Smithills Hall was originally built in the early 14th century, but was extended in the 15th and 16th centuries. The oldest surviving part is the great hall, which dates from the early 15th century. The site was originally moated, however no trace of the moat survives. Smithills Hall is now a Grade I listed building and open to the public as a museum.
The pillar was originally a cross and replaced a medieval waymarker in the 17th or 18th centuries. The pillar stands on three circular steps, which probably date from 1890 when the cross was taken down for repairs and re-erected.
Bury Castle is a manor house built in 1469, replacing an earlier building on the same site from the late 14th century. It was built by Sir Thomas Pilkington, Lord of the Manors of Bury and Pilkington, and fortified with permission of the king; it was razed to the ground when Sir Thomas had his lands confiscated for supporting the losing side in the War of the Roses. Some of the castle remains have been excavated and are on display to the public.
Castlesteads is a promontory fort on the banks of the River Irwell. The site is defended by a 120 m (390 ft) long and 6 m (20 ft) wide ditch, and a silted up channel of the river. The interior is triangular shaped. Pottery finds indicate the site was occupied from 200 BC to 250 AD.
Radcliffe Tower is the only part of a medieval manor house that belonged to James de Radliffe, the Lord of the Manor of Radcliffe, still standing. It was a stone-built hall with two towers, and was surrounded by a moat. The site was fortified with the addition of crenellations and battlements with permission from the king. The manor house was demolished in the 19th century. The tower is now a Grade I listed building.
The original building was possibly from the 11th or 12th centuries, but the current timber-framed house dates from the 14th century. The medieval north wing was refaced in brick. In the 18th century the brick south wing was added. Baguley Hall is considered one of the "finest surviving medieval halls in the northwest of England". It is a Grade I listed building, and is on the Buildings at Risk Register; its condition is rated as "fair" and it is owned by English Heritage.
The hall, which probably dates back to the 15th century, was probably originally either a quadrangle or consisted of three wings. Much of the hall was demolished in the 17th century and replaced by a new house. Clayton Hall underwent further changes and restoration in the 18th century and in 1900. The hall is on a rectangular island surrounded by a moat and is a Grade II* listed building.
The current structure was built in 1421; however the first reference to the bridge was in 1343. The bridge, which is 33 m (108 ft) long and 2.7 m (8.9 ft) wide, spanned Hanging Ditch and was part of medieval Manchester's defences. Hanging Bridge was probably obscured by housing in the 1770s as a result of Manchester's expansion. It was uncovered in the 1880s, and again in the late 20th century, and is now on display in Manchester Cathedral's visitor centre.
A Roman fort was established on a sandstone bluff near a crossing over the River Medlock, along the line of the Roman road between Chester (Deva Victrix) and York (Eboracum); it was designed to garrison a cohort of 500 auxiliary soldiers. A civilian settlement (vicus) of traders and families grew up around the fort. In around 140, the fort was demolished and the civilian settlement was abandoned around the same time. The fort was rebuilt in 160 and the settlement was re-inhabited. It was abandoned by the mid-3rd century, although the fort was in use into the early 4th century. A partial reconstruction of the fort on the site is open to the public.
Nico Ditch is an earthwork stretching from Ashton Moss in the east to Hough Moss in the west. According to legend, the ditch was dug in a single night as a defence against Viking invaders in 869–870. However, the U-shaped profile of the ditch indicates it was not defensive as it would most likely be V-shaped. It was probably used as an administrative boundary. The ditch is visible in sections, and in places is about 1.5 m (4.9 ft) deep and up to 4 m (13 ft) wide.
In the mid 14th century, Sir John de Arderne built Peel Hall. The site is surrounded by a moat which is between 8 and 14 m (26 and 46 ft) wide and 1.2 m (3.9 ft) deep. Peel Hall was demolished in 1809 and replaced by a farmhouse on the same site, which was demolished in 1975.
In 79, a fort was established at Castleshaw by the Romans, for a garrison of 500 auxiliary soldiers, as part of the frontier defences along the road between Chester (Deva Victrix) and York (Eboracum). It was slighted in 90, but a smaller fort – or fortlet – was built on the site in 105, designed for a garrison of less than 100. A civilian settlement (vicus), made up of traders and hangers on of the soldiers, grew around the fort in the 2nd century. The fortlet was abandoned in the mid 120s when it was superseded by the neighbouring forts at Manchester and Slack. About the same time, the civilian settlement was abandoned. A series of ditches and earthworks was built to mark the site.
The barrow is oval shaped and measures 17 m (19 yd) by 18 m (20 yd) and is 0.5 m (1.6 ft) high. The barrow has been excavated archaeologically, but has not revealed any signs of grave good or human remains. The site is in good condition.
The promontory fort is surrounded by two ditches. Inside the fort are four circular structures that are probably industrial areas and livestock enclosures. The Cheshire Very Coarse Pottery (VCP) found on the site is the only evidence of a late prehistoric pottery industry in Greater Manchester.
