Sunday, 30 January 2011

A Little Bit of Local History

Now at this moment in time Mr J and myself live at Hope Farm, Clive. It was originally the Home Farm to Sansaw Hall I believe. It is still owned by Sansaw.


Front of the house (but it’s actually around the back so not sure if there was ever another access road to the farmhouse)


Rear of the house, which is actually the front. :-0

On one of the barns there is the date 1884 so I am assuming that’s the date the farm was built.


Sansaw Hall was built in 1773. The park around it was present by at least 1786, and was probably contemporary with the house. The grounds were well developed in 1851 and the house was rebuilt in 1888 for J.J. Bibby, the Liverpool cattle feed and shipping magnate.


Sansaw Hall in the snow.

Now recently I have been given some old photos of the farm by a gentleman whose father was actually born in this house in 1911. Some of the photos are of the house and some of the farm workers doing there thing and working the land.

Early 1900s

History Group Images. CD4 001 History Group Images. CD4 004 History Group Images. CD4 005

Vicarage   Clive Church.  Early 1900s.  (BB)Clive Church in the background – right.

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This must be later as they have a tractor. 1940s maybe.

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This is a view of the farm, the Old Vicarage – bottom right and the surrounding area. It’s interesting to note that the road/track that runs from the farm to the Hall (middle of picture) is no longer there although when the field is dry you can sort of see where it’s been and there is still the gate at the other end.

Other photos mostly of the Bishop family who lived here in the early 1900s.

 Hope Farm Hope Farm 001 Hope Farm 007 Hope Farm 008 Hope Farm 009 Hope Farm, Sansaw. 1960s. (BB48) 

Taken in the 1960s, interesting to note that the trees on the left aren’t there anymore either.


The side of the house, taken 2010



AND……………. finally, some photos taken of Hardwicke Grange at Hadnall before it was demolished in 1931 due to lack of funds. Home to Rowland Hill. The stable block is still standing and belongs also to Sansaw Hall and it’s in these stables that the estate have their offices as well as being home to Sansaw Business Park and other small businesses.

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Such a shame that such a beautiful, historic building was ever allowed to be demolished.

And really finally, under the road that goes from Grinshill to Yorton past the farm there is an underpass, not a modern one but one built, I’m guessing, around the time of the Big House. It was called the church walk and it’s where the servants would have walked from the Hall up to Clive church. There are still remnants of the old track but it’s now very overgrown. The underpass is still very much passable.DSCF6200

The entrance, Sansaw Hall side of the road.


The exit path Clive side of the road


The entrance/exit Sansaw side of the road. It’s worth noting that the tunnel is kinked and not straight.

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Remnants of the old path to the church.

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Entrance/exit Clive side of the road. (Above and below)

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Apparently there is another underpass like this up near the church, I shall have to go looking for it.

Bet you never thought an underpass could be soooo exciting did ya?


Croap Queen said...

Looks beautiful Joy. You're very lucky to live in such a pretty place - my row of terraced houses is very dull
JJ x

Evil Edna said...

Thank you Joy for posting these wonderful old photos of Hardwicke Grange Salop, once the home of the Bibby family, shipping magnates from the port of Liverpool.

JJ Bibby was a leading partner and shareholder in the White Star Line Company which owned the RMS Olympic & RMS Titanic.

When JJ died in the 1890s, probate revealed he'd left his benefactors the 2nd highest amount in Britain for that year. Around £200 million in modern money, including his significant stake in the W.S.L.

There's an intriguing story of a mysterious "shooting accident" that reportedly took place at Hardwick Grange in 1911. Curiously, the alleged shooting is linked in multiple ways to the supposed Sinking of the Titanic.

By 1911 the Hardwicke Grange estate had been passed down to JJ's son, Frank Bibby, of whom a photo and brief biography can be found in Baily's Magazine of Sports and Pastimes (No.470 Vol. LXXI):

According to the Aberdeen Daily Journal of Weds, November 8, 1911, "The death occurred with tragic suddenness yesterday morning while out shooting of Sir Herbert Edmund Frankland Lewis, Bt, of Harpton Court, Kington, Herefordshire. Sir Herbert was the guest of Mr Frank Bibby at Hardwick Grange, Shrewsbury."

