Britannia Square House Histories

48 Britannia Square
by Sue & Ed Llewellyn


In "The plan of the city 1779" buildings in the cottage area of Cumberland House are shown in Far Pound field. We believe that three cottages existed here of which one has been incorporated into the cottage part of the house. Is this the oldest building in the Square?

We believe the house to be built around 1823. On the 12th Oct 1857 the house was used as a marriage settlement by Rev. John Hext Bushnell for his daughter Elenor Jane Bushnell and Rev. Thomas Nash Stephenson on their marriage on 13th Oct 1857.

1868 - William Bass Needham occupied the house, followed by Henry Crisp in 1873. The Rev. Stephenson dies on 27th Dec 1876.

From now on it is confusing as Cumberland House is referred to as 1 and 2, not as House and Lodge as it is now.

1878 - Miss D Osborne takes a 21 year lease. In the 1881 census it is referred to as Brit. Sq. Boarding School Cumberland House no 1 where Dinah Osborne (50yrs) from Somerset has 10 boy boarders 7yrs-1lyrs. The boys are mostly from Worcester but one Lewis Butt is from Demerara (British Subject). She is helped by Miss E Hill (21yrs), a teacher from Hampshire and 2 servants. Brit. Sq. Boarding School Cumberland House no 2 is occupied by Mr Charles Coles Surveyor of Taxes and his family.

By 1884 the extension is built, giving the house an entrance hallway, ballroom, upstairs drawing room, 2 large extra bedrooms and in the basement a pantry, laundry room and kitchen.

After 7 years (1886) Miss Osborne sells the school to Mr Robert Hart Fuller. The lease is assigned to Rev. Sampson on 21 Oct. 1890. In a letter (1892) found in St Helens records office reference is made to the "dilapidation of Cumberland House". In 1892 the lease is withdrawn as the repairs were not carried out. In 1898 Rev. Sampson the lease holder is on the voting list as resident after being unable to let it.

1905 Mrs A M Pudney advertises Cumberland House as a "Comfortable Boarding House situated close to line of Trams and Six minutes from Foregate Street Station and the General Post Office. Visitors & Business Gentlemen will receive every attention with home comforts. Terms moderate."

1906 -1912 John Samuel Cook and family are on the voting list.

1913 John Hall and family are on the voting list. 7 years later on 26th Aug 1920 he buys the house from Elenor Stephenson, widow, who had owned it for 63years!

1940-48 Edward James and Margaret Ann Genever owned it.

On the 9th Feb. 1948 for £2,150 it was sold to Mr Henry Nind who owned it for 42 yrs.

27th April 1992 the house went to auction and was purchased by Mr & Mrs. Llewellyn. It was unfit for human habitation and estate agents’ details saying "Viewings at own risk". It had no running water, no gas, two electric plugs and most of the marble fireplaces vandalized. The cottage roof had collapsed (1985). The Coach House was being used as a commercial garage. The hedges surrounding the property were 15ft high and the cobbled courtyard and front entrance covered in grass.

House renovations started in 1993. The Cottages were renovated in 2001 followed by the Coach House in 2006.

22nd May 2015

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