Stretton Road

The road we used today partly follows the North Cheshire Ridge Roman Road which has been traced for over seven miles. The line follows the crest of the outcrop of sandstone overlooking the Mersey valley to the north. Unusually for Roman roads in Cheshire there were drainage ditches along each side of the road. A section was cut through the Roman road at Stretton Church Hall where the width of  the road was measured at 14m. 

Over the years the name of the road has changed, and until the M56 motorway was built, the electoral register referred to the houses from the school house to the vicarage as being along Northwich Road. Those further east were in Appleton Road, and again further east were described as Stretton Road.  Most of the houses however were just known by their names without any reference to the road in which they were located.

Dog Fields
This was the name given to the field behind church which was accessed by a path that still runs along the churchyard between the church and the present vicarage. There are several flat sandstones, which may have originated from the part of Roman paving along the original Roman Road. In February 1861 Mary Urey from Warrington had been out hawking and, when crossing the dog fields, fell and died of exposure. The inquest held at the Cat and Lion recorded death from natural causes.

In October 1895 the path leading to the Dog Fields was discussed at the meeting of the newly formed Parish Council. It was agreed that the “clerk be empowered to engage some person to cover the footpath along the church wall leading to the Dog Fields with cinders not less than 3t at a cost not exceeding 15/-.” It was carried unanimously.

Dog Fields
Dog Fields / Roman Road 1899 Map. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the Creative Commons Attribution licence

School House (The Old School House)
This house was built around 1838 when the school next door opened. The first school master was Charles Smith. In September 1842 Charles married Mary Lowe, daughter of John Lowe of Greenbank; the largest landowner in Whitley.  They remained until around 1850 when Isaac Walton took over. Isaac Walton remained as school master for thirty years until his early death in August 1881 aged 57. John Ellison followed and was still in place until just before the Second World War. He married a school mistress in December 1881 at Stretton and played an active part of village life including clerk to the parish council and church organist. His son Arthur fought in World War One and whilst he was not killed, it affected the rest of his life.

By the Second World War  John Ellison had retired and Ernest and Murial Boulton arrived. By 1962 Alfred and Josephine Knight had moved in although it is unlikely that he was the school master. In the 1970s Leslie and Noreen Herbert were living at the old School House.

Girls School House (Lime Tree Cottage)
It is thought that this cottage was built in the 1850s. Fanny Shawcross was the first school mistress recorded as living  in the school house in 1861. In 1871 Miss Shawcross was still there living with Fanny Walton, the daughter of Isaac Walton  the school master from next door. By 1881 Miss Shawcross was teaching the girls and infants at Higher Walton school, and the new school mistress was not at home during the time of the census. 

Charles Potts had moved in by 1891, he was a machine joiner married to local girl Mary Haslam. Lodging with their family was Emma Lowe, a school teacher from Woolton, Liverpool, who married Oswald Willett a few months later. They went on to run the post office before emigrating to Canada. In 1920 Oswald’s brother, Albert and his wife Hannah Willett were living at the house. Albert was the village sexton. By the time of the 1939 register the name of the house had changed to Lime Tree Cottage which is how it is known today. The Connor family followed from 1945 until the early 1970s when the Barton family arrived.

Church between 1887-1930

This photograph of Stretton Road taken from a post card recently found at the vicarage, is probably dated between 1870 (when the lych-gate was built) and 1930 (before the new vicarage was constructed).

Appleton Hall Stables (Church Hall)
These were originally a coach house and stables for Appleton Hall and used to house the Lyon’s horses and carriages when members of the family were at church. It is clearly seen on the tithes map of 1846. According to Clare Furneaux’s book on the Lyon Family, in 1921 a stable and coach house were leased by Lt-Col Lyon to three trustees: Major Chorley, Mr Henry Fairclough and Mr Philip Darbyshire for use as a village institute. During the 1950s it was used a social club for the village with many fond memories.

