11 thoughts on “Finding Stories

  1. I have recently assembled the following details about the Warburtons of Cragwood as part of a project on Frank Brookhouse Dunkerley, the architect of the house.

    William Warburton was born in 1847, the son of a Manchester corn merchant. He grew up in the prosperous village of Bowdon in Cheshire, and trained as a lawyer, gaining the prize of the Honourable Society of Clifford’s Inn in 1869. In 1872, he went into partnership with another lawyer, John William Addleshaw, and they operated from Norfolk Street, Manchester, under the name of “Addleshaw and Warburton”. The firm was instrumental in setting up several large textile combines in the city.

    In 1886 at the age of 40, William married Mary Amy Whittingham of Sandbach, Cheshire, who was 17 years younger than him and the daughter of a farmer. She was known in the family as Amy rather than Mary. Although there were no children from the marriage, they devoted a lot of time to a nephew whose mother (Amy’s sister) had died shortly after giving birth.

    The 1891 census shows them living at Belle Grange on the western bank of Lake Windermere, close to Hawkshead, but they also had a house in Bowdon and William continued to run his practice in Manchester.

    In 1910, they moved into a new house, Cragwood, on the eastern bank of the lake, next to Brockhole. The architect was Frank Brookhouse Dunkerley, whose mother was William’s cousin. The Dunkerleys also lived in Bowdon and used William as their family solicitor.

    For a long time, it was thought that Cragwood was built for a Lancashire industrialist called Albert Warburton, and a piece of evidence for this was a stone over the entrance bearing the inscription “A W 1910”. However, a notice in a 1909 edition of The British Architect states that the house was commissioned by W Warburton Esq, and the 1911 census shows William and Amy in residence, so the initials probably stand for “Amy and William”.

    In 1912, William was appointed chairman of a committee set up to oppose the use of Lake Windermere by hydro-aeroplanes. This was in opposition to the local ratepayers who supported the venture. Other members of the committee included Sir George Pilkington, High Sheriff of Lancashire, Canon H D Rawnsley, founder of the National Trust, and several local landowners.

    William was a devout member of the Church of England, and had been a churchwarden of Bowdon parish church. Noting the distance it was required to travel to the parish church in Troutbeck, he donated some land close to the main road at Ecclerigg for the building of a Mission church. This was duly opened in 1914 and dedicated to St Andrew. The building is still there, but now used as offices.

    William died at Cragwood in 1919, aged 72. The funeral took place at Troutbeck parish church, but in his will, he set up an endowment of £2,000 to finance the Mission church. The total value of his estate was over £175,000. His widow continued to live in the house for over 20 years, and died there in 1942.

    • Dear Richard,

      Thank you so much for taking the trouble to provide such detailed information about William Warburton and family. We had little pieces of the jigsaw but this gives us the whole picture!

      I was very interested to learn that Warburton was a devout member of the church of England. We have an archive of plates taken by the Rev. Hulton H Kemble who was vicar of Wray 1895-1952. Amongst these is a fantastic picture of the electric launch, Swallow and a couple of plates labelled ‘Warburton with Dogs’ – it now seems even more likely that the two knew each other and that this Warburton is William. Do you by any chance have a clear photograph of William Warburton that would allow us to verify this?

      It was also interesting to know that William added his voice to oppose the early hydroplane tests from Windermere.

      Thank you again for this extremely useful information.

      • I do have a photograph of William Warburton, but I’m not sure how to send it to you via the blog. I would be very interested to see the plates you have of Swallow and Warburton with Dogs – is there a site where I could view them? The association with the Rev Hulton Kemble was no doubt during WW’s period at Belle Grange.

    • Hello – I am the Glendinning family archivist and several names in this story ring bells with me. ‘In 1886 at the age of 40, William married Mary Amy Whittingham of Sandbach, Cheshire, who was 17 years younger than him and the daughter of a farmer. She was known in the family as Amy rather than Mary. Although there were no children from the marriage, they devoted a lot of time to a nephew whose mother (Amy’s sister) had died shortly after giving birth.’ The nephew was (the late) Henry Whittingham Glendinning ‘Hal’, my father Fred’s first cousin. I have devoted quite a lot of time to researching both Whittingham of Sandbach and Middlewich, Cheshire and the Glendinnings of County Durham, and as the death of Eliza Helen Glendinning, nee Whittingham in 1896 caused a rift between father and son, my branch of the family inherited many of Henry Glendinning Snr’s photograph albums. I have a few unidentified people in Lake District scenes that I would be willing to bet are the Warburtons. My scanner is broken at the moment so I can’t send anything but I thought I would make contact so I don’t forget to follow this up. What I know of the genealogies of Whittingham, Glendinning and Warburton can be found at mundia.com but you need to register (free) to see it.

      • Dear Alex,

        Many thanks for getting in touch and for providing further information about the Warburtons and your family. I will have a look at your genealogical research shortly. I would be really interested to see your photograph album and could now confidently identify the Warburtons thanks to a photo forwarded by Richard Fletcher who commented above. Thank you for your information – it is great to be able to put faces to names and then flesh that out with such rich biographical material.

      • Please could you let me see the photos. My dad aged 88 now was evacuated to Windermere and lived with the Gortons who were painters and decorators and dad remembers meeting Mrs Warburton and visiting Cragwood to mix the paints! We are going there tomorrow to stay at Cragwood hotel. I would love photos to show my little old dad,

    • In the hope Richard Flectcher might return to this blog at some point:
      I am a researcher tied-in to a project revolving largely around the architect Edgar Wood in Middleton, north Manchester. Some details can be found here: http://artsandcraftschurch.org/ & here: http://edgarwoodsociety.co.uk/about-us/ (+ have a roam around on facebook as there are various affiliated pages).

      Whilst a passion for Wood’s work has been the particular trigger-point for many of us, the wider recognition and conservation of the Arts & Crafts Heritage of the Northwest and Yorkshire has also become a growing concern for us. In the last few months we’ve extended our some of research away from Middletonian Arts & Crafts figures such as Wood, F.W. Jackson and James Smithies and I am particularly interested in other Manchester-based ‘Craft’ architects such as Percy Scott Worthington, Frank Dunkerley, John and Joseph Swarbrick, Walter Sharp etc.

      If it isn’t too nosey, I would love to know if you are Manchester-based and what the context for the research on Dunkerley is? I’ve amassed a few bits and bobs relating to a few of his commisions but not a huge amount & if you might end up producing a thesis or book it would be great to know about.

      Please get in contact via the Edgar Wood Society or the Arts & Crafts Church as I would love to hear from you.


      Nick Baker

  2. Hello I am agog with excitement to see a confirmed picture of William Warburton, I have been speaking to a (recently discovered) cousin today who thinks he may have a digital picture and will forward it to me. It also transpires that the children of Hal Glendinning spent most of WW2 years at Cragwood, so I will ask that side of the family to search their albums too.

  3. My dad was evacuated from byker to windermere and resided at Rockside with the Gorton family linked to the dobsons. He remembers helping paint Cragwood at weekends and recalls a lady Warburton. I would love to have access to any photos or history of that time. Dad is 87 now but remembers his 2 years in windermere well. He helped paint the sitting room 9 shades of blue as Mrs or lady Warburton as he remembers her wanted it that way. He also has many other memories including his meeting about general Wavel who appears to have stayed at Cragwood. Djad does talk fondly about the range of cars in ‘lady’ Warburton’s garage and how she complained about losing so many gardeners due to the war. If anyone could share some photos I would really appreciate it. Dad and I are going to stay at Cragwood now a hotel with my uncle too in June. Any more info, photos etc would be really appreciated,

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