There's not much to see here. At least, that's what some of the residents would have you believe. A private road with 24/7 security, so photography has not been easy. Clearly someone has an over-inflated sense of their own importance or something to hide.
It's a shortish cul de sac on the south side of Stamford Road.
Linking the top end of Stamford Road to Park Road, Church Brow is one of the original streets of Bowdon. It was probably formed, like Richmond Road (see below), as a meltwater gully in immediate post-glacial times, and is thought to have marked the eastern/western boundaries respectively of two oval enclosures created by forest clearing after the Romans left9. Most of the housing on Church Brow dates back to the C18.
During the afternoons in term time, Church Brow is clogged by queues of polluting SUVs belonging to the parents of pupils at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, who wait here - with their engines running - to get onto Park Road and the Eyebrook estate (and presumably further afield). It's a shame more of the girls don't walk; at least it's downhill on the way home :-)
The old school house
Church Brow from close to the junction with Stamford Road (see below). Pepper Cottage (1720) is the first dwelling on the right.
St Mary's vicarage. I was a little surprised to discover that the vicar of St Mary's still lives in this characterful house in this day and age. You'll find a reference to the former vicarage on Heald Road here (see the image of "The Beeches").
Looking back up Church Brow to the church of St Mary's.
Now a view of the eastern side of the road showing a characterful residence with roses around the door (in a manner of speaking).
A pair of small cottages on the west side of the road.
Such things are of course very subjective, but these must surely be among the most elegant homes in all Bowdon. Though not generally as large as some of the bombastic properties on Eyebrook Road or Theobald Road, they ooze character, elegance and charm instead.
OS grid ref.: SJ 7611 8666
Date of photography: March 2021
The four properties at the junction with Richmond Road are known as Laurel Mount. Adolph Brodsky (1859-1929), the eminent Russian violinist, lived here at no. 3 for the last 25 years of his life.
The blue plaque commemorating Adolph Brodsky at no. 3 Laurel Mount.
Unsurprisingly, Adolph Brodsky features in several articles in the Bowdon Sheaf series, notably a 2-part article by the late Michael Kennedy, the music critic, in Sheafs no. 1 (pp. 5-7) and no. 2 (p. 8). Further articles were published in Sheafs no. 12 (p. 8, by the playwright Ronald Gow) and in no. 52 (pp. 2, 8-9).
This small, tasteful property at no. 5, known as Rose Hill Cottage, lies a few metres east of Laurel Mount on the north side of the road. It was one of the earlier houses on the road, so it's a shame - but perhaps not surprising - that it's so different to the adjoining property, which was added later when the cottage's land was sold off (thanks again to Ian Bryce for correcting my original assump
This is two properties, Alma Cottage on the left and a house that appears to have had a variety of names, most recently "Doenberg", on the right. The rear entrances to both are on Southfields.
Don't be misled by the street sign! This shot was taken at the junction of South Road, this row of properties is numbers 11-17 East Downs Road.
..runs uphill from Langham Road to Stamford Road, and is one-way (northbound) from the junction with East Downs Road.
OS grid ref.: SJ 7597 8682
what3words ref.: ///fries.dusty.ducks
Richmond Road contains a mixture of residential properties, which tend to be either apartment blocks or large and imposing detached homes, and commercial properties, like this Indian restaurant.
A more traditional dwelling. A semi-detached stone home opposite Richmond Court.
Did anyone famous ever live here?
An autumnal scene looking up the road.
"Scriven House" office block on the east side of the road. Taken from Richmond Court car park.
Richmond Court is a modern and undistinguished development of two apartment blocks on the western side at the top of Richmond Road.
Richmond Court, Apartments 1-6. A recent development at the top of the road.
If you know anything about the history of Richmond Road, or have any interesting trivia, please let me know by clicking the button at bottom right.
Another view of Richmond Court, this time showing the block containing apartments 7-15.
South Road is in two offset north-south oriented sections, one between Stamford Road and West Road, and the other between Wests Road and East Downs Road.
Date of photography: March 2021
Southfields is an odd, secluded stub of road that falls away off the ridge on the south side of East Downs Road. Apart from the modern apartment block (see photo), most properties also have entrances on East Downs Road itself.
OS grid ref.: SJ 7609 8662 Date of photography: March 2021
A view of the rear of one of the properties backing onto Southfields. These properties form nos. 1-4 West Bank, a development whose communal entrance is at the junction of Richmond Road and East Downs Road.
This is the modern apartment block mentioned above (it's called Langley Mount). It's the only property on the east stub of the road.
The view from the bottom of the western stub looking back towards the junction with East Downs Road.
1860s housing on the north side of Stamford Road.
An attractive pair of cottage orné style houses at the top of the road, characterised by Pevsner as "prettily Gothick"5.
The Polygon, at the junction with Richmond Road. Built to provide shopping facilities for the expanding township of Bowdon. Between 1883 and 1921 the top floor was occupied by at least five photographers8, who relied exclusively on natural light to produce their images. The ground floor has been occupied by a number of different shops and businesses over the years, but at the time of writing is sadly almost empty.
West Road is a cul de sac on the south side of Stamford Road. It comprises a mixture of properties of different styles and ages.
Date of photography: March 2021
OS ref.: SJ 7622 8676
what3words ref: ///haven.item.march
This is the view up West Road from the junction with Stamford Road. The properties nearest the camera are newer than those further along; all of them were built piecemeal between the 1950s and 1980s as the owners of properties on Heald Road sold off parts of their back gardens for development.
The entrance to the MHA Handsworth Residential Care Home on the east-west section of the road. It was built on the site of a former mansion during the late 60s/early 70s.
"Belfield House", a functional block of flats built around 1962 on the site of a house of the same name. It is a neighbour of the care home (see preceding photo) and backs onto the ginnel leading to East Downs Road.
A deteached home on the south-facing side of the road
This is another slightly austere family home towards the western end of the road. At least it still has its front garden!
Apart from some gated developments, all the streets of Bowdon have now been photographed at least once.
If you live on one of the gated developments, please get in touch!
The latest addition to the site features links to pdf files of all the 60 (and counting) "Bowdon Sheaf" publications as published by the Bowdon History Society. If local history is your thing, this is for you!
I've now started the second round of photography, so keep your eyes peeled for a charming geezer in a yellow high-vis vest.
Click on the button below to start your exploration!