Historical Walk around Woolston


                                                                                          Can you help

Woolston, Martinscroft, Paddington and Bruche have very few photos of its past.  If you know of anyone who has any photos that we can borrow and scan in we would be very grateful.  Could you email us on the following address newcuthandetrailgroup@gmail.com

We would like to thank the many people who have kindly agreed to us using their amazing photos James Stubbings, Sybil Hogg, Mike Kenwright, Len England, Mary King Wallace, David Slater, Keith Bramham, Len Whittle, Linda Thompson, Marianne Pittenway, Dave Jones, Les Hogg, Donna Muncaster, David Buckles, Nick McCarthy, Dave Slater, Jim Hunter and Jann Gregson


On Sunday, 4 October 2015 the New Cut Heritage group organized a historical walk around Woolston starting at The Dog and Partridge pointing out items of interest along the way.  

This is a brief introduction with a guided walk to follow

People lived in our area during the Bronze Age 2000BC.

We know the Anglo-Saxons arrived here around 700 AD.  The word ‘Ees’, as in Woolston Eyes, is Saxon for land near a looping watercourse.

The name Woolston first appears in 1180 in a charter and derives from the Old English of 'Wulfes', or 'Wulfsiges' (a personal name) and also 'tun'.

The Woolston family lived in Woolston Hall from the 13th to 15th centuries until it was passed to the Hawarden family by marriage.

In 1367 there were reports of fishermen brought before the courts for obstructing the flow of the river with fish weirs; and that so many salmon were caught that all the countryside and markets for twenty miles around were supplied. 

A later account says that the Mersey had sturgeons, mullet, seals and eels, lobsters, shrimps, prawns and ‘the best and largest cockles in all England.

In 1749 a 19 and 23 pound salmon were recorded as being caught in May on the Mersey in the Woolston and Thelwall area.

The Mersey has always had a problem with flooding, during the winter months the Mersey used to flood but it is believed that sheep were grazed on the fertile fields in the summer months.


1 Dog and Partridge – A57

The old Dog and Partridge was open before 1826 and was attached to the black cottages which were all owned by the brewery.  This was pulled down when the new Dog and Partridge was built in the 1930’s behind the existing Dog and Partridge.

1901 census licensed victualler Walter Kerfoot age 38, Elizabeth Kerfoot age 36, children Mary age 8, Frank age 6 and Ethel age 4

1911 census Inn keeper Arthur Hughes (see photo)  age 41, Harriet Hughes wife age 42,

children Ethel age 12 and Stanley age 8

William and Ethel Monks were known to have lived there from 1939 -1952

Walk along the old A57 approx 211 metres until you get to Soapery Row on the left



2 Soapery Row

If you look at the picture in the distance on the right hand side you will see Soapery Row which was a group of terrace houses.  Paddington Chemical Works built these for their workers to live in.  

1901 census labourer Edward Schottage age 38, Mary age 39, children Edward age 14, Alfred age 6, Alexander age 1

Labourer Thomas Morris  age 44, Catherine age 38, children Mary 10, Joseph 7, Charles 2

Glass Blower, George Jackson age 45, Margaret age 44, Edith 14, Benjamin 10, Josie 8, Sarah 5, Maggie 5

Signal, James Potter  age 40, Ellen, age 38, children Sarah 16, John 14

David Clarke 76, John son  age 35 labourer, Elizabeth Marsden daughter 35 William 32 son law,

Mary Clarke grandaughter 22, Alice Marsden g/d 6, Ellen g/d, 5, Lawrence g.s 3, Florence g/d 1

These were knocked down and replaced with semi detached houses circa 1978.


Carry on walking for approx 134 metres and look at the map to see where the toll bar was.



3 A57
Picture shows the new A57 dual carriageway being constructed behind the Dog and Partridge. The old A57 ran infront of the Dog and Dart but due to increase in traffic it was decided to built a dual carriageway behind it.

The other picture shows the New Cut Canal with the dual carriageway being constructed behind it.

9 Toll Bar map before(5262 x 3721) 75

4 The map shows the toll bar near the traffic lights. A  toll bar was situated here.  This was a bar or gate for stopping travel at a point where tolls were taken.  There was a lot of trouble over toll bars and the one at Glazebrook was pulled down by local people.

Carry on for 66 metres until you get to the Post Office.


5 Finger Post

There was a finger post situated here until the 1960’s  This was usually a black and white post with one or more arms, known as fingers, pointing in the direction of travel to places names on the fingers.

The Post Office was originally on the other side of the road where the Chemist is now.

Optional walk approx 585 metres up Holes Lane until you get to Padgate Cottage Homes on your right, passing where Holes Lane farm was on the corner of Holes Lane and Hillock Lane.





