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 Cheadle History

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Brookfield House  by Ian O'Brien

Brookfield House was built in the mid 1800s. A local businessman named George Peel lived there and had a team of no less than nine servants to run it. Mr Peel was the co founder of a successful iron foundery firm, along with William Ward Williams, which built boilers and steam engines at the Soho Foundry in Ancoats, Manchester.

After aquiring this foundry, Peel and Williams had sufficient additional capacity to extend their range of their engineering activities. They were referred to as iron founders and steam engine boiler makers by a Manchester directory in 1815. By 1817, they were referred to as iron founders, steam engine and boiler manufacturers. there seems to be a differentiation of products between their two foundries, as appears from the description in 1819-20 as iron founders, roller and spindle makers, Phoenix foundry, Shudehill; steam engine manufs, and gas-light erectors, Soho Foundry, where 'water presses' or hydraulic presses were also among the firms products.

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They were considered to be among the leading gas-lighting erectors, so much so, that in August 1817, the police commissioners gave them the contract to build the first public gas-works, though which however, they were involved in a scandal concerning the alleged fraudulent influence of Williams, who was a member of the Gas commitee.

GEORGE PEEL was born at Manchester on the 27th of February, 1803. He was the second son of George Peel, who was the fourth son of Joseph Peel, cotton-spinner, near Bury, and of Fazeley, Staffordshire, uncle to the first Sir Robert Peel. who While home secretary, helped create the modern concept of the police force, leading to a new type of officer known as "bobbies" in England, and "Peelers" in Ireland. George Peel died at Brookfield house on May 28th, 1887 aged 85.

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Brookfield House was later bought by Percy Hesketh Sheirs (Hence Sheirs Drive). When he died in 1944, he left the house and grounds to the people of Cheadle and Gatley in perpetuity (indefinitely). Unfortunately, this was done by gentlemen's agreement and wasn't legal. There is very strong evidence however, that Brookfied House was used as a 'Remand Centre' between 1950-1955 by this statement: "Rose Hill", Longley Lane, Northenden, was acquired by the Manchester Board of Guardians and opened as an Ophthalmia School in September 1915. It later became a Children's Convalescent Home, and then a Residential Nursery for the under fives. The Nursery was moved out to accommodate the boys from "Brookfield", and it became "Rose Hill Remand Home" from 11 August 1955. Other documentation is shown alongside the pictures on here, you'll have a long wait to find out who was on remand though, as this data won't be released until 1st January 2031!

The house was taken over by Stockport Council in 1974 and used to house elderley people. My mother Natalie used to work for Bickerton's Butchers on Wilmslow road, and that was one of the places she delivered to. However, unfortunately, the cost of the extensive roof repairs the house needed dictated the decision to sell it as a nursing home. It was demolished and rebuilt for residential use in the early to mid 1990s.


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