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Ashton Churches "The parish Church of Ashton-in-Makerfield is Holy Trinity at Downall Green and the original Ashton Grammar School was on the site of what is now Garswood Library. Holy Trinity up to 1837 was a "Church of Ease" for Winwick and then became the parish church. All this poses the question, when did this part of Ashton, now in St Helens MBC, cease to be the centre of Ashton?"
- Alan Edwards
Ashton Churches "The following extracts are from British History On Line and show that St Thomas's church was only recommended by the Commonwealth Surveyors to be made into a parish church, but it didn't happen until 1845: 'There is no record of the origin of St. Thomas's Chapel at Ashton, which is first named in the pleadings in 1515. The Commonwealth Surveyors of 1650 found everything in order, and recommended it be made a parish church. In 1845, on the division of the rectory of Winwick, it was made a parish church, being endowed with the tithes of Haydock. By the same Act of 1845, Holy Trinity Church, Downall Green, built in 1837, was made the principal church, its incumbent having the title of rector of Ashton, and being endowed with the tithes of the township.'"
- Vic Greenwood
Ashton Churches I don't think Holy Trinity/Downall Green ever was regarded as the centre of Ashton. It was just that in 1845 they formed a new parish and separated it from the rest of Ashton. Why they made it a 'rectory' and so effectively the senior partner to St Thomas's, I have no idea. But St Thomas's is called 'Ashton Chapel' in many early mentions (such as Roger Lowe) and it seems clear that it was at the heart of the town. I always imagine Roger Lowe's shop to have been in what is now Gerard Street, although I don't think there is any actual location given in the diary."
Ashton Grammar School From www.oldashtonians.org.uk: 'The Ashton-in-Makerfield Grammar School was founded in 1588. It was founded under the terms of the will of a Robert Byrchall, a yeoman of local parish. Shortly before his death, Byrchall called together six prominent men of the parish and outlined his ideas, binding them to carry them out after his death. These men then met on August 1, 1588 to keep their promise and drew up an indenture which set out the facts. On the 24th September 1589, Sir Thomas Gerard and his son Thomas, granted a plot of land 44 feet by 30 feet, at Seneley Green, on which to erect a school. Construction of the school began shortly thereafter. This original site is located on School Lane in Garswood. It is currently occupied by the local library which was constructed as the Grammar school in the 1730's, it itself was built on the original site of the school. It was not until the 1890's when the school moved location to Old Road in Ashton and then again to Warrington Road in 1965.'
- David McKendrick
Ashton Grammar School "Some info from 1588: 'It was agreed between the said parties that there should be a convenient school-house erected with all convenient speed in Ashton, in a place called Philidore Steele, near to Seneley Green ...etc.'"
- David Brown
from material supplied by Ian Winstanley
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