A Brief History of this Building
On the south end of this building is a date stone marked ‘ARH 1655’. It is a grade two listed building because of its architectural and historical interest. The building’s previous use was a barn, where horse-drawn carts would pull in to unload hay and corn sheaves into the lofts. On the ground floor was a stable for three Shire horses that provided the horsepower for the farm.
By the 1990’s the old building developed a serious lean towards the south, so the present owners Alan and Philip Blackhurst decided to make the structure safe and convert it to what it is today. To do this they had to strip off the stone flag roof, winch the wooden trusses back to their original position and then place the stone flags back. All of the beams and the stone roof flats are the originals used to make the building in 1655. The work took three years to complete.
A short history of Hyde Bank Farm
The initials ‘ARH’ on the date stone relate to Anne Hyde. Anne was the daughter of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, who was famous for his role in the Civil War. In 1660 Anne became pregnant by James, Duke of York, whose brother was Charles II, who insisted he marry her in September of 1660. She had eight children, only two of whom survived. She died in 1671 of breast cancer. Charles II died in 1685, resulting in James becoming King of England.
For two hundred years the residence was called Hyde Bank Hall. In approximately 1850 the Hall was divided into two separate residencies – Hyde Bank House and Hyde Bank Farm. The gravestone of the Yeoman of Hyde Bank Hall can be found in local Chadkirk Chapel Graveyard.
The Blackhurst Family connection to Hyde Bank Farm
In approximately 1905 the present owners’ great, great grandparents, William and Mary Dore, took over the tenancy. In the previous sixty years there had been 7 different tenants due to the difficulty of making a living in farming. In 1920 William Dore died, his wife Mary carried on farming with the help of two grandchildren, a boy and a girl, the girl became the grandmother of the present owners.
Harold Blackhurst born in 1893, fought through the whole of the First World War, returning from service to work on farms in the Cheshire area. In 1962 he saw an advertisement for a milk round in Romiley, he bought it and went to Hyde Bank Farm to buy milk and sell on his round. Whilst collecting his milk he met Mrs Dore’s granddaughter and in 1929 they were married.
The farm began to prosper and in 1939 the first milking machine was installed, it was the only one of its kind in the area at that time. In 1960 Harold’s son David Blackhurst took over the farm and his father retired. By hard work and determination the milk rounds grew in size until the farm was producing, bottling and delivering more than half a million pints a year.
In 1995, David passed on the business to his sons, Alan and Philip, who have diversified to create this family business.