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Broadbottom Community Association

 History Project



In 1877 John Chapman died. His son Edward inherited the estate and lived there till his death in 1906. He was married but childless.

Alfred Kershaw Sidebottom and family at Whitegates 1870s.

 Photograph taken by James Mudd (MOSI Manchester)

 Harewood Lodge Restored


Harewood Lodge was let to tenants and then, in the late 1870s, a cousin from Hollingworth, Colonel William Sidebottom, came to live at Harewood Lodge with his unmarried sister Lucy and established himself as a leading figure in the village. (His military title came from service with the volunteers).  He restored Harewood Lodge to its place in village society. He was very active in the Anglican Church and involved in the building of the church in Broadbottom and in supporting many social activities linked with the church. He and his sister led Sunday schools classes;  he established a lad’s club in a building behind lower Market Street for young men, which remained active until the 195/60s. Sunday school teas were given at Christmas with useful presents. The Sidebottoms also were patrons of the Anglican ‘sermons’ and picnics, which were called ‘field days’. Nellie Lyne remembers the walks in the early twentieth century; she recalls going  along King Street to a side entrance to the Lodge and being given strawberries and lemonade and marvelling at the exotic flowers in the Harewood greenhouses, such as green chrysanthemums. The Sidebottoms also funded mill outings, hiring a train to take parties to Blackpool. Such patronage,often linked to attendance at the Anglican Church, might seem overbearing nowadays but Colonel Sidebottom is

 remembered by Nellie Lyne from the 1910s and 20s as ‘a nice little man.’

Colonel William Sidebottom  - (Courtesy of Joyce Powell )

Education - Bankfield School

In 1871, as a result of the Forster education act of 1870 which established universal primary education, a school board established Broadbottom’s first state school, Bankfield. It was not in fact free, but charges was modest. This was built below the railway beyond where Olive Terrace would be built in 1906. It was not easy of access: children  cut down past the Griffin Inn (now the Harewood Arms) or made their way along from New St.

The approach to the school under the arches was very slippery in frosty weather and on some days the children could not get down it. 

The school was built of local stone and had a stone slab roof. Accommodation consisted of two large rooms on the ground floor, a large room, the Schoolroom, and the Classroom. Under the classroom was another room which was not always used for teaching. Originally there was no lighting; later the school was lit by gas. Water was obtained form the well at the bottom of Well Row, as water was not supplied to the school until 1890. The latrines were earth closets which emptied into a central pit, and there was no toilet for the teachers. When the school was first built the latrines were attached to the main building, alter they were moved further along the embankment for hygienic reasons. The school was heated by open fire grates which were always insufficient and ventilation was poor. The playground was very steep and rough.  

There was no lighting during the winter months, and in the dark days work was impossible after 3 o’clock.

(quotations from : Schooldays in Mottram: courtesy of Olwyn Brown)  

Children’s attendance was variable because of work, illness and other distractions such as Wakes weeks. When the first school inspector visited in December 1874 he reported:  

This is a new school in the midst of a rough population. The children are backward, but the order and discipline are on the whole good.  

The school had a turbulent start: In December 1875 it closed for a year; head teachers came and went and there was very little equipment. A new head in 1878 found no slates, pencils or reading books. By 1880 he too had resigned.

Bankfield School Plans.  (Courtesy of Joyce Powell)

The stables at Harewood Lodge c1890s                                (Courtesy of Joyce Powell )


Industry began to recover in the 1870s. In 1871 Alfred Kershaw Sidebottom sold Broad Mills to John Hirst and sons, along with Lymefield mill, built in 1861. The new owners developed and expanded the mill’s weaving capacity while spinning remained stable.

Marsland's mill, Besthill Mill and Lymfield Mill reopened. Richard Matley died in 1865 and his surviving two daughters took on a manager but later sold Hodge Print Works, though they stayed on at Hodge House. West End Mill was built in the late 1860s by  former employees at Hodge Mills, the Halstead brothers. It was the first and only mill in the village built away from the river to be driven by steam power.

 Cotton remained a key employer in the village till the 1930s,  living conditions improved and social facilities were extended, but the boom years for industry in the village were over.