Nether Alderley 2

A second page to house some of the pictures and comments that I copied and pasted from my previous website, mainly the story of one of our first visits to the village. There is more on the main Nether Alderley page here,

The church of St Mary, Nether Alderley, (c) hilarybeltonhartigan 2019.

Lucy Salthouse married Edward Potts at St Mary’s, Alderley, in 1895. 

I imagine that the Church was busy that day, Lucy and Teds’ friends would have filled the Church or were waiting to wish them well at the Church gates, Annie would have been there together with their elder sister, Sophia Worth and her family. 

Perhaps Lucy’s surviving brothers also travelled to Alderley for the wedding – William Salthouse from Liverpool with his wife, Janet, and some of their children (including my grandfather, Jim, who would have been about two years old) and James Salthouse, who had moved to Salford to work on the railways, with his wife, Fanny, and their children.

Spring at Alderley, rhododendrons gracing the Churchyard
“Annie Salthouse Licensed to sell Tobacco Snuff”
The sign that once stood above the door of the village shop at Better Alderley

25th September 2004 – the open day at St Mary’s Church. Throughout  the summer we  had a lot of help from the members of St Mary’s Church. Brian Hobson, in particular, had made copies of the marriage records and posted them to us and, amazingly, recalled seeing an old shop sign somewhere. Brian tracked down the sign, still in good condition, and brought it to the Church on the open day. Annie Salthouse’s shop sign is now kept with other archive material at the Church and can be seen on Open Days.

Annie Salthouse’s shop at Nether Alderley; the shop door was at the side of the house, on Church Lane. The shops was often mistakenly represented on postcards as a Post Office but, although there was a letter box set into the wall of the shop, Nether Alderley’s nearest Post Office was a few miles away.

We visit St Mary’s Church and Alderley Mill often and are always warmly welcomed. At the mill (a National Trust property) there have been many new discoveries about the fabric of the mill, how it was built and how it has changed; the curator and volunteers have also found more names carved into the walls and wooden beams including the name of James Brindley – leading, of course, to speculation that Brindley worked on the fabric or machinery of the mill at some time. A short book has been written about the mill and how it has changed over the centuries, the book is well illustrated throughout and has been available at Alderley Mill. (article written 2008)

Nether Alderley Mill, across the road from the village shop. (c) bhhartigan2019

Generations of mill owners and mill workers have carved their names into the fabric of the mill; this is the “signature” of Ernest Rawlins, son of the last miller.

Ernest Rawlins, son of the last miller, added his name to the many carved into the old wooden framework. (c) bhhartigan2019

We have met Brian Trafford and his family who now own Millbrook Cottage, formerly Annie Salthouse’s cottage and shop and have been invited to see where the shop used to be and where Annie and Lucy lived. Although the cottage has been altered several times since the shop closed, it is still possible to identify the original layout of the building and the room where the provisions – probably sides of ham – were kept. The cottage is now an attractive comfortable Bed & Breakfast establishment, directly opposite Alderley Mill and on the corner of Church Lane. (article written about 2008)

Cottages on the corner of Church Lane with the old Eagle and Child Inn in the background. (c) bhhartigan 2019

In 1901 Lucy and Ted Potts are recorded as living at Welsh Row (Gatley Green Farm) where Ted is described as a farmer. Their son, Herbert Edward Potts, is three years old and they are looking forward to the arrival of their daughter, Winifred Annie Potts, who was born a few months later.

Gatley Green Farm, abt. 2003, before redevelopment. (c) bhhartigan 2019

Annie Salthouse remained at the village shop, she died in 1906 after an illness of a few months duration, and we can only surmise that Lucy and Edward moved into the shop at that time and lived there with their young son, Herbert, and daughter, Winifred Annie Potts.

After Annie died, Lucy and Ted Potts took over the shop. Sadly their first child, Herbert Potts, was killed in France in WW1. Herbert’s name is recorded on the memorial inside the church and also on the beautifully illuminated and scripted roll of honour in the Old Schoolhouse. 

