Frodsham in old picture postcards volume 1

Frodsham in old picture postcards volume 1

:   Joseph Barker
:   Cheshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2438-6
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Frodsham in old picture postcards volume 1'

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Frodsham is a market town situated between Chester and Warrington and is 191 miles from London.

There have been Roman Camps traeed in the district at Bradley and Woodhouses, and it was a Sax on settlement in 905 A.D. Two names are mentioned -'Froda' and 'Frote'- and some historians claim it was the 'Hamlet of Froda'. In J.McN. Dodgson's book on 'The Place Names of Cheshire', there are twenty-five ways of spelling Frodsham or pronouncing it, one of these being 'Frotesharn'. The Cheshire Dornesday Book compiled in 1086 mentioned a church at Frodsham. At the time of the Norman Conquest, Frodsham was included in the possessions of Hugh Lupus, the first Earl of Chester. The Church of St. Lawrence and Frodsham Castle were built in the latter part of the twelfth century. The 6th Earl Randle Blundeville (1181-1232) is supposed to have resided at the Castie occasionally. He gave Frodsham its Charter to be classed as a borough about 1209. The town passed with the earldom to the Crown after the death of the last of the Norman earls in 1237.

Frodsham Manor was purchased from the Crown in 1616 by Sir Thomas Savage, one of a family which had for many years managed the estate along with the Stewardship of Halton for the Crown. John, Viscount Savage succeeded to the title of Earl Rivers at an early age. In 1640, the King and Parliament disagreed and it was during this time that Earl Rivers' other homes at Roeksavage and the Castle at Halton were destroyed. After suffering this loss, rus health was

affected and coming to Frodsham Castle, he died on the 9th October 1654. While the dead Earl was lying there, it was burnt down, but his body was recovered and buried in Macclesfield Church. The 4th Earl Rivers died in 1711 leaving no male heir and his daughter, marrying a second time, brought the estate to Lord Cholrnondeley , later Marquis of Cholmondeley. He became Lord of the Manor and owned most of the land in the district.

A Daniel Ashley purchased the site of the castle and built the present house about 1750, which became known as Park Place. Mr. Edward Abbot Wright bought it at an auction held in the Bear's Paw Hotel on Thursday, 20th J une 1861, and his grandchildren presented it to the Rural District Council in 1932, when it was known as Castle Park.

The house was converted into offices with a Council Chamber and was later taken over by Vale Royal District Council and shared with Frodsham Parish Council. When it was first opened to the public, the grounds were beautiful, the lake full of fish and wild duck; there were fountains, large greenhouses, wells and a 'mushroom tree' (a round shelter, with seats at the base of the tree).

Frodsham was a small port on the River Weaver which, nevertheless, attracted royal attention. For instanee, Edward VI gave Sir Robert Cotton a percentage of all wine, fuel and sea-coal imported into any Cheshire port, which included Frodsham (1552). Following the development of salt production in Northwich and Middlewich, it was transported

to the Port of Frodsham for shipment overseas. The river was made navigable to Winsford byeleven locks in 1735, and a further cut was made in 1807. There were large quantities of the local red sandstone and cheese shipped from the port.

In 1390 there was a bridge over the river made from timber obtained from Delamere Forest. On the end of the bridge was a sm all chapel dedicated to St. Leonard by monks, who also looked after the sick. A brick bridge was built in 1594, but unfortunately this did not last long, and was replaced by a stone bridge in 1625. This had only a narrow road-way, and the bridge which is there to-day was built in 185 O.

The road from Netherton to Frodsham Bridge, now known as Chester Road, was a Turnpike Road -established in 1786- upon which tolls were 1evied. These were finally a bolished in 1891.

The Gas Works were established in 1857 by a cornpany with a subscribed capitalof 1,155 shares of tI each. In 1860 there were 72 consumers in the town. Public street lighting came in 1873. The Works were at the rear of the Bear's Paw Inn and the 1ane then called Gas Works Lane (now Greenfield Lane). The two gasometers were in Ship Street. Later, gas production was transferred to Runcorn.

The first Fire Brigade was formed about 1902. Most of the men were Boer War veterans, with Major W.G. Linaker in charge. Before the brigade was formed, the Reverend Henry Birchwood B10gg, M.A., had sorne equipment kept in certain places. On the church wall were six 1eather buckets, a hook and pole for pulling

off burning thatch, and the same in the Bear's Paw Yard. This was in 1882. Same of these are now in the National Fire Service College Museum in Brighton. The first Fire Station was a wooden shed next to Snelson's thatched cottage on the Rock. They had a hand-tracking cart and as Peter Sne1son was a cab proprietor, they also had horse transport. Later they used a car trailer which Arthur Hutchinson would tow behind his Austin taxi. Later still, they moved to a building in Castle Park and had their first Fire Engine in 1937. The Fire Station is now in Ship Street.

Unfortunately, since the photographs inc1uded in this book were taken, most of the thatched cottages have been demolished, and rep1aced with shops and new property, However, Main Street now farms a Conservation Area, which helps Frodsham retain a litt1e of its old character,

I have tried to give a little of the history of each photograph, and the surrounds, also what is there now.

I wish to thank all the kind people who have loaned me their treasured photographs, to those friends who have he1ped me with the photography, and MI. B.C. Redwood, M.A., Archivist of the County Record Office, who in my early days of studying history, gave me great help and it would be remiss of me not to mention Mr. Bill Hawkin. Without their kindness I wou1d not have been ab1e to compile this book, and I hope you have as much enjoyment in reading it as I have had writing it.