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Appleton Hall Stables

The Old Vicarage (Park Royal Hotel)
The vicarage for the newly built church of St Matthews was built in 1831 by Richard Greenall and was located on the other side of the road from the church. It is still possible to see part of the old vicarage which is now the Park Royal Hotel:

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Oldest part of the Park Royal Hotel

A new vicarage was built to the west of the church around 1920 and the existing one became a hotel. In 1939 Henry David Lloyd was running the hotel along with his family. By 1947 he was absent from the electoral register in Stretton, however in 1952 Marie and Rosemarie Teare became proprietors of the hotel for more than twenty years.

The photo below shows the view the other way – west along Stretton Road towards the Cat and Lion.

Stretton Road
Stretton Road looking towards the Cat & Lion

Beech Cottages (North View)
The tithes map of 1846 shows three cottages and gardens owned by Thomas Lyon and occupied by John Berry, Henry Byrom and Joseph Savage.

These were aligned east west and accessed from the road by a short track. The cottages remained in place after 1911, and their location can still be seen on aerial photographs taken in the 1970s.

Beech Cottages
Later on in the 1930s there were a number of semi-detached cottages built along the road. These were owned by Miss Bessie Blackshaw of Spark Hall Farm.

1, Beech Cottages – This cottage was occupied by Thomas and Jessie Dutton and their family from the 1930s until after 1971. Thomas married Jessie Povey who lived in Northwich Road, and worked as a builder’s labourer. Jessie was the aunt of Elsie Clayton (née  Lawson) who lived at No. 5.

2, Beech Cottages  – Mr and Mrs Jack Moffatt with their daughter Sylvia were the first occupants having moved from Roadside Cottages along Northwich Road. Jack Moffatt worked at the wire works. They had  left by 1947 when Jack and Constance Riley were resident. Jack was first recorded in Stretton in 1939 when he lodged at 2, Cat and Lion Cottages. The couple remained at 2, Beech Cottages beyond 1974 after the death of his wife in 1972.

Wyvern 3, Beech Cottages was occupied from when the cottages were built until past 1974 by Alfred and Edith Hawkins and their family.

4, Beech Cottages were lived in by the family from the 1930s until the 1970s by Albert and May Lawson. Albert was the sister of  Martha from No. 6 and the uncle of Elsie next door.

5, Beech Cottages was occupied by Arthur and Elsie Clayton from the 1930s until the 1950s when their daughter Dorothy and her husband took it over. They remained until the 1960s when they moved to Rose Cottage, Lower Stretton, and Marion Pace moved in.

6, Beech Cottages – Herbert and Martha Ann Haddock moved into the new cottages with their family, and when daughter Mabel married Harry Clarke they stayed, and eventually took over the house following the deaths of their parents.  Martha Ann (née Lawson) was related to her neighbours at No. 1, No. 4 and No. 5 being the aunt of Elsie Clayton (née Lawson).

Dorothy Cottages

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Dorothy Cottages 1899 map Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the Creative Commons Attribution licence

1 Dorothy Cottages
It is probable that Edward Owen and his family moved into Dorothy Cottages when they were built in 1884. Edward Owen was a bricklayer born in Great Budworth. He and his second wife Sarah Ann had thirteen children, of whom four had died by 1911. Edward died in 1931 and is buried in the churchyard at St. Matthews where he worked as the village sexton. Sarah Ann died four years later in 1935.

In 1939 Percy Owen, one of Edward and Sarah Ann’s sons, was living at Dorothy Cottages with his wife Agnes (née Scragg).  Also in the house was Agnes’s widowed mother Mary, and her brother Albert. By 1947 Mary (Agnes’ mother) had moved out but Percy, Agnes and her brother Albert remained. Percy died in 1967 but Agnes continued living with her brother. Albert was born in 1902 in Thelwall and died in 1990 aged 87, outliving his sister who died in 1976. They are all interred in the graveyard.

2, Dorothy Cottages
In 1891 Edward Bate was recorded as occupying the end cottage. Edward was a quarry master and a mason. In 1881 he was also managing just over 3 acres employing 20 men and three apprentices. In 1901 he moved nearer the quarry. In 1879 he was a sidesman at St. Matthews Church.

