Withington history

Ladybarn lies to the east of Withington. Records from the early 19th century show Ladybarn as a small group of buildings, surrounded by fields, on the north side of what was Ladybarn Lane, and is now Mauldeth Road. See the Old Maps page for the growth and development of Ladybarn over the years.

Ladybarn is now an attractive place to live, with houses of various periods, a shopping area, a railway station and facilities including Ladybarn Park, with its magnificent Poplar Walk, Outdoor Gym, Bowling Club, sports facilities, children's playground, playing fields and woodlands.

The name "Ladybarn" refers to a barn, especially a "tithe barn", associated with Our Lady. It has been suggested that this refers to an abbey of Our Lady holding land in the area. The barn may instead be associated with Ladyday - a day traditionally of significance in agricultural communities. As for the former, the Abbey of St Mary-in-the-Marsh at Cockersand (Lancashire) is recorded to have held land in the Withington area. See the notes below for further information about the early history and origin of the place-name.

Here are some pictures of Ladybarn. Click on the images for enlarged views.

St Chad's Church Ladybarn

St Chad's Church, Ladybarn. The original building was dedicated in 1900. This building was designed by W. Cecil Hardisty and consecrated in 1907, superseding the original iron structure on a nearby site. [2010]

St Chad's Chuch Ladybarn

Another view of the church. The organ is a Harrison and Harrison Ltd.instrument and is rated Grade 2* under a national scheme. For more information about the remarkable history of the organ, see the history page. [2012]

Cottages, Ladybarn, Manchester

Cottages on Ladybarn Lane. [2014]

Cottages and houses, Ladybarn, Manchester

A house on Ladybarn Lane. [2014]
Cottages and houses, Ladybarn, Manchester

Cottages on Ladybarn Lane. [2014]

Cottages and housess in Ladybarn, Manchester

Houses in Green Street. [2014]
Cottages and houses, Ladybarn Manchester

Houses on Ladybarn Lane. Notice the sign 
for the Derby Arms public house. The former
 public house was behind this building, 
on Exbury Street. It was closed c2004 
and converted into residential use. [2014]

Houses and cottages, Ladybarn, Manchester

Houses on Ladybarn Lane, with a tamarisk 
tree in flower. [2014]
Houses and cottages in Ladybarn, Manchester

Houses on Exbury Street. [2014]
Mount Pleasant Chapel, Ladybarn

Mount Pleasant Methodist Chapel on 
Ladybarn Lane. For its history see 

Kingswood Park, Ladybarn

Kingswood Park. For more information see

The Brewer's Arms in Ladybarn

Brewer's Arms, Ladybarn Lane. [2014]
Ladybarn Park - the magnificent Poplar 
Walk in summer (2011). Here is a 
photograph of the poplars in 1963.

Ladybarn Park

Ladybarn Park - woodland area in winter. 
Alder (Alnus glutinosa), with male and 
female flowers, in the foreground. [2010]
Ladybarn Park - Entrance gates

Ladybarn Park - decorative gates.
Ladybarn Park - Entrance avenue

Ladybarn Park - the magnificent Maple Avenue, a gift from Canada, consists of several species of maple. [2012]


Ladybarn Park - part of the outdoor gym [2011].

Ladybarn Park - opening of the outdoor gym

The official opening of the outdoor gym by 
Tony Parkinson, Chair of Southway Housing 
Trust (leftmost in the group) [July 2011].

Ladybarn Park - Bowling Green

Ladybarn Park - the bowling green. [2012]

Ladybarn Park - woodland

Ladybarn Park - birch woodland in 
summer (Betula pendula). [2011]

St Chad's Community Wildlife Garden was developed from early 2012 in the grounds of St. Chad's Church, Ladybarn. Here are some pictures (again, click on the images for enlarged views).

St Chads Community ands Wildlife Garden Ladybarn

St Chad's Community Wildlife Garden - entrance stone [2012].


The Community Wildlife Garden - the willow arch entrance [2012]. 

Some of the gardeners [2012].

Ladybarn community garden

Community Wildlife Garden - a "nectar bed" [2012].

The pond in the Community Wildlife Garden [2012].


Inventive birdbath in St. Chad's grounds [2012].

Ladybarn Social Club. A history of the Ladybarn Social Club, formerly the Ladybarn and District Royal British Legion Club, by Phil Cowtan and the committee of the club (2013).

Documents: Some documents relating to the protests against the redevelopment plans for Ladybarn in the 1970s. Many thanks to Ruth Shepherd who sent these. They include reference to the one-time Ladybarn Civic Society, and to the Rusholme: Poster 1 (1971) | Poster 2 | Civic Society letter (1973) |  Manchester Evening News (1973)

(*) Further notes on the origins of the place-name "Ladybarn". According to the Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey (Reprinted by the Chetham Society, Vol. 43, 1900), translated from the Latin:

Grant in frankalmoign from Odo, son of Ingrith de Withington [to the canons of Cockersand], of a portion of his land in Withington, to wit, eight acres of land by the great ditch on the south side, as the crosses indicate; with common of pasture and all liberties and easements belonging to his fee of the said town. [8.0.1184 I2IOC]

Elsewhere in the chartulary, we have:

Grant in frankalmoign from Odo, son of Ing [-rith de Withington, to the canons of Cokersand] of a portion of his land within the bounds of Withington, to wit, in the northern part of that town between two ditches, as the crosses and landmarks of the said brethren indicate, together with the messuages ; and also four acres of land extending from the great ditch along the kirk-gate towards land of Walter de Withington ; with common right, easements, and liberties. Any future claim upon this land to be discharged by the residue of his fee. [S.D. 1184 1210 c]

These extracts appear to refer to Withington (in "Salfordsyre") with the "great ditch" being Nico Ditch (though Whittington in Lonsdale is near the abbey). This derivation is repeated on several websites. Further investigations of the history of land ownership in the area, tithe duties, the existence of a barn and early records of the name, are warranted.