HALLS FARMS & COTTAGES
Old Wythenshawe, situated inside the original boundaries of the River Mersey, and the Brooks of Baguley, Fairywell and Gatley, was full of Halls, farms and cottages, many of which dated back to Mediaeval times, some of which date back to even earlier.
Baguley Hall was built around the year 1398 and Wythenshawe Hall was built around 1540. There were a number of old, thatched cottages in Wythenshawe. The last survivors of the old type of cottages were the Magpie or Rose Cottages in Church Road, Northenden and were probably occupied by yeomen farmers in the sixteenth century.
*Acknowledgements to Manchester Libraries Local Image Collection*
There were a number of old, thatched cottages in Wythenshawe, notably in Poundswick. In the grounds of the original Poundswick Grammar School (now the Manchester Enterprise Academy), the Gardening/Potting Shed was originally Kinsey’s Farm, now long-since demolished and replaced by an office block. There were also other small cottages, locally known as the Poundswick Cottages.
The last survivors of the old type of cottages were the Magpie or Rose Cottages in Church Road, Northenden and were probably occupied by yeomen farmers in the sixteenth century, cobbled paths and tiny windows were typical. They were built in 1701 and were demolished in 1957. Other old cottages with thatched roofs were on the site of the first row of shops on Church Road, Gatley, behind the Prince of Wales Inn. They were the property of Mr. T. Fallows, wheelwright and blacksmith. They were destroyed by fire in 1887.
The windows of the earliest dwellings were very simple, but they sometimes had timber hoods to give protection. In Tudor times, oiled linen and shutters were common. Manor houses had ornamental windows and oriels. Glass was used in Elizabeth I's time but it was very expensive.
From the sixteenth century onwards, glass was found usually in leaded windows or small, paned sashes instead of the large sheets we use today. In 1782, William Pitt increased the Window Tax, first levied in 1697, and bricked-up windows or Titt's Pictures' became very common.
By 1710-1725 the new building material, which had become common, was brick. The main reason for its use was as a safeguard against fire and as a protection against vermin. The destruction of the wooden buildings in the Great Fire of London had made a strong impression. The bricks were hand-made of local boulder clay. The brickwork was plain with little ornamentation. Between 1725 and 1775 there was a cult for building in stone. After 1815 box-like buildings appeared over the whole country, the only decorative feature being the porch, like the two-storey porch at Newall Green Farm.
A special type of cottage was the hand-loom weaver's cottage, usually built of bricks with a slate roof. They were of two storeys and had a cellar. The upper rooms were large enough to hold the looms. The owners and their sons and daughters combined agricultural work with weaving. There were also little groups of cottages where a mill, a quarry or a mine was working, e.g. Styal Mill. Later, the cottages were built in small terraces with a flat facade and simple panel doors. The small front gardens added to their charm.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, both single houses and groups of terraced houses, were adorned with date stones which often bore the initials of the owner. John Owen, the antiquary, fortunately made many sketches of local minor as well as major buildings in Manchester in the 1860s and 1870s and the originals can be seen in the Central Library.
HAVELEY HEY FARM
||Haveley Hey (pictured, left, in 1918) was the home of the Ryles or Ruyuls from the fourteenth century. Richard de Rhuyul held an enclosed piece of land called Alveley Hey in 1318. It passed through a period of ownership by the Baguleys and the Davenports of Henbury, and came into the hands of the Tattons in 1557. At that time there were four houses, 480 acres of land, 20 acres of woodland 220 acres of heath, moor, moss and furze.
In 1616 there were four tenants paying rents to the Lord of the Manor of Etchells. In the late nineteenth century, Higher Haveley Hey Farm, situated in Truck Lane, Poundswick, was farmed by Peter and Joseph Royle. The latter was the grandfather of Arthur Royle, the local historian, who described the farm as it was in his youth.
The projecting rear buildings then accommodated an old-fashioned bakehouse which was occasionally used as living quarters for a teamsman. It had a huge, open hearth to take great logs. Haveley Hey had its own smithy, and even before 1890, it had a steam-driven threshing machine a 'new-fangled' device little known in those days. Lower Haveley Hey Farm, which was well south of the Stockport Road and west of Benchill Farm, was at one time farmed by a Thomas Garner
NEWALL GREEN FARM
|A Grade II Listed Building, this is one of the earliest examples of a brick building in the district. The bricks, manufactured from the boulder clay of the region, were handmade. It is a two-storey detached farmhouse with two detached barns, 15 stables and associated ancillary buildings.
