Didsbury, South Manchester,
part of Gwrych Castle Estate

During the early days of the Gwrych Castle Estate, Lloyd Hesketh Bamford Hesketh (builder of Gwrych Castle, Abergele) had lands not just in North Wales, but also Lancashire and the North West of England. We have recently received information from a lady, who when looking at her deeds at her home in Didsbury, South Manchester, discovered an interesting connection between Didsbury and Gwrych.

Winifred Road, Countess Road, and Dundonald Road are all situated parallel to each other. Nearby are the roads named Bamford Road, Hesketh Avenue, Whitehall Road and Ladysmith Road. These names stand out a mile to the budding Gwrych enthusiast who knows a little, or a lot about the History of Gwrych Castle. If I had seen found these roads on my travels I would have thought I was going bonkers! Too much late night typing!

The fact is that, the properties along the roads mentioned above, were once part of the Gwrych Castle Estate. It is evident that, The Estate at some point owned a substantial part of South Manchester.

From a local source we have found this caption:

"In 1864 the Lord of the manor was Robert Bamford Hesketh (son of Lloyd Bamford Hesketh) who passed on the estates of Cheadle Moseley, Cheadle Hulme, Gatley Hall, and lands in Etchells and Disdbury to his only child Winifred, Countess of Dundonald upon his death on April 29th 1894"

On the 30th October 1900, Winifred, The Countess of Dundonald and Chretien  James Holt Gradisky (who was a builder) drew up a 999 year lease to build dwelling houses along Whitehall Road. The terms of the lease, set by the Countess, stated that no public houses or anything which could be a nuisance to the neighbourhood were to be built along the road.

Chretien's plan looked like he owned the land either side of the parcel that belonged the Countess. As a property developer, he obviously wanted to own the lot, and build a neat row of terraces without any gaps!

On Dundonald Road there was once a commercial laundry. The workers lived in the 2 up 2 down houses built along the street. The laundry was demolished in the 1970s and the houses were nearly razed to the ground as they were classified as slums. Who'd have guessed some of them would fetch over 140k today! Further paperwork details that in 1902 a yearly rent for a house in Whitehall road was 13.

Spot the roads yourself here.

Bamford Hesketh's re-furbishment of the chancel at St Mary's Church, Cheadle Hulme
in the 1880s. Find out more here

Road maps of Etchells, note the Welsh influence!