HOUSE FARM, BANKS LANE
Thomas Atherton named in Miss Wattís birthday book 1878
from letter 25/5/1867 from Geo Whitley
much wanted in several places. Tho. Atherton wants 6 immediately as he is
competing for a farm prize and would not wish the judges to see the present
ones, the Wheelwright on the Estate makes them at the reasonable charge of 12/-
each & of good material. As he has been of much assistance to us regarding
the Church I think we might oblige him
from letter 6/1/1868 from Geo Whitley
Athertonís & Leighís farms
In another fortnight all these works will be completed and measured up
and we shall not have any further improvements on hand for the present.
from letter 5/2/1868 from Geo Whitley
I enclose a letter from his wife setting forth her grievances. Do you
think there should be a report on the state of the buildings?
from letter 5/2/1868 from Geo Whitley
20th Jany 1868
as the days are beginning to lengthen I sincerely trust you will seriously
consider the state of our House which is really in such a state of dilapidation
as well as being too small for our large -?- family that some thing must indeed
be done. We have now inhabited the House sixteen years, last year bringing an
increase of family that now the Children growing older and also requiring more
servants, we are almost miserable. My Husband is a very old resident in Speke
now and his brother who is much younger and unmarried has had his House, outside
buildings put into thorough repair and greatly improved
have to sleep as many as seven in a bedroom, consequently our family are
suffering in their health. We are never without a medical man coming to our
House. We have paid a Bill of £70 to our Dr. this last year and again we have
sickness and the Dr. visiting us Mr Watt promised me many times that we would be
the very next on the list after Mr. Leighís House was done. We have only four
bedrooms one of which is very small and our kitchen is unconsciously small
scarcely room in it for cooking purposes. Our Dr. says we are sleeping far too
many in one bedroom.
hope & trust that you in conjunction with Mrs. Sprot will kindly consider
the matter at your earliest convenience and very much obliged
My Dear Sir
Yours very truly
from letter 20/8/1868 from Thomas Schelmerdine
work at Thomas Athertonís farm house is going on pretty well, the whole of the
roof will be on next week & slated & turned? I ascribe the slow progress
this job has made to Messrs Peterís & Ball and have written to them to
that effect, also declining to receive any estimate from them for the work
proposed to be done at Mr. Edward Holmeís house, near the Speke Station.
from letter 25/9/1868 from Geo Whitley
fast approaching completion but there will be some extras, what is now wanted is
the kitchen to be lobbied off, the proposed Porch at the back to be done away
with and one at the front substituted which they say will be a decided
improvement, the back kitchen or wash house to be raised & new roofed, the
walls being good but the timbers completely decayed, the slates being also good
and a small wall built adjoining the beer cellar none of these alterations are
comprised in the estimates
I have seen the Contractor and he and Mr.
Shelmerdine consider the extra work will cost from 50 to £100, it cannot be
contracted for but must be paid for by measurement. Please say if you approve of
from letter 12/10/1868 from Geo Whitley
I am sorry, after the reasons stated in your letter of the 25th
ult. to trouble you again on this subject and concurring as I do in your
observations declined to sanction any further expenditure than what was stated
in the estimate. I was however endeavoured to be impressed with the fact that
the proposed additions were substantial improvements that I went over to Speke
last Monday to judge for myself. I now enclose a tracing shewing the present
requirements. You recollect that it was agreed that a porch should be erected at
the back as the door opens direct into the kitchen with a northern aspect which
would have been intolerably cold in the winter. I therefore consented to
substitute for such Porch the wall coloured pink in the plan & marked A
which will render
(Rough estimated cost of back kitchen
kitchen comfortable and improve the back entrance & this will be done
without extra cost. As to the front porch I admit the desirability of
this as additional room will be obtained in the lobby and avoid the positive
nuisance of the present door opening direct upon the parlour door (B on
plan) & nearly blocking it up. I however declined interfering with this
without your approbation. Thos. Atherton would pay half the expense.