W. A. Singleton (‘Traditional Dwellings in the South Manchester Area’, 1949/50) gives the date as 1594, but others give the date of the front as 1694 and of the back as 1734. 1594 is a rather early date for a brick building. The stone carved date was decayed, - it may have been mistakenly read as 1694 and so restored. There is some similarity in design to Hough End Hall in Chorlton, dated 1596.
Pevsner describes Newall Green Farmhouse as a seventeenth century brick house with two projecting wings and a middle porch. The angles are quoined and the porch has a semi-circular top instead of a pediment. It is an interesting example of the two-storey type of porch. In some of the larger dwellings of the period the porch was made an important feature of the building. The name suggests the building of a new hall as opposed to the old Baguley Hall. In 1757 the following notice appeared in the Manchester Mercury:
'To Be Sold.
An estate of inheritance in Baguley in the county of Chester (at a place there called Newhall Green) now in the possession of John Lamb and Thomas Johnson, as farmers thereof, under the yearly rent of £92.1shilling. Note, the estate, upon which there is an extraordinary good house with very good outbuildings, is situate about six miles from Manchester, four miles from Stockport, two miles from Altrincham and five from Knutsford. Attendance will be given for sale of the said estate at Altrincham on Tues. I2th April and application may be made to Mr. Wright of Knutsford for particulars.'
CHAMBER HALL & FARM – BROWNLOW GREEN SMITHY
||Chamber Hall Farm (pictured, left, in 1910) was built about 1703, probably on the site of an earlier building. It was the home of the Shelmerdine family for several generations. Francis Shelmerdine, who was Chaplain to Colonel Duckinfield was also curate at Cheadle Parish Church. Later, he was Vicar of Mottram and was ejected in 1662. In his will he is described as being 'of Chamber in Etchells'. The house may have been so called because it was the first house in the district with bedrooms or 'chambers' upstairs.
In 1773 the Rev. Robert Twyford of Didsbury purchased it, and later it became the property of the Tatton family who were related by marriage to the Twyfords.
According to Fletcher Moss," three generations of the Simpson family lived at Chamber Hall when it was a farmhouse and at one time some of Fletcher Moss's ancestors resided there. The front door is thought to be older than 1703, and the very large stones in the foundations suggest an earlier timber-framed house there. The present occupants are Mr. and Mrs. Bayley.
STONE PALE HALL
Stone Pale Hall in Gatley was part of the estate of the Potts of Salop. They may have come originally from Pott Shrigley. Stone Pale was a good example of a timber-built house. Fletcher Moss tells us it contained an old-fashioned cheese room, perfectly dark to exclude flies, and with a hardened clay floor and thatched roof to maintain equable temperature for storage.
The house was made into three cottages (pictured, right, in 1895), in front of which were stone palings with the letters 'I E P' for John and Elizabeth Pimlott and the date 1714. Previous to that date the Pimlotts had brought their stone pales from Kerridge. They also owned an adjoining old house nearer to Cross Acres.
Its name was either Wiggins Hill or Noggins Hall, and Fletcher Moss describes the man who lived there for many years who was famous for the making of 'noggins, piggins, platters and other useful articles'. His name was Wiggins, hence the name Wiggins Hill.
The original main timbers forming the gable of Stone Pale Hall were crooked trees, roughly worked into shape. The chimneys appear to have been built after the house. In 1818 distress among weavers caused some Gatleyites to join the Luddites. The next year, a troop of Oxford Blues came in search of certain men, one of whom, Isaac Legh, hid in the chimney of Stone Pale Hall and lived to re-appear at Peterloo. The building was demolished in Nov. 1969 to make way for a building development.
KENWORTHY HALL FARM
|This 200 year old ivy-covered farmhouse was swept away to make room for the motorway. The exact date of the building is in doubt but the Tattons are first mentioned in connection with Kenworthy. It was a brick-built house with a pillared doorway. There were six rooms on the ground floor and four bedrooms.
This farm was demolished by the housing planners when the Benchill Estate was built. It stood at the junction of Benchill Road and Newhey Road. Records of Benchill Farm are to be found in St. Wilfrid's Parish Registers, e.g. in 1571 the christening of Philip Savage appears. Before becoming Tatton property it had many owners. One of its last occupants was James Garner, assistant overseer for the district.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Poundswick comprised two small farms known as North (or Upper) and South (or Lower) Poundswick Farms. They could be reached by heading west from Crossacres and Brownley Green along the narrow, tree-lined Poundswick Lane. To give an idea of where the farms were situated in relation to the current geography of the place, the north farm was located in the area between the eastern end of the current school building and the Simonsway / Poundswick Lane roundabout. The south farm (also known at the time as Lower Kinsey's Farm, after its owner, William Kinsey) was situated at the eastern end of the small enclosed park between Simonsway and Longhope Road, almost directly opposite the present-day school site.
