100 Halls Around Manchester Part 66: Cringle Hall, Burnage

Halls Menu

Cringle Hall was built on land owned by Joseph Chessborough Dyer (1780-1871), whom we met at Mauldeth Hall. He lived after Mauldeth Hall at Brook Hall near Burnage Hall, and even built himself a mausoleum opposite Burnage Hall to seal his posterity. Unfortunately future builders did not agree and the tower is lost to history.

Dyer Mausoleum, Lancashire CXI, 1848 © Ordnance Survey

Although born in Connecticut he considered himself a true born Englishman, as it was not until 1783 that England acknowledged the independence of the United States – even going as far as to obtain counsel’s opinion on the point¹. He started business in Boston importing English goods, and in 1811 as a result of Jeffersons Non Intercourse Act, ruining his trade, he moved to London where he married Elizabeth Jones of Gower Street. He then spent a few years in Birmingham, then Manchester where he built Mauldeth Hall, but moved out because of the ruinous cost of building and losses incurred in the Bank of Manchester and his factory in France during the 1848 revolutions. In 1861 he is shown at Brook House (which may be the same as Cringle Hall) after which he moved to live in Whaley Bridge followed by Henbury Hall with his son.

Dyer brought to Manchester many important innovations and inventions which greatly boosted the Cotton trade, including mule and throstle spinning, the fly frame taking out patents on them adding to his wealth.

He was one of the first subscribers to the Manchester Mechanic’s Institute, and worked to bring political representation to Manchester in the 1832 reform bill. Although he did not stand as an MP, he was chairman of the Manchester Branch of the Reform League and together with the first Manchester MP he visited the Hotel De Ville in Paris to congratulate the French on their Revolutions.

In 1818 he was elected a member of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, and in time became Vice President. Together with his planned mausoleum he left an extended manuscript on his life and times and autobiography. The manuscript suffered the same fate as his mausoleum and was lost at the publishers.

It is in March 1867 that we see the first mention of Cringle Hall. Joseph has put it up for let. It may be the same as Brook House, as Cringle refers to Cringle Brook, but this is unclear.

Cringle Hall is described as being on Burnage Lane, containing twelve bedrooms, as well as kitchen, dining drawing and breakfast rooms,and good stabling and coach house, with three acres of ornamental and kitchen gardens, and being within ten minutes walk of Levenshulme Station.

Cringle Hall, Lancashire CXI.NE , 1892 © Ordnance Survey

The house was to be let from the following April and in that year we see Henry Sandford (1819-1871) and his wife Ann Cope (1820-1888) move in with their children. Henry was a cotton spinner, the son of Charles Sandford and Elizabeth Done. He was born in Chester and married Ann in 1842 in Manchester.

The couple lived first in Pendleton, where he describes himself as a Silk Mercer. By 1861 they are at Crow House in Kirkmanshulme and by now he is employing 100 hands. In 1867 they take up residence at Cringle Hall, but Henry died in October 1871 at Cringle Hall and Ann moved soon after to Walnut Lodge on Manchester Old Road in Heaton Norris , where she died on 29 October 1888.

Of their children, Charlotte Elizabeth Sandford (1850-1902) married Edward Anthony Ledgard (1842-1905?) in 1874. The marriage does not appear to have been successful and she is living on her own means by 1881. Edward may have died previously or disappeared, an Edward Ledgard marries again in 1903 but is dead two years later.

Caroline Sandford (b 1854) is rather more fortunate. She married Alfred Herbert Dixon (1857-1920), the son of Henry Hall Dixon, a barrister and racing journalist, and Caroline Lynes. He was apprenticed to William Houldsworth of Reddish. Then Henry joined the Murray Mills as a general manager in 1876 and substantially modernised the business, conveying it to the Fine Cotton Spinners and Doublers Association in 1898 which he had been instrumental in founding alongside his erstwhile master William Houldsworth, and became its Chairman and MD. He also became president ofthe International Cotton Federation, attending conferences in New Orleans and Zurich.

In recognition of his wartime service, he was made a Baronet in 1918. He had chaired the committee which raised the Manchester Pals Volunteer Batallions.

He died of bronchial asthma at his home, The Moss, Great Warford, Cheshire and was buried at Chelford Parish Church.

Elizabeth Harriet Sandford (1846-1914) married Ralph Taylor Bradbury (1871-1894) of the United States. Ralph and Elizabeth lived at Cross in Knutsford where he was the Vicar.

After the Sandfords, it is Joseph Moseley (1836-1897) and his wife Rachel Fairclough (1836-1919) who move in. Joseph was the son of David Moseley and Mary Grange. David had founded David Moseley and Sons India Rubber Merchants of Ardwick in 1833, who saw great success with the invention of the Internal Combustion Engine. The company eventually became Avon Moseley and traded up until 1981. It was not dissolved until 2019.

They were also one of the first companies in Britain to be involved in telephony, becoming a telephone agent when in 1877 they connected Thomas Hudson’s Dantzic Street Premises to his Shudehill building, the first use of Bell Telephones by the Post Office.

They left the business in 1881 when the Lancashire and Cheshire Telephonic Exchange took its license, leaving them to concentrate on their core business.

