High Ash (High Ashes) in Audenshaw, Ashton under Lyne

From page 123 of An historical account of the towns of Ashton-under-Lyne, Stalybridge, and ... By Edwin Butterworth, Ashton 1841Google Books

High Ash near the village of Audenshaw seems to have been the seat of the Saundersons whose name was subsequently wrote Sandford or Sandiford. Robert Sandford was a descendant of the Sandfords of Thorpe Salvini in Yorkshire and ancestor of the Sandfords of Nuthurst. John Sanderson held a great part of Audenshaw in 1422 and from him the hall descended in twelve generations to John Sandford who with his two brothers lost a large part of their estates by their adherence to the royal cause in the civil wars of the seventeenth century. The estates afterwards passed to Ralph Stopford Esq who was a captain in the parliamentary army. His descendant Thomas Stopford gent of High Ash was involved in a contest with the rebels of 1745 a leader of whom he shot to prevent an attack on the mansion. Mr William Stopford possessed the place in 1823. On the site of the present ordinary residence formerly stood a fine old building said to have been erected in 1444 consisting of large and spacious rooms waiuscotted and panelled in a style becoming the importance of the Sandifords. On the removal of several coats of plaster in taking down the house in 1814 a number of paintings of figures as large as life were found in excellent preservation and at the head of the apartment were the arms of Henry VI richly emblazoned. Red Hall a short distance from High Ash is a stately dwelling built by Captain Stopford in 1672.

The loss by the Sandfords of their estates due their adherence of to the Royalist cause, has always stuck me as somewhat surprising, since Theophilus Sandford fought for Cromwell and also 4 Sandfords of Ashton Parish signed the 1943 Solomn League and Covenant. family memebers continued to live their after the restoration. Butterworth's account has recently been examined in more detail by Paul Hibbert.

1618 Poor Law Tax Assessement for Parish of Ashton-under-Lyne

Ashton Town -John Sandiford and Ryecrofts 7 acres 1d

Audenshaw - John Sandford for Mr Booth 47 acres 6d

John Sandford 40 acres 6d

Woodhouses

JohnSandford of Audenshaw 10 acres 1d

Knott Lanes with Park

John Sandiforth 36 acres 4 1/2d

John Sandiford more 6 acres 3/4d

Leese or Lees

John Sandiford for Lees Land 18 acres 3d

Mossley

John Sandiforth 19 acres 2 1/2d

"The whole number of acres in Ashton and Lyme are 4180" N.B. - the acreage, given above, refers solely to that which was to be taxed or "Layed".

Total acres owned by Johns Sandford or Sandiford 183 acres or 5% of the parish's taxed lands