Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Earl of Essex’s Chaplain: Abdias Assheton

Another unique piece of Middleton research has been published by our secretary Anne Falloon

Abdias Assheton (1563-1633) was a member of Middleton’s manorial family who rose to some prominence in the final years of Elizabeth I’s reign. A Protestant with strong Puritan leanings, as an academic and preacher he sought all his answers not from centuries old tradition as his Catholic forebears had done, but directly from a deep reading of the bible.
In the 1590’s his approach to thinking through religious and moral choices using scripture attracted the attention of the greatest man in England.

This is the story of the controversial relationship between Essex and the influential chaplain he called his ‘little man’, Abdias Assheton.

First report on the Hopwood Millers Cottage published

Our Site Director Robert Huddart is publishing a series of reports on the MAS investigation at the Hopwood Millers Cottage site. The first one can be found here;

Millers House update 1

New Essay published, The ‘Lost’ Ladies of Middleton

Anne Falloon, the MAS secretary has been researching the lives of some of the key manorial Ladies of Middleton between the 13th to the 16th century.

It is all too easy to overlook the role of Middleton’s manorial women given the nature of late mediaeval and early modern records. Where there are accounts, the focus is often on the inheritors of land, the soldiers, the churchmen and the statesmen. But the documents that survive for Middleton do give us some insight into the lives of the de Middleton, de Barton and Assheton women.

This fascinating essay can be found here The Lost Ladies of Middleton

Hopwood Millers Cottage Update

The 3rd year of the investigation of the millers cottage at Hopwood is underway. There is more exposure to an early cobbled surface that was dug through to lay stone foundations for the cottage. The dig will run every  Tuesday throughout summer. We meet at 10:AM outside the football pavilion gates if you want to join in.


Graffiti survey of St Leonard’s Church completed

The survey of historic graffiti at Middleton Parish church has been completed by MAS members and handed over to the church guides. The survey involved about a dozen volunteers and recorded over 100 various marks on stone and wood including apotropaic pentangles, vv symbols, mason and carpenters marks, tradesmens signatures and sharpening slots; possibly created by Middletons early archers. The survey will be added to the Greater Manchester Graffiti Survey.

The report can bee seen at


Tonge Hall Meadow Blog

We are hoping to provide live updates and photographs of this weekends dig (21/22 Mar 15)

Dig finished Monday at 12:00. It was a great weekend and we hope to publish our findings soon. Next one Hopwood Mill Cottage…..

Rather large post hole with 20th C remains including crisp packets and coke can!   


Tonge Hall Farm 1923

Sunday 16.00; one of the trenches has been filled in and we are going back to finish the other on Monday morning.

The wall at the bottom is the 19c farmhouse and joins on to a much earlier stone foundation going from top to bottom. Not sure what the steel strip is but we can’t seem to move it.

  The picture below of Trench 15 shows the old foundation with a cobbled surface outside the building. The trench was completed by a first time archaeologist and his enthusiastic teenage daughter.

  Typical, men leaning on shovels and supervising the workers.  The Matthews beer bottle   


This is what we found last year at the NW corner.

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