Ash Tree and Birches Farms are situated on a small road between Werneth Low Road and Lord Derby Road. On the easterly side is Ash Tree farm whilst that on the west side is Birches Farm. Birch Farm was originally known as "Lousy Thorn". In the 1830's, Samuel Taylor was the farmer at "Lousy Thorn". He was an important witness at the trial of the murderers of Thomas Ashton, for he saw them pass across his fields on the way to commit the crime. his son William was also a witness at the trial being the man who discovered the murdered victim.
William Taylor's daughter married the Rev Julius Benn, and became the mother of Sir John Williams Benn, MP and the grandmother of the Rt Hon Capt J. Wedgewood Benn MP, Secretary of State for India 1929-31. (probably relatives of the Anthony Wedgewood Benn MP).
The farms probably date back to the 1700's, if anyone has any further info please let us know.
Ash Tree & Birches Farms around 1910
Tithe map from around 1850