The OS map from 1848 shows just fields where Lynwood is now located, with a scattering of large manor houses lining the road from Stockport to Didsbury.  The bleachworks and brickworks are shown, which were set to expand over the next few years, prompting the development of the area, and the construction of workers houses on the ‘Tree’ roads in the centre of Heaton Mersey village. The nearest neighbour was Heaton Villa, which looks to have been an enormous house. This was later renamed as Priestnall Hay and was owned by Swiss engineer Hans Renold, owner of the nearby Renolds Chains.

OS Map 1848…

1848 Map

Lynwood was constructed in 1889, and was one of the first houses on Mersey Road.

lynn wood 6

It stands at the high point of Heaton Mersey and back then, surrounded by fields, would have looked out from the gardens over Burnage, Withington and beyond to Manchester. It was neighboured to the north by a larger residence called Woodheys, which is where Woodheys flats now stand.

The 1895 map shows St John’s church, and its school (now Stella Maris) complete, with half of the terraced houses on the tree-roads…

1895 Map

10 years later in 1899, Lynwood was joined on the south neighbouring Redcotes, a magnificent house, still standing today.

By 1904 all of the tree roads were constructed and parallel Cavendish Rd was underway…

1904 Map.JPG

We had hoped to find out more about previous occupiers from the Census Records, but the house is not mentioned in 1891 or 1911, and only shows three people living there in 1901, a Cook, A Waitress and a Housemaid. It is highly likely that the numbering on the road changed over the years, and there is evidence that odd and even numbers even switched sides at one point.

1901…1901 Census

We have heard from a local historian that a Prisoner of War from WWII lived at Lynwood, and this article from the Manchester Evening News suggests at least some connection with a POW…


And we know that on 19th January 1907, someone advertised in the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser for a Cook / Housemaid / Waitress for a ‘comfortable home’…Cook Wanted

Although we know he never lived at Lynwood, we have heard anecdotes that Matt Busby bought the house shortly after the Munich air disaster in the late 1950s, and donated it to the Catholic Children’s Rescue Society. It ran as a care home for children for the next thirty-or-so years, being run by Sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph (FMSJ). The Sisters main aim with children at Lynwood was to re-introduce them into family homes, either with their own parents or with foster carers. The work of the Rescue Society started to evolve, and by 1989 was focused on providing respite care for children with disabilities and shortened life expectancy. Lynwood was sold in the late 1980s, and the child care provision relocated to Didsbury, effectively becoming Francis House. Matt Busby was present, alongside Sir Alex Ferguson, at the opening of Francis House by Princess Diana in 1991.

The next owners continued the theme of residential care at Lynwood, running it as a nursing home for elderly patients. With a growing reputation, Lynwood expanded and was extended significantly over the next 30 years to accommodate 23 residents. Following the retirement of the home’s owners in 2016, Lynwood care home closed its gates, and was put up for sale…

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