Family History Notebook

The Story of Rainow (1974)

Rainow
Photo of Rainow courtesy of Wikipedia

Compiled by Rainow Women's Institute based on information collected by Wilfred Palmer, with additional material by Mrs. Carne & members of the Rainow W.I.

The text has been published by www.rainow.org as a pdf file by permission of the Rainow W.I. at  The Story of Rainow. The following text is a transcript of that file which allows searching of the text for particular places, people etc. Copyright remains with the Rainow W.I.

GEOLOGY OF RAINOW

Relief map of Rainow district

The scenery of Rainow was first laid down about 325 million years ago, when most of central England was under the sea and a vast river drained down from the north. This formed a great delta and eventually large flat deposits of sand, mud and small pebbles were left by this river water.

During the next 65 million years, these deposits were pressed and hardened into sandstone and shales, and as the climate changed swampy forests formed on top of these layers, to be in turn overwhelmed with more sand and mud.

At the end of another 45 million years, these layers were complete and are now known geologically as the Millstone Grit. They are about 4,000 feet deep and there are 5 distinct layers of sandstone separated by shales and among these layers are the coal seams which are deposits of vegetation between layers of sand and mud.

The flat layers were disturbed by massive earth movements about 240 million years ago and great foldings took place causing ridges and valleys to appear, with cracks here and there.

This was followed by at least 2 periods when ice covered the land. It reached to 1,400 feet above sea level in our district and the continual slow movement of this heavy layer and the final melting between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago left us with worn away, rounded tops and valleys cut by the melting ice water, and new deposits of sand, gravel, clay, rocks and fossil shells.

To-day, after millions of years of wearing away, we can still find evidence of this in the village where the tops and ridges are sandstone and the valley sides are the shales.

The top layer of Millstone Grit caps Brink Brow, Gorsey Brow, Billinge Hill, Big Low and the East side of Kerridge - a coarse sandstone.

The second layer can be found on Pike Low; and Gin Clough and Rainow village lie on a slope of this grit. It crosses Smith Lane and forms Yearnslow and goes into the river Dean west of Danebent Farm-fine sandstone.

The third bed of grit runs from Windgather, past Pym Chair and to the Tors. It is coarse and massive and makes fine escarpments.

Shutlings Low has all 5 layers, and Teggsnose has the 3rd, 4th and 5th-the 1st and 2nd having gone in former times.

The coal seams are thin and poor. The 3rd one was worked at Kerridge and the 1st on Eddisbury, but the bottom layer which came to the surface in Bakestonedale, Further Harrop and Paddock Knoll was not very valuable.

As the ice began to melt at the end of the 4th glaciation, the melting water ran into temporary lakes carrying deposits of rock from Scotland and Wales and sand worn down by the ice movement. Near Blue Boar Farm, Brook Low and the Setter Dog, are gravel and marine shells, and south-east of Waggonshaw Farm are clays which were left in one of these lakes, which eventually drained away over Walker Barn to the Langley Valley. The valley to the east and south of Swanscoe Hall was a channel for melt water and the hummocky land near Doncaster Farm consists of sand, gravel and rock brought down by this melt water after the 3rd and 4th glaciations, with vegetation remains from the warm period between the two ice ages. The west side of Kerridge was steepened by water from Disley flowing past and wearing away the softer rocks.

Some years ago, a borehole at Millbrook penetrated over 200 feet of the 2nd grit sandstone which was lying under 50 feet of superficial deposit.

To-day the river Dean grinds up to its rocks, cuts its way down into the valley floor and carries this sand and mud along to deposit elsewhere, and so continues the geology of Rainow.

For a period, a cool relatively dry phase followed, influenced by conditions from the Continent. From about 5,500- 2,500 BC these conditions were displaced by influences from the Atlantic and a wetter, warmer climate followed. Under these conditions, woodland developed to its maximum extent.

In Cheshire, oakwood forests were predominant, of which there are two kinds: one, the pedunculate oak, dominated the forests of the Plain, and the other, the durmast oak, dominated the shallow soils located on siliceous rock and clay of the damp shale soils in the higher parts of the county. For example, the oak wood at the farm called Thornset Farm along Pedley Lane in Rainow Parish, has the last remaining evidence of this type of oak.

PREHISTORY OF RAINOW

Sketch map of historic Rainow

Before recorded history, there seems to have been considerable activity taking place in the Rainow area. Three large tumuli (barrows) are easily seen now, near Yearn's Low, Gin Clough and Further Harrop. These are probably Bronze Age burial mounds, and are possibly three to four thousand years old. There are several large menhirs (standing stones) whose purpose seems to have been to mark tracks across the completely undeveloped ground. Prehistoric man seems to have used recognised trackways; and one of these local menhirs lines up in a ridgeway which stretches from far south of Rainow to at least the Scottish border. One cannot say with certainty that such a trackway existed; but the line up of stones and various geographical features is too accurate to be meaningless.

The so-called cross at Blue Boar Farm, now only a big stone by the wall, lines northward with the barrow above Further Harrop and then on to the Bow Stones and southward with a stone, recently removed, near Walker Barn and then to a stone in Charity Lane, continuing south to Bull Stone, etc., part of a possible ridgeway many miles long. These markers are usually called `crosses' but are seldom cruciform, not even the Mercian round-shafted crosses (such as the three now in the West Park Macclesfield) which seem to originate before the Norman Conquest. Sometimes they seem to take the place of earlier plain stones or menhirs, which may also remain to mark routes or boundaries. The Bow Stones are good examples of these round shafted crosses.

When salt, always of great trading value, had to be carried in bulk, pack-horse trains were used and these also followed recognised routes, many of which are clearly visible to-day. Saltersford lies where the Todd Brook was crossed by the carriers. Salt was used in trading before the Romans came to Cheshire and these salt ways could date back for some thousands of years. A good example marked by a menhir near the "Highwayman Inn" shows to this day as a 'green' road. Looking north from the stone, the barrow at Further Harrop can be seen on the horizon with the road leading straight to it. Looking south from the stone, one can see the road for some distance.

There were many forest roads, some of which in the past have been thought to be Roman. They are not constructed in the usual way for a Roman road and could be older or younger. It is impossible to date any of these objects - they are there now and were there before any recorded history in the area.

HISTORICAL SURVEY

After the initial phase of the Norman Conquest, 1066, had been completed, William the Conqueror turned to the unsubjugated hills of the north and west of England. After Yorkshire was subdued, he turned in the midwinter of 1069-70 to subdue Cheshire. He entered the county at Tintwistle in the north-east and marched south to Macclesfield laying waste the land, including Stockport and Macclesfield. From the latter he reached Chester by three different routes. When Cheshire was overcome he granted it to his nephew, the Norman, Hugh d'Avaranches with the title Earl of Chester. At this time Cheshire was a rather wild, wooded region, apart from the Wirral, and the Dee and Weaver Valleys. Primeval woodland covered most of the slopes of the Cheshire Pennines and much of the plain at their foot. The Domesday Survey was made in 1086, in which the Manor of Macclesfield is mentioned and also the Woodland - obviously the Forest.

All over England there were many woodlands used as Royal Preserves for hunting, and included in these was Macclesfield Forest. This land included Macclesfield, Hurdsfield, Disley, Prestbury, Bollington, Pott Shrigley, Lyme Handley, Kettleshulme, Taxal, Rainow, the present Macclesfield Forest, Wildboarclough, Wincle, Sutton and Bosley. Forest laws were made and special Courts of the Forest set up to carry out these laws if any person living in the forest dared to break them. The term `forest' did not mean it was all woodland, but included any land suitable for the royal sport. Poaching deer under the Conqueror was punished by blinding and later by death. `He made large forests for deer', wrote an Anglo-Saxon chronicler, `and enacted laws therewith, so that whoever killed a hart or hind should be blinded. As he forbade killing the deer, so also the boars. And he loved the tall stags as if he was their father. He also appointed the hares that they should go free. The rich complained and the poor murmured, but he was so sturdy that he reeked nought of them'.

In 1327, the Earldom was taken over by Henry III for the Crown. For 400 years it continued as hunting ground for the Kings and Princes of Wales, who took the title of Earl of Chester. This title still belongs to the Prince of Wales today. Other wild animals besides those already mentioned were pole-cats, wolves, badgers and foxes.
For the purpose of administering the Forest, a Hereditary Master Forester was appointed. From 1166 until 1460 this office was held by the Davenports of Davenport, who were given the power to execute any person caught killing the deer etc. The ancient `Robbers Roll' of about 1300 in the possession of the Bromley Davenports of Capesthorne, shows the list of robbers executed in the time of Vivian Davenport and later by Roger de Davenport. As payment, they received 2/- and one salmon for a Master Robber, and 12d. for any other robber. The coat of arms of the Davenports, a felon's head with a rope round his neck, is said to have been given because of the power of life and death.

In 1460, Sir Thomas Stanley of Knowsley was appointed Master Forester by Henry VI. After the battle of Bosworth, this Sir Thomas Stanley was created the first Earl of Derby by Henry VII who made him Hereditary Steward of the Forest and Manor of Macclesfield and granted him lands in Harrop, Rainow. These lands are generally referred to as the Lordships of Harrop. The Earls of Derby remained Master Foresters until the termination of the right in the reign of Charles II but hereditary stewards of the Manor and Forest until the Birkenhead Acts came into force at the beginning of 1925.

Besides a Master Forester, a number of other officers were appointed. These included nine sub hereditary foresters, bailiffs, regarders and wood-wards of whom Rainow had three.. For these services, they were granted `parcels of land' and enjoyed other privileges. The Downes of Taxal claimed the privilege of `rowsing the game' i.e. providing beaters, and of holding the King's stirrup when he mounted his horse while hunting. The Venables of Kinderton, near Northwich, held certain lands on the condition that they furnished 33 men for a guard for the King when he was hunting. In the present Macclesfield Forest, the King 'had a chamber to lodge in' The site is where the Old Chambers Farm used to be near Toot Hill below Macclesfield Forest Chapel. A herd of 200 deer was maintained up to the Civil War 1642-46 of which the deer in Lyme Park are the successors.

The setting aside of the forest lands for the Kings and Earls became very unpopular. As the population grew, the people became more powerful and more and more pressure was brought to bear for the release of the lands for farming. From 1460, parts of Macclesfield Forest were granted away. Following the end of the Feudal System 1572, a petition by Lord Derby as Master Forester was presented to Queen Elizabeth in 1590 for the abolition of the Forest. Although the petition was refused, a good number of the present day farms were established and the farmhouses built during the following 70 years or so, when the right terminated and the Forest, as such, ceased to exist. During the Civil War the Parliamentarians took over the Forest of Macclesfield as being Crown lands and started splitting it up and opening it up generally. It was given back to the Earls of Derby as Hereditary Stewards after the Restoration and it was never closed again in the same way. They continued the policy started by the Parliamentarian, Sir William Brereton. Today the only indigenous oak trees of the Forest remaining are the Oak Wood, Thornset Farm, Rainow.

The duties of various officials of the Forest were; - a bailiff, who was responsible for collecting the rents of leases etc.; a regarder, who was an overlooker of the Foresters and others who looked after the forests; a forester, who looked after the game and watched for poachers; a woodward, who combined the duties of forester and looking after the trees for which he was responsible. His symbol was a small hatchet or bill hook.

The highway, in those days, did not mean a constructed road as known today, but just a legal and customary right of passage for the King and his subjects over another's land and consisted of a rough track made by men and their pack horses. The present road through Rainow was probably made by men and their pack horses travelling from Macclesfield to join the pack horse road at Four Lane Ends. The Hooley Hey and Anchor Knoll lane probably also began in the same manner linking the road at Nab End with the old Buxton Road at Macclesfield Forest. The bridle paths and the large number of footpaths in the parish were made when the farms were established. The footpaths criss-cross from one end of the parish to the other, linking the farms together but not converging at any one particular place. The present day farms and small holdings began with the granting or leasing and later the purchase of `parcels of land' . Some of these were only one or two acres. The farmhouses were built on these `parcels' and the land enclosed and divided into meadows, pasture and arable fields. As the number of farms grew, the only unenclosed land, with perhaps an odd plot or two, were the hills such as Kerridge and Big Low and the moors of Saltersford.. This unenclosed land was termed common land, i..e. land for the common use of people in common with each other.

In the case of the common land in Rainow, rights of common grazing were granted to the farms around it. The grazing rights on the Rainow side of Kerridge were granted to the farms along the valley, to Big Low, the farms around it, and so on. The number of animals, usually sheep, each farmer was allowed to graze, varied according to the right granted.

HOUSES AND FARMS IN RAINOW

Sketch map of houses and farms in Rainow

The first record of a house in Rainow is the One House that used to be on the Buxton Road approximately 1/4 mile inside the parish. As the name implies, it was almost certain to have been the only house in the district. In the middle 1100's, Richard the son of Orme Davenport, was created a Forester of Macclesfield Forest by Hugh Clavelock of Chester. Various rights were given to him and he was given a tenement described as "An House" in Rainow. A record dated the 5th year of Henry VII 1490 shows that Ralph Davenport of Calverley demised (leased) a parcel of land for a number of years to John Hulley, called the One House in Raynowe. It remained in the Hulley family until 1912 when it was sold. During the years of their occupation, members of the family purchased a number of farms. These were the Grove, Knollnook 1779, Eddisbury Lane, Bonny Catty, Windyhead and Clough (1697) farms. Jonathan Hulley rebuilt the house in 1703 with large lofty rooms, the ceiling of the drawing room could be taken down for cleaning and one of the windows had 140 panes of glass. A number of the Hulleys were Mayors of Macclesfield, beginning with Jasper, 1709, followed by John, 1741, Thomas, 1743, John 1748/9 and Jasper 1794/5. Jonathan Hulley was the first Librarian of the Macclesfield Public Library from 1876-79. For at least the last 70 years, parts of the house were let to tenants. The Hulley family were not improbably a branch of the Hoghleghs of Taxal, one of the nine families who were sub-Foresters in the time of Edward I. The house was demolished in 1939. Traces still remain, such as cellars and an underground oven, also the fine gate posts on the Buxton Road, below the One House nursery garden.

The Todd Brook valley must have been a sheltered farming valley from early times. It is near the crossroad of the old tracks, and many of the farms are very old- the present building at Summerclose dates from Elizabethan times.

From a rental of Richard II in 1380 we know that there were 30 houses and 50 acres of copyhold, meadow and arable, the pasture being common. There was a cornmill before the beginning of the 15th Century. An entry in the Cheshire Sheaf records "2nd increment rent of a parcel of land being a corner of the common pasture or Rannowe lying below the highway leading from Macclesfield to the Mill of Rannowe etc. 1416."

The following has been taken from the records of Mr. W.. Smith, local historian. Series of records from 13th December 1438 show lease to Reginald de Shrigley of the mills at Pott Shrigley and Rainow for 16 years. The mill at Pott Shrigley 4/- yearly, Rainow 9/- yearly sureties John de Legh del Rigge and Thomas de Oldefeld. 3 November 1453 John Shrigly was granted a lease of the mills at Pott Shrigley, Bollington and Rainowe for 60 years at 4/- for the first two, and 6/- for Rainow, all yearly. Sureties Reginald de Shrigley and William Swetenham.

30 March 1462 Alexander de Latham given a lease for Pott Shrigley, Bollington, Ranowe and Waley for 16 years, Waley 8/- yearly, others 12/- yearly plus 4d increase. Sureties William Madewe and Robert de Latham.
20 October 1472 Thomas Shrigley granted a lease of the same mills for 10 years. Waley 9/- others 12/- all yearly plus 2/- yearly increase. Sureties John Botiller and Robert Middleton.

