Hollins Lane

Grandsires Green Farm, Hollins Lane (Gransers Green)
The residents of Grandsires Green in the early part of the 18th century were relatively wealthy yeoman farmers by local standards, but even their income didn’t prevent the early death of all the family. In 1709, aged 25, Peter Barlow inherited Grandsires Green Farm from his father, John Barlow. Peter married well  – into the Clare family from Burley Heyes in Appleton Thorn – and the couple had four children. Sadly within ten years all the family had died. Peter Barlow passed away just a few months after the death of his eldest daughter Mary. He was 48 and she was 10; her three siblings had only lived to the age of two and her mother to 28.

Peter left the farm to his brother Joseph Barlow, and Pump House Farm to his other brother Isaac.

In 1732  the Barlows were still living at Grandsires Green, and the farm continued to be held by the family. In 1836 it was owned and farmed by John Barlow, a bachelor. The 1841 census recorded that John Barlow was living with his widowed niece, Elizabeth Knowles, and her daughter Elizabeth Ann Knowles. John Barlow died in 1843 aged 84 and left his farm to his nephew, Rev Peter Barlow, the son of his brother Peter.  His generosity extended not only to his nephews and nieces but also his tenants and servants. From 1843 Grandsires Green Farm was owned and occupied by his brother James Barlow, and upon his death by nephew Rev Peter Barlow.

Grandsires Tithe Map 1846

In June 1847 the estate was put up for sale in Warrington comprising:

…. all that Capital Messuage or Farm House, called “Grandsire’s Green” in Antrobus, in the county of Chester, with the Three Cottages and Gardens, and the several Fields, Closes or Parcels of Land thereto belonging, containing by admeasurement 80a 0r 2 4p of statute measure or thereabouts. And also of and in the several Moss Rooms on Whitley Reed belonging to the above estate.

The land is of superior quality and the house with a small outlay might be made suitable for a gentleman’s residence, for which the neighbourhood is very eligible. There are several excellent Pews in Great Budworth Church which will be sold with the estate…

It is not know who bought the estate however in 1851 it was occupied a John Percival.  John was the son of Richard Percival of Reed House, the farm next door. His mother was Mary Barlow of Stretton but it looks unlikely that there was a close relationship between John Barlow the owner in 1841 and Mary Barlow.

John Percival died in 1869 and his widow, Fanny, continued farming until just before her death in 1886 aged 68. Their youngest son, John Samuel Percival, then took over and in 1891 he was aged 34 and living with Sarah Ann, and their four children. John Percival died less than a year later in January 1892.

Sarah Ann then married Albert Percival in November 1893 and she had a further four children at Grandsires Green Farm. Sarah Ann was recorded as spinster on the marriage certificate and Albert took Sarah Ann’s eldest four children as his own. Albert was the son of Daniel Percival of Sandilands Farm, Crowley. By 1906 the couple had moved to Stretton House and then in 1911 to Lymm where Albert was recorded as working as an insurance agent. In 1914 the family emigrated to Ontario, Canada.


Meanwhile, Grandsires Green Farm was managed by Joseph Moore who was born at Flash Farm in Antrobus in 1871. He moved to the farm upon his marriage to Emily Mounfield in 1906 and was still there in 1939.

The report which followed the inspections as a result of the 1910 Finance Act showed that Joseph Moores was farming 88.8 acres which was owned by Parr of Grappenhall Heyes. Despite being one of the biggest farms in the village, the terms of his tenancy were only half yearly and for this he paid £127 a year in rent. This included a brick built six bedroom farmhouse:

Grandsires Farm from Inland Revenue Map 1912

According to a notice in the Chester Chronicle in January 1942 Joseph Moore was giving up farming and put all his farming stock up for auction. Perhaps there was little interest as the family were still at Grandsires Green Farm in 1947. Joseph died in 1955 at Foxley Brow Farm, Antrobus. Joseph’s son, Peter and his wife Ena were still there in 1971.

Grandsires Green Farm Bungalow
Joseph and Emily’s middle son, Peter Moore, married Ena Winstanley from Dorothy Farm, Stretton. The couple died at the bungalow in 1978 and 1988 respectively.

Demolished Cottage
The tithe map of 1846 shows another cottage which was occupied by Joseph Hindley and also owned by Thomas Parr. It has now been taken down.

Demolished Cottage Tithes Map

Rose Cottages
The two houses now called Rose Cottages were owned by Thomas Parr of Grappenhall Heys in 1846. At the time this consisted of three cottages, one of which was unoccupied.  In one was John Millington and in the other George Howard.

Rose Cottages Tithe Map 1846

George was the son of Robert and Margaret Howard who lived across the way at what is now called White House. He married local girl Elizabeth Yarwood in 1843, and in 1851 the family included three young children as well as Elizabeth’s daughter, Hannah. By 1861 George and family had moved to Nook Lane.