6 Padgate Cottage Homes and Holes Lane Farm

On the way to Padgate homes you pass where Holes Lane Farm was on the corner of Holes Lane and Hillock Lane.  Holes Lane Farm and horses pulling a binding machine.  

Warrington Union opened what was known as the Padgate Industrial Schools in 1881.

The initial site was based on a quadrangle with, at each corner a home for 50 children - the two on the west for boys and the two on the east for girls.

On the south side was the school and classrooms and on the northside was the surgery, stores, offices laundry, piggeries, stable and outbuildings.

Each of the four two-storey homes has, on the ground floor a kitchen, dining room, workroom, pantries, bathroom and toilet and two sitting rooms for the officers. Upstairs were three dormitories for the children, and bedrooms for the officers.

The school later became known as Padgate Cottage Homes.  In 1911, 200 children were living there.

In 1950, the cottage homes had another name change and became known as Padgate Hall but in 1953, the homes closed.

A child remembered how he first went to live there in 1948 as a 6 year old and finally left in 1953 as a 12 year old.  Although life in there was quite tough, you have to remember that it was tough for most folk at that time. The good memories vastly outweigh the bad memories. Good memories, including the annual 4 week camp at Knott-End-on-Sea, trips out to places like the Lakes and even as far as London to the Festival of Britain. But Christmas times were fantastic, apart from the in-house celebrations, we were invited to parties given by the RAF and also the Americans at Burtonwood. The thing is, when you live in a home with upwards of 130 children there is always someone to play with. The house straight across from the gates was my first call on bob-a-job day, they were great people who always found us some little job or other, whether it be a bit of weeding or polishing the silver, anything just so we could earn our shilling. The view up the lane reminds me of walking excitedly up to the bus stop at Paddington post office to meet visiting relatives, though that was a pretty rare thing.

Turn around and walk back to the Post Office.  Then walk approx 219 metres up Manchester Road towards the M6 until you opposite the Petrol Station.



7 Woolston Lido

The Lido was opened on 19 May 1934 the first open air swimming pool which could be heated artificially.  This was in Woolston on the A57 where the yellow storage depot and garage are now, however wet summers put people off and the pool fell into disuse.

Towards the end of it’s life there were caravans to the side of it and carp were in the pool.  In the winter one gentleman remembered having to break the ice so the carp could breath.  There was also a transport café and a pharmacy.  The area was called the Black Cat.

Carry on walking approx 219 metres until you see a large double fronted detached house on the right.








8 Woolston Greyhound track

The entrance to the grey hound track was the alley way behind the bus stop.  (At one time it was a road and it was wide enough to drive down)  It was owned by Mr Jones the Chemist who’s detached house which still stands beside the bus stop.  The grey hound track was for grey hounds starting out and practicing before they went to a proper track where they got their number and were weighed. 

The track opened on 12th September 1934, the track described as being horseshoe shaped closed in 1937.

It was a flapping track, this is where you can race your dog in a 6 dog race without having to produce your race book, you can name your dog whatever you like, not a racing name, the dog doesn’t have to be weighed in.

It is good for pups to learn what is expected of them at the track.  They are not answerable to any governing body.





9 Mr Jones 

He owned the grey hound track and lived in a detached house beside the bus stop.  He was a chemist? He worked at Paddington chemical works?  He had a herbal shop in Warrington.

Turn around and walk back the way you have come approx 78 metres.

19 Woolston Hall before 50 (388 x 282)


11 Woolston Hall

The first picture shows where the entrance to Woolston Hall was off Manchester Road, to the right of the present Barnfield Road. At the entrance to the drive was a pair of gateposts, the driveway itself consisted of granite setts and on either side there were fields which during the 1950s were farmed by James Abbey of Hillock Lane.  There was another entrance to the Hall from Hillock Lane.

Turn right into Barnfield Avenue and walk approx 240 metres to Greenfields Close on your left.

The other photos show Woolston Hall and where it used to be at the bottom of Greenfields Close.

1869 (Woolston Hall Estate)

Containing Upwards of 1,070 Acres of Rich Arable, Pasture and Wood Lands, with Several Farm Houses and Suitable Farm Buildings and Cottages, with the "Rope and Anchor" Inn in the Village of Woolston.

From 1677 to 1831 a Catholic priest resided at Woolston Hall, they were all English Benedictines. 

The Registers of Estates of Lancashire Papists 1717-1788:

The Woolston family lived in Woolston Hall from the 13th to 15th centuries until it was passed to the Hawarden family from Flintshire in the fifteenth century, and then by marriage in 1575 to the Standish family.  The manor was now called Woolston Hall and stood at the top end of Greenfield Close. 

Woolston Hall was demolished in 1947 to make room for Woolston County Primary School and neighbouring housing developments.  The school was opened in January 1952.

From 1841 - 1911 the Hatton's Houghton's, Fowler's and Platt's occupied the Hall as farmers.

