Agecroft Flora 1840

In 1840 John Bland Wood, a Broughton doctor and amateur botanist edited a book entitled Flora Mancuniensis, a catalogue of flowering plants, the ferns and their allies found within fifteen miles of Manchester. In all the book contains 19 references to indigenous plants found within the vicinity of Agecroft, at a period of established industrial activity and an already polluted River Irwell running through the area. Bland writes in his preface:- That portion of the country included in the following pages, although destitute of the imposing features characteristic of some of the adjoining districts, is not by any means devoid of botanical interest.  Wood died in 1890 and his obituary mentions that:- He associated much with the artisan botanists of Lancashire and aided them in their studies, whilst he, in turn, was assisted in no small means by their acuteness and the assiduity which characterised their researches.

Here are some of the plants recorded by Wood and their locations at Agecroft. Wood was helped in his work by Richard Buxton the Prestwich artisan botanist and shoemaker who is acknowledged in the preface to his book.

Bird cherry (prunus padus) was found in woods and thickets and between Agecroft Bridge and Clifton on the banks of the Irwell.
Wood forget me not (myosotis sylvatica) was found in a wood behind Agecroft Hall.
White meadow saxifrage (saxifraga granulata) was found on the banks of the Irwell at Agecroft Bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purple spring crocus (vernus willd) found in a meadow at Agecroft Farm, three-quarters of a mile from Agecroft Bridge.