The story of an Ashton serial killer

More than 130 years ago, Ashton made the national headlines when one of its residents became the first woman to be executed by hanging at Strangeways jail for murder.

Serial killer Mary Ann Britland (pictured) hailed from Bolton, but married Thomas Britland at St Michael’s Church in Ashton in 1866 and lived in Turner Lane in the town.

She was one of four women to be hanged in Manchester until the eventual repeal of the death sentence in 1965. 

By using accounts of the day, Tameside History Club’s Laura Smyth will describe the background to the untimely deaths of the three people Britland murdered and the killer who subsequently paid the ultimate penalty. 

Her talk takes place on Wednesday, March 11, from 2pm at Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre on Cotton Street in Ashton.

To book a free place call 0161 342 4242 or email

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