Chapel House Farm

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1901 census
William Lunt                 Head    46        Farm Foreman                Lancs, Speke
Ann Lunt                        Wife      42                                                    Lancs, Speke
Annie Lunt                     Dau      14        Dressmakers Apre         Lancs, Speke
Ellen Lunt                      Dau      11                                                    Lancs, Speke
Martha Lunt                 Dau         9                                                    Lancs, Speke
(shanty on Chapel House Farm)
Michael Jordan             Serv     24        Farm labourer                 Ireland
James garvey                 Serv     28        Farm Labourer                Ireland                         

1881 census
Thomas ATHERTON            Head            56             Farmer 200 Acres                        Fazakerly, Liverpool
Sarah ATHERTON                Wife              47             Farmers Wife                               Dumfries, Scotland
Sarah ATHERTON                Daur             25             Farmers Daur                               Speke, Lancashire,
Anne ATHERTON                Daur            16             Daur                                                Speke, Lancashire,
Katie ATHERTON                 Daur             18             Farmers Daur                               Speke, Lancashire
Hannah ATHERTON          Daur             13             Scholar                                           Speke, Lancashire
Douglas H. ATHERTON    Son                19             Farmers Son                                  Speke, Lancashire,
Thomas ATHERTON          Son                17             Ship Broker                                   Speke, Lancashire,
Mary KELLY                           Serv              17             Domestic Serv                              Woolton, Lancashire,
James WALSH                       Serv              27             Labourer (Ag) (Indoor)               Castle Bar, Ireland
Michael PHILBEN               Serv              25              Labourer (Ag) (Indoor)              Castle Bar, Ireland
James MC NALLY               Serv              58             Labourer (Ag) (Indoor)              Castle Bar, Ireland
Thomas TATTERSALL      Serv              62              Labourer (Ag) (Indoor)              Liverpool, Lancashire,
Stephen RILLY                     Serv              60              Labourer (Ag) (Indoor)              Ireland

Thomas ATHERTON            Head             49             Farmer 173 Acres             Fazakerly, Liverpool
Sarah ATHERTON                Wife               37                                                            Scotland
Mary J ATHERTON               Daur             17                                                             Speke, Lancashire,
Catherine ATHERTON        Daur               8             Scholar                                  Speke, Lancashire,
Thomas ATHERTON           Son                  7             Scholar                                  Speke, Lancashire,
Ann ATHERTON                 Daur                6             Scholar                                   Speke, Lancashire
Hannah ATHERTON         Daur                3                                                               Speke, Lancashire
Francis ATHERTON            Son                 2                                                                Speke, Lancashire,
Mary Dring                             Serv               21             Housemaid                           Liverpool, Lancashire,
Elizabeth Asland                  Serv               17             Cook                                        Speke, Lancashire

Thomas ATHERTON              Head            39             Farmer 153 Acres             Speke, Liverpool
Sarah ATHERTON                   Wife             29                                                            Scotland
Hannah ATHERTON             Daur               8                                                            Speke, Lancashire
Mary J ATHERTON                Daur               7                                                            Speke, Lancashire,
Sarah E ATHERTON              Daur               6                                                            Speke, Lancashire,
James R ATHERTON              Son                 5                                                            Speke, Lancashire,
Thomas ATHERTON             Son                 2                                                             Speke, Lancashire,
William W ATHERTON        Son                9m                                                          Speke, lancashire
Sarah Cassey                            Serv                21                                                           Ireland
Ann Loftus                                Serv                18                                                           Liverpool, Lancashire

Thomas ATHERTON            Head            30             Farmer 48 Acres                   Hale, Lancs
Sarah ATHERTON                Wife              26             House keeper                        Fazakerly, Lancs           
Margaret Wade                       Serv               19             House servant                      Cumberland
Margaret Sharp                       Serv               19            House servant                      Ormskirk, Lancs
John White                                Serv               20             House servant                      Childwall, Lancs
William Atherton                   Neph               5             Scholar                                   Childwall, Lancs
Charles Taylor                        Serv                22            Farm servant                         Childwall, Lancs
Peter Leadbetter                      Serv               30             Farm servant                        Childwall, Lancs           

Thomas Atherton named in Miss Wattís birthday book 1878

Extract from letter 25/5/1867 from Geo Whitley


are 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

Extract from letter 6/1/1868 from Geo Whitley

Byronís, 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.

Extract from letter 5/2/1868 from Geo Whitley

Thomas Athertonís farm

            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?

Extract from letter 5/2/1868 from Geo Whitley

                               Chapel House

                                                                          20th Jany 1868

My Dear Sir,

            Now 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

We 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.

I 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

                                                                            Sarah Atherton

Extract from letter 20/8/1868 from Thomas Schelmerdine

the 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.

Extract from letter 25/9/1868 from Geo Whitley 

Thomas Athertonís house

is 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 it

Extract from letter 12/10/1868 from Geo Whitley

Thos. Athertonís house

            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                        £50

                 Do      do          do       front porch                     £25)

the 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.

As 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.

As 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     

Extract 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.

Extract from letter 30/10/1868 from Geo Whitley

Thos. Athertonís house

            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.

Extract from letter 17/6/1869 from Geo Whitley

Thos. Athertonís House

            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 fancies.

Extract from letter 2/8/1869 from Geo Whitley

Thos. Athertons Ė new iron spouts

Extract from letter 11/12/1869 from Geo Whitley

Thomas Atherton

has just carried off a prize in London (2nd) for a heifer, short horn.

Extract from letter 14/2/1870 from Geo Whitley

Thomas 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

The 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.

Extract from letter from 5/2/1872 from Geo Whitley

Thos. Athertonís farm

            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.

who 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.

Extract from letter from 10/2/1872 from Geo Whitley

Thomas Athertonís farm

            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.

The 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.

Extract from letter from 15/2/1872 from Geo Whitley

Thos. Athertonís farm

            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.

Extract from letter from 20/2/1872 from Geo Whitley

Thomas Athertonís farm

            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

Extract from letter from 20/2/1872 from Geo Whitley

Thomas Athertonís farm

            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

I am sorry you should have been so much bothered about it

Extract from letter from 16/11/1872 from Geo Whitley

Thomas Athertonís farm

            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.

Extract from letter from 25/3/1873 from Geo Whitley

Thos. Athertonís farm

            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

If Mr. Whitley              )            1Ĺ Score   Apple trees
would be kind enough )            Ĺ            ď            Pears
to give us the order
          ď            Plums
can send for the above )            1          
ď            Damsons
ourselves and have a )           
4              ď            Gooseberry
chance of selecting th
e )           2              ď            Blk. Currants
most profitable sorts.   )           2          
  ď            Red            ď
                                                              ď            Raspberry Canes

            The quantities seem so enormous that I have hesitated about giving the order without your approbation

Extract from letter from 29/3/1873 from Geo Whitley

Mrs. Athertonís fruit trees

            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.

Extract from letter from 1/4/1873 from Geo Whitley

Mrs. T. Athertonís farm

            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.

Extract from letter from 1/4/1873 from Geo Whitley

Stocktonís gate posts

            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.

Extract from letter from 14/10/1873 from Geo Whitley

Mrs. Athertonís buildings

            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.

Extract from letter from 20/10/1873 from Geo Whitley

Mrs. 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.