The track that was to become Hyde Lane was never a good road in olden days, in winter and wet weather it was almost impassable, as none of the brooks that it crossed were bridged or culverted until the beginning of the 1800s. The lane began at the entrance of the road from Lancashire into Cheshire. Crossing the river Tame by the ford from Broomstair, the road reached a point on the Hyde side of the river, just below the junction of the Tame and the brook coming from Godley and Newton known as Wilson Brook.
Old cottages in Kingston Hollow
Showing the road to the old ford crossing
The road followed the course of the brook to the foot of " Bowker's " Brow , now known as Kingston Brow, then it ascended the brow to the entrance gates to Hyde Hall (White Gates).
The White Gates Inn
The road to the hall was also the road to the Old Corn Mill, and to another ford which crossed the Tame below the Corn Mill, for Glass House Fold, the Coal Pits, and Haughton Green.
Sometime in the mid 1700s, Squire George Clarke built a bridge over the river Tame at Broomstair, made a connecting road and another bridge over Wilson Brook near to the cottages in the picture above, to the foot of Bowker's Brow, and by agreement with the inhabitants of Hyde and Haughton, dedicated them to public use, he to have the old road, ford, etc., and the public to repair the bridge and new road for ever.
Manchester Road where the road cross Wilsons Brook
Hyde Lane crossed the canal by a bridge which is still known as Hyde Lane Bridge, and went on towards Hollow Brow, Newton Street.
Newton Street-Dukinfield Road Junction
When the Ashtons built the "Hollow Factory," early in 1800s, Hollow Brow was only a Pack Horse Road, worn down between lofty banks, and so narrow that two horses could not pass. It was shaded by high hedges and trees. The road forded the brook at the bottom of the brow, and winding its way up the opposite slope, went along the Old Road to the junction with the ancient highway from Yorkshire to Lancashire Bennett Street and what was then called Muslin Street but now known as Talbot Road.
Top Of Matley Lane
The Waggon and Horses on Mottram Road
Muslin Street/Talbot Road
The Yorkshire road came from Saltersbrook, the meeting place for the exchange of traffic by the Lancashire and Yorkshire carriers ; it crossed the moors of Longdendale, Hollingworth, made its way down Matley Lane, Bennett Street, Newton Hall, Dukinfield Hall, to Shepley Bridge, which at one time the only bridge across the Tame in these parts. At he time of the building of the Hollow Factory there was a water wheel on the Newton side of Wilson Brook, which worked "Pump Trees," up to the coal pit at Flowery Field. The Ashtons widened Hollow Brow, built the bridge, and altered the road to its present course, and established a Toll Bar at Bayley Field, and tolled all wheeled vehicles until the road was taken over by the township. The point of junction of Hollow Brow with Hyde Lane was called Atterclough, and the length of the road from this point to Hoviley Lane was called Red Pump Street.
Newton Street - Manchester Road Junction
Hoviley Lane branched off Hyde Lane at Squire Hegginbottom's house, later the District Bank at the corner of the market, and passing the Ridling Pits, and went down Hoviley Brow and forded the Lumn Brook near the printworks' gates. From here it went to Hoviley Ford, which, previous to the building of the printworks, was opposite the site of the Talbot Inn.
The brook having been diverted for the purposes of the print works. After leaving this ford, the road skirted Newton Green which was then common land, joined the road coming over Newton Moor from Ashton, then forded the brook from Goodier Bottoms, and finally went to Pudding Lane, which ran by Brook House Farm to Mottram.
Continuing from its junction with the Hoviley branch, Hyde Lane went past several old cottages and a farm, then Hegginbothams Tan Yards now the site of Corporation Street, to where the road crossed the brook to run down Mill Wood to the river Tame. Next it passed some low-lying houses and the village Pinfold and the Stocks. It passed a footpath which as grown into Union Street which led across "Shepley Fields" to Ridling Lane, and, further on, a road leading to various farms and Wood End-Church Street.
Higher up, on the easterly side of Hyde Lane, were several Squatters' cottages, which existed until the start of the 1900s. The lane went by these to Tinker Hill, where a junction was made with Back Lane. This lane led to Walker Fold Lane, down Lumn Hollow, where an ancient bridle path, passed by Lumn Farm, then branched off, and then it became Ridling Lane, until it joined Hoviley Lane at Ridling pits (on the site of Queen's Hotel, Clarendon Place).
Walker Fold Birth Place of Hyde Poet James Leigh
From Back Lane to Smithy Fold, Hyde Lane had wide margins of grass land on each side. Smithy Fold was really a small hamlet with farm houses, cottages, etc., and the road passing through the midst of them. From this Fold Hyde Lane wound its way past Clough Gates, Back Bower Lane, and eventually became part of the Turnpike Road, close to which Hyde Chapel had been built in the year 1708.
While doing this post, I was very much aware of all the streams/brooks and such like that had now been crossed. There's folk in Hyde who do not even realise how many there are. Some are now but trickles but at one time these brooks have been put to good use for the running of water wheels and such like. In the 1800s they were culverted and bridges built to carry the roads over them. As these brooks were in valleys, these would have been needed to be filled in... changing the lay of the land to what we know it as now. Some of us recall the amount of earth moved when the M67 was cut in the 1970s.... none of us can remember the earth that must have been needed to level the valley's and gully's of old. It would have been the same with the canal and railways... Hyde as certainly seen its fair share of civil engineering take place, and Hyde Lane must have been quite an achievement when it was done. Next time you are out and about and near to a stream just think of it's course and how it cuts through our town on it's way to the Tame.... think of the work that was done, some over 200 years ago and marvel at the workmanship and a job well done...