Mystery of the ‘Black and White House’

The ‘ Black and White House’ in 1910
The ‘ Black and White House’ in 1910

A landmark building in Stockport known locally as the ‘Black and White House’ sits close to the centre Woodsmoor, resembling a mini version of nearby Bramall Hall.

Though many have wondered who built it and whether it’s as old as it first appears, its true history has remained a mystery until now.

Sue Bailey, who lives in Woodsmoor, has come up with the answer in her new book, ‘A History of Woodsmoor’.

She explains how midway through her four-year research for the book, local resident Ted Hill approached her with some old photographs and mentioned that his great grandfather, Henry Lomas, had designed and built the ‘black and white bungalow’, as the family called it in 1907.

Further research revealed that Henry, born in 1855, was the third in a generation of carpenters and joiners who had lived at Woodsmoor Farm on Edmonton Road, long since demolished.

Sue Bailey, Ted Hill and Amanda Lewis
Sue Bailey, Ted Hill, Amanda Lewis

Having graduated from carpentry to housebuilding, it’s thought Henry might have been intending to use the house to demonstrate his craftsmanship but, as he died in 1908, he had little chance to do so.

The house has had many owners since then, one of whom turned the huge basement into a ballroom in the 1920’s complete with a parquet floor still in place today.

Sue arranged for current owner of the house, Amanda Lewis, to meet Ted, and to give a tour of the house little changed since it was first built.

They are shown here with Sue in front of the house proudly holding copies of the new book. On its cover is a 1910 photograph of the house that had been passed down to Ted by his mother.

As well as gathering an oral history of 20th century Woodsmoor, author Sue has been able to use old archives to discover who the first settlers in the area were in the 17th century and even to find that it was no more than a peat bog known as ‘Snybbes Moore’ in the 14th century.

Many other interesting stories and facts about Woodsmoor’s history are contained in the book.

It will be available from Stockport Heritage Trust, Staircase House, Simply Books in Bramhall and Woodsmoor Post Office, where there will be a special book signing event on Saturday, April 23, from 10am-2pm.