Pax Hall

By Malcolm Read

Pax Hall (Lower Quinton Farm?) - See also article on Pax Hall in the “Quinton Oracle” Issue 29 - Winter 2006 by Charlotte Tate.

Whilst researching my family history the Reads in Quinton I came across further information regarding Pax Hall, which may be of interest. I discovered that my great-great-great aunt Harriet Read and her husband Joseph Yeomans were living in part of Pax Hall or one of the buildings attached to the same in 1870. This was confirmed as one of their sons George Edward Yeomans died there on 25th December, of that year at the age of 19 months, having suffered for 48 hours with Pneumonia. The address given on the death certificate was that of Pax Hall.

The family were also living there in 1891 as clearly shown on the Census of that year (see copy on next page). This was the only reference that I could find on a Census where the property was referred to as Pax Hall. It will be seen from the Census that the property may also have been referred to as Lower Quinton Farm and the farmer at this time was William Black and that Joseph Yeomans was employed as a farm labourer, agricultural, possibly on his farm.

I also found that when Harriet Yeomans died on 3rd May, 1895, aged 66, of chronic bronchitis, she had spent most of her life at the nail forge. The address given on the death certificate was also Pax Hall. Her husband dies 2 years later, not at Pax Hall, but at the Hawthornes, Quinton.

Page from 1891 Census
Copy of the 1891 census

I concluded that the Yeomans family were living on some part of the property from 1870 until 1895. Making the date of 1870 the earliest reference to Pax Hall that I could find.

Other censuses show the possible occupants of the property, their ages shown in brackets:-

As previously mentioned this is the only time that I would find when the property is referred to on a Census as Pax Hall and part of Lower Quinton Farm.

The above information I am sure is correct, as on each Census the Yeomans family either precede or follow the above named on each Census.

Plot 27 shown on part tithe map of 1844 (later to be referred to as Pax Hall) was rented by Thomas White a tenant farmer of 150 acres, from the landowner Lord Lyttelton. However, he does not live on this plot but on Plot 120. For further details see Michael Hall’s book “Dark and Wicked Place Quinton in the mid 1800’s”.

I have included two maps showing the location of the property in Quinton, which some readers may not be aware of. The first one is below:-

Part of 1844 Tithe Map
Part of 1844 Tithe Map
Plot 27 is the location for the property later to be referred to as Pax Hall.

Next are maps in which I try to show the location of the property to present day and a plan of the property and its buildings.

Quinton, 1906
Map of Quinton 1906 - present day road system overlaid.

The previous photograph is supplied by B Palser and shows the contruction of the Quinton Expressway. Pax Hall is the building in the centre. Below is a plan of the property.

Plan of property

As it will be seen from the 1844 part tithe map the property at this date consists of two structures and at some time between 1844 and the 1906 Ordnance Survey Map of Quinton the property had undergone some major extension works, under whose ownership this work was carried out is not known at this time and who named it Pax Hall.

A significant photo is the one in the John Hope Collection, which was taken just prior to its demolition.

Pax Hall

On the 1871 census the Yeomans family numbering 8, were all working at the nail forge with one exception, their son John (21) who was a plumber. If I have assumed correctly the family were still at Pax Hall, although this is not stated. Therefore, there must have been a nail shop on the property. It is interesting to note the word “Pax” from which I assume the Hall takes its name, means, the kiss of peace, peace be to, with, you, a priestly blessing. Could it be that the person who named it was a religious man. He could also have been the man who carried out the major building works, a man with a definite feeling of grandeur, possibly a private man who felt the need to enclose the property with a wall to keep out the natives. Charlotte Tate writes in the Quinton Oracle, “A fairly high brick wall enclosed the garden and one entered the drive through a pair of large, ornate, iron gates, decorated with gold leaf or gold coloured metal and fronting onto Ridgacre Road”.

I hope the above is of interest to you and your readers. This property will probably remain an enigma to its exact origins and ownership in the l9th century. Hopefully my research fills in a time window.

Ed’s comment - A fascinating article by Malcolm gives another insight into the enigma that is Pax Hall. One cannot help but be intrigued by this palatial building which just seems to have been thrown into the “miskens of time”, as the society’s Patron Professor Carl Chinn would eloquently say. If anyone else can shed light on Pax Hall, either with information or photographs I would be more than happy to hear from them.

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