In the early 14th Century John De La Warre leased 80 acres of land to William Harpour a few years later he granted 24 acres of land and wood called Harpurshey to Adam, the son of John De Radcliffe, and Alice his daughter who was married to Henry De Hulton. The Hulton family of Farnworth held the land until the 16th century when ownership passed to the Hultons¹ of Over Hulton after Henry VIII arbitrated that that branch had title to the land.
In 1808 William Hulton (1787-1864) auctioned the Harpurhey Estate at the Bridgewater Arms to Thomas Andrew (1754-1821) and his nephew Robert Andrew (1778-1831)..
Thomas took land called Boardmans Tenements for £6,700 (£550,000 in 2021), and Robert, Green Mount for £8,000 (£650,000 in 2021).
The Andrew family originated in Rochdale and as early as 1788 they were printing calicoes in Harpurhey. John Andrew (1708-1778), Thomas’ father had over his long life two marriages and 21 children. He married first, Ruth Bancroft and secondly Hannah Bailey.
Thomas Andrew was in partnership with his brothers, James and Samuel before 1776 with a mill in Crumpsall and a warehouse on Market Street Lane, they operated as Turkey Red and Blue Dyers.
Boardmans Tenements covered 50 acres of land and on this ground Thomas built Harpurhey Hall. The gate and lodge were on the corner of Turkey Lane (named for the dyeworks) and the park covered what had been known as Andrew’s field.
The Andrew family became successful in the area, and rented out land on the banks of the Irk to other dyers, transforming what had been a quiet countryside hamlet where orchards grew and cricket was played into a densely packed suburb with back to back houses and a dirty polluted river. Thomas died in 1821 and was succeeded at the Hall by his son, Edward (1793-1842).
Edward married Frances Hargreaves (1795-1883) on 5 June 1817 and by 1829 he had a mill in Crumpsall and offices at 40 Church Street in Manchester. As Harpurhey was growing in population there was a need to provide spiritual guidance to its new inhabitants and on 10 June 1837 he laid the foundation stone for Christ Church in Harpurhey, which was built on land donated by his cousin, Miss Andrew of Green Mount. He died on 6 January 1842 at Harpurhey Hall, after a few hours illness.
Frances moved to Victoria Park in Rusholme where she lived her days as a lady alongside her sister, Mary (1789-1869), dying on 28 April 1883.
The Hall was put up for sale in May 1842, and we have a contemporary description from the particulars. The grounds covered 7 acres, 2 rods and 34 perches (about 7¾ acres) and was next to Green Mount. The Rochdale Turnpike was to the front, and the border to this was 310 yards, the whole estate was offered freehold and could be used to build villas with excellent views.
Entering the house through the main hall, downstairs there was a dining room, breakfast room, library, kitchen, scullery, pantry and butler’s pantry with a china closet. Up the main staircase there were five spacious bedrooms and three dressing rooms. The back staircase lead to a nursery and three servant’s bedrooms. The yard comprised of a wash house and brew house. There cellars were spacious, and the house was liberally fed with water to heat baths and showers.
Outside there were pleasure and kitchen gardens, hothouses, greenhouses, a pinery, grotto, fountain and icehouse as well as a billiard room and gardener’s house, porter’s lodge, coach houses, stables and barns. The purchaser if they desired could take the furniture and the estate timber would be sold at valuation.
John Barratt (1805-1887) and his wife, Catherine Mary Rowlands (1815-1889) bought the property. John was a corn merchant born in Salford who had married Catherine in Liverpool in 1832. John figures in the early history of the port of Manchester, being one of the first people to import goods directly by water to the town, bypassing Liverpool as this article from the understandably piqued Liverpool standard of 30 October 1840 notes:
John and Catherine lived at Cliff Point in Salford before occupying Harpurhey Hall. The hothouses mentioned in the advertisement for the Hall were productive enough to yield him prize nectarines in 1850. They did not stay long at Harpurhey, and by 1856 had moved to Oakley House in Withington. He stayed in Manchester trading in corn, and becoming a director of the Manchester Fire Assurance Company.
He retired to Brathay Bank near Coniston, where he died on 24 February 1887, Catherine lived a further two years and died on 6 July 1889 at Brathay. The Brathay estate remained in the family for a number of years, Ellen Barratt (1834-1905) their daughter and wife of London Stockbroker Frederick Barber (1817-1875) both lived and ended their days there.