1947 John and Joyce Sutton, by 1950 Ken and Marjorie Lockwood were living in 1, Rose Cottage. Still there in 1961 but gone by 1971.

In 1939 James Cotterill was living in 2, Rose Cottage and was still there in 1956 with his family but they had gone by 1961. In 1969 Charles Harry Sutton had retired from Reed House Farm and died there in the February of that year. He was buried in St Mark’s graveyard alongside his wife. In 1971 Nellie Sutton was living alone.

Holly Dale 
In 1925 Laban and Edith Burgess were living at Holly Dale. Edith was the daughter of Joseph Rowlinson senior from Laurel Farm. The couple were still there in 1950; Laban died in 1953 and his wife in 1970.

The White House (modern name)
Thomas Hartley and Robert Howard were living in these semi-detached cottages in 1846 which were owned by Mary Dean.

White House Tithes Map 1846

Thomas Hartley, a shoemaker and son of a shoemaker, was still there in 1851 as was Margaret Howard next door, widow of Robert. Ten years later Thomas Hartley had also died leaving two widows next door to each other. Mary Hartley was described as being on poor relief.

Margaret Howard was the mother of George Howard who lived in Rose Cottage for a few years. She remained there until her death in 1879. Her daughter Sarah Howard lived in the cottage until her death in October 1909.

By 1918 Joseph Hardman and his family had moved in. Joseph was a farm labourer, married to Mabel and by 1939 they had three unmarried adult children living with them. They remained until the 1960s after which John Harrison arrived.

Model Cottage

Model Cottage from Tithes map, also showing Shaw Brook and Grandsires Green

In 1846 it was owned by Rev Peter Barlow of Grandsires Green and occupied by John Beswick. John was born in Crowley in 1822 and married Ann Taylor from Antrobus. They had at least seven children. One of those children, William, didn’t follow in his ancestor’s footsteps and instead became head gardener of one of the most important gardens in Ireland. This is his story: William Beswick, head gardener .

The family were still living in Hollins Lane in 1861 and John was described as a journeyman blacksmith and small grocer in the census of that year. By 1881 John gave his occupation as blacksmith, meanwhile Ann was running a shop. Ann died in 1895 and by the time of the 1901 census John senior, aged 80, was living with his 35 year old unmarried son, John junior.

In September 1905, just six months after his father’s death, John Beswick junior married Elizabeth Youd of Shaw Brook Farm. On 4 April 1914 John Beswick was recorded as living in “an old thatched cottage” owned by J Parr of Grappenhall Heys. He paid £8 a year in rent.

By 1939 John Beswick, had retired; his wife having died just a few months before. John Beswick remained at Model Cottage for a further decade until his death on Christmas Day 1950 aged 85. By 1961 William and Margaret Curbishley had arrived and were still at the cottage with their family in 1971.

Reed House Farm, Hollins Lane
The first record of Reed House was in 1612 where Thomas Eaton was recorded as living there. Before 1682 the Pickering family owned Reed House Farm. When Samuel Glover of Great Budworth died in 1751 his will stated that he was the owner of Reed House and that it was occupied by Joseph Ormson, farmer. By some detection work on the land tax returns it is possible to work out that Joseph Ormson subsequently became both the owner and occupier of Reed House. He was married to Elizabeth Barwick and the couple had at least nine children. Joseph died in 1798 and left the farm to his elder son John.  However John died just six years later aged 54 so the farm quickly passed to his son William who was aged 22 and unmarried.

William married Mary Ann Millner at Manchester Cathedral in 1808 and five children followed in regular succession. Reed Farm was one of the largest in Antrobus paying £2; 14 shillings a year in land tax.  Without knowing all the details, something went horribly wrong around 1827 concerning the contents of his sister Jane’s will, and the family left Reed House. On 9 December  1830 William Ormson filed for bankruptcy, and six months later the property was put up for sale. As well as the main farm house, the family also owned four cottages belonging to: George Hindley, John Millington, John Postles, and Robert Yarwood.  As with all good properties came three moss rooms or Right of Turbary and Right of Common, on Whitley Reed. William Ormson moved to neighbouring Comberbach where he became the school master. He died in Comberbach in 1850, but on his gravestone he had engraved “of Reed House.”

Between 1830 and 1876 Richard Percival was a tenant farmer at Reed House Farm, paying over £50 pa in rent to owner Thomas Parr. Richard married Mary Barlow of Stretton and had at least nine children.  Richard had moved to Antrobus from Higher Whitley in 1830 where his eldest children were born.

Reed House – Tithes Map 1846

After the death of his father Richard in 1867, Peter Percival returned to the family farm from Tabley and ran it until he was in his 70s. He left Reed House between 1901 and 1911 and died in Warburton aged 81 in 1913.

