"Lost" image of Barony Park comes to light

A COUPLE of spots in Nantwich that went down in the town's history were the prefabs (short for prefabricated bunghalows) in Manor Road North and on Barony Park.

   I remember seeing those in Manor Road North in the late 1950s, looking along Davenport Avenue. But I never saw those in Park View, although I was aware of them.

   Until now images of them have been elusive, evading both myself and Nantwich historian Andrew Lamberton. And no doubt many others with memories of the town's past.

   One of the current residents of Park View was born in one of the prefabs, dating the building of the homes at around 1940. The same resident remembers coming home on leave from the RAF at the age of 16 to find the prefabs had been demolished. (The family were living elsewhere by then!)

   There was a pit where the prefabs had been and children were having great fun jumping into it. This would have been one of a number of brine pits on what is now Barony Park and what was then Beam Heath land.

   The 1956 edition of Johnson's Directory - a publication which included a list of householders throughout the town among other interesting items - lists the prefabs as "Barony, Park Estate". But there is no list in the 1958 edition, confirming the resident's recollections.

   While Barony Road is listed separately, all other roads in the area are listed in the directory, under "B" as (for example) "Barony, Vauxhall Road". Even Park View is listed as one of the Barony roads.  

   I was recently asked by another Park View resident if I knew of any pictures of the prefabs. I didn't and suggested they tried Nantwich Museum.

   Then Andrew Lamberton, who is working on the Museum's digital image collection, found the picture used on this page.

 The top image is the background of a photograph of a Carnival event on Barony Park - featuring Len Boyer as the Nantwich King - but I'm so pleased that it has come to light that I'm highlighting the prefabs rather than the carnival event. . .!

   I had always assumed that the post-war homes were built in a single row along the edge of the park facing the older homes in Park View - also in the background  to



Above: The Carnival parade crosses Barony Park

Right: A closer view of the civic party showing the Chairman of Nantwich Urban District Council (Cllr Herbert Jones), Mrs Jones, and the Town Clerk, Mr D.Tudor Evans.                Image: Nantwich Museum


the image. But this picture shows that they were in individual cul-de-sacs of what look like a cluster of seven of the homes (left-hand block) - although four can be seen in the homes visible on the right-hand side, in a block of eifght or nine?

     Absent from the image are the mature trees now at the edge of the park. Of course, this was 64 years ago! The trees will have been planted after the prefabs were demolished.

Old Pictures index


See a picture of a prefab bungalow on the St Fagan's National History Museum, Cardiff, website.




Nantwich farm site became a school and housing estate

ABOVE is another picture from the 1952 Carnival and it, too, has a piece of history in its background.

   In the distance, on the right of the picture, is Highfield Farm. On the site today is Highfields Community Primary School in Cumberland Avenue.

  In "Lost Houses of Nantwich" [Andrew Lamberton and Robin Gray] it is recorded that "George Ray was a farmer there in 1890. The farm can be clearly seen on the 1938 O.S. map with a sand pit behind." The sand was used as a building material in the early part of the 20th Century on Nantwich buildings.

   The farm "became an extensive poultry farm and was demolished in the early 1960s to make way for a housing estate and primary school."

           Image: Nantwich Museum


Highfields C.P. School  |  "Lost Houses of Nantwich"

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