The transcriptions that follow are the result of a conversation, with Joan Harrison, a committee member, about the possibility of an article, for the newsletter, about Grotton Hall, in Saddleworth. The problem was that there appeared to be next to nothing to find online and the Local Studies Library was still closed, at that time, owing to Covid restrictions.
Until that conversation, I wasn't even aware of Grotton Hall but, intrigued, I did a little random searching myself, with very little success but then, almost unexpectedly, there it was! It was in 'A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain' Vol. 2, written by John Bernard Burke, published in 1853, and complete with a rather nice engraving to accompany the text entry!
'A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain'
Vol. 2, written by John Bernard Burke, published in 1853
GROTTON HALL, Saddleworth, Yorkshire, the seat of Edmund Buckley, Esq. of Ardwick, Manchester, late M.P. for Newcastle-under-Lyme, whose ancestors have been seated at Grotton for several centuries. [my note: not quite correct! Buckley families, yes, but not direct ancestors! There is, however, dna proof that all the Lancashire Buckleys had their origin in 1300 at Buckley near Rochdale]
This old English manor house, with its gable ends, its snug ancient porch, and its heraldic devices, is very picturesque. At one end in the highest portion of the building immediately above the quaint-looking but cheerful windows, is the family crest of the Buckleys; in the stone work, and directly over the porch, may still be seen the initials J. B. and the date 1656, indicating that John Buckley rebuilt part of the house in that year. The appearance of the whole brings us back, with a very slight stretch of the imagination, to the good old times of English hospitality and Christmas revel. The buildings of our ancestors were completely the reflection of the general habits of the people, and the old Hall of Grotton, though there are many larger and more important edifices, is peculiarly interesting, as a specimen of the domestic, un-modernized architecture of the Tudor period - simple and picturesque. The progenitors of the Buckleys of Grotton, were a branch of the ancient family of Buckley of Buckley, in the parish of Rochdale, co. Lancaster.* They are traceable for several hundred years by the inscriptions on the Grotton-head tomb stones in Saddleworth Church. The present Mr. Buckley is a magistrate for the counties of Lancaster and Derby, and also for the borough of Manchester.
* Captain William Buckley of Buckley settled by his will, bearing date 9th May, 1730, his estate in Hundersfield, Butterworth, Castleton, &c, on his cousin Thomas Foster, with remainder to his sons, and finally on "his kinsman John Buckley, the elder of Grottonhead, in Saddleworth, co. York, gent., and his heirs in trust."
Further searching, on the internet, brought the Hall up on Historic England, HERE, with a list of the architectural features, but nothing more. The source reference was a Saddleworth Historical Society Bulletin dated 1985. I contacted the Society, in the hope that there might have been more information. In the return email was the full content of the article referencing the past events of almost 500 years! Following my subsequent request I was given the very kind permission to include it, in full, on the Oldham & District Branch pages of the MLFHS website.
Further information on the Buckley family and their estates and maps of their holdings in Saddleworth, Oldham, Denton, Ashton and Mottram in 1779 was published in 'Mapping Saddleworth II', pp 97-127. For anyone with Saddleworth connections both volumes are a treasure trove and can be purchased from the Saddleworth Historical Society HERE.
Still searching and I found a couple of pages in 'A Genealogical Memorial of the Family of Buckley of Derby and Saddleworth' by Henry Fishwick, published in 1900, which filled in a few more details.
The following, is the article in the Saddleworth Bulletin, followed by extracts from the above mentioned book.
This is part of the work being carried out on a gazetteer of Saddleworth by the Historical Society. As more of this is work is completed, details will be published in future editions of the Bulletin.
GROTTONHEAD Grid Reference SD 972049
Location: East side of Platting Road, Lydgate, overlooking Wood Brook.
Description: Grotton Hall is a 17th Century wealthy yeoman's house of four bays with two cross wings, plus a new wing on the North West end now nearing completion. The skillful use of old materials in this new addition suggests that previous alterations, notably in 1844, may well have transformed the original building. The two massive barns to the South are also 17th Century but the adjoining farmhouse is mid-19th Century.
History: A 15th Century Rental of the De Staveley holdings in Grotton and Shelderslow in the Vill of Quick describes 58 acres ½ rood 1 perch of land “in Grotton and Grueshagh from Grotton Brook as far as the Piked Lowe". A page of this rental is reproduced on p. 49 of W. Bowman's "England in Ashton-under-Lyne", published in 1960. Heading this list of tenants for 1429 is Richis [or Nichis] de Buckley. (The Rental is now missing but Mrs. Bowman's notes are at Lancashire Record Office DDX 350).
