Monday, August 04, 2008

More about the 'Old House'

As so many of you were interested in the last post I've been trying to find out more about Dovleys Manor and especially about the people who lived there. As you know from my Family Matters blog I've been 'doing' Family History for a very long time - since before the internet provided so much information, in fact in some cases even before parish registers had been put on microfiche. In those days you looked at the actual registers sitting at a desk with the manuscript on a book-rest or cushion and in some cases wearing white cotton gloves. In the last few years it has become quite easy to find lots of information from your home PC or laptop instead of making appointments and travelling miles to record offices. So it has been quite a simple task to find out a bit more of the Heywood family of Doveleys using the on-line resources I use when researching my own family history.

When I wrote the last post I'd looked up the family on the 1871 census and found what a big household it was. For those who were interested in the friend of the family her name was Maria Roberts, age 29 and her birthplace was given as Landau, Germany; her occupation was governess. I think this is really interesting! Was she a friend staying with them who was a governess? Or was she a governess to the children of the family and considered as a friend rather than an employee?

I moved on to 1881 and the household is even grander - obviously in it's heyday. There is now a french lady's maid in the house called Irina Landreux, age 30, her birthplace, Paris. There are more servants including a maid called Sarah Tortoishell who was born locally in Rocester - what a lovely name! The girls are Isabella, Etheldred, Hilda and Mary, aged 29, 24, 22 and 18 respectively- the boys, Bertam and Gerald were not at home on census day - probably at boarding school or university. In fact I found a Bertam Heywood a boarder and scholar in Winchester so perhaps the boys went to the famous boarding school there. Thomas Heywood is recorded as being a Baronet, Magistrate and Farmer of 100 acres of his own land. Of course, only the household servants lived in the house, many of the farm labourers and estate workers would live locally possibly in estate property or tied cottages.

By 1891 the household had decreased in size and only Etheldred is at home on census day with some of the servants. Thomas, Margaret, Isabella and Mary are at their London home, 39 Lourdes Square, Chelsea, Hilda isn't at Doveleys or in Chelsea and Bertam and Gerald were probably at University or living elsewhere.

I hope you have enjoyed this 'snapshot' of a wealthy family in the late 19th century.


24 comments:

  1. O How very wonderful.I am always very interested in family history.Is fun to to find out.. in't it.And in the days of the microfiche i found it very exiting...The internet is easy but also "to easy".
    The Heywood family of Doveleys...with a maid called Sarah Tortoishell!I never heard this Family name before ,(wonder where this came from.)
    Thank you for finding out..its a great "snapshot"post!

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  2. I wonder what happened to the Doveley family? I had imagined the family friend to have been a man or even maybe a 'mistress'! How I would love to go back in time and experience life in a wealthy family. I come from 'poor stock' and assume that a lot of my ancestors deaths were not even recorded.

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  3. dutchess, the early days of looking at the registers that were around when your ancestors were had anawe about it that is sadly lacking on the internet.

    simone, most births, marriages or deaths were recorded from 1837 onwards and most listed in parish records from 1538 - although a lot of people did 'slip through the net' - my ancestors were ordinary working class folk like miners, saddle makers, lace workers, tailors, brass workers etc. but I've found them all in one record or another - I'm sure you would find some of your ancestors:)

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  4. Hi, do you know who currently own Doveley Manor House? I used to live in the grounds when it was owned by the county council as my dad worked there.

    Went back there a few years ago and was sad to see it in such a poor state. I heard the refurbishment was halted when the current owners ran out of funds.

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  5. i was at this place when it was a childrens care home run by the council between 1973 and 1976 i have just started looking up this place and i was sad to see through paper reports what went of here in the late 1970s to the 1980s i had many of good time here and would love to see it back to its former glory

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  6. Hello to both Andy and Jan - neither of you have an e-mail address with your comment so I hope you pop back and read this.

    Andy - I've no idea who owns the house now - I'm guessing it probably isn't the people who own the garden centre or any of the new houses built nearby. When we visited - goodness two years ago now from the date of my post - there did seem to be a bit of refurbishment going on to the outside.

    Jan - thank you so much for telling me about the house being a children's home - glad to hear you had happy times there - not being local to here I'd no idea! I must look up the newspaper reports, too.

