1885 to 1914

1885 - 1894 John and Isabella Price Edwards

(Purchased Sibbersfield Hall in 1885, left September 1894)

Following the death of R.S. Hudson and the subsequent sale of Sibbersfield, John Price Edwards purchased the Hall. John was a railway contractor.

The 1891 census lists John and his wife Isabella Edwards, as the owners of Sibbersfield Hall.

There is another reference to him at Sibbersfield on October 12 1889 in The Chester Observer. Whilst working on the Dore and Chinley line he put some horses up for sale.

1889 Oct 12 Edwards Horses.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [2.0 MB]

Dore and Chinley

Sketch map of Dore and Chinley Line

In 1872, the Midland Railway's only route from Sheffield to Manchester was via Ambergate. It had originally proposed a line to run from Dore to Hassop meeting its extension from Rowsley to Buxton. However, the "Dore and Chinley Railway" was floated independently in 1872, and unsuccessfully, until the Midland took an interest, since it would provide a more direct route, connecting through Chinley into Manchester. The line was authorised in 1884 and work began in 1888.

The 21-mile (34 km) line took six years to build. The terrain through Hope Valley and Edale was easy enough by Midland standards, but at each end there were formidable obstacles, negotiated by means of the Totley and Cowburn Tunnels.

With the aid of records from the National Archive, we know that he was also working on constructing a connecting line at Farington in Lancashire.On 24th January 1890, he signed a contract with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway company for works to be completed on the line extension at Rufford.

Rail Contact Cover
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Rail Contract First Page
Rail Contract.jpg
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Rail Contract Signatures
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We can also deduce from his letter to the Railway News, published August 29th 1891, that he enjoyed attention to detail (often a strength amongst engineers).

"Look at the knife in his head"  Stabbing in Farndon, John Price Edwards Witness  1892

By far the most dramatic incident, that we have uncovered in researching the history of Sibbersfield so far, occurred on the 23 July 1892...           (Please double click on the images below to magnify them)

1892 July 23 P Edwards Stabbing Incident[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.6 MB]

As reported in The Wrexham Advertiser (15th September), we know that John Price Edwards left Sibbersfield in 1894.

1894 Edwards leaving .pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [2.4 MB]

1894 - c 1902 Thomas and Susan Jackson

Purchased Sibbersfield Hall in 1894, we know that he saw in the new century at  Sibbersfield in 1900 and was still there in 1902 as he is mentioned in the 1902 edition of Kellys directory


Kelly's Directory of 1896 has a Thomas Jackson at Sibbersfield, as does the 1901 census. This census has Jackson, aged 74, as head of the house, with his wife Susan aged 68, their son William aged 32, a farmer, and three servants.


Kelly Directory 1896
Sibbersfield Hall household from the 1901 census Sibbersfield Hall household from the 1901 census
1897 Miss Jackson Rectory Fete.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [2.6 MB]
1899 Bessie Jacksons wedding .pdf
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1899 Farming Dispute.pdf
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1900 WK Jackson at Sibbersfield.pdf
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Kelly's 1902

The period from c 1902 to 1914 requires the most research...work in progress

1906 Alexander Grossmann

In Kelly's Directory of 1906 , the estate is listed as the property of Alexander Grossman

Kelly's 1906

1911 Joseph Hardy


In the 1911 census, Joseph Hardy, a gamekeeper of 48, his wife Sarah, 56, and their son J.D. Lambert, 26, are the only inhabitants listed at Sibbersfield.


Sibbersfield household from the 1911 census Sibbersfield household from the 1911 census
Browns Hotel London



On the night of the 1911 census Philip Durning Holt and his wife were staying at Browns Hotel in London.  As there is no obvious owner at Sibbersfield when the census took place it could well be that Philip already owned the Hall at that time, but was simply away overnight.

Philip and Phyllis are listed as being aged 34 and 23, having been married for two years and with two children.Philip is described as a cotton broker and born in Lancashire. Phyllis was born in Newcastle, Northumberland.

Travelling in their party are May Martyan 55, Elsie West (nurse) 25 and John Arthur Greene 33.


Kelly's Directory of 1914 is the first time we find Philip Durning Holt as the owner of the estate, which he remains for almost two decades.

Kelly's 1914

What was happening in the world at large...


19c Queen Victoria 1837-1901, Edward VII 1901-1910, George V 1910-1936


  • 1886: Karl Benz sells the first commercial automobile.
  • 1886: Construction of the Statue of Liberty; Coca-Cola is developed.
  • 1887: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle publishes his first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet.
  • 1888: Louis Le Prince records the Roundhay Garden Scene, the earliest surviving film featured below..
  • 1888: Jack the Ripper murders occur in Whitechapel, London.
  • 1889:  20th April Adolf Hitler born.Vincent van Gogh paints Starry Night.
  • 1889: Aspirin patented.
  • 1890: The Wounded Knee Massacre was the last battle in the American Indian Wars. This event represents the end of the American Old West.
  • 1890: Death of Vincent van Gogh.
  • 1890: The cardboard box is invented.
  • 1892: Fingerprinting is officially adopted for the first time.
  • 1892: Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite premières in St Petersberg.
  • 1894: First commercial film release by Jean Aimé Le Roy.
  • 1894: First gramophone record.
  • 1895: Trial of Oscar Wilde and premiere of his play The Importance of Being Earnest.
  • 1896: Olympic Games revived in Athens.
  • 1896: Klondike Gold Rush in Canada.
  • 1896: Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity; J. J. Thomson identifies the electron, though not by name..
  • 1898: H. G. Wells publishes The War of the Worlds.
  • 1901: Death of Queen Victoria. 
  • 1902: Second Boer War ends. 
  • 1903: First controlled heavier-than-air flight of the Wright Brothers.
  • 1908: First commercial radio transmissions. The Ford Motor Company invents the Model T.
  • 1908 Herbert Asquith, British Prime Minister, Liberal
  • 1910: George V becomes King of the United Kingdom. 
  • 1911: Roald Amundsen first reaches the South Pole. 
  • 1912: Sinking of the RMS Titanic. Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line.
  • 1914: Gavrilo Princip assassinates the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo,triggering WW I.
  • 1914: Panama Canal opens.