1545, Lay Subsidy. Johes Bukley is one of only two taxpayers in the Township of Quick to pay 4d. for goods worth £4. The other is Edmond Scofeld, probably of Grange. (Thoresby Society Vol 11, p. 350, 1904).
1603, 26 Oct. Will of Gilbert Buckley of Grotton husbandman. He leaves his land to his son Richard and mentions a wife Anne, sons Thomas, Francis and Edmund, a daughter Whitehead, son-in-law Thomas Lees, cousin Ralph Winterbottom and twenty grandchildren un-named. He wills that the Great Table in the House at Grotton and the Dishboard remain in the House
(Raines Mss Vol 6, p. 256).
1629, 30 Nov. Richard Buckley buys 41 acres of land newly enclosed from Quickmoor from Sir George Booth of Dunham Massie and William his son. (See 1632 below and "Saddleworth Surveyed”p. 12—15)
1632, 12 Feb. Richard Buckley of Grottonhead yeoman gives a quarter of this new land to his son Edmund. (Newhouses Deeds, S.H.S. Archives). Edmund Buckley of Newhouses died in 1679 leaving this land to his two younger daughters Hannah and Sarah.
1633, 1 March. Will of Richard Buckley of Grottonhead yeoman. The new land with edifices thereon to be equally divided between his four sons John, Richard, Thomas and Edmund “as the same has already been conveyed to them by deed and covenant". His son John was evidently to receive the family home as he was left the heirlooms - an ark, a table, a dishboard, a chest, a coffer and a feather bed - as well as husbandry gear. Richard Buckley was buried at Saddleworth 7 Sept. 1635.
1635, 14 June. John Buckley of Grotton yeoman and John Winterbottom of Stonebreaks yeoman act as agents in a transaction whereby the majority of Sir George Booth's tenants in Saddleworth purchase the freeholds of their farms for a total of £600. These include a "Capital Messuage at Grottonhead in the occupation of Richard Buckley father of the said John". (Deed copied by the Enclosure Commissioner c. 1810 - S.H.S. Archives).
1635, 2 Sept. These same freeholders, including John Buckley, purchase from William Booth Esq. the right to pasture their cattle on the remainder of Sir George Booth's land on Quickmoor and to get turf "to be burnt .... at their mansion or dwellinghouses". (S.H.S. Archives).
1656 Datestone 1 above
This lintel, over the door of Grottonhead Farmhouse, is from an earlier building, probably the barn to which the house is attached.
1662, 15 Nov. John Buckley the elder of Grottonhead yeoman gives his messuage and tenement with appurtenances called or known by the name of Grottonhead ... in the occupation of the said John Buckley the elder to his son and heir John Buckley the younger of Grottonhead. The deed also mentions a half share in a farm at Hollingreave purchased jointly with Robert Buckley of Grasscroft. By deed of 16 Sept. 1707 the same Robert Buckley, then of Denshaw yeoman, and John Buckley of Grasscroft yeoman his grandson, sell their half share to John Buckley of Grottonhead gent. Hollingreave remained the property of the Grottonhead Buckleys until its sale to the tenant in 1822. (S.H.S. Archives).
1664, Hearth Tax. John Buckley de Grottonhead pays for three hearths. This shows that Grottonhead was already a substantial house before 1686, the date of the earliest datestone on the building.
1669, Tithe Schedule. John Buckley Senior de Grootonhead pays for 1.acre 3 roods and 30 perches of Oats; John Buckley Junior pays for 2 acres 3 roods 0 perches. (Bulletin Vol 14, No.2, 1984).
1678 Datestone 2 above
This doorhead is on the fine barn to the West of Grottonhead Farmhouse.
1681, 15 June. John Buckley de Grottonhead sen. buried at Saddleworth. Unusually for a man of substance, he appears to have left no will, possibly because he had previously conveyed his land to his son (See 1662).
1683, 15 Jan. Mary daughter of John Buckley of Grottonhead died. (Canon Raines copied the inscription on the Grottonhead gravestones before they were covered by the vault built for Edmund Buckley of Ardwick in 1867. Raines Mss. Vol 5, p. 61).
1686 Datestone 3 above
his datestone may record only the addition to Grotton Hall of the porch on which it is placed, but many have taken it as the date of the whole building
1690, 12 Feb. Sarah, daughter of John Buckley of Grottonhead, marries Nicholas Saxon of Ashton Parish at Oldham Church.
