There are differing theories as to the origin of the name Longsight. The more romantic is the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie standing outside of the Wagon and Horses and looking towards the city and declaring it to be "a long sight". The problem with this story is that there are records of the name Longsight being used prior to the Scottish rebels coming over the border. Gay Sussex, author of "Longsight Past and Present", thinks that a more plausible explanation is that over time the field name "Long-shut", (meaning a shallow depression) became corrupted into the name Longsight. Certainly, in the early years the area, now know as Longsight, was simply a collection of hamlets and farms. One of these, Grindlow Marsh Farm (number 6 below), is commemorated today by Grindlow Street, which runs alongside the new Longsight Police Station.
In 1844, much of the area shown in the map below was regarded as Gorton, Openshaw and Kirkmanshulme. As you can see, there were few houses in the area.
There were a number of Halls and Houses in the Longsight area, homes to wealthy and important families, among them is Slade Hall (number 2 above).
Despite the modern appearance of the driveway and the garage doors, this house has stood on this site for more than 600 years. Prior to the reign of Elizabeth I it belonged to a family who adopted the name Slade. Apparently the term slade referred to a valley and the area around the house was originally called Wilkwall Slade. At the time of Elizabeth I's reign, a family called Siddalls first leased the hall and its estate for £44 and soon after bought it outright for a further £10. It remained in the hands of the Siddal's for over 300 years.
Photograph donated by Les Cotton.
In 1903, the Siddalls sold the land and the Hall to the London and North Western Railway. Since the railway had bisected their property and ran close by the house, it was then far from a "des res". John Siddall stayed on in the Hall for a further 8 years on a lease from the railway but in 1911, Dr. C. R. Brown took over the lease and used the building as his surgery. Eventually the railway, faced with increasing maintainence cost sold the Hall and today it is a private residence.
By the time the Ordnance Survey map of 1895 was drawn the situation had changed dramatically. In the rectangle bounded by Stockport Road on the west, the railway on the east, Grey Street on the north and Kirkmanshulme Lane on the south, the farms were gone and the terraces I knew in the 50s were in place. The vast majority of these homes were demolished by the early 1970s.
Longsight was both defined and bisected by the railway and the roads. Hyde Road runs across its northern flank and Stockport Road cuts through its heart. The expansion of trade made good roads essential. Turnpike trusts were given the power by Parliament to erect toll-gates and collect tolls to assist in the cost of road maintnance (a trend increasing popular today in many parts of the world).
was the main route to Buxton via Lancashire Hill at Stockport. At the
junction of Slade Lane and Stockport Road a small angular toll booth
stood well into this century. From it, toll gates extended to the left
across Stockport Road and to the right across Slade Lane. Over the
years other building were erected around it.
In more recent years, the toll booth and its neighbours were demolished and replaced by a park-like area and flower beds.
Above and below, Looking up Slade Lane
Looking back into Longsight from the Toll Booth Site
Pictures generously donated by Les Cotton
above generously donated by Les Cotton
view in 2009