The market town of Chorley grew up along the banks of the River Chor and on the important main road running between Manchester and Preston. The ancient highway running in front of the Hartwood Green Farmhouse has seen centuries of history unfold including, in the 1640s, Civil War troops, both Royalists and Parliamentarians, rushing through to or from battle.
When the Hartwood Green Farmhouse was built in the early 18th century it was ideally placed to take advantage of this main road leading to local markets. At the same time Chorley, like most Lancashire towns, was expanding with the manufacturing of cotton. In 1750 small domestic businesses began spinning and weaving starting off as a supplement to existing trades and eventually becoming a full time occupation.
In 1779 this farmhouse would have witnessed the rioters marching on Chorley to destroy the new spinning machines which threatened their home-spun livelihoods.
The spinners could not stop the inevitable mechanisation of their trade and this turnpike road to Preston and the canal in the valley below soon saw tonnes of raw cotton and coal passing through to feed the hungry mills. Other local professions using these trade routes included the quarrying of Mill stones and flag stones, iron and brass foundries, and the mining of lead and alum.