Warrington Road - Mayfield House
Mayfield House - the home of Rev. Isaac Temple from 1833-1880 and the family of S.J.R. Dickson from 1881-1949.
The Rev. Isaac Temple became Rector of Plemstall in 1833. He was born in Harrington, Cumberland in 1793 and attended Queen’s College, Cambridge obtaining his B.A. in 1817 and M.A. in 1821. He was ordained as a Deacon by the Bishop of Chester in 1816, and as a Priest by the Bishop of Norwich in 1821. An advertisement for his Curate tells us that he ran Plemstall Church on “sound Evangelical Church principles, without ritualistic sympathies”.
Newspaper reports show that in addition to officiating in his own church, he played a major part in diocesan affairs. At a meeting of the Cheshire Bible Society in November 1833 he “spoke with considerable effect in urging all present to increasing liberality and activity on behalf of the Society”.
He was very active on his community. In 1847 a petition from him, “praying that the Birkenhead, Lancashire and Cheshire Junction Railway Bill may not pass into law was presented and read and ordered by the House of Commons to lie on the table”. He was objecting against another railway line being built very near the church; the first had already impeded access from the main road, the very low bridge remaining today.
In 1854 he is recorded as paying £2 into the Patriotic Fund set up by Royal Warrant during the Crimean War to provide assistance to the widows, orphans and other dependants of the armed forces. His wife and two daughters separately gave one and a half guineas. Other Hoole donors included Lady Broughton and (separately from their own pockets) her servants at Hoole House, Mr. F. Boydell and (also separately) servants at Hoole Hall, Mr. Peter Ewart at Hoole Bank House, Mrs. Grindley at Hoole Old Hall, and Mrs. Hamilton and (also separately) servants at Hoole Lodge.
Isaac Temple was married twice. His first wife, Sarah Jane was born in 1797 in Endon, Staffordshire and died in the 1860s. His second wife, Anne, was local from Trafford. There were 5 children from his first marriage:
- Charlotte born 1829, married Francis Boydell of Hoole Hall in 1855
- Emily born 1831
- Lucy born 1834
- Georgina born 1839
- Edward also born 1839. He became a minister.
Isaac Temple lived at Mayfield House in Hoole Village on the Warrington Road. The Hoole Tithe Map (mid 1830s) shows that he owned the house, which was set in an acre of grounds, plus another 4 acres called ‘Bottoms’. The 1851 Census shows that he acquired another 28 acres which he farmed. An advertisement in 1858 publicises the sale of oat straw from there, through John Chamberlain who could also be reached at The Parsonage in Plemstall. Isaac chose to live at Mayfield which enabled him to run both his school and farm there. There was a Rectory at Plemstall shown on O.S. maps next to the Church, which was lived in by the aforesaid John Chamberlain.
Samuel Bagshaw's History Gazetteer & Directory 1850 shows John Chamberlain was the Parish Clerk, and the 1851 and 1861 Censuses list him and his family, with the occupation of Parish Clerk and Labourer.
Isaac Temple's School
In the 1841 and 1851 Censuses, Isaac Temple is listed as running a Boarding School at Mayfield House. It was not an uncommon practice for clergymen to do this.
The 1841 Census shows 16 boys between the age of 9 and 14 boarding at Mayfield. It was assumed that these were likely to be children of well to do families in Cheshire but because many of them had common names making identification difficult, only the details of two of them can be verified.
Philip R. Egerton of Bunbury, Cheshire then aged 8, went on to become a Fellow of New College, Oxford, by 1861 was a clergyman and became the Head of All Saints Grammar School at Bloxham.
William Orford then aged 10 from Tilston, Cheshire was in 1851 an agricultural student at Akeld College in Northumberland.
The 1851 Census lists 12 pupils and because that Census includes their place of birth, the whereabouts of their families can be ascertained and eight lived within 30 miles. Details of the lives of some have been investigated.
Although James Folliott was born in Rome, he was the son of a clergyman of the same name from Stapeley, Nantwich, who was also a J.P. for Cheshire. James Jnr., at the age of 24 was an undergraduate at Oxford and a medical student at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Unfortunately, his death is recorded at Stapeley in 1869 when he was 33 years old.
