Historic and 'grand' site on edge of Peak District going under the hammer

A historic site on the edge of the Peak District site is set to go under the hammer.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 3:41 pm

The 26-acre plot has a storied history, having once belonged to the family of cotton manufacturers John Bennett & Co, owners of the Birch Vale printworks in the 19th Century.

The land, off Sycamore Road, Birch Vale, is the former site of the “grand” Birch Vale House, which Connect UK Auctions, which is auctioning the site next week, says was built by grateful workers after the cotton manufacturer set up a soup kitchen for the workforce – having set up the business through borrowed money “with an aim of stopping everyone in Birch Vale suffering from malnutrition”.

The auction house said: “Completed with enormous sash windows, extravagant drawing rooms, gold leaf cornices and under-floor heating, the house boasted elaborate features while hosting separate rooms and facilities for the on-site maids.

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“The grounds were also home to a large, heated greenhouse in which Mr Bennett grew grapes and bananas.”

The property was later demolished – with the stone reused to build nearby bungalows – with the land later used as a “knacker’s yard” and abattoir.

A number of derelict outbuildings remain, while the footprint of the old house can still be seen.

Connect says: “Complete with direct road access, footings to the former, very grand Birch House, mobile caravan, stable block, main industrial building, warehouse and various outbuildings, this grand land site boasts enormous opportunity for its new owner.”

Remnants of Birch Vale House can still be found on the ground.

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Stone from Birch Vale House was reused in nearby bungalows when the grand building was demolished.
An old greenhouse in the magnificent grounds of Birch Vale House.
The land between Stitch Lane and Spinnerbottom is largely covered in woodland at present.