A is for Ashworth

Well it had to start here, I suppose. Within a few miles of Springhill lie the Ashworth Moor, Ashworth Valley and Ashworth Reservoir. Ashworth Road is less than a mile from here. Under every stone is an Ashworth and the Rossendale Family History Society say that if someone is researching an Ashworth family they advise them to start with an easier name. The local felt works, MASCO, stands for Mitchell Ashworth Shepherd Co and the main colliery owners was Ashworth Hargreaves Ltd. Which is where Springhill comes in.

The Ashworth of Ashworth Hargreaves Ltd was Richard Ashworth, d 1835. He left his interest in the coal mines to his son, John, who is described as ‘woollen manufacturer and colliery proprietor’ in the obituary of his son-in-law. I haven’t been able to trace the woollen interest any further, but coal mines he owned in abundance.

In 1835 he bought the land on which Springhill now stands from Charlotte Ann Hargreaves and her sister and brother-in-law. Charlotte Ann Hargreaves later married James Yorke Scarlett, hero of the heavy brigade at the battle of Balaclava - how tenuous can a link be? Anyway Ashworth built the ‘handsome and commodious residence”, Springhill House, which became the centre of the Springhill properties. It isn’t the oldest house in the area however, with one adjacent property dating from 1642.

John Ashworth left his interest in the collieries to his daughter Mary Ann Ashworth, later wife of Captain Charles Patrick (‘the Capting’ of an earlier blog). Ashworth Road was named after her donating land and money for the school and church in Edgeside where she also owned land.

(Mitchell, of MASCO fame, is also associated with Springhill but more about him later.)