The people of medieval Castleshaw

In medieval times, Saddleworth was divided between noble landowners and monasteries. The evidence for this time is difficult to see in the Castleshaw Valley today, but the place name 'Saddleworth' provide a clue. This contains the element -worth, which is Old English for 'enclosure'; place names like this appear in the Central Pennines and may be associated with English pre-Conquest estates.

A 'Great Way' running through the Castleshaw Valley is referred to in a legal document of 1312. This may have followed the boundary of Friarmere, a medieval land division in Saddleworth. Castleshaw was obviously part of a medieval estate worth of fencing off, although aside from earthen banks and ditches there is little other evidence for people here.

Find out more

Download pdf to find out more

Places to go

Saddleworth Museum and Art Gallery