1690, 19 Aug. John Buckley of Grottonhead gent. buys from George Shaw of Werneth Co. Chester yeoman, Jonathan Shaw of Grotton his son and Elizabeth his wife, and John Shaw son and heir of the said Jonathan, a mesauage at Grotton with land called the Upper Widdow Field, Lower Widdow Field, Two Acres, Meadow, and 2 acres of a certain Moor called Wharmton. (S.H.S. Archives). These fields are to the South West of Grottonhead and were part of the 1625 Division of Quickmoor. The messuage may be the cottage still standing at the junction of Coverhill Road and Oldham Road.
1700, 8 April, Marriage Licence. John Shaw of Bradford gent. and Patience Beswick of Saddleworth widow, at Saddleworth. Patience was a daughter of John Buckley of Grottonhead and widow of John Beswick of Cheetwood.
1713, 14 Sept. John Buckley the elder of Grottonhead yeoman buys from John Hawkyard of Crowshawbent clothmaker the messuage where Hawkyard lived and 5 acres of land at Thornlee in the several counties of Lancaster and York in the occupation of one John Winterbottom. The fields were named the Great Croft as it was then enclosed, Round Meadow, Crooked Meadow, Coathill and Shirkwood Hill. (S.H.S. Archives).
1716, 13 June. Settlement on the occasion of the marriage of John Buckley the younger gent., son and heir apparent of John Buckley of Grottonhead gent., to Katherine, daughter of William Norton of Springstey Co. York. Esq. Other parties to the deed are John Shaw, Nicholas Saxon and William Norton the younger. The lands settled comprised the messuage and land called Grottonhead in the occupation of John Buckley the father; messuages cottages and land at Grotton in the occupation of John Buckley the younger, Thomas Halkyard, Benjamin Mellor, Daniel Winterbottom and William Rigley; messuages cottages and land at Crowshawbent in the occupation of James Grave, Robert Hulley, Widow Dawson and James Halkyard; a messuage and tenement at Shelderslow; and four closes of land near Newhouses called the Platting Field, Three Nook, Upper Field and Little Meadow. The couple were married at Ripley, Co. York, the following day. They settled at Derker in Oldham where the following children were born and baptised at Oldham Church; John, baptised 16 April 1718, buried 25 May 1723; William, baptised 3 July 1720, buried 11 Feb. 1725; Richard, baptised 8 Aug. 1722, entered St. Catherine's College, Cambridge, 1739; John, baptised 18 March 1723. (P 252 310).
1723, 23 Aug. John Buckley of Grottonhead yeoman buried at Saddleworth in his 83rd year. He left no will.
1724, 31 Oct. Mary Buckley of Grottonhead yeoman buried at Saddleworth in her 83rd year. In her will she made bequests to William, Richard and John Buckley, children of her only son John Buckley, her daughter-in-law Elizabeth Buckley, and grandchildren John Beswick, Mary Saxon, Sarah Saxon, Patience wife of John Buckley [of Staleywood], Susan Saxon and John Saxon.
1725 Datestone 4 above.
This datestone above the right hand window on the front of Grotton Hall marks John and Katherine Buckley's improvement of the house on taking up residence there. The couple are also responsible for the datestone on the cottage at Grotton IBK 1731.
1726, 14 Nov. John Buckley of Grottonhead gent. purchases an annuity or yearly rent charge of £8 from Edmund Buckley of Wood in Castleshaw yeoman charged on the capital messuage and land at Wood. (Oldham Corporation Water Works Deeds, Oldham Local Studies Library). There is no family connection here and the transaction gave Edmund Buckley much needed cash whilst securing for John Buckley a reliable income to fund a gift of food to the poor of Saddleworth as stipulated in his will of 29 Aug. 1732. The rent charge was only bought out by Oldham Corporation in 1950.
1728, 17 Oct. A Vestry Meeting agreed that John Buckley of Grottonhead gent. could erect his own gallery in Saddleworth Church. (Registers Vol 1, p. 442).
1732, 19 April. John Buckley of Grottonhead gent. advances £220 to John Buckley of Ashton-under-lyne Innkeeper as a mortgage on an estate at Quickwood. (BE 50 77). Again there is no family connection. The Grottonhead Buckleys were now living off investments like these rather than the good husbandry which had brought them to their lofty position in local society.
