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West Lake ( Clayhole )

Westlake, locally known as " The Clayhole" is situated down Swan Lane and to the left of Green Lane.
Today it is pleasant area with a childrens play park and is a habitat for various species of ducks and geese such as Canada geese, Swans and Mallards etc.

Westlake is also a local venue for course fishing.

West Lake as it is today.

Google Street View

Ariel View of Westlake
Click to enlarge Picture above

( A Brief History )

It is believed that WestLake "The Clayhole" was a place where clay was removed to manufacture bricks for use in the mining industry, the brick works was situated just to the north of the water.
The land in this area of Hindley Green in 1844 was known as Hindley Common. From this 1844 map the Clayhole would be somewhere in the region of the red square, Green Lane being to the right.
It is interesting to note that what is now Alder Lane was in fact Owler Lane and Sandy Lane was Sand Hole Lane. At the bottom of Swan Lane where it meets Alder Lane was the area known as Boggart Ho.
To the right of Swan Lane, the area was Snapes which stretched across the areas of what is now the Edinburgh Drive estate and Taylor Rd estate to what was Cow Common (Now Carr Common).
Could possibly be derived from the dialect of “Ceaw Common”

This area of Hindley Green seems to contain lots of clay and at the top of Leigh road known as "The Bethel", is an area that has for a long time been known as "Top er't Sonds" or "Top of the Sands".

This area became known as "The Bethel" because of the church that was originally founded here,

Bethel United Methodist Church. Which was originally know as Hindley Common Church.

(See Hindley Green Old Photo's)

Around this area there used to be a sand quarry, where sand was excavated for use in the manufacture of bricks.
There were, in past days at least two brick yards in the vicinity.
John Wild's Brickyard off Leigh Rd, Hindley Green and Jacksons Brickyard


Picture (right) of Joe Unsworth working in Jackson's Clay Hole about 1957/8
( Picture courtesy of Webmaster )



The water area of the Clayhole is now smaller than it was but the surface level is higher.

It is believed that there are numerous tunnels or ridges that lead outwards from the pit.

Down in the Swan Lane area there used to be two pits, Bugle Horn Colliery and Swan Lane Pit.
The waste from Swan Lane Pit was put on the land previously know as “The Clay Hole.”
The waste heaps used to burn slowly, causing a very unpleasant and unhealthy smell in the Swan Lane area.

From the Census records of 1851 it is apparent that there used to be dwellings that went by the name of "Clayhole".

1851 Census for Hindley Green ( District of St John the Evangelist )
Clay Hole
Number 44 was occupied by a William Tickle ( Coalminer )and family.Click Here
Number 46 William Talbot (Coalminer)& Family.
Number 47 Richard Mangnall. ( Ag Labourer )
Number 48 Thomas Gore. ( Coal Miner )
Number 49 William Gaskell ( Ag Labourer ) Click Here
Number 50 Robert Battersby ( Silk Picker )
Number 51 Joseph Gore ( Coal Miner ) Click Here

From these next records it looks like there could possibly have been two addresses that went by the name "Hall" in this area.

In Green Lane the name looks like " Turkey Hall" Click Here
Number 22, Ralph Starkie, Farmer of 1 acre.

In Swan Lane the name looks like "Tewit Hall" Click Here
Number 25, John Wilcock, ( Brick Maker )
Number 26, Ambrose Johnson, ( Farmer of 8 acres ).


If anyone can shed any more light on this information,
Or if you have any old photographs of the Clayhole.
You can contact HGRA Webmaster Email:


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