t: 01925 740289
Chester Road, Daresbury Cheshire WA4 4AJ
open times 10.00am – 4.00pm Wednesday – Saturday
11.00am – 4.00pm Sunday
CLOSED Monday & Tuesday
e: tea@dormousetearooms.co.uk

t: 01925 740289
Chester Road, Daresbury Cheshire WA4 4AJ
open times 10.00am – 4.00pm Wed – Saturday
11.00am – 4.00pm Sun
CLOSED Mon & Tues
e: tea@dormousetearooms.co.uk

Welcome to the Dormouse Tea Rooms.

2015 marked the 150th anniversary of the publishing of Lewis Caroll's classic novel "Alice in Wonderland". Lewis Caroll as I'm sure many of you are aware was born in Daresbury village. To celebrate this, Dutton's opened the Dormouse Tearoom in December 2014 next to our garden machinery showroom which has been established in the village since the 1960's.

The Dormouse with its ‘ Alice ‘ themed decor opened in December 2014 ,making it the first tearoom in the picturesque village of Daresbury. We offer a wide range of quality home cooked food & drinks , including breakfast , brunch , lunch or traditional afternoon teas . Alternatively you may just want to pop in for a drink & a slice of cake , everyone's welcome. Come in & choose from our hand picked menu , take a seat & relax by the real log fire , when the weather gets a little warmer why not sit outside & enjoy the lovely garden. We look forward to seeing you.

Gift vouchers now available would make ideal presents

A little bit of history

Occupiers of Daresbury Smithy c1830 - 2009

Daresbury Smithy was built on land owned by Samuel Beckett Chadwick as was most of the land in the district, Samuel was born at Daresbury on the 28th January 1818 and lived at Daresbury Hall. On the 6th April 1843 he married Elizabeth W W. Whiteley of Runcorn, he died on 18th December 1856 at the age of 38.


Living at the smithy were, blacksmith James Hamblett aged about 59 with his son Robert aged 19, Robert's occupation was given as an agricultural labourer, both father and son were born in Cheshire.


There were two blacksmiths residing in Daresbury at that time, Richard Hamblett aged 35, his wife Ann also aged 35, their son Peter aged 4 and daughter Mary aged 2, all were born in Cheshire, Richard and his family were living in one of the village cottages whilst working at the Smithy.
The other blacksmith James Hamblett aged 70 had now retired, he remained iiving in the smith cottage with son Robert aged 30 and a child Harriet aged 8, there is no mention of any wife or mother.


There were two blacksmiths residing in the village, Richard Hamblett whose occupation was given as a journeyman blacksmith living with his wife Ann, son Peter aged 14, daughters Mary aged 11 and Alice aged 6, all living in a cottage in the village and working at the Smithy, the other blacksmith who was living in the Smithy cottage was Isaac Ellison whose trade is given as a master blacksmith, Isaac aged 50 came from Preston Brook with his wife Martha also aged 50, son John aged 22, daughter Martha aged 16, who was a dressmaker. Thomas aged 10 and Hannah aged 7, all born in Sutton by Frodsham, there was also an apprentice blacksmith with the family, Richard Brazendale aged 15 and born in Daresbury.


Living at the smithy cottage were Isaac Ellison aged 60, his wife Martha also aged 60, son John also a blacksmith aged 32, son Thomas aged 21 a painter and plumber and daughter Hannah aged 18.


Isaac Ellison continued living and working at the smithy with his wife Martha, also living there were their granddaughter Martha Ann aged 17, apprentices Robert Oulton aged 17 from Latchford and John Jackson aged 15 from Runcorn, Isaac also employed two other men.


Blacksmith John Ellison aged 52 from Sutton by Frodsham, and his wife Elizabeth aged 51 from Stepney, London were living at the smithy, also living with them were their niece Harriet Annie Jones aged 10 from Grappenhall, and William Gill an apprentice from Oldham, Lancashire.


John Ellison and his wife Elizabeth were still residing and running the smithy, it is not recorded that they have anyone living in at the time of the census, although John may well have had men working for him.


