A Short History of the Township of Tyldesley


The Roman Road, c. 200 A.D.

The area occupied by the township of Tyldesley to-day was in Roman times part of the territory of the Brigantes. The location was important, for the site lay in the triangle marked by the military stations of Manchester, Warrington, and Wigan. A Roman road ran through Tyldesley and was traceable a hundred years ago just south of Keeper Delph, where it went in a direct course north west and crossed Mort Lane just below the site of Great Boys pit. Then it curved direct west north of Cleworth Hall and was lost again just south of Shakerley Old Hall. The siting of these two ancient homes appears to have been made more in relation to the convenience offered by the Roman road rather than by that of the main highway of Sale Lane and Elliott Street. Plotting the direct course of the Roman road south west, it leads across the boundary brook at a point midway between the Delph and Ellenbrook Chapel.

The Two Amphorae

In the year 1947 two gardeners, George Bailey and Alfred Grundy, were digging in the Delph not far distant from this ancient road, when they uncovered a flag beneath which were two urns, set about the depth of a foot. The amphorae contained about 600 Roman coins.

The Coins of Postumus, Victorinus, and Tetricus

The bronze coins were minted by four emperors. The earliest are those of Postumus, who as Governor of Gaul under Valerian made himself puppet emperor in 259 A.D. He was followed by his general Victorinus, who ruled in Gaul and Britain until his assassination in 270 A.D. Then Tetricus succeeded: he gave his namesake son the rank of Caesar and both abdicated in 273 A.D. This Roman coinage, which was silver plated originated in Gaul and passed over in trade to these islands.

The Candle of History, 200-1200 A.D.

After the disclosure of the Roman urns, there is nothing for 1,000 years to trace out the steps of destiny in these parts. Everything is blank and dark. The candle of history lit by the Roman-Celts flickers out until the scribes of Cockersand Abbey in north Lancashire relight it in the reign of King John. When the shadows begin to retreat there is seen in existence a church at Leigh and a parish; within that parish is the township of Tyldesley; there are people and manors, landmarks and a new order of things, and from that time the established history of Tyldesley runs on afresh.

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