To the Manor Born

To the Manor Born

Standing proud on Lowton’s Slag Lane, Byrom Manor is recorded as early as 1212 and the house at one time featured a moat, crossing rights of the River Mersey and two priest holes.The current Grade II listed Hall was constructed during the 1700s and also lends its name to the new Byrom Wood.

It is the ancestral home of the Byrom family and its most famous resident is John Byrom, a Manchester born poet and author of a fairly well known Christmas Carol "Christians awake! Salute the happy morn."  This was written in 1745 as a Christmas present for his young daughter Dorothy, known as Dolly.  The original manuscript is headed “Christmas Day for Dolly,” and it was first published in Harrop’s Manchester Mercury in 1746.  Byrom is also remembered for coining the phrase “Tweedledum and Tweedledee, later used by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland.

Byrom moved in very influential circles. After graduating from Cambridge, he studied medicine at Montpellier in France and was a member of the Royal Society while Sir Isaac Newton was president. According to one source, Byrom was also one of the tallest men in the kingdom.  He died in 1763 and is buried in Manchester Cathedral.  A plaque commerating his birth can be found in The Wellington Inn, Manchester.

It is also rumoured that one important resident of Byrom Hall was responsible for the naming of Slag Lane.  When the muddy road prevented the family from getting to church, the lane was covered with slag (a by product from the coal mining industry) to prevent the wheels of vehicles from getting stuck in the mud.

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