In the early nineteenth century Carrington Moss covered an area of almost 900 acres, 95 of which lay in the township of Carrington, the remainder being in Sinderland within the township of Dunham Massey. The moss was not cultivated but was covered in sphagnum moss, heather and birch, and was used only for peat cutting. By 1865 a mere 45 acres (5% of the total area) had been brought into cultivation as intakes from the Moss, though more systematic reclamation may have been intended (see EGR14/75/1-2).
The development of Carrington Moss began in the 1870s with the opening of the Cheshire Lines Committee Railway from Timperley to Glazebrook. This ran across the south-western portion of the Moss, and while the line itself occupied little land, the Earl of Stamford took the opportunity to reclaim 165 acres of adjoining mossland. The area was divided into rectangular plots, divided by occupation roads and drainage ditches. In 1886 the Stamford Trustees sold the whole of Carrington Moss (1,093 acres) to Manchester Corporation, which was seeking a site for the disposal of the city's night-soil. The Moss was drained, divided into plots bounded by roads and drains, and the peat enriched by the application of night-soil. Between 1889 and 1899 an average of over 50,000 tons annually was brought by railway and later by the Manchester Ship Canal. By 1900 the entire area had been brought under cultivation. Source: A.D.M. Phillips, 'Mossland reclamation in nineteenth-century Cheshire', Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. 129 (1980), pp. 93-107.
The series comprises four items relating to the reclamation and cultivation of Carrington Moss: a record book detailing the work performed and expenditure incurred in draining, road-making and farming on Carrington Moss, 1863-1865 (EGR14/75/1); a reference book containing a schedule of land in cultivation on Carrington Moss, 1865 (EGR14/75/2); and two wages books recording wages paid to staff employed in the cultivation of Carrington Moss, 1878-1882 (EGR14/72/3-4).
[For papers relating to the sale of Carrington Moss to Manchester Corporation in 1886 see EGR14/15/14 and EGR14/16/13-14 above.]