In 1911 Dennis Done 26 working at brick and pipe works, with wife Charlotte aged 24, son  John Allen 2 and Dorothy 9 months.  John Allen and Dorothy Done are named in the school photograph taken around 1920. Dennis and Charlotte were still living there in 192o

In 1911 Thomas Clark was living at Dorothy Cottage with his family; working as a horseman on a farm. By 1920 James and Sarah Ann Lafferty were living at Dorothy Cottages having moved from Tarporley Road. In 1939 unemployed roadman John Bate, his wife and son were living at No. 2 Dorothy Cottages.

3 Dorothy Cottages
In 1891 Daniel Barker with wife and family, working as a labourer was living in the middle cottage and was still there twenty years later in 1911, working then as a road man. By 1920, Daniel had died but son John was living there with his mother Martha, and in 1939 just youngest son Frank remained. There is a photograph of Frank in 1920 at the village school.

Percy and Catherine Cliffe  (née Owen) from 1939, and Margaret Smith.  Percy was a printer and died in March 1969. Catherine was the daughter of Edward and Sarah Ann, and sister of Percy and Albert Owen who lived next door.

In 1970 Edward,  Margaret (Margot), Jennifer and Christine Owen moved in. Edward was the nephew of Percy Owen, being one of the sons of his younger brother Frederick.

Dorothy Farm Cottage
In 1939 Fred and Doris Gresty were living at Dorothy Farm Cottage. Fred was the son of Abel and Sarah Ann Gresty of Northwich Road, and worked on the farm as a cowman. They remained in Stretton Road until Fred’s death in 1968.

The 1841 census record Allen Cliffe and family, agricultural labourer, living at the houses. The tithes map five years later shows land and two cottages owned by Thomas Lyon and occupied by William Bennet and Allan Cliffe. In 1861 William Bennet and family were living there. Their son John married Frances Eustace and they went on to run the Beehive Store. 

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Greenfields from OS 1874 map. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the Creative Commons Attribution licence

In 1871 James Cliffe was farming 56 acres along with Martha his wife. It is not clear from the 1881 – 1901 census returns who lived at Greenfields in those intervening years, however the 1911 census shows George Ainsworth and family in residence. George was a commercial clerk for a gas engineering company and earned enough to afford a local girl as a servant. The family moved on not long afterwards.

In the 1950s (Aaron)  Harrison and Annie Cartwright moved in from Speke, having retired from farming.  They were the parents of James Cartwright who farmed next door at Dorothy Farm. In 1957 Annie died, but Aaron remained until his death in 1971 aged 93. They are both buried in the churchyard at St. Matthews alongside their unmarried daughter Betty who died in 2012 aged 91.

View near the old school, Stretton Road
View near the old school, Stretton Road

The railings that surrounded the old school were removed in about 1941 when the government was trying to fill the shortage of iron for weapons in World War II.

Sunny Bank
By looking at the maps, there was no building on the site until the 1910 map. The 1911 census shows William Winstanley, previously of Dorothy Farm, with his new wife Edna, who was twenty years younger than he, and her daughter Winifred Arrowsmith. Winifred went on to marry Robert Leather of Spark Hall/Ashfield. William died in 1923 and Harry Winstanley lived at Sunny Bank until his death.

Following the Winstanley family James and Beatrice Parr, and widow Annie Tipping moved in. James and Beatrice were her son and daughter. Annie, who had been living at Fir Tree Cottage in Tarporley Road, was widowed in 1901. A year later she married William Tipping, although he too died in 1933. The Tipping/Parr family remained at Sunny Bank until the 1950s, after which the Butterworth family arrived and were still living there in 1974.

Little Mosswood Farm/Late Billington’s Farm (Dorothy Farm)
The Cheshire land tax returns show that from 1780 until 1805 Little Mosswood was owned by George Okell, and farmed by Margaret, widow of John Billington. In 1810 the ownership passed to William Okell and the tenancy to Margaret  and John’s son, James Billington. In 1819 James Billington moved to a larger farm in Hatton and the tenancy passed to John Percival. By 1825, William Okell had sold the farm to John Wright, and the tithe map of 1846 shows the house and land owned by Ann Wright and occupied by John, Martha, Thomas and William Percival.  Martha and John remained at the farm all their lives and were succeeded by son Thomas who gave his occupation as retired farmer in 1871.

