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Beech House
144 Wilmslow Road (Long Lane)

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By Helen Morgan

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Published on Facebook 2022
Last Updated 29/01/2024

 

This is the home of the Choudry family, opposite the War Memorial,
who open their garden for refreshments after Remembrance Sunday.

 

The Beginnings of Beech House

I was given a guided tour of this property in August 2022, by the current owner Hamayoun Choudry. He did not know how old the house was, so myself and Peter Stanton Davies, my very helpful map man, started to do some digging.

Way back in 1839, James Warburton Finney owned both the field that the
Griffin Pub stands on and the field that eventually this house would be built in. The plots are numbered on the Tithe Map of 1841, beautifully illustrated by Frank and Teretta Mitchell. Plot 405 was called Back Pasture and was arable land of 4 acres. Plot 415, that this house stands in, was called Field Opposite Worthingtons and was pastureland totalling 3 acres and 1 rood

 

BH1841-001 Tithe map 1841.jpg

Fig. 1 Fields 405/415 near Griffin Pub, 1841
Tithe Map of Heald Green 1841. Researched by Frank Mitchell, drawn by Teretta Mitchell in 1976
© St. James Church, Gatley

Click On Link To View Full Map, or picture to view this close-up

 

BH1872-001 published 1882 Cheshire Sheet XIX.jpg

By 1872 the cottages had been built alongside and opposite the Griffin Inn, but there was still no house. On the other side of the road the smithy is there with cottages attached. That would later become a post office and general store, with the smithy moving over the road, to be on the corner of Finney Lane alongside the Griffin Inn.
 

Fig. 2 Ordnance survey map dated 1872, published 1882. Cheshire sheet XIX
© Cheshire Tithe Maps Online
Click On Picture To View

 

BH1897-001 published 1899 Cheshire Sheet.jpg

The house was not on a map of 1896 but was there in 1897. There are still no houses after it towards where the shops are now. On the other side of the road a row of cottages had been built for Bruntwood Park gardeners, by James Edward Platt, who owned the hall at that time. The dotted line footpath next to them is the cut through behind the bus stop on Wilmslow Road to Branksome Drive.
 

Fig. 3 Ordnance survey map 1897, published 1899 
© Cheshire Tithe Maps Online
Click On Picture To View

 

The house and its row of stables can clearly be seen on the map. The end door, near the original paddock gate, is a barn. All the doors and windows are the original ones.
 

BH2022-023 Stables and barn, Beech House, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg

Fig. 4 Stables and barn, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
Click On Picture To View

 

The family now use these outbuildings for storage. However, there are many original features still inside them.

BH2022-016 original sink inside stables, Beech House, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg
BH2022-010 Inside the stables, Beech House, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg

Fig. 5 Original sink inside stables, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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Fig. 6 Inside the stables, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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BH2022-014 Original floor in the stables, Beech House, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg
BH2022-013 Original barn roof, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg

Fig. 7 Original floor, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
Click On Picture To View

 

Fig. 8 Original barn roof, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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BH1907-001 published 1909 Cheshire.jpg

Fig. 9 Ordnance survey map 1907 
© Cheshire Tithe Maps Online
Click On Picture To View

 

20th Century Onwards

By 1907, 5 semi-detached houses, classed as Edwardian villas, had been built on Wilmslow Road, opposite Appletree Farm (now Mona Avenue).

The amount of land at the side and the back of the property can clearly be seen. Rosslyn Road had yet to be built, that would eventually back on to the paddock. The 1911 Census for England and Wales shows the Eckersley family living here; 3 males and 4 females. It was so complicated back then. The house was in the Civil Parish of Stockport Etchells, and the Ecclesiastical Parish of Gatley, St James’ the Apostle. It was in the Urban District of Cheadle and Gatley and the Ward District of Gatley. The Parliamentary Division was Altrincham!

By 1934, Rosslyn Road was built and the paddock stretched behind the cottages and the Griffin to the gardens of the houses on Finney Lane between the Griffin and Rosslyn Road. 2 semi-detached and one detached house have also been built on Wilmslow Road, alongside the house.

By 1957, the paddock area had been reduced considerably.