1738, 27 Dec. John Buckley of Grottonhead gent. buried at Saddleworth Church, aged 72. He left his capital messuage called Grottonhead and lands at Grotton, Crowshawbent, Coverhill, Thornlee, Thornlee Green, the Park, Hollingreave, Shelderslow and Newhouses, lands at Denton and a £10 rent charge on land at Fowleach in Oldham to his eldest son Richard. Lands at Derker and Pit Bank in Oldham, in Knott Lanes in Ashton and at Matley in Cheshire were left to his younger son John. John Buckley was the last of his family to live at Grottonhead. His widow Katherine died at Stockport 31 Aug. 1750 aged 66. She was buried at Saddleworth.
1745 Although an absentee landlord, Richard Buckley of Stockport had a farmhouse built on the land near Newhouses - Loadhill Platting has a datestone RB 1745 - and also added to the cottage at Grotton - RB 1747. He let Grottonhead to William Shaw, one of the prosperous Shaws of Boarshurst. The Registers at this time begin to record other families living at Grottonhead who probably occupied separate quarters in the big house, notably the Dronsfields and the Bradburys.
1751, 16 Oct. Richard Buckley of Stockport Esq. secures title to his messuage and land at Shelderslow in the occupation of Robert and John Mayall and four closes of land near Newhouses, still subject to the trust created in the 1716 marriage settlement. (S.H.S. Archives).
1764, 12 Jan. Richard Buckley of Stockport gent. died at the early age of 41 leaving his property in trust for his children subject to an annuity for his wife Mary. The trustees were his father-in-law Robert Thorpe, his brother John Buckley, his cousin John Saxon the elder and Buckley Bower of Stockport. The residue of his estate was to go to his eldest son John Buckley. He was buried at Saddleworth, as was his daughter Peggy Harriot 11 May 1764 aged 3 months, his son Richard 17 March 1766 aged 5, his daughter Catherine on the same day aged 3, and his widow Mary who died at Chester and was buried 10 July 1789 aged 55.
1767, 1 Jan. Mr. John Buckley gent. Stockport buried at Saddleworth aged 43. He left his property to his nephew John Buckley but if he should die before reaching the age of 21 then the estate was to pass to his kinsnan John Kershaw of Hollinwood gent. [Husband of Sarah daughter of Nicholas Saxon]. The two parts of the Grottonhead estate thereby reverted to John son of Richard Buckley. This-was the John Buckley who in 1779 commissioned Ralph Wood to draw up plans of all his estates in the counties of York, Lancaster and Cheshire (Higson Mss 26).
Image of Plan
1772, 29 Jan. William Shaw of Grottonhead clothier died in his 70th year. Buried at Saddleworth. (Higson has a good pedigree of the Shaws - Mas 44)
1782, 8 June. William Shaw of Grottonhead clothier died in his 53rd year. Buried at Saddleworth.
1783, 9 June. John Buckley of Chester Esq. son and heir of Richard Buckley late of Stockport Esq. and also nephew and heir of John Buckley late of Stockport gent. mortages his Saddleworth estates to Susanna Roberts of Chester for £2,200. (S.H.S. Archives H/JH/40).
1787, 27 Oct. William Schofield of Grottonhead in Saddleworth unfortunately fell into a coalpit at Greenacres .... He was 15 years of age. (Andrew "Annals of Oldham‘). Andrew adds that Schofield was an apprentice learning the cloth making business with Hugh Shaw of Grottonhead.
1793, 4 May. Settlement on the occasion of the marriage of John Buckley to Francis daughter of Leonard Fosbrooke of Shardlow Co. Derby Esq. The deed gives the tenants and field names of the whole of the Grottonhead estate with an annual rental of over £300. Hugh Shaw occupied a messuage at Grottonhead with 26acres 3roods 32perches of land called the Slackyard, Higher Cowhey, Further Widow Field, Widow Field Bottom, Lower Cowhey, Lower Wams Field, Nearer Widow Field, Higher Wams Field, Great Wams Meadow, Rough and Pole Meadow. Richard Dronsfield occupied a messuage at Grottonhead with 32acres 2roods 11perches of land called the Bent, Bent Meadow, High Field, Rye Rood, Little Wams Meadow, Long Intake, Nearer Gate Intake, Further Gate Intake, Rovings, Dickey Intake, Great Meadow, Dagger and Clough Meadow. Widow Bradbury occupied a messuage at Grottonhead with 15acres 1rood 6perches of land called the Old Intake, Kiln Hill, Meadow below the Kiln Hill, Even Intake, Nearer Brown Intake and Further Brow Intake. (S.H.S. Archives H/JH/40).
