Monday, 17 October 2016

Walks I wish I had taken, from Lane End down towards Hough End Hall in the summer of 1847

Lane End circa 1890
A wheelwright, a notorious pub, another block of interesting cottages, two farms and Park Brow.

Now the weather will soon be closing in so with that in mind I think it is time for another of those walks I wish I could have taken in the summer of 1847.

I am standing at the junction of Barlow Moor Road and Sandy Lane.  Back in the 1840s this was known as Lane End or Brundrett’s Corner.

Lane End is easy to work out but Brundrett’s Corner was simply because there the Brundrett family had a grocery shop.

In just the same way that the junction of Barlow Moor Road and Wilbraham Road was called Kemp’s Corner because of the chemist shop run by Harry Kemp, and the current usage of the Four Banks or Bank Square which makes far more sense than Chorlton Cross which was dreamed up by the planners a decade ago.

The white building was the workshop of William Brownhill, circa 1890
In 1847 Sandy Lane was still called Moss Lane and here there was a cluster of properties at its junction with Barlow Moor Lane including the wheelwright’s workshop,  a pub and a beer shop, a collection of cottages and a little further away two farms.

And almost on the corner was William Brownhill’s wheelwright business.

By any criteria he was an enterprising man.  He started his business sometime in the 1830s and ran a beer shop and rented property.

His workshop and home have gone but they were on the southern side of the lane not far from the junction with Barlow Moor Lane and most probably on the site of the present two semidetached houses.  Given the nature of beer shops in the 19th century it is most likely that it operated from his home.

A more lasting testimony was the 11 brick cottages he built and rented out.  These were a little further down on the south side and were only demolished in the 1970s having been condemned in as unfit by the Corporation in 1972.  By the time they came down they may have been up for over 140 years and their time had come.  In some cases the external walls had perished the roofs were sagging and the floors damp and springy, added to this there was inadequate natural light and ventilation.

The site today is a small gated community retaining an element of the old name.

One of the old cottages circa 1910
Somewhere along the lane there was the notorious Black Horse which by all accounts was a rowdy place and had a reputation for after hours drinking on a Sunday under its landlord Thomas Chorlton.  It attracted a “rough and low company”    who delighted in watching the nasty contest of badger fighting.

On the northern side of the lane there was the old wattle and daub cottage of Caleb Jordrell who led the villagers in the practice of Riding the Stang sometime in the early decades of the 19th century.  This was the practice of publically humiliating members of the community who had crossed the line in their behaviour.

Park Brow Farm circa 1930
Further down were the homes of market gardeners and at the bottom was the farm of James Bankcroft who farmed 47 acres of mixed arable and meadow land at Park Brow Farm.

Today only his farm house and out buildings have survived as redeveloped residential properties.

Now I could go on but in an outrageous act of self publicity point you in the direction of the book, THE STORY OF CHORLTON –CUM-HARDY, which offers far more detail on our walk along with similar ones you could have taken in 1847.*

Pictures; from the Lloyd Collection except Park Brow courtesy courtesy of Oliver Bailey

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