RECENT letters in SAM have expressed differing views about Sale Priory. I think a review of the facts as we know them would be very useful and interesting.

Sale Priory was situated in the area off Dane Road now known as Priory Gardens - but despite the name there never was any religious foundation there.

The Priory was a Georgian-style house built in 1711 by Thomas White, a Manchester attorney, who purchased farmland on the north side of Dane Road. By the end of the eighteenth century the White family owned more than one eighth of the whole area of Sale, including two of the largest farms at the time, Wallbank Farm and Sale New Hall.

Thomas White was succeeded by his son, also named Thomas, who was one of the most eminent surgeons in the country and a co-founder of Manchester Infirmary.

His son Charles was also a doctor and was followed by his grandson Captain John White, who was one of the last of the family at The Priory.

The house was then let to various wealthy businessmen until, in 1923, it was sold to Sale Council and demolished.

There never were any monks on the site but Dr Thomas White had a medical museum at the 'Priory' which included two interesting items - the skeleton of Edwards Higgins, the Knutsford highwayman, and the embalmed body of Hannah Beswick, a wealthy lady who died in 1757 but was not buried until 1858.

John P Newhill, Ashton and Sale History Society.

Converted for the new archive on 13 March 2001. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.