Clayton Hall

Last updated
Clayton Hall
Clayton Hall in 2005.jpg
Clayton Hall
Greater Manchester UK location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Greater Manchester
General information
Town or city Clayton, Greater Manchester
Coordinates 53°29′01″N2°10′46″W / 53.483513°N 2.17945°W / 53.483513; -2.17945 Coordinates: 53°29′01″N2°10′46″W / 53.483513°N 2.17945°W / 53.483513; -2.17945
Completed15th century

Clayton Hall is a 15th-century manor house on Ashton New Road, in Clayton, Manchester, England. It is hidden behind trees in a small park. [1] The hall is a Grade II* listed building, [2] the mound on which it is built is a scheduled ancient monument, and a rare example of a medieval moated site (grid reference SJ88099857 ). [3] The hall is surrounded by a moat, making an island 66 m by 74 m. [3] Alterations were made to the hall in the 16th and 17th centuries, and it was enlarged in the 18th century. [2]

Manor house country house that historically formed the administrative centre of a manor

A manor house was historically the main residence of the lord of the manor. The house formed the administrative centre of a manor in the European feudal system; within its great hall were held the lord's manorial courts, communal meals with manorial tenants and great banquets. The term is today loosely applied to various country houses, frequently dating from the late medieval era, which formerly housed the gentry.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 3.2 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

Listed building Collection of protected architectural creations in the United Kingdom

A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, Cadw in Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in Northern Ireland.


The building has Georgian and Tudor sections which form the remaining western wing of a once larger complex. The hall is reached across the moat over a listed stone bridge, thought to be dated around the late 17th Century.


The oldest section of the remaining wing of Clayton Hall was built in the 15th century on the site of a 12th-century house built for the Clayton family. When Cecilia Clayton married Robert de Byron in 1194 it passed to the Byron family, of which poet Lord Byron was a later member. The Byrons lived there for more than 400 years until they sold it for £4,700 in 1620 to London merchants, George and Humphrey Chetham, who originated from Manchester. George Chetham died in 1625, leaving his share to his brother Humphrey Chetham, who later died at the Hall in 1653. Ownership then passed to his nephew, George Chetham, son of his brother James and part of Humphrey's legacy was used by his family to found Chethams School and Library in the centre of Manchester, close to the Cathedral. This had long been a dream of Humphrey's, as depicted in one of artist, Ford Madox Brown's, Manchester Murals which are held in the Great Hall of Manchester Town Hall.

Lord Byron English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, known simply as Lord Byron, was a British poet, peer, politician, and leading figure in the Romantic movement. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains widely read and influential. Among his best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage; many of his shorter lyrics in Hebrew Melodies also became popular.

Humphrey Chetham English businessman

Humphrey Chetham was an English merchant, responsible for the creation of Chetham's Hospital and Chetham's Library, the oldest public library in the English-speaking world.

Chethams Library library in Manchester

Chetham's Library in Manchester, England, is the oldest free public reference library in the United Kingdom. Chetham's Hospital, which contains both the library and Chetham's School of Music, was established in 1653 under the will of Humphrey Chetham (1580–1653), for the education of "the sons of honest, industrious and painful parents", and a library for the use of scholars. The library has been in continuous use since 1653. It operates as an independent charity, open to readers and visitors free of charge. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm, 11am and 2pm being full tours. Visitors are picked up from the entrance by staff at the beginning of each hour. Anyone can access the library, however readers and researchers must make an appointment at least one business day in advance.

George Chetham was High Sheriff in 1660 and died in 1664. In 1666 James Chetham had 18 hearths liable for hearth tax, making it the largest house in the area. Clayton Hall then passed to Edward Chetham, and from him to his sister Alice, who had married Adam Bland. Their daughter Mary married Mordecai Greene, a Spanish merchant and their only son James was MP for Arundel in 1796 and died in 1814. Clayton Hall then passed with Turton Tower, the other Chetham, seat to one of James' five daughters Arabella Penelope Eliza Greene, who had married banker Peter Richard Hoare. [4]

Hearth tax property tax in certain countries during the medieval and early modern period, levied on each hearth (thus by proxy on each family unit)

A hearth tax was a property tax in certain countries during the medieval and early modern period, levied on each hearth, thus by proxy on each family unit. It was calculated based on the number of hearths, or fireplaces, within a municipal area.

