Page 9 - Churches Chorlton
P. 9

Sample Chapter.
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        images drawn from picture postcards, and family albums.
            And this was to have been the end of the introduction, but
        then just as we were ready to go to print, I came across the
        “battle of the trees”, in the garden of the catholic Priory, and
        because the story has a contemporary ring to it and also
        included St Peter’s Priory and a lost building, it had to be added
        to the introduction.
            In the April of 1897, more than a few residents of Chorlton
        were moved to write to the Manchester Guardian, in defence of
        a row of trees which were in danger of being demolished.
            One correspondent described the plan to cut them down as
        an “act of vandalism”, while another argued that the loss of
        “the plantation of well grown trees which now graces the
        garden adjoining St Peter’s Priory” highlighted a trend where
        “Chorlton is growing so rapidly that green acres are
        disappearing almost under the pressure of bricks and mortar,
        and it seems more than a pity, nay almost a crime, to cut down
        a single tree unless absolutely imperative”.**
            The trees in question ran parallel to Barlow Moor Road, in
        the garden of St Peter’s Priory, which had once been known as
        Oakley, and even earlier as Oak Bank, and had been built in
        the early 19th century as the home of William Morton.
            Oak Bank was a
        substantial building
        standing in its own
        grounds, close to the
        modern junction of
        Barlow Moor and
        Wilbraham roads.
            Nothing now exists
        of the house but the
        path leading to it,
        which is now Needham
            The house was
        situated in a garden,
        which covered the
        area running on either                                                Oakley 1894
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