Tarporley Road

Post Office (The Beehive)
There were houses here before 1846, but it is thought that the post office was originally based at Primrose Hill. In the 1841 census Phoebe Hatton was a grocer recorded at living at The Beehive. The tithes map of 1846 show that the building was owned by Thomas Lyon. Phoebe Hatton ran the post office with her sister until her death in 1857 aged 63. Her sister, Elizabeth, died two years later and both are buried in the church yard.

Joseph Eustance followed and by 1861 had moved into the post office from Lower Stretton where he had been living with his family. Joseph was still running the post office in 1871 despite the death of his wife in 1866 at the young age of 45. Joseph died in 1878 aged 60, and the family are all buried in the churchyard.

By the time of the 1881 it was administered by Mr. and Mrs. John Bennet. The building was long and narrow, constructed of sandstone, and roof was thatched and the building. There was a thorn tree outside with stocks underneath, although both have long since gone. John Bennet was a joiner, and his wife, Frances, was a provision dealer. In 1891, John and Frances were still in residence, along with eleven others, including several grandchildren.

Stretton Post Office

Stretton Post Office

By 1901 John and Frances had moved down the hill to Stockton Heath and Oswald Willett and his wife were running the post office. Oswald was the son of  William Willett, veterinary surgeon and had grown up in Lower Stretton. He played an active role in village life being Church Warden from 1902 until 1909, and a licenced Lay Reader. He and his wife Emma were still there in 1911, but less than a year later had arrived in British Columbia where they remained. Oswald died in March 1929, and his wife in 1941. A forward by the then vicar, C. F. Cross, in the April 1930 edition of the church magazine paid tribute to his life. In 1914, Miss Margaret Campbell was the sub-postmistress.

George Mounfield ran the post office then until around 1939 when Percy Mounfield took over. Percy Mounfield lived at Beehive Stores with his wife Nora until the 1960s. He was born in 1905, married his cousin Nora Mounfield in 1931 and became mayor of Warrington in 1985-6.  Percy died in November 1987 and his ashes are interred in the church yard. Following the Mounfields, the shop was sold to Kenneth Astley and the family were still there in 1974.

Beehive Postcard

This photograph of the Beehive Stores was taken from a post card around the late 1950s. Whilst the tree has disappeared from the earlier photograph above, the store and adjoining house have barely changed.

Next to Post Office (Cheshire Health) 
This has the date and monogram on the building of THL on them. Thomas Henry Lyon was the owner of Appleton Hall and Lord of the Manor.

Cat and Lion/The White Lion

History 5 - resized

This old coaching inn was built around three sides of a yard. On the left side facing the doorway were cottages and on the right were stables. It is one of the oldest buildings in the village. In 1636, Richard Braithwaite, an English poet called in here on his journey to Lancashire.

According to the Land Tax Assessments from 1780 until 1830, the Gleave family owned the Cat and Lion, with it being occupied by a succession of tenants. In 1785, Ellis Gleave lived there himself, but upon his death it was occupied by Thomas Horton; Peter Woodward and then John Robinson from 1825.  It appears that upon the death of Ellis Gleave, the family tried to let the inn. At the time it was occupied by Thomas Horton, and the inn named The White Lion. The 1841 census recorded that John Robinson was still the publican.

By the time of the 1846 tithes map, the Cat and Lion had been sold to Thomas Lyon and was then occupied by James Cliffe whose father was farming at Whitley Hall, Lower Whitley. He was still there in 1851 where the census records him as an inn keeper and farmer aged 43. In 1861 census James Done was recorded as an innkeeper and farmer of 56 acres. James Cliffe, farmer, lived next door.

The Cheshire Trade Directory for 1861 shows that Zenas Swinton was the landlord having moved from Great Broughton, near Chester.  Zenas Swinton died on 26 May 1870 and the probate record of 19 November 1870 shows he was an innkeeper at Stretton. His wife Eliza Swinton (née Sutton) carried on as the landlord as shown in the 1871 census. By 1881 Thomas Hindley was in charge and by 1892 William Ostler boasted “first class accommodation for picnic and other parties; good stabling.”  In 1901 Joseph Broady was the publican but by 1914 Robert Walker was in charge and it had changed again by 1939 to Fras (Francis) Gardner.