All the men of Nether Alderley who fought for their country. Herbert Potts is listed and identified as one of those who was killed in action. (c) bhhartigan2019

For a clearer picture of the memorial, I suggest you visit Carl’s Cam website at

Nether Alderley Village Shop, taken from an old photograph

By 1938, when the Stanley Estate Sale papers were prepared, Edward Potts was named as the tenant and shopkeeper. By this time Lucy had died and Edward had married Alice Simpson, Alice, who was quite a bit younger than Ted, seems to have managed the shop.

Edward (Ted) Potts, standing in front of the door at the rear of the shop, which led into a garden.

Opposite: The village shop in Nether Alderley, sometime after 1906 (when Edward Potts had taken over the shop). Picture from an old postcard.

We were also very fortunate to meet some lovely ladies; one lady was related to Francis Worth, the husband of Annie’s older sister, Sophia; another lady other lady was related to Ted Potts’ second wife, Alice, and we chatted with the granddaughter of the last miller, John Rawlins, who confirmed that her Uncle Ernest was the same person who witnessed the wedding of Lucy and Ted Potts’ daughter, Winifred Annie Potts to Charles Frederick Dutton. We also learned  that Ted Potts was very friendly with her father, the miller, and that she was named Winifred after Ted and Lucy’s daughter. The ladies remember calling at the shop on the way home from school and being sent to the shop on errands to buy chicken feed, amongst other things!

Later on that afternoon we searched through the church records and found the graves of all the Salthouses (except John Salthouse, the father, that’s another story), of Sophia Worth and her husband and of Lucy Salthouse’s parents, William and Ann Walters and some of their children.  

There are some very interesting inscriptions to be discovered in this churchyard. including some connected with the Stanley family. 

Now, at least, we know why my grandfather might have visited Nether Alderley. Annie, his aunt, kept the village shop and she seems to have become the matriarch of the family. Aunt Lucy lived on Welsh Row, just a short walk across the Church Fields; his cousin, Herbert was the same age as him and would have been a good playmate. 

Aunt Sophia lived close by at Park Lodge with her family who, although older, would surely have made a fuss of this young boy.

The old entrance to Church Lodge, as seen when leaving Nether Alderley and travelling towards Monks Heath. Sophia Worth (nee Salthouse) lived further down the road, at Park Lodge.

My grandfather, Jim Salthouse, said that he “loved to visit Alderley – the estate was lovely”.

If Jim and his father, William, decided to walk to see Aunt Lucy at Gatley Green Farm, they might have walked down leafy Church Lane until they came to the old school which stands at the entrance to the churchyard. This must have held some memories for William, as he and his brothers, John, Samuel and James could all have attended this school between about 1845 and 1865.

Before walking through the churchyard and across the fields to Gatley farm they might have stopped to look at Church Fields, if they were lucky they may have spotted some pheasants in the longer grass – or perhaps the children would play on the swing that hung from the lower branches of this stately tree.

The mausoleum, however, built by the Stanley family, (in the middle distance of this picture), might not have looked so friendly to Jim, but fortunately the path goes nearer to the Church tower and through a gate leading into the meadows.

Once through the gates and into the churchyard, Jim would have walked past the ancient yew tree – probably looking just as gnarled and ancient as it does today.

Since then we have discovered more about the Salthouse family of Nether Alderley. John Salthouse, originally from Didsbury, had just completed his apprenticeship as a shoemaker when he married Lucy Walters at St Mary’s, Nether Alderley. He rented the small farmhouse at Soss Moss from the Stanley Estate and worked as a master shoemaker and smallholder.

Just a glimpse across the fields at the place where John Salthouse’s home was in 1861 and where he worked on his own account as a master shoemaker. By 1861 the occupation of master shoemaker had become less important as the ready-to-wear shoe industry was developing fast.

Please remember that the information on this website is only accurate to the best of my knowledge and belief. If any of the information is relevant to your own research, please double-check the sources.