one of the 6 townships of Bury Metro
Bury Radcliffe Whitefield Prestwich Tottington Ramsbottom
modified 24 January 2009 (link to new Geo/Prestwich site provided)


The town of Ramsbottom came about as the result of the Industrial Revolution. The age of the town is not known but there is evidence of settlements in the area dating from at least 4,000 BC. Ancient burial sights and artifacts have been discovered on the hills surrounding the valley in which Ramsbottom nestles.

The valley would have been woodland in those time and eventually during the 11th century became a Royal Forest.

During the 16th century, deforestation of the valleys was commonplace to meet the growing need for timber. During this period people became agricultural and lived in Crofts spinning and weaving.

The end of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century saw rapid industrial growth in the area. The Industrial Revolution brought with it factories for the spinning and weaving of wool and later cotton. The processes of Bleaching, Dying, Printing and Engraving also played a part in the regional growth.

The mill owners of the time included the Ashton's, Robert Peel (Senior) and the Grant's.

Much of the town as we now know it was built by the Grant brothers, Danial and William, the latter of which a monument was built in his memory. They arrived in 1806 and were subsequently immortalised in the novel Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens as the Cheeryble brothers. The Grants who came from Scotland built fine houses, some of which still remain as a reminder of that period. St Andrew's Church on Bolton Street came under construction in 1832 and is also known as Grant's Church. It was consecrated as Scottish Presbyterian and was built from a donation of 5,000 by William Grant who gave the Church to the Church of England in 1869. The Grant Crest over the entrance bears the date of completion.

The Peel Tower commemorates Sir Robert Peel, son of mill owner Robert Peel and Prime Minister of Britain between 1841 and 1846, founder of the modern Police Force (once named 'Peelers' and still often referred to as 'Bobbys'). He is also renowned for repealing the Corn Laws in 1846, this being the justification for the 1,000 cost by public subscription.

Excavations conducted during the 1970's by Bury Archaeological Group revealed burial sites on the east side of the valley, close to the area later occupied by Grant's Tower. The artifacts retrieved from excavations at Whitelow and Bank Lane are on display at Bury Museum. Whitelow is worth a visit as many of the stones used for the cairn still remain. Bank Lane, however, has long since been swallowed up by the quarrying activity at Fletcher Bank.

Among the earliest buildings that can be seen is The School House, on Dundee Lane dating back to 1864. This building was formerly named Well House as its occupants maintained the local well. The building occupies the site of the Court House built in 1664 and includes some of the stone used in that building. Other stone was incorporated from Manchester Cathedral being rebuilt at the same time, hence the second date stone inscribed 1414.

Barwood House is another example of the period. This house on Grants Lane was first occupied by Henry Kay in the 1780's but was eventually sold in 1819 to Charles Grant, the youngest of the Grant brothers. Shortly after purchasing the house, Charles Grant built a Gatehouse using this as an Estate Office; a footpath running from Bolton Street to Grants Lane connects the two properties. Nearby are The Stables which also belonged to the house.

The Grant Arms Hotel, situated in the old Market Place was originally built as a house known as Top O'th Brow and was occupied by a Partner of Robert Peel named Henry Warren. Later the Grant family occupied the house and named it Grant Lodge. The scope of the building at the time was limited to that portion now occupied by the restaurant - Gilbert at the Grant's. The building became a hotel in 1828 and the new frontage was added in 1852 along with the clock inscribed with that date.

On this page with associated pictures
Robert Peel

The Grants

St Andrew's Church

Grants Tower

Peel Tower

Barwood House


The School House

The Grant Arms Hotel

Other pages on this site



Peel factories


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The owner of this web page was born and bred (sumut se drug up bit scruf ut neck) in Radcliffe in 1948. Originally from Bank Top (Hagside), moving to Spring Lane at the start of school (Radcliffe Parish Church School, Bury Street), ending up on Bolton Road estate before moving to wedded bliss! on the Cams Lane estate in 1973. (A little bit of Radcliffe history in his own right!)