Bottoms Footpath

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Bottoms Footpath


The stopping up of Bottoms Footpath by Squire Ralph Wright resulted in court action instituted by the people of Flixton. The court case provided the catalyst for the formation of the Manchester Association for the Preservation of Ancient Footpaths.


The footpath ran from Flixton Church and connected with other subsidiary paths to Shawe Hall. A Blue Plaque was originally erected at Flixton Station in 1992 but was destroyed when the building caught fire later that decade.
In the early 1820s, Squire Wright first obtained orders to block up or divert paths that ran across his land. Before the orders had been confirmed by the courts he blocked up the paths, angering Flixton residents.
In 1824, Squire Wright obtained another order. An appeal was mounted by Flixton villagers, but then abandoned. A third order was then obtained.

On 15 November 1826, a meeting was held establishing the Manchester Society for the Preservation of Ancient Footpaths, to oppose the actions of Squire Wright and other similar actions. This was one of the earliest societies of its kind. On 14 June 1827, Flixton inhabitants and members of the Manchester Society marched along Bottoms Footpath, cutting down fences that had been erected to purposefully obstruct.
On 14 September 1827, four orders to stop up paths were again put forward by Squire Wright and signed by magistrates. Flixton residents again appealed against the orders. The case was tried at the Salford Quarter Sessions from 29-31 October. Dozens of witnesses were called to attest to the necessity of the Bottoms Footpath, especially during floods. On 31 October 1827, three of the four orders were quashed, marking a victory for the inhabitants of Flixton and the Association for the Preservation of Ancient Footpaths.
The court case received national attention and was a watershed moment in the history of rights of way.


Blue Plaque awarded by Trafford Council unveiled on Monday 15 November 2021


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Blue Plaque.JPG


“Bottoms Footpath,” Exploring Trafford's Heritage , accessed April 19, 2024,