The following information was provided by Mr. David R. Webster, Belmont, Durham, in 1992:
"Brantford" was the family home of the Withy's, and was situated at the top end of Blakelock Road, next on the east to "Brinkburn", and on the west to "The Laurels".
Albert Robert Webster [David Webster's Grandfather], was Head Gardner to the Withy family, and lived in the Gardener's cottage at the far end of the grounds. This cottage was linked to the Groom's cottage by a wash-house, stoke room for the boilers of the heated greenhouses, a stable, saddle room and a coach house.
In the mid-1920s the big house was empty and unwanted. My Grandfather, the Gardener, bought it, and sold off the sites for eight bungalows which still stand on the north side of Blakelock Road... they have very disproportionat chimneys, and I belive this is because they were salvaged from the demolition of the big house. Grandfather turned the garden into a market garden, and called himself a Nurseryman. For a while in the 20s he ran a flower and vegetable shop in York Raod, but later withdrew his marketing to the gardens themselves. He died in 1944 aged about 73 and is buried in Stranton Cemetery.
Marmaduke Furness, son of Christopher Furness was born in November 1883 at Brantford, Rift House. In 1885, Christopher Furness was living there still while his brother lived next door in the large bungalow The Laurels(demolished in the 1980s-90s)
The house was presumably named after Brantford, Ontario, Canada where Christopher had an office and traded in 1882. The SS Brantford City was built by Sir William Gray in 1880.
By 1894, Henry Withy and family were living in Brantford. The house was demolished in the 1930s and the area became a market garden.More detail »