A Walk Along West Street Tytherington



A Walk Along West Street, Tytherington

Compiled June 3rd, 1989

West Street leads to the open height of ‘Ramsoak’. 150 years ago, this was a 20 acre wood. In medieval times, there was probably a Windmill here. There was easy access from Tytherington up West Street, and from Itchington up to Ramsoaks Cottage.  Looking down from Ramsoaks, on the left, was a spot named in medieval times
(1592) 'The Toute', from Old English 'tot’, a look out, no doubt connected with: "The Castle" - long thought of as a Roman camp, but in fact an Iron Age fort, constructed a few hundred years B.C., with a single defensive rampart and ditch.  Similar forts, of the same age, are at Alveston (Abbey Camp) Elberton, Oldbury (The Toots), Rockhampton (Camp Hill) and Cromhall (Bloody Acre).

Along this road, on the right, you are walking on the old boundary between the manors of Tytherington and Itchington. So Brook Farm, on the right was in Itchington manor and for many years until early in the 1800's belonged to the family of Lord Willoughby de Brooke, hence its name.  The Roadway used to be very wide, especially just here, and in the middle of it was a Wheelwrights Workshop, and three Cottages. These, and another Cottage further down, were demolished 100 years ago when the Quarry was extended right up to the edge of the present road. Among the dispossessed were the Curtis family (only Mildred now lives in the village) and Giles Powell a freeholder, for whose spinster daughter "Grannie Powell" a good house with Bakehouse had to be provided by the Squire - now called Callicroft. Older parishioners will remember Grannie Powell's bread - reputed to be the best oven bread.

Brook Farm is a listed building, built (no doubt on the site of an older building) in the early 1600's and has been little altered since, except that as a result of the quarrying, the entrance porch was moved to the other side of the house. 200 years ago, 3 generations of Matthews farmed here, for some 80 years. May four generations of Williams enjoy a similar long reign.  The usual route from Tytherington to Itchington was for centuries up West Street and down "Upper Lane" from Brook Farm.

Next on the right, West Street Farm. The house dates from 1600's, but has not been investigated from the historical and architectural aspects. Clearly, old and interesting, and waiting for some research.  Between West Street Farm and the Cottage, the manorial boundary turned away to the east, finishing at Ladden Brook.  The Cottage was recently converted from two cottages, which in turn had been contrived about 1885 from a small 17th, or early 18th, century farmhouse. The original mullioned windows with iron stanchions did not survive the 1982 conversion, but photographs exist. John Cullimore Junior, farmed here in 1728, and early in the 1800's Nathanial Tyler moved in, adding maltster to his activities as farmer.

The Tylers were important in the parish for 300 years at least. Prominent farmers in Itchington in the 1600's and 1700s. Nathanial married a Pullen in 1812, moved to Tytherington, and begat a large family. One Son. John Hawkins Tyler, seems to have been a local tycoon. He took over the running of the 70 acre farm from his widowed mother at an early, age; on the death of the tenant at West Street Farm the family moved there and Jan Hawkins Tyler was then farming 224 acres, and when his father- in-law at Brook Farm died he added in these 130 acres, making a total of 350 acres by 1871. When the railway came in 1872, he realised the commercial potential of the little limestone quarry across the road and it was his initiative which started Tytherington's quarry industry. He built "The Villa" (on the right before the railway bridge) in 1872 for his widowed mother-in-law, and died at the early age of 52. Mary his widow, was recorded farming in 1881 390 acres, with 12 men and 4 boys. She lived until 1903 and almost to the end used to entertain the village to tea in West Street Farm orchard on festive days.

Go under the railway bridge and on the right is "Porch House" (listed Grade II), formerly known as Bromwich's, after John and Mary Bromwich, occupiers from about 1680 until 1738. Before this house was built, there was one named "Farrs", probably sited where the railway runs now, and seemingly replaced by the present house in about 1660. This was never a farmhouse, but a house of a wealthy person. Architecturally, an unusual feature is its central porch with a stone lower storey (note the door frames and heavy inner door strap hinges), and a jettied (i.e. overhanging) upper storey of timber covered in rough cast. Hence its recent name. When first built, it was gabled, like Newhouse and Pendicks, the gables were removed when the house was re-roofed in the 18th, century.  In 1871 the property was sold to the tenant George Boyt for 1538. George, and his son and grandson, built up a large scale bacon business; the long brick building next down the road on the right was the slaughter and processing house (in full view of the school - as many former pupils will recollect). The business ceased mid century. Let's hope that before too late, the story of this influential family, full of character, will be written up.

Liberty House was built in 1900 by the local plumber, sub-postmaster, Baptist and Liberal, on land owned by his Baptist and Liberal uncle, George Boyt, directly opposite The Grange where Squire Hardwicke lived. This seems to have been a deliberately provocative act!

Tytherington Pound, where stray cattle were impounded, stood where cars park outside Liberty House. It was demolished in 1898. Across the road from Liberty House is (now was) an old and unusual cattle shed and ruins of a cider house. By the gate to the Jubilee Field stood a house, demolished at the end of the last century, where in the mid-1850's the Lord of the Manor's bailiff lived and where his wife kept a Dame School.

Allan Baddeley May 1989.