1794, 11 Feb. Farms to let. Lot 1st. A Messuage and Tenement situate at Grottonhead in Saddleworth .... with 32½ statute acres of arable meadow and pasture land now in the possession of Richard Dronsfield as tenant thereof ... Further particulars may be had by applying to Hugh Shaw the elder of Grottonhead. (Bulletin Vol 2, p 23, 1972).
1795, 13 April. John Buckley repaid the £2,200 owing on the mortgage of the Grottonhead estates. (S.H.S. Archives H/JH/40). No doubt John Buckley's marriage had brought some much needed cash into the family.
1805, 6 Aug. John Buckley of Chester died, leaving his property to trustees for the benefit of his infant children Richard Fosbrooke Buckley and Mary Buckley.
1814, 8 Feb. Hugh Shaw of Grottonhead died, in his 76th year. Buried at Lydgate.
1816, 22 Aug. Richard Fosbrooke Buckley, having reached the age of 21, received from his trustees a release of his property in Saddleworth including a farm at Grottonhead of 22acres 1rood 16perches in the occupation of Hugh Shaw the elder and Hugh Shaw the younger, a messuage at Grottonhead with 32acres 3rood 11perches of land theretofore in the occupation of Richard Dronsfield but then of Joseph Saville, and a further messuage at Grottonhead with 13acres 3roods 38perches of land theretofore in the occupation of Widow Bradbury but then of William Buckley. (S.H.S. Archives H/JH/40).
1819, 2 Oct. To be sold by Private Contract, several valuable Farms in Saddleworth in the County of York ... A Messuage Farm and several closes of land part of the Grottonhead Estate in the occupation of Hugh Shaw containing 21acres 0rood 26perches. A Messuage Farm and several closes of land other part of the Grottonhead Estate in the occupation of Jonathan Lees containing 52acres 2roods 37perches. A Messuage Farm and several closes of land other part of the Grottonhead Estate in the occupation of William Buckley containing 6cres 1rood 10perches. (Higson Mas 26).
1821 Dec. To be Sold by Private Contract ...Part of the Grottonhead Estate in the occupation of Hugh Shaw containing 21acres 0rood 26perches. Other Part of Grottonhead Estate in the occupation of Robert Hadfield containing 41acres 0roods 0perches. Other part of Grottonhead Estate in the occupation of Robert Hadfield containing 24acres 2roods 5perches. (Higson Mas 26).
1828, Jan. 19th Report of Commission of Charities includes details of the annual gift of £2 worth of oatmeal under the terms of the will of John Buckley who died in 1738. They found that Hugh Shaw, the tenant of Grottonhead, distributed annually about Christmas to the poor in the imediate neighbourhood a quantity of oatmeal for which he was allowed £2 yearly in his accounts with his landlord.
1835 Canon Raines has a description of Grottonhead dating from this period. "A parlour to the right of the Porch retains the ancient oak panelling on the wall, which is very perfect and beautiful. Tradition says that the Oak was grown upon the Estate and that the Grottonhead Gallery on the N side of Saddleworth Church was built of the same Oak and at the same time as this room was panelled. I find that the Gallery was erected in 1728. The Hall to the left of the entrance from the Porch is of considerable dimensions and the wainscotting still remains. Some of the Bedrooms have curiously ornamented ceilings but no armorial devices now remain. Richard Buckley Esq. of Chester is the owner of the Estate, and the representative of the family, and yearly visits the seat of his ancestors during the shooting season". (Raines Mss Vol 2 p 62). Raines' friend George Shaw made a drawing of Grottonhead at this time. Allowance should be made for Shaw's interest in architecture and antiquities which led him to elaborate some of his subjects
1841 Census. Four families are listed at Grottonhead: Thomas Shaw, 65, Farmer; John Shaw, 60, Wool Cloth Finisher; George Winterbottom, 25, Cotton Rover; and James Pontifract, 55, Wool Weaver.
