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Watch a video of the area developing over time.

[based on Wilson's History of Prestwich 1980, and expanded]

James Simister, lived where the township of Simister is now. He bought a farm at Little Heaton and later bought three more farms there.Back in 1212 The land of Heaton had been divided into two manors:

Great Heaton (later also known as Heaton Reddish, 866 acres, including Lands End belonged to the Langleys, and passed to the Reddishes, the Cokes, and the Drinkwaters)

Little Heaton (also once known as Heaton Fallowfield,531 acres - belonged to the Hollands, and later passed to the Egertons.

Grant of 1321"John de Prestwich in 1321–2 granted to John his son certain lands in Heaton in Prestwich; and in 1329 the younger John granted to his son, also John, all his lands in Heaton, Salford, and Manchester. A few years later (1338) John son of John de Prestwich gave a rent of 40s., charged on his lands in Salford and Heaton, to Margaret, who had been the wife of Henry de Worsley. This was followed in 1343 by a grant to her of all his lands in Heaton. In 1368 and later Thurstan son of John de Prestwich made several grants and releases to Thurstan de Holland"

Inquisition of 1514"in the inquisition of Robert Holland, taken in 1514, his seven messuages, 60 acres of land, &c., in Heaton were stated to be held of the king, as of his duchy of Lancaster, by knight's service"

The two Heatons were split by all this dealing, and they appear on the maps of 1579 and onwards. The resulting disjointed sections of each Township are shown in the below map.

Great Heaton (495) and Little Heaton(494)

Little Heaton included the location of Three Arrows (no longer a pub) and beyond to an area called Lands End in Rhodes. The first mention of the Simister family in St Mary's records was in February 1663/4, dual dated because the year used to start on the 25th March, with the baptism of Theophilus son of Thomas Simister.Unfortunately their abode is unknown because the paper is damaged.

Heaton ~1610

The first Simister entry with an abode of Little Heaton, appears in Jun 1733 with the baptism of Anne Somister, daughter of James Somister & Elizabeth, James was a

YeomanYeomen owned their land, and could keep the profit from it, thus employing servants and staff to look after them or farm their land. They could spend their money and free time on education or other interests, but still turn their hand to labour if required. They were what we would call today, a middle class.

In 1738 James Simister built himself a house and in 1756 he was a churchwarden for Little Heaton when, with his fellow wardens, he rebuilt the south porch of St Mary's and raised the walls of the aisles of the Church to allow more light in for the balconies.

South Porch St Mary's

James died in 1780 and was buried at St Mary's Church, recorded as "Somister". He died owning 52 acres of Little Heaton and having given his name to the village and to Simister Lane. Elizabeth his widow moved to Unsworth and was buried with James in 1786.

Further InfoAfter Ann, they had baptised a further two daughters at St Mary's , Esther (1769) and Margaret (1772). Ann and Esther also had their marriages at St Mary's (1756 & 1791), and with no sons it appears that the family name was lost.

A Simister gravestoneA Simister family stone does exist at St Mary's, recording the burials of infants Jonathan (1789), Nicholas (1800) and their father William(1824 - recorded as Simistor). Jonathan was baptised in Ringley and the missing mother appears to be Maria. William's abode was listed as Salford, and there is also the record of a John Simister of Salford, son of John, buried in 1719.

Simister Stone [St Mary D Section]

The Tetlow family

Simister (1844)

The maps of the early 19th century showed what we know as Simister today as a place called Tetlow, and a stone in the front of the Same Yet pub records James & Mary Tetlow, from 1728.

James & Mary Tetlow

The first mention of the Tetlow family of Heaton at St Mary's dates from 1712 when Sarah, a widow from Heaton was buried in the churchyard. Sarah Taylor appears to have married a Tetlow man in 1683 and they had two sons Abraham & James (b:1689).

A recently uncovered gravestone at St Mary's confirms that Sarah had married Nathaniel Tetlow and they had children called Alice and James.

Tetlow family stone (1704)

The Parish Church records show a James Tetlow (yeoman) of Heaton with his wife Alice baptising three daughters at St Mary's between 1714 and 1722 (Alice b:1714, Margaret b:1717 and Phoebe b:1719 d:1722). Alice died in 1721, and it looks like her father James may have re-married to a Mary Cheetham in Middleton in 1723. Mary, was recorded as a widow when she died in 1834, and is buried at St Mary's in Prestwich, along with a James Tetlow b:1834 d:1834, who was recorded as the son of Abraham, a Miller from Heaton. So this James appears to be Mary's nephew.

The Tetlow family remained in and around Simister with the will of John Tetlow of Alkrington (in the Parish of Prestwich) proved in 1837, and an inquest into the death of Ann Tetlow in Simister, 1839.