Both the Cat and Lion and The Ring of Bells ran tontine saving schemes for the Irish labourers who worked on the farms in the 1860s.

Until recently there used to be a sign in a ring above the front door which read, “The Lion is strong, the cat is vicious – My ale is good and so is my liquor.”

Cottages near Cat and Lion
The 1841 census shows Jeremiah Bennett as a blacksmith living next door to Frances Rowlinson, a grocer. In the tithes map of 1846 these three cottages were owned by Thomas Lyon and still  occupied by Jeremiah Bennett and Fanny Rowlinson. One of the three cottages was left unoccupied.

Cottages near The Cat & Lion

Cottages near The Cat & Lion


The photograph below, kindly supplied by Mary Rowland, shows the cottages from another direction, looking north towards the Cat & Lion.

Stretton Cottages post card


The electoral register from 1947 clearly shows the numbers of the cottages, sometimes called the Cat and Lion Cottages, and the occupants over 21, and then over 18 after 1969 following the Representation of the People Act of that year.

1, Tarporley Road (Cat and Lion Cottages)
1871 Thomas Highfield  and his wife Mary. Thomas was an agricultural labourer born in Stretton in 1836. By 1891 William and Margaret Cooper had moved in. William was born in Stretton, and was working as a labourer for the Manchester Ship Canal. He died at 56 in 1891, and two years later, Margaret was recorded as a widow and daughter Alice was working as a telegraph assistant. Margaret died in 1903, and Walter and Annie Lafferty moved in. The 1939 Register shows that William and Mary Annie Trevor were living at No. 1 Cat and Lion Cottages with two boarders: Jack Riley and Frank Moss. In 1947: Norman Clare and Arthur Lloyd. In 1951, Doris and David Fellows, in 1962, Mr and Mrs George and Valerie Sharrock and in 1971: Kenneth Waters and his wife. In 1974 the occupancy had changed again, and Deric Kennedy had moved in.

2, Tarporley Road (Cat and Lion Cottages)
In 1871 John and his sister Mary Taylor were living in the cottage. They were both unmarried labourers born in Latchford, and were still there in 1881. They had gone by 1887 when Ann Witter, a widow with her children were in residence. Ann stayed in the cottage until her death in November 1893. William Holland followed.

In 1911 Gilbert Vernon, chauffeur, was living with mother and siblings. Also in the house was his aunt Mary Powell, who had retired from the Wheatsheaf Inn in Antrobus.  Gilbert died in 1916. By 1939 Jessie Bradburn was living at the cottage. Jessie was 64 years old and supported through private means. Ivy Washer 1971 until after 1974.

3, Tarporley Road  (Cat and Lion Cottages)
1871 – 1881 Thomas and Ann Savage and family. 1891 Robert Wrench. In 1911 James Lafferty and wife Sarah Ann had moved in. James was a waggoner on a farm, but by 1920 had moved to Dorothy Cottages. Harry and Mary Simpson lived in this cottage from before 1939 until after 1974. Harry was born in 1899 and worked for the GPO. Mary died in 1971 and Harry in 1976; the couple are both buried in the churchyard.

East View, Tarporley Road
The tithe maps of 1846 show that these two cottages, both called Eastview, were owned by Thomas Lyon and occupied by Joseph Horrabin and William Webster. Both of whom were previously there in 1841 census. These houses also show THL 1871 clearly on the front, with Thomas Henry Lyon owning Appleton Hall.

