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 created on Ephraim Hallam's land were given names
with a Royal, Ducal or Prime Ministerial theme: Windsor
Street, Buckingham Street, Peel Street, Russell 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 (1792-1878).
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
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
Cotton waste spinning was something of Stockport speciality,
re-cycling 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 covers.
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 the 1870s.
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 occurred 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,
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
name of the 'Alcatraz Building' - became the home of a
number of businesses of various kinds, a situation which
continues today under the name of Hallam Mill.
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 the 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 College Cambridge, and later lived in
London where he married, although he had returned to
Stockport by the time of his death (leaving no children) in
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 for Girls. 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 as
apartments by a modern-day businessman, Mike Clark (and has
video). Additional houses under construction in the
grounds were destroyed in 2016 by a fire which was said to
be 'suspicious', but the original house was not damaged.
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' Hairdresser
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
Ephraim Hallam's legacy: a shop and its
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 from
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 the print.
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
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 Beeley company ceased to trade as a bakery
not long after the picture was taken, and the Davenport shop
became 'Just Desserts Bakery' which in 2017 sells a wide
range of takeaway food as well as its trademark cakes.
The 'Garden of Eden' greengrocery beyond, established in
1986, occupied the other two parts, and was a fine shop
much-valued by many locals. The picture above is a still
from a YouTube video made for the original management in the
heyday of the business. Sadly, after changes of management
in the 2000s, with periods of closure, it seemed to lose its
way, and closed for good in 2016, and at the end of 2017 the
premises remain shuttered. 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
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 various farmers.
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
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; they
managed Hallam Mill on behalf of Mr Hallam (it is notable
that Fogg named one of his sons Ephraim). 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 Edward 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 Road, and 'The Hollies' 128
Buxton Road before moving in to No.201, where they stayed
until around 1914, before moving into 'Bramhall Grange', a
large house 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), Cotton Waste 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 1922 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, and 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,
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 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 Desserts' bakery.
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 1890s.
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 lodger Walter Brown, also a hatter. In 1891 we find
the Wiilliamsons still there at 175, but at 177 is Walter
Torkington, corn dealer's assistant, and his family,
and at 179 Miss Emily Aveyard with two nephews and a
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 wife 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. John 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 name 'SQUIRREL'.
Opposite Heaviley Mill, Ephraim Hallam provided this row of
almshouses, Hallam Terrace, for the elderly poor on what
became Hallam Street.
Written by Charlie Hulme. Last update November 2017.