January 11, 2013

J.T. Halstead, Ebenezer Cottage

screenprint from Trove digitized newspaper collection

Above picture may not be very clear, but then, it is a reprint from an old English journal, the Examiner, that in its edition of December 30th 1936 had this picture and a note about a "fairy tale cottage in Lancashire".

This art environment was created by J.T. Halstead (1866-1940), who was a mill operative in Rochdale.

In 1936 at age 70 he began to decorate the exterior of his house with broken pottery, shells, figurines, a plate in memory of his deceased dog and various smaller items (teapots, light bulbs etc).

British Pathé has a short video (0'47") adapted from a news item filmed in 1937, showing Halstead at work.

The decorations have not passed the test of time and belong to the realm of history . After Halstead died in 1940, according to a short entry on Wikiwand, the property was sold and the new owners removed the decorations.

first published January 2013,last revised December 2019 

J.T. Halstead
Ebenezer Cottage
Broad Lane
Rochdale, greater Manchester, North West England, UK


  1. Dear Henk, I will try to find out some information about this cottage if any one can help. It is a very interesting one and I liked the British Pathé film of it.
    Thanks for sharing this.
    All the best

  2. @ Françoise, thanks a lot, would be nice if you could trace some info. All the best.

  3. A work colleague of mine called Ian Carroll owned this property in the 1980's-90's

  4. Yes I knew Ian Carroll, proper gent! I recall he mentioned the actor Ronald Lacey had a connection in his youth with the house, possibly living there a while?