Hamilton Street is one of the oldest roads in Hoole; it was the through way from Newton (Lane) into Boughton and Chester. Its route was via the Narrows (originally “the Narrows Lane”) and the unmade road (now known as Crawford's Walk) across a bridge that used to be over Flookers Brook and then over the canal bridge (built in 1772) into Hoole Lane.
The street name comes from the Hamilton family who, in the late 1700s and the early 1800s, acquired a large part of the land on which urban Hoole was developed after the railways arrived in Chester. They built Hoole House in 1760 and acquired Hoole Old Hall (not the present Hoole Hall) in 1800. Charles Hamilton lived at Hoole Lodge (the manor house which was on the west corner of what is now Park Drive and Hoole Road) which they leased from the Earl of Shrewsbury who was Lord of the Manor.
In the mid-19th century, in contrast to the people living in the narrow-terraced streets closer to the railway station, the residents of Hamilton Street were undoubtedly among the prosperous and professional middle classes. A sample of Directory entries from 1857 and 1864 shows, among others,
- David Adams, a Cheese Factor
- John McCormack, Comptroller of Customs, Watergate Street
- John Hogg, Inspector of Railways, Great Western Railway
- John J Clark, Assistant Overseer and Rate Collector living at “The Hermitage”
- Frederick Marshall, Editor Cheshire Observer residing in “Alma Villas”
- Phillip H. Keay, Coal Merchant in “Hoole Villa”.
The Offices of the Hoole Local Board set up in 1864 (forerunner of Hoole Urban District Council) were at No.21, and a 1902 Directory even records a purpose-built laundry operating from No.43. An 1874 map also shows that several of the houses had wells on their premises.
A Methodist Chapel which opened in 1903 was replaced by the present Church in 1928.
Some older readers will recall that Crosville's Piper's Ash / Guilden Sutton bus to and from Chester went via Hamilton Street (impossible to imagine today with cars parked along the length of it!).
Sources and Links
- Article by Ralph Earlam, some parts of which were initially published in ‘Hoole Roundabout’ in March 2015 - http://www.hooleroundabout.com