Martyn Roberts of Bryntirion, Morda Road, Oswestry, often has people calling by to ask questions about the history of his house; and recently Ken Owen of the Oswestry Borderlands website came with Philip Davies of the Shrewsbury Railway Heritage Trust who are researching Richard Samuel France who died in the house in 1882. Richard France held extensive business interests in the Oswestry area including Coed- Y-Go brickworks, Nantmawr Quarry and various collieries.

Martyn Roberts said: “I am fascinated by both history and family research, so when Ken and Philip came to visit it started a search of the deeds to the house, and an investigation to find out more.  An internet search for Bryntirion resulted in lots of information about the Spaull family and in particular a Barnard Spaull who is commemorated on the Oswestry War Memorial. ( I discovered an inscription on the foundation stone of the house with the letters WHS which we believe represent the architect William Henry Spaull (1839 – 1915) who designed Bryntirion. He worked alongside Richard Samuel France and purchased bricks from one of the Coed Y Go brickworks.  Latest news is my discovery of an old photograph in the house of who I call The Mystery Man of Bryntirion’ and I would welcome anyone who has any knowledge or suggestions to please contact me on

Shrewsbury Railway Heritage Trust are looking for anyone with the France surname to contact them, so that they can share and complete their family history of the France family, and contact a descendant of the famous railway pioneer.  Please contact 07762 215008.