Arundel was twice a parliamentary constituency in the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the United Kingdom. The first incarnation strictly comprised the town centre of Arundel and was a borough constituency in Sussex first enfranchised in 1332 and disfranchised in 1868 under the Reform Act 1867. Arundel initially elected two members, but this was reduced to one in 1832 by the Great Reform Act.

Turton Tower Grade I listed architectural structure in the United Kingdom

Turton Tower is a manor house in Chapeltown in North Turton, Borough of Blackburn with Darwen, Lancashire, England. It is a scheduled ancient monument and a grade I listed building.

From 1863 to 1897 the Hall was the rented to Lomax (1863–1867), W. H. Burns (1872–1890) and John White (1890–1897), clergy of St Cross Church. In 1897 the Hall was sold by Charles A. R. Hoare to Manchester City Corporation and it was restored in 1900. The 16th-century part of the Hall was rented to tenants. The 18th-century part contained the dining room, kitchen, larder, scullery and pantry. The oldest structure on the site is the sandstone bridge crossing the now empty moat. Dating from the late medieval era, it was built to replace the original wooden drawbridge.

During the Civil War, Parliamentary cavalry were stationed there, before the attack on Manchester. Afterwards, according to legend, Oliver Cromwell was said to have spent three nights there.

Oliver Cromwell 17th-century English military and political leader

Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader. He served as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1653 until his death, acting simultaneously as head of state and head of government of the new republic.

Current Use

The left-hand section of the Hall was converted into a hands-on Living History Museum by five members of the Friends of Clayton Park volunteer group, in 2009. They eventually created six rooms, dressed in late Victorian style, to depict the latest historical period in which the Hall was privately owned. There is also a Textiles Room devoted to vintage garments and sewing techniques, with several antique hand- and treadle-operated sewing machines. A Memories Room houses a large collection of local and British history materials.

The museum is currently open to the public, with free admission, on the first and third Saturday of months February though November. This includes free History talks about the Hall and her owners at 12noon and 2pm.

School and group visits can be arranged, and family events take place several times a year. There is usually a small charge on these occasions, to cover costs, although some activities are free of charge.

The profits from the group's activities are used to help to preserve the Hall for the future, and to enhance the visitor offer. The work of the Friends group is supported by Manchester City Council (MCC), who still own the Hall and grounds, and have granted a License for Use to the group and continue to be responsible for the fabric of the building, with some financial input from the Charitable Trust and its generous donors.

The co-founders of the museum formed The Clayton Hall Living History Museum Charitable Incorporated Organisation and gained registered charity status in 2014 - Registered Charity Number 1155379

The older, 15th Century section was incorporated into the museum in 2017 and includes a first-floor room which is dedicated to the memory of Humphrey Chetham, as was originally stipulated when the Hall was sold to Manchester Corporation, and a Clayton Hall History Room. There is an attractive ground-floor Tudor Tea Room, also run by the Friends group, which is open on open days and other occasions throughout the year. The upper floor is reached by a spiral staircase which is housed in the belltower.


Clayton Hall was rebuilt in the 15th century with either a quadrangular plan or one with three wings. It was mostly demolished when a new house was built in the 17th century. Additions were made in the 18th century and the hall was restored in 1900. [5] The grade II* listed hall is constructed in red brick with some timber framing and stone slate roofs. [2]

The older single-depth portion has two bays on the ground floor and a front corridor, a plain doorway and two-light casement window. Its first floor has square-panelled timber-framing which may originally have been jettied over the ground floor which is now rebuilt in brick. The upper storey has three wooden mullion windows with leaded glazing. Over the central window is a jettied gable with a king post and raked struts and on the ridge is a bellcote. The wing has a gabled stair-turret and there is a large sandstone chimney stack with a brick top on the gable wall. [2]

Casement window window that is attached to its frame by one or more hinges

A casement is a window that is attached to its frame by one or more hinges at the side. They are used singly or in pairs within a common frame, in which case they are hinged on the outside. Casement windows are often held open using a casement stay. Windows hinged at the top are referred to as awning windows, and ones hinged at the bottom are called hoppers.


