A History of Brown Edge, a Staffordshire Moorlands Village

William Davenport came to Brown Edge from Lask Edge sometime before the 1861 census.  He was the patriach of all subsequent Brown Edge Davenports.  He was born in Longsdon or Ladderedge as it was called then, where he was living next door but one to James Turner who came to Brown Edge before 1861 also.

Mrs Mary Cornes nee Harvey has kindly provided the following photographs and commentary.


Davenport1This is a photo of the grandmother of all the Davenports of Brown Edge. It is Hannah, my great grandmother wife of William. She was born at Meerbrook, in 1830, married William in 1851 and on the census for 1851 they were living at Lask Edge, with Hannah’s sister Jane Redfern, husband William and her mother Ann Hall. In 1861 and 1871 they were at Hobbs House Old Lane, Brown Edge where my grandfather was born. Sometime between 1871 and 1881 they were living at Upper Stone House Farm but by 1881 they had moved to Sprinks Farm Horton Haye. Two sons William and Thomas were married and remained in Brown Edge. William died in 1894 when Hannah went to live with her daughter Elizabeth and her husband Joseph Dawson at Poole Fields. This photo was taken in the early 1900s in the field opposite the house. I think the land is now built on but, the houses are the ones opposite the Holly Bush playing fields.

HA family group of my grand parents Charles and Martha taken in 1906 in front of Lane End Cottage( now 31 Church Road). In the back row are from left to right, Arthur, (Phillip Davenport’s grandfather) Hannah, (Edwin Sims grandmother) and Mary Jane (known as Polly).
Middle row left is my mother Beatrice, then grandparents, then James. In the front is Mabel.
Charles and Martha returned to Brown Edge in 1891 and were living in Sandy Lane at the time of the census. They lived at Lions Paw for a short time but bought Lane End Cottage about 1893 and it remained in the family until my mother died in 1972.



This is the only photo I have of the youngest member of the family, Phyllis, she is on the left and, on the right is Mrs. Benton (Honor Dawson) do not know who is in front. If possible I would like a mention of her in the Brown Edge history. She was born at Lane End Cottage in 1907 and lived all her life there. She taught at St Anne’s school from the late 20s to 1953 the day she died. She devoted her life to the children of the village and during the war organized a knitting group to make comforts for the troops. With May Berrisford (nurseries at Double Gates family) also a teacher at Brown Edge, she raised money by holding Whist Drives. There has been a lot written about the Bentons. They moved to the new school in Endon while Aunty Phyllis remained at Brown Edge teaching the third year (9 to 10 year olds) and I feel has been forgotten in recent histories of the village. Anyone at school in  1930’s, 40’s or early 50’s I am sure will remember her. I think the children planted a garden, to the left, in front of the church gates, in her memory.

Davenport4w1 (2)There are two photos of St Anne’s drama group when we performed “Mrs. Whigs of the Cabbage Patch” at the school in 1950. I cannot remember all the names but here are some of them.
.Far left Mrs. Proctor, Tom Mitchell, Rosemary Attoe and behind her Bertha Clements and, far right myself Mary Harvey.


Davenport4w (2)





Back row Joe Cumberlidge, Gladys Hammond. Behind her Rev Walter Attoe.
In the middle with the white hat Mrs. Bond and behind Bert Pointon, then Mrs. Crossley, Eric Jolly, Betty Jolly (Mrs. Mosedale) on the end Tom Mitchell. Sitting down in the middle are Bill Bourne, Mrs. Proctor and, with the tall hat, George Hall (then the church warden). Sitting, with plaits, left Bertha Clements and right myself.

img018This is Granny taken in the garden at Lane Ends.












davenport7wThis is a school photo of myself age 6 . We never had group photos, and none taken during the war


7 Responses

  1. I’m tracing my Davenport family tree my Grandfather was John William Davenport born Lask Edge 7 May 1894 working back his father James Davenport Born Brown Edge born 1862/3, I’m now trying to work out if his father was William Davenport as mentioned in the Davenport family History above, any information on my family line would be greatly appreciated

  2. A very interesting read. My grandad Frank Jervis married Alice May Davenport. I was told that their eldest son Frank Ashley, my dad was also born at Hobbs House. I wonder if Frank and Alice were living with Davenport relations at the time? I do know that later the Davenports were living across St Anne’s Vale

  3. I remember Miss Devenport very well and this site brought back lots of memories, both my Mother and Father are on the above picture of the Dramatic Society and I am the girl sitting right in front of Mary Harvey My father was the Sheriff on the left of the picture in front of Joe Cumberlidge and my Mother is just at the back of the Rev Attoe think they did a few plays : “Haste to the Wedding” “Storm on a loving Cup” and the one above “Mrs Wiggs of the Cabbage patch” there may have been others Mrs Proctor was the Producer and rehersals used to take part in the members houses. Also remember Mrs Benton and was also taught by Miss May Berrisford in the junior school. Great memories !!

  4. My late adoptive father was the son of Hannah (your aunt). I remember visiting Aunty Beattie at Lane End with my Grandad John Sims when he took me for walks around Brown Edge.

    1. You have bought back some memorys i remember miss Davenport her classroom was at the end by the boys playground there was stove pot in her clasroom and in the winter we used to put our milk round it to thaw it out after Bradburys had deliverd it on a horse and cart Billy Bower used to bring it from Lower Stone House Farm you mayremember me my mother and dad kept the chip shop Joan was my sister

      1. I remember Joan Berrisford, and your Mother very well, also remember you too but unfortunately can’t remember your name (old age!) Joan lived just behind our house think she married Robert(may have got the name wrong) Mountford Wow this site has really woken up some memories !

        1. Joans husband was Bill, Robert was her son moved to Austrailia passed away 2008 Lyn her daughter is still out there Ian lives along Milton

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