By 1837 the first entries at St Mary's to mention Simister Lane appear, and the tithe map of 1839 shows a small cluster of buildings around what is now the Farmers Arms (though the pub dates from the 1880's) and some other outlying cottages and farm buildings, stretching over towards the present day Same Yet pub (originally the Bulls Head, dating from the mid 1860's) and onwards towards Bowlee.

Tithe Map of 1839

The Brundret Family (Poor Rates Collector) The damaged gravestone of the Brundret family was recently cleared by the volunteers at St Mary's, dating from 1803 it records two generations of the Simister Lane family.

Brundret Grave slab (

This surname, is a bit tricky to research as even the family changed the spelling of their name over the years. John married (1800) and buried his wife Ann (nee Fitton) under the name of Blunderit just 3 years later. John was then recorded with teh surname of Brundret on the gravestone when he died in 1863. It appears that John may have later re-married to Anne Lomas in 1828, at St Mary's, under the name of Brundrett.

Luckily the census searches nowadays use "fuzzy logic" to search for "sounds like" matches, and we find John living in Simister Lane in 1851 & 1861 under the name of Brundrit. A manual check also finds the families transcribed as "Broaders" and "Broders" in the census of 1841. John was aged 81 in 1861, and was a farmer of 11 acres,employing one man, presumed to be his nephew William Berry who lived with him in 1851. Four doors along Simister Lane in 1861 lived John's son James with his wife Mary and one servant. James and Mary also appear on the family gravestone. James had been one of two shop keepers on Simister Lane dating back to 1841, but was listed a Poor Rate Collector in the census of 1861 and the couple employed a servant. The occupationof Poor Rates Collector was a break away from those living on Simister Lane who were mainly silk or cotton weavers, winders, and farmers or farm labourers.

The introduction of the poor rate in 1601 required the authorities, known as a vestry, in each parish to meet once a year to set the poor rate and to appoint an overseer of the poor to collect the rate. The overseer woudl also decide on the payments to help the poor of the parish.

Prestwich Union Workhouse

Rainsough Workhouse (rebuilt 1819)

Between 1716 and 1834 the Prestwich Workhouse was located on Rainsough Brow. In 1763, James Hilton and Henry Cope were paid 2s. for "bringing in their estemation", and £25.17.9 for building the "new house". This is thought to be have been referring to the Workhouse on Rainsough Brow, where land and cottages had been purchased in 1716 for use as a Poorhouse. The Workhouse was again rebuilt in 1819.

In 1834, the collection of poor rate was still organised by the parish, but was it was to be collected by the poor law guardians for the parish. Although parishes were often grouped into unions, each parish could be set a different rate depending on the expenditure and in 1851 the new Lancashire Asylum at Prestwich received 350 patients from the Workhouse.

The Prestwich Union Offices were built in Crumpsall in 1861, to house the Guardians of Prestwich Poor Law Union. The office building went on to be used as an annex for Cheetham Town Hall next door and still stands today, used by a solicitor.

A new Prestwich Union workhouse was built around 1868 at Crumpsall. After the combining of Prestwich and Manchester Unions in 1915, it was known as Crumpsall Infirmary Annexe. In 1918 it was renamed Delaunay's Road Institution and later became Delaunay's Hospital, which in turn, became part of the North Manchester General Hospital in 1972.

Union Offices - Manchesterhistory.net

By 1871 some more notable occupations of people living in the cottages along Simister Lane were Joseph Thorpe, gardener and William Jacques and John Walker who were both engine drivers at a Bleachworks (possibly Heaton Mills). As well as a few more shopkeepers to keep the population of Simister stocked up, there were several shoe makers, a police constable and fire man (at a print works). The nearest pub to Simister was the Blue Ball on Heywood Old Road in Bowlee. Though the Blue Ball stood in Little Heaton, as does Simister, you would have to walk through 450m of a slice of Great Heaton to reach it. The route taken still has the name of Blue Ball Lane today.

Fourteen doors along from James Brundret in 1861, we find Samuel Heywood aged 36, with his wife and 6 children. Samuel (b:1826) was listed as a farmer back in 1851, and then listed his occupation as Farmer and Beer Seller in 1861 & 1871, so he must have spotted an opportunity selling beer.

Samuel Heywood (b:1826) went on to purchase the Bulls Head in 1875, now called the Same Yet, the pub had been established in the mid 1860's. It was this Samuel who had the mishap when employing a painter to refresh his pub sign. When he was asked how he wanted the new sign, Samuel said "same yet" meaning the same, just new. The painter, possibly taking a liberty, painted the new sign "Same Yet" and the pubs new name was born. Samuel died in 1889, aged 64, and is buried in St Margaret's Churchyard. His son Thomas Heywood became landlord of the pub.

