The Cottage, High Street

Whilst researching ‘The Cottage’ (currently owned by Tattenhall and District Parish Councillor, Tim Charmley), details of an auction relating to ‘The Cottage’ and several of its surrounding properties came to light. These ‘Sales Particulars’, dated 1 July 1880, offer a rare snapshot of life in the last quarter of the 19thCentury in a particular section of Tattenhall High Street (identified then as ‘Main Street’ or ‘Road’). The documentation specifically relates to the properties on that section of the High Street between Chester Road and the ‘T’ junction of the High Street with Burwardsley Road and continuing just around the corner. In contrast to some of the other buildings that appear on the Website, it was felt (on this occasion) that identifying the varying owners and occupiers of the property was secondary to the information contained below.

‘The Cottage’, High Street, Tattenhall (i.e. the middle of the 3 cottages shown and referred to as ‘Lot 7’ in the auction documentation)

In total, ‘8 Lots’ of property were to be sold by Chester Auctioneers ‘Messrs. Churton, Elphick & Company’ at the Bear Hotel, Tattenhall on Thursday 1 July 1880 at Three for Four o’Clock. All ‘8 Lots’ fronted the High Street. ‘Lot 7’ included the 3 cottages (one of which is ‘The Cottage’ currently owned by Tim Charmley), the tenants of whom at that time were Thomas Lightfoot, Alfred Kinsey and Charles Nye. Specifically, Lots 1-6’ had ‘good cellars underneath’.

Lot 1: All that Beerhouse (presumably ‘The Letters Inn’) with the yard and bake-house (occupied by Mr Thomas Spencer)

Lot 2: Plumber’s Shop with room over (occupied by Mr Edward Spencer)

Lot 3: House i.e. adjoining the Beerhouse (occupied by Mr George Hammond)

Lot 4: House i.e. adjoining the above house (occupied by Mr Edward Hooley)

Lot 5: House and Grocer’s Shop, Post and Telegraph Office (occupied by Mr John Gwinneth) i.e. adjoining Lot 2

Lot 6: House and Draper’s Shop (occupied by Mr John Parr – in lease, expiring 1 May 1882) i.e. adjoining Lot 5

Lot 7: 3 Cottages (tenanted by Thomas Lightfoot, Alfred Kinsey and Charles Nye) i.e. adjoining Lot 6 – one of which is currently owned by Tim Charmley

Lot 8: 2 Cottages with the Stable, Coach-house and Joiners’ Shop ‘up the passage at the rear of the above premises’ (the cottages occupied by Mary Morgan and Thomas Naylor, the Stable and Coach-house occupied by Mr Edward Spencer and the Joiners’ Shop occupied by Mr Thomas Spencer).

Interestingly, the purchase of each of the above ‘Lots’ specified entitlement to:

      • Rights of way over the ‘covered passage’
      • Use of the ‘Pump’ therein and the ‘Well’ beneath
      • Use of the ‘Privy’ and ‘Ashpit’ which were situated at the end of the yard

Importantly too, the documentation relating to the sale of the properties, reveals that the ‘Birkenhead Brewery Company Limited’ owned extensive sections of the land on either side of the covered passage, yard, pump and lower court-yard. This ‘Company’ is mentioned throughout the documentation because of ‘adjoining party walls’. One might suggest, therefore, that ‘The Letters Inn’, may have been a licensed premise of the ‘Birkenhead Brewery Company Limited’ and which may also account for the many 19thCentury ‘Birkenhead’ glass bottles which have been unearthed locally.

Birkenhead Brewery Company Limited buildings

The two images below show the High Street frontage of some of the buildings which are listed in the auction documentation. Interestingly, ‘Lot 1’ the ‘Beerhouse’ i.e. ‘The Letters Inn’ is shown in both photographs but the original brickwork has been ‘whitewashed’ in the later of the two images. This is still a feature of this section of the High Street today.

Information relating to ‘The Cottage’ appears elsewhere on the Website because a ‘Fire Plate’ is positioned on the outer, upper level of the building. To be directed to this section of the Website, simply click on the ‘Fire Plaques and Plates’ link.

 Particular thanks to Tim Charmley for allowing access to the Deeds of his property which date back to 1856/7.


The Nine Houses












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