About the carved heads on buildings especially on Church Street and Market Street.
These are all the major roads into and out of Westhoughton. Nowadays they have houses, shops and other businesses on either side of the road with large volumes of traffic. You might see that things were quieter in the past.
Note the “Moat” near the bottom of the map. This corresponds to the site of Bradleigh Hall where the Leigh family lived in 1260.
There is a suggestion that Lee Hall Farm was the local manor house before Brinsop Hall.
In 1661 William Leigh was a High Constable for the Salford Hundred. Captain William Leigh was High Constable for Lancashire in 1731. The Leigh family owned considerable land i the area eg Captain Lees and Lee Common.
For a pub crawl around all of Westhoughton’s old drinking establishments, click here. (Once the presentation starts, click “down” to sup up quick and advance to next pub and click “up” to stagger back to the previous one.)
Chadwick’s silk mill opened in 1850 and closed in 1907. John Chadwick, the eminent silk manufacturer, gained a first class award at the Great Exhibition of 1862.
Josiah Harris and the carved heads
Josiah Harris was born in Westhoughton in the 1860’s He grew up to become a well-known stone-cutter, and later the only professional sculptor in Westhoughton.
Examples of his work can be seen all over the town in Market Street, Church Street, Gladstone Street and many others.
The heads which appear over the doorways of the group of houses in Church Street and Gladstone Street, were also faithful representations of famous statesmen of the day. There are two special features in Gladstone Street – one of Mr. Harris himself, and the other of his employer. The political studies were all the more remarkable because they had been copied only from photographs.
William Gladstone a Liberal Politician served as Prime Minister 4 times, between 1868 and 1894. Gladstone Terrace was built in 1888 and was demolished around the 1990s. This terrace had more carvings which are now in private hands.