South Poundswick farmhouse had the inscription "H.G. 1636" above its door. In later years, South Poundswick Farm was known as Poundswick Hall Farm and maps drawn in the 1950s before it was demolished often show it with this name.
When Poundswick Grammar School (now ‘Parklands High School’ and soon-to-be the ‘Manchester Enterprise Academy’) was built in the mid-1950s, Poundswick Lane was still the narrow, tree-lined country lane of fifty years before, and the area now covered by Wythenshawe Town Centre comprised open fields which were known locally as Top Fields. Immediately opposite the school, on the southern side of Simonsway (then called Civic Centre Road), South Poundswick farmhouse still stood, defiant and inhabited, with its garden, yard and duck pond unchanged from a bygone era. Hideous blocks of flats on Longhope Road (now mercifully demolished) provided an incongruous backdrop to this nineteenth century scene.
One of the North Poundswick Farm cottages was fortunate enough to find itself within the school boundary, indeed it stood within a few yards of the eastern end of the school building. Known as Kinsey's Cottage, it was renovated when the school was built and used as a store room for football nets and hurdles etc. The photograph below was taken in the mid-60s from Leybrook Road and the cottage can be seen on the left, behind the goal post.
Kinsey's Cottage, although substantial, was not the largest of the North Poundswick farm buildings. W. H. Shercliff, in his book A History of Wythenshawe, suggests that it was probably built to house yeomen farmers in the sixteenth century. If this be true, the cottage was about four hundred years old when the school was built.
Farms and Cottages, Crabtree Farm in Bailey Lane, Poundswick, Wythenshawe (barn contains store vegetables-probably onions or turnips)
Having served the two farms, Poundswick Lane turned south and eventually forked, the right-hand fork becoming Bailey Lane, which still exists today. Several small un-named cottages along this road were also part of the Poundswick hamlet.
The left-hand fork, known as Dark Lane, joined the old Woodhouse Lane approximately mid-way between Brownley Green and Heyhead at a point which roughly coincides today with the junction of Tayfield Road and Portway. Where the road forked there stood an attractive terrace of farm buildings known as Crabtree Cottages.
This half-timbered Tudor house was the home of the Tatton family who lived there between 1540 and 1926. It was built around 1540 by Robert Tatton from Chester. During the English Civil War, the Hall was unsuccessfully defended by Robert Tatton against Cromwell's forces. After the War, the Tatton estate expanded to about 2,500 acres.
In 1924, Robert Henry Greville Tatton inherited Wythenshawe and yielded to pressure from the then Manchester Corporation who were in need of land for housing. The Hall and 250 acres of land were bought by Lord Simon of Wythenshawe, who immediately donated them to the City of Manchester and given to the City of Manchester, "to be kept for ever as an open space for the people of Manchester. What used to be farmland, grew into one of the largest housing estates in Europe.
Thought to have been built in the fourteenth century, it was known in early times as 'the Peele'. The name was derived from a Celtic word meaning a little defensive building or small castle. A Peel was thus a fortified tower or keep. Peel Hall was originally the Manor House of the manor of Etchells. It was used occasionally by the Stanleys and the Ardernes but was never the permanent main seat of an important family. Mary I sold the confiscated manor to Robert Tatton in 1578 and it became the Dower House for the Tattons. At that time it was being rebuilt and Robert Tatton's will mentions 'the Peel in Etchells which is not sufficiently builded for my wife to dwell in it'. There was a demesne area and parkland in late medieval times which gradually disappeared and finally became part of Peel Hall Farm.
It is attributed to the seventeenth century but others think it much later. It is said that some of the interior structure was retained, e.g. the staircase.
Peel Hall Bridge was listed under the Town and Country Planning Act 1962 as a building of special architectural or historic interest, well worth preserving.
During the Civil War the Peele was inhabited by the Rev. Dr. Nicholls, the ejected Rector of Cheadle who had married Katherine Tatton, widow of Robert Tatton. His estates, including the lands of the Peele, settled upon his wife, were sequestered. The building was unfortunately pulled down and the present farm house was erected on the same site at a later date.
The original occupants of Sharston were the Worthingtons who were settled in the district by 1511. The present manor house was rebuilt on its present site in 1701. The earliest mention of the Hall is in 1754. After the death of John Worthington in 1762, his wife offered Sharston Hall for sale with 20 acres of land and a recently planted fruit garden. John Worthington was an eminent lawyer frequently employed by the Leghs of Lyme.
