Hyde Name Origins.

The name "HYDE" is derived from the hide, a measure of land for taxation purposes, taken to be that area of land necessary to support a peasant family. In later times it was taken to be equivalent to 120 acres .
March 2014
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Wednesday, 9 June 2010

"The King of Hyde"

References were often made to the self styled "King of Hyde". His name was Frederick Howard Whittaker and he lived at Silver Hill ,which is just off modern day Stockport Road/Osborne Road in Gee Cross,Hyde. He was the Nephew of Thomas Howard of Greenfield Mill and before that Longmeadow Mill.. Whittaker owned and ran Hunt Croft Stone Quarry which was almost opposite the Werneth Public House and just south of Cloughgate.
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He was an Eccentric figure who built a tower known as "Whittakers Whim" on the site of the quarry. The "Whim" was a 5 storey narrow structure with only 2 floors being visible from Stockport Road. No -one quite knows why he built the "Whim" but it is known to have been used as a warehouse for the local hatting trade. In the early twentieth century, after the mill was lowered due to decay, it was used as a leather works. Evidence of the bottom 2 floors of the building still exists. A length of red brick wall marks the place where the building once abutted onto Stockport Road. Whittaker was a very sociable man and from all accounts ,liked to spend money. He used to frequent The Eagle and Oak public house which stood on Mottram Old Road & even built a large stage for people to dance on behind the pub. Stories tell how he was a flamboyant figure who used to wear a wide brimmed hat with ostrich feathers and ride a large horse around the area. He had visions of turning Hunt Croft quarry into a Gee Cross market place but there is no evidence this ever materialised. He died in Heysham ,Morecombe bay in around 1880 with an estate of £40,000 - a huge sum of money in those days!

7 comments:

Tom said...

One of this areas finest Nancy... I think he would have been well liked by many in Gee Cross...

Hydonian said...

He sounded like a real cool bloke to me ,Tom! Shame the Gee Cross market didn't happen ,too !
Shame they're building houses on the land now - I hope they keep the red brick wall!
Apparently ,Whittaker used to invited the gypsies to the dances once a year and had a big party!
I wonder who the present day "King of Hyde" is?

Tom said...

It is a shame more is not known of him... but isn't it just like folk from Hyde to call it "Whittakers Whim". ha!... Nothing as changed we'd come up with something like this now.
I have read about him inviting the Gypsies and such... he really must have been a colourful character who would not have looked out of place in the Shepards Call on a Friday tea... ha! I'm sure Eddie would have made him most welcome.... as would the locals.

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

I did a post about Whittaker's Whim last October see http://oldhyde.blogspot.com/2009/10/whittikers-whim.html good to have some further information. That photo must have been taken just before they started building the new houses there. I remember 20 years ago there was a joinery warehouse or timber merchants on the site.

Hydonian said...

I love your blog ,Gerald.Been a keen reader for a long time!
The Joinery company was called Arch Construction or something. I was quite excited when the workshop came down and revealed the Brick wall from that side!A shame it's going to be obscured from view again when the new property goes up!

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

The new houses are already up and some are occupied.

Tom said...

I was glad to see the poem on your post Gerald... I was going to do a post with it in and will still do so.... I've his book on my knee as I write this. I think it may be mentioned in more than one of Jame's poems.