to the wash house &c this building is so low & in such a tumble
down condition that certain repairs are necessary & the alterations are
shewn in the section on the plan, admitting that the new kitchen is larger than
the old one it is impossible all the washing and dirty work of a farm house can
be performed in it.
to the 2 front parlours, the floors of both being damp, the joiner has taken up
some of the flooring boards & finds both them and the joists are about half
decayed & will have to be relaid, in fact there seems to be no end of
expense. Excuse their bill of complaints & believe me
from letter 24/10/1868 from Geo Whitley
I have received your letter of the 13th instant and quite agree with your observations regarding Thos. Athertonís house. He has however requested that the door of the porch may be placed in front as there will be a lobby door which will prevent a draft through the house and a side door in the porch would interfere with bow windows in the parlour, these he has quite set his mind upon and they will no doubt improve both the appearance and comfort of the house. I have consented to this on the express understanding that not one farthing of the expense will be contributed by Mr. Wattís estate. The floors in the parlours are being relaid & the necessity for doing so is now apparent as the boards were considerably affected by dry rot.
from letter 30/10/1868 from Geo Whitley
We may consider this discussion as ended as he will not be allowed to proceed with his own alterations except under the direction of Mr. Shelmerdine.
from letter 17/6/1869 from Geo Whitley
I have at length got in all these accounts (to be returned) which I send
for your perusal before they are settled, the Contractor having been paid only
about half the amount, and being anxious for the balance. The original estimate
as you will observe was £590.10.0 and the extras £233.19.0 brings up the total
to ££824.9.9 of which I think Atherton ought to pay £24.3.2 for his own
from letter 2/8/1869 from Geo Whitley
Athertons Ė new iron spouts
from letter 11/12/1869 from Geo Whitley
just carried off a prize in London (2nd) for a heifer, short horn.
from letter 14/2/1870 from Geo Whitley
Athertonís wife is in a very precarious state and very near her confinement of
her 15th or 16th child
Extract from letter 8/6/1870
rent day on Monday
passed off very well the rents being all punctually paid Ė some complaints however of the impossibility of sustaining the increased amounts in the face of hot weather and short crops. I am told that Thomas Athertonís farm has suffered fearfully in consequence of the extreme drought and we still have not the slightest appearance of rain.
from letter from 5/2/1872 from Geo Whitley
About a week ago I had directions from a gentleman of the name of Hand to
prepare an agreement for sale of all his farming stock implements &c on the
farm occupied by him at Newton in the Willows on the line of the London & N.
W. Railway to Thos. Atherton who I understood intended to give up his farm at
Speke to a Mr. DeMetz the Engineer on a great line of Railway connected with
Liverpool which will be in Parliament this next Session. Thus Mr. Atherton would
take all Mr. Handís stock & he (Mr. Metz) all Mr. Athertonís, certainly
to them a convenient sort of exchange. The arrangement was however postponed for
a few days but this morning Mr. Atherton & Mr DeMetz called on me to know if
they agreed on terms whether the latter would be accepted as a Tenant. I of
course declined giving an answer without first consulting you and also said no
Lease would be granted. Will you let me know your opinion and whether you think
the proposed Tenant or a Farmer would be most suitable? The house as you know is
a very comfortable one but becoming much deteriorated in consequence of its
vicinity to the Garston works and the great trespass the property is subject to.
The new iron works are fast approaching completion and they will bring an
additional population of from 1500 to 2000 people. Some land in the
neighbourhood has been sold at 26/- p. square yard. Mr. Vines, the Gent.
made an offer for the Home farm has renewed his application. He is the occupier
of large wine vaults and said to be a man of property.
from letter from 10/2/1872 from Geo Whitley
Atherton is I am afraid in a fix. Before consulting me he agreed to take a much larger farm at Newton in the Willows from Mr. Hand & give up his own to Mr. DeMetz the latter taking & paying for Athertonís stock &c not doubting that the arrangement would be agreeable to the Landlord. His difficulty now is he is bound to Mr. Hand and the Tenancy of Mr. DeM. Not being accepted he has no customer for his own farm, and an incoming tenant being a farmer would not take the stock &c having plenty of his own. I have another application this morning from a respectable man with good recommendations who was originally a farmer but subsequently kept a public house and would like to take Athertonís house on the terms proposed. I have however told him that there would be an objection owing to his previous occupation but that I would submit his offer. There has been much enquiry about the farm.
