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Thursday, 28 December 2017

Stanley Grange

Stanley Grange was a brick manor house located on Roach Road,   just before it's junction with Quaker Brook Lane, Hoghton. Officially, it is actually part of Samlesbury not Hoghton, but has always seemed part of the village to me.

I had family connections to this lovely house.

My Great Great Grandfather Ralph Miller Crook, had six brothers and two sisters : Nancy, Thomas, Jane, James, Alexander, John, William and Eli.

All were born at Brimmicroft Farm, Bolton Road, Riley Green, Hoghton. Members of the family  later building Horrobin Farm, Riley Green, Hoghton. Their father, Thomas, was a coal merchant and founder of the boatyard at Riley Green. He imported coal from the Wigan coalfields and supplied the coal for domestic purposes to the houses of Blackburn and, of courses,  the mills.

John (born 1833 and the sixth child) was probably the most successful having taken over the S
pring Vale Brewery, Darwen, from his brother William in 1870.

The brewery was located in Over Darwen, the southern tip of the town, on Grimshaw Street between Bolton Road (A666) on one side and the Spring Vale railway station on the other. The brewery was conveniently located alongside the river Darwen and John also used the water from the Pilgrims' Spring. Apparently, William was the founder of the brewery but we find he died quite young.

Spring Vale Brewery, Darwen, if you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can just see

J Crook & Son on the tower.

The OS 1:2500 (25-inch) first edition surveyed 1884-92 (published 1891-1894)

Modern map - same area

Upon marriage John Miller Crook moved to Blackburn. His two children Thomas and Ann were born there. With his son Thomas, John operated both the brewery and the coal business.  He was a very shrewd business man and gradually accumulated ownership of many pubs in an around Blackburn, Hoghton and Brinscall.  These included, The Royal Oak, Duke of York and Bay Horse at Whittle-le-Woods; the Black Bull, Oak Tree Inn and Cricketers Arms at Brinscall; The Hesketh Arms, Prince of Wales and Hen & Chickens at Preston; The Park Hotel at Feniscowles; the Castle Hotel in Gregson Lane; The Railway Inn at Bamber Bridge; The Victoria at Lostock Hall and The Red Lion at Longton.
 In 1888, John decided to retire and moved from Blackburn to Stanley Grange -purchasing it from the original builder, Richard Shaw, for £5600. John extended and altered Stanley Grange, however his retirement was shortlived - he died in 1891.

Thomas Miller Crook continued to run his father's businesses for nearly ten years.  In 1900 he sold the business to Messrs Allsopp, brewers from Burton for £325, 000.  In 1901 they resold it to Alfred Nuttall & Co of Lion Brewery, Blackburn, who now of course trade as Matthew Brown. 

He retired from society and dedicated himself to growing orchids at Stanley Grange and breeding shorthorn cattle, winning first prizes at the Royal Agricultural Society Exhibition, The Great Yorkshire and Royal Lancashire and other provincial shows.   A lake was created in the grounds and further extensions made to the house.  He also had model railways in the gardens.

Thomas' family are the subject of a separate post - Stanley Grange - descendants

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