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Chorlton-cum-Hardy is derived from the old Saxon name 'Coerlatun-cum-Ard-Eea', meaning "the dwelling (or town) of the coerls by trees and near water". Coerl was the Saxon word for a freeman (often spelt churls or chorls - hence to be churlish ).
Its relative distance from central Manchester ensured that it escaped the excessive industrialisation that more inner districts suffered, and to this day it has retained some of its rural nature, being on the edge of the River Mersey - here still survives a pub called "Jackson's Boat" down Hardy Lane where there was once a ferry across the Mersey. Chorlton Green in particular still retains much of its Victorian character and the "Horse & Jockey" pub remains a popular riverside venue for visitors and locals alike.
Southern Cemetery also lies within its boundaries and is Manchester's largest burial ground. Many local celebrities are buried here, including Sir Matt Busby, the notable manager of Manchester United Football Club.
In 1908 Chorltonville was created as a so-called "garden estate" with pleasant comfortable houses and has since become a popular and much sought after place to live - far enough from central Manchester to escape from work yet close enough for convenient commuting.
Two Major houses were to be found in Chorlton - Hough End Hall and Barlow Hall. Hough End Hall, built by Nicholas Mosley in 1596. The Mosleys were a most influential Mancunian family, and Nicholas Mosley became Lord of the Manor of Manchester and was subsequently knighted by Queen Elizabeth I. The Mosley (originally Moseley ) family dominated much of regional history for several centuries and Mosley Street in Manchester is named after them. The Hall was purchased by the Egerton family in the early 18th century. Later, some of the lands of the estate was given to house Barlow Moor Aerodrome and today is the headquarters for Police horse and dog training in Manchester.
The Barlows had built Barlow Hall, as well as a small half-timbered chapel, on lands which they had held in the area since the 13th century. This land was also bought by the Egertons in the 18th century. A notable member of the family was Edward Barlow, later known as Saint Ambrose Barlow, a famous local Catholic martyr. Their family name is also immortalised in Barlow Moor Road which runs east-west through much of the district. Barlow Hall is now a golf club house!
As late as the 1880s, Chorlton still had many old black and white thatched timbered buildings which had always defined its particular style and elegance. Most have now gone and the district is now mainly Victorian and Edwardian in style with numerous large houses, many of which are converted into flats and apartments. There is also a large student population attracted no doubt by its thriving and diverse shopping centre.

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We have made reference to several sources in compiling this web page, but must make special mention of the Breedon Books' "Illustrated History of Manchester's Suburbs" by Glynis Cooper, of which we made particular use. Information about this book can be found on our Books About Manchester webpage.

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This page last updated 10 Mar 09.