In 1759, construction began on a system of underground canals; they provided a route between Worsley Colliery and the Bridgewater Canal for the coal the colliery produced. The canals were used for this purpose until 1887 and closed shortly after the last coal pit in the area in 1968.
Between 1797 and 1800, Samuel Oldknow built three lime kilns on the east side of the Peak Forest Canal. The kilns are 11 m (36 ft) deep and were built into the hillside. The site operated into the 20th century, and the remaining walling of the kilns is protected as a Grade II listed building.
The dried-up, rectangular moat surrounds the site of a square-shaped fortified tower. There are no above ground remains of the tower, but it was situated on an area of land 29 m (95 ft) square, with the surrounding moat measuring between 5.5 m (18 ft) and 10 m (33 ft) wide.
The moat in Torkington surrounds the site of the manor house that was first built in 1350. The 1.6 m (5.2 ft) deep moat is between 8 and 20 m (26 and 66 ft) wide, and forms the perimeter of a 46 m (151 ft) by 43 m (141 ft) island. Torkington Hall replaced the medieval manor house in the early 17th century.
Buckton Castle is an enclosure castle probably built by the earls of Chester in the 12th century. It may have been constructed to guard the Longdendale Valley. The castle was first referred to in 1360, when it was in a ruinous state. The castle is circular, measuring 35 m (115 ft) and 45 m (148 ft) along the axes, and is surrounded by a 10 m (33 ft) wide and 6 m (20 ft) deep ditch. Buckton Castle has been damaged by 18th century treasure hunters and later 19th and 20th century quarrying.
The turf covered round cairn is situated on top of a hill, and consists of a mound of stones with a flat top. It is 1 m (3.3 ft) high and 16 m (52 ft) in diameter, although the southern edge has been destroyed. The site has been altered in modern period by the addition of a dry stone wall and a trigonometrical pillar.
The castle is a motte-and-bailey, consisting of a conical mound (motte) 40 m (130 ft) in diameter and 17 m (56 ft) high, surrounded by a triangular lower enclosure (bailey) covering 2,400 square metres (0.59 acres). It probably belonged to Hamon de Massey, a baron who owned several manors locally, including those of Baguley, Bowdon, Dunham, and Hale. The structure had fallen into disuse by the 13th century.
The Pilkington Colliery Company began construction of the colliery in 1908, and the site opened for coal production in 1912. The colliery was closed in 1970 and is now Astley Green Colliery Museum. Most of the buildings associated with the colliery have been destroyed as has one of the mine shafts.
The present structure dates from around 1574, although it is thought to have replaced an earlier building. In 1840, the hall was rebuilt in the Gothic Revival style. Gidlow Hall is protected as a Grade II listed building.
Between 1653 and 1670, the Haigh Sough drainage system was under construction; its purpose was to drain the local collieries. The system extends for 936 m (3,071 ft) and has only one entrance. It was in use until 1929 and the entrance is now covered by a steel grille to prevent access.
Mab's Cross was one of four known crosses that marked the medieval route from Wigan to Chorley. In 1922, the cross was moved from its original position when the road was widened and is protected as a Grade II* listed building.
The current hall was built in the 19th century, however some 16th and 17th century timber framing is incorporated into the structure. In 1641, it was the home of Ambrose Barlow. The site is surrounded by a 12–15 m (39–49 ft) wide and 3 m (9.8 ft) deep waterlogged medieval moat, and Morleys Hall is a Grade II* listed building.
The moat surrounds the site of the original medieval building, which was replaced a by a post-medieval farmhouse. The moat is filled with water, however the ruined farmhouse is not part of the scheduled monument.
Winstanley hall was built in the 1560s for the Winstanley family of Wigan, who were Lords of the Manor. It is linked with the neighbouring halls of Bispham Hall (built in 1573), Birchley Hall (1594), and Hacking Hall (1607). Winstanley Hall was extended in the 17th and 18th centuries, and further work was done in the 19th century including work by architect Lewis Wyatt in the Jacobean style. The building is currently in a decayed state, and lies unoccupied. It is also a Grade II* listed building.
A Most references are to one main body of sources: Pastscape which is funded by English Heritage and has information on nearly 400,000 archaeological sites and buildings in England.
"The information on PastScape is derived from the National Monuments Record database which holds records on the architectural and archaeological heritage of England. The National Monuments Record is the public archive of English Heritage."
Grimsditch, Brian; Nevell, Michael; Nevell, Richard (2012), Buckton Castle and the Castles of North West England, University of Salford Archaeological Monographs volume 2 and the Archaeology of Tameside volume 9, Centre for Applied Archaeology, School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, ISBN978-0-9565947-2-3
Nevell, Mike (1992), Tameside Before 1066, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, ISBN1-871324-07-6