Herbert Mather from Everton, Lancashire was found in 1861 lodging with his brother in Cambridge. He became a Vicar, incumbent of Loddington, Leicestershire in 1881, Bishop of Antigua from 1897 to 1904 and then Chancellor of Hereford Cathedral where he died in 1922.
Thomas Boydell from Gresford, then in Denbighshire, was a Lieutenant in the Denbighshire Militia in 1861, and pursued a military career which ended in India. A memorial in Gresford church shows that he was with the 39th Regiment and died at Dagshai in the Punjab aged 36 from wounds inflicted by a tiger when out shooting.
It appears that Isaac Temple gave up his Boys’ School in 1852 (he was by then aged 59) because in February 1853 his daughters advertised “to receive a few young ladies in their father’s house to educate”. There are no records to show that this happened.
The history of the Parish School is intriguing and something of a mystery. A memorial in the church records that Charles Hurleston of Newton Esq. left the sum of £50, "the interest to the Schoole". Samuel Bagshaw’s History Gazetteer & Directory of 1850 states that “several benefactions, given at various periods towards the support of a free school, have, with the exception of £3 per annum, been entirely lost; the school is now carried on as a private establishment by Mr. George Weaver”. The same Directory confirms George Weaver as the Schoolmaster and the 1851 Census also lists him as such. The 1854 Patriotic Fund shows children of Plemstall Parish School which was in Mickle Trafford donating 3 guineas. However, in 1862 Isaac Temple advertised for a Master and Mistress for Plemstall Parish and Sunday Schools.
It has not been possible to identify a school building in Plemstall. A newspaper report in April 1875 refers to the National School at Plemstall, which appears to be the same National School in Mickle Trafford; in the report Mr. S. W. Crump received a presentation for being the schoolmaster.
After Isaac Temple’s death in December 1880, Mayfield House was sold by auction. The House had a productive kitchen garden, pleasure grounds and 3 pieces of fine old pastureland, then comprising of 11 acres. There were 4 spacious entertaining rooms, 11 bedrooms and the school room convertible into a billiard room.
It was bought by Samuel Johnson Robert Dickson, a solicitor and a son of James Husband Dickson, one of the original Dicksons Ltd. Nurserymen. S.J.R. Dickson was born in 1839, qualified as a solicitor in 1864, and at the time of his death in February 1917 was the senior partner in the firm of Messrs. Dickson, Barnes & Dickson of Chester “the second in seniority of practising solicitors in the city”.
He quickly established himself at Mayfield; by 1885 he was appointed to represent Plemstall Church at the diocesan conference, became secretary of Mickle Trafford Schools and in 1887 hosted the procession organised to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Victoria (this had started at Hoole Lodge, visited Hoole Hall, Hoole Bank House, Mayfield and finished at Trafford Lodge).
Farming still took place at Mayfield – in 1883, 1886 and 1889 cows in calf were advertised for sale by Joseph Whitby, employed as a farmer there. In 1892 and succeeding years, Guilden Sutton Flower Show was held at Mayfield. S.J.R. Dickson being its President. Newspaper reports show the intense competition between the local gentry to grow the best exotic plants. Unsurprisingly, Dickson’s Nurseries put on grand floral exhibitions.
S.J.R. Dickson was one of the signatories of the 1889 memorial (petition) to build an entrance into the general railway station from Hoole. The Dicksons were a very large family and when S.J.R. died in February 1917 it was noted that 20 of his nephews were serving in the armed forces. Mayfield remained in the possession of the Dickson family until the death in August 1949 of Major V.H. Dickson D.S.O.
In 1971 the Trustees of Mr. W. Jones who had lived at the property for a number of years applied to change Mayfield into a private hotel. The planners recommended that this be refused because the site lay within the green belt. Furthermore, four applications for different types of usage had been received including a caravan park and a petrol filling station. The house still remains today as a private residence.
- Article researched and written by Ralph Earlam, August 2019, Hoole History & Heritage Society