1844, 9 April. Richard Fosbrooke Buckley of Chester Esq., in return for a yearly income of £750, conveyed the Grottonhead Estate to his friend (but not relative) Edmund Buckley of Manchester Esq., the son of the Lydgate publican who had made a fortune out of canal carrying and the manufacture of copperas. The estate included a Messuage at Grottonhead occupied by Thomas Shaw with 28acres 0roods 14perchs of land called the Bent (theretofore in two closes called the Bent and Bent Meadow), High Field, Ryerood, Near Gate Intake, Far Gate Intake, Rovings, Dicky Intake, Great Meadow, Dagger and Clough Meadow; A Messuage at Grottonhead occupied by John Shaw with 12acres 0rood 13perches of land called the Even Intake, Near Brow Intake, Far Brow Intake, Little Wams Meadow, Long Intake and Lower Wams Field. Also all those fields being part of a certain farm called Grottonhead contaning 21acres 1rood 10perches called the Slack Yard, Higher Cow Hey Bank, Lower Cow Hey Bank, Far Widow Field, Widow Field Bottom, Nearer Widow Field, Higher Wams field, Great Wams Meadow (then laid together) and Pole Meadow. Richard Fosbrooke Buckley died at Chester 10 March 1862 aged 66. (S.H.S. Archives H/JH/35).
1844 Edmund Buckley thoroughly renovated the old house and recorded his work by adding a Buckley coat of arms to the Southern gable inscribed EB 1844. He never lived there but his brother-in-law, Walter Whitehead, a retired ship-owner, occupied the Hall until his death 2 Dec. 1864 aged 64. Whitehead's widow Elizabeth died there 30 Dec. 1877.
1845 Edmund Buckley built a new house for the tenant of the farm. The datestone EB 1845 is on the Eastern gable of Grottonhead farmhouse.
1849 Richard Dobson, writing in the Oldham Chronicle 20 Jan.16 Jun.1923 recalled a school outing to Grotton Hall in 1849. He and his friends arrived at the Hall covered in mud having made their way via the old road from Wood Brook. "... the two old maids who owned Grotton Hall ... were highly incensed at us for we had bemudded their carpets and dirtied their pleasant home ...' These "old maids" would be Edmund Buckley's orphaned nieces Anne and Susannah Shaw who also lived at the Hall. At the time they were 30 and 22 respectively but probably seemed old and stuffy to a schoolboy.
1853 1 Feb. Death of Thomas Shaw of Grottonhead aged 78. Buried at Lydgate.
1867, 21 Dec. Edmund Buckley died at Ardwick, aged 86, and was buried at Saddleworth. His son, Sir Edmund Buckley of Plas Dinas Mawddwy, Co. Merioneth, had a massive vault built over the old Grottonhead gravestones at Saddleworth Church. He also fulfilled his father's promise to rebuild the School at Lydgate - the new building is dated 1869. Sir Edmund Buckley ran through his rich inheritance at an alarming rate and was bankrupt by 1876. Most of his property was put in his son's name, including the Grottonhead Estate, and he died at Aberhirnant, near Bala, 21 March 1910, in straightened circumstances.
1912, 23 July. Sir Edmund Buckley's trustees auctioned his English properties in Manchester. In the elaborate catalogue, Grottonhead Farm, 53acres 3roods 26perches, let to Mr. F. Bradbury on a yearly tenancy of £80p.a. is lot 4. "The large Farmhouse, which is stone-built with Slated Roof contains: Entrance Passage, Large Living Room, Parlour, Scullery and Dairy, Pantry, Cellar and Five Bedrooms, Outside Closet. There is an excellent Farmyard around which are placed the ample Farm Buildings Comprising Shippon for Two, Pigsty, Stable for Three, Shippon for Nine, Loft Over, Good Barn, Loose Box, Shippon for Seven, Loft Over, and another Barn. There is also a Cottage adjoining." Grotton Hall was lot 5, let to Mr. J.W. Hollingworth for £15 p.a., ".... substantially constructed of Stone with Mullioned Windows and Slated Roof, and is approached by a Carriage Sweep. The accommodation, contained on Two Floors, comprises: Porch Entrance with fine old oak door to Square Hall, Oak Panelled Dining Room, Pleasant Drawing Room with cupboard in recess, Morning Room, Large Kitchen and Scullery, Five Bedrooms, Bath Room (hot and cold) and W.C., Housemaid's Closet and Box Room, and excellent Cellarage. There is also a Detached Outbuilding Suitable for a Stable, but used as a Workshop; Closet and Fowl House. The Gardens and Grounds Surround the Residence and include Lawn, Walks and numerous Trees, the whole embracing an Area of about 1acre 2roods 3perches." (Sale Catalogue, Oldham Local Studies Library). The Hall and Farm were bought by Elias Wild, a builders Merchant from Stalybridge. The Wild family sold Grotton Hall in 1947 to Frederick William Ferguson. [since c.1976 it has been the home of an Oldham businessman]
© Saddleworth Historical Society; transcription courtesy of Saddleworth Historical Society.