Sir Herbert, who died without issue, was the last of the noble Lewis family who had lived at Harpton Court since the 16th century.

Today, even Harpton Court is no more. An important Listed Building, it was inexplicably demolished in 1953.

Though in 1912, Harpton Court - described as the finest country residence in the whole of Radnorshire - was somehow inherited by the Duff Gordon family - who don't seem to have any clear links to the Lewis family! Was that an inheritance fraud linked to the sudden death of Sir Herbert Lewis? Either way, the Duff Gordons had fully moved themselves in to Harpton Court by February 1912.

According to the narrative, just a few weeks later, on 15 April 1912, the W.L.S. RMS Titanic struck an iceberg & slipped beneath the waves, taking 1,507 souls, we are told, down with her.

There were, however, a number of apparent survivors of the alleged tragedy. Most of them we are told were 1st class passengers. Including, Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon and his wife Lady Lucy Duff Gordon.

The *alleged* eyewitness testimony of the Duff Gordons was highly publicised at the time. It was critical in selling the official narrative of the tragedy. "Struck an Iceberg", "Too few lifeboats." Vast loss of life".. "Massive insurance claims to follow!"

And yet many believe that the Duff Gordons (whoever they were) - were never aboard the Titanic!

It is said that they were just "cut-outs" - frauds and actors - working for the (bankrupt) White Star Line and Lloyds of London. It was a vast insurance fraud to swindle the Lloyds Names. In summary, the Sinking of the Titanic was a hoax in which NO ONE died!

The Harpton Court estate has other mysterious links to the White Star Line and the alleged sinking of the Titanic. One relative of an estate worker at Harpton - possibly another fictitious person - supposedly lost his life aboard the Titanic.

"Titanic steward Walter Boothby" was one of those alleged "vicsims" (google that term!). "Walter"s brother, according to press reports, was a footman at Harpton.

The Duff Gordons are also linked to an earlier supposed disaster for White Star....

Evil Edna said...

The Titanic apparently had a sister ship, the RMS Olympic. The Titanic and Olympic were said to be "virtually identical" (some even say there were the same ship - another insurance fraud!!)

According to contemporary reports, the Olympic was involved in a collision in 1910 with the Royal Navy warship HMS Hawke. Apparently, the collision left the Olympic's keel bent and her turbines buckled. She was said to be beyond economical repair. True? Or was this yet another insurance fraud?! It's hard to say!

But who should be aboard the Olympic at the time of that alleged collision? Why, none other than "Walter Boothy"s brother, yet another relative of an estate worker on the Duff Gordons' Harpton Court!

And who should be aboard the other ship, HMS Hawke, to witness the alleged collision from the other side?! Yes! Yet another Boothy brother to the footman at Harpton Court!

Did those people really exist? Or were they just cut-outs, used for fraudulent maritime insurance claims?!

Count up all those mysterious links to the Duff Gordons & Lewises of Harpton Court, and to the Bibby family of Hardwicke Grange.

There are just too many coincidences to explain away as chance!

We research the Titanic Story and other suspected scams and hoaxes at Please come along some time, Joy!

With kind regards,
Evil Edna

Bekky Dallas said...

You do know the rumour that Herbert did have a son to his wife when she was married to her first husband ... Trying to determine any truth to it and sadly to date I have had no success in proving the rumour wrong. Time will tell but it's not looking good for Maria.... Taking the stories above it does make one ponder if Herbert's death was accidental or something more sinister.... Just to add to the mystery! In any case wonderful to get some down to earth history, great photos and would love any other references/links/photos that may be available. :-)

Bekky Dallas said...

Duff Gordon's are distant relatives - Haven't actually mapped it yet but not to far removed - don't quote me from memory one of Herbert's sisters married into a Duff-Gordon. Will confirm exact relationship when I get around to it.... Also these people seems very much real! Cheerio


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