The Gaskells who came to Ingersley in the mid eighteenth century
were descended from former tenants and servants of the Leghs of
Lyme Hall. The first traceable ancestor is John Gaskell of Lyme
Handley who died in 1701 and was one of the tenants of the Leghs.
The Gaskells proved to be shrewd investors in land and rose to
the status of yeomen, eventually owning several estates and passing
on wealth to eldest sons, and, given a degree of childlessness,
to eldest nephews. This concentration of wealth in few hands was
augmented by some opportune marriages which brought additional
land and property.
of the Gaskells referred to below are buried in the churchyard
at St Peter's, Prestbury (right).
John of Handley's youngest son was William, who continued the
Ingersley line and moved to Longdoles (now Higher and Lower Doles)
in Adlington. Given the number of Johns that succeeded him it is
worth listing the direct Ingersley descendants:
- William (c1654-1718), son of John
of Handley, married to Alice,
four sons and four daughters;
- John of Adlington (1674-1758), eldest son of William, married
Ellen Bennet of Taxal, two sons, John and Thomas; one daughter,
of Sowcar (1717-1768), eldest son of John
of Adlington, married Elizabeth Brocklehurst (daughter of John
of Tower Hill, Rainow), one daughter, Nancy (married Richard Orford,
steward to the Leghs); three sons, John of Ingersley, Francis
of Sowcar, Thomas of Manchester (and President of the Shaw
- John of Ingersley (1743-1824), eldest son of John of Sowcar,
married Betty Shaw (sister-in-law of William Clayton
of Endon, Kerridge), five children of whom four died young leaving
- Thomas of Ingersley (1769-1830), only surviving son of
John of Ingersley, married Mary Upton Slack (daughter of
Abraham of Ardwick, descended from Kettleshulme Slacks),
three sons, seven daughters, three died young leaving John
Upton, Elizabeth, Frances, Ellen, Jane, Richard (of Tower
- John Upton of
Ingersley (1804-1883), eldest son of Thomas
of Ingersley, married Margaret Elizabeth Grimshawe (daughter
of Samuel of Errwood Hall), one daughter, Anne Theodora;
one son, John Francis;
- Anne Theodora (1844-1923), daughter of John Upton, unmarried
John of Adlington was a much respected yeoman
and it was he who first acquired land at Ingersley (see
Ingersley Hall). His brother Thomas had recently bought Sowcar, adjacent
to Ingersley, and some nearby land, and this may be how John
came to be interested in the area. Ingersley was bequeathed to
John of Sowcar (who had inherited Sowcar from his childless uncle
Thomas), but it was John of Ingersley who built Ingersley Hall
in 1774. He was the first Gaskell to live there, moving with
his family from Tower Hill in Rainow. He was responsible for improving
or building many of the surrounding farms, enclosing land, and
planting trees for timber.
of Ingersley also had an eye both for property and the new opportunities
afforded by industrial development: buying land in Ingersley Road
to build cottages to house workers in the burgeoning cotton industry,
overseeing the building of Ingersley Vale Mill, permitting the
construction of a reservoir at the end of Ingersley Road, and opening
coal mines on his land. Perhaps one of his most lasting contributions
was the building of the monument we now call White
the top of Kerridge Hill. This was built to celebrate the victory
of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and was originally a summer house
(right). John of Ingersley's son Thomas only survived his father
by six years and was succeeded at Ingersley by his eldest son John
John Upton was educated at Dr Davies' School in Macclesfield
(later became the King's School) and went on to Magdelen
College, Oxford. The intention had been for him to be ordained
and to become Vicar of the new church of St John's in Bollington
(a position later taken up by his sister Jane's husband Revd
George Palmer). The early death of his father put paid to this
plan. However he did not inherit Ingersley until after his mother
died in 1851, but even so he instigated a number of improvements
to Ingersley Hall following his father's death. After his
marriage in 1843 he and his wife lived for a few years at
Endon House, Kerridge.
Upton was responsible for extending and improving Ingersley Hall,
and he and his wife Margaret lived a fairly extravagant lifestyle.
They collected countless artifacts for their home, had holidays
in this country and abroad, often with Margaret's brother Samuel
Grimshawe and family, and mixed with the great and good of the
county. John Upton also supported the community, being a JP for
47 years, serving on the board of the church school in Bollington,
being involved with various local charities, acting as Chairman
of the Macclesfield, Bollington & Marple
Railway Company, and giving evidence on the need
for improvements in public services in Bollington. Throughout his
life he loved horses and was a follower of the Cheshire Hunt.
Upton's wife Margaret was also involved in charitable activities.
In 1881 she published a small children's book: History
of Good Dog Fanny and Tuft
the Canary with Other Stories, All True (right). This
gives some insight into family life, but is now out of print.
John Upton was succeeded at Ingersley by his daughter Anne
Theodora. She never married and lived with two female companions.
She led a quiet life and was noted for her philanthropy,
not only in Rainow and Bollington but further afield too.
She was very ill towards the end of her life and for the
last three years was confined to her room.
This page is extracted, with the author's generous assistance
and permission, from The Gaskells of Ingersley Hall by
The monochrome picture is courtesy of Bollington Civic Society
archive. The two coloured pictures are by courtesy of Bridget Franklin.