Ten Row, top of Penkhull New Road

Ten Row – the top of Penkhull New Road

In a description dated 1810, a part Hassell’s Croft comprised of a barn formerly having been many years ago converted into dwelling houses and which are now in the respective occupations of Thomas Evans, John Jordan, John Fox, Thomas Baddeley and Margaret Smith.

The exact date that these five cottages were converted into ten is not known. A trade directory dated 1822/23 lists the following occupants but the house numbers have been added from the 1861 census.

  1. Joseph Blackburn, painter, 28. Vacant, 29. George Hulme, dipper, 30. James Davenport, fireman, 31. John Sutton, presser, 32. Ralph Myatt, turner, 33. Thomas Plant, painter, 34. Thomas Brunt, fireman, 35. James Grocott, warehouseman, 36. Joseph Lycett, bricklayer.

Following the death of Josiah Spode III 1829 a list of all his properties was prepared and transferred at a court held on the 13th May 1831. Under the description of lands and property formerly owned by Chapman is the following:

And also all those ten other messuages or dwelling houses, with the outbuilding gardens and appurtenances to the same respectively belonging, situate and being in the village of Penkhull aforesaid, near to a messuage formerly called Doody’s Messuage, which said ten messuages and premises last mentioned are now or lately were in the several holdings of Joseph Blackburn, William Hammersley, George Hulme, James Davenport, John Sutton, Ralph Myatt, Thomas Plant, Thomas Brunt, James Grocott and Joseph Lycett, or their undertenants, and the same ten messuages have been newly erected on the sites of or otherwise converted or altered out of five messuages, formerly in the holdings of Thomas Evans, John Jordan, John Fox, Thomas Baddeley and Margaret Smith.

As Ten Row was built on a steep hill, they were approached by a narrow blue-brick terrace with a number of steps at one end. They were in typical Spode style of brick and tile, each with its own ash-pit, privy and small garden to the rear. The rent reflected the quality of the houses, 8s 9d per month compared with 7s for Penkhull Square. These houses had their own privy at the bottom of the garden, not communal. This in its time was quite a status symbol.

Because of the better quality of house, the turnover of tenants was far less than for other properties such as Penkhull Square. By 1841, the front room of No.35 had been converted into a out-door beer house run by Ann Grocott for which she paid a higher rent than the others. By 1861 only three of the 1822 residents remained: Joseph Blackburn, aged 64, who was still working, but his four unmarried daughters from the ages of 17 – 26 still lived at home. At No.29 still lived William Hulme, aged 42, with his wife, Mary. He had three sons and four daughters between the ages of 4 and 20 years. William was a bricklayer but his children all of working age worked in the pottery industry.

The last census of 1911 reflects a changing occupation. No longer did they all work in the pottery industry as only two are recorded. Others are: one stonemason, two working on the railways, two house painters, one a miner, and at No.67 Absalom Hollins, aged 42, from Silverdale, recorded his occupation as navvy working on the Garden Village. He was married to Florence, aged 32, at house duties and all children three boys and three girls, were attending school.

Looking at the number of child deaths, there were a total of 35 children born of whom nine had died representing a death rate of 26%, which, compared with that of Penkhull Square at 61%, was good.

the small shop was next listed as in the occupation of William Smith, boot and shoemaker. This is once more confirmed in the trade listings of 1912 and the rate assessment book of 1914. The records state that No.3 was rented out to Elizabeth Hemmings and No.4 to Henry Ball.