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Throstles Nest

Also known as Throstles Nest Farm, this is one of the oldest buildings in Bollington with it’s origins in the early post middle ages. In 1849 it was owned by Castle and Harroway and occupied by Mathew Warren. It is located on Palmerston Street, next to the Congregational church, almost opposite the Bridgend Centre and Hailwood House, the latter stands on the ground where the Empire Cinema was.

Harriet Wood feeding chickens at Throstles Nest Farm
Throstles Nest Farm in its sunken position (see below)

Harriet Wood (née Close), wife of Ambrose Wood, in the photo (far left) feeding the chickens at Throstles Nest around 1920/30. Not sure who it is looking on from behind the black cat! The second photo was taken in 1902.

Ambrose Wood and Dorothy Kirk

Ambrose Wood was a Blacksmith who resided at Throstles Nest. The photo (far left) was taken around 1930 believed to be at the back of his Smithy on Queen Street. The lady standing with Ambrose is Dorothy Kirk from Biddulph. Ambrose’s death notice is from the Macclesfield Courier. He died on 31st October 1976. His son and grandson continued with the business of smithing and light engineering, and his great grandson is in charge today (2019). The business of Ambrose Wood & Son has for many years been located at Ovenhouse Farm on Henshall Road, having sold the Queen Street premises (which became too small for the expanding business), for housing development.

Ambrose and Harriet Wood on his 90th birthday, he lived at 108 Wellington Road at this time.

This picture (left) shows a picnic at Throstles Nest in 1921-22 which includes the Eardley and Wood families. The little girl with curly hair sitting front left of centre is Nancy Eardley, next but one is her sister Mary, her brother James is sitting in the middle (incidentally James is still with us aged a hundred and one years as of 8th December 2019). Down the right side of the photo are Alice Eardley, Harriet Wood (wife of Ambrose), Alice Eardley 2 and Dawson Eardley closest, drinking from a mug. The picnic is being held on the field which is Coronation Gardens (children’s playground) today.


Above left family photo 1945, Ambrose centre, wife Harriet centre sitting. And above right is Ambrose Wood in his forge on Queen Street in 1958.


The four photos above were all taken around 1954. Stanley and young Stephen Wood on the left and Mary Wood wife of John son of Ambrose in the second and third. 


Henry Wood b.1918 the second son of Ambrose Wood. Seen here feeding his rabbits in the field that later became Coronation Gardens.

We are sad to note that Joan Bradley, who lived at Throstles Nest for very many years, died on 13th November 2020, aged 80. Joan was well known around Bollington for her expertise with dogs. She was also very handy at woodwork and made many useful items in her workshop behind the house. Joan’s nieces and their children all spent lots of happy days, staying with aunty Joan whilst growing up. Debbie Taylor said “We spent many happy hours in her workshops at the back watching and learning about her many woodwork creations. It was, a magical place to stay both as a child and as an adult.”

Shazza Taylor, a niece of Joan`s supplied some more information on her aunt. She was born in Stockport and grew up on Lancashire Hill, then moved to Cheadle before buying Throstles Nest in Bollington around 1977. She  was a very independent lady and could turn her hand to anything. She also played football for the Corinthians ladies team, one of the first female soccer teams. Joan also used to be a prison officer and later became a registered dog psychologist. The woodwork creations mentioned above included rabbit hutches which she sold to various pet shops in Cheshire. Below are a few photographs kindly supplied by Joan`s niece Shazza Taylor which she wanted me to share.

Throstles Nest inside after the floods. Joan Bradley last time there.
Joan Bradley (Brad)



1911: George Lomas and his family lived at Throstles Nest Farm at this time. George was thirty nine years old and was a Carter Master from Derbyshire. His second wife Mary (née Lovegrove) was aged thirty two and from Berkshire. The eldest child, Tytherington born Percy, was seventeen years old and was stepson to Mary. His real mother Mary Hannah Norbury died in 1898. Percy was a bleach works operative. He is later listed on the 1917 Roll Of Honour but no service record has been identified for him. There are three other children listed all born to Mary Lovegrove. Margaret Mary was thirteen years old and was a cotton operative. Albert Edward was ten years old and his brother Ernest was just one year old. 

1920’s: Ambrose Wood and his wife Harriet (née Close) lived at Throstles Nest.

1977-present: Joan Bradley occupied Throstles Nest up to around 2018/19, she moved in with her niece and Joan sadly passed away in 2020. 

Sunken position of Throstles Nest

One of the pictures shows vividly the sunken position of the farm house, being more than a metre below the surrounding land. It wouldn’t have been like this when built. Tim Boddington believes that the ground around this area – Coronation Gardens (the field at Throstles Nest Farm), that part of Palmerston Street between the aqueduct and Bridgend, and the War Memorial garden – were built up from their original level in the 1820s when the canal was under construction. The first attempt to build the embankment was unsuccessful and much of the earth used for that had to be moved out to enable the present stone embankment to be built in its place. The surplus material would have been spread locally to get rid of it with least effort.

Do you have any more photos or information about Throstles Nest? If so please contact Linda Stewart.


Our thanks go specifically to Linda Stewart who has researched census and other information to present an interesting history of local people and properties.

Our thanks go to all those who researched and discovered the history that is presented in these pages. Please read the full acknowledgement of their remarkable achievement.

And many thanks to John Woolley (great great nephew of Ambrose Wood), Steven Wood (Grandson of Ambrose), and his cousin Tina (daughter of Henry Wood born 1918 second son of Ambrose), for sharing these photos and information.

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