The mills were granted away in 1547 as follows:-
2 August 1547 Grant to Thomas Denton of London of the mills called Whalley Milne, Poteshriglygh and Ranow Milne in the forest of Macclesfield in the tenure of Thomas and Roger Shryglegh formerly belonging to the late Earl of Chester. In fulfilment of Henry VIII's will and in agreement between him, Protector Somerset and others and Thomas Denton (Chancery Warrants State Papers).

Rainow mill was later deliberately destroyed. This action led to two Star Chamber cases: - (1) Robert Shryglegh and his son Thomas versus Jasper Worth and Humphrey Swyndles, destruction of a mill at Rainow and assault of the first plaintiff; (2) Roger and Thomas Shryglegh versus Edmund Sutton. Breaking a mill dam in the forest of Macclesfield etc.

The site of the corn mill is not known but as it was on the highway from Macclesfield to Rainow, a natural guess is either Brookhouse or Mill Brook.

Lamaload...In 1519 Thomas Legh of Adlington Hall had lands and three messuages in Rainow, Lamalode and Kettleshulme, a total of 52 acres. It is also referred to in a survey made in 1611 concerning Saltersford:-(taken from the records of James E. Macdonald, Stockport by Mr. W. Smith) `And there are three houses, building and inclosures hereafter mentioned, which have been of late years newly erected and made in Saltersford. That is to say; One Hall, one gate, house, one stable and five new inclosures being fenced in with hedges, ditches and stone walls. William Jackson, one house and other building lying in Saltersford. John Pott of the Banks, one dwelling house with diver other buildings and fower (4) crofts being fenced in with ditches, hedges and stone walls. John Salter, one house and one Ile and one close fenced in with a walle. Reginald Hollinshead, dwelling in the Lamelode, one cottage and one yarde'. The ditches and walls would be necessary to keep out the wild
animals.

At one time, there used to be a bridle path from Tower Hill to Lamaload (present name) where it was joined by another from Yearnslow farm. A footpath from Lamaload joins the track from Hooley Hey Lane to Whiteside farm, now demolished. At Lamaload, two streams join the Dean which in the early days would mean fording the three streams.

The farmhouse and outbuildings of Lamaload were demolished for the erection of the two houses and treatment works for the Water Board.

Thornset Farm...The personal name, Tornside, appears in the Calendar of County Court Rolls of Chester, 1289. It is referred to as Thornesyde (1327-77) Thorncote (1349) Le Thornsied (1372) Thorncote (1467) and the Thorneshead (1611). Although no records have been traced and the present farmhouse does not appear to be of any great age, it is probably the site of a very old farm.

Saltersford Hall...Built in 1595 by the Stopford family of the Bate Hall, Macclesfield. A descendant James Stopford became a general in Cromwell's army in Ireland where he acquired large estates and built and fixed his residence at Tacah Hill,-County Meath. His descendant became Earl of Courtown, an Irish title, and Baron Saltersford of Saltersford, his English title when he acquired most of Saltersford.

Tower Hill House...Sir Piers Legh of Lyme, second husband of Margaret, whose first husband was Sir John Savage of Macclesfield, left his lands in Rainow, when he was beheaded in 1399 for allegiance to Richard II, to her, his wife Margaret. In turn, these passed to John Savage, son of Margaret and her first husband. In 1611, when the deeds began, it was sold by a descendant , Sir John Savage, to Edward Jackson, a deputy Sheriff of Macclesfield Forest. In 1674, it was sold by his grandson Raphael Jackson to William Lunt. In 1680, it was sold to Charles Blackwell and in 1709 was bought by John Brocklehurst, whose daughter married John Gaskell. The house is stone built with inside walls which had wattle and daub at one time. There are one or two stone mullioned windows remaining and it is fairly certain to have been earlier than 1611.

Ingersley Farm...Built by Jacksons of Hurdsfield, date not known, but one of whom Thomas Jackson lived there in 1658. Later it was purchased by John Gaskell, senior.

Hordern Farm...Horden (1280) Hordern (1285), the name Richard de Horderne is in Macclesfield Eyre Roll (1287) Hordorne (1620 survey). In the 16th Century, it belonged to John Spencer of Horderne, gentleman, whose only child, Margaret, married a Lowe, a branch of the family of Lowe, who at an early date lived and derived their name from a hamlet named La Lowe, near Congleton. They later resided at Macclesfield. In 1430 Thomas Lowe was Mayor of Macclesfield, as were some of his descendants. The Lowes held Hordern until the 18th Century when their only child, Elizabeth, married de Brabin of Marple.

In later years it was purchased by Leonard Holland of London who rebuilt it in 1877 to live there, but died before he could do so. He left the rear of the house intact and the gable end at the east of the house shows the slope of the original roof, above which he built to increase the height of the house. Apparently there was no supply of water available close to the house and at one time a ram supplied water from the stream approximately 300 yards below. Today, it is brought through a 4" earthenware pipe along the shoulder of the hill behind the house from a copse about a mile away on Ely Brow. The water is gathered from three springs in the copse, into a stone trough and then along the pipe.

Cutler's Farm...A list of offices for the administration of Macclesfield Forest at the latter part of the 16th century includes the names of three woodwards for Rainow. They were John Orme, John Jackson and Nicholus Asshencarre, alias Cuttler. It is not known which was the real name because as later records show, the name was reversed. In Prestbury Parish register, is recorded a marriage "Raynowe 1588 Rauffe Pott and Anna Ashencar." Cutler's farm with small low rooms and upstairs doorways about 5'  high with bent oak lintels to give extra room is obviously very old and could probably have been the home of Asshencarre alias Cutlers family. The probability is also strengthened by its position at the head of Gin Clough, which gets its name from the gins or traps used to catch the deer and other animals. These gins were made of wires, ropes and nets hung on posts across a narrow steep-sided valley. Gin Clough is supposed to have been one of these valleys. The animals were driven into and up the valleys to become entangled in the nets. Also to add strength to the theory of Gin Clough and Cutler's Farm
is the fact that only a short distance away is Buxter Stoops Farm. The word `buxter' is derived from buckstall from which the nets were made and stoops were the posts on which the nets were hung. This method of catching animals has been handed down and used by poachers to catch rabbits at night.

Cherry Tree Cottage, Calrow Fold Lane....The deeds begin in 1637 when the property was named Percyvale's Tenements and possibly connected with the following:- in -1502, Sir John Percyvale, Lord Mayor of London and born in the neighbourhood of Macclesfield and founder of Macclesfield's Grammar School (The King's School) who, by will, `left lands in Sutton, Macclesfield, Raynowe, Hurdsfield and Tetrynton (Tytherington) to be held in trust to endow the School and to Archbishop Savage, Archbishop of York, to find a chaplain to perform daily service in the Church at Macclesfield for the souls of John Percyvale knight and his consort Dame Thomassine, their parents and benefactors and Richard Sutton, gentelman.' A quit claim was made to the officers of the trust 19th year Henry VII (1504). This property has been much altered.

Calrow Fold Farm...In the gable end of the building across the road from the house is the date stone giving the year 1719.

Lower House Farm...(Kiss Hill 1844) 1611. The first record in the Schedule of a later deed states that the deeds were surrendered by John Lowe, gentleman, and his wife Dorothy of Pilsdon in the county of Stafford in 1665. The reason for the surrender is not given but the farm remained in the family until it was sold to Robert Latham of Bollington in 1777 by Elizabeth Brabin, widow, and Hannah and Ann Brabin spinsters, presumably her daughters, all of Marple. This is obviously the same family who owned Hordern. The property at the sale is described as "Two copyhold messuages known as Lower House and Stevensons tenements together with several fields of meadow , pasture and arable land enclosed and situated on High Cliff (1611) and various outbuildings yards, gardens and orchards in the tenure of James Bradbury, a total of 23 acres 27 perches."
The house has been rebuilt at three different periods, the middle part first. During alterations an inside wall was found to be of wattle and daub. On a stone lintel of a doorway, in an outbuilding on Kiss Hill, is inscribed M L 1697. The initials are probably those of one of the Lowe family or one of their tenants. Stevensons tenements were two cottages which were on the site of the present cottage adjoining the farm buildings.

Clarke House... The deeds are identical with those of Lower House in regard to details on the Schedule. It was also sold by the Brabins to Robert Latham at the same time.. The deeds read `2 parcels of land enclosed totalling 1 acre and 2 roods together with a tenement known as Rainow Lowe.'

Lima Farm & Clough 1611.... Some 50 yards above the house is a small row of stone built two-storey single room outbuildings. The inner walls are all half-timbered oak and at one time the end nearest the house had wattle and daub. At the other end a cart shed has been added at a later date. It is quite possible these buildings were the original farmhouse before the present farmhouse, which itself is quite old. It could have been the house of a yeoman farmer between 1572 and 1642 whose houses were often turned into farm buildings when later larger and better houses were built.

Rainow Old Hall (Sugar Lane Farm).,..Stone built with stone mullion windows and before alterations some of the inside walls were wattle and daub. At one time it contained a quantity of fine old oak panelling which was removed by a previous owner and presumably sold. Some of the original oak door frames and oak panelled doors still remain. Although no date of when it was built has been traced, it is of the same period as Lower House Farm. The earliest record is in 1687 when it was passed from Richard Cutler alias Ashencarre and formerly the possession of Roger Brooke, to Francis Stevenson. The date 1690 and the Initials FE on the lintel of the present doorway built during alterations several years ago, were copied from the initials which were on an old lead gutter and were those of Stevenson and his wife.

Higher Hooley Hey Farm...Now demolished, was situated on Hooley Hey Lane approximately 1/4 mile from Nab End. It was stone built and for 200 years the home of a family of Latham. The date stone 1681 which used to be above a window overlooking the yard was taken by an employee of the firm who demolished it about 1960.. The initials RL on the stone were those of Richard Latham. Mr. Samuel Latham who lived there in the last century was a butcher as well as a farmer.. He slaughtered the cattle etc. at the farm and had a stall at Stockport Market. Mr. C. Cooper of Common Barn Farm possesses two bills, one dated 1855 is from Sam Latham to Joshua Robinson of which some items are:-
    Sept 15 Beef 12 lbs. @ 7d 7s., -d
    Sept 22 " 6 lbs. @ 61/2d 3s 3d and 1 tup Ram 1,. 6. 0d.

The other bill dated 1838 is from John Johnson to Joshua Robinson, Lower Hooley Hey Farm:-
    June 27   2 yds. of flag @ 1/- per yard              2s. 0d.
                        1 door hed 5' long                                  2s. 6d.
                        1 load of wall stone                                1s. 0d.
                        2 days work repairing building       7s. 0d.
                                                                                            12s. 6d.
Tower Hill Farm...Stone built with internal wattle and daub which has been removed exposing the oak half-timbered walls. The original oak door frames with very strong oak lintels and oak panelled doors still remain.
Brookhouse Farm 1611 also Clough...Another stone built house with stone mullioned windows and which once had wattle and daub on the inside walls.

Harrop Fold Farm...Mr. John James Beard who owns and resides at Billinge Head farm is a member of the Beard family which farmed one of the two Harrop Fold farms for over 200 years until Joseph left about 1910. He has a date stone brought from Harrop Fold inscribed FB 1696. The initials are those of Frank Beard. Billinge Head Farm existed in 1753.

Rainow Low Farm...The deeds which began in 1766 read `in the possession of Laurence Gaskell and his wife Mary formerly in the possession of Laurence Gaskell father of the first named Laurence Gaskell.' The farm is situated in the hamlet of Rainow Low on the westerly slopes of Big Low.. At present the hamlet consists of five farms and two or three houses, but up to the beginning of this century there were at least eight more cottages. On the 1766 deed, the property is described as House and adjoining land and house called Rainow Lowe. These two comprise the present farmhouse and are joined by a single story room. Also on the deed another cottage and adjoining land, dwelling house and house owned by L. Gaskell called Orme's of the Lowe formerly owned by Edward Frost. And again another house and adjoining land and cottage formerly in the holding of Robert Orme now held by L. Gaskell with approximately 3 acres of land. All the above remained in the Gaskell family until 1962. It is now farmed and owned by Mr. George Beard son of Mr. John James Beard of Billinge Head whose mother was a Gaskell of Rainow Lowe. So it could be said to be still in the Gaskell family. Mr. Beard, senior, talks of how his mother used to tell him about people frequently dying from tuberculosis owing to the bad conditions i.e. poor water supply and no real sewage scheme. She also said how frightened she was as a girl of the black hearse and coaches. The buildings of one of the small holdings mentioned in the deed have been demolished and two cottages are used as outhouses., Mr. Beard senior also says his mother told him that the two women hanged at Chester as witches lived in cottages at Rainow Lowe.. This tale has been passed down by generations of the Gaskell family and is probably true as the hamlet of Rainow Lowe is, with little doubt, the area where farms and cottages were first concentrated in Rainow.

Charleshead Farm....First built in 1652, a new house was built in 1764. The initials RP on the date stone over the door are those of Robert Pott, son of Edmond Pott whose name appears in the well-known Charleshead Bible. The Bible was, as stated in the book, `Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings most Excellent Majesty Anno Dom 1611'. It is a large black lettered leather bound edition of the Authorised Version. An inscription in the book reads `This Bible was gain by John Ward at Blew Bore to Edmond Pott of Charleshead and not only to him, but to Charleshead forever'. He. expressed the desire that `great care should be taken of it and hoped ye would leave it soe'. Although there is no date with the inscription, it is known that Edmond Pott was living at Charleshead in 1734. Another inscription also without a date reads `Steven Greenwell his book' followed by `And when the bell for him doth toll, Then Lord Jesus save his soule'. There is no record of who Steven Greenwell was, or where he lived. The last inscription refers to the passing bell ceremonial. It was intended to call upon devout persons to pray for the soul of a person who was dying. It is also stated to have been intended to drive away any demon who might wish to take possession of the soul of the deceased. Hence sometimes called the `Soul bell'. When the Pott family left Charleshead they left the Bible behind where it has remained in the possession of the Brocklehurst family who succeeded the Potts.

Ormes Smithy, Sowcar derives its name from John Orme who established a smithy there in 1698. The surname Orme has been current in this district from 1454 (Eyre rolls of the justice of Chester). Ormes Smithy and cottages were purchased by John Gaskell Senior of Ingersley in 1754 from Cooper Lunt of Manchester for 540. Directories of 1860 and 1874 show the smithy was worked by George Samuel Blease, but it remained in the Gaskell family until it was sold as part of Miss A. T. Gaskell's property in 1930. The site is now occupied by cottages.

Sowcar Farm 1611... The earliest record traced is a marriage settlement made in 1693 between John Broadhurst and his wife Lydia, daughter of William Shelhorne of Buglawton. In 1703 it passed to their son, Thomas, who, in 1735 sold it to Thomas Gaskell of Adlington. Thomas Gaskell gave the farm and lands in Hedgerow to his son John Gaskell in 1736, who in turn passed it to his son, John Gaskell of Tower Hill Rainow. The property remained in the Gaskell family until 1930 when it was sold by Mrs. Maud Kennedy, niece of Miss Ann Theodora Gaskell.

The house is stone built and consists of an old building with a wing attached at a later date. The old part has stone mullioned windows with the front wall 3' thick at ground level, tapering to the thickness of the roof, At some period extensive alterations have been made but great care was taken to match the original. For example, new doors have been fitted and although they are wide and high, similar to the Georgian period, they are oak and panelled to match other older doors about 2' wide, in an oak framed wall which is part of the original house. Also the roof has been removed but as shown by the old mortice holes, it appears that the original oak beams were used in the renewal. The alterations and the newer wing were probably carried out when it was the home of a Gaskell known as Francis Gaskell of Sowear, the second son of John Gaskell 1748-1813.