Dorothy Farm
Dorothy Farm (Little Mosswood Farm) 1874. Reproduced with permission of the National Library of Scotland under the Creative Commons Attribution licence

The Little Mosswood farm outbuildings are clearly shown on the maps of 1846 and again in 1875, but by 1910 there is no trace of the farm buildings immediately next to and opposite present day Dorothy Farm.

Dorothy Farm farm house was built in 1878 by Thomas Henry Lyon from Appleton Hall on land adjacent to the farm buildings. It was named after his daughter Dorothy Lyon who was born in London in 1876.   According to the census of 1881 Dorothy Farm was occupied by William Winstanley who managed 120 acres and three men. William was born in Warrington and was working his way up, having previously managed just 12 acres in Hatton. Twenty years later in 1901 William Winstanley was still there with his wife and family. In April 1904 his wife Sarah died, and a couple of years later William re-married and moved next door to Sunny Bank.

Dorothy Farm 1911
Dorothy Farm 1911. Reproduced with permission of the National Library of Scotland under the Creative Commons Attribution licence

In 1911 William’s youngest son, Henry (Harry) Winstanley, was farming along with his wife Dora (née Ditchfield) and family. Harry died in 1926 just three years after his father, but Dora lived until 1951. In 1939 Harry, the son of Harry and Dora, along with his wife Hilda were living at Dorothy Farm. Their son, also Harry, was one of the few to win a scholarship to Lymm Grammar School in 1947. He subsequently left farming so by 1951 there no longer were any members of the Winstanley family in Stretton.

By this time James and Amy Cartwright had moved into Dorothy Farm and their son, Michael,was still in Stretton in 1974.

Moss Wood Hall
Moss Wood Hall was originally part of the Stretton estate owned by the Starkey family however as the family languished, Moss Wood Hall estate was sold off in the 17th century. According to The history of Cheshire: containing King’s Vale-Royal entire,  it was sold to Raufe Jackson of Crowley whose son Thomas was recorded as living there in 1665.

The first  owner of Moss Wood Hall recorded in the land tax returns was William Piggot in 1780, with George Leather as his tenant. Fifteen years later the owner had transferred to John Atherton with no change in farmer.  By 1821 John Atherton had died, as had George Leather, with the land passing in ownership to Thomas Meaking (sometimes known as Makin) and the tenancy held by George’s son, John Leather.

In 1841 the estate was still owned by Thomas Meaking of Liverpool and farmed by John Leather and his wife Ann. Both John and Ann died within a few months if each other in 1847, and left the farm to John’s niece Ann Houghton. In 1851 Ann Houghton, an unmarried 29 year female was farming 175 acres. This lasted until her marriage to Robert Fairhurst, master builder from Whitley,  in 1853 when she moved away.

Two years later in 1855 Joseph Poole had moved from Lane End Farm along Northwich Road to Moss Wood Hall, and increased his business to farming 175 acres employing eight labourers and three boys. This was the second largest farm in the village, second only to Matthew Shakeshaft at Moss Hall. However, this was not to last long as Joseph Poole was dead by September 1862, aged just 50. His widow continued to live at Moss Wood Hall, but by 1871 the land farmed had reduced to 80 acres.

Mosswood Hall
Mosswood Hall 1874 map. Reproduced with permission of the National Library of Scotland under the Creative Commons Attribution licence.

Isaac Sankey and his family moved into Moss Wood Hall by 1881 and were back farming 174 acres, employing one boy and seven labourers, all of which were from Ireland. Isaac died in 1889 aged 78, when his son Aaron took over.  Aaron continued farming at Moss Wood Hall until his death in 1913, aged 68; a widower without any children.

The following year, Herbert Brocklehurst moved from Road Side Farm, London Road to Moss Wood Hall and was still there in 1939. Following his death in 1948, the farm passed to William and Joan Hankey where their children were still living in 1974.

