Sampson Society

House Histories


Sampson Society Appreciation Visit - 28 February 2012

Littlebrook was built as a detached house, but was split after World War 2 into two houses. It was originally called ‘Palermo’. Building started in 1906 (the date is shown on the rainwater hoppers) and the house was completed the following year.

The house was built for Rosa Gibson. Her husband John died the year the house was completed, but Rosa continued to live there until her death in 1933.

Rosa Gibson was born Rosa Leaf in 1850. She was born and brought up at 9 Leaf Square, Pendleton, Salford. The identical maiden name and address was no coincidence, as Rosa’s father and grandfather invested in property and probably developed Leaf Square, which consisted of grand early Victoria houses set around a central formal park.

Sampson Society Appreciation Visit - 11 April 2013

In the early twentieth century Woolbrook consisted of 3 distinct settlements - Lower, Middle and Upper Woolbrook, each of them no more than a small hamlet. All that changed in the years before the second world war. Arcot Park, designed by Sampson, had been built in the mid 1920’s and the Manstone estate followed in the 30’s. Small groups of houses sprang up along the Woolbrook Road during this period, such that by the early 30’s development was continuous between Lower and Middle Woolbrook. There were established shops at Lower Woolbrook and schools had been built to serve local needs. St Francis Church was opened in 1931. However, the nearest public house was the Volunteer on Temple Street some distance away. It was against this background that Sampson started work on his designs for a new pub.

Sampson Society Appreciation Visit - 12 October 2010

Valley Mead was built about 1903. Sampson built the house for his own occupation. He originally called it ‘Bickwell House’ - a source of confusion since the present Bickwell House (at the top of the Valley) was built in the 1920’s for William Hastings.

The Bickwell Valley Road was constructed in 1900. Initially three houses were built - effectively ‘show houses’ to indicate the style of development expected of potential purchasers of plots of land. Valley Mead followed soon after and within the space of three or four years all the original plots of land had been sold.

From its commanding position Sampson would have been able to see the entire valley, and effectively oversee the entire development without ever leaving the grounds of Valley Mead.