Previous Growth of Doxey 1820-2005

2 - Doxey in 1900 - Start of Modern Doxey

The years from 1830 to 1900 saw some major changes in Doxey but for the bulk of this period Doxey remained a quiet agricultural area. The building of the Birmingham-Warrington Grand Junction Railway in 1837 divided fields just south of the Sow and effectively closed the Greensome Lane link to Tillington.

Later in 1849, the Stafford-Newport-Shrewsbury (as the Shropshire Union Railway) line was built further south in Castlechurch Parish. Burley Terrace was built (on the site what would become the Universal works) on the small road leading to a small goods yard and then to two farms (Burleyfields and Hill Farm) . This line was not nearly as busy as the northern one and eventually closed in the 1960s and has now been regenerated as the 'Greenway'.

The Stafford-Uttoxeter line, although outside Doxey ran through the marshes and strengthened the railway influence (and employment).

The field patterns and usage remained virtually unchanged, although there may have been some additional sand and gravel extraction and the establishment of Venables Timber yard in the 1860s. Apart from the building of 'Doxey Cottage' (c1850?) there was no additional residential development until the last decade of the period. There are also references in various directories to a Wm Watson - a 'Beer Retailer' being resident in Doxey.

In the 1892 Daisy Bank (183/184 Doxey) was built (now between Bradbury Rise and the school) and at the same time the road was straightened by building a short embankment over the small stream. Part of this area had earlier been used as a garden by Mark Dawson - the tenant of one of the nearby cottages (now 144 Doxey). The barn (near The Drive) was probably demolished at the same time.

Doxey Cottage

279 Doxey

West Bank (now Universal Social Club)

Daisy Bank

The bridge over Doxey Brook was built about this time on the site of the ford. This resulted in the closing of a footbridge just south of the ford on the path connecting Brook House Farm with Aston Bank Farm and the roads to Aston and Seighford.

Nearer Stafford, a number of properties including West Bank (now part of the Universal Social Club) were built on the bank above the flood plain. This was the start of development of 'Posh Doxey' - in 1898 building plots are advertised as ' a rare opportunity to railway servants, the land being within a few minutes walk from the engine sheds'. This was aimed at those residents of Castletown (who were mostly 'railway engineers, stokers and engine cleaners') who wanted to move to a 'better' area.


Notes on 19th Century Doxey Houses

Doxey House

In 1841 this was in the the residence of James Smith, his wife Susanna and three daughters. By 1851 Susanna had married Thomas Davies Weaver a Stafford solicitor. He may have rebuilt the house ( 'a neat modern residence in Doxey for Mr T D Weaver')

By 1861 Thomas Weaver had died and Mrs Weaver continued to live in the house until the 1870s.

Walter Eld ('Land Agent' a 'Seighford Eld') lived there in 1881 and in 1891 it was occupied by Charles Richard Hambleton (or Hambledon) aged 31, described as 'living off own means' with his wife (23 years his senior) More of him later !!.

Sherwood

In 1839 this was occupied by Ralph Watson with his sons William and John. The house next door (Doxey Cottage) was not yet built.

In 1851 Ralph appears to be living in the house with the Snape family (George(41), Ann(40) and children ) . In a mortgage dated 1858 it had passed to his eldest son Ralph who had inherited the land with his brother William who may have been living in Doxey Cottage next door since before 1851.

Ralph does not appear to have lived in Doxey and died in Birmingham 1877 (aged 73). The Snapes continued to live in the property Ann Snape(70) appears in the Census of 1881. The house appears to have passed to Charles Pye (1881 'Boot Repairer' 1891 'Shoe Maker') who occupied the house for many years.

Doxey Cottage

Photo of Doxey Cottage

This appears to have been built between 1840 and 1858 (it does not appear on the 1839 Tithe map). It is built on Ralph Watson's land and is described on the 'Sherwood Mortgage' described above. 'Old' Ralph Watson's will leaves the property to be shared between his sons Ralph and William.

William Watson is described in the census as an 'Agricultural Labourer' but appears as a 'Beer Retailer' in local directories between 1863 and 1872. The house has cellars suitable for beer storage and many bottles have been found in the garden.

After William Watson the house was split into two cottages and were owned by Mrs Weaver (and later Mr Hambleton) of Doxey House. The cottages (East - 'Doxey Cottage' , West 'Morning Mist') were rented to various families (Cooper, Till etc) . Morning Mist seems to have been sold earlier.

White House

Photo of White House

During this period it is also known as 'Doxey Farm'. It is occupied by James Lees (Leese?) from the 1830s until 1870s. Then James Yardley (1871) , William Poole? (1881) and William Parkes(1891).

Brookhouse Farm

Photo of Brookhouse Farm

Occupied by the Mann family until the 1870s

Aston Bank Farm

Photo of Aston Bank Farm

Not certain yet !

Cottages (144,145 Doxey)

Photo of Cottages

In 1839 these are occupied by Mark Dawson (145) and Francis Ash(145).

There is a report in the local paper for 1850 of a fire that destroyed most of two cottages in Doxey whose tenants worked on Mr Mann's farm. In the census of 1851 two residences are 'unoccupied. The present (2005) owner of 145 (Paul Williams) has found extensive charring in the roof beams. The likelihood is that these were the damaged cottages which were then repaired and re-occupied. Towards the end of the century (1870s onwards) one of the cottages is occupied by the Rigby family. In 1986 a later Mr Rigby recalled that his father (Albert ?) was born (c1872) in one of the cottages and he himself had been born at Daisy Bank.

Sources
  • Ordnance Survey Maps
  • Local directories (William Salt Library)
  • History of Stafford (Greenslade, Johnson and Currie)
  • Census returns 1841,51,61,71,81,91 Staffordshire Record Office
Notes
  1. After leaving Stafford the line went north to Crewe and then there were links to Manchester and Liverpool. ↩︎
  2. Venables supplied timber for wooden heels for shoes. Many other Stafford companies were established to serve the local footwear trades. ↩︎
  3. The original iron girder bridge can still be seen underneath the much-modernised structure - see page on Doxey Bridge↩︎
  4. Much of the information in this section comes from the Census returns 1841-91 held of the Staffordshire Record office. Most of the better off families had servants who seemed to move on quite frequently. Some of the names are difficult to decipher and I may have made some transcription errors. Another problem is that the census records the names of occupants but in most cases does not identify the house.↩︎
  5. "The other old halls in the parish are occupied by farmers, but TD Weaver, Esq, has a neat modern residence at Doxey". [From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]↩︎
  6. Two daughters Daisy and Violet lived in Doxey until after WW2, they are remembered as running the Suinday School.↩︎

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Amended : 24-09-17 TOP