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Tonge-with-Haulgh History : The History of Lancashire, Vol. 1 (1868 ed.), p574


Tonge-with-Haulgh.  In the reign of King John, Gilbert de Tonge held one bovate of land of the king, in Tonge, for four shillings;1 and that this place was in the parish of Bolton seems to be proved by a record in Birch's MS. Feodarium, in which, after mentioning Blackrode, it is said that John, son of Elias Tonge, holds one bovate of land there by the service of four shillings per annum for sake-fee.  The family of Tonge probably gave name to the hamlet of Tong in Prestwich, which, in 43 Elizabeth (1601), was possessed by Christopher Tonge.2  This township is united with Haulgh under the designation of Tonge-with-Haulgh; these places extend in two angles between the rivers Croal, Tonge, and Bradshaw, and come to the confines of Great and Little Bolton, the latter being now incorporated with the borough.  The principle landed proprietor here is the earl of Bradford.  Haulgh Hall is a plain erection, the property of the earl, inherited from his ancestors the Bridgemans, who obtained it by purchase temp. James I.  In 1821 a barrow was opened here within a hundred yards of the canal, and was found to contain two kist-vaens,3 in which were an urn of red earth, a number of mouldered and mouldering bones, with a bronze spear-head and armour, which were very appropriately presented to Lady Bradford.  Vestiges of a barrow also exist in Breightmet, and a mass of human bones was dug up in Tonge in 1750, probably relics of the civil wars when Prince Rupert and the earl of Derby carried Bolton by storm.  At the northern extremity of Tonge, and in the township, stands "Hall-i'-th'-Wood," once the seat of the Norrises, but now the property of Le Gendre Starkie, esq., a principal proprietor in this township.  This house, even in its decay, has been rendered somewhat famous in modern times as the residence of Samuel Crompton, the inventor of that potent cotton-spinning machine called the Mule.  The house is of stone, with mullion windows, and a stately porch inscribed 1648 ANA, and the interior is adorned with  finely polished and carved oak stairs.  An inscription over the mantlepiece is dated 1591.  In a window of the farm-house or grange, at Lower Wood in this township, the arms of Norris are emblazoned.  Tonge Fold wake, a rustic festival of some note, commencing on the 29th of May and continuing two or three days, is held here.  There are in Tonge-with-Haulgh various bleachworks, collieries, and a large paper-making establishment.

1  Testa de Nevill, fol. 405

2  Duchy Records, vol. xviii. num. 14.

3  The Cromlech is formed by large stones set on end upon other stones, while the Kist-vaen is closed at the top and sides, giving to the monument the appearance of a chest; in pure Lancashire, Kist from the Anglo-Saxon.