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The Parish of Northenden, Manchester
© 2006
St. Wilfrid’s Parish Church
Ford Lane
M22 4WE
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About St. Wilfrid’s
Association with Northenden Methodist Church:
There is a Methodist Church on Palatine Road in Northenden, and we co-operate with them over a number of matters, not least the Parish Magazine CONCORD, and in regular shared services ~ on the first Sunday each month at 6.30pm, alternating between the two church buildings – at St.Wilfrid’s in odd numbered months.
About St Wilfrid’s, Northenden and the locality: where it is, its history, the local community etc. :

Northenden is now a suburb in South Manchester, and is administratively within Wythenshawe.  It was formerly a Cheshire village, which was taken into Manchester in the 1930s. This is the geographical area within which the church has certain obligations, and its residents certain rights, not least in connection with marriage.  The simplest way of describing Northenden Parish is to say it is the triangle between the M60, the M56 and the A5010 Princess Parkway, where the three meet alongside the river Mersey.

The first record of the village is in the Domesday Book (1086), in which the church is mentioned, though the manor is described as vasta ~ devastated.  Before that, who knows?  Was Norwordine the “North clearing” from Sharston, which drew its name, perhaps, from a broken milestone (“sheared stone”) on a Roman road cutting the corner between Buxton and Chester, and recalled in “Street Lane”, the old name for Altrincham Road?  Did St.Wilfrid, the 7th/8th century Bishop of York, Ripon and Lichfield, actually come this way, or did a later Saxon landowner build a church for his manor and dedicate it to a man whose exploits he admired?

We are on firmer ground in the 17th century, when the village was the scene of a Civil War incident:  the Rector of the time, Thomas Mallory, kept a diary, and records being woken to the sound of smashing glass as a detachment of Parliamentary troops occupied the village prior to besieging Robert Tatton, the Royalist squire, in his Hall of Withinshaw.  Mallory was displaced by the Parliamentarians in favour of Henry Dunster, who is described on his gravestone (now in the churchyard) as a “most diligent pastor”.  When Dunster died in 1662 Mallory was reinstated.

These, and other details of our history, are described in a short history of the parish available from the church, and also (with some differences) in the major local history, Wythenshawe, vol.1,  edited by Shercliffe (Morten, Didsbury, 1974)

Parish Records are often of interest.  Apart from a brief lapse during the Commonwealth (ca. 1640 – 60) ours run continuously from 1560.  A transcript of the first book is held locally, as are the most recent registers for baptisms, marriages and burials.  (roughly from 1900)  The registers before then are held at the Diocesan Record Office, which is in Manchester City Library, St. Peter’s Square.  They also hold other records of ours, including accounts from the 19th century, and assorted Poor Law documents from the 17th century onwards.  We hold some photocopies of these, and these are often displayed during the “Open Days” held two or three times a year, usually around midsummer, and near St.Wilfrid’s day in October.  See elsewhere in these pages for details.

Northenden Civic Society is a local amenity society, which meets regularly to consider issues relating to the village, not least planning, law and order, road safety, &c.  

Local community information:
There is a privately maintained historical website,,  that has an archive of old photographs of the area.  
St. Wilfrid's Church became a Grade II listed on 25th February 1952