Index to History features
201 Bramhall Lane, open in time for Christmas 2014.
Bramhall Lane in 1910 with No. 201 marked in orange. The streets
Ephraim Hallam's land were given names with a Royal, Ducal or Prime
Ministerial theme: Windsor Street, Buckingham Street, Peel Street,
Cambridge Street - the title of Duke of Cambridge from 1850 to 1904 was
Prince George, grandson of George III. He had no children, and the
title was held in abeyance until conferred on Prince William in the
2000s. Lancashire-born Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) was a Prime Minister
and major political figure of his time, as was Lord John Russell
Many of the smaller houses in these back streets were declared unfit,
and demolished in the mid-twentieth century; the present-day street
pattern retains the names, but with a different layout.
Ephraim Hallam's story
Ephraim Hallam (1812-1897) was a millowner who made his mark on the
Stockport area, and his name remains significant long after his death.
His early life is hard to verify, but it is written he was born in
Stockport, and as a boy he studied Latin under a Unitarian Minister,
and would walk to Manchester every week to attend the Chemistry
lectures of Professor Davies, assistant to John Dalton. He set up in
business as a chemist and druggist in Stockport, until, on the death of
his father, he found himself in charge of a cotton waste spinning mill
on Hillgate. This must have been before 1845, as newspaper report of
that year tells of a Hillgate Mill employee, William Barton, assaulting
him while in a drunken state.
Cotton waste spinning was something of Stockport speciality, reccycling
waste cotton into a product which could be used for candle wicks - an
essential commodity at the time - or woven into a coarse cloth for bed
Ephraim's business must have prospered, as he was able to commission a
new mill to replace the old Hillgate building, and chose the site in
Heaviley, where the mill was completed in 1859. The map above is from
By 1861 Ephraim had moved house from Hillgate to the secluded
surroundings of Adswood Grove, with his wife Mary, who appears to have
died soon afterwards, as in 1864 he married again, to Hannah Kershaw
Andrew of Mossley.
He served the community as a borough councillor, and served as Mayor in
1862-3, during the 'cotton famine' caused by the American Civil War and
other factors which led to many workers being laid off. He organised,
with other wealthy locals, a fund which collected £300 for the
relief of distressed workers. He later served as Alderman and Justice
of the Peace.
From 1959 to 1879 he was representative for the Stockport circuit of
the Methodist New Connexion.
In 1868, Ephraim purchased Oakwood Hall, Romiley, a gothic-styled
mansion which had been designed by Edward Walters for Ormerod Heyworth
and built in 1844-5. It became the home of Ephraim, and his new wife
Hannah (daughter of Jerry Andrew, cotton spinner of Mossley), for the
rest of their lives. A document of 1873 records his ownership of 163
acres of land.
In 1871 they had living with them Margaret Andrew, Hannah's sister, and
her son Percy Neville Andrew, whom Ephraim appears to adopted as his
own son, and renamed him Percy Neville Andrew Hallam.
An accident occured at Heaviley Mill in 1871; an iron beam gave way
during some building alterations, leading to collapse of part of the
building. A worker, John McDermott, was killed.
Ephraim died on Christmas Day 1897, and his wife Hannah in 1906. The
mill was sold,
and became the Squirrel Confectionery works. That closed in 1968, the
mill - including a building of later date which now rejoices in the
of the 'Alcatraz Building' - became the home of a number of businesses
various kinds, a situation which continues today under the name of
To the east of the mill was a reservoir - since filled in to make a car
park - to ensure a supply of water for the mill engines. There is no
surface watercourse nearby, perhaps an artesian well was the source.
Ephraim Hallam had intended to donate to the town, in celebration of
Queen Victoria's Jubilee, in 1897, a piece of spare land adjacent to
mill as a recreation ground, but died before he could sign the deed.
However, after some discussion his executors handed over the land at in
1902 the Hallam Recreation Ground was opened.
Ephraim Hallam's will made provision for his wife, and left the residue
to any child of his adopted son Percy, who was educated at Clare
Cambridge, and later lived in London where he married, although
he had returned to Stockport by the time of his death (leavng no
children) in 1899.
Should there be no heir, the estate was to be formed into a foundation
to be called the 'Ephraim Hallam Charity'. This was indeed the case,
and after some years the Charity was established with the estate
£120,000, and 'in addition a sum of £18,500 from accrued
income' was used to fund two-thirds of the cost of new building for
Stockport Grammar School in open on the western edge of Davenport to
replace the school's cramped quarters in the town centre. Opened in
1916, the school still flourishes as an independent school. The main
hall is named 'Hallam Hall.'
The Charity has carried out many good works over the years, and still
operates despite the unfortunate events in the 1990s and 2000s
involving an accountant who appropriated some of the Charity's funds.
After its sale following Mrs Hallam's death, Oakwood Hall had a series
of occupiers including a Jesuit seminary and an
Approved School. It was the Kingsmoor School from 1956 to 1963, after
which it became derelict and was partly demolished, but was saved and
rebuilt in 2007-10 by a modern-day businessman, Mike Clark (and has a Youtube video).
