Shawbrook Lodge

Now St Bernards Parish Hall

In the late 1800s, Shawbrook Lodge was owned by a very influential industrialist. Captain W C Bacon had a very successful career as a ship broker – he was involved with the Manchester and Bombay Company which dealt in Indian, Canadian and British trade. By the time he moved to Burnage, he had become the Chairman of the Bridgewater Canal Company.

The 3rd Duke of Bridgewater owned a large amount of land and estates around the Manchester area – including Worsley, which sat on a huge amount of coal. During the Industrial Revolution, coal was an essential material as burning coal allowed for essential engines to heat up and run. The Duke had visited Europe, where he had been impressed by the canal systems, and he realised that if he could make a more convenient and efficient way to deliver his coal, he could tempt more wealthy mill and factory owners as customers and make a lot more money from selling his coal. So he set about building a canal which would allow his boats to deliver his coal to the towns and countryside mills. The company was sold in 1885 and it became the new company which Captain Bacon Chaired.

Captain Bacon remained at Shawbrook Lodge into the 1920s when the Manchester Corporation began to build the new estate. His children worried about him getting 'fenced in' but Captain Bacon refused to leave his home. He died in 1931 and his funeral was held at St Margaret’s Church. Having been a member of the Manchester Gentleman’s Glee Club, the troupe sang at his funeral.

Two of his sons were killed during WW2, they are listed on a plaque commemorating them and other men of Burnage in the gatehouse.