More information on the Buckley holdings, from John Buckley's Book of Estate Maps, 1779 (13 of them) in 'Mapping Saddleworth ll' available from Saddleworth Historical Society HERE
'A Genealogical Memorial of the Family of Buckley of Derby and Saddleworth'
by Henry Fishwick, published in 1900
The Buckleys of Lancashire undoubtedly took their name from their territorial possessions in the parish of Rochdale. The pedigree of the family as recorded by Dugdale in 1664-5, goes back to the twelfth century, but from the absence of dates and other details, and the actual errors which it contains, it cannot be accepted as correct. In the twelfth century there was a Geoffrey de Bucklegh, Dean of Whalley, and he was a frequent witness to grants of land in Rochdale, to the Abbots of Stanlawe, and in 1332, in a similar capacity, appears an Adam de Bucklegh.
Another Geoffrey de Buckley was slain at the battle of Evesham, and two centuries after his death, a Ralph Buckley had a window to his memory put in the Cathedral of Worcester, but there is no evidence to prove a connection between the two.
In the time of Edward III. [1327-77], we find a John de Buckley living. In 18 Henry VI [1439-40], we have evidence of a most satisfactory character, produced at a commission of enquiry before John de Radcliffe and others, that this John had a son, Robert de Buckley, who was seised in fee of a messuage and lands in Honnersfield, in the parish of Rochdale, and that he had married Alice, the daughter of Roger de Wyandene, and had issue a son, John, whose son, James, ultimately succeeded to the estate. He was living in 1439, and the James Buckley, who in 1492 gave to his son John a messuage, &c., called Stonie Hay (now Stoney Heys), in Healey, in the parish of Rochdale, was probably his son and heir. A descendant (possibly grandson) of this John, of Stoney Heys, was James Buckley, of Healey who left a Will dated 20th October, 1595, in which he names his brothers, Francis and Anthony; and Francis, Thomas, James, Sara, and Grace, children of Francis ; and Richard and Ann, children of Anthony. Returning to the main line of descent, the next two generations as given by Dugdale are unquestionably wrong, and there is unfortunately no evidence to prove the correct descent, but the estate was afterwards found vested in Robert Buckley, who married Grace, the daughter of John Holt of Ashworth, in the parish of Bury, and died 10th May, 1576, his son and heir being Thomas Buckley, then aged twenty-three years; he married Grace, the daughter of Arthur Assheton, of Clegg, in the parish of Rochdale, Esq.; he died 17th August, 1588, and was buried at Rochdale. He held the manor of Buckley with twenty messuages and cottages and demesne land; on his death the manor passed to his son, Abel Buckley, whose descendants held it until the end of the last century. The early portion of the Buckley pedigrees, as already stated, is meagre and unsatisfactory, and even if it were trustworthy (which it is not) it only furnishes the name of the son and heir and in some cases the name of one of his brothers. That the family in and before the sixteenth century was a very prolific one is proved by the fact that in the Parish Registers of Rochdale, between 1582 and 1616, the name appears 300 times. As an example of this may be cited the Wills of Thomas Buckley in 1583, and Margaret Buckley in 1592, both being described as of Buckley.
... About the middle of the sixteenth century (or probably earlier), William Buckley, presumably one of the junior sons of the Buckleys of Rochdale, settled in Derby; his Will dated 10th June, 1564 was proved at Lichfield, on the 18th September, following; he is described as "William Buckley, the elder, gentleman;" he desired to be buried in the churchyard of Derby,' and left his estate to his wife, Margerie, and his children - but unfortunately their names are not given, and it is therefore probable that they were all under age. ..
One of the evidences as to the connection between the Buckleys of Derby, and the Buckleys of Saddleworth and Rochdale, is the frequent recurrence of the same christian names, Philip, Francis1, Nathaniel, &c.,but the most satisfactory proof of this is in the fact that in 1585, William Buckley, of Derby, was seised of the reversion of the half of the manor of Quick, in the county of York, and as this manor contains the whole of Saddleworth it embraces both Grotton and Grascroft.
