Can you give me any information about Bentley
Hurst Farm farm? I had understood that the Bentley family lived
there for many years until it's lands were sold by Joseph Bentley
who later invested this money by buying most of the shops and
houses in Canute Square Knutsford. I have since learnt that the
Bloor family have lived in Bentley Hurst farmhouse for over 400
years. This makes me wonder if Joseph owned a farm on the main
Bentley Hurst estate and in fact it was this farm he sold, and
not Bentley Hurst?
I was asked about the Bentley's owning
Bentley Hurst Farm and later Canute Place. Bentley Hurst is in
Mere, off the Chester road, just past Tabley Church travelling
towards the Mere traffic lights.
The Place Names Of Cheshire vol 2 by J McN Dodgson gives the meaning
as 'grassy wood' from the Anglo-Saxon words beonet, leah, hyrst.
So does not ascribe the name as of family origin. Bentley Hurst
is marked on Bryants 1831 map.
Nor does it seem that Joseph Bentley had any connection with it,
for in the 1891 census he is listed as being born in Mobberley.
He was then running a grocers shop in Canute Place, (then listed
as Heathside) with wife, 5 children and a servant. I do not know
whether he rented or owned this shop.
Bentley Grocers (probably where the advert is on the shop on the
right & possibly with the van for deliveries)
Until the 1950's all one side of Canute
Place was owned by the Egertons and only changed from houses to
shops after the sale of Egerton property following the death of
the last owner in 1956. Some of us can remember furtively sheltering
in the porches of these houses while we waited for a bus!
At Bentley Hurst Farm in 1891 was Thomas Burgess, farmer, wife,
daughter, 3 servants and 2 Irish labourers.
Quite by chance I noticed a list of charterers
in Mere in 1666, they would be land owners. Twelve are listed
and include: John Bentley of the Hole in Mere & George Bentley
of Mere-Heys. Both are marked on quite recent maps, "The
Hole" as Hole Houses.
(click on the image for full size view - 100k)