Site of 421-429, Wigan Road, Bryn, WN4 9SX, Ashton
Part of Group:
At Risk: No
"The pastorate of Park Lane Chapel near Ashton-in-Makerfield came with a large residence on the north-west side of Bryn Cross known as The Parsonage. The building still remembered by some older residents dated from 1743. Its predecessor on the same site is described by Rev George Fox as having been “a long, low, thatched-roof cottage, with very inconvenient sleeping accommodation”. Funding for the replacement was provided by Lord Willoughby of Parham, a relative of the Park Lane Chapel minister John Brownlow. A bill for "work done for Mr. Brownlow's new house", dated 27 December 1743, includes the following:-
Cortin rods and other things – 2s 4d
3 fillboes – 11d
9 scrues – 1s 4d
3 iron noges - 5d each...
The property was subsequently modernised by the Revs Francis Knowles (resident 1823-1857) and George Fox (1864-1890). The latter describes a summer-house erected by Rev Knowles in the Parsonage garden and other adaptations made by him to the house interior: "The sitting-room windows were fitted with fan ventilators. In the staircase window, an Aeolian harp discoursed fitful music. His study was his workshop and was usually in a tremendous litter as the result of his multifarious occupations. The Parsonage was so well protected from burglars by bolts, bars, locks, hooks, and shutters, that it did not inaptly resemble a beleaguered fortress...”. (From “The History of Park Lane Chapel by George Fox, Late Minister of The Chapel”, Manchester: H Rawson & Co, 1897.)
The property was sold in the 1980s, and in 1986 outline planning consent was given for The Parsonage to be demolished and replaced by four detached houses. A revised scheme involving the construction of five houses -existing today as numbers 421, 423, 425, 427 and 429 Wigan Road- was approved in 1987."
Image and text provided by the Makerfield Rambler