Jettying is a building technique used in medieval timber-frame buildings in which an upper floor projects beyond the dimensions of the floor below. This has the advantage of increasing the available space in the building without obstructing the street. Jettied floors are also termed jetties. In the U.S., the most common surviving colonial version of this is the garrison house. Most jetties are external, but some early Medieval houses were built with internal jetties.

Leadlight type of windows

Leadlights, leaded lights or leaded windows are decorative windows made of small sections of glass supported in lead cames. The technique of creating windows using glass and lead came is discussed at came glasswork. The term leadlight could be used to describe all windows in which the glass is supported by lead, but traditionally and correctly, a distinction is made between stained glass windows and leadlights, the former being associated with the ornate painted images on windows of churches and other such works of architecture and the latter with the windows of vernacular commercial and domestic architecture and defined by its simplicity.

The newer double-depth portion is constructed of hand-made bricks set in English garden wall bond with stone quoins. It has a doorway with a segmental quoin stone surround and either side are pairs of diamond-paned casement windows. There are three similar windows of different sizes on the first floor. The rainwater heads are dated 1900. [2]

Moated site

The scheduled monument is the rectangular island measuring about 66 metres by 74 metres forming the moated site of the original hall. The monument includes the site of a late-14th/early-15th century chapel in the north-west corner that was demolished in the early 18th century. The island is accessed by a stone twin-arched bridge that replaced an earlier wooden structure. The hall and its associated buildings and infrastructure, fences and gateposts on the north-east of the island are not scheduled, nor is the moat which has been lined with concrete. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

Clayton, Manchester suburb of the city of Manchester, in North West England

Clayton is a suburb of the city of Manchester in North West England. Historically in Lancashire, it is about 3 miles east of the city centre on Ashton New Road. Clayton takes its name from the Clayton family who owned large parts of land around the area, including Clayton Vale, through which the River Medlock flows. Clayton was under the township of Droylsden until around 1890 when alterations to the Manchester boundary took place. Other towns added to Manchester around this time were Blackley, Crumpsall, Moston, Openshaw and Gorton.

Tabley House former house, now school, at Tabley Inferior, Cheshire, England

Tabley House is a former stately home in Tabley Inferior, some 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) to the west of the town of Knutsford, Cheshire, England. The house is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. It was built between 1761 and 1769 for Sir Peter Byrne Leicester, to replace an older hall nearby, and was designed by John Carr.

Little Moreton Hall Moated half-timbered manor house near Congleton in England, built between about 1504 and 1610.

Little Moreton Hall, also known as Old Moreton Hall, is a moated half-timbered manor house 4.5 miles (7.2 km) southwest of Congleton in Cheshire, England. The earliest parts of the house were built for the prosperous Cheshire landowner William Moreton in about 1504–08, and the remainder was constructed in stages by successive generations of the family until about 1610. The building is highly irregular, with three asymmetrical ranges forming a small, rectangular cobbled courtyard. A National Trust guidebook describes Little Moreton Hall as being "lifted straight from a fairy story, a gingerbread house". The house's top-heavy appearance, "like a stranded Noah's Ark", is due to the Long Gallery that runs the length of the south range's upper floor.

Smithills Hall Grade I listed English country house in the United Kingdom

Smithills Hall is a Grade I listed manor house, and a scheduled monument in Smithills, Bolton, Greater Manchester, England. It stands on the slopes of the West Pennine Moors above Bolton at a height of 500 feet, three miles north west of the town centre. It occupies a defensive site near the Astley and Raveden Brooks. One of the oldest manor houses in the north west of England, its oldest parts, including the great hall, date from the 15th century and it has been since been altered and extended particularly the west part. Parts of it were moated. The property is owned by Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council and open to the public.

Weeting Castle

Weeting Castle is a ruined, medieval manor house near the village of Weeting in Norfolk, England. It was built around 1180 by Hugh de Plais, and comprised a three-storey tower, a substantial hall, and a service block, with a separate kitchen positioned near the house. A moat was later dug around the site in the 13th century. The house was not fortified, although it