William Gill who had served his apprenticeship under John Ellison had returned to work the smithy, William was aged 39 and his wife Georgina was aged 35, she was from Kings Bromley, Staffordshire, their son John W. Gill aged 4 was born in Newton by Daresbury, there was also an apprentice George Taylor aged 18 from Preston Brook living with the family.
John Ellison the previous tenant blacksmith had retired and was living with his wife Elizabeth in the cottage next to the smithy.


Mr F C Dutton owned and ran an agricultural machinery manufacturing and repair business in Warrington, he purchased the smithy as an out station for the main business employing one of his men John Acton to run it for him, John eventually bought the smithy and house from Mr Dutton.
In the 1911 census living at and working the smithy was John Acton aged 47 with his wife Catherine aged 39, along with their daughters Ethel aged 11, and Kathleen aged 10, all were born in Runcorn, also living in and working at the smithy was an apprentice (name not known).


The smithy was now owned by Colin Dale born 1899, who lived there with his wife Edith Jane born 1903, both came from the Alderley Edge area, they had three children a daughter Margaret and two sons Peter and John all were born in Daresbury. Colin Dale trained many indentured apprentices during his working life at the smithy.
It is of interest that the smithy was also designated as the village fire station for the duration of World War II. hoses, nozzles and associated fittings were kept in a purpose made cupboard on the outside wall of the smithy.

1969 - 2001

The smithy was purchased by Dutton's on the 29th June 1969 from Mrs E J Dale, after her husband Colin Dale had passed away. Mrs F M Dutton, wife of Stanley Dutton lived in the house until her death in 1996.

2002 to present day

Dutton's Mowerworld was taken over by its current owners Martin Fryer & Jon Driver in 2001 , the business continues to thrive & is one of the oldest remaining businesses in Warrington. In the summer of 2014 Smithy House was converted into a tearoom. The Dormouse tearoom opened in December 2014 , above the tearoom is an apartment.

Background History of the present company

In 1890 F C Dutton purchased Sutton & Co., he had served as an apprentice with Sutton's who had premises on the corner of Market Street, Warrington, on purchasing Sutton's he changed the 'S' to a 'D' thus renaming the business Dutton & Co. In the early 1900's a partner was brought in to introduce new investment and enhance the business, the name was changed to Dutton & Bean, in 1908 control of the business passed back to F. C. Dutton, once again the name was changed to F. C. Dutton & Co., manufacturing and repairing farm machinery and operating from Pig Hill, Town Hill and finally Buttermarket Street, Warrington. In 1932 the name changed yet again to Dutton's (Implements Warrington) Ltd., operating from Buttermarket Street, Warrington until 1965 and being run by F.C.Dutton's sons, S Dutton and W Dutton, Due to town centre development the property that they had operated from was subject to a compulsory purchase order resulting in a short stay in a rented property in Litton's Row, Warrington, before moving to the smith in Daresbury village. By now most of the agricultural machinery work had finished and with the garden machinery side of the business having increased steadily since the late 1950's, an opportunity arose and was taken in 1989 to purchase a company called Mowerworld enabling the present name - Dutton's Mowerworld to be used.
Mr P Dutton joined the business in 1958 and ran the firm until he retired in 2001. Mrs F.M. Dutton, Mr Peter Dutton's mother, wife of Mr S Dutton, lived in the house until her death in 1996.

Dutton's Mowerworld was taken over by its current owners Martin Fryer & Jon Driver in 2001 , the business continues to thrive & is one of the oldest remaining businesses in Warrington. In the summer of 2014 Smithy House was converted into a tearoom. The Dormouse tearoom opened in December 2014 , above the tearoom is an apartment.

The Compiler

Served his time as an indentured apprentice 1955 to 1961 under the guidance of Colin Dale at Daresbury smithy to become a blacksmith, agricultural engineer and farrier.|
Thank you to Mr. P. Dutton for the information provided regarding Dutton's of Warrington and Daresbury.
Thank you also to Lyn and Alan Goodkin for providing the photograph of Daresbury Smithy and Schoolhouse.

Alan Barton Grappenhall December 2009