"To the firm memory of their Grandfather and Grandmother, William and Elizabeth Lowndes of Ramsdell Hall and Old House Green in this parish; also to the memory of numerous relatives who are interred in this Churchyard, and to the beloved memory of their Father and Mother, this brass is placed by Thomas Chaddock-Lowndes, Isabella Sarah Hope and Lucy Elizabeth Chaddock, October 1883."
When Elizabeth Lowndes inherited her father's estates in 1844, she was living in Congleton with her husband William, a wine merchant. Although she now owned Ramsdell Hall, she was never to live there, although she did eventually live in Old House Green in her later years.
Her first 2 children died in their infancy but eventually William, Isabella, Thomas, Hope, and Lucy came along. Her husband had passed away during the late 1840s.
The 1851 Census recorded Elizabeth now with her father-in-law,Thomas Chaddock in Congleton, together with Hope and Lucy. William, Thomas and Isabella were at boarding school.
After a few years in Hastings,Elizabeth settled in Old House Green with her three unmarried daughters in an all female household. Her eldest son William had died in 1860, and Thomas was making his way as a solicitor.
Elizabeth lived long enough to see Thomas married in 1871, and to meet her first two grandchildren. Following her death in 1882, Thomas got together with his sisters and paid this tribute to her at Astbury Church, a brass that I and my own sisters have had the pleasure of viewing.
And so an era was over both in the family and soon at Ramsdell Hall itself. Thomas and his wife Emilie were about to introduce their children Rosalind and Thomas to their ancestral home. Hastings had been pleasant but now it was time to replace saltwater with the freshwater of the Macc Canal.
Thomas was now a country gentleman, free to engage in some of his passions such as horse riding and Greek Mythology. Indeed in 1891,he named his twin girls,Ione and Iris!
The previous year, Pauline Grace had died just three days after her birth. They had waited seventeen years for their third child, only to lose her so tragically. Roderick was born in 1893.
So the move to Ramsdell Hall had encouraged Thomas and Emilie to expand their family and ensure the Hall felt lived in. How my grandmother, Ione, must have loved growing up in such surroundings.
Tommie,never married but took on the responsibilities of the five farms. He had a passion for motor racing and was a frequent visitor to the Isle of Man Races.
Rosaline married a local sexton,Francis Cartlidge, in 1894 but he died four years later. She went on a cruise to Australia just six months later, but the ship, the Loch Sloy, hit rocks off Kangaroo Island and poor Great Aunt Rose perished in the sea. A tragic end to Rose and Francis' young lives.
Emilie was already forty when her three Ramsdell Hall children came along, and their four children were not born till after her death in 1918. Thomas had died six years earlier, so they never met their grandchildren. She painted a remarkable oil of Ione which remains in our family.
The family fortunes were now in decline, and soon Ramsdell Hall would pass out of the family.