farm which Atherton is about taking contains 130 statute acres more than his
present one and £100 a year less rent with capital access to the Rway.
from letter from 15/2/1872 from Geo Whitley
He ought to have called on me yesterday to state positively whether he
means to remain or not but has not yet done so. There is one great consideration
as to a new arrangement which I have only just been acquainted with. I hear the
farm buildings are much out of order and will require a large outlay
which it is certain an incoming tenant would require to be completed before
taking possession. The only party now making serious application is Mr. Cranshaw
(formerly a Publican but now retired) who has first rate references. Several of
the Speke Tenants have mentioned the subject.
from letter from 20/2/1872 from Geo Whitley
I am still without a customer and know not what his intentions are not having seen him lately but I understand he was up in London last week (without my knowledge) looking for you but did not manage to find you. If he intends to give notice to quit it must be before the 2nd Aug next to expire on the 2nd Feb 1873. I fancy so much money had been laid out upon his house that he did not like to ask for the repair of his farm buildings
from letter from 20/2/1872 from Geo Whitley
Pray trouble yourself no further about this. I have a note from him this
morning in the hand writing of his wife as follows:
ďChapel House 20th February 1872.
As we have been here so many years and have become so much attached to
the place and have laid out a great deal of money in and on the land, having
drained all the land at our own expense, excepting
the Tiles, also filled up 15 pits which we hope to receive some benefits from,
and the house is an excellent one for which we are very much obliged, so that we
have given up all idea of leaving and we
hope to remain for many years here. With many thanks &cĒ
am sorry you should have been so much bothered about it
from letter from 16/11/1872 from Geo Whitley
I called on him and he accompanied me through the shore woods where we found numbers of trees decaying and very suitable for gate posts and arranged that he and his brother should take Crosby down there and mark with paint all that wanted falling, this has been done & Crosby says he can easily get 50 posts which are more than we shall at present want which is fortunate. Atherton afterwards shewed me his stables & piggeries and they are, as you know, in a wretched condition. The people from Garston new Iron works are committing sad trespass on his land and his losses this year will, I believe, be greater than any on the estate. This I must say is but a melancholy picture.
from letter from 25/3/1873 from Geo Whitley
I promised Mrs. Atherton to let her have a few fruit trees as those now
in the garden are old and done, she has sent me the following list of trees
1Ĺ Score Apple trees
quantities seem so enormous that I have hesitated about giving the order without
from letter from 29/3/1873 from Geo Whitley
I shewed her list this morning to Mr. Rd. Atherton and he says it is a
perfect absurdity. I shall stay at Speke on Monday & call upon her and will
write again the beginning of the week. This delightful weather will surely set
you right again.
from letter from 1/4/1873 from Geo Whitley
I have reduced the number of fruit trees wanted to 28 which are quite as many as can be required. I was shewn the farm buildings some of which, particularly the stable, are in a state of dilapidation & must be repaired at an early date.
from letter from 1/4/1873 from Geo Whitley
We shall get these out of the Garston Wood where the trees are fast
decaying, the trespass on this part of the estate is very great and there is no
remedy for it but building a cottage near the shore on Thos. Athertonís farm.
from letter from 14/10/1873 from Geo Whitley
Mr. Kerr called upon me on Saturday and asked for a copy of Luntís
estimate to see that it was properly carried out, the place is at present a heap
of ruins as they are clearing out all the rubbish. Thomas Atherton could not be
kept under control and has been induced to quit England and is gone to some part
of Canada where his son is employed at a store.
letter from 20/10/1873 from Geo Whitley
Thomas Athertonís buildings
I inspected these and found that little or nothing had been done and
immediately sent to Lunt for an explanation. He assured me that the reason of
the delay was that he could not get possession until all the produce in the
buildings was cleared out which had only been recently effected and promised
that not a moment should be lost in carrying on the works.