History of Leigh
The name Leigh is Anglo-Saxon in origin, meaning a pasture or meadow. There is no evidence of any Roman occupation of Leigh, although a Roman road ran along the high ground to the north linking Manchester and Wigan. Roman coins have been found along its route, in Atherton, two miles north of Leigh, and in Tyldesley two miles further east.
Archaeological finds in Leigh are limited to one Roman coin found in Bedford and a Bronze Age spearhead, now in the Manchester Museum.
Until mediaeval times there was no village of Leigh because of the poor quality of the soil, which made it unsuitable to grow crops. There were a few houses but these were a few miles apart, several of these hamlets making a manor.
The parish of Leigh was formed in the twelfth century and comprised of six townships of :-
The church stood in both the two townships of Westleigh and of Pennington. Its nave was in Westleigh and the boundary between the townships ran along the chancel steps. The market place, which was outside the church, was in Pennington.
The township of Leigh
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