Withington Green and Cotton Lane

Withington Green is a roughly triangular piece of land at the junction of Wilmslow Road (one of the principal roads south from Manchester and once a turnpike road) and Cotton Lane (an old thoroughfare from the east into Withington - see below). William Johnson's Plan of the Parish of Manchester (1820)  records the settlement at this junction as "Withington Green", suggesting that the Green itself is considerably older. Withington Green is marked on the Withington Tithe Map of 1845-48, occupying the same land as now and recorded as "public land". 

In the Victorian period and later, ornamental trees and flower beds were introduced with a variety of designs over the years. Old photographs and postcards record many of these designs.

For pictures of the protest on Withington Green and building development in the Green area, see to the Withington Events page.

Pictures of the Green - click on the images for enlarged views. For many more pictures of the Green, see the Pictures page.

The Green in Winter, looking North. 
[January, 2012]
Withington Green - tulips and cherry blossom
Tulips and cherry blossom - the Green in Springtime, late April 2012.

Cotton Lane and Cotton Tree Field

Cotton Tree public house, Withington
Cotton Lane runs east from the Green. It is an ancient thoroughfare, recorded on Johnson's Plan of the Parish of Manchester  (1820), but is likely to be much older. 

The area to the east of the Green, variously called Cotton Tree Field, Cotton Field or Cotton Doles, is a remnant of one of the open fields of the ancient open field system for Withington. The origin of these names is not clear. Kenneth Whittaker (in A History of Withington) suggests the name probably comes from "co-town strips making up the fields at the far end [of Cotton Lane]" - part of the old open field system. (This may well be correct, but "cotton tree" suggests poplar trees which are occasionally known as "cotton trees" ("cottonwoods" in the US) from the downy covering of the seeds from female trees.) See the Old Maps page for maps of this area through the ages.

The Cotton Tree public house (right), whose name records the old Cotton Tree Field, was demolished in 2011.