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Sedgley House

Sedgley Park (1848)

The map of 1848 (above) shows the future site of Sedgley House, along the track leading up from Bury New Road towards the Sedgley Park Farm, which stood in substantial area of land between Bury New Road and Bury Old Road.

Richard Fort of Sedgley Hall sold his land in 1854.Leading to the building of several large residences...

The How
Sedgley Mount
The Holme
Brook House

Sedgley New Hall

Sedgley Park in 1891

Sedgley was named after the wet boggy area of land that stretched from Castle Hill on Bury Old Road, past Kersal Moor towards the site of the old Romand fort at Agecroft. Sedge itself being a type of grass found in swampy and boggy land, and "ly" derives from "leah", a wood or a clearing in woodland. So sedgley was a bog surrounded by woodland.

Sedgley House (1891)

[The 1851 census shows John Prince Lee, The Lord Bishop of Manchester residing at Sedgley House (though this is thought to be Sedgley Park/Hall as it is recorded as being near to High Bank)]

The 1861-1871 census returns show William Pearson a commission merchant of grey calico, residing at Sedgley House, along with his wife , six daughters, a niece and a nephew, and 5-7 servants. This William commissioned Sedgley House to be built in the gothic style of the era and popular in this region e.g. Sir Edward Holt's Woodthorpe, and Charlton House. William died in 1872, aged 67.

Plan: the 1850s house has a central entrance hall flanked by dining and drawing rooms (to S) with open-well stair hall to rear, and an office and garden room along E side. Services form a NW wing with service stair tower built into the angle thus formed. Parallel service and private corridors connect this building with the later extension which is not of special interest. Billiard room to rear. Two storeys and attic. Exterior: Front: three bays, all steeply gabled, the outer bays projecting to form shallow wings with canted storeyed bay windows. Porch with wide arch, buttresses with set-offs, and pierced parapets. Bay windows of 1:3:1 lights with stone mullions and transoms; all other windows of two lights. Bargeboarding to wings, stone coping to central gable. Right return, also of three bays, all under gables with varied detailing; asymmetrical but regular fenestration of two, three and four lights (mullions and transoms), one (to study) recessed behind wide arch. Left return with one gabled window bay (treated as to other elevations) and a 3-stage stair tower to junction with services. Rear: 2:1:2 bays, treated similarly to other elevations, the centre bay projecting with corbelled angles to attic. Stacks truncated.

In passing...the census of 1861 shows Peter Allen, newspaper publisher resident at a property in Sedgley Park (maybe Sedgley Mount), with his wife 2 children and 3 servants.

Peter was the manager of The Manchester Guardian, which had been founded in 1821 by John E Taylor and C.P.Scott two years after the events of Peterloo. John's son, also John E Taylor, brought his brother in law, Peter Allen, into the family run newspaper. They rescued the Manchester Evening news, which faced demise once it's proprietor Mitchel Henry failed to get elected to Parliament, and the MEN ultimately became run by the Allen Family. (The Guardian itself passed to the Scott Family - who were later to reunite the papers). Peter moved to Overbrook in Kersal, and died in 1892, and is buried in St Mary's Churchyard.

Peter Allen [St Mary's SOUTH]

Peter's son, Charles Peter Allen, scored the first ever rugby points by Wales versus England (1884), was MP 1900-1918 and served as a Town Major (aged 53) in the Gloucester Regt during WWI. He died in 1930.

Charles Peter Allen

Next door to Peter Allen, lived Jane Armstrong, widow and wine merchant of Manchester. A story of a Mr Cosmo Melville, of Brook House (next door to Sedgley House), tells of when workmen were digging foundations of his previous house in Role Row, near Sedgley. The workmen found six bottles of wine, buried some six feet down. He sent the wine for identification to Mr Armstrong, who was the city wine merchant. . He identified the wine as Hungarian, and of great antiquity, and had been buried about the time of the Young Pretender, about 1745, but was probably old wine when it was buried. Unfortunately the wine was undrinkable.

The census of 1881 & 1891 shows Sedgley House, with Themistocles Petrocokino resident, with his wife, extended family and 4 to 7 servants.

[In 1881, Stephen E Petrocokino lived just the other side of Sedgley Park, at Claremont Villas on Bury New Road (opposite Cavendish Road). A couple of doors down were the Alexandroff family who later moved to Sedgley Mount next door to Sedgley House.]

Themistocles, born to Greek parents in Bradford, West Yorkshire,educated at Harrow, was an East and West India merchant and prominent member of the Manchester Greek Community. While living in Prestwich, the family were trendsetters. He employed James Lamb to transform the interior of the house and placed the family emblem on ceilings, the staircase, the chimney piece and even lamps and clocks.

James Lamb was a Manchester cabinet-maker with an international reputation. His warehouse and showrooms were on John Dalton Street with a further workshop in Castle Street. Described as the “most aesthetically advanced cabinetmaker outside London in the 19th Century”, Lamb furnished the Manchester Assize Courts to the designs of Alfred Waterhouse. This furniture was shown at the Paris ; Exposition of 1867. Lamb’s tombstone was designed by the leading Manchester architect, Edward Salomons. James Lamb died in 1903 and is buried with his wife and their four infant children. Lamb’s distinctive flower emblem is to be found on his cabinets, and his tomb.

Lamb's emblem inlaid on a cabinet

[ Lambs of Manchester: Cabinet makers and interior design: article ]

Lamb is buried in St Mary's Churchyard

beside John Heywood
brother of Abel Heywood (Mayor of Manchester)

The Petrocokino family even owned their very own motor car at a time when the horse-drawn cart was a common sight on the area's roads. But the Petrocokinos were so wary of the new technology, they insisted on sitting in a cart drawn by the car, rather than travelling in the car itself!

In 1887 the King of Greece visited Manchester, and a Greek minister staid at Sedgley House during the visit writing to thank the Mayor for the welcome.

Greek Minister Letter of thanks

In 1891, their son John Themistocles Petrocokino, 24, Merchant, married the daughter of another prominent Prestwich family, Alice Mather, 25,daughter of Sir William Mather of Wood Hill

Petrocokino Family

In 1900, at Paris, Themistocles died (and as the Greek church had no consecrated ground he was buried in St Mary's churchyard, and Merope, his widow resided at Sedgley House along with her son-in-law George Frangopulo and his family.

Petrocokino Burial

By 1901 Merope Petrocokino, widow was resided at Sedgley House along with her son-in-law George Frangopulo and his family. Themistocles & Merope had another son, named Ambrose, who served in the Greco-Turkish, the Boer and the First World Wars. He married Violet Anne May Sykes — the daughter of a baron, Sir Frederick Henry Sykes.

Petrocokino Family

In 1904 Sedgley House was sold via auction.

1904 auction

The house was bought by The Faithful Companions of Jesus and used as a Roman Catholic Training College, with a large extension being constructed in 1905.

Sedgley House (1909)

1905 extension

1905 Extension

It then became Sedgley Park Teacher Training College and it is currently a GM Police training College, and is classed as a Grade II listed building - mainly because of its interior.

As well as a conference centre, and accommodation suites, it also has a memorial garden to officers who died in the line of duty.

Entrance Hall

Drawing Room


Music Room

Garden Room

By the 1970's the College had been extended further.

College extension 1970's

Moors killer Myra Hindley stayed in a flat in the centre, used by the senior officer in charge, when she was escorted back to Saddleworth Moor in March 1987 to help search for the graves of some of her and Ian Brady’s victims.