The first thing eagle eyed readers will notice is that Mile End Hall is not in the Heatons. It’s over three miles away. Please don’t point it out to me I have known that a long time because my school bus pass was only free to pupils who lived that distant from the school. Whilst researching Charles Henry Scott I discovered that Charles had passed on his directorship of the Prince Line to Daniel Clifton of Clifton’s Brewery and Mineral Water Suppliers who lived at Mile End Hall. I checked with Charlie Hulme who is a source of all things fascinating on the Davenport and Cale Green area that he was not planning anything and so I decided to delve further.
Furthermore as Heaton Mersey formed part of the catchment area for the school, I consider it honorary Heatons, and it’s my rules.
Mile End Hall stood on what is now the A6, but was for a long time the main turnpike to London from Manchester. Originally in the township of Bramhall , Mile End is now in Stockport.
We will meet Daniel Clifton later on, however it is worth noting that his neighbour across the road at Bramhall Lodge was also a brewer, Alfred Bell of the Hempshaw Lane brewery, and he gave his estate to the Grammar school in 1914.
It has since been replaced by Stockport Grammar School and of course, Stockport School.
The first thing that is striking, is that the Hall’s footprint hardly encroaches on the ground occupied by the school. The elegant drive from Mile End Road to the main entrance today skirts the perimeter of what was the Mile End Hall Estate. There is a reason for that, although the school was built around 1938, Mile End Hall remained, thornlike, in the grounds as a maternity hospital until the late 1950s. It explains why we were always discouraged from referring to the school as Mile End. The existence of the hospital on the grounds had lingered like the memory of a wayward disgraced aunt in the collective memory of the schoolmasters, never to be discussed with their charges.
The first mention of Mile End Hall is in 1587 is of Alexander Lowe, at the time Mayor of Stockport who lived at the Hall. His daughter, Anne (c1580-1607), married Oswalde Mosley of Ancoats Hall on 22 September 1602 at St Mary in Stockport. She went on to live at Ancoats Hall and was buried in November 1607 at the Collegiate Church in Manchester.
Alexander Lowe was a wealthy Stockport merchant who died in 1607 and was buried in the Parish Church of St Mary on 2 March that year. In his will, foreshadowing history, the first recorded inhabitant of what is to become a school, endows funds for the school which will sit over the road. He gave a property in the town for the Grammar School.
Francis Lowe, presumably a relation, was headmaster of Stockport Grammar School from 1587 to 1597.
The property was in the then fashionable area of Adlington Square on Chestergate, where it remained for the next 200 years, until the area became run down and a mill was built in the area, Square Mills, owned by Henry Pearson of Parrs House, Heaton Mersey which house we will explore soon.
The site is remembered on a plaque on Merseyway next to Adlington Walk, which houses Boots the Chemist today. The Leghs of Lyme Hall in Disley had their town house here.
Alexander Lowe made the rector of St Marys, Richard Gerard, the trustee of the charitable bequests in his will.
Around 1613 John Warren leased the property to the Davenport family and William Davenport (1584-1655) was living there. He was the son of William Davenport MP, of Bramall Hall and Dorothy Warren. The Hall therefore formed part of the Bramall Hall estate.
William lived at Mile End Hall until 1639, when his father died shortly before the outbreak of the English Civil War and he moved to Bramall Hall. He was a Royalist, but not a terribly committed one, and many of his tenants became soldiers in the Parliamentary army. Bramall hall during his tenure housed both Royalist and Cromwellian troops. He married Frances Wilbraham (1584-1627), the daughter of Sir Thomas Wilbraham.
Subsequently Higginbotham in his Stockport Ancient and Modern records that John Davenport sold it to one William Brittlebank. William came from Winster, Derbyshire. He was a descendant of Hugh Brittlebank of Oddo House, Winster. William was a solicitor who specialised in mining and mineral rights, he died a wealthy man, leaving £100,000 on his death in 1848 (£18m in 2019).
From the 1790s to around 1815 Dr John Mitchell is living there. The good doctor was not only eminent in medical knowledge, writing letters to professional journals, but also in matters spiritual, writing an volume on the Revelations of the Apostle John. To top that he demolished the the original old Tudor Mile End Hall and built a new edifice on the grounds in neoclassical style, greatly expanding it and calling it the New House.
During these excavations, the Reverend William Marriott reported the discovery of tesselated pavements suggesting a Roman presence on the site in his Antiquities of Lyme and Its Vicinity of 1810.
John Mitchell appears to have moved to Chorlton Row in Manchester in 1815 when he became the surviving devisee in trust of the will of Samuel Hibbert a Manchester linen and yarn merchant. John died around 1818
One John Dysart was John Mitchell’s nephew, his heir at law, and therefore inherited Mile End Hall. John was mayor of Londonderry in 1825 and 1830. William Dysart who was related to John, and a Londonderry merchant, born in 1781 took advantage of the inheritance, crossed the water and moved into Mile End Hall.
He married Sarah Hobson, the daughter of Samuel Hobson of Newton Heath, Manchester. They are shown on the 1841 census as living at Mile End Hall.
William and Mary had four children, none of whom married. Mary Ann Dysart died in 1862. William Hobson Dysart (1830-1865) appears to have been the longest lived, dying at the age of 35 in Rochester, Kent. John Hobson Dysart died aged 15 in 1848 at Tarvin Hall School, near Chester.
Tarvin Hall school was founded by John Brindley who leased the hall for £120 pa to educate 100 resident pupils preparing them by special instruction for The University, The Medical Profession, The Law, The Sea and for Mercantile Pursuits. Fees were 50 guineas (£52.50) a year for 12-16 year olds and 40 guineas (£42) for under 12s. Dr Brindley employed six teaching staff and 12 domestic staff. The school did not last much longer than poor John, the owners gave him notice to quit in 1852 as they objected to structural alterations he had made, he moved the upper school to Abbots Grange in Chester, and in 1855 the lower school moved to Parkgate on the River Dee, by this time the hapless doctor was declared bankrupt. The building operated as a school under different governors in the following years before it reverted to residential use. It has today been converted to apartments.
Their last son, Samuel Hobson Dysart (1836-1859) died on 15 January 1859 of inflammation after a short illness. He was buried at St Thomas in Stockport.
William Dysart senior died on the 17 June 1844 at Mile End Hall, his widow lived another 22 years and died on 25 April 1866 at the Hall. She too was buried at St Thomas.
Next time we will visit the nineteenth century residents of Mile End.
Copyright 2019 Allan Russell.