A dispute as to this reversion was heard in the Court of Chancery. A final agreement was come to in 1586, when the defendants acknowledged the right of William Buckley to the moiety in dispute, which consisted of 16 houses, 6 cottages, 20 "tofts," 16 orchards, 400 acres of land, besides 600 of heath and moor, and 200 acres of moss; for this acknowledgment he gave £240 It is noteworthy that in 1639, Abel Buckley, of Buckley, died seised of a messuage and 10 acres of meadow and pasture in Ouick.2 William Buckley died intestate; he was buried at All Saints' Church, Derby, 2nd December, 1604. Not very many years after the death of William Buckley, of Derby, the manor of Quick appears to have passed to George Bouthe and Katherine, his wife, who in 1607, came to a final agreement with Sir Urian Leighe as to its transfer to him.
Some of the Buckleys had however before this date obtained grants in fee of certain portions of the manor, as appears from " the Feet of Fines," taken 41 Elizabeth , when an agreement was made between Henry Buckley, James Buckley, John Buckley, and Robert Buckley, on the one part, and John Bradshaw and Isabella, his wife, on the other part, whereby the latter in consideration of a fine of; £50, acknowledged the right of the Buckleys to 2 houses, 2 barns, 2 gardens, and 78 acres of land, with right of pasture, &c., in Quick.
It must be noted that William Buckley, junior, of Derby, was married in 1567, but we have discovered no register of the baptism of any child until 1574, in all probability between those dates several children were born, and one or more of them may have been parties to the agreement just referred to, and there is little doubt but that John Buckley, living in 1599, and Edmund Buckley, of Saddleworth, his brother (whose Will was proved 1605), were sons of one of the two William Buckleys, and from their fathers inherited lands in Grascroft.
footnote: In the Rochdale Registers Francis Buckley occurs ten limes between 1582 antl 1616, and in the Saddleworth Registers between 1613 and 1751 there are thirty-two entries of Philip Buckleys.
At this period there were several Buckleys living at Grascroft and Grotton, but the positive evidence adducible is not sufficient to furnish the connecting links between them and the Derby and Rochdale Buckleys, but it may be accepted that such a connection existed.
Buckley of Grotton in Saddleworth
In 1 Mary (1553), Gilbert Buckley appeared as the defendant and Sir John Byron as plaintiff, in the Duchy Court; the question in dispute being trespass on Buersill moor, in Rochdale.' The original document gives no genealogical information but the names of Gilbert, Bernard, John, and Edmund Buckley, yeomen, all appear. Except a Gilbert Buckley who married Jane ... in 1611, the Rochdale Parish Church Registers from 1582 to 1641, contain no mention of a Buckley with this Christian name, and it may be assumed that the defendant above referred to is the Gilbert Buckley who settled at Grotton, in Saddleworth, and left a Will dated 20th October, 1603, which was proved at Chester, the 8th February following; he is described as a husbandman; his wife, Ann, survived him. They had issue : (1) Richard, of whom presently; (2) Thomas; (3) Francis; (4) a daughter married to Thomas Leese (or Leche); of the three latter nothing is known, but as their father (Gilbert), mentions (but not by name) twenty grandchildren, it is probable that they were all married before 1603, and their descendants formed a great portion of the Buckleys of Saddleworth.
Richard, the son of Gilbert, lived at Grotton Head, and in his Will dated 6th March, 1633 (proved 24th January, 1636), he is described as a yeoman; one of his executors was Thomas Leche, his brother-in-law. He was buried at Saddleworth, 7th September, 1635. He had issue: (1) John, who was buried at Saddleworth, 15th June, 1681, being described in the Register as of "Grotton Head, Senior;" (2) Richard; (3) Thomas; (4) Edmund, was probably the father of John Buckley, baptized at Saddleworth, 11th October, 1640, and who was there buried on 28th August, 1723 (aged eighty-three years); his widow being buried on 31st October, 1724 (aged eighty-two years); they had issue, three (or possibly more) children, viz.: (1) John of Grotton Head, gendeman, who was buried at Saddleworth, 27th December, 1738, aged seventy-two years. By his Will proved at Chester in 1740, he left an annual charge of forty shillings, to be laid out in oatmeal and given every Christmas Day at Grotton; William Buckley of Buckley, in his Will made in 1730, mentions John Buckley of Grotton Head, as his "kinsman;" (2) William, buried at Saddleworth, on 13th November, 1715; (3) Mary, buried at Saddleworth, on 15th January, 1683, unmarried.
Note ... copies of some of the wills are included in the book.
Return to the Pictorial Menu Page