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Cheadle Civic Society Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit South Manchester Archaeological Research Trust Local M.P. And Councillors Stockport MBC Cheadle Green Focus Group Cheadle and Gatley Film Makers Centre for Applied Archaeology Last but by no means least – the people of Cheadle and
Manor created in 13th century Sold in 1756 to Reverend Thomas Egerton Reputedly a building already standing on the green Following the sale of the manor Cheadle Hall was
constructed a little to the east of the green. It was built in brick and was probably 9 bays long and 3 storeys high. It underwent several phases of development over its lifespan of 200 years
The hall was sold to Edward Harrison a local merchant
and remained in the Harrison family until 1826 1810 an Act of Parliament created Cheadle Village Green to ‘remain open and unenclosed forever’ 1826 opened as ‘Miss Hunter’s’ boarding school for local merchant’s daughters School declined around 1869 and was briefly a convalescent hospital 1875 came under the ownership of James Watt of Abney Hall and used as a family home again Much alteration to the hall during this period and had many distinguished guest – Agatha Christie
In the early 20th century the hall was let to Mrs C.J.
Spence 1914 Mrs Spence died and the hall was subject to various owners and uses including a dairy, a removal company and the Milk Marketing Board The hall stood unoccupied for a time and in 1958 it was demolished. The village green was extended and the concrete pond inserted over the northern end of the demolished hall
Photograph of the western facade – note the longer windows at the southern end showing it to be two storeys there (possibly later development
A clearer view of the eastern facade detailing the Victorian development
A view of the southern end of the eastern elevation – further evidence of later development with the single storey addition
What appears to be the interior of the single storey southern end. Is this Agatha Christies father?
1846 tithe map
1897 OS map
Location of the two trenches dug in September 2010 based on the modern mapping. Trenches are in red outline
The Green had become a little worse for wear Local groups and community decided to improve the
Green and encourage people to use it again Consultation with Norman Redhead, CfAA and local volunteer archaeologists resulted in a small evaluation to discover the archaeological potential of the site On Sunday 11th April 2010 thirteen local volunteers, members of the Civic Society and SMART, guided by Andy Coutts and Brian Grimsditch excavated several small test pits to try and find the remains of the hall
This map is from 1897 with the modern pond overlaid. The evaluation trenches were placed over where the walls were thought to be.
This test pit (above) was over the eastern side of the hall with the pond to the left. Clearly wall lines can be seen Above - this test pit was over the southern end of the hall. Note the curving wall line
Six test pits were excavated and backed filled in a few hours on that Sunday. It was only possible due to the hard work and enthusiasm of this lot.
The original concept was for nine days of excavation,
involving the local school and community, over two weekends, culminating in an open weekend on bicentenary Unfortunately financial constraints forced a redesign of the project Consequently the excavation took place over the weekend of 11th Sept. Two trenches were opened One over the southern, curved, gable discovered in April The other running E-W across the hall alongside the pond
Below - The western end of Trench 1 showing the western elevation with an internal wall to the right. Possible cellarage
Above - View of Trench 1 looking west. This is the porch on the rear (eastern) elevation
Left – Trench 2, looking south. Note the curving gable
Right – Detail of the later Victorian addition off the eastern end of the curving gable
The biggest surprise of the day was the discovery of this segmental arched opening below the ground floor level of the hall. Clearly a problem had occurred with the structure note the supporting inserted wall under the apex of the arch
The trench location plan to scale
Trench 1 plan to scale
Trench 2 plan to scale
Above – some of the finds recovered during the dig
Right – one of the many Arts & Crafts tiles found.
The archaeology was
exceptional in its survivability The two trenches demonstrated that a great deal of the hall remained below the ground We only uncovered a very small percentage of the hall (approx. 5%) We did not even loo0k at the outbuildings to the north But this is only a small part of what the project was about
15 people every day volunteered to work on the excavation Several societies (Civic Soc., Focus group, CBA, Stockport
MBC, Film Makers et al) all gave their free time to make the event enjoyable and a success At any one time there were up to six youngster up to their necks in muck and bricks enjoying and learning about their local history. Over 800 local people were taken on organised tours around the site by archaeologists and volunteers (this despite it being Heritage Open Weekend with many classy sites open to the public on Saturday and Sunday) Several local councillors attended over the two days some on both days to see the progress demonstrating the importance of local heritage.
Mark Hunter MP for Cheadle attended over the weekend during one of the busiest times in recent political history Mark Hunter said:"This work is giving the whole community a fascinating insight into Cheadle's history. It's great to see people of all ages getting involved in the dig - my thanks to everyone involved in making this such a successful weekend.“
The following pictures may not be archaeologically sound but show that people are immensely interested in their local and national heritage. The pictures show that the weekend was well worth the huge amount of time and effort put into the project was well worth it.
April evaluation team
Young archaeologists at work and play. They did not know it but they were learning
Miranda inspecting the latest find. Andy doing what he does best (talking)
Two tours in progress. Carolanne in full flow on her 6th tour of the morning. I had lost count.
Lights, camera, action
Cheadle and Gatley Film Makers at work
Thank you Cheadle for an excellent two days