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Hartley's Village, Aintree

Hartley's Village, Aintree, was founded in 1886, and was a manufacturing base for Hartley's Jam until the mid 1900s. It includes a purpose built factory, model village and recreation land.  The village was proposed for conservation status as an example of Victorian manufacturing philanthropy.

William Pickles Hartley

William Hartley was born 23 February 1846 at 8 Damside in Colne, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom to John Hartley (1825-1892) and Margaret Pickles (1825-1870) and died 25 October 1922 in Southport, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom of unspecified causes. He married Martha Horsfield (c1843-) 21 May 1866 in Colne, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom. Ancestors are from the United Kingdom.

The Village

The village was created by William Pickles Hartley, a staunch Methodist who advocated high standards of welfare for his workers.  Built close to the works Mr. Hartley charged extremely low rents for the properties. Rental including rates, taxes and water was from 2s. 6d. a week. A five-roomed cottage was let for 3s. 6d. a week. He also built a number of better houses to be sold at cost price to working men, who might include others than his own workpeople. His method was to charge 3-3/4 per cent. on the amount of the purchase money and for part of the principal to be paid off each month, the repayment being complete within a period of twenty years. The purchaser could pay it off in a shorter period if he so desired. So far back as his early Aintree period Mr. Hartley was keenly interested in the question of housing which has now become so acute. He had a very good opinion of Mr. Joseph Chamberlain's Housing Act and made suggestions to him when it was being prepared. He wished that it could be more generally adopted. The cottages for the workpeople were provided with gardens, the streets were wide, and there was a central bowling green and a field for football and hockey. At the rear he preserved a passage of 12 feet. This was a point in which he was interested when he was a member of the Liverpool City Council. He fought strenuously to secure the improvement in the city regulations by which a minimum passage of 9 feet was required.

The Factory

The Grade II listed factory was built with workers' housing and recreational facilities nearby. The village had about 49 houses in roads with names such as, Sugar Street and Spice Street. The new works were opened in 1886, a large warehouse was built in 1891, a second in 1899-90, a third in 1923, The factory was self-contained in every respect, and every trade that is necessary was represented in it such as coopers, joiners, box-makers. The jars were made at Melling or St. Helens. All the water needed is pumped by machinery. The factory has its own railway sidings with two locomotives which did all the shunting. In the busy season six trains came in during the day and two hundred wagons were handled. Mr. Hartley chartered his ships and had his own bonded ware houses.


Hartley’s Village has been named a conservation area.

The Fazakerley community has been given the status in light of the philanthropy of its former owners. Since the factory closed in the mid-1900s, elements of the village have been lost including factory roofs and Mr Hartley’s own villa on Long Lane. The status was granted after a long campaign And there could be even more good fortune on the horizon, with the news that new English Heritage rules mean that areas which have Grade II listed buildings in them considered to be “at risk” can apply for restoration funding. Previously, the funding was available only to Grade I buildings.

For more history and facts about the Village, visit the 'Hartley's Village Heritage Council

website on the link below.

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By Robert F Edwards

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