The History of a House

Researching the history of a house can be a complicated and time consuming project, but it can also be fulfilling and can take you down many interesting avenues (excuse the pun).

Where to find information?  Title deeds of the property if available, resources at the local record office (not forgetting that Rhyl was in Flintshire until 1974), local history books, maps and plans, census returns, electoral registers, sale catalogues, trade directories, wills, rates and taxation records, valuation records, newspapers, photographs, the list goes on.

Margaret Durkin has contacted us about the house known as Bodannerch which stood on a plot of land on Russell Road to the east of Kinnard Drive.  Bodannerch has featured in our posts before,  Rhyl’s first station master Mr Thomas Winston lived there.  He is at Bodannerch on the census returns of 1861, 1871 and 1881.

bodannerch map copy

click on map to enlarge

Mr Winston donated the horse trough to Rhyl in 1877, which used to stand in Queen Street beside the Town Hall.  It was  subsequently removed to Bodrhyddan in 1973.  See links below:

After the death of Thomas Winston in 1889 the house remained empty until 1892 when Miss Harriet Anne Sobieska Sneyd bought the property and owned it until her death in 1913.  Miss Sneyd also owned “Rhianva” (sic.) on Russell Road and “Pendyffryn” on Pendyffryn Road.  Miss Sneyd was originally from Rugeley in Staffordshire where she had built a number of Alms Houses for poor gentlewomen.

Margaret’s great grandparents lived in Garden Cottage, Bodannerch, and her grandmother was born there.

Bodannerch 2George Jones and family

This photograph above is from c.1895 and shows Margaret’s great grandparents and their children at the stables, Bodannerch.  The young man could possibly be the assistant gardener Sidney Shill.  They were all named on the 1901 census as living at Bodannerch (Garden) Cottage.

Bodannerch 3Miss Sneyd

The photograph above shows Miss Sneyd at Bodannerch, and again below with parlour maid Edith Taylor (c. 1911)

Bodannerch 4Miss Sneyd and Edith

Can anyone identify the house in the photograph below?  Is it Bodannerch or Pendyffryn?

Bodannerch pendyffryn

As part of her research Margaret has found the sale particulars for Bodannerch c.1913, which make interesting reading:

The sale catalogue described Bodannerch as a “Charming Detached Family Residence , pleasantly situated in its own well sheltered gardens, on the South east side of Russell Road.”  It contained a vestibule, hall, dining room, drawing room, morning room, kitchen, scullery, pantry, larder and good cellars.  It had ten bedrooms, a box room and a housemaid’s closet.  The grounds included a coachman’s four roomed cottage, double coach house, stables, glass houses, flower and kitchen gardens, lawns and an excellent paddock.  Descriptions of Rhianva (sic.) and Pendyffryn are also incuded in the sale catalogue.

Bodannerch was sadly demolished but we do have Bodannerch Drive so the name is not forgotten.


Many thanks to Margaret Durkin for the photographs and information.  Please leave a comment on this blog, below, if you have any further information to share with regard this post.



Filed under Buildings/Location, People

2 responses to “The History of a House

  1. Sandra Williams nee Roose

    How interesting to read and discover about old houses in Rhyl. I too am researching my family history and have discovered that one of my relatives, Stephen Roose 1860-1900, who was a Senior Church Warden in St John’s church Wellington Road and according to and old leaflet from St Johns, was a Pioneer and promoter of Primary education!! lived in Englefield, which is next door to Bodannerch. Would love more info if anyone has any?

  2. cheryl

    the house in the photo is olinda villa. it was on chester street. later it was stoke on trent childrens holiday home.

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