Home » Open Letter To The Wallwork Clan - 2005

Open Letter To The Wallwork Clan - 2005

The 1907 OS map of Oldham shows a Wallwork Street to the north west of the Market ground (see map below). This is the likely site of a place called WALLWORK FOLD. Some of our folk were born and married here, it's on the parish records. The area was most likely replaced with a street named after the smallholding or farmstead when villages and hamlets exploded into industrial sprawl.

The street of some 20 buildings was knocked down during the rebuilding of Oldham in the nineteen fifties.

The new street atlas for Greater Manchester printed by the AA has:

  • Wallwork Close, Bamford.
  • Wallwork Road, off Chaddock Lane Ashley.
  • Wallwork Street, off Old Wheeler Street Openshaw.

I would like to know why our name was honoured, how about you? Maybe in memory of the Wallwork fold, gone, but not forgotten.

The 1891 census has John Wallwork naggar maker living at No 4 Wallwork St Openshaw with Ann his Wife, and Lisa his niece (a spinner). He was then 48 years old and lived there until his death in 1915, he left a will.
Talking of wills, my great uncles' all left wills showing the houses they owned in King St, Princess St and Hope St Hurst. This summer I tried in the rain to take photos of some of them. The ones that still stand look in good condition and much loved. Great Uncle Handel would have been very well pleased.

The Wallworks made up less than 1% of the population in Lancashire (The 1881 census shows only eighteen hundred and ten Wallworks registered in the whole of England).
Going back in time to a smaller population, and therefore fewer Wallworks, I am encouraged that we have found so many names from quite a small community of Wallworks living and working in the southeast corner of Lancashire (called the Salford Hundred in medieval times).

For the archives I have made a location map showing most of the sites. Copies of Joseph and Marys' marriage bond 1818 also 5 wills of their sons, many births, deaths, marriages and christening certificates.
There are many gaps to fill, of course additions will be made as more information becomes available and mistakes can be rectified.

The way forward! or should I say backward? Is, I think, to look at the misspelling of our name and see if we can come up with some likely parents and dates for John Wallworth /Wallwork.



The Family History of Raymond Wallwork now residing in Allesley, Coventry.

Firstly the surname Wallworth and Wallwork cross over from time to time in the early years.
It is difficult to be precise in the early period but every effort has been made to establish the actual turn of events based on the generally held view that John Wallwork (the elder) married twice.


JOHN WALLWORK (known as John the elder) born about 1705, his parents names and dates as yet unknown, married his first bride ELIZABETH WHITEHEAD on the 19th January 1730 at St. Mary Oldham as (JOHN WALLWORTH). Elizabeth Whitehead was baptised 11th November 1711 of Samuel and Alice Whitehead (nee Low) at Oldham. Elizabeth (now again Wallwork) was buried there 10th January 1747 aged 36, the value of her estate being under £10 to JOHN by administration.

No details as yet on the death of John but 1761 onwards.

Therefore being the Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandparents of Ray Wallwork.

Note: John was Church Warden in 1744 and 45, 1752 to 54 and 1755 to 1761.

The children of the above were all baptised at Oldham with the name of WALLWORK. They were as follows:

John 19th Sept 1731 Known as John the younger marries Sarah Needham see below
Thomas 27th June 1733 Buried 24th August 1757
Mary 6th June 1736 Buried 10th February 1757
Hannah 26th Dec 1738  
Betty 22nd Feb 1740  
William 4th March 1743 Buried 3rd January 1755

NOTE: To obtain the list of the above children it was necessary to input the baptism of John 1731, click on family and obtain the list of children. This cannot be found by the input of the marriage, this says children "None". All the children on the above list are verified by the "Oldham parish registers" as transcribed by Giles Shaw, 1889.

John Wallwork (was Wallworth) married Mrs Ruth Lees on 26th January 1748. This was the second marriage for both of them, they had both been widowed.

It appears that Ruth is the Ruth Lees baptised 26th August 1713 of George and Hannah (nee) Whitaker at Oldham. Ruth Lees married a namesake Edward Lees 26th August 1733 at St. Mary Oldham.
Ruth Lees now Ruth Wallwork, died 6th November 1756.

The children of the above were baptised at Oldham and are as follows:

James 1st Dec 1749 Buried 31st Dec 1752
Anne 10th Nov 1751 ?
James 9th Sept 1753 Buried 2nd June 1797

So, from the nine children of the two marriages four died by the age of 24. Again the details are as the register, Giles Shaw 1889, with the exception of the death of James 1797.


John Wallwork (The younger of Priest Hill) baptised as said 19th September 1731 at St. Mary Oldham, the eldest son of John Wallwork (the elder) and Elizabeth Whitehead.

John Wallwork married Sarah Needham at St. Mary Oldham 27th May 1750. Sarah Needham baptised of John Needham and Anne (nee Whitaker) 9th February 1729 at St. Mary Oldham. Note: Born at North Moor.

John Needham married Anne Whitaker 31st December 1724 at St. Mary Oldham.

John Wallwork buried at Oldham 5th March 1797.

There are conflicting details at this point. See IGI marriage of John Wallwork and Sarah Needham 27th May 1950 (clearly an error) should read 1750 (see children) the details of the children may have been added by a family member, they are listed as the probable family.

The children of the above were baptised at Oldham unless stated as otherwise and are as follows:

James 12th April 1751 Married Martha Bardsley 15th April 1773 (see below)
Betty 18th Nov 1753 Married Peter Beswick 26th May 1784
Mary 28th Jan 1756 Buried 10th Feb 1757
Thomas About 1757 Buried 24th Aug 1757
Thomas 21st Jan 1759 baptised at Bolton North Moor, buried 15th August 1761.
Hannah 5th April 1761 Married William Winterbottom 14th Jan 1782, baptised at Bolton North Moor.
Thomas 4th March 1764 Married Sarah Stott 18th March 1784
John 31st July 1767
Sarah 17th Dec 1769 Buried 26th Sept 1770
William 14th July 1771 Suggest sickly child baptised when dying
William 1st Mar 1772


James Wallwork, baptised of John Wallwork and Sarah 12th April 1751 at Oldham (see above), married Martha Bardsley 15th April 1773 at Oldham. Martha was baptised about 1752 at Priesthill.

The children of the above were baptised at St Mary Oldham and are as follows:

Thomas 22nd Dec 1776
Betty (Elizabeth) 30th May 1779 Possibly married James Johnson at Prestwich 24th Nov 1805
James 8th July 1781 Possibly married Betty Thorns of Oldham 22nd April 1810
Martha 15th June 1783 Possibly married Thomas Lloyd, Mary Church Manchester 14th March 1813
Robert 30th Oct 1785 Buried at Oldham 22nd July 1786
Robert 19th Aug 1787
Joseph 18th April 1790 Buried at Oldham 8th May 1790
Joseph 4th Dec 1791 Buried at Oldham 12th May 1794
1793 Buried at Oldham 4th Feb 1794
Joseph 11th Sept 1796 Great, Great Grandfather of Ray Wallwork

If anyone has any more information please could they let me know. If you are a Wallwork outside the UK, I would be especially interested in hearing from you.


Raymond Wallwork
Allesley Village 2005