History of Stenecourtby Ros Livshin
(This article initially appeared on the website of the Manchester Great and New Synagogue)
The history of the house called Stenecourt and its neighbourhood.
For many of us Stenecourt has always been a Shul. But what was Stenecourt before it was a Shul and what was the makeup of its neighbourhood in the past? Stenecourt opened as a branch of the Great Synagogue in 1938. The Shul was initially housed on the ground floor of the house at no. 30 Singleton Rd. In 1954 the present building was built and the shul moved there with the house being used as a hall, a Beis Hamedrash, offices and committee rooms. The house was knocked down in 1999 and the new shul hall built. Before the shul took over the house at no 30 Singleton Rd, it was the residence of Andrew Boutflower, a surgeon at the Salford Royal Hospital. He and his wife lived in the house named Stene Court from the turn of the century. Andrew Boutflower died in 1932 aged 87 and his wife Alice Gertrude Boutflower continued living there until 1937. Mrs Boutflower was the Honorary Secretary of the Church Missionary Society Ladies Union, for which Stene Court was the postal address. Next door to Stenecourt on Singleton Rd there was a Presbyterian Church to which the Ladies Missionary Society was affiliated. The Church had been built in1873 by John Stuart a banker for £7000 but was hit by a bomb in 1940. It was later demolished and Regent Court built.
Before the Boutflowers, in 1895, a Mrs Graham lived next to the Church. At that time the house was not called Stene Court but Endrick Lodge and this is shown on a map of 1889. Up until very recently, the remnant of that name could be seen on the gate post of the Shul on Singleton Rd. One gatepost read Stenecourt whilst the other read Lodge.
In 1889, Singleton Rd contained a number of houses mostly in their own spacious grounds. Most of the houses had names. On the left hand side from Vernon Rd towards Bury Old Rd, there was Vendale, Westbourne, Oak Cottage, Ash Cottage, Beech Hill, then Holden Street. Then Westfield, Limefield, Singleton Brook House, Singleton House, The Wichnors, Pendennis, Woodside and Bury Old Rd. On the right side from Bury New to Bury Old, there was Kersal Hill, Morningside, Rockavon, Endrick Lodge, Presbyterian Church, then Park Lane. Then Dun Loskin, Park Cottages, Beechwood, Penryn House, Singleton Hill and Bury Old Rd.
Amongst the owners there were merchants, a surveyor, a solicitor, a cotton spinner, 2 calico printers, a chemical manufacturer, a yarn agent and a wine merchant. A number of areas had not yet been built up such as Limefield Rd and Rutland Drive and there was a vacant plot at Park Lane corner. Cavendish Rd, known as Cavendish St was in its infancy. Some of the early houses which survive include Fairhill and Grotburn on Cavendish Rd. The houses in Carmona Gardens replaced the original Carmona, home of an oil merchant. At Overbrook there lived Peter Allen owner of the Manchester Guardian. The above mentioned houses were built in the period 1860-1880. Rutland Drive began to be built up at the turn of the Century and houses also began to be built on Limefield Rd. around 1909.
Before the 1860s the land belonged to the Clowes family, who were Lords of the Manor of Broughton. They lived in the Old Hall in Broughton Park until about 1853 and would not sell any of the land within their personal boundaries for building. The land of Broughton Park in this period extended along Singleton Rd, Park Lane, Bury New Rd, Broom Lane, Leicester Rd and Bury Old Rd with lodges and gates at the entrances and only the Old Hall and the New Hall within its boundaries. Singleton Rd itself was a very old thoroughfare and before Bury New Rd was built around 1830, Singleton Rd was continuous with Moor Lane and was the only connecting road between Bury Old Road and Bolton Road. Singleton Road carried a great volume of wheeled traffic during Whit Week and during the annual Kersal Moor Races
The area remained rural until about 1840 when prosperous merchants and manufacturers started to build their mansions around the boundaries of the park such as on one side of Singleton Rd and Park Lane. The Census of 1851 shows Singleton Brook House occupied by Joseph Peel a magistrate and ironfounder and Singleton House occupied by John Wilson, a calico printer. These two houses, each in 2-3 acres of land were demolished long ago.
Eventually the park was surrounded by high class properties and the Clowes Estate decided to allow the sale of building plots within the park. The two halls were tenanted by prominent citizens but their gardens were restricted to a few acres. New roads were built for access but they were private roads closed by gates with entrance greatly restricted. Upper Park Rd started at the lodge in Bury Old Rd, as the carriage drive had done and Waterpark Rd, Old Hall Rd and New Hall Rd were built. Waterpark Rd was named after the father in law of Capt SW Clowes, the third Lord Waterpark. The sale of building plots was subject to restrictions. No public house or other type of retail business was allowed and all industrial premises were forbidden. It is probable that Woodleigh, a mansion which stood near the junction of Bury Old Rd and Upper Park Rd, was the first house built in Broughton Park. It appears in the 1869 directory together with Atlow Mount and Parkfield. Within a few years Bury Old Rd was lined with mansions as far as Singleton Rd, while Upper Park Rd and New Hall Rd were well on the way to completion. The Halls themselves did not survive long and by 1900 both were untenanted and subsequently demolished.
Most of the early residents were not Jewish. Exceptions were Samuel David Bles, JP, merchant, living at Westbourne in 1895, Abraham R Besso living at Westbourne and Frank Q Henriques living at Lyndhurst on Holden Rd in 1914. By 1930 there were many more Jews living in the area. On Singleton Rd there were Harris Saffer, cap manufacturer at Beech Hill, Benjamin and Emil Dulberg at 81-83, Bernard Myers at 95 and Louis and Harold Shaffer at Brook Hill. On Holden Rd, M Doniger lived at Bray Holm and on Park St there lived Ephraim Sieff at Park Hill. Other Jews were moving into the houses on Upper Park Rd, Park Lane, Old Hall Rd etc and by 1938 Stenecourt opened as a branch Shul serving the growing Jewish community of the area.
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