Bramhall Lane 1965
(Based on the telephone directory)
189 Dierdre (gowns)
191 Hirst N.J. Chemist
197 District Bank
199 Barnett J.T., Wines
201 Marshall E.B., Furnisher
203 Staley, R. Greengrocer & Fruiterer
203a Whalley JE. Butcher
205 Fleming, F A Boot and shoe retailer
209 Williams, John & Sons, Grocer
213 Freda / Heywood, Susan. Ladies' Haidresser
219 Post Office
221 Royle (Butchers) Ltd
223 Richards. Hair Stylists
225 Bayley's boot and shoe retailers
227 Smith H.E & E.W., Chemist
229 Williams & Glyn's Bank
233 Siddle Mrs Winifred M., Confectioner
235 Burgon's Grocer?
Contributions are very welcome at at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ephraim Hallam's legacy: a shop and its neighbours
The arrival in 2014 of a new business at the former 'Davensport' shop
at 201 Bramhall Lane prompts us to have a look at the history of this
shop and its neighbours. The picture above, dating from the 1920s,
shows John Edward Smith's butcher's shop which had been created
half of the double-fronted semi-detached house No. 201; presumably the
family continued to live in the other part. Its conjoined neighbour
beyond, no.203, had already been transformed from a house to shops,
including the single-storey extension which can still be seen today.
Robinson's confectioners and Shorrock's fruiterer can be made out on
All the other houses further along had also already been converted; all
would have had front gardens when built, like the one in the picture.
The developers who built these houses in the 1880s saw
little need for a range of shops: middle-class families had their
provisions delivered to their homes.
This picture, already historic although taken in 2009, shows the same
view in more modern times; the cleverly-named 'Davensport' sporting
outfitter was set up here in the early 1980s, but by 2009 had relocated
across the road to a former Ladies' Outfitters at 98 Bramhall Lane,
whilst Beeley's, a
Stockport-based chain of bakery shops, traded in one part of No.203.
The 'Garden of Eden' greengrocery beyond, established in 1986, occupies
the other two parts. The buildings beyond No.203, in a quite different
architectural style, are on land formerly
owned by the Dundonald family, and were built some years later: their
story will feature in another article.
The layout of the buildings and roads along this part of Bramhall Lane
is rather disjointed. To see how this came about we need to go back
the Tithe Maps compiled around 1850, which detail the owners and
occupiers of each 'parcel' of land. An extract is shown, colour-coded
by land-owner, on the left of the image above, with a 1910 map of the
same area alongside. The three fields coloured in white - subject of
this article - were owned at
that time by a Mary Alcock, probably the wife of John
Alcock, a Cotton-mill owner who lived in Bredbury. They were rented to
The green areas were owned by Lloyd Bamford Hesketh, and were later
developed with the streets given names relating to his wife's family,
Winifred, Countess of Dundonald. The pink area, including the odd
triangle on the east side of Bramhall Lane, was part of Cale Green
Farm, at that time owned by the 'Trustees of Dr. Thompson'. As the 1910
map shows, the odd triangle is preserved in the shape of the backyards
of the terraced houses later built there and the mill buildings.
Not long after the date of the Tithe Maps, Mary Alcock's land was
bought by Ephraim Hallam. On the northern part he built a
cotton-spinning mill, Hallam Mill, which opened around 1859, and the
row of almshouses in Hallam Street. The southern field he sold for
building development, except for the area which was retained as a
recreation ground and bequeathed to Stockport Corporation on his death
Most of the remaining area became streets of terraced houses for
workers, except for the frontage along Bramhall Lane which he reserved
for larger houses. The land was sold in 1875 to Robert Johnson and
David Fogg. Census records show that Johnson was a Book-keeper and Fogg
a Mill Manager; he managed Hallam
Mill on behalf of Mr Hallam (it is notable that Fogg named one
of his sons Erphraim). They took for themselves the prime
locations on Bramhall Lane and built houses for themselves and their
familiies; by 1881 Johnson lived at no.189 (in 2014 the 'One Stop'
Convenience store') and Fogg at no. 203. By 1901 David Fogg had
retired, and moved to 195 Bramhall Lane. The
1911 census found David Fogg aged 81, living with his son Ephraim Enest
Fogg and family at 18 Beech Road.
No. 201 was unoccupied in 1881, perhaps awaiting a tenant. By 1891 one
had been found, in the shape of James Bourne, a metal agent
(buyer and seller of metals) who had inherited the business at 6 John
Dalton Street, Manchester, only to find himself bankrupt by 1889 and
working for another company. By 1901 he was self-employed again and
living at Turf Lea, Ridge End, Marple.
The next resident of No. 201 we have been able to trace - he he is
recorded as such (with mis-transcribed name) in the 1901 census - was George
Bouskill, a cotton waste dealer, who with his partner Samuel
Rigby of Bramall Mount (on Bramhall Lane, a short walk away) carried on
their business under the name of Samuel Rigby & Co. in a warehouse
converted from the former weaving shed of Spring Bank Mill, Wellington
Road South, Stockport, adjacent to the station. The firm was
still at Spring Bank Mill in 1924, but by the 1930s had been sold to
Cookson Brothers, and later demolished.