(New) Blue Boar Farm...Referred to as new, to distinguish it from the old Blue Boar Farm close by. The new house was built on the site of an old row of single rooms which were demolished when the new house was built in 1880. Traces of the row of the old rooms can still be seen where they joined the old existing outbuildings at the gable end.. Mrs. Stubbs, the present owner, who lives at the farm, says her grandmother built it and whilst it was being built, went to live for two years at Hazel Tree farm. Mrs. Stubbs has in her possession a catalogue for the sale of Tithes, including Rainow and Saltersford, at the Macclesfield Arms, September 1844. Out of a total of 95 farms, the catalogue states Lord Courtown having 18 farms at Saltersford and Lord Derby 11 farms at Harrop. The largest was Saltersford Hall, 208 acres 3 roods 25 perches, tenant Peter Etchells with James Nixon. Saltersford Hall has 10 acres arable. Next in size was Harrop, 185 acres 1 rood 24 perches. 53 farms had a total of
266 acres 0 roods 13 perches arable. 5 farms in Harrop 18 acres, 12 acres, 14 acres and 13 acres respectively. Common ground for Lord Courtowns tenants 58 acres, 3 roods 32 perches.

Lower Hooley Hey...A red brick building, built in 1806. The date stone reads `built 1806 A Wright, builder EB. Tenant WL'. A Rev. Adam Rushton wrote 'A mile away to the south of Jenkin Chapel was situated the farmstead of Hooley Hey. There lived the Cooper family who were farmers, musicians, Methodists and to a considerable extent, readers and students of good books. On the occasion fervent prayer and searching class meetings were held and rousing sermons preached by visiting ministers. Over mountain tops and through long stretching valleys came crowds of persons to Hooley Hey. In open air services, they made the welkin ring their loud and hearty songs of praise'.

Some half dozen members of the Cooper family had all good voices and most could play the harpsichord, violin, cello and other instruments. This farm is one of several farms taken over for Lamaload reservoir. The house is derelict and slowly being demolished.

Back o'th Crofts...1768. The first deed states, sold by Philippa and Amelia Sophia Caroline Swetenham of Congleton both daughters and co-heiresses of Philip Swetenham of Lawton, to Thomas Robinson and his wife Anne, a messuage and tenement called Rainow Lowe or Lowe Tenement, also another tenement at Hedgerow tenant George Turner and all other buildings and parcels of land lying in Rainow and Pott Shrigley belonging to the Misses Swetenham for 2000 except Allorns and Shatwell tenements (later called Higher Hazel Trees or Jolly Cock) previously sold by Misses Swetenham to Samuel Plant. All the above were formerly the estate and inheritance of Humphrey Swindells and afterwards Thomas Tylston, Doctor of Physic and from him purchased by Philip Swetenham. No acreage stated. Thomas Robinson also purchased from E. Brabin a field called the Meadow, a parcel of land called the Green enclosed from waste lands, and a parcel of land 192 squ. yds. adjoining Little Low belonging to Roger Gaskell. In 1798 in the will of Thomas Robinson sen. ` I give my estate where I now live at Kerridge End, Rainow, purchased from Dennis Hibberson to my son William also 50 secured on the Green. I give Black Rock farm, Gin Clough and 3 fields tenanted by Henry Jackson being part of Lowe Tenement and called Rushy field in 2 parts and Lowerhead field and 50 secured on the Green and 50 secured on the turnpike from Macclesfield to Randle Carr to my son Matthew. I give Lowe Tenement to my son Thomas. I give 13 per annum for life to my son John charged on Lowe Tenement. To my daughters, Mary, wife of Thomas Broadhead, Nancy, wife of John Mellor, Martha, wife of John Gaskell, Peggy, wife of Thomas Trafford, Betty, wife of Thomas Willott and Sally Robinson I give equal shares in my house at Hedge Row and the coals under my estate called the Lower Ground. I give 56 each and the rents of my houses at Kerridge End equally to Sarah and Alice children of my late wife by John Andrews'.

In 1814 Thomas Robinson, junior, left Lowe Tenement to his children. In the conveyance of 1834 to John Robinson the acreage of the property 69 acres 1 rood 27 perches is given for the first time. All purchased from Misses Swetenham except several plots and parcels of land enclosed from waste or common land.

In 1911 in a transfer of mortgage it is called Back o'th Crofts for the first time. The farm remained in the Robinson family until 1949.

Back o'th Low...The earliest records in the Schedule of the deeds is the surrender of the deeds by John Lowe in 1675. The property was sold in 1777 to Laurence Gaskell and his wife Mary, Rainow Low, for 210 by the same Brabins who sold Lower House farm in 1777 to Robert Latham. It consisted of a barn and shippon but no house, together with 5 fields or closes totalling 4 acres situated on the northern slopes of Big Low. Tenant James Bradbury. By deed of gift 1789 Laurence Gaskell passed the property to his son Rodger who owned Top o'th Stones. The two properties were made into one farm consisting of 2 houses and 7 acres.

At a sale by auction 1811 Thomas Mellor, Rainow bought from the Lyme estate of Peter Legh a field 2 acres 18 perch called Green field adjoining Backo'th Low and with access to Billinge Road.

In 1843 Job Longden, blacksmith, bought the Green from the executors of Thomas Mellor and sold to Laurence Gaskell son of Rodger Gaskell in 1849. Green field was added to Back o'th Low and Top o'th Stones with a total acreage of 17 acres and 2 roods 12 perches. Presumably the extra acreage came from enclosing common or waste ground. The property remained in the Gaskell family until 1929 when it was sold to George Heathcote by William Gaskell, great grandson of Rodger Gaskell.

RAINOW PEOPLE

The following is a record of Rainow people up to the end of the 17th century. In a Star Chamber case 1540 Laurence Pott and Roger Smith, both of Raynowe aged 60 or more were witnesses. In Prestbury. Parish Church Register is the entry: 1634 Rainowe, John Overton perished in snowe Jan 31.

Tolls and Sales Accounts of Macclesfield Fair:-

11 June 1619 Humphrey Swindells of Rainow bought....
30 June 1621 John Jodrill of Rainow tol...
26 Aug 1622 Francis Houghe of Rainow bought of John Orme of Rainow John Orme of Rainow bought of Rauphe Oakes of Howley Hey, Rainow....
20 Nov 1626 Katherine Jackson of Rainow sold to....
31 Oct 1645 John Plumworth of Ranall....
30 June 1646  John Robinson of Pikem'ore sold to Richard Latham of Saltersford....
11 June 1647 Philip Swindells of Rainow sold to....
30 June 1649 William Jackson of Saltersford sold to....
24 May 1652   Peter Gaithall of Rainow bought....
30 June 1655  John Hancocks of Rainow bought....also Thomas Clarke of
Rainow bought....
1 Dec 1658 Thomas Hay of Rainow....
1660 Thomas Hayes of Rainow, blacksmith....
1662 Peter Gaskell of Rainow....
1665  Thomas Lashome of Saltersford
 

In Thomas Hearne's edition of Teland's Itinerary Vol. VI is recorded a letter to Hearne from the Rev. Francis Brokesley dated 23 Aug 1709 about an old lady who lived in Hedgerow. Her name was Margaret Broadhurst called `Cricket of the Hedge' who was supposed to have lived to 140 years of age. In her old age, she was visited by a great number of people out of curiosity. To a Mrs. Bridcoat who asked her age, she replied ' I was four score years old when I bare that snicket and she is now three score years old'. She is supposed to have been buried at Prestbury in 1650 but there is no entry in the register.

From a record of 1656 it would appear that Rainow did not escape from the savage hunt for witches which raged all over England for a number of years about this time. Two women were hanged at Chester for practising `certain arts from which wicked and devilish acts certain people of Rainow fell ill and died'. At Chester in St. Mary's on the Hill register the entry reads: `1656 Three witches hanged at Michaelmas Assises, buried in the corner by the Castle Ditch in Churchyard 8th of October'. Their names were Anne Thornton, Eaton near Chester; Ellen, wife of John Beech and Anne, wife of James Osbalderton, both of Rainow near Macclesfield.

In 1672 a licence to hold nonconformist meetings under the Declaration of Indulgence was granted to the `house of Thomas Clarke, Rainow'.

Stocks and Institute, Rainow

Rainow Stocks...A mandate or writ of Henry III (1216-1272) stated that in every township there should be a constable or two according to the number of its inhabitants. Probably this was the time when stocks were first constructed. The constable was sent to arrest people and the stocks were his prison for detention but he had to deliver his prisoner to the nearest gaol as soon as possible. They were also used for correction and punishment for minor offences.. There is no record of when the stocks at Rainow, situated near the Institute, were constructed.

A gravestone in the graveyard at Prestbury bears the inscription:-'here resteth the body of Edward Green late of Adlington, who departed this life Feb. ye 27th 1750 aged 28 years.

Beneath this stone lies Edward Green
Who for cutting stone famous was seen
But he was sent to apprehend
One Joseph Clarke of Kerridge End
For stealing Deer of Esquire Downes
Where He was shott and died o'the wounds'.

From this, it would appear that as well as being a stone mason, he also acted as a constable. Clarke was arrested 5 years after the murder and hanged at Chester. Joseph Clarke is recorded as outlaw and Highway-man. In 1745 when the young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charles, and his army were leaving Macclesfield, one of his men wished to buy a cap.

He asked a man, who, unlucky for him, was Joseph Clarke where he could buy a cap. Clarke took him to a shop close by the Angel Hotel in the market place. When the highlander produced his money, Clarke snatched the man's dirk and stabbed him and escaped by running through the Angel Hotel. The man died from his wounds and his comrades threatened to burn down the town unless Clarke was handed over. When he could not be found, the highlanders took the landlord of the Angel and the master of a house adjoining as hostages.

JAMES MELLOR Jnr. HOUGH HOLE HOUSE

Born at Blue Boar Farm Dec. 1796, went to live,with his family, at Hough Hole House in 1797. He learnt to read and write at a very early age and was the first to teach reading and writing at Rainow Sunday School when he was only 13. Later he took an active part in the running of Hough Hole Mill and used to travel by coach to Liverpool and Manchester, buying and selling cotton. His travelling companion was Mr. Astle of John and George Astle who built the mill at Lord St., Bollington. Although not teetotal he was a very temperate man carrying with him as his only refreshment on his journeys a 4 drachm bottle of gin and water. Like his father he was a staunch Methodist and farmer, stonemason and builder. At the age of 22 for a period of 7 years he became School Superindent followed by two further periods of 7 years each. When his father died in 1828 he cut and inscribed a stone monument in his memory. It consists of a stone slab approx. 4' x 2' x 3" laid flat on a stone pedestal about 3' 6" high and inscribed with details of his father's life. In order that it could be read in different positions a pivot was fitted to turn the slab as required. Just after the death of his father, James Mellor and his mother became readers of Swedenborg with increasing interest until their deaths. Emmanuel Swedenborg 1688-1772, Swedish scientist and engineer at the age of 45 claimed to have received revelations from God on which he based his doctrines. These were accepted by large numbers of people.

After the death of his mother, James cut and inscribed a stone slab in her memory and placed it next to his father's monument in front of the house at Hough Hole. Part of the inscription reads that during the early part of her life she attended Christ Church Macclesfield and the preacher was the Rev. David Simpson. Also although she lived upwards of 5 miles away she was absent from morning and afternoon services only once in 7 years and was never late. The slab has been removed and its whereabouts not known.

Retiring from business at an early age, James devoted his time to preaching gardening and generally doing what good he could for other people. He made the present gardens at the rear of the house, through which runs the stream from Gin Clough, planting a great quantity of flowering plants and a great variety of trees and shrubs. He laid the stone flagged paths, made flights of stone steps where necessary and made a pond complete with weir, sluice and paddle and fed by the stream which he controlled by building a low stone wall along either side. On the embankment of the pond, he built a half glass summer house and a stone shed on the side of the stream. On the back wall of the shed is a stone slab approx 8' x 16" wide inscribed with remarks by Robert Roberts the preacher. The inscription ends "cut in 9 days James Mellor 1844". He called the shed Uncle Tom's Cabin, the summer house "Bethel" the stream "River Jordan" and the pond "Pool of Siloam". He inscribed numerous texts from the Bible and some he composed himself and placed them in his garden. His favourite text and one most found was "Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might". He extended the house over the stream, built a conservatory in front in which he planted a vine, and installed an organ in his bedroom worked by water power from the stream. Later he installed a hand printing press, purchased a box of type and published his own writings. 15 years before his death, he printed his own funeral service and expressed the wish "it be read by a woman after his decease".

In the NW corner of the garden he built a chapel adjoining the farm outbuildings. An outside circular flight of stone steps leads to an upper room. Over the door an inscription reads "With all thy getting get under-standing 1844". Adjacent to the chapel he made a burial ground and cut and inscribed tombstones for himself and members of the family who predeceased him. His own tombstone is four sided. On one side he cut
an inscription in his own memory leaving a blank space for the date of his death. The inscription was completed after he died and reads:

In memory of James Mellor
Who departed this life Sep 14th 1891
When I can no longer speak
Let this stone speak for me
And say live nearer to God
Carefully read this word and the
Writings of Swedenborg, you will
See their harmony and you will
Behold wonderful things.

The other three sides are each in memory of his mother 1764-1839 and two of his sisters Rachel 1801-1836 and Ann 18034855. Another stone is in memory of his brother William 1809-1881.

For the last 50 years of his life his garden which he called "Garden of correspondence relating to things of this world and Scriptural History" became famous far and wide and was visited by thousands of people.
He was ever ready to answer questions and loved an appreciative audience.

With few exceptions he held services every Sunday afternoon either in the house'or at the Chapel, at times to large congregations. His teaching partook rather of general Christian principles than of the advocacy of any particular creed and so was regarded as a good and upright man, his words worth hearing.

In 1885 he severed all connections with the Sunday School. He remained a bachelor all his life and for the last 30 years was a vegetarian. He was the first to-introduce tea parties to this part of the country. The teetotalers were unable to find a room in the village so he offered them a room in his house free of charge and gave a tea party. This was a great success and repeated for some years, afterwards at the National School. From here tea parties spread far and wide.

At one time it was proposed to build a road from Rainow to Bollington and a few meetings were held. Although Mr.. Mellor offered to give the land and necessary stone for the road over his estate and added if any person could prove to him he should do more, he would gladly do so, nothing came of the proposition.

In the early days of the parish, a large speaking trumpet was used to make important announcements from Kerridge Hill.. The trumpet, a very powerful instrument, could be heard a long distance. Its use became abused by some people making scurrilous remarks and spreading scandal with the result somebody threw it down one of the shafts on Kerridge. Mr. Mellor heard of this, paid a man to retrieve it and kept it at his house. He also cut, inscribed and fixed the original stone in Ewrin Lane below Buxter Stoops recording the death during a snowstorm of John Turner. The inscription reads:-

Here John Turner
was cast away
in a heavy snow
storm in the night
in or about the year
1735
The print of a woman's shoe
was found by his side
where he lay dead.

The original stone has been replaced by the present one on which the date 1755 is incorrect. John Turner aged 29 ran pack horse team and was the son of Richard Turner, Saltersford Hall, a trustee of Jenkin Chapel and uncle of James Mellor's mother.

The following account is by Mrs. W.A.Mellor, Manchester, and printed in the Manchester City News 1922 as told to him by his great uncle, James Mellor:
        `John Turner who ran a pack horse team was making for his home at Saltersford Hall on Christmas Eve. His last stopping place was at Bollington and notwithstanding all entreaties to stay the night, as a terrible snowstorm was raging, he insisted on pushing on remarking that his folks would be waiting and he had never failed to get through. He set his face to the hills and that was the last seen of him alive. Next morning a search party went out from his home and a little more than half a mile the leading horse was discovered under the snow on the sheltered side of the road. The remainder were strung out behind at various intervals all alive. A little further and they found the owner dead. The print of the woman's shoe Mr. James Mellor never made any attempt to explain'.

The bells of the pack horses eventually came into the possession of James Mellor with the exception of the bell of the leading horse. This bell went to Harrop House where it hung in a tree a number of years and used to summon the farmworkers for their meals etc.

