On Wednesday morning I set out for Manchester, 18 miles. This stage is very level, the soil very variable. Here for the first time I saw a corn mill since passing Penrith; also a good many cotton mills-some going by steam, others by water. Coming on towards Manchester are some very fine villas, belonging to manufacturers. Hedges here are very well taken care of, and things begin to have a more regular appearance. This is a large, flourishing-like place, the houses all of brick; and many new buildings going on. Here they have a very large butcher market; but a great many sell meat in their own houses. They all kill cow beef in this country, and all supplied from Skipton and other places in the west of Yorkshire and Chester. I have never seen a Highland stot since coming on English ground, save twenty at Preston. The fruit here is plentiful, and well preserved. Apples for a penny sufficient for a man to eat.
They have a great many black oats in market, which are bought for horses. According to the account in the papers, the population in this town is upwards of 82,000. The number of cotton works all around must employ a great number of hands. Some new streets built as we enter the town are the most regular buildings I ever saw anywhere, and must be done at great expense.
STOCKPORT AND DISHBEY*
From Manchester to Stockport, 7 miles. This is a small town; stands very low. The soil at this stage is not of the best, but farming here is better understood than any other place from Liverpool. There I saw two very fat Highland cows sold to a butcher at 11s 6d, “duch weight.”
From Stockport to Dishbey, 7 miles. This is also a very low-standing village, and a very long steep puts in on either side. In the neighbourhood they are very famous for a fine breed of sheep. They have very few together on the same pasture. I never saw such large fine sheep anywhere. They commonly weigh 34 lbs and 40 lbs the quarter of two years old. The great point here seems to be who is to have the largest and fattest, no matter what the expense is. From Dishbey to Wiley Bridge Inn, a low-lying place, to which a new canal is making from the east, but can go on further to the west. The country now begins to be flat, grassy hills, and very many small farm places standing upon the banks of small rivulets give a very “plenished” or populous appearance.