The southern cottage was occupied by Joseph Horrabin. From 1871 Joseph Horrabin and his family were living in the cottage until his death in 1892 aged 80. May Bower (née Whitley), who lived next door at View Field, remembered him in her Memories of Stretton as a great figure in church, though small in stature. He possessed a great personality. Clad in the Verger’s coat, with red collar – which still exists, but is not worn – he would lead out those who behaved badly and talked in church. Nevertheless, he was beloved in Stretton. Often, one saw him seated on the vinegar barrel inside the shop, having a gossip. He knew everything and, everybody. Just before he died, my father thought that, his having such a knowledge of the churchyard – he was sexton as well as verger and dug nearly all the graves himself – it would be prudent to make a plan of the graves, stating which were full, the names, and so on. The plan is now in the vestry, and has been revised.

By 1901 Peter Hammersley had moved in. He was the County Police Constable. In 1911 census, Richard Bostock was recorded as the Acting Sergeant, and the house named accordingly.  In 1935 a new police house was built on London Road, however in 1939 there were two police constables. Walter Herrity at the new police house and William Windsor at “police cottage”. William was married to Hetty Leah and they had a daughter, Dorothy.

The 1920 electoral register shows Joseph and Hilda Berry living in Eastview. Joseph was working as a gamekeeper at Appleton Hall in 1911, so the house would have been a tied cottage. Joseph married Hilda Maddock in 1914 and died in 1956, but Hilda remained at the cottage until her death in 1967 with her daughter and son in law, Joan and Arthur Baines.  Their son Arthur Charles Berry is recorded on the the Service Register 1945. Charles, Joan and Arthur Baines continued living at East View until their deaths in 1987.

East View /View Field Cottage
Next door, also called East View, was occupied in 1851 by William Webster. In 1861 it was James Wilkinson, followed by Joseph Holland in 1881. By 1891 census Joseph Holland had been replaced by Peter Savage. Peter was a gardener at Appleton Hall and lived there with his wife Sarah Ann until her death in 1911, and then alone until his death in 1927.  The 1939 electoral register records Samuel and Olive Hamilton living at View Field Cottage. Samuel was a wagon driver. Also in the cottage were their two daughters and Violet and Bertram Mather. In the 1950s this housed the second village shop. The shop was run by Mr & Mrs Brown, who lived there with their sons Richard and Alan. Later they had the Hatton Lane shop built, and they moved the business there and ran it for some years until retiring.  In 1962 the electoral register shows Samuel and Olive Hamilton living at East View.

View Field (Stretton Day Nursery)
This Victorian house was the home of the village doctor. In 1891 Dr Adam Argo, a retired medical practitioner, was in residence. In 1901 Dr Harry Bower lived there with his wife May and family. May’s parents were Charles and Amey Whitley who lived at Walls Pit House (now the Hollow Tree).










Bower Crescent, off Hatton Lane, was named after Harry Bower. Harry and his wife, May, were still living at View Field, as were their daughter Penelope and Sheila Carmichael, assistant medical practitioner. May’s Memories of Stretton provides a valuable insight into life in Stretton around the turn of the 20th century. Their son, Charles Bower also qualified as a doctor and became the village GP until he retired and moved to Cuddington during the 1970s. He died in 1985 aged 83 and was buried at St. Matthews along with his parents.

After May left Viewfield in the 1950s, Henry and Winifred Barber moved in and were still living there in 1974. Henry was the great nephew of George Barber from Stockley Farm.

White House Lodge
The 1939 Register shows Frank and Mary Johnson at the cottage. Frank was a 27 year old gardener.

The White House (Spire Hospital)
This was built in 1904 for industrialist Peter Stubs who ran the Warrington file cutting firm. It covered four acres and until 1986 remained a private property when it was removed and the land used to build the current private hospital. In 1911 Thomas Fletcher and his family were living at the White House. Fletcher was a gas appliance manufacturer born in Warrington. From 1939 until after 1972 The White House was occupied by George and Etty Parton, after which it was owned by Jim Jenkins, a local estate agent.