The second pub in Simister, The Farmers Arms, was just a twinkle in the eye of Henry Partington (b:1831), who back in 1861 ran one of the shops in Simister (as had his father Joseph before him). Inb the same census his younger brother Abraham was operating (slightly confusingly) Heywood's farm in Simister. By the 1881 census Henry is listed as Publican. Both the Partington and Heywood families were numerous around Simister into the 20th century, with John Heywood (b:1851) taking over the Farmer's Arms from the Partington family and Sarah Heywood, widow of Thomas being resident at The Farmer's arms in 1911. The Heywood family ran the Farmer's Arms until 1952.

The death of a Landlord - 1914By 1901, Charles Jaggard was Inn Keeper at the Same Yet, his grand daughter would be the first child to be christened at St George's Church, and his son Jesse would die in the Great War, but By 1911 Thomas Farnworth was an Engine Tenter and Publican at the Same Yet.

An Engine Tenter either oversaw the operation of a steam engine driving factory machinery or operated woolen mill machinery stretching cloth during the drying process - an mechanised tenter.

In 1914 a scuffle in the Same Yet led to the death of the landlord of the Same Yet, Mr Alfred Booth. Mr Booth had declined to serve a group of farm labourers on a Sunday night and while showing them the door one of the labourers, Thomas Flynn, punched him on the temple, and Alfred fell to the stone floor. He died of his injuries on the Wednesday. Flynn claimed that Mr Booth had been aggressive and he had merely raised his arm to push Mr Booth away. Mr Flynn had come to England six years earlier and had no other record of trouble making, he was sentenced to 8 months in prison.

Same Yet - Abigail Jowett bought the Pub from the Widow of Alfred Booth.

As of 1849 the population of the whole of Little Heaton (which included Simister) stood at 814 (out of a total population in Prestwich of 5,152). In 1850, the School at Simister (Simister Lane, Lady Wilton, CofE), now The Lady Wilton Hall, was built by the 2nd Earl & Countess of Wilton, and it was also used as a Church and expanded several times over the next 50 years. Due to over crowding when it was used as a Church, several parishioners would prefer to attend St Margaret's (which opened in 1851), and so a fund raising campaign was started with the aim of building a dedicated Church for the village. The Grade II listed Saint George's Church, was started in 1914, when James Partington and Charles Heywood cut the first sods of turf on the site. It is the only church in the Manchester Diocese to have been started and finished during World War I. The first turf was cut by two old inhabitants, James Partington (aged 90) & Charles Heywood (aged 70) and it was dedicated by the Bishop of Manchester in October 1915.

St George's Church

The Manchester architect Richard Bassnett Preston designed the church, in a Norman style, comprising a sanctuary, chancel, north transept (used as a vestry), nave, semi-circular baptistery at the west end, and cellar with heating boiler. Preston’s design also included details for the future provision of a south transept, north and south aisles and a tower. However, these have never been added. The same architect also designed the memorial cross at St Margaret's church.

In 1920 a solid oak screen also designed by the same architect was added, dividing the north transept from the nave. It is in memory of the 15 men of the village who died in the First World War. The choir stalls, made of Japanese oak, were added in 1923, designed by Robert Martin architect and diocesan surveyor.

St George's & School 1915

The stone on the East end of the chapel records it's erection by the children of James Carver. Between 1870 (when his wife died) and 1912 (his own death) Alderman Benjamin Carver J.P. lived at Polefield House, he was a cotton merchant who held the house under a lease of the trustees of Colonel Ridehalgh.

Colonel RidehalghThe Colonel of the Westmoorland volunteers, had lived at Fellfoot on Windermere and had died in 1887 when jumping from a runaway hansom cab in Manchester.

Benjamin was church warden of St Margaret’s from 1885-1888 and topped off the extension to St Margaret’s Church in 1899. He also donated the park land in front of the church in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and also added two bells to the peel at St Mary's. After Benjamin's death in 1912, the family paid for the East end of St George's to be built, the rest was raised from local donations. The land itself had been donated by the 5th Earl of Wilton in 1909.

Commemorative stone laid by Miss Carver in April 1915.

Georgina Jaggard was the first child baptised here on November 14th 1915, she was the niece of Private Jesse Jaggard. Jesse had joined the Army in 1903 at the age of 21. He was put on the reserved list and eventually called up in 1914 and sent to France in 1915. He was posted missing on the 12th October 1917 during the crossing of the Broembeek at Ypres, and sadly confirmed dead on the 24th July 1918.

Jesse Jaggard

St George's Memorial Panelling

To read more about the sacrifices made by the people mentioned on the St Georges Roll of Honour here.

Read more about the School and Church here

About 1926, the toll gate on Long Lane (Droughts Lane?) at Simister was abolished. Tollgates were also in place up to this time on the Eastern approaches to Simister from Bowlee.

Simister from above