Mr. Mellor preached his last sermon on July 19th two months before his death. The funeral service was held in his room by the Rev. H. Cameron Swedenborgian Minister, Le Broughton, Manchester. At a service in the chapel the following Sunday afternoon his funeral sermon was read by his niece Miss S.M.Mellor. Shortly after his death; Hough Hole House was made into a private residence and the small farm house close by substituted and the farm let to a tenant.

For a number of years descendants of his brother, William, lived at the house and were the first people in the village to have a car, also a chauffeur. The whereabouts of the trumpet and pack horse bells are not known, but it is thought the Mellors took them away when they left the house.

Hough Hole House was eventually sold to its present owner and Blue Boar sold to Mr. F. Unwin in 1927.
The following verses were written as a tribute to James Mellor by Mr. Samuel Wright, Shrigley Road, Bollington 1879

A Good Man and His Home

In a low vale at yonder mountains base
There may be seen a little lovely place
Laid out with taste, at no little cost
Which makes it look the Eden we had lost

In every nook and corner we can find
Something to please or gratify the mind
Or raise our thoughts from transient scenes below
To higher pleasures which for ever flow.

Here, there are flowers of almost every hue,
The vine, the fig tree and the cypress too
A little streamlet through the centre flows
Upon whose bank the pliant willow grows

The ripening fruits which hang upon the trees
And the sweet odours borne upon the breeze
The pleasant walks with here and there a chair
Make it indeed delightful to be there

But what would more the thoughtful mind engage
Are the wise counsels of an aged sage
Who long has dwelt in this serene abode,
At peace with all men and himself and God.

Ah, here he lives, a man of faith and prayer
And one who can with human frailties bear
In conversation he is kind and free
And unassuming to the last degree.

And on the Sabbath, that sweet day of rest,
What holy feelings animate his breast
The people come from neighbouring places round
That he to them the Scriptures may expound

Careless of wealth and its attendant strife
And free from all the anxious cares of life
His soul expires in ecstasies of love,
To that sweet home awaiting him above.

Here he has studied nature's volumes o'er
And skilled is he in scientific lore
The works of art he's practised with much care
And his attainments are both great and rare.

In those vast orbs which move through endless space
And in the smallest atom we can trace
He sees a power Eternal and Divine
Which makes those planets round their orbits shine

And he has now acquired a wide spread fame
For doing good which is his end and aim
But ah! his days are dwindling to a span
And we may lose this truly Christian man

Counting the days, the end he does not fear
Because he would not always linger here
If death should come he's willing now to go
Or longer stay that he more seed may sow.

Seed which may grow and yield an hundredfold
Of righteous fruits more precious far than gold
And with the Holy Spirit's promised aid
The good may be to hundreds more conveyed.

Then let us not this good man's words despise
But learn of him to be doth good and wise
And may we seek and seeking may we find,
Eternal truth on which to rest the mind.


Shopkeepers etc.

Macclesfield Directory 1825:-
James Collier: Shopkeeper dealer in Cotton and Silk Thomas Gaskell Shoemaker
John Liversey Shopkeeper
Ed Pownall Shoemaker and 1850

White & Co. Directory 1860
Benjamin Barber Grocer and 1874
John Barber Shoemaker
Joseph Barber Grocer Kerridge End and 1874
John Bradley Shoemaker and 1874
Thos. Cooper Shopkeeper
William Gardiner Shopkeeper
Joseph Mottram Shopkeeper

Morris & Co. Directory 1874
Mrs. Sarah Cooper Shopkeeper
Robert Green Hough Potato Dealer Rainow Lowe
Joseph Wainwright Shoemaker
James Whiston Shoemaker

Miscellaneous
1825
William Barlow Sawyer
William Cophney Silk Weaver
Alexander Cophney Silk Weaver
James Deakin Toll Bar Collector
John Richards Silk Weaver
Daniel Roe Stone Dealer
Thomas Rowbotham Sawyer
William Worsley Silk Weaver

1850
Thomas Broadhead Stone Merchant Rainow Lowe
James Cockroft Plumber Horse and Jockey
Peter Gaskell Stone Merchant
Moses Bradley Butcher
John Ollinshead Blacksmith rear of Institute now demolished
Also 1860-1869 Ainsworth and Chappell Coal Masters Hawkins Lane
Thomas Broadhead Stone Merchant Rainow Lowe
Thomas Burgess Police Officer and Toll Bar Hawkins Lane
Thomas Cooke Stone Merchant
George Dudley Waste Dealer Hawkins Lane
Samuel Hawkes Builder
Johnson and Smith Coal Masters
Henry Lomas Bobbin Turner
George Sutton Stone Merchant Hawkins Lane
William Cooper Tailor
Barnie Currie Parish Clerk
William Hibbert Surgeon

1874
Samuel Oakes Builder
Mark Batty Police Officer
David Brocklehurst Hawker
James Broadhead Cattle Dealer Lower Cottage
Samuel Mottram Tailor
James Orme Grocer Provision Dealer and Farmer Brookhouse
John Sutton Builder and Farmer Tower Hill
James Wainwright Cattle Dealer and Farmer
Richard Wainwright Cattle Dealer and Farmer Blue Boar
Nathan Walker Farmer and Turn Pike Surveyor. Lamaload Farm
Ezekiel Wood Coal Dealer and Farmer Rainow Lowe
William Smith Coal Proprietor and Farmer Brink Farm Charleshead

1850 James Gaskell Schoolmaster National School
            Thomas Serpill Parochial School
1860 Frederick Joule Parochial School
1874 Frederick Joule Parochial School
            Miss Sarah Harding National School.

PUBLIC HOUSES

1812 The Patch..Richard Longden owner, old and well-established public house
1815 Windyway Public House..George Preston
1822- An advertisement of sale of Gin Clough Farm. Messuage with stable and Blacksmith Shop adjoining occupied by James Orme and Joseph Longden, formerly used as a public house.. Also cottage and mill opposite.
1825
Robin Hood and Little John
... Joshua Ainsworth
Greyhound.. Amos Booth also butcher
Plough.. Joseph Bradbury
Horse Shoe.. Thomas Clarke also blacksmith
Horse and Jockey.. Francis Dean
Horse Shoe.. Jacob Lomas (Directory of Macclesfield)
1834
The Sign of the Dog
.. Williams Heald
Black Greyhound... William Oldham
Tinkers Arms.. Richard Longden
Horse and Jockey.. Francis Dean
Horse Shoe.. Edward Pownall
Robin Hood.. Joshua Ainsworth Plough.. Jane Rees
Sun.. Edward Pownall,
Pigot and Co. Directory

1840 Writing about Saltersford in Osbornes Sketch of the Parish of Prestbury as follows" Saltersford in this township of Rainow lying in a valley approached by a strip lane from Chapel en le Frith road by the Blue Boar Inn".

1850
Black Greyhound.. Thomas Bailey
Horse and Jockey.. James Cockcroft
Horse Shoe.. Richard Longden
Dog and Partridge.. William Hayes
Robin Hood.. John Yarwood
Plough Inn.. Richard Hellewell
Sun Inn.. John Bayley
New Inn.. Charles Pickford
Beerhouse.. Thomas Stubbs (Bagshawes Directory)

1860
Dog & Partridge.. John Warren
Plough.. Hannah Helliwell
Robin Hood.. James Jodrell
Horse and Jockey.. John Sheldon
New Inn.. Richard Warren
Three Loggerheads.. John Bayley
Beerhouse James Brocklehurst (Whites History and Directory 1860)

1874
Blacksmiths Arms.. James Trueman
Plough.. John Johnson
Rising Sun.. John Trafford
Robin Hood.. Thos. Wainwright
Horse and Jockey Edward Unwin Beer Retailer

Beer Retailer.. Elizabeth Stubbs Farmer Hedge Row
New Inn Farm... Buxton Road (Morris & Co. Gazetteer)

Hedge Row Farm Elizabeth Stubbs later Public House Quiet Woman now Cheshire Hunt.

The Patch.. one of the Horse Shoes, Tinkers Arms and Blacksmiths Arms although missed out in 1860 are all the Highwayman today.
The other Horse Shoe not able to trace.
Greyhound and Black Greyhound, the cottage opposite Brookhouse Farm.
Plough now a private house called Plowden at Brookhouse.
Horse and Jockey now a private house in Church Lane.
Dog and Partridge is the Setter Dog at Walker Barn.
A cottage in Church Row, Church Lane was supposed to be the Beerhouse.
The Sun and the Three Loggerheads are the Rising Sun today. When it was called the Three Loggerheads a sign depicting two ragamuffin type of men with the words "We three loggerheads be". Presumably the reader was meant to be the third.
Up to approx 1930 the Robin Hood had a sign with the words:
    My ale is fine my Spirits good
    So stop and drink with Robin Hood
    If Robin Hood is not at home
    Stop and drink with Little John.

INGERSLEY HALL AND WHITE NANCY

In 1768 John Gaskell, Tower Hill House, Rainow, bought 5 farms in the vicinity of Sowcar one of which was Ingersley Farm. Close by the latter he built the first part of Ingersley Hall but never resided there. When he died in 1824 his son, Thomas, left Tower Hill and went to the Hall. When Thomas died in1830 he was succeeded by his son John Upton Gaskell.

A plan of the Hall and outbuildings dated 1833 shows large number of pig-cotes. Super-imposed on the plan is a drawing showing the proposed alterations and the demolition of a large number of the cotes and part of the Hall. The present spacious outbuildings were built by John Upton Gaskell in 1853, 1856, 1858 and 1859. On his death in 1883 he was succeeded by his daughter Miss Ann Theodora Gaskell and when she died in 1923 the whole of the estate including Tower Hill house, was sold to various purchasers.

Before White Nancy was built, the site was occupied by a beacon described by Marriott in his work on the Antiquities of Lyme 1810, as a small rotunda of brick. These beacons were erected on high points all over England in which fires could be lit to warn people of invasion. The exact date of the erection of White Nancy is not known, but the following dates it before 1824. In a letter to Mr. Walter Smith in 1921 Miss Gaskell wrote:-
'My great grandfather caused the sugar loaf of White Nancy to be built in remembrance of the Battle of Waterloo (1815) and it took eight horses to drag up the slab for the table inside'. It was whitewashed from its erection but there is no authentic record why it was called Nancy. Several reasons are given:-
1. Suggested that Nancy was a play on the word `ordnance' alluding to the ordnance beacon previously on the site.
2. Nancy the name of the leading horse of the team which dragged the stone up the hill.
3. Nancy Gaskell of Rainow died 1827 aged 86, had a daughter Nancy who died in 1829 aged 58 and that horse and building were called after the two ladies.
4. John Gaskell ordered a man, named Dod, uncle of Joseph Wetton quarry owner, to build a beacon on Kerridge. Upon its completion, the squire brought a bottle of brandy and a glass and told Dod to christen the building. After  drinking a glass of brandy, Dod remembering the Squires wife, broke out with:
    `heres to the mountain of Nancy
    Thats built upon Ingersley Hill
    Here's good health, weather and fancy
    And give Dod another gill'.
The one thing wrong with the above is that John Gaskell's wife was named Elizabeth and his son Thomas's wife, Mary.

When it was built, it had a black iron studded door overlooking Bollington and inside were stone benches round the wall with a round stone table on a stone pedestal in the centre. The door was always q loose so people could sit and was often used for picnic parties.

For over 100 years it remained undamaged until vandals broke the table and benches and removed a stone ball from the top., The doorway was built up and the present ball worked by Mr. J. Cooper, Kerridge.

During the late 1960s the building again became the target for vandals who repeatedly daubed it with various colours of paint and defaced the outside. The damage was repaired and at the present time, it is once more White Nancy. The boundary dividing Rainow and Bollington joins the building on opposite sides placing White Nancy in both parishes.

 

THE GASKELL FAMILY

  Thomas Gaskell   
     




                                        _______________ 
John Gaskell of Ingersley
(married daughter of John Brocklehurst who
bought Tower Hill House in 1709, which passed
into Gaskell family by the above marriage) 
_____________________________________




________                       
     
John Gaskell (1743-1824) aged 81
first Tower Hill later Ingersley  
  Francis of Sowcar
 (1748-1813) 65 years
     
Thomas Gaskell (1769-1830) (61)
married Mary Upton
first Tower Hill, on death of father
                              to Ingersley ________



_____________________________________ 



________                        
     
John Upton Gaskell (1804.1883)(79) 
married Grimshaw of Errwood Hall
                                       _______________


___________________                                                 
Several daughters and 
another son Richard of
Tower Hil
     
Ann Theodora Gaskell
(spinster)
1844-1923 (79)
 John Francis Upton Gaskell
 died 1929
 
     

THE WARD FAMILY

At Jenkin Chapel there are four graves next to each other, all of a family of Ward. One is the grave of Joshua Ward born at old Blue Boar (originally called Blew Bore) in 1763, died 1818. When he grew up, he combined building and farming and lived at several farms in Saltersford. About 1787 he joined the local.Wesleyan Methodists and became a class leader at lower Hooley Hey.

Joshua had a son John who in the same year as his father died, married Betty Potts of Harrop and went to live at Higher Lane Farm. Besides farming, he was also an expert builder and stone mason. After a few years he went to Higher Bull Hill Farm and worked the quarry there (now filled in).

In 1825-27 Telford was surveying the land for the Macclesfield Canal and John obtained contracts for supplying dressed stone blocks for the aqueducts and locks etc. In 1829 he went to live at Buglawton where he opened a quarry which he called Under Rainow and became foreman of the bridge builders of the canal. This included the twenty arches aqueduct over the Dane at North Rode and the aqueduct at Bollington. Over 2,000 men were employed on the twenty arches and they were paid 2d per hour for a 50 hour week. John was a powerfully built man of 6' 5½" and rode on horeseback to the various sites, personally settling any fights that broke out amongst the labourers, many of whom were Irish. He also trained unskilled men to dress stone by giving them a block of stone, mallet and chisel and telling them to make a trough. Stone troughs were in general use and had a ready sale, and are still in use to-day. In 1847, he made a contract with Messrs. Thomas Brassey & Co. to supply the stone and erect certain bridges and works for the North Staffordshire Railway between Dane viaduct and Park Lane and to supply and dress the stone for the ten arches viaduct between North Rode aud Congleton. An uncle, Joseph, born at Blue Boar 1765 helped him with his building and farming. Joseph died aged 90 and is buried in one of the four graves at Jenkin. He had three wives all from Rainow, two of whom were buried at Jenkin. His second wife, Sarah born 1799 was the eldest daughter of James Mellor who built Billinge Chapel.

The above was taken from a series of articles written by Miss Edith Ward J.P. of Congleton who is a descendant of Joshua Ward.

ROADS

Macclesfield to Chapel en le Frith Road ....

This road which runs NE from Macclesfield was constructed as a Turnpike Road in 1770 from Macclesfield to Whaley Bridge and the length from Whaley Bridge to Chapel en le Frith in 1727.

The Romans had established a number of roads which, with a few additions, remained the basic road system of communications throughout the following centuries. With the end of the Roman period the art of making roads and maintaining them was lost, and they became increasingly bad. At first the maintenance of the roads was the responsibility of the landowners, then later the parishes through which the roads ran. This system was unpopular and hopelessly neglected and the roads in winter were often quagmires where loaded pack horses sank up to their girth and in later years wagons and carts got bogged down and could not be moved. These conditions applied to all the roads including those made by pack horse teams linking the older roads until the late 18th century. Packhorse teams were the main form of transport until during the 18th century. These teams varied in size from half a dozen or so upwards. An example of the size of some of the teams is given in the account of the present firm of Pickford Carriers which was founded in 1646 by Thomas Pickford of Poynton, Cheshire. He began the business by supplying the Cavaliers with horses during the Civil War.. After the war he obtained contracts for carrying stone etc. for the roads in the Macclesfield area. For this he used teams of up to 50 packhorses which were only replaced with wagons in the 18th century by a descendant Matthew Pickford.

