Visit Salford | Discover historic Worsley
Many people are misled by the appearance of Worsley Green, assuming it is older than it really is; in fact the ancient 'village green' in the area is Roe Green. It was first mentioned in relation to a land dispute between Gilbert Sherrington of Wardley Hall and Richard Brereton of Worsley, the settlement of which resulted in Roe Green coming under the control of the Manor of Worsley. This lasted until 1899 when control of the green passed from the Bridgewater Trustees to Worsley UDC.
The Green was used as common land, an open space that could be used for grazing and there was a pound or pinfold nearby where stray beasts were kept until released on the payment of a fine. It was also used for sporting activities and late Victorian summer days saw epic cricket matches between teams of 'Up-Greeners' and 'Down-Greeners'. These matches no doubt honed the skills of two of Roe Green's most famous sons, the cricketing Tyldesley brothers; both J.T. and Ernest Tyldesley played for Lancashire and England in the early years of the last century.
The hamlet grew around the green, where cottages were built by the Duke of Bridgewater, the inhabitants employed in local mines, agriculture and, until the arrival of cotton mills, with handloom weaving. Up to the 20th century Roe Green was a 'working class' village, centred round chapel, school and Co-op.
Today's thriving community centre occupies the old infant school, built in 1892 and closed in 1968, an institution that could trace its origins to 1716 when Thomas Colllier left a bequest to endow a school for the education of poor boys. In 1752 an extension to the original school served as the Worsley poorhouse for 17 years until it transferred to Hazelhurst.
Over the years Roe Green has enjoyed a reputation as a 'dry' village, indeed there is still no pub in Roe Green. This tradition of abstinence was a product of Independent Methodism, which came to Roe Green in 1808 when Humphrey Harper, standing on a stone, preached to a large crowd at Tyldesley Fold. These open air meetings transferred to a cottage, then to the preaching room over Richard Clarke's warehouse in Lumber Lane. The first chapel opened in 1855 and the present chapel in 1884.
The Manchester - Wigan Railway cut through the area in the 1860s separating Beesley Green, which until then had been an integral part of Roe Green. The railway also provided an incentive to new housing development, in the 20th century roads were to open up the village even more.
In 1934 the opening of the East Lancashire Road and later the arrival of the motorway made Roe Green an easily accessible and desirable place to live, further housing development brought new residents. To maintain the character of the built environment the village became a Conservation Area in 1978.
Thanks to Ann Monaghan for this history.