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
Westlake is also a local venue for course fishing.
West Lake as it is today.
Ariel View of
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
(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 )
Number 44 was occupied by a William Tickle ( Coalminer )and family.Click
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
Number 50 Robert Battersby ( Silk Picker )
Number 51 Joseph Gore ( Coal Miner ) Click
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
Number 22, Ralph Starkie, Farmer of 1 acre.
In Swan Lane the name looks like "Tewit Hall" Click
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: firstname.lastname@example.org