Reed House was then farmed by William Henry Sutton and  his family. William Sutton was born in Lancashire and arrived in Antrobus via Lymm and then Crowley. For over twenty years he farmed over at Whitley Reed at Fairbank Farm before moving to Reed House in 1910. In 1912 following the 1910 Finance Act the farm was inspected and the records show that J Parr of Grappenhall Heys was the landlord of the 72 acre farm which was let on a yearly basis for £144 rent. Included in the rent was a four bedroom brick built farm house.

By 1934 his son Charles Henry Sutton was living at the farm. Charles married Ellen Barber who died in 1936 at the young aged of 50. Charles was still farming at Reed House with his two sons in 1939.  A couple of years later as part of the National Farm Survey at the start of the Second World War, the farm was assessed and graded as being in good management. By this time the Sutton family owned the property, which included a dairy herd.  Charles Henry died at Reed House in February 1969 and his son William Henry (Billy) took over. Billy was born at Reed House in 1926 where he remained until his death in 1987. This is part of his tribute from the Antrobus Village News:

With the passing of Billy Sutton the village has lost one of its most colourful characters. He was an avid reader all his life and this was obvious from the width and depth of his knowledge on many, many subjects. HE could always be relied on to recount a good tail about the countryside or past local residents. Sadly the tales are now lost forever.

Billy was an outgoing personality and could mix with most people. He was also a good family man, friend and adviser. Having been born at Reed House Farm, he became a farmer like his father and grandfather before him.  Billy was an ardent supporter of the National Farmers Union, being a past chairman of the Stretton Branch.  At the time of his death he was chairman of the Village Hall Committee and was a leading figure in its inception. In his early days he was chairman of Stretton Young Farmers.

He will be sadly missed by all for a very long time.

Reed House View (Hunter’s Moon)
The tithe map of around 1846 does not show any building on the land which was a small meadow of around 1 rood 4 perches in size. It was owned by Peter Frith senior, and farmed by Thomas Goodman. The house would have been built between then and 1875 when it appears of the map of that year.

In 1902 William and Martha Painter, and their eight children moved into Reed House View from Frandley Brow and remained there until the 1930s. There is more about the Painter family whose four sons all fought in the Great War, and all came back alive here. 

Then followed a succession of tenants: in 1939 it was occupied by William Henry Foster, in 1947 Thomas and Violet Thomlinson who had moved from Wheatsheaf Lane, in 1961 Arthur Turner and in 1971 by Bertram and Gladys Hull, by which time it had changed the name to Hunter’s Moon.

The Hollins, (Hollies) Hollins Lane
One of the earliest record of The Hollins was in 1580 with a record of Peter Eaton of the Hollins witnessing the will of Margery Eaton. His son John Eaton died in 1633 and was also said to be “of The Hollins”. By the time John’s eldest son Peter Eaton died in 1647 he had moved to Stretton, although the burial records note that he was “once of The Hollins and now of Stretton.”

The Land Tax returns from 1780 show that Joseph Berry was farming at the Hollins and it was owned by the Hall family.  Around 1802 Thomas Burchall became the farmer, and remained until his son-in-law Peter Frith took over around 1825.

Peter Frith married Betty Burchall in Alderley, Cheshire, in 1803 and were farming at Hollins Farm in 1841 with their three sons: George, Joseph and James. Their eldest son, Peter, was farming Hill Farm. The tithes map shows Peter Frith senior as the occupier with the land owned by Thomas Goodman.

The Hollins – Tithes Map 1846

Betty died in 1849 and Peter died in March 1851. The 1851 census records Joseph Frith as head with his brother James farming 30 acres with three labourers. Joseph died in 1852 leaving his widow Louisa (née Shaw) to manage 55 acres and labourers with two young children in 1861. Louisa obviously managed the farm well as by 1881 the land holding had gone up to 65 with one boy and one man. Louisa died in 1882 and was buried alongside her husband at Great Budworth church. In 1891 John and Jane Boardman were farming, and were followed in 1911 by Charles Massey.

The farm inspections which took place for tax purposes following the 1910 Finance Act reveal that the farm then consisted of 64 and a half acres and was owned by a Mrs. Timperley.  Charles Massey was listed as the tenant.  He left in 1914 and William Henry Sutton took over.

On the 20th December 1918 Hollins Farm was put up for sale along with Avenue Farm in Comberbach and Gib Hill Cottages:

67 acres farmed by WH Sutton as annual tenant £140 pa along with other farms and cottages.

William Henry Sutton senior died in 1929 and his son William Henry took over the farm wife, whilst his brother Charles Henry was living at Reed House. In 1939 William and his wife were both in their 60s.  Two years later the National Farm Survey was carried out and WH Sutton was listed as tenant with the farm owned by Mr. Warburton of Dunham Massey. The acreage was still the same as half a century before and the assessed as being in good management.

The farm was sold in 1944 to William and Nora Howard and the family remained there past 1971.

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