Mosswood Hall Cottages
These were farm cottages built as part of the Mosswood Estate.

George and Sarah Elizabeth Carman brought up their five sons and daughter in Stretton Road. George died in 1942 aged only 49, but his widow remained in the village all her life, moving to Hatton Lane in 1974. She passed away in 1977 aged 79.

Next door were Muriel and Peter Warburton who lived at Mosswood Hall Cottages before 1939 until after 1947.

In 1941 Ernest and Gladys Scragg had moved into Mosswood Hall Cottages. Ernest was the son of Mary Scragg and brother of Albert who lived up the road at Dorothy Cottages; and Gladys the daughter of Samuel Brocklehurst from Appleton. In 1951 they moved down to 330, London Road but by 1962 had moved into Bower Crescent.

By 1974 the son of Ernest and Gladys Scragg had moved in with his wife. Next door was Lucy Ashley, the sister of the second wife of William Hankey.

Llys Faen
William and Ruth Roberts lived at Lys Faen in 1939. William Roberts was a manager of a boot repair factory. By 1951 Thomas and Ruth Worthington had moved in, but had moved by 1971 when Douglas Bayes and family lived at the house.

From 1951 William Henry Capper OBE JP lived at Wardleys. He was born in 1899 at Stoke on Trent, the son of George Capper, gas works labourer. He started a business as a pipework fabricator in 1934 in small premises at Woolston, and in 1937 it became one of the founding members of the Capper Neill Group.

William Capper lived at Hobb Lane, Moore in 1937 before moving to Wardleys by 1951. He was married to Alice Herron. In June 1957 he was awarded an OBE for public services in Warrington. William died at Stretton on 2 April 1974 at the age of 75.

Boundary Cottage
1911 census records John Skelton aged 65, wife, son and grandchildren. He was still there in 1920. In 1947 Maurice Garbett was living there although had left before 1951 when Evelyn Barker had moved in and remained at Boundary Cottage until after 1971.

Boundary Cottage
Boundary Cottage 1911 Reproduced with permission of the National Library of Scotland under the Creative Commons Attribution licence.

13 thoughts on “Stretton Road”

  1. Tom and Jessie Dutton of 1 Beech Cottages, My Gt Aunt and Uncle.Jessie my Nan’s sister. My Grandmother worked at the Vicarage Hotel The Clayton also relatives. amazing to see them on here

  2. I’ve updated the information above and also on Hatton Lane where Sarah Elizabeth lived in the 1970s. There are also a couple of school photos of “Arthur Carmen” – any relation?

  3. I am amazed to see my grandma Muriel (Warburton) (Ball) living here next door to the Carmens. She had an extremely ‘interesting’ life which greatly affected my mother until she died a few years ago. I would love any memories or information at all about her. And also Peter Warburton. Also I see Pam Heesom is on some of the photos. We are related I am sure! Well done with such thorough and detailed research. thank you.

  4. I would love to know any info/memories about Muriel Warburton who was my grandmother. Also of Peter Warburton. (they lived next door to the Carmans at Moss Wood Cottage). Also Pam Heesom. We are related through my grandma, do please get in touch.

  5. Percy cliffe was my great grandmothers brother she was mary harrison mother of violet mather later violet greaves and mary and evelyn povey. Aunty mary worked at the beehive and later became post mistress at hatton

  6. Hi great site, awesome to see the village in which my brother and I grew up. We lived at Delamere 24 Hatton lane . I will fish out some photos and post on this site.

  7. I am Jennifer (Jenny) Owen. My family moved to 3 Dorothy cottages not in 1974 but in 1970. The family comprised my father Edward Arnold Owen, my mother Margot and my two sisters Christine and Sarah – at that time just a baby. .My grandfather was Archie (Frederick Archer) . We never felt that Dorothy Cottage was a very happy place and it was only years later that I learned that one of my father’s uncles had died in a fire at the house.

  8. Enjoyed reading about Stratton we lived on London road 409 then pepper st Appleton thorn . But I was in the choir at Stratton church ( pernel) had doctor rogers . Did a paper round at browns . Geoffrey Fitch.

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