Next at the house was Charles Frederick Thompson (1808-1865) and his wife, Margaret Leadbetter (1809-1871) who moved in around 1857, coming from the nearby property Green Mount. Charles was a cotton manufacturer, trading with Joseph Simpson and others as Simpson Thompson Cotton Spinners in Crumpsall. Charles died on 21 May 1865 at the Hall, and Margaret passed away in Crumpsall a few years later in 1871.
Their daughter Susannah (b 1837) married William Faulkner (1823-1902), the son and heir of Charles Travis Faulkner (1797-1863) a carrier and shipping agent born in Manchester. They were the Hall’s next and final residents
Charles Travis Faulkner was born in Manchester in 1797 and founded of CT Travis & Company, founded in 1824, which concentrated on ships sailing between Liverpool, Hull and and the West Indies and barges travelling between Manchester and Hull. However, the advent of the railways and the difficulty of collecting revenues from distant ports (at times up to £25,000 ( £3m in 2021) would disappear in the hands of agents sent to secure the funds) rendering the large margins available worthless.
Railway companies had the ability to transport goods between stations, but the onward despatch was controlled by the shipping companies, so the two industries worked closely together benefitting from each others networks. The railways could haul the heavy goods, and the carriers earning commissions by delivering from the stations. Eventually the carriers entered agreements with specific rail companies, Faulkner’s teaming up with the Great Eastern Railway Network in the 1860s. The company was still operating from 32 Water Street in Manchester as late as 1939.
Charles Faulkner moved initially to Hull to manage the shipping business there, marrying Ann Arnett in 1818 at Holy Trinity in the town. They had three children, George Henry (1827-1892) who went to India, becoming Chief Engineer of the Central Public Works Department in Bombay. He married Jane Louisa (d 1911) and they had eight children. Emma Faulkner married William Brown (1816-1900) two times Mayor of Chester and owner of the famous department store, Browns of Chester.
After Ann Arnett died, Charles married again to Ann Gaulter on 3 December 1832 in Manchester where he settled, dying on 10 November 1863 in Harpurhey.
William Faulkner was born in 1823 in Hull. At first he joined one of his father’s side businesses, a cotton works in Crumpsall, but after his death took over the family firm and expanded it greatly. He married Susannah Thompson on 16 December 1863 and the couple lived there for the rest of their lives, despite an unsuccesful attempt to sell it in 1889. William died at the Hall on 17 June 1902, leaving a substantial fortune of £61,138 (£7½m in 2021)
Two of his sons carried on in the family business, Charles Frederick Faulkner (b 1868) and John (b 1872). After William’s death, the Hall was purchased by Manchester City Council to house a home for what was uncharitably termed mentally defective children, although a special needs school still exists in Harpurhey, it is on a different site. The Hall then disappears from history. It was probably demolished in the first half of the 20th century, as no references can be found to it in newspapers after 1924, and there was a substantial building drive around that time.
By 2004 the collapse in industry Harpurhey was named as the most deprived area in England, Turkey Lane was notorious for its brutalist flats. I can’t find a picture of Harpurhey Hall anywhere³, so here are a Manchester’s finest infront of Turkey Lane Flats before their demolition in 1980.
¹ Another branch of the family from Hampshire, gave us the first Commissioner of Customs in the American Colonies, Henry Hulton who from 1767-1775 levied taxation without representation. William Hulton as High Sheriff of Lancashire ordered the execution of four of the suspects in the Luddite rising in Westhoughton, one of whom, Abraham Charlston, was only 12. Despite please for clemency, Abraham was hanged, crying for his mother on the scaffold. He also called up the yeomanry to arrest radicals and disperse crowds at Peterloo. They tend to be on the wrong side of history.
² If you look to the right of the map in the block surrounded by Dale Street, Port Street, Levers Row and Lever Street you can just see Nightingale Street, now Cavell Street, but not as we often think anything to do with Florence.
³ If you can, I would be extemely grateful.
The Hulton Family of Hulton Park, Friends of Lancashire Archives
The History & Annals of Blackley Philip Wentworth, Printed for the Author 1892
Commercial Motor 20 February 1913
© Allan Russell 2021.