Carry on walking approx 177 metres until you reach Hillock Lane and turn right.



12 Hillock Lane in the 1950’s

There was a group of Airey houses on Hillock Lane on the left hand side where the current set of walled bungalows are currently located. 

An Airey house was a type of prefabricated house built in Great Britain following World War II.  These were designed by Sir Edwin Airey to the Ministry of Works Emergency Factory Made housing programme, it features a frame of prefabricated concrete columns reinforced with tubing recycled from the frames of military vehicles.

To the left of the site of where the Airey houses were built, there is an electricity sub-station set back behind the houses, backing on the playing fields and in between are two houses which were built by the Warrington Corporation Waterworks department to house some of their employees.  Quite why these houses were located there, not close to any water installation, is unknown.

The markings on the road is where a new sewerage system was put in.  This had unhappy consequences for one Woolston family.

Walk approx 192 metres until you reach Ryder Road on your right.


13 Ryder Road was named after Mr Ryder, who was a Headmaster at the Mission Church of England School on Warren Lane.

Carry on on for approx 129 metres along Hillock Lane then right into Warren Lane.



14 Warren Hill 

The property was owned by Edward Gorton a glue manufacturer.

In the 1940’s – 1950’s the property became a maternity nursing home.  At one time it was run by Alex Clarke's wife and her sisters.  Eventually the Clarke family moved in and David their son still lives in the house.

The area was called Warren as there had been a rabbit warren there.  A rabbit keeper was employed to look after them and supply meat to Woolston Hall.

15 Look to your left.  Where Epping Drive is now it was originally called Hollywood when it was farm land.

Carry on along Warren Lane for approx 132 metres.


16 The Church of England school – the Mission – was opened in 1885.  Mr William Beamont built the school for £1100.00 for local people.

When Mike Kenwright was growing up the mission was his day school, Sunday school/church and village hall all rolled into one.

The Mission was built as a ‘mission’ or offshoot of Padgate Church and dates back to 1884.  It operated as a day school with the main hall being used as two classrooms separated by a black curtain, with unruly pupils poking small holes with the old “dipping pens” in the curtain so that they could see what was happening in the adjoining class!.  There was also a classroom at the rear of the main room. 

On the top of the building there used to be a spire on the right with a bell inside.

The vicarage was located to the right of the Mission and was once the home of Mr Entwistle, the Headmaster of the Mission at that time.

17 Church of the Ascension on your left.

In 1906 Edward Dennett, offered a site on Manchester Road near Martinscroft but nothing came of this.

In 1917 Edward Gorton donated the plot of land bounded by Hillock, Warren and Dam Lane as a site for the church.  He was a Glue Manufacturer and he lived at Warren Hill,

Eventually on 7 May, 1970 The Church of the Ascension, Woolston was consecrated by the Bishop of Liverpool.

The bell is called Arthur and is said to have come from St Paul’s in Southport

When delivered whoever was in charge said they wanted the bell putting inside the church overnight in-case it was stolen.  There were 6 other bells on the wagon being delivered they were left outside their church overnight and were stolen. 

When a new church is built something from an old church is added to the new one.

Walk approx 199 metres in the direction of the Rope and Anchor until you are nearly at Berkshire Drive

19 Millpond

Woolston Tithe Map 1836 – 1851

The mill pond stretched from Dam Lane to Gig Lane.  It started behind the old Rope and Anchor and went northwards up to where the house at 16 Dam Lane is now.  This fed the mill at the bottom of Mill Lane (opposite the Rope and Anchor)

Walk approx 148 metres until you reach the Rope and Anchor.

20 Nancy’s shop.

Annie Mellor married Arthur Littlewood in 1944 she was always known as Nancy her shop was on the corner of Dam Lane where the barbers is now.

Looking at the last photo on the bottom left you can see Nancy's house with the wooden lean which was her grocers shop.  To the left of Nancy's cottage was a small wood and asbestos building used as a surgery by Doctor Quinta.

23 Smithy and who lived there.


1901  James Daintith Age 50, Blacksmith wife Elizabeth

children Annie, Joseph, Alice, James 20, Sarah, Herbert 17, Harry, Elsie,

1891  James Daintith Age 40, Blacksmith wife Elizabeth

children Annie, Joseph, Alice, Mary, James, Sarah, Herbert, Harry

1881  James Daintith Age 30 Blacksmith wife Elizabeth

children Mary, Annie, Joseph, Alice, Mary, James


1861  John Daintith Age 38 Blacksmith wife Sarah

children James 10, William 3

1851  John Daintith Age 28, wife Sarah, James 4 months







24 Old Rope and Anchor, Manchester Road publican James Daintith

The old pub was built right on the corner of Manchester Road and Dam Lane, it obscured the road ahead when approaching the junction, resulting in a number of traffic accidents.  The new pub was built behind the old building which was only demolished when the new building was completed.

