In 1871/2 George Pilkington (1840-1923) Chemical Manufacturer (alkalis) of Widnes bought the house. The 4th son of Wm Pilkington of St Helens, he married in 1867, their eldest son Hector was born in 1868 and by the 1881 census he was at Eton, two more sons had been born and the family had 8 servants. In 1888 the L.W.L.B. Minutes record the building of the Billiard Room, by 1892 George Pilkington was a J.P. for Lancashire and in 1893 the "application for permission" to enlarge the Lodge was from A. Culshaw, a younger member of William Culshaw's firm of architects. (J.F. Marsh "Story of Woolton" says that the last addition to Stoneleigh was executed by Joseph Houghton). In 1905 Hector Pilkington was a stock & share broker, living at the same address. George Pilkington died 1923 and the house was sold.
By 1925 George Leather, accountant (Harmood Banner & Son) had bought the house. His family included two rugger playing sons and two daughters - this family was still there in 1936.
HIGH LEE c.1861, demolished by 1951.
Architectural description - more than 300 yards from the entrance in Beaconsfield Rd and equally far from its lodge in Druids Cross Rd, this large Victorian house must have been in a world of its own, with a view to the Welsh hills. The house was stone, the garden front of the main 2-storey block faced just South of West and a North wing showed a basement window and possibly lesser ceiling heights. The front door, with a pointed 3-light window above it, was central in a gable on the right of the South end. At the South West corner - the drawing room ? - was a 4-light stone mullioned square bay under a broad gable with rather low eaves, a 3-light window, facing West, and a tall chimney stack on South. The linking bay had a 4-light window on ground floor, a 3-light one above and a little gable. Next was a projecting gable, higher than the first, with a canted 2-storey bay with 3-lights facing West at both levels but the upper part was narrower than that below, and the top was castellated under a small 2-light window at second floor level. The slated roofs were steeply pitched with, the most striking feature, very wide bargeboards pierced in varying patterns for each gable. Part of the stable block remains as a pavilion for S.F.X. playing fields. (The above description from a single photograph from Miss Houghton !s collection annotated "Vernon".)
continued . . .