Slade Hall, originally known as Milkwall Slade, was an estate split between Rusholme and Gorton and originally held by a family who adopted the name Slade as their surname. The original building was possibly constructed around 1160. The current building is believed to be the oldest house in Manchester.
The Slade family sold the estate in 1583 to the Siddalls. Richard Siddall had been living there at the time of the transaction, as evidenced by his will. In 1585 the property was conveyed from Ralph Slade to Edward Siddall (c 1543-1588) for £10 on a 42 year lease. Edward built the present Hall in 1585. The property passed down through the Siddall line. The family, like the Slades before them made little mark on history, apart from a few exceptions. Thomas Siddall was executed in February 1716 for his part in the Jacobite Rebellion of the previous year.
In the 1841 Census, John Siddall (b c 1786), a widower, was living at the Hall on independent means together with his son William Edward (c 1816-1843), later that decade the property was leased to Joseph Bleackley (d 1859) a Manchester Brewer who owned the Lamb Brewery on Todd Street and Sun Brewery on Downing Street in Manchester.
Joseph also had substantial interests in houses in Manchester as well as a chain of public houses. The brewery as it can be seen saw itself as a premium brand, and the business was continued by his son David.
After Joseph, the Hall was leased to William Frederick Clare Payant (1815-1883) , a Manchester Wine Merchant and in 1861 he is living there with his wife Mary Ann Hadkinson (1822-1893), and their eight children. William’s grandfather Charles was born on Ile De France in Paris in 1747 and came to Manchester around 1777, where he started teaching French and Italian, before temporarily dabbling in Turkey Dying in 1786 in Blackley, before returning to teaching. William’s father, Charles set up as a wine merchant, and William initally worked in Lisbon exporting wines to England, whilst his brother James took care of the Manchester end of the business. The firm did well, as a bankruptcy case in 1849 mentioned guarantees of £1,278,000 (£163m in 2020) to their benefit being extended by the bankers, Cunliffe and Brookes.
William married Mary on 28 October 1845, prior to the wedding he had been lodging with her parents, but they moved to Mosley Street, where he ran the business after the wedding, leasing Slade Hall by 1861. They retired to Buckingham Villas on Plymouth Grove where he died in 1883.
John Siddall and Mary Froggatt’s son William Edward Siddall (1846-1901) and his wife Hannah Jane Leigh (1850-1927) were living in the Hall in 1871. William was a paper merchant trading as Foster and Siddall.
After them the last Siddalls to live at the Hall were John Siddall (b1844) and his wife Mary Jane Duckers. John and his sons were stockbrokers, and lived at the Hall until 1911. They sold Slade Hall to the LNWR in 1903 for £20,000 (£2.4m in 2020), but remained as leaseholders until then. LNWR had bought the house with the intention of demolishing it to construct a station, which never happened.
By 1911 there was concern about what would happen to the house. Whilst a station had not been built, the estate had been shorn by construction of a railway. However it was not demolished, and the property was leased from 1911-1961 by Dr Charles R Brown who used it as his surgery. A year after his retirement in 1962 Manchester City Council was proposing to demolish the building to build housing. A little later that year, Raymond Wood Jones, the senior lecturer in architecture at Manchester University complained that Manchester was the worst area for needless destruction of old buildings in the country (this being the same year that the Euston Arch had been demolished in secrecy, so it was a cutting comment). He cited buildings in danger as Hough End Hall, Slade, Foxdenton and Chadderton Halls.
That November, the developers agreed to halt demolition whilst the council wondered what to do with Slade, at the same time, the council shelved plans to repair the statue of James Watts in Piccadilly and the Fountain at All Saints.
Eventually that year the Hall was purchased by Councillor R A Fieldhouse (who subsequently became leader of the GMC) with the intention of living there with his family, and using part of the Hall as offices for his firm of builders. At the time restoration costs were estimated to be in the area of £20,000 (£430,000 in 2020)
The Hall today is used for rented shared accommodation, you can have a room there for around £270pcm sharing with a mix of artists, musicians, djs, students and hippies. It also hosts concerts, popular beat combo, Hey Bulldog played there last year.
Let’s see a few pictures:
The History of Birch in Rusholme, J S Buckley : Sherratt & Hughes 1910
A History of the Ancient Chapel of Birch, Rev John Booker: Chetham Society, 1859
© Allan Russell 2020