Dam Lane obscured the road ahead when approaching the junction, resulting in a number of traffic accidents.

In 1869 (Woolston Hall Estate mentions Rope and Anchor" Inn in the village of Woolston


                                                                                    Wife                Children

1841   William Turner           Publican                     55        Alice                Joh, Mary, William -20 Jen

1851   William Turner           Farmer                        38        Mary               John, Hannah

1861   William Turner           Publican                     46        Mary               John, Lucy, Mary, Lizzie

1871   John Daintith             Licenced                     50        Sarah              James, William, Henry 13


1881   James Daintith           Publican                     58        Alice                Henry


1891   James Daintith           Inn Keeper                  67        Alice                Thomas, (Mary E, Alice,                                                                                                                           granddaughters)

1901   Henry Daintith           Inn Keeper                  36        Alice                Ann

1911   James Daintith           Inn Keeper                  60        Elizabeth         Alice, James Herbert,                                                                                                                              Elsie, Gwendeline grand/D

25 Two cottages

When Mike Kenwright was a boy he remembered on the western side of Dam Lane next to the Rope and Anchor there were a pair of cottages, an old lady lived in the one nearest to Dam Lane and for a penny a day people could leave a push bike in the shed and then use the bus for the remainder of the journey to Warrington.

Walk approx 78 metres across Manchester Road down Mill Lane.

27 windmill no longer there

27 Woolston Corn Mill

There have been various mentions of Woolston Corn Mill one was dated 1850

Two Early mentions of the mill at Woolston

“ In 1581 Adam Hawarden and Alexander Standish had conveyed the manor and family estates by fine to trustees”

Found in:

The estate was described as twenty messuages, &c., a water-mill, a dovecote, 2,300 acres of land, meadow and pasture in Woolston, Fearnhead, Bruche, Poulton, Marscroft [Martinscroft], and Halewood.

In 1322 William de Moston gave to Henry del Bruche a plat of waste between the Bruche and Poulton, lying between Le Dedemounes slak and the boundary of Poulton; Raines MSS. xxxviii, 407, n. 2. In an earlier deed the mill pool, the causey (i.e. causeway), and the ditches of Robert de Surreys and Richard de Moston are mentioned as the boundaries of this parcel of ground; ibid. 411, n. 2.

Census        Name           Occupation            Age    Wife   Children                         


1901  William Gatley       Market Gardener   32      Jane   William

1891  James Houghton    Market Gardener   74      Sarah

1881  James Houghton    Market Gardener   63      Sarah

1871  James Houghton    Agricultural Lab      54      Sarah Thomas, Ellen, James, Rose


1851  James Clarke         Miller                     36      Ellen  John, Peter, Aaron, Elizabeth

1841  Matthew Bolton      Miller                     40      Sarah Thomas, John, Matthew, Elizabeth, Anne

Walk approx 664 metres down the path at the side of the mill, carry on straight until you get to the New Cut Canal, then turn right and carry on until you get to Bridge Lane with C21 complex on your left.

30 Gaskells, Coopers pit, Cappers

Walk approx 313 metres and look to your left to see Grey Mist.  Carry on approx 265 metres to Woolston tip.

31 Gortons Brickworks

The brickworks is on the last picture at the bottom right corner.  

Walk approx 213 metres carrying on along the path passing Woolston Park South on your right, just past this is scrub land where Paddington Chemical Works were.


32 Paddington Chemical Works Aerial view

In 1820 Paddington Chemical soap works was erected by partners Robert Halton and Jonathan Jackson. Three years later the excise officers were called in due to double duty on soap made in a secret boiling-room of which no entry had been made in the excise books.  Jonathan Jackson lived at Bruche Hall which became a convent.

The soap works became the bone works.

In 1851 The Chester Chronicle announced the Paddington Bone Works were selling boiled bones.

In 1868 The Chemical Manufactories listed Christopher Royston at Paddington Works.

The Post Office Directory of 1876 listed W & C Royston as Soap & Chemical Manufacturers...

Slaters Directory of Cheshire of 1895 listed William Royston & Co, Paddington Works, as soap, glue, size & bone manure manufacturers.

The Paddington Works later became the site of a glue works

When Edward Gorton owned it there was a fire in 1952.  They manufactured 'Aspirin' but the primary business of Edward Gorton Ltd was glues.  In 1964 the Gorton family sold out to John Wallace.  It eventually was owned by, Prosper de Mulder in 1980.

Willow bark contains a chemical active ingredient called salicin, which the body converts into salicylic acid (C7H6O3) – a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory agent that was the precursor to aspirin.  In the 1920’s chemist learned how to extract salicylic acid from willow bark to reduce pain and fever.

Walk approx 241 Metres

Mike do you know when it was demolished.