Fir Tree House
Fir Tree Farm, Stretton from Jack Billington

Fir Tree Farm was built in the late 18th century and is now classified as a Grade II listed building. The farm was in existence prior to 1841 and the tithe map of 1846 shows the farm owned and occupied by three brothers: John, William and Thomas Forrest. In 1851 John and his unmarried brother William were living at the farm, along with John’s wife Harriet and their two daughters. Ten years later, John and William were farming 85 acres and employing five labourers. The two brothers were well known in the Cheshire Agricultural Society and regularly won prizes for their pedigree cattle. In 1859 the brothers decided to get out of dairy cattle and put the stock on the market. In 1862 both bothers appeared before the overseers at the Daresbury Petty Sessions for non payment of  poor and highway rates, however by the time they were next due they had settled their debts.

John died at the young age of 54 on 23 August 1863, and William his younger brother followed just three weeks later on 22 September 1863. Within a month the 81 acre freehold farm estate was on the market.  John’s widow Harriet moved to Bunbury, Cheshire shortly afterwards with her daughters. 

By 1871 William Tickle and his young family had arrived from Keckwick. He was recorded as farming 65 acres, but had left by 1874 when Thomas Hewitt took over the tenancy. In 1891 Thomas  Hewitt moved down to the Chetwode Arms with his wife and family; and his eldest son, Joseph took over the farm. He married Mary Kinder from Whitley and farmed there with his wife until 1931 when the couple left Stretton and moved down the hill to opposite the golf club. Joseph died in 1944 and Mary in 1948, the couple are buried in the churchyard.

Arthur Hough and his family moved into Fir Tree Farm in 1931, and remained there prior to moving to Sunnyside in Hatton Lane in 1945 where Arthur and Clara his wife died in the 1960s. 

Fir Tree Cottage
The cottage was built after 1846 as it does not appear on the tithe maps of that year. In 1861 Rev Charles Cutler, unmarried curate. 1871 Samuel Cooper and his wife Alice, a dressmaker. 1891 Emily Walter and her widowed sister. 1893: Richard Newton Carter. In 1901 widow Annie Parr and her children: James and Beatrice Parr.  In 1902 Annie Parr married William Tipping who died in May 1933. The Tipping/Parr family later moved to Sunny Bank, Stretton Road where they lived until the 1950s.

Between 1923 and 1927 Alan Hatton and his wife Millicent (née Bower) daughter of May Bower from Walls Pit House were living at Fir Tree Cottage prior to moving back to Walls Pit House in 1945 and then to Black Jane Farm, Newton. They were followed by Herbert Green and his family who were living at Fir Tree Cottage in 1939. Herbert was a manager of an iron works. In the 1950s the Warbrick family moved in and they were followed by Dr Wilson and family in the 1960s. William Wilson was a consultant at Warrington General Hospital and married to Vera. William died in 1989 and Vera in 2003; they are both buried in the churchyard.

Woodstock/End House
The 1939 Register records Stewart and Annie Savill living at the End House. Stewart gave his occupation as a bank manager. The couple were still living there in 1951. By 1962 Major George Chapman Rylands and his widowed mother Nora were living at the newly named ‘Woodstock’ and were still there in 1974.  George was a county councillor at Cheshire County Council, and ministers warden at St. Matthews church from 1978 – 1982. He was born in 1924 and died in 1989, and a member of the well-known Rylands family of Warrington which goes back to 1720. Both of his elder brothers, Harry and Geoffrey, were killed in the Second World War and their names are inscribed on the War Memorial.

The house was built in 1935 on land owned by Frank Blackshaw, and the first occupants were Charles and Kathleen Brown. Charles was the managing director of a jewellers shop and died in 1955 aged 69, but Kathleen remained at Mendreath until the late 1960s. Joseph and Edith Billington moved in to Mendreath from Brookside Farm, Tarporley Road in November 1967. Joseph died in 1987 aged 82 and is buried in the church yard alongside his wife who died a few years later.

The first occupants at Greenway were George and Dorothy Goodwin. In 1939, George gave his occupation as a bank inspector. By 1947 George had died although Dorothy remained there along with John and Nellie Griffiths. By 1951 Dorothy had also died but the Griffiths family remained until around the late 1960s. By 1971 David and Margaret Dawson had moved in and were still there three years later in 1974.

