Wednesday 11 January 2012


Here's Manor Lodge when it was just that -  the lodge at the start of the carriage drive which led from Nantwich Road to the Manor about half a mile away and shown here in a postcard from the 'Perfection' series we estimate to be getting on for a hundred years old.
A 'lodge' in this context is usually described as a small house or cottage at the gates of, or in the grounds of, a large house. It may be occupied by someone specially employed as a gatekeeper or, perhaps, someone who combined that function with the job of gardener or estate manager.
At the time the photograph was taken the lodge really did look as though it was a part of the Manor estate and one can easily imagine being stopped by someone and asked what one's business was at the Manor.
On either side of the impressive gate are well built stone walls which add to the feeling of solidity. Approaching the Manor from this direction in those days must have been quite intimidating.
Note what looks like a lawned area to the right of the gate marked out with white posts. Presumably this was some form of early traffic control measure preventing carriages from making too hasty a descent from the driveway down onto Nantwich Road.
And right in front of the lodge's front door is that stone gatepost, minding its own business and little suspecting that a hundred years later, having had its top portion, complete with ball, resurrected after years of lying  in the undergrowth only a short time before, it would be knocked flat  by a speeding motor-car.
Assuming that the lodge was built at the same time as the Manor would make it an early 19th Century building dating back to around 1830 (some accounts date it even earlier at 1800).
In this photo it looks very much as if the building is faced in Ashlar Stone, as was the Manor itself (although it, i.e. the Manor, was originally of plain brick construction without stone facing), but its walls have been rendered and painted white for as long as most people can remember.
We'll be looking at Middlewich Manor itself in later Middlewich Diary postings.

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