by James Pigot (1818)
Ashton-Under-Lyne is a small, but populous and much improving town; it is pleasantly situated on a gentle eminence, in the south-east corner of the county of Lancaster, on the north side of the river Tame. There was formerly a market held here every Wednesday, though the custom has been discontinued many years. It also appears, by a very ancient record, that Ashton formerly enjoyed the privileges of a borough; how the charter was lost is unknown. Ashton Church is a large gothic structure; the living, a valuable rectory, is in the giſt of the Earl of Stamford. The trade of Ashton has, at least, kept pace with the other populous places around it; the cotton factories are numerous, the population fast increasing, and the town may truly be considered of much commercial consequence in the district. The canal from Manchester to Ashton, Oldham, &c. has added much to the improvement and comfort of the surrounding neighbourhood. Ashton is seven miles from Manchester and the parish contains, according to the last census, upwards of 19.000 inhabitants. The fairs are held March 23rd. April 29th. July 25th. and November 21st. for cattle, &c.