Polworth (Highfield)
The first record of the occupants of Polworth were Robert and Ethel Ogden. Robert was an engineer in a soap and chemical works. They remained through the 1940s and 1950s. Jean and Alan Pratt followed and were living there in 1971. By 1974 Christopher Pratt was also included on the electoral register.


14 Responses to Tarporley Road

  1. Sue Tack says:

    Mr & Mrs John Bennett were my Great Grandparents. My grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth, was born at the Post office, and married my Grandfather, Albert Owen, who was their lodger! They, in turn had a baby, my mothers sister, while still living there. It looked very crowded! I have a photograph of the them. I believe my gt gt Grandfather Bennett was a butler at the Cat & Lion.

  2. Paul Harrison says:

    My great grandfather John Harrison worked at the White House in the 1940s and 1950s for George Parton looking after the horses.

    Paul Harrison

    • Holly Taylor says:

      Hi my Mums parents were Alfred Raymond Harrison, son of John Harrison and Dorothy harrison, my Mum Diane harrison was born at the White House lodge in August 62

  3. Christine Watters says:

    Would anyone know of a family that I used to visit with my grandma, we used to get off the bus at the pub and walk there so it must have lived on one of the lanes as I don’t recall going into any streets. They were called Dick and Hilda and I think their last name was Heesom but I am not sure, they had a son named Malcolm and they had pigeons that they must have raced as the loft had a time machine that they recorded the time of the pigeons returned on.

    • Clare Olver says:

      Hi Christine,

      I think it may have been the Birch and Bottle that you got off the bus, rather than the Cat and Lion – see here

      Malcolm isn’t mentioned on the 1939 census, which means he is still alive. Hope this helps

      • Christine Watters says:

        Thanks Clare, I think you are right the birch and bottle rings a bell ! Malcolm was still alive around 1967 when I last saw them, but I can’t find a death notice for Hilda or Dick – Richard ? Thanks for that. Regards Chris..

  4. Marie Lock says:

    I believe my family are the Gleaves who owned the Cat & Lion Pub in the 1700s and Ellis Gleave lived there for a while. Any information on them would be appreciated.

  5. Christine Watters says:

    Thanks so much Clare, I have now been in touch with Malcolm and Barbara, they are still living in the same house that I went to 63 years ago ! Best wishes Chris.

  6. Christine Watters says:

    I have been doing more family history and found that my 4X grandfather Peter Cliffe was born in Stretton in 1815 he married Elizabeth Cragg b 1812 daughter of John Cragg they were married in Stretton on the 30th August 1840 how can I find out Elizabeths mothers name ? any help would be great thank you. Chris.

  7. Clare Olver says:

    It gets a bit trickier the further back you go, and with only the name of John Cragg to go on, it’s not easy. I’ve had a look and nothing obvious so far has appeared on the church records, but give I’m sure we’ll crack it with a bit more digging.

  8. Christine Watters says:

    Thanks Clare I am back to doing my family history again and saw that Peter was married in Stretton one record says 03 August 1840 but I have written down the 30th August I thought the church records might have the mothers name as I can’t find a birth for Elizabeth.

  9. John Vernon says:

    The cottages near the Cat and Lion Gilbert Vernon who died in 1916 I think was my dads cousin all the family came from around Stretton my grandfather Arthur Vernon told me Gilbert committed suicide in 1916 because he was not allowed to join the army like his mates.At his funeral at St Matthews his coffin was not allowed through the gates and had to be lifted over the wall

  10. David Simpson says:

    After reading Johns post especially about the coffin which these days is hard to believe my father Donald Simpson told me of something very similar. A relative of his I think he said a cousin was killed in a road accident ,the cousin was knocked of his bike when cycling up Raddel lane by a horse drawn carriage,dad said he was about seven so this would have been about 1927. The thing in common with Johns memory was that at the funeral his coffin was not allowed to be taken through the lychgate but had to be manhandled over a hedge in the side field,the reason for this was because he had married a catholic lady,this was also at St Matthews strange but true.

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