Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Cottages In Kingston Hollow

                                      REMEMBERING HYDE

                        THE COTTAGES IN KINGSTON HOLLOW

By Jeffrey Stafford

Two of the most interesting cottages in Hyde until they were condemned in 1939 were number 167 and 169, Manchester Road. Known variously since the early nineteenth century as Wilson Brook or Kingston Hollow Cottages, for over a century they were the residence of the Smith family. No use could be found for them after they were condemned and for forty years the two cottages remained nothing more than a rat infested pigeon roost.
     The last two occupants of the cottages, which stood back from Manchester Road down a narrow pathway, were two sisters, Sarah Wood and Hannah Green. Their story, which is one that had been handed down by word of mouth from one generation of the family to the next, goes back to the time when the two cottages in Kingston Hollow overlooked a wide stretch of green fields and Stafford’s Nurseries.
        To this pleasant rural idyll about the year 1819 came Daniel Smith, a fifty five year old mechanic from Offerton, brought by John Sidebotham, the owner of Kingston Mill, to look after the new power looms which had been introduced in the mill. As an engineer, Daniel moved into one of the cottages in Kingston Hollow near the mill, besides Wilson Brook, with his wife Harriot and his son, William. Daniel and his family travelled to Hyde on horse back, the only means of transport possible, a striking contrast to the present day when cars and buses past within a few yards of where Kingston cottages once stood.
      Daniel Wood lived to the ripe old age of 87 and sired six further children, four boys and two girls: James 1821, Hannah 1824, John 1826, Jane 1829, Thomas 1832, and Edwin 1841.
      William, Daniel’s eldest son, followed his father’s occupation as a mechanic in the mill, and he and his father in their spare time built a working model of a power loom. Later, William emigrated to America and after his death left a vast amount of money with which his son, Daniel, set himself up in business in Denton as a hat manufacturer with Abraham Cooke.
      John Smith, who died in 1916, worked in the dressing room at Kingston Mill. A confirmed bachelor, he lived all his live in Kingston Hollow with his sister Jane. A keen gardener he cleared and cultivated all the land attached to both cottages. Jane and Hannah, the two daughters of Daniel Smith, both worked at Kingston Mill. Jane was 76 when she died in 1905.  Hannah married John Barlow in 1852. She died in Denton in 1905 aged 81.
     James Smith opened a grocers shop at 206-208 Manchester Road, and as it was the only shop in the area it did excellent business. It is said that the shops takings frequently amounted to over three hundred pounds a week. James also became a churchwarden at St.Lawrence’s, Denton. He died in 1906. Edwin, who died in 1916, was a joiner, and Thomas, who was gifted with a fine voice, which never broke, became a well known singer. He moved from the choir at St. George’s Church, Hyde, to Manchester Cathedral, and then to the Chapel Royal, Windsor, with which choir he was associated with until his death at New Windsor in 1910.
       On Tuesday, December 18th, 1888, a concert organised by Thomas Smith, who was described as the principal alto, Chapel Royal Windsor, was held at the Mechanics Institute, Hyde. Among the other artist who took part in the Grand Ballad Concert as it was called, were Miss Lizzie Dawson, Miss Louisa Bowmont principal contralto St.Peter’s, Manchester, Mr.Charles Warren Manchester Concerts, Mr.John J.Lewis principal tenor, Hyde Chapel, Mr.William Oldham of Hyde Philharmonic Society, Mr.Hesketh Meade Manchester Concerts, and Mr. J.H. Greenwood, organist of All Saints’, Manchester.
     Returning to Sarah Wood and Hannah Green. It was after the death of John Smith in 1916, that they both went to live in Kingston Hollow. They were the grand-daughter’s of Hannah Wood, who had married John Barlow at Cheadle St.Mary’s in 1852, and so for well over a century, the same family had been associated with the cottages in Kingston Hollow.

(Not To Be Copied Without Permission)


What a honour to be able to share this with our readers, thank you Jeffrey.
We have another one of Jeffrey's writings to show. Keep a look out for that one as it is a cracker!


David said...

A great read Jeff

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous read !
Thanks for sharing Jeffrey !

westarsteve said...

thanks very much jeffrey its nice to see other bits of old hyde which are long gone

Jeffrey Stafford said...

Rgarding your contributors inquires about the Minister Brewery in Gee Cross.

The brewery of Charles Crispin Minister of Gee Cross was established in 1892 after the death of his father in law, William Ball, who established his brewery in Booth Street, Hyde, in 1890.
Charles Crispin Minister was born in Haddicoe, Norfolk, in 1868. The family left Haddiscoe for Hyde in 1877, and set up home at 7 Travis Street. He married Elizabeth Ann Ball, the daughter of William and Ann Ball, at Stockport in August 1891. William Ball died in 1892, and after his death Charles Crispin Minister set up a brewery of his own at 14 John Street, Gee Cross. The brewery continued making beer and herbal medicin until around the outbreak of the First World War. Charles Crispin Minister died in 1955, aged 88 years in Ipswich, Suffolk. Elizabeth Ann Minister died in 1957, age 86 years, at Burton on Trent, Staffordshire. It is no use looking for John Street, Gee Cross on any modern day map, the former John Street is now named Rock Street.

Jeffrey Stafford.

JohnT said...

There was a post last August showing a brewers jug from Gee Cross Botanic Beer Company. Is there any connection?

Bill Lancashire said...

I seem to remember reading that these cottages stood on the old lane leading up to Denton. Before Manchester Road bridge was built, this lane followed the line of Wilson Brook to where it met the River Tame and where there was a ford. It meant you only had to ford one stretch of water and didn't have to cross the brook and the river ... and of course it was perhaps the only place where the river was fordable.

jeffrey kehworth said...

I remember as a young boy walking down the
Lane past the cottages to the Tame.