lloyd, John M. (1972) The Township of Chorlton-cum-Hardy. Manchester: E. J. Morten
  14. ^ Lloyd 1972, p. 104
  15. ^ Lloyd 1972, p. 103
  16. ^ "Chorlton Arts Festival". Retrieved 2009-04-09.  
  17. ^ "Chorlton Green Morris". Retrieved 2009-04-09.  
  18. ^ "Manky Poets". Retrieved 2009-10-08.  
  19. ^ "Community Groups in Chorlton cum Hardy". Chorlton Web. Retrieved 2009-10-22.  
  20. ^ Lloyd, John (1972) The Township of Chorlton-cum-Hardy. Manchester: E. J. Morten ISBN 0-901598-26-7
  21. ^ Tidman, Gareth (2006-11-09), When the Blues train rolled into Chorlton,,, retrieved 2009-02-23  
  22. ^ Chorlton Civic Society newsletter; Feb 2009, p. 6
  23. ^ Blues and Gospel train ticket, Wilbraham Road Railway Station - 07.05.1964
  24. ^ a b c Chorlton & West Didsbury F C. "Football Club website".  
  25. ^ "Broughton Park Rugby Union F.C.".  
  26. ^ "The Club House". Chorlton-cum-Hardy Golf Club. Retrieved 2008-01-10.  
  27. ^ "Save Chorlton Meadows". Retrieved 2009-11-21.  
  28. ^ Lloyd, John (1972); p. 104-06
  • Booker, John (1857), A History of the Ancient Chapels of Didsbury and Chorlton, Manchester: Chetham Society  
  • Burton, Nick (ed.) (199-) Chorlton cum Hardy and Stretford, 1905. (Old Ordnance Survey maps. Lancashire sheet 111.10) Gateshead: Alan Godfrey (includes historical survey and extracts from Slater's directory, 1910)
  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995), The Directory of Railway Stations, Sparkford: Patrick Stephens, ISBN 1-85260-508-1  
  • Cooper, Glynis (2002), An Illustrated History of Manchester Suburbs, Derby: Breedon Books  
  • Cooper, Glynis (2007), The Illustrated History of Manchester's Suburbs, Derby: Breedon Books Publishing, ISBN 978-1-85983-592-0  
  • Ellwood, Thomas L. (1885–86), History of Chorlton-cum-Hardy (In: South Manchester Gazette)  
  • Hayes, Cliff (1999), Chorlton-cum-Hardy: Britain in Old Photographs, Stroud: Sutton Publishing, ISBN 0-7509-2065-3  
  • Lloyd, John M. (1972), The Township of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester: E. J. Morten, ISBN 0-901598-26-7  
  • Lloyd, John M. (1985), Looking Back at Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Martledge, Barlow Moor and Hough End, Altrincham: Willow, ISBN 0-946361-14-2  
  • Scholefield, R. A. (2004), Manchester's Early Airfields, an extended chapter in Moving Manchester, Lancashire & Cheshire Antiquarian Society, ISSN 0950-4699  

External links

Simple English

Chorlton-cum-Hardy is a southern district of Manchester, England. It's usually called just Chorlton. The river Mersey runs past its southern end, in a part called Chorlton Ees. Ees is a Saxon word for water meadow.

Neighbouring districts of Manchester are Whalley Range and West Didsbury, and to the west and north are Stretford and Old Trafford which are parts of Trafford. Hough End Hall is a manor house built in 1596. There are two churches belonging to the Church of England, St Clement's and St Werburgh's, and also St John's Church which is Roman Catholic and a Methodist Church.

Cosgrove Hall is an animation studio in Chorlton. Its most famous cartoon is Dangermouse. Some famous current and past residents of Chorlton are: George Best, the Bee Gees, The Stone Roses, and Badly Drawn Boy.

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