We know more than the average amount about Stockport-born Mr Bouskill,
for the unhappy reason that both his sons were of the age to fight in
The Great War, and only one returned. Born in Stockport in 1866, he
married Sarah Emily Miller in 1890. They lived at 41 Beech
'The Hollies' 128 Buxton Road before moving in to No.201, where they
stayed until around 1914, before moving into 'Bramhall Grange', a large
on Bramhall Lane South opposite present-day Grange Road, across the
border in Bramhall.
The 1911 census, whose transcribers also had trouble with his name,
shows the occupants of No.201 as George Edward Bouskill (age 44),
Merchant, his wife Sarah Emily and their two children Clifford
Bouskill (17) and
Edward Bouskill (14) with a general servant Nellie Smith
(aged 19, born in
Rugeley, Staffordshire.) Clifford was working in his father's
firm until he answered Lord Kitchener's call, and found himself
involved in the tragic events at Gallipoli. He survived the war, and in
married Doris, daughter of James Pailin, who lived at 'Romanhurst', 229
Bramhall Lane South, a large secluded house set back from the road on
the edge of Bramhall Park.
Edward Bouskill was a student at Manchester
College of Technology at the outbreak of the war, and after twelve
weeks' training in the Manchester University Officer Training Corps.
became a Second Lieutenant in the 22nd Battalion of the Manchester
Regiment. He died in 1917 at the Third Battle of Ypres, and is
commemorated on the St George's Church war memorial, as well as the
Bramhall and Stockport Memorials; today his story can be found on the
After the Bouskills left, No. 201 became J.E. Smith's butchers' shop,
as described above, and remained so for many years, as John Edward
Smith is mentioned in a Land Registry record for No.201 in 1956,
the business appears in telephone directories for the last time in 1958.
John Edward Smith was born around 1880 in Leek, Staffordshire. the 1911
census lists him as butcher working from home a few doors along at 213
Bramhall Lane, a smaller shop which later became part of the grocery
shop we know as 'Spar.' His household included his wife Isabelle
Smith and his
three sons, John Edward Smith (junior), Arthur Smith
and Eric Smith, as well as his
brother, Sydney Smith.
From 1959 to 1965, Telephone Directories record 201 Bramhall Lane as
the premises of E.B. Marshall, furnishers, who had previously operated
from two 'China and Glass' shops at 20 Bramhall Lane and 341 Buxton
Road. Mr Marshall did not live on the premises, but at 57 Bridge Lane,
Bramhall. Perhaps by this time the shop front was extended to the full
width of the house.
The later occupiers of No.201 for 20 years before 'Davensport' opened
(1980s?) are difficult to research as there are no simple ways to
locate the information. Can anyone remember, or suggest a way to find
out? After several years as an empty, shuttered, eyesore, the premises
re-opened in late 2014 as a discount store - 'The Pound Stop'.
Meanwhile, Beeley's next door at 203a had new owners as the 'Just
Above, a 2009 view (with Buckingham Street on the left) from further
north showing the row of former houses,also on Ephraim Hallam's
Land, from 191 to 199, which have the
same origin as 201 and 203 (seen in the distance). No.191 has served
continuously as a pharmacy since it was established by William
Banks in the
Looking north in 2015 showing (left to right) 175, 177 and 179 Bramhall
Lane, and beyond, the entrance to Hallam Gardens. These were built as
houses: the 1881 census shows at 175 Joshua Williamson, carding
machine coverer, his wife and three daughters. 177 was unoccupied, and
179 was home to Robert Jones, a hatter, his wife Mary and their
Walter Brown, also a hatter. In 1891 we find the Wiilliamsons still
there at 175, but at 177 is Walter Torkington, corn dealer's
and his family, and at 179 Miss Emily Aveyard with two nephews
By 1901 we the shops developing. The Williamsons have moved to to 179
and Joshua is apparently operating as a draper by 1902, presumably his
wife Mary was running the business. His son John is listed as a Cabinet
Maker. At 175 is Joseph Pontefract, a merchant's clerk, and his
Mary who is in a 1902 trade directory as a dressmaker, and at 177 Emma
Lowndes, newsagent and stationer.
The 1910 directory has Mary Williamson, dressmaker at 175, Emma
Lowndes, newsagent at 177, and Hannah Beaty, draper at 179.
Williamson, Cabinet Maker's workshop, adjacent to 175, is listed - and
indeed the building fulfils exactly the same role in 2015. No.177
remained a newsagent until the 1980s.
In 2015, everyone's favourite the Monkey Coffee Company is at 175,
GB Trophies at 177 and Direct Workwear (a draper of sorts?) at 179.
This fine old picture from about 1910 shows No.175, today's coffee
shop, which seems to have
had a particularly elaborate makeover to create a shop front and flat
above, and the Hallam Recreation Ground. A children's swing can be seen
behind the fence.
Hallam Mill from Hallam Street, 2015. The '3P Paints' sign covers the
Opposite Heaviley Mill, Ephraim Hallam provided this row of almshouses,
for the elderly poor on what became Hallam Street.
Written by Charlie Hulme. Last update July 2015.