Joseph Moseley married Rachel in 1860 and by 1871 they are living at Cringle Hall. Joseph was a trustee of St Peter in Levenshulme, and along with others owned the patronage to the curacy. Alongside his india rubber interests, he held shares in Chester’s brewery and the Douglas Head Suspension Bridge company on the Isle of Man. He died in December 1897 leaving a fortune of £305,653 (£40.1m in 2021). Rachel continued to live in Cringle Hall until her death in 1919

Of their children, Blanche (1865-1950) married into the Guardian and Manchester Evening News Family. She married Russell Allen (1860-1927) the son of Peter Allen and Sophia Russell Taylor who we met at the Towers. Peter Allen and Russell were owners of the Manchester Evening News. Peter had bought the MEN from Mitchell Henry soon after its founding in 1868 and the it remained in the family until 1924 when the Guardian bought it.

The couple lived at the Cedars on Mauldeth Road in Heaton Mersey. Blanche died in May 1950 at Davenham Hall in Northwich, leaving a fortune of £72,437 (£2.5m in 2021).

David Moseley (1861-1924) worked in the family business, marrying Agnes Gwen Preece, the daughter of Sir William H Preece, KCB, FRS (1834-1913) of Wimbledon and Caernarfon. Preece was an electrical engineer, who studied under Michael Faraday and became Engineer In Chief at the post office², working on systems of telephony and railway signalling. He became an ardent promoter of Marconi’s work on wireless systems. David and Agnes lived at Buglawton Hall in Congleton.

James Fairclough Moseley (1864-1927) married Mildred Bright of Blundelsands. The couple lived first at the Paddock in Poynton, moving to Fairclough Ivy Cottage in Knutsford, before settling like much of the family did in Wales, living at Darland Hall in Rossett, Denbigh. James also was a director of the family firm, and died in 1927 leaving £243,850 (£15.8m in 2021).

Oswald Grange Moseley (1867-1948) married Helen Dowse “Nellie” Crabtree in 1906 and the couple moved to Agden Hall in Lymm. Helen was the daughter of William Henry Crabtree who we met at Burnage Hall. Like his brothers, Oswald was a director of the family firm.

Edith Moseley (1869-1941) married Charles Henry Shaw (1860-1933), a Cotton Spinner from Halliwell in 1900. Charles and Edith retired on their wealth living at Oswestry before settling near Ullswater.

Louise Moseley (1871-1952) never married, looking after her mother until her death, and then living with her sister, at Pendyffryn on Anglesey. Her sister Rachel Gertrude (1875-1955) did not marry either. She was awarded the Military Medal in 1918 for bravery rescuing troops under fire in France. She died in 1955 at Penmon on Anglesey. Florence (1877-1954) also remained a spinster, dying in 1954 at Penmon.

Maud Mary (1873-1947) married Major Thomas Fanning, Evans (1869-1944) a Welsh mining engineer and the couple lived on Anglesey.

The last of the children, Reginald (1882-1958) married Evelyn Hannah Swainson (1881-1976). He remained chairman of David Moseley and Sons until 1955, being presented with an oil portrait of himself on retirement. Being the last to die, he appears to have scooped up his spinster sisters’ fortunes, leaving £323,268 (£7.8m in 2021). The couple lived at Oak Bank in Alderley Edge.

After Rachel’s death in 1919 Cringle Hall became the Manchester Babies Hospital, which it remained until 1986. This increased the capacity from 50 to an eventual 439. The site was expanded and formally opened with a new wing by the Duchess of York³ and renamed the Duchess of York Hospital for babies.

This gave journalists endless fodder for baby pictures. From Chessborough to Cheescake.

The hospital was demolished after and is now housing.

Let’s see some pictures:

¹ Although his father fought in the War of Independence on the side of the treacherous colonials.

² Presumably sparking the telephony interest at Moseleys.

³ Elizabeth Marguerite Bowes Lyons, the Queen Mother.


Burnage Local History Champions – Joseph Chessborough Dyer

Dictionary of National Biography Sir Alfred Herbert Dixon

David Moseley & Sons at Grace’s Guide

William Henry Preece

© Allan Russell 2021.


4 thoughts on “100 Halls Around Manchester Part 66: Cringle Hall, Burnage

  1. Hi Allan,
    What fantastic work! Two things relate to me. I have spent my whole life looking up at a dirty dusty old portrait …. Mum came from a wealthy family …alas all we have are endless old portraits largely of priveleged people who did little and were well rewarded for it. The dusty old portrait was of Dr Charles White ( gt x6 grand father)…. Indeed it is my portrait you have used … which I sent to Craig Thornber after I had it cleaned in Harrogate. You are very welcome to use it. Strangely his daughter Anne married Richard Clayton of Adlington who became Comptroller of Lancaster Castle and strangely owned the Tower in Liverpool. I have their portraits too ….. He was descended directly from Robert of Caudebec who would have built the original house at Clayton … from which he and all Claytons take their name.
    Thanks for all your work. His great Obstetrics work tends to get overshadowed by Hannah Beswick and his book on Polygenisism. Whilst clearly a racist to our sensibilities … he does at least make it clear in the foreward to this book that he is vehemently opposed to the slave trade and prayed it would cease throughout the world. Seems only human now … but in 1793 in Liverpool and Manchester it was by no means a majority view .

    Thanks for all this. i am trying to write a full biography in my retirement . I was in touch with Dr Peter Dunn the founder of the Society of Perinatal Medicine …but sadly he has died


    Click to access charles-white.pdf

    His work still relvant today

    Best wishes

    Dr Tom Bell


    1. Thank you for your kind words. Have I made the wrong attribution on the pictures I am happy to change. Keep me posted on your work. Like you this appears to have grown like topsy on retirement. Allan


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s