 

However, when I went for a visit in August 2022, I was absolutely amazed by the amount of land there still is, that cannot now be seen from the road. 

BH1934-001  published 1937 Lancashre.jpg

Fig. 10 Ordnance survey map 1934
© Cheshire Tithe Maps Online
Click On Picture To View

 

BH1957-001 to 1964 Published 1966 SJ88NE-A.jpg

Fig. 11 Ordnance survey map 1957
© Cheshire Tithe Maps Online
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BH2022-019 Outside back of property, Beech House, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg
BH2022-021 Paddock land at the back of Beech House, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg

Fig. 12 Looking North towards Finney Lane, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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Fig. 13 Looking West towards Rosslyn Road, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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BH2022-012 Looking back to the stables Beech House, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg
BH2022-011 Looking back at the property 2 Beech House, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg

Fig. 14 Outbuildings to back of house, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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Fig. 15 Outbuildings to back of house, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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Hamayoun Choudry explained when I visited him in August 2022.

“We bought the house through an auction in 2008. If I had known the work involved, I would never have bought it! The house had sash windows, no gas supply and no damp proofing. The floors were bowed, especially at the front of the house. When we investigated, everything went black, as all these spores came out. It was terrible. All the flooring had to be changed and we put in a damp proof course. We had to get gas piped in along with radiators. Each room, including the bedrooms, had a fireplace."

They only kept one of them!






“We did not move in until 2010, trying to keep the costs down by doing the work ourselves, with my Dad’s help. The walls are thick, but we were unable to put insulation inside, as it is brick to brick. Heat is not retained. We did add roof insulation though. The chimneys are originals."
 

BH2022-001 1 of the original fireplaces from the house, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg

Fig. 16 The fireplace, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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BH2022-00 Chimney Beech House, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg
BH2009-001 Google maps Apr 2009.jpg

Fig. 17 The chimneys, Beech House, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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“At the back of the house, slates have been tacked onto the outside wall. I am assuming it was an issue with water and although dry we will eventually have to get it rendered. The original driveway was cobbled and we used it as hardcore for our paving stones. There was also a raised garden to the left hand side of the driveway. A small gate at the side of the house leads to a small garden with curved walls. It has beautiful flowers in the Spring. If you follow the path round you come to the original front door and the big bay windows."
 

Fig. 18 Front of Beech House, 2009
© Google Maps
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As you can see, the beech hedge reached all the way to the cottages. It’s very likely that the house name came from this.

BH2022-006 Front of Beech House, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg
BH2016-001 Google maps June 2016.jpg

Fig. 19 Beech Hedge, Beech House, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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“The outbuildings have not changed much and have original beams. They are dry with a good air supply through them. Around the back of the house was a building that was used as a toilet, but there was nothing connected. It was a hole with a plank of wood across made for 2. Indeed, the daughters of the lady who had died, that we were buying the house off, could remember sitting next to one another on there! The field at the back had a number of trees on it like apples and pears but it is really just a big field and hard to manage."

Fig. 20 The hedge has been removed and the paddock behind can be seen from the road, 2016
© Google Maps
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“In 2018 we took the decision to sell some land at the side of us. Part of the planning conditions were that whatever came next should be built in a similar style and brick and also have off road parking. Behind the new flats is fencing to keep them separate."
 

BH2019-001 Google maps Aug 2019.jpg

Fig. 21 The new flats at the side of Beech House, 2019
© Google Maps
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Inside there are still some gorgeous original features in the front room and the hallway. My photos don’t do it justice.

BH2022-007 Front room, Beech House, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg

Fig. 22 Inside Beech House, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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BH2022-008 Hallway, Beech House, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg

Fig. 23 Inside Beech House, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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Outside, Hamayoun has found the original gate - although at the moment it needs fixing to keep it shut. The original stone gate pillars can also be seen under the white paint. On here are etched the words, Beech House.
 

BH2022-005 Beech House, original front gate, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg

Fig. 24 Gate, Beech House, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
Click On Picture To View
 

Mr. Choudry, thank you for allowing me to visit and record your beautiful house for our heritage site. You are very lucky to live in what I would call an iconic house on Long Lane.

Bibliography


 

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