    Thanks for your comments:)

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  7. ty so much for your reply im chuffed that someone is taking great interest in the building ive just spoken to the people in tha garden centre and work is still going off they have just had a new roof put on although the house is sealed off to the public you can still walk around the outside or it my email address is bolsoverpair@yahoo.co.uk xxx

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  8. andy be any chance was your fathers name betteridge if so u may know my husband who was a resident there in the early to mid 70s

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  9. Hi, I used to live at this old house when it was a childrens home way back in 1973.
    I was there till 1976.
    During my years there it was a boys only place, but I did hear that girls had been put there later on.
    I had a drive over there about 5 years ago but the place was being refurbished so didn't get to look around.

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  10. Jan, when I was there we had 2 teachers called Betteridge, a father and son whose first name was Mike.

    Mike Jnr was the sports teacher and his dad was some kind of master.

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  11. hya hun ty for the info will pass on to hubby as he wasnt sure when read his post but he can remember his name now u said it hun

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  12. What's your husbands name?
    Maybe I know him if he was there at the same time as me.

    I was in Derwent house.

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  13. its kevin on friends reunited hun

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  14. Hello all, I am a Heywood of the Doveleys Heywoods. This house was in my family from 1831 to 1948. We are still around and the Heywood name is intact. Sir Benjamin Heywood bought the house in 1831, it was a small country home at the time. The home was givin to Sir Thomas Percival Heywood in 1846 for his wedding. He greatly expanded the house. In 1871 the house burnt down. His children barley escaped and the childrens bedrooms were the only part of the house to survive. He re-built the home and it was completed in 1875, hence the date on the building. My family continued to own the home well into the 1900's. After the death of Sir Graham Heywood in 1941 the upkeep of the house became to costly for the family and we sold the house in 1947. I don't know much about it after that, just the hoorific stories of what happened after it became "the riverside children's home". I hope this gives a little bit more information.

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  15. Thank you for leaving this information for everyone to read. I've been astounded that a post I wrote two years ago on this blog has caused so much interest. I've noticed many visitors to this particular post so I'm guessing someone has put a link to it somewhere possibly to do with the time it was a children's home? Thanks again:)

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  16. we went to see the house today 36 yrs after my husband left the childrens home and it is magnificent we got the feeling that we didnt want to leave it we will be going back soon when we can have a better look round it brought so many happy memories for my husband

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  17. Should've read the comments here and not just the post itself, it seems! :) Very interesting. And woah, googling for "the Riverside Children's Home" gives a lot more actual results than "Doveleys Manor". And very disturbing those results are too. :(

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  18. i was at this place between 1971-1975 and my memories are all good especially my house masters Keith and Judy Brown of Derwent house, Keith & Judy were like a mother and father to me and i would love to be in contact with them again. anyone who would like to chat about the old house get in touch on paul84842005@yahoo.co.uk regards paul

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  19. i was a resident here between 1971-1975 in derwent house ran by house masters keith and judy brown who were wonderful people would like to know where they were now. anyone who would like to chat about the old house get in touch paul84842005@yahoo.co.uk i heard riverside went bad ways shortly after i left, hoping to hear from you regards paul

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  20. My Mother was taken there on the War, Sir Percival. Heywood , Joan and her Brother Oliver were there at tis time, the other war children were taken to live with villagers but mt Mum stayed with the Heywoods , she stayed for quite some time agter the war was over, Mum passed away in July 1995 and we scattered her ashes under the lime tree facing her bedroom window, J Edwards, Cheshire

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for adding you memories to the comments here. I'm amazed that although now five years old that the posts I wrote about Doveleys have gained so much interest for so many people who remember it in different ways. It sounds as if your mother was happy there:)

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  21. So interesting. Thank you xx

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  22. Whilst its great sometimes to see properties and the way people love them and wish for refurbishment or saving them ect sometimes a place may not be all it appears and for some of us that stayed their when known as "riverside" we would like nothing more than to see it demolished and erased from history permanently. sorry folks but sometimes someone has to speak out for those that have had whole lives turned upside down and memories imprinted into the heads they are forced to carry for the rest of their lives.

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  23. Hi it's nice to read the comments about the school I was there from 1971/1972 ,mr bean was a lovely man never a bad thing to say about him ,mr and mrs Dallas were nice also I joined the cadets which mr Dallas ran ,the head at the time was a different story ,I hated him for caning me and slipering 6 of each ,I was left outside his study for hours naked all through the night the cook who lived on our floor came past me cowering freezing cold ,he went to the kitchen and bought me kitchen whites and chocolate, he was a saint I wish if he is still around I could meet him to say thank you ,I was punished naked I still suffer from this punishment till this day 47 years on ,my email if anyone wishes to contact me I would love to hear from you ,kevin_hunter@btinternet.com

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