Family History Notebook
Page last updated

Swindells Fold

The property which has been known as for the last century and longer as Swindells Fold is located in Godley on Brookfold Lane at  map reference SJ 9647 9488.

Swindells Fold 1910
1910 OS map

Swindells Fold, Brookfold Lane,

Swindells Fold
Swindells Fold, Brookfold Lane, SK14 3BQ (Beech Cottage on right)
Downloaded from photobucket (Copyright unknown)

However this is not the site of the original Swindells Fold farm house as identified on the 1840s tithe map:-

Swindells Farm - tithe map

Tithe Maps 1836-1851
82    Mansion House (Oaklands) 2 acres 0 roods 12 perches. Owner and occupier Samuel Ashton
83-85 More Samuel Ashton plots
86    Swindells Fold. Farm House and Outbuildings. 0 acres 1 roods 13 perches
87    Swindells Fold. Owner and occupier Samuel Ashton
89    Hyde Field 3 acres 2 roods 36 perches. Owner & occupier Samuel Ashton
90    Plantation 20 perches
91    Cottages and Garden 20 perches. Owner Samuel Ashton, occupiers David Turner and others.

As can be seen it is located on the north side of the (then) drive to Oaklands Hall, where Oaklands Cottage is now situated. (SJ 9636 9491)

The name "Swindells Fold" dates back to William Swindells (the elder) who leased a farm here from James Massie of Sale in November 1647. In 1682 John Swindells built a (additional?) cottage on the land which was recognised by a new lease. In 1693 the heirs of Richard Massie sold Swindells Cottage to John Swindells the Younger (husbandman) and Swindells Tenement to William Swindells the younger (a carrier). John Swindells (the younger) promptly sold Swindells Cottage to a Thomas Lees and in 1697 William Swindells (the younger) sold (some of?) his property to Rev John Lees.
In 1703 John Swindells and Mary his widowed mother sold more property to Thomas Lees (a feofment).

This would appear to have been the end of the Swindells involvement - except that in 1801 John Swindell of Torkington, gentleman, sold a messuage, buildings and tenements at Godley called Swindells Tenement to Samuel Gaskell of Torkington. Thus it appears that the Swindells had retained this property for the previous hundred years.

(In 1786 Swindells Fold was owned by Henry Hibbert's executors and occupied by Henry Wrigley. It was rated at 17s 4d land tax - the same as Brook Fold. This was about 1/30th of the total valuation of Godley. No Swindells are named as proprietors or occupiers in Godley township.)

Sometime before 1837 a local mill owner, Samuel Ashton, appears to have bought Swindells Fold and its estate and built Oaklands - though he continued to live in Pole Bank in Werneth.

(Information extracted from the summary of deeds relating to Swindells Fold held by Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre as published on A2A - cached)

Samuel Aston (1773 - 1849) was a cotton spinning mill owner in Werneth and lived at Pole Bank. It would appear that he bought Swindells Fold and built Oaklands as a speculative investment. The following link has no relevance to Swindells Fold but is of interest - The murder of Thomas Ashton (1831).

Godley was a township in Mottram-in-Longdendale ancient parish, Macclesfield hundred (SJ 9595), which became a civil parish in 1866. Godley cum Newton Green: St. John the Baptist (Church of England). The district church for Godley from 1847.

In parish of Mottram in Longdendale: St Michael prior to 1847. "An ancient parish church, originally serving the townships of Godley, Hattersley, Hollingworth, Matley, Mottram, Newton, Stayley, and Tintwistle. It includes the chapel of Broadbottom: St. Mary."