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History of Forsbrook

     

TOLLGATE HOUSE: The house was erected in 1838 by the Cheadle Turnpike Trust at a cost of £18.10s.0d. and stood at the corner of Dilhorne Road and Cheadle Road. This house was typical of many such buildings which were to be found at intervals along the length of the road from Blythe Marsh to Thorpe (Derbyshire), a distance of some 16 miles, turnpiked in 1762. The occupants were authorised to collect tolls from travellers using the road and the way was barred by gates or chains. The style, in which the building was built, was that it had views to all directions. It closed as a toll house in 1878 and was sold as a private residence. To great regret of many local inhabitants, the house was demolished in 1959 for road widening but as can later established the house actually had not needed to be demolished!!!.

 

FORSBROOK SQUARE: Until 1905, a small cottage stood in the middle of the Square. Also in the Square, situated between the Roshni Restaurant and the 'Colours' hair salon, stood Grimwade Memorial Hall, built and opened in 1906, in memory of Minnie Eileen Grimwade. It was built by the New Connexion Metodists from land acquired from Sidney R. Grimwade - a pottery manufacturer. The 1900 Directory for the area lists S.R. Grimwade under the commercial heading as a 'coffee tavern'. The Hall was used for temperance meetings and Methodist Sunday Schools were held upstairs, but whether through lack of use or neglect, it appears that its span of life exsisted for only a quarter of a century and the entire building was demolished in 1927, leaving a gap, which is in evidence today. In its latter years the hall was put into commercial use with a shop and a cafe on the ground floor. Flooding was a perennial problem in the village whenever the rainfall exceeded one and a half inches. It was a common occurrence to have up to 2 to 3 feet of flood water in the Square due to debris blocking the drainage channels. The erection of a substantial bridge and better drainage has alleviated the flooding to a certain extent, but in August 1987, a similar situation happened, due, it was said, to a 'once in a century of exceptionally heavy rainfall'.

ST. PETER'S CHURCH: Designed by Mr. Barr of London, the Church was built by Mr. Goldstraw of Wetley Rocks at a cost of £1,100. The corner stone was laid by Rev. E. Whieldon, Rural Dean, on 7th June, 1847 and the Church was consecrated by the Bishop of the Diocese on 11th January, 1849. At the Consecration Service, the collection taken, amounted to £87.1s.6d. The building is of stone in the Early Decorated style and consists of a chancel, nave, west porch and a western turret with one bell. The church was enlarged in 1912 by the addition of a north aisle. The East Window was installed in memory of Charles Harvey of Blythe House and there are other memorials to the Brammel family, James Marson of Marsh House and Mr and Mrs Scarratt. The alabaster reredos and an oak altar were erected in memory of John Aynsley. The oak choir stalls commemorate Marie, wife of George Barlow JP. In 1883 an organ chamber was built and subsequently rebuilt in 1908 and again in more recent times. In 1989 the interior was considerably altered to accommodate a foyer, kitchen and two assembly rooms.

CHAPEL STREET: The street derives its name from the tiny Methodist Chapel, which still continues to attract regular Sunday congregations. The chapel's long history stretches back to 1856, which the stone tablet set in the apex of the front wall depicts. The chapel has seating for just 50 people and owes its exsistence to the devotion of a handful of poor people who struggled to raise the money in order to build their own place of worship in those days of hardship during the middle of the 19th century.

BUTCHERS ARMS, Public House: The public house remains the same today except for the disappearance of a small building which was situated to the left of the public house, and is now an entrance. This building was occasionally used as a mortuary!. The ground immediately behind the public house was the location of the winter quarters of Beech's Fair, following the Forsbrook Wakes, which was held in the first week of November. After wintering at the Butchers Arms the owners of Beech's fair would go back on the road to various locations in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire, a month before Easter.