To combat the had state of the roads Turnpike Trusts were created. These Trusts in return for making and maintaining certain roads, were given powers by Act of Parliament to erect Toll Bars and charge road users fees for the use of the road. Although these Trusts improved the roads it was not until Macadam invented the broken stone system in the beginning of the 19th century that the roads greatly improved. With two exceptions the Turnpike road through the parish of Rainow was made along the line of the old road, already mentioned, which was widened,straightened and raised in various places to take out dips. The two exceptions are:-
        1. At Harrop the old road went almost straight at the junction of the farm road leading to the two Harrop Fold farms with the present main road and across the valley up to Charleshead where it crossed the present road to continue a short distance along the road to Charleshead Farm and then down the hill to the present road at the bottom of the hill. The route of the old road is easily traced today.
        2.This exception is more difficult to determine. It is usually thought that the old road at Higher Hurdsfield went down Well Lane and round by Swanscoe to Plunge Brook and the present Cester Brow (1844) road. Mr. Walter Smith considered that most probably the road came up the hollow from Well Lane to Plunge Brook and then up the hollow to Kerridge End, the only part of this length made in 1770 being Cesta Brow. The length of the road from the top of Well Lane to Plunge Brook was made in 1832 and is still known as the New Road.

Toll Bars for collecting tolls were made at Hurdsfield, Rainow and Fernilee. The one at Rainow was the house almost opposite the car park at the Rising Sun, Hawkins Lane. Instead of a wooden bar, a chain across the road at Rainow was used.

The old Buxton to Macclesfield road was made a Turnpike road in 1758 and the new Buxton to Macclesfield road was built as a turnpike in 1821. Toll bars were at Walker Barn, Black Road and the Cat and Fiddle.

Turnpike roads came to be used as main roads which led, as far as Rainow was concerned, to the gradual disuse of the old Roman or packhorse roads through Rainow.

When the County Councils were formed in 1888 they took over the responsibility for maintaining the turnpike roads.

Toll Bar receipts for Macclesfield to Chapel en le Frith road for 1825/6 totalled 580.

CHURCHES IN RAINOW

Jenkin Chapel, Rainow

Jenkin Chapel, Saltersford....Jenkin Chapel is situated at the corner of the Forest Road above Saltersford Hall where it turns for Pym Chair, and was built by voluntary contributions in 1733. The district derives its name from a farmer named Jenkin. It is built with the local grit stone and has a saddle back roof, a tower and an outside flight of stone steps leading to a gallery. When built it was erected without the tower which was added in 1754-55. The site when chosen was thought to be common land, but after the chapel was built a hitch occured. Mr. James Stopford, whose descendants became Earls of Courtown, claimed the ground and this resulted in a Law Suit. This terminated in 1739 when James Stopford sold the land and the Chapel became 'free'. The land was vested in three Trustees and the Deed was enrolled in the Court of Chancery 1 August 1739. The trustees were Richard Oakes of Saltersford, Richard Turner of Saltersford Hall, and John Slack of the Dunge, Kettleshulme. The Chapel was then dedicated to St. John the Baptist but it was not consecrated until 1894 when it was re-dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. The wording of the Consecration deed reads; `This Chapel or edifice intended for a chapel was many years since erected and built at the sole expense and with the voluntary contributions of the ancestors of several inhabitants of Saltersford upon a piece or parcel of land near Jenkin Cross in Saltersford'. This proves Earwaker wrong when writing about it in 1880 he describes it as "simply a cottage having a small tower." The record of the building account for the tower discloses that the men worked 14 hours a day in the autumn and 16 hours a day in the summer in some cases for ld per hour. One item is "to Mr. Jnr. Slack for the Bible being bound 4/- ".

A contribution towards the cost was levied on the holders of houses in Saltersford, a total of 22, all small farmers. Also collections were made by Edmund Pott of Charleshead 8/-, Richard Turner and John Slack 7/8d between them. The names of the farmers were:-

John Brocklehurst   11 - 0   Turners of Ye Hall  1-  - 7½d 
Robert Claton   5 - 7½  Edward Lomass  11 - 3 
Edmond Pott 7.6  7 - 6  Widdow Oakes  3 - 9
Richard Brawster 5 - 3  Peter Lowe  10 - 6 
Uriah Dain  5 - 6  Richard Turner  9 - 4 
John Rige  6 - 0  John & Robert Latham  11.0 
James Rige  1 - 0  Francis Gaskill   2 - 7 
 William Etchells 7 - 6  Edward Cooke  3 - 0 
Edward Turner  5 - 3   Edward Claton  3 - 9 
Hennery Kirke   5 - 0  George Claton  2 - 6 
William Cooper  3 - 0  Rev. Mayers gave  10 - 6 
John Williamson 1 - 6      

Here is an example of the number of hours worked per day:-
October 22nd 1754 working at Chapel by ye day: John Clayton ld at stares 14 Is. 2d.
Nov 23 at stares ld is. 2d.
June 15 John Einsworth at Stone Pit id. Is. 4d.., James Needem ld at stares 1s. 4d.

In the tower wall above the porch, are two stones with the following inscriptions: The upper stone reads
'S', John Bap is free Chapel was June the 24th 1733 erected'
and the lower
`at John Slack's expence in 39 made sacred for the worship of Almighty God'.
 The upper is a replacement of two original stones just above and the word `erected' was on the lower stone. The reason for the replacement was because the original inscription had almost been erased and barely readable. The word `erected' on the lower stone has only two or three letters barely discernible and some of the others have been damaged. The defacement was done by people who resented the implication that the Chapel had been built at John Slack's expense. In the floor of the chancel are three gravestones all of Turners. One is that of the trustee Richard Turner of Saltersford Hall aged 60 years and part of the inscription reads `the first body to be buried in this yard 1748. The first marriage to be solemnised at the Chapel was in 1736 between John Clayton and Elizabeth Ashton, both of Saltersford. The marriage was registered at Taxal. When the ancient Parish of Prestbury, which along with others, included Rainow and Kettleshulme, Saltersford was joined with Kettleshulme until in 1921, when it was joined with Rainow and the parish became Rainow with Saltersford.. Services were held, weather permitting, every Sunday afternoon. The first incumbent was Rev. Charles Hadfield and two others were Rev. John H.. Stamper, 1860 and Alfred Nelson Butterworth, 1874.

Prior to the present portable harmonium, the singing at the services was lead by a small string orchestra. Since 1921, the vicar of Rainow has taken the services etc. and marriages are solemnised at Rainow., Burials and baptisms are still conducted at the Chapel... The following documents were sent to Chester:-
1. Vol. Register of marriage from 1865 which includes union of Parish 1921
2. Vol register of burials from 1813.
3. 2 documents Consecration Petition and Sentence.

Services are still held, with evensong or communion at 3.00 p.m. on alternate Sundays, between Easter and Christmas.. The annual harvest thanksgiving in September is the main event of the year, when hundreds of people sit in the churchyard for the service, which is held in the open air when the weather is good enough.

Rainow Holy Trinity Church....

Foundations of the old Episcopal Chapel are under the first and second houses in Chapel Lane,, so called because it was a chapel of ease, not a church. A record in Osborne's sketch of the Parish of Prestbury 1840 reads:- "the Chapel, still inconsecrated but rebuild in 1700 is a plain building containing accommodation for 200 persons".. As far as can be ascertained, there are no other records of when it was built, or photographs. The first incumbent was Hugh Lowndes in 1748.. In the archives of the present church there is a copy of a request to the Bishop of Chester for consecration of the Chapel on the grounds that it is warranted by the size of the population of upwards of 2,000 and dated 1783. This figure would appear to be somewhat of an exaggeration. The request is from thestonegetters, colliers and husbandmen of Rainow. An offer to increase the stipend of the incumbent, S. Buckley, is also made. To avoid a rate being imposed on the people of the Parish the following people offered to pay rent for pews:-
Mrs. Elizabeth Brabin 3 pews 12 seats @ 2/- per annum 24/-
Mr. Jasper Hulley 3 pews 12 seats @ 2/- per annum 24/-
Mr. John Massie 3 pews 12 seats @ 2/- per annum 24/-
Misses.Swetenham 1 pew 4 seats @ 2/- per annum 8/-
and so increasing the stipend from 12 to 16 per annum.. The request was not granted.

The Chapel was demolished in 1844 two years before the present church was built, and the site made into a graveyard. Rainow at that time was in the ancient Parish of Prestbury, and because the Chapel was never consecrated people had to go to Prestbury to be married. Also, people were buried there. The Register of Baptisms begins in 1761 and a register of burials in 1815, when a few people were buried around the chapel before it was demolished. The incumbent at that time was George Harrison 1843-74 and it was he who made the copy of the request for consecration. On the copy, he made a note concerning the fate of the bell which had the date 1724 on it. He says that because the bell at Jenkin was cracked, the Chapel bell and Jenkin bell were melted down and a new one cast for Jenkin. This explains why there is no date on Jenkin Bell because most records state that the Rainow Bell was sent to Jenkin to replace the cracked one.

Four of the graves in front of the Lady Chapel at St. Michaels Church Macclesfield, are of Rainow people, three being side by side. One of these is a family of Andrews of Rainow with seven names on the stone, from 1739-67. The other two are also Rainow people. The fourth gravestone is a little further away and is T. Taylor 1769 of Rainow. At the side of the Chapel are three more gravestones all of Clarkes of Rainow, one a blacksmith, ranging from 1801-1816. On the other side of the yard, now covered with earth and planted with trees, are or were graves of two families from Lamaload, over a period of 150 years.

In 1846 the present Holy Trinity Church, Rainow, was built at the cost of 1800 of which 1000 was raised by voluntary contributions and the remainder from grants of Church Building Societies. The Church was
consecrated in 1846 and the marriage register also begins the same year. The land for the Church and graveyard was given by Joseph Harding who owned Pedley Hill Farm.

When the site for the church was levelled, the soil was deposited on the South and West sides, presumably to dispose of it and also to make the yard less steep. A retaining wall was built along the Turnpike road and up the field. The Church was built by John Mellor of Kerridge End, Rainow and the architect was Samuel Howard of Disley.

In 1952 a further plot of land to extend the graveyard was given by Mrs. Harriet Etchells in memory of her husband Albert and her son, Ernest, who was killed in an accident aged 15 years.

The Old Vicarage, Mill Brook....When the church was built the current incumbent, the Rev. George Harrison, became the first vicar of Rainow and the old vicarage purchased. Prior to this, there is no record of any house for the incumbent in the village. At that time, the two present properties of the Old Vicarage and Pedley House were one and called Spout Bank Gate and were included in the deeds of Pedley Hill Farm. The oldest deed is a tithe deed in 1732. In the will of 1827 of Samuel Harding, Spout Bank Gate is described as messuages (houses with land
adjoining) and outbuildings, and Pedley Hill farm with outbuildings and cottages. The will shows that the properties were first owned by Margaret Livesley and then her son Thomas, who sold them to Joseph Harding, uncle of Samuel Harding. The datestone 1762, with the initials JH was found on a wall during recent alterations at Pedley House and built into the wall of the house. Samuel Harding bequeathed the properties to his son Joseph Harding. At that time, 1827, they were let to tenants. In 1847, Joseph Harding sold the Old Vicarage to the Governors of the Queen Anne Bounty for 310 ,whilst he lived at Pedley Fold Cottage, with Harriet Harding and Thomas Clayton in the cottages on either side.

In 1851 Pedley House was sold to Thomas Grimditch, tenant Samuel Joule, along with Pedley Hill farm and cottages. Pedley House was purchased in 1864 by Mr. Stephen Sheldon in whose family it has remained, and later Pedley farm was purchased by Miss Gaskell of Ingersley Hall. At a later date the old Vicarage had another storey added. This was done to accommodate the large family of a later Vicar. Later in 1947 the old Vicarage was felt to be too large and decrepit, so a house was purchased in Hawkins Lane. In 1958 the present Vicarage was built, adjoining the Church.

Rainow Wesleyan Chapel....At Billinge Head Farm a James Mellor was born in 1753, who, when he grew up combined building with farming. At the age of 16 he became a fervent Primitive Methodist and a great friend of Robert Roberts, one of the first travelling preachers to hold open-air meetings in the district. After a site at Oaken Bank had been rejected, James Mellor built a Methodist Chapel on Billinge Brow in 1781 with a cottage and a stable for the preacher's horse. For a number of years he owned the Chapel and charged 6d. per quarter for seats in the front of the loft and 4d. per quarter elsewhere. He also preached regularly at the Chapel concurrently with the travelling preachers, he later sold it to the Methodist Society. It was from here that Methodism spread all ove the surrounding district and Chapels were built at Bollington, Kettleshulme (1810) and Rainow (1808).

The Chapel was then closed and sold and turned into cottages. The proceeds were divided between Bollington and Rainow and the chandelier for candles went to Rainow. Before this, James Mellor had married Mary Turner, granddaughter of Richard Turner, trustee of Jenkin Chapel and resided at Blue Boar farm which he had bought.
The Chapel at Rainow was built on the site of the present Chapel. An old Rainow family has a photograph of a drawing of this Chapel which shows it to be plain stone house type building with the chapel house attached. The plain cottage type door is at the end next to the house and both have small paned Georgian windows. The present grave-yard is shown above the Chapel with iron railings round it. It was demolished when the present Chapel was built in 1878. The chapel house is now opposite the graveyard. Adjoining this house is a small graveyard.

Walker Barn Wesleyan Chapel Built in 1863, it was also used as a Sunday and Day School for a number of years. Services are held on Sunday evenings.

John Wesley....John Wesley first preached in Macclesfield district in 1747 at the house of Mary Annersley, Shrigley Fold, Rainow (now Higher Hurdsfield) where he was heard by George Pearson, wealthy silk manufacturer of Waters Green, Macclesfield. Pearson later travelled to Manchester to hear Wesley when he persuaded him to visit Macclesfield. Wesley agreed and preached at an open-air meeting in front of Pearson's house (now the Queens Hotel), Waters Green and later became a personal friend of Charles Roe and David Simpson. During the years 1777-1783 Wesley preached several times in the evening at Christ Church at the invitation of Charles Roe and David Simpson. Another personal friend was John Clulow, solicitor of Park Green, later Town Clerk, who drew up his Will.

EDUCATION

The Institute....was built in 1807 (White's 1860 Directory) by voluntary subscriptions for a Sunday school which included teaching reading and writing. (Due to deterioration over the years, the date on the datestone has been obliterated). Later, in conjunction with the Sunday school, it became a Parochial Day school when school pence had to be paid. It was enlarged and improved by voluntary subscription in 1850.

The National Day and Sunday School.... was built by voluntary subscription in 1842 to replace a school connected with the Episcopal Chapel. (The date and site of this school have not been traced). The sanction for the present school was granted to satisfy popular demand, and a number of bitter complaints were made by the Minister, the Rev. William Parks, about the lack of size and other amenities of the existing school compared with the Parochial School. School pence were also paid at the National School. The plans show that a three-storey building was originally planned:- the ground floor for living quarters for the school-master, the first floor for boys and the second floor for girls. The entrance to the school rooms was by a path from the road along the south end of the school to a yard at the rear from which stairs led to the school rooms. also used as a Sunday The plans for the school-master's quarters were adhered to and for a number of years the master resided at the school. Eventually the one schoolroom became too small for the number of scholars. The school-master then went to live at Pedley Fold Cottage and the whole of the building was made into a school. The plans for the school show the land sloping from the road before the Church yard was made.

The Wesleyan School... Towards the end of the last century, it was decided to build a Wesleyan Day and Sunday school. The site of the present school was bought by Mr. James Nixon and some old cottages on the site were demolished and the school built in 1896.