1. St. Lawrence 's Church, Overton. There was a church on the site in Saxon days, but the present Norman style church was built of red sandstone in the twelfth century. The tower was added to it in 1350 and it was rebuilt in 1715. Before it was restored again in 1880-1882 it had a balcony and pews. The photograph shows the church before its restoration in the 1870's. The Wright family vault is in the foreground, with iron railings around it.

2. William C. Cotton, MA. - Vicar of Frodsham, 1857-1879. His father was an eminent merchant in the City of London and, for a time, Governor of the Bank of England. Vicar Cotton attended Eton and gained a studentship to Christ Church College, Oxford. When a friend was appointed the first Bishop of New Zealand, he was made his Chaplain and accompanied him. He speedily acquired the Maori tongue and also introduced bees to New Zealand. After numerous failures, he succeeded by crossing them with astrain from France. Unfortunately, he got sunstroke in 1854 and was compelled to return home, when he became the curate of St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, which he left to become Vicar of Frodsham. He did great work during his time at Frodsham, in memory of which, carving of the bee can be seen in the church. The bee symbol was also used on the school badges and on the chain wom by the Chairman of the Parish Council.

3. Church Bells. In 1548 there were two bells. In 1600, five. In 1734 this had increased to six, and in 1911 there were eight. On one of the bells is the following inscription: 'We were all cast in GIoucester, and Success to the Parish.' On the great bell, which weighs 18 cwt. is "To the Church, I the living call; to the grave I summon all.' During the winter months a Curfew Bell was rung from the 2nd November to the 2nd February at 8 p.m. and 7 p.m. on a Saturday. It was a very oId custom when most of the houses were made of timber and was a signal for everybody to put their rITeS out. To the top of the tower there are 84 steps, 37 to the Ringers' Chamber, 21 to the Belfry, and 26 more to the top. Each step is eight inches high.

4. View from Church Tower. The buildings on the right were onee the 'Roebuck Inn', built in 1669, whose sign was a man in a steeple-shaped hat holding out a hand with a tankard of ale to a buxom woman. Later, it beeame a farm, and to-day is a private house. The large house in the centre was 'Hillsboro', known as Carpenter's School for Gentlemen's Sons in the 1880's. When the school moved to Aston Hall about 1900, it became a home for gentry. During the war years it was used as a Food Office. It was later demolished and replaced by residential development called 'Hillsboro Avenue'. The houses at the top of the photograph are known as 'Bowden Cottages', and all the surrounding fields have been built upon. The building on the left is Church House Farm.

5. Frodsham Boys' (Endowed} School, C.E. The first school was the Frodsham Grammar School, established in 1660 in the churchyard. In 1824 another school was built on the site of the present one, the one in the photograph being erected in 1892. MI. John Pollard was the headrnaster from 1854 to 1898. In 1900, John W. Caruth was appointed, followed shortly afterwards by MI. John Cragg, who was headmaster for many years, Pupil teachers were ernployed, and MI. Charles Hutton received 1/- per week (paid monthly). At the age of fifteen he had an increase to 2/6d, and he was then in charge of a full class. Before the Education Act of 1891, scholars had to pay 2d or 3d per week, but after the Act, education became free. I was once responsibie for pulling the bell eaeh morning at three minutes to nine, and when the boys heard it, they wou1d make a dash to get on parade in the playground for roll call.

6. Church Cottages. These were situated where the church car park is now sited. They were demolished about 1927. Betty Mereer had the sweet shop and became famous for her 'Humbugs' - a sweetmeat of boiled sugar, for which people came from all the surrounding villages. Mrs. Knight followed in her footsteps, and in this photograph can be seen standing in the shop doorway. The photograph was taken about 1900 and next door to Mrs. Knight ean be seen Mrs. Martha Hoose, who was a midwife. A Betty Turner lived in the house adjoining Church Entry, and a family of the same name in the cottage at the far end. There were thatched cottages opposite, and the gable end of another row of cottages ean be seen which were at the top of Pinmill BlOW. The Ring 0' Bells Inn, on the corner, was a yeoman's cottage before the Civil War, and was known locally as Heugh's Cottage after its owner, Joseph Hough. He sold the property for t22 in 1692. lt is now owned by a well-known Brewery.

7. The Water Pumping Station. Up to 1894, the inhabitants of Frodsham obtained their water from springs and wells. They first bored for water at Fivecrosses, but with no success. Then Messrs. E. Timmins & Sons of Delph Bridge, Runcorn, made a bere-hole in Ship Street and the works were constructed at a cost of fA,OOO. In 1894 it was pumped to a reservoir in 'Back Larie' (now Hillside Road), In those days there was a stream at the side of the lane where many kinds of wild flowers grew - violets, marsh marigolds, cowslips and many more. The photograph was taken about 1900 and shows the new pumping station when Frodsham Lordship built the Beacon Hill Reservoir. This has now been demolished and all the fields have been built upon. The roads are Hillside Road, Arran Drive, and Elm Rise. The name of the engine at the pumping station in Ship Street was 'Gladys'.

8. The Skating Rink. The building at the top of Bellemonte was the Skating Rink, built in 1910, and people from the surrounding villages would spend some happy hours there. It had a beautiful maple floor. Later, it was to become an Auxiliary Hospital. In the 1920's it was used for all the Carnival Balls. The thatched cottage in the centre was called Hawthorne Cottage, but it has since been demolished and there is a grocer's shop on the site. At the site of the pump was a thatched cottage called Pump Cottage, the home of the Clay family. This has also been demolished, but on the corner is another cottage which still remains -although it is no longer thatched- called Flower Cottage.

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