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Greese Cottage (House) : The Old Rectory

1, 3 and 5 Main Street in Heysham  is a grade 2 listed building dating from the 17th century and featured on the right of this well known Heysham picture by William Woodhouse. There is a tree in the back yard and you can just see the back steps up from the lane to the shore in the centre of the picture, One explanation for the term ‘Greese’’ is from the Latin ‘gradus’ for steps.

English Heritage in their ‘listing’ refer to it as the Old Rectory. Two dates are mentioned

The 1906 postcard picture below illustrates how the property faces west  towards the church and the back faces onto the lane (Lade End) down to the shore as seen in the Woodhouse picture.. You will find a very similar 2014 photo here to show little has changed in 100+ years.

There is a list of rectors of Heysham in the  Victoria History of Heysham which is more clearly presented, with appropriate notes mostly from the copious footnotes in the Victoria History, by Eileen Dent in  Heysham - a History. David Flaxington in the History of Heysham states that Greese Cottage was built by a John Clarkson during the period when William Ward was rector, 1636 -1670. William Ward is buried in the chancel at St Peter’s. See A Brief Guide to St Peter’s pp 3&4. The Victoria History also contains a footnote to the effect that the rector William Bushell from 1698-1735 also built a ‘rectory-house’, a phrase which suggests that ‘rectory’ once had a wider meaning than just a dwelling, in the same way as there is a distinction between ‘manor’ and ‘manor-house’. Bushell’s rectory is thought to be the first stone built rectory on the present site to the south of the church.

During the first half of the 19th century the  Tithe Map of Heysham demonstrates that there were other buildings between Greese Cottage (424) and the Church (388). (Numbers refer to the Tithe Map section above right,).
The right hand of the three rectory buildings (389) was the stables and is now St Peter’s church hall. 421 is now part of the Old Rectory garden; all the land of the Old Rectory orchard (422) and that associated with 416/417/418 are now within the churchyard/glebe garden; the properties and 416/417/418 no longer exist.

 20th century Tea Gardens at Greese Cottage

The Tea Gardens were one of the earliest attempts to provide facilities for the increasing number of visitors to Heysham, building on the success of Strawberry Gardens as a visitor attraction.. The name most often associated with the Tea Gardens at Greese Cottage is ‘Hadath’, largely obscured in the image to the right, but the name of the proprietor at the time of the photograph is A(nnie) Henderson with 1900 as the original establishment date of the business. Currently we estimate this building stood on the site of 423 on the Tithe Map (above right); it now no longer exists. This position was well above sea level and more secure than the shore cafés below which could be engulfed by high spring tides in stormy weather. By the middle of the century there were three separate Tea Gardens at each of 1, 3 and 5 Main Street, with Hadath’s at No.1, Cook’s at No.3 and Laytham’s at No.5. Peter Cook, who lived at No. 3 when younger, has been a valuable source of information on this topic contributing several of the photographs for this page. Hadath’s tea gardnes finally closed in 1989.

Annie Henderson, wife of Bruce, was born Annie Hadath in 1911. One of her brothers, Herbert (Bert), is recalled on Facebook recently as setting up the scales outside the Village Institute with which Jake Edmondson is best known. Hadath is an uncommon surname and therefore easy to trace; there were no Hadaths listed in the Tithe Schedule for Heysham in 1838.

Annie was the only daughter of John and Louisa Jane Hadath who were married at St Peter’s Church, Heysham, in July 1900. John  is listed as a gardener. John was the eldest son of James and Agnes Hadath who were married at St Mary’s, Lancaster, in December 1874. (Records from the Lancashire Online Parish Clerk Project) The earliest date for James, a shoemaker, being in Heysham is estimated as 1888; he was born in Cartmel. We are currently not sure which of these two Hadaths (John or his father, James) started the tea gardens.

Mrs Lund’s Tea Rooms were started at No.3 in the early 1930s; the black notice on the wall to the right of the steps (photo above right) says just this. Prior to this No.3 was the village post office. You can see all the visitors on the shore and the end of one of the shore cafés. Mrs Lund was Peter Cook’s great aunt and in due course his mother carried on that business. At first the rooms were in the house and later moved into the garden in front of the house and adjacent to Hadath’s Tea Gardens at No.1. They were then Cooks’ Tea Gardens’ and later they also acquired Laytham’s Tea Gardens which were at No.5. Peter’s father is pictured right in their Tea Gardens

Eileen Dent tells us in The Heysham Peninsula that the Laytham family moved into No. 5 in about 1916. We do not know the date when Laytham’s Tea Gardens started.

Heysham in Winter (William Woodhouse)
© Haworth Art Gallery, Accrington

A small section of the 1838 Heysham Tithe Map with some renumbering for clarity

Details in the Tithe Schedule of some owners and occupiers:

387 ‘low churchyard’, 388 Church and churchyard, and 389 Rectory house and garden, are all Glebe Land.

The following are all owned by the Rector:
422 orchard, 423 barn and 424 Old Rectory are occupied by Joseph Procter and another (illegible entry). 421 seems to be absent from the schedule.
416 house and garden occupied by William Overend and Richard Warbrick
417/418 house, barn and garden, occupied by James Beesley and Richard Hudson

The picture of Greese Cottage left, contributed by Peter Cook, is quite delightful and the style dates it to about 1920. It is reminiscent of the 1917  Cottingley ‘fairies at the bottom of your garden’ hoax perpetrated by two young cousins using one of their father’s camera, and which was known worldwide and believed by many to be genuine for many years.

The picture is available as a Jumbo Postcard on sale in the Heritage Centre.