In 1901 the Parochial School became the village Institute. Two full sized billiard tables, one given by Miss Gaskell of Ingersley Hall, were installed and such games as cards, draughts, dominoes etc., were played. Whist Drives were held every Saturday night. These were well attended and very much appreciated as entertainment was very limited in those days. Although the Institute had varying fortunes through the years the utmost endeavour was made to keep up-to-date. Central heating and electric lighting were installed during the middle 1930s and a few years ago a complete modernisation was carried out.

Saltersford School....In compliance with a general demand, a small school was built in approximately 1860, opposite Jenkin Chapel. Classes were held in the evening and school pence were paid. The schoolmaster was Mr. F. Joule of Rainow Parochial School and the school was a great success from its inception. It has been demolished for a good number of years.

School Dinners.... For a number of years prior to 1914, school dinners sponsored by Miss Horsfall of Swanscoe Hall were provided at the Institute. The meals were one course, alternating each day between pea soup, hot pot and apple suet pudding. The charge was ld per basin. Any loss was sustained by Miss Horsfall.

Charities....Mr. Daniel Nixon left a rent charge of 40s per year payable out of the Lamaload estate for 6 poor children to be taught to read and provide books. Mr.. Porter left 20s per year to educate 3 poor children; lls 3d. from Rainow Low, 6s. 4d. from Milkingsteads and 2s. 5d. from Bull Hill Estates. Mr. Clark, in 1613, gave by deed 26s. 8d. per year to the poor payable out of land generally understood to be owned by a Prof. Smyth.

Mr. John Gaskell, Tower Hill, left 20s. per year to Rainow School.
Mr. John Lowe left 50s. per year payable by John Gaskell for bread or cloth to be distributed every Shrove Tuesday to such poor house-keepers who have no pension.
Miss Theodora Gaskell, Ingersley Hall, left 10 per year for coal to be distributed to the poor at Christmas.
Mr. Jasper Hulley, One House, left 10s. per year to the National School.

Millbrook Cottages were originally built for a Poorhouse but date has not been traced. By the style of architecture and records of similar property in the village, it was probably built about the middle of the 18th century and was one of three Poorhouses for Macclesfield and District. Of the other two, one was at Waters Green, now the site of Arighi Bianci's, Commercial Road, Macclesfield and the other at Sutton.

Poorhouses were first instituted in 1601 when a law was passed that each Parish should take care of its aged poor and poor incapable of work, provide work for able bodied poor and apprentice pauper children; that overseers of the poor be appointed with power to levy a rate and build workhouses. When the Macclesfield Workhouse in Prestbury Road, called the Union (now part of West Park Hospital) was built, Rainow Poorhouse was made into the present dwelling houses and eventually sold. A meeting of rate-payers and property owners of Rainow, at Rainow School in 1856 agreed to the sale by the Guardians of the Poor of Macclesfield Union, of the two cottages, formerly the Poorhouse for Rainow. The occupants were John Potts and. John Trunks, rag gatherers. The latter was also the village entertainer, with singing, clog dancing and playing the violin.

OCCUPATIONS

Sketch Map of Industrial Rainow

During the reign of George III (1760-1820) two changes occured which altered the pattern of life in England. The major change was the Industrial Revolution in the early years of his reign and the other was the enclosure of common land some years later. Up to this time industry had been limited to the home, including the rural areas. The invention of machines, especially in the cotton industry, led to the building of mills wherever a suitable supply of water could be found to drive a water wheel. The result was that industry was taken from the home and concentrated in the mills with the exception of some handloom silk weaving.

Prior to this time, as the population grew, quarries had been started on the west side of Kerridge to obtain stone for houses. "Sclatts" from Kerridge were used to repair roofs of the Duke of Buckingham's property in Macclesfield town during the middle years of the 15th Century. As timber for fuel grew scarce, coal mines had been opened on the Cliffs, at Swanscoe and on the east side of Kerridge. These quarries and mines led to the growth of Rainow as a village. A number of cottages, some by date stones and others by their position, can be identified with this period. The dates vary from 1731 (Kerridge End) to 1788. The cottages without datestones are identified by their position well below the level of the road, by which they would appear to have been built before 1770, e.g. the two cottages on Tower Hill and Washpool cottages.

Beginning from the last decade of the 18th century, a number of mills were built over three of the streams that flow through the Parish. These were the Dean and the streams from Common Barn through Gin Clough and the stream from Macclesfield Forest through Brookhouse. The last two streams join the Dean at the foot of Kerridge within 200 yards of each other.

As far as Rainow parish was concerned the enclosure of the common land coincided, more or less, with the building of the mills.. It was probably following an Act of Parliament in 1796 authorising the enclosure of Macclesfield Common, that enclosing land in Rainow began. The first reference traced is in a deed of 1803 of Lower House Farm, concerning the boundaries of an existing mill. The details given are:- `Bounded on the south of his own land, on the west by the common road, on the east by waste or common land and-on the north by common land recently enclosed by him' (John Latham).. Enclosure was done piece-meal, spreading over a number of years, but by 1844 it had been completed.

The part of Kerridge which is in Rainow, was divided between the farms at the foot of the hill, and land at Big Low between the farms around it. The land alloted to each farm was in most cases the land nearest to the farm; e..g. Kerridge with most walls in a straight line down the hill; the south slope of Big Low was divided between Back o'the Crofts, Lowerhouse and Clarke House farms. The share of common land for each farm varied according to the rights each farm had on it. Lower House Farm grew to 52 acres 1 rood 3 perches, while Clarke House grew to 14 acres 2 roods 25 perches.

Most of the small holdings were tenanted by builders, joiners, quarry men and miners, who farmed to supplement their incomes from their various callings.

The population of the Parish in the first census of 1801 was 1,309 but by 1831 had grown to 1,807. The census of 1810 gives the figures: Population 1,595; males 753; females 842; houses inhabited 281, uninhabited 8; families 295.

As the village grew, shops and public houses were opened and small business firms established; also some of the cottages were built with attics from hand loom weaving.. Later a larger and better Church was built and schools established, and for a number of years the Parish as a whole continued to thrive.

Coal Mines....When the coal mines were worked in the Parish of Rainow, two methods were used to bring the coal to the surface. One method was by the circular perpendicular shaft lined with stone, sunk to the coal seam, as used today. The coal was brought to the surface in panniers attached to a rope wound up by hand-winch or gin wheel worked by a donkey. The workers were lowered and raised by the same method. When coal mining first began, the coal was dragged to the shaft along wooden rails in rectangular boxes, called tubs, which held approximately 3 cwts. Later, iron rails were used and iron wheels fitted to the tubs. Until banned by Act of Parliament in 1842, young women and girls were employed in mines to drag the tubs of coal along the tunnels. This was done by an iron chain, one end attached to a leather belt round the waist and the other end fastened to the tub. In many cases the tunnels were only 4' 6" high. Top wages were 7s. a week for a 12 hour day.. Because of this slow and laborious method, more shafts were sunk at intervals to raise the coal as the workings were extended, also others were sunk to supply air to the mine.

The other method to obtain coal was by a drift mine, which was a tunnel driven at a gradual incline to the coal seam. The coal was drawn up the tunnel in tubs by means of a rope and hand-winch or gin-wheel. The coal was dug by hand with picks, and candles stuck in lumps of clay provided the only light.

The seams of coal do not lie level but rise from west to east. Under Kerridge, the gradient is approximately 1 in 7. Before either type of mine could be used, water which collected had to be released., To enable maximum penetration of the seam, a tunnel, called a `loose' was driven to the lowest point of the seam at as gradual a slope as possible from a place where the water could run free, if possible a stream.

Coal was obtained from the Cliffes, from a mine with a number of shafts which follow the line of the Boundary of the parish and also at least one drift mine. This mine begins in a field mid-way along the New Road. The following data about the mines has been contributed by Mr. Frederick Vare, who with his father, Mr. Joseph Vare, were the last people to work the mines in Kerridge. The family of Vare worked both drift and shaft mines in the parish for several generations, passing their knowledge from father to son. Under the parish are four seams of coal with 12 yards of shale between the seams; No. 1 is 14" thick; No. 2 20"; No. 3 12" to 16" and No. 4 9" thick. No. 4 was never worked in Kerridge because it was too low for water to be released from the `loose'., Beginning on Lidgetts Lane (Lydiats in 1844) at the south end of Kerridge Hill, a path midway up the hill on the Rainow side goes along the shoulder and round the north end to Redway Lane. This path was used to carry coal by pack donkeys from the first mine to be worked in Kerridge. The mine begins with a shaft at the south end of the hill from which run 11 more shafts in almost a=straight line along the hill to Hough Hole.. Most of these shafts are above the path and were the ones by which most of the coal was brought to the surface. Below the path are a number of other shafts. A few of these were used to bring up coal but the majority were air shafts. The shafts used for coal are distinguished by the large amount of shale around the head of the shaft. To release the water a `loose' was driven from the Dean at Bollington under the west side of Kerridge to a shaft sunk for the purpose at Lidgetts Lane at the beginning of the quarry tips.. This was before Bollington as a village existed. About 1930 the timbers which covered the shaft collapsed. It was then filled in with stone from the adjacent tips. The mine was used for No.. 2 seam. Because the tightly compressed shale made a strong roof, it was not necessary to prop with timbers but approximately every 10 yards a pillar of coal and shale about 12" square was left. The mine was worked up to and during part of the last century by a family named Livesley.

According to Mr. Vare's father, very little of No. 2 seam remains. When the mills were built a number of drift mines were opened along the foot of Kerridge. One called the Toot Hole was opened by a Mr. Robinson to work No. 3 seam. The entrance to the tunnel is close to the wall nearest to the house in the second field below Brookhouse farm. The tubs of coal were drawn up by a gin-wheel worked by a donkey and a `loose' was driven from Plungebrook. Mr. Robinson's two sons, Albert Edward and William, sank the shaft at about 250' deep for the Bakestonedale mine at Pott Shrigley, now closed. Albert Edward, more generally known as Jim , worked as a young man for two years mining in the Rock Mountains, Canada.

Two drift mines were opened and worked by the Vare family to supply coal for the White Shop Mill at Hough Hole. One of the mines worked No. 2 seam and because a lot of coal had previously been dug out by the shaft mine, two tunnels were driven, one straight into the hill and the other north-west through the hill to the `loose' along the west side of Kerridge. This enabled the seam to be worked further to the north end of the hill and also deeper into the hill. The second mine was in the mill yard and worked No. 3 seam. After the Mill closed, this mine was worked by Mr. Joseph Vare who was joined later by Mr. Frederick Vare. To release the water from this mine, pits were dug inside this and No. 2 mine and the water syphoned from one to the other. Father and son continued to work the mine until 1926 when the end came unexpectedly. Every morning before starting work, one man went down No. 2 mine to make sure the syphoning system was working properly. One morning Mr. Vare senior was on his way down the tunnel when the flame of the candle he was carrying was extinguished. This was caused by black damp and meant that something had happened in the mine during the night. Mr. Vare immediately returned to the surface and neither man ever went down the mines again.

A few hundred years upstream from the above mines are three more drift mines known as the Californian Mines. The name is derived from the nick-name of one of the Vare family who worked the mines. He had taken part in the Californian gold rush of 1849.. Over the years the name has been shortened to `Cali' by which name it is known locally. These mines worked No. 1, No.. 2 and No. 3 seams and the entrances are one above the other up the hill. The water was released through No. 2 mine at Hough Hole. The coal was drawn to the surface by hand but at one time it was proposed to install a steam engine for the purpose. Although a chimney and flue were built, the proposition never materialised. Traces of the flue and chimney still remain.

Other drift mines in the hill at Ingersley Clough supplied coal for the Ingersley Mills.

Above the wood on Lower Brook farm are two shafts. These were sunk to No. 2 seam by Mr. John Chapman who also worked the mine. The water was released by a `loose' driven from a stream lower down the valley. The `loose' still drains water from the mine. The coal was probably carried by pack donkeys along the existing Cow Lane to Lowerbrook farm for the mill at Lower House.

On the upper part of the south slope of Big Low are two shafts and the entrances to three drift mines all made and worked by the Vares. One of the drift mines is still called the Quebec, due to one of the Vares having worked in Quebec, Canada. The mines worked No. 4 seam. The `loose' was driven from Kiss Hill and is still used to supply water to a trough. Coal was carried by donkeys along a path which runs along the shoulder of the hill from Kiss Hill to the Macclesfield-Chapel en le Frith road. The gateway on the road has since been built up.. These mines supplied the mill at Gin Clough with coal. Opposite the mill is a short lane leading to the farmyard which used to be called Donkey Street, or Lane. The name derives from the donkeys that carried the coal from the mine and also silk from the mill to Macclesfield and which were put there to feed whilst the men were in the public house.
At Harrop are a few shafts and a drift mine.. Mr. Vare thinks that shafts are air shafts only. The mine went to No. 2 seam and in 1874 was worked by Mr. William Smith of Brink Farm and later by Mr.. Joseph Jodrell who was followed by his son, Caleb.. The `loose' was driven from the stream below Bower Clough Farm. In the 1870s a drift mine at the foot of Charleshead was worked by a Mr. Hewitt of Kettleshulme.

Around Billinge Head and on the north side of Billinge Hill are a number of shafts. The following is part of a copy of a lease for the mine: "This lease made the 10th day of July 1863 witnesseth that William Bower, Francis Bower, Charles Bower, Sarah Bower and Ann Pownall as Lessors do jointly and severally consent to grant a lease for the term of 35 years to all Coals lying immediately under Bower Clough and Billinge Side estates in Rainow, to Moses Jackson, John Ridgeway and George Clayton as Lessees subject to conditions. 1, that the same lessees agree to pay ld per tub of 3cwt. as quarter rent for the coals as mine rent. 2. that all coals consumed by the engine used in the working of the mines are to be exempt from mine rent and also that 1 tub per week be allowed to all housekeepers working in the mine and exempt from mine rent. 3. that the lessees have the use of all the old shafts and liberty to sink new ones. 4. that the lessees have liberty to get all common wall stone necessary for building purposes in connexion with the mine free of charge. 5. that the lessees have liberty to take their deep level through into any other person's property providing the said Lessees agree to get Coals under any other person's estates other than Bower Clough and Billinge Side estates and they agree to pay the Lessors 3d per quarter of 10 tubs for permission to bring out the same on the Bower Clough Estates etc., but this arrangement for getting any other persons coals is not to be entered into until the said Lessees have completed the getting of coals on the Bower Clough and Billinge Side estates and further the Lessees agree to leave a margin of 5 clear yards between the mine lying under the estate of Mr. Lowther and that of Bower Clough. 6. that they leave the old shafts in as good a state of repair as they find them and any new shafts they sink they are to fence off when they have done with them. 7. that the mine rent be paid quarterly and the Lessors reserve the right to themselves to inspect the said mine at all reasonable times by giving due notice of such inspection."

At the north-east of Kerridge Hill are a number of shafts of which only two are in Rainow, the remainder being in Bollington. The coal was at first owned by a Mr. Peter Downes who leased the rights to others. Later the pits were owned by John Gaskell of Ingersley, who leased them to Thomas Barton of North End Farm.

QUARRIES

Stonemill

The quarries on the west side of Kerridge were first leased by the Crown to Macclesfield Corporation who in 1625 leased them to local stone merchants. Concurrently with the Industrial Revolution, the population of England, during the reign of George III doubled from 7 millions to 14 millions. Later the streets of the towns were paved with stone setts approximately 6" cube and pavements made with stone flags and curbs. Consequently the demand for stone increased during the years from 1760 onwards and stone quarrying became a thriving industry.