Thomas Worthington Senior the Squire of Sharston Hall had been in business in Manchester as a smallware manufacturer and is said to have dealt in umbrellas when they first became popular. While in Manchester he had a house in the then fashionable Mosley Street. His son Thomas Worthington Junior who was born in 1802 continued in the business, after his father retired to Sharston, and joined the Earl of Chester's Yeomanry Cavalry. A story is told in Stancliffe's book John Shaw's that the Stockport troop had halted opposite Sharston Hall on their way home from active service in July 1827 and were regaled by Thomas Worthington Senior with wine and ale. Two months later his son was posted as a Cornet and eventually rose to the rank of Captain. He commanded the Dunham Massey Troop during the Chartist Riots when a crowd of 10,000 marched into Stockport and stopped the mills. According to a mural tablet in St. Wilfrid's Church, Northenden, he died in 1856 at Ryde, Isle of Wight at the age of 54. He was the last of the male Worthingtons of Sharston, the property passing to his sister Mrs. Bayley.
The Sharston Hall Charity and the Kenworthy Charity were instituted by him and he left £1150 for providing food, fuel and raiment for the poor of Northen Etchells and Northenden. He expressed the hope that local farmers would cheerfully cart the coal provided by his bequest, free of charge. He also left money to the Manchester Infirmary and to the School for the Deaf and Dumb. Each person recommended by the various religious bodies to the Trustees receives a voucher for ten shillings (50p.) at Christmas.
Sharston Hall was taken over by Manchester Corporation, and was used for a variety of social purposes. It eventually closed, in a sadly dilapidated condition, and was demolished in the 1970s.
This is a good example of a nineteenth century merchant's house. It was at one time the residence of Absalom Watkin, J.P. for Lancashire, who describes the buying of the house and land in his ‘Extracts from His Journal 1814-1856’. Absalom Watkin (known as 'the Nearly Man of Northenden' MORE
) was born in London on June 27th 1787, a descendant of farmers and landowners who migrated from the Welsh borders first to Shrewsbury and later to Audlem in South Cheshire. Absalom was very young when his father died and he went to Manchester to receive a business training in his uncle's firm. His uncle, John Watkin, a cotton merchant, retired early and after a few years Absalom became the proprietor of the business which was continued in his own name from 1807.
Besides being a successful business man, he was also a family man, interested in his gardens, country matters and his books. He had a fine library containing literary treasures in French and English.
His collection included English poetry and prose and works on religion, science, philosophy, history, botany and travel. He was very appreciative of the natural beauty of Northenden, the starlit evenings, the plants, the ripening corn, the hay harvest.
This building, situated at Newall Green, was rebuilt and enlarged in 1691 and derives its name from the balls and prominent embellishments on the gables. The low beamed ceilings, dividing the ground from the upper floor, suggest its having been, at one time, a thatched house. It was taken down in 1959. For many years in the nineteenth century it was the home of Charles Helsby, a surgeon dentist, and later Arthur Price.
This old hall was pulled down about 1953. It stood a few hundred yards down Floats Road from the Altrincham Road. It was a well-preserved seventeenth century building of brick and pegged timber, its walls based on a double layer of sandstone to which a brick and stone addition was made later. An old-fashioned pump with a very deep well stood by the back door. The house was occupied for many years by an old Baguley family, the Jacksons. Over the mantelpiece was a coat of arms, covered with whitewash, which was said to be the arms of the Leghs of Baguley, one of whose daughters married an Arderne. Their origins were in Leigh near Wigan in Lancashire, and they pop up in much relevant 'Shakespeare in Lancashire' literature, not least with Sir Piers Legh of Lyme receiving a dedication from John Weever in 1599. (Honigmann, Weever, 1987)
WOODHOUSE PARK FARM
Woodhouse Park Farm gates. Woodhouse Park had been a 'gentleman's residence', owned by a Mr. Chadwick. It was left to the Bloor family by him, and they had it as a farm and market garden, until it was compulsorily purchased by Manchester Corporation in 1949. The farm gave its name to the part of the Wythenshawe Estate now known as Woodhouse Park.
Mr. Bloor's father Herbert moved to the Hollies Farm from his farm at Woodhouse Park, when that was compulsorily purchased by Manchester Corporation in 1949. The Hollies Farm was formerly owned by the Pearson family (Tape no.1057, Mrs. Dearden). The family were farmers and market gardeners, and Mr. Bloor is still market gardening, growing flowers on fields on Woodhouse Lane, and sending them to be sold by a commission agent at Manchester Market. His mother was Annie Wright, related to Albert Bracegirdle (senior)'s wife Amy Wright. Mr. Bloor was born in 1928.