The quarries on Kerridge were extended along the whole of the west side and a few smaller ones were begun on the Rainow side of the hill. Others were started at Billinge, Big Low, Windyway, Walker Barn and one on each side of Buxton Road at Bull Hill, also a few smaller, ones in other parts of the Parish. The most well known Rainow families of stone merchants and quarry owners were the Wettons, Broadheads and Suttons. The largest firm was Wetton & Sons Ltd., who had most of the quarries on the west side of Kerridge and also Billinge and Walker Barn, Joseph Wetton, founder of the firm, started in business at Brookhouse, Rainow but later installed a stone saw mill in Grimshaw Lane, Bollington, where he had his offices. Windyway quarry was worked by Macclesfield Corporation. Thomas Broadhead of Rainow Low is recorded as a stone merchant in 1850. Later in the century, Herbert Broadhead had quarries at Big Low and the two quarries at Bull Hill. One of the latter was the quarry worked by John Ward. Because of a fault which runs through Big Low, the quarries were not a success and after a few attempts, were abandoned. George Sutton, stone merchant, Hawkins Lane 1860 had a stone saw mill at Plunge Brook and quarries on the west side of the south end of Kerridge. His son George, later had Marksend quarry on-Kerridge and the saw mill which was last worked by Ashton & Holmes Ltd., of Macclesfield until the 1960s. A house now stands on the site of the saw mill at Plunge Brook. Another son James Sutton worked a quarry on the Rainow side of the south end of Kerridge. After he died at the early age of 34 the quarry was taken over by his brother George. Stone in large blocks was taken to the' saw mills and sawn and worked by stone masons for monumental purposes. The street setts, curbs and flags were cut and dressed in sheds in the quarries. Tracks down which stone was brought from the Rainow quarries on Kerridge are still easily seen. The men and apprentices who lived at the Church end of the Rainow village and worked' in Wetton's quarries on Kerridge, went down the path from Hough Green to Cali and climbed straight up the hill. Over the years by placing their feet in almost the same place, they made a path similar to a long flight of  steps up the upper half of the hill. At one time the path was clearly visible from the village but has become overgrown and only faint traces of the `steps' remain.

MILLS

Ingersley Vale Mill....In his will of 1716 James Beard of Rainow gave equal shares to his wife Mary and his son Thomas of the Waulk or fulling mill. Burdetts Map of 1777 places this mill on the site of the present Ingersley Vale Mill. The mill was later purchased from the two beneficiaries by John Gaskell, senior, of Ingersley. In 1768 John Gaskell bequeathed it to his son John of Sowcar and in his will of 1824 John Gaskell left his walk Mill (spelt walk not waulk) to his eldest son Thomas with a charge of 1000 on it to each of his granddaughters, Elizabeth Jane and Mary, daughters of his son, Thomas. Fulling mills were for pounding the wool cloth woven in cottages and farms before mills were built, with large wooden hammers to shrink and felt it.. Fulling mills became water powered in the Middle Ages and were usually owned by the Merchant Clothier who had his house close by. The mills were small, two storey buildings approximately 30' x 15'. At Ingersley Vale Mill is found a fine example of the use of water for power to drive machinery. Some 350 yards upstream from the mill was the mill pond for conserving water during dry periods and to control the supply to the mill. The pond was made by building a dam on top of solid rock to about the height of 16' with a weir for overflow. On the right of the weir through the base of the dam is a sluice controlled by a sluice gate, commonly called a paddle,. which could be raised or lowered by hand by means of a long iron screw turned by a handle. This sluice was used in case of heavy flood or to empty the pond for dredging. On the other side of the weir is another sluice controlled by a paddle. This sluice conveyed the water to the mill race where it was controlled by two more paddles., One paddle turned the water over a smaller weir close to the main weir and the other paddle turned the water to the mill race whichever way was required. The mill race conveyed the water, at the beginning underground and then in the open, along the side of the hill to the mill where it was turned at right angles to turn over an iron duct 40' above the road to the water wheel. The water wheel was 56' in diameter and 10' 6" across the buckets and was the second largest in the British Isles. The largest water wheel is Laxey wheel in the Isle of Man. On top of the weir is the date 1800 with the initials E.C. The pond, now almost silted up was about 250 yards long and 50 yards wide. The date 1809 is on the present mill and was built by Edward Collier who went bankrupt. In 1844 the tenants were James Leigh and others. In 1850 it was occupied by John Brice & Co., calico printers and in 1874 by Anthony Scott and Co. dyers and yarn polishers. Later it was extended to four times its original size and occupied by A.J. King & Co. bleachers, for a good many years. The water wheel was demolished about the middle of the present century by W.& A. E. Sherratt, dyers and printers..

Rainow Mill....This was a cotton mill built over the Dean, just below Ingersley Vale Mill. The space between the two mills was used for the mill pond. The date on top of the weir is 1801 with the initials LPW / WW. The sluice with paddle was on the left of the weir and conveyed the water direct to the wheel. In 1844 it was occupied by James Leigh, in 1860 by George Bridge & Co. cotton spinners, and in 1874 by George Henry Holden cotton spinners. The mill was destroyed by fire in November 1908 when occupied by J. Heathcote & Sons, cotton doublers. Another factory now occupies the site and the pond is a car park.

Cow Lane Mill....This was a three storey stone building over the stream at the foot of Kerridge. The mill pond was constructed on the south and east sides of the mill and the weir is on the N.W. part of the pond turning the overflow behind the mill. A sluice and paddle were at the beginning of the south side of the pond and conveyed the water to the wheel when required and also used to empty the pond for dredging. The pond was primarily used to conserve water in case of dry periods.. Under normal conditions, the water for the wheel was conveyed by a culvert along the shoulder of the hill from a small pond almost 300 yards upstream to a point immediately above the mill and then to the wheel. The site of the small pond, now part of the field, is shown by a small weir; two stone posts with slots for boards to dam the stream still remains on the top of the weir. No early records of the mill have been traced. In 1844 the mill was owned by William Dean, in 1860 occupied by Edmund and Fawcett, silk. throwsters, with George Grice as manager,. and in 1874 owned and occupied by Edward Thorp silk throwster. Later the mill was used as a bleach works by a firm who after a few years removed to a mill on the Medlock, Ashton-under-Lyne.

Tower Hill Cottages 1779....These were described in 1834 as "Silk Mill on Tower Hill, Rainow, together with 6 cottages near thereto". Later, when the cottages were demolished the Tower was built in order to dispose of the stone. The site of the 6 cottages is now a croft belonging to Tower Hill Farm.

Brookhouse Mill....First records traced, show the site was used as a forge in 1844 by Robert Greaves with house adjoining. By 1850 Joseph Bailey had added a bone mill to the forge and was working both. By 1874 he had made the forge and bone mill into a silk mill and is recorded as a silk throwster. The mill pond was at the far end of the field at the rear of the mill and the bottom of Bull Hill. Water was conveyed along a mill race above the stream to a small pond above the mill and thence to the water wheel. The mill was later demolished but Joseph Bailey continued to live in the house. During the first years of this century the property was purchased by Mr. James Nixon of Kerridge End House who demolished the house and built the present house on the site in 1906.

Brookhouse Clough....During the last century, the Clough was owned by Joseph Broster where he had his house with a factory adjoining. A mill race conveyed water to the mill for the wheel from the far boundary 250 yards upstream. In 1850 he is recorded as a sewing cotton manufacturer. At the far end of the Clough the stream supplied water to a mill pond for a Dyeworks, immediately below, owned by Joseph Broster and let to tenants. In 1850 the tenant was Thomas Russell, 1860 John Fernihough & Co., and later John Abraham and Bros. Ltd. until 1890 when they moved to their present premises at Pool Street, Macclesfield. All the above were recorded as Dyers. By 1874 the whole of the property had been purchased by John Henry Neave, wool carder and hat manufacturer who later transferred the business to Lord Street Mill, Bollington. After transferring the business, Mr. Neave demolished the mill and added a wing to his house. The dyeworks, traces of which still remain, has also been demolished. For about 20 years at the end of the last and beginning of this century, Mrs. Neave held Band of Hope meetings at the house every Monday night. The attendance register shows the meetings were extremely well attended. Mrs. Neave met with a tragic death when she was drowned travelling as a passenger on the S.S.Arabic, sunk by a German submarine at the beginning of the 1914-1918 War.

Kerridge End Mill....This mill was built by Jesse Ainsworth (born 1826 died 1893) in the grounds of his house. He also sank a coal shaft in front of the mill. The house has a date stone 1731 but the front is obviously later and could have been built by Mr. Ainsworth. In 1874 he is recorded as silk throwster and coal proprietor. The man who made his coffin said his widow insisted the coffin was made immediately and delivered to the house the night following his death. She had the body placed in the coffin and the lid screwed down. In the lid she had a sliding panel made so that she could look at her husband at will.

Until refuse was collected by the Council, the coal shaft was used to deposit ashes etc., by means of a chimney pot built in the top.

Mill Brook Mill....This mill was built on the side of the Dean at the foot of Tower Hill.In 1784 an agreement was drawn up between Joseph Harding of Pedley Hill Farm and John Gaskell of Ingersley to divert Mill Brook over the farmer's land to enable a pond to be made to supply water for a cotton mill recently built by the latter at Mill Brook. The rear wall of the mill abutted the west embankment of the mill pond fed by the stream at the other end. An overflow weir is at the same end as the intake and a sluice with paddle to empty the pond mid-way along the north embankment. The water was conveyed to the wheel through a sluice with paddle in the west embankment and then afterwards along a culvert in the fields opposite to the stream approximately 250 yards downstream.

In 1850 the mill was occupied by Samuel Joule & Sons, cotton spinners and in 1860 by John & Stephen Sheldon, cotton spinners. It was gutted by fire less than 10 years later. A cottage which stood on the embankment close by the mill and its occupant, Mary Howbrook, were unharmed by the fire. Part of the mill was later restored and used for fustian cutting.

Gas was made at the mill to supply the mill and cottage.. The Ordnance Survey map of 1871 shows the gasometer in the mill yard. One day in the later 1920s, plumbers were installing a bathroom in one of the cottages when, digging a hole at the door, they unearthed a pipe coming from the mill. Unscrewing the junction it was proved by the thread to be an old type of gas union. At various times gas pipes have been removed from inside walls. The mill was stone built and the main building three storeys high.

Gin Clough Mill....is the only mill still standing apart from Ingersley Vale. The mill is built over the stream which supplies water to a small mill pond from which the water is conveyed by a sluice to the wheel. The date of erection of the mill has not been traced but in 1822 was advertised for sale. In 1825 it is recorded as occupied by David Rowbotham, silk throwster, 1837 by James Sharpley, silk throwster, who was also the first Registrar for births and deaths in the district and lived in the adjoining cottage. In 1874 he is recorded as registrar only and no occupant of the mill. Later the mill and cottage were bought by Thomas Rowbotham who resided in the cottage and used the mill as wheelwright and timber merchant. He was followed by his two sons Thomas and William. The present owner, Mr. John Leigh, has a portion of the old wooden water wheel.

Gin Clough

Lower House Mill, Smithy Lane In 1770 [Handwritten correction 1792] John Latham, son of Robert Latham, built a mill and pond on the land opposite the farmhouse. The pond was made by building a dam across the beginning of the valley and the mill built below the dam. A weir in the centre of the dam took the overflow and a sluice with paddle on the right of the weir conveyed water to the wheel. The mill was used for cotton spinning. In 1803 it was badly damaged by fire but repaired. In 1817, John Latham sold Lower House and Clarke House farms and the mill to his brother Samuel , described as a hop merchant in the City of London. After working the mill for a short time, he let it to John Bolton, a cotton spinner. Although the latter is recorded in 1825, the mill must have closed shortly afterwards. In the will of Samuel Latham who died in 1858, he left the two farms and the mill to his nephew, Robert Latham and the mill is described as `A three storey building formerly used as a factory for cotton twist, now in ruins for upwards of 30 years'. The farm is described as `together with two cottages and a blacksmith's shop'. Samuel Latham must have been a wealthy and religious man. In his will he left his wife a life interest in 8000 and then to 10 different religious societies; also a further 11250 to various nephews and nieces. By the architecture, it was probably he who completed the farm house by building the present front of the house facing south and leaving the original doorway and stone flag door sill inside the house.

All data concerning Lower House and Clarke House farms have been taken from deeds kindly lent by Major and Mrs. Richard who purchased the Lower House Farm in 1967.

Hough Hole Mill...The site of the mill is the present garden of Wayside Cottage. The main body of the building was 3 storeys with a 2 storey wing extending over the Dean. Because it was always kept whitewashed, it was usually referred to as the White Shop.

Hole Hough Mill

In September 1797, James Mellor left Blue Boar to live at Hough Hole Farm, now Hough Hole House, which he had purchased and shortly afterwards built the mill and mill pond. The pond is fed by the Dean at the far end of the mill. The weir is at the mill end of the pond and a sluice with a paddle used to empty the pond on the right of the weir. A sluice controlled by a paddle through the embankment on the left of the weir conveyed the water to a mill race which ran under the road and the rear of the cottage to the wheel from where it continued down the valley some 200 yards to the stream. For his mill workers he built the original Wayside cottage, 3 cottages opposite to the pond and 3 cottages on the hillside close to the mill and also built a road from Hough Hole House to the Mill including a bridge to carry the road over the Dean. To obtain the necessary stone he opened a quarry at the top of Kerridge above the mill. He had two sons, James and William and three daughters, Sarah, Rachel and Ann. He used the mill for cotton spinning and after his death in 1828 his eldest son James carried on the business for a few years after which the mill was let to tenants.. The tenant in 1844 was James Gould and in 1850 Stephen Sheldon is recorded as cotton spinner and waste dealer. In 1860 Mr. Mellor's second son, William, had the mill for an engineering works and was recorded as'William Mellor & Co. machinists and manufacturers of all kinds of tools for engineers'. The firm was widely known for the good quality of its machines and for an invention for the steam hammer which enabled the hammer to be stopped at any given point. After William died in 1881 his son John carried on the business until the close of the century.

The mill was demolished when Wayside Cottage was restored and extended and the garden made.

Sowcar Mill....This mill stood on the other side of the stream below Sowcar Farm and is really just in Bollington. It was built as a cotton mill by George Antrobus and sold by him in 1797 to Francis Upjohn, spirit merchant of London. In 1804 an agreement for the building of a dam for water to work the water wheel was made between Francis Upjohn described as a cotton merchant and Francis Gaskell of Sowcar. Although the mill has been demolished for many years, traces of it still remain.

At Bower Clough Farm, Hedgerows, from approximately 1780 and during the first half of the last century, bricks, tiles and earthenware were manufactured from clay obtained from the hillside on the other side of the stream (Harrop Brook). Coal for the kilns was supplied from mines on the Bower Clough land. The works were begun by Peter Orme and later passed to a man named Kenyon. A Rainow man possesses a brick which has Kenyon, Harrop, Macclesfield, stamped on it. Over the years pieces of earthenware have frequently been found and still are, when any digging is done on land near this farm.

SMALL BUSINESSES

Kerridge End....In 1825 John Mellor & Son are recorded as timber merchants at Kerridge End and in 1837 built Kerridge End House as their residence. John Mellor senior, died in 1844 and was succeeded by his son John who built Rainow Trinity Church in 1846.

Kerridge End House

In 1850 he is recorded as timber and stone merchant and valuer, and in 1860 as builder and land agent. He died the same year and was succeeded by his son John. All three were staunch Wesleyans and took a leading part in the old Sunday School, Parochial School and the Weslyan Chapels.

In 1850, 1860 and 1874 William Maybury is recorded as a blacksmith in the yard at Kerridge End. In the same yard 1874, Peter Barber was a wheelwright and coal proprietor who towards the end of the century was succeeded by J. Johnson. It was the latter for whom the man worked who made the coffin for Jesse Ainsworth. The same man also told of sawing trees into planks by hand. This was done by placing the tree lengthways over a long deep trench. Two men, one in the trench and the other on top, using a two handed saw, cut the tree into planks. The man on top was responsible for cutting straight, hence an old saying `Top sawyer' for a foreman.

The upper room of the stone building in the yard was used for hand loom weaving by James Swindells. The attics of the two adjoining houses were used for the same purpose.

John Yarwood....John Yarwood is recorded, in 1825, as a wheel wright and was also the village undertaker. He resided at the present Chapel House and used the room on the left of the door to house the hearse. The old circular head doorway can still be seen around the present window. By 1850 he had become the licensee of the Robin Hood and transferred his business there. During the early years of the present century a licensee of the Robin Hood was also a wheel wright there with a blacksmith in the yard.

The following is a copy of a bill for a funeral:-
'the Exors of Mr. William Bower Dr. to Mr. John Oldfield, Gorsey Knoll Farm, Rainow. To lodging for Mrs. Bower and grandson from 25th August 1872 to October 1873.'

58 weeks @ 2s per week  5 - 16 - 0d. 
9 glas of Ale 10s. 6d, carriage 1s for funeral   11 - 6d. 
2 bottles of wine 3s biscuits 2s 8d   5 - 8d.
Charwoman 1 day of funeral  1s. 6d.   1 - 6d.
Cream  10d.
Funeral fees and refreshments at Prestbury  18 - 0d.
2 days for self arranging and looking after funeral @ 4s. per day   8 - 0d.
Purchase of Wills 5  5 - 0 - 0d.
  13 - 1 - 6d.
   

Gin Clough....During the latter half of the last century the two stone buildings a short distance up the road from the mill were used by Joseph Hibbert, wheel wright and blacksmith. He was succeeded by Thomas Rowbotham, wheelwright, and his brother, Joseph Rowbotham, black-smith. Later, Thomas purchased the mill and cottage, transferred his business to the mill and lived in the cottage. At the cottage, is a stone 20" x 5" x 2" on which in two rows are cut the letters of the alphabet. This stone was brought from the Parochial School to the cottage by Mr. Rowbotham when the school closed. The stone would be used to help to teach reading and writing and could have been cut by James Mellor when he taught at the Sunday School.

The business was later carried on by Mr. Rowbotham's two sons, Thomas and William and later still by Thomas only.

Decline of Industry....The making of the Macclesfield canal began a decline in industry in Rainow by supplying cheaper, better and more convenient transport. Cotton mills were built in Bollington and the Rainow mills gradually ceased to function. Bollington changed from being mostly agrarian with a population of 1231 in 1801 to a thriving industrial community of 5040 in 1871.

The decline in industry in Rainow was further accelerated by the building of the railway, when better and cheaper coal was brought to Macclesfield and district from the North Staffordshire mines, causing most of the mines in Rainow to shut down.

People began to leave the village and by 1871 the population had dropped to 1316.. Of this number, 632 were males and 684 females, living in 279 houses with 66 houses uninhabited.. Over the years the population steadily decreased and by 1961 it was 1005 with 493 males and 512 females. Of the people who remained in the village, some men and boys went into the quarries, a few worked in Macclesfield, while the majority of men, women and young people were employed in Bollington. Following the decline of the cotton industry in general, Rainow people turned to Macclesfield for work where most are employed today.

AMUSEMENTS

During the last century and up to the 1914-1918 war, most events in the village of Rainow were celebrated by a procession through the village.

Two processions called `Club of Walks' were held annually by two Friendly Insurance Societies, whose headquarters were the Horse and Jockey Inn. The oldest of the societies was the Church of England Friendly Society, the `old club' and the other the `Oddfellows Friendly Society' the `New Club'. The Oddfellows procession was held at first on the first Wednesday in June and the Church of England the first Wednesday in July. Both were later changed to Saturday. The processions formed at the Horse and Jockey and, led by Rainow Brass Band until this was disbanded, proceeded as far as Kerridge End and then returned to the Inn where a meal of roast beef and vegetables followed by plum pudding, washed down by plenty of ale, awaited them. The potatoes were boiled in a brick surround wash-boiler heated underneath by a coal-fire, and the vegetables and pudding cooked in large cast iron pans over the fire in the big cast iron range. After the meal the band. played for dancing, singing and general revelry. Each member of the `Old Club' carried a club stick 6' long, painted blue, with a knob painted red. This Club was disbanded during the early years of the present century. One year the occasion was marred by a tragedy. A boy named Belfield of Redmoor Farm, Saltersford, leading a horse with a cart, was passing, when the band struck up and frightened the horse causing it to bolt. The wheel of the cart ran over the boy and killed him. When the Rainow Band was disbanded, Bollington Brass Band and the Industrial School Band of Brook Street, Macclesfield were engaged.

Many people who left the village remained members of the Societies and the processions were looked on as family reunions and occasions for renewing old friendships. Many photos of groups, used to hang on the walls of the Horse and Jockey. These disappeared, also the Willow Pattern plates and dishes used for meals, when the Inn was closed down.

Rainow Wakes, the third Sunday in October, when the Mayor for the coming year was elected, was an occasion for a procession. The election had no real significance and was just a farcical proceeding. Bills were posted about the village as follows:-
                                                                        Rainow Wakes
"Celebration of the old and ancient custom of Rainow. The election of the Mayor of Rainow for the ensuing year will take place on Friday, the 18th October 1877. Proposed candidate James Duffield Esq., Hawkins Lane, former Mayor of this famous old Township.
Grand torchlight procession, accompanied by Rainow Brass Band, will start from the Township School to Kerridge End and back at half past seven o'clock.
Mayor's feast at 8 o'clock sharp. Admission by ticket only which can be obtained from the Blacksmith's Arms, The Robin Hood, The Horse and Jockey, The Rising Sun and The Plough. Persons desirous of joining the procession can do so by applying to any of the committee. To conclude with a grand display of fireworks. "

When the mayor was chosen he was dressed in a red robe, an immense chain of office and a hat with various colours of ribbons, put on a donkey facing the tail and the procession began. On the journey they called at every Inn and the Mayor was provided with liquid refreshment.

Other processions were held by children for school field treats and sermons etc.

Processions were also held in some districts of Cheshire including Rainow for the ancient custom of the `Riding of the Stang' a form of punishment and/or ridicule of persons guilty of misdemeanours, usually immorality, not punishable by law. "Riding the Stang" was parading an effigy of the guilty person on a pole to the accompaniment of loud jeers, blowing of whistles and banging of tins and cans by the participants. The effigy was later burnt either outside the person's house or outside the Church. "Riding the Stang" was carried on until the end of the last century. An account of such a procession was recorded by Mr: Joseph Mottram, Registrar of Rainow. The person concerned was a woman who lived at Kerridge End who had earned the displeasure of the villagers by her behavious whilst her husband was employed away from home. The effigy was burnt at Kerridge End close to her house.

For a number of years, at Wakes, the field of the Robin Hood was the venue for a roundabout and several sideshows. Several George III pennies were dug up by a boy when making the present garden in the field in 1916. As a counter attraction, the licensee of the Plough erected a greasy pole with a leg of mutton on top. The winner was the first to climb the pole and obtain the mutton. The pole was kept well greased.

Dances were held periodically at the Township School to raise money for various charities. Music for dancing was provided by a piano with sometimes a violin in addition.

Up to being discontinued in 1914, Rainow Flower Show and Athletic Sports Meeting under the patronage of the Earl of Derby was popular, attracting competitors for the sports events from well known clubs such as Salford and Birchfield Harriers. The meeting was held on the field on the right in Cow Lane. The highlight was the Kerridge Race open to any amateur and was as follows:- The competitors lined up in the field and when the race was started, ran through the gateway into Cow Lane, down to the bottom of the lane, over the wall on the left crossing the stream, raced to the top of the hill, where they turned right and over the wall, down the hill to the path turning right to Cow Lane and the field, where they ran once round to the finish., After the races were over, the Rising Sun did a roaring trade. One licensee used to unhang all the doors of the public rooms. He said this made more room to throw out obstreperous drunks. His labour was never in vain.

Anecdotes and Incidents....

Samuel Harding of Plunge Brook used to say "if the wind and women were quiet, things were never much amiss".

John Trunks, when hay harvesting used to say "he liked a good thunderstorm after his dinner so he lay himself down".

Thomas Heathcote of Washpool said he "didna care so long as his shoon (shoes) only drank a sup of water but when they began ateing stoones (stones) he cudna do wi' that and thout it were time for a new pair".

Another said "all great men are dead and I don't feel very well myself".

A  lot of men would not eat cheese unless it was strong and contained maggots. They said "it was goot nowt (good for nothing) and has noe butter in it". Bacon and cheese used to be cooked in dutch ovens in front of the fire. The bacon was suspended from hooks along the top of the oven and as it cooked the fat dripped on to the cheese in the tray forming the base of the oven, helping to cook the cheese and causing the maggots to pop up and down. The whole was eaten, including the maggots, with great relish.

Up to the end of the last century, oatcakes made from own grown oats were baked instead of bread by farmers wives. Villagers who worked in the building trade used to stay all week when working at farms in the outlying parts of the parish. One man born in 1860 maintained that at one farm where he had worked, the oatcakes were baked every Friday. By the following Friday "they had hair 1" long". He meant mould. This was scraped off and the oatcakes eaten.

One Saturday evening during the summer, a man returning from Macclesfield, with his donkey and cart, stopped at the Rising Sun Inn where he stayed until closing time. When he came out, the donkey refused to budge despite the man's cajoling and hitting it with his stick. Other customers from the Inn tried to push the donkey from the rear of the cart. All that happened was that the donkey slithered a few inches'. Eventually two ladies who lived at Toll Bar House remonstrated with the man and asked if he was not aware that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. He replied "Not on this one he didn't or he wouldn't have been there yet".

One landlord of the Rising Sun had a black and white spaniel which spent most of its time lying on the doorstep of one of the cottages opposite the Inn. Tramps travelling from one workhouse to another used to try and obtain a few coppers by singing (?) outside houses. The spaniel used to wait for the tramp to begin singing and, after a few notes, would sit on his haunches and throwing his head back, join in. One never knew whether it was in harmony or competition, but the louder the. tramp sang, the louder the dog howled. After a few moments the tramp gave up the contest and with baleful looks passed on. The dog ceased and settled down to peace, perfect peace.

One Saturday afternoon in February 1940 two men were hiking through Rainow and Saltersford to Kettleshulme when they were caught in a snowstorm. Calling at Blue Boar Farm they were advised to turn back, but they persisted in going on. The storm turned into a blizzard .. and during the early part of the night one of the men entered the Robin Hood Inn at Rainow and said his friend had collapsed on the way. Five customers in the Inn immediately went off to find the man. Two of the five had to give in, one at Gin Clough and one at Higher Hazel Trees Farm, Smith Lane. The other three carried on and found the man dead approximately 100 yards from Dawson Barn Farm., Due to the severity of the storm, they were forced to leave the dead man at Dawson Barn, where the body remained until the following Tuesday when transport was able to get through.

DEVELOPMENT OF AMENITIES

Water.....In the early days, water had to be carried from various wells and springs, which due to the geological layerings, were dotted about the hillside. People at Kerridge End and Brookhouse obtained water, either from a well in the field on Cester Brow, or a spring with drinking trough at Brookhouse, which still remains today. A well, now dry, close to the approach to Ravenho Lane and a pump in the yard of the cottages opposite to the Rising Sun supplied part of Hawkins Lane. People from Tower Hill up to the Robin Hood carried their water from the spring with drinking trough at Mill Brook. Until demolished in 1957, there was a drinking trough with spout, midway on Tower Hill.. Water was supplied by a culvert, now dry, which runs along the shoulder of Berristall above the mill pond. The culvert is lost about 200 yards past the pond and the source of-the water cannot be located. Water for Washpool cottages was carried from the field at the rear and Gin Clough was supplied by a spring with a drinking trough there.

In 1893, John Mellor of Kerridge End House was mainly responsible for the building of a reservoir on land he owned at the top of Bull Hill to supply water as far as Tower Hill. About 1915, the supply was extended to the Robin Hood.

In 1898 Bollington Council purchased the Mill Pond at Lower House, together with some land, from Mrs. Mary Latham, and sank 3 boreholes and built 2 underground reservoirs and piped water to Bollington. Up to this date, Bollington obtained water from 54 pumps and 20 wells.

In 1901 a plot of land was purchased at Dane Bent at the foot of Oaks Wood, a bore hole sunk, and an underground reservoir made and the water pumped to Lower House. Due to the growth of Bollington, the Council in 1923 purchased the Mill together with the pond and 2 cottages at Millbrook from Miss Lytton. The mill was demolished, leaving the lower part of the wall facing the road for a boundary.. The position of the windows can still be seen. Two bore holes were sunk and two supplies of water tapped. A pumping station was built and the water pumped through a 7" main to Lower House. Later another 7" main was laid alongside the first pipe. The water was pumped by oil engine at first but now an automatic electric pump is used. When the pump is not in use, the water builds up in the bore hole and is turned into the old mill race.

By agreement, Bollington Council supplied Rainow village with water and the supply was extended to Gin Clough. Bull Hill reservoir then ceased to be used. In 1961 Macclesfield Water Board took over the various water supplies in the district. In the same year Lamaload reservoir and treatment works were built, Lamaload Farm was demolished and Lower Ballgreave  and Lower Hooley farms evacuated.

Sewage....The main Sewage scheme was installed in 1936. Prior to this date, toilets consisted of earth closets with a dry ash pit. Wherever possible, these were either at the rear or the end of the cottages. In some instances they were on the other side of the road from the cottages. It was quite a common sight to see the latter over-filled and the contents spilling into the roadway. When the closets and pits were emptied, the contents were piled up in a heap in the roadway remaining there until a farmer carted it away to tip on his farm. The owners of the property paid for the emptying and removal. The drains emptied into the fields either at the rear or on the opposite side of the road, determined by the fall of the land. Tuberculosis was common, due to insanitary conditions, such as drains running under the houses and the effluent discharging in the fields.

Registrar....Official registration of births and deaths was introduced in 1837 when Rainow became a sub-office for Macclesfield District., Included in the district were Kettleshulme and Whaley Bridge.. This entailed the Registrar going there once a week in all weathers.. Mr.. Joseph Mottram of Kerridge End was the last Registrar.. He held the position for 35 years until 1928. He also supplied a large part of the parish with paraffin for lighting until electricity was installed in 1933.

Post Office....Before the end of the last century, sanction for a sub-post office in the village was granted. The sanction was obtained after a good deal of negotiation with the Head Office and Macclesfield Office and a guarantee for a certain amount of business given. Messrs.. Joseph Wetton, Stephen Sheldon and Samuel Mottram acted as guarantors, and the business proved a success from the beginning. Mr.. Wetton bought a grocers shop and two cottages adjoining the Institute from Mr.. James Swindells and the sub-post office was attached to the shop. Since that date it has moved four times.

Before the sub-post office was opened, letters were left at one of the cottages across the road from the stocks.. Thomas and Harriet Bailey were the tenants and their cottage was the centre of news for the district. The cottages are now demolished.

Railway ....
In 1891, there was a proposal to build a railway by the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway. Land was surveyed and plans drawn for the railway, from a junction at Prestbury to Buxton, passing through Upton, Macclesfield, Sutton, Macclesfield again, Hurdsfield, Rainow and Taxal. Although no exact line is shown, it is obvious from the plans, that it was intended to be on the East side of Macclesfield to the Chapel en le Frith road through Rainow. Four short tunnels are shown on the first part of the line, with a long straight run through Rainow, and two longer tunnels at the latter part of the line. The following is a rough sketch, not to scale. Owing to the contours of the land, the plan was found to be too costly and abandoned.

Proposed railway route at Rainow

The present village of Rainow lies half in the Derbyshire Peak Park, the boundary of the Park being the main road through the village and Bull Hill. New building has taken place on the west side of the village, not included in the Peak Park, below the Methodist School.

There is almost no industry now in the village, farming continues, but many of the older houses have been renovated and modernised by people who work outside the village, often in Manchester. Although the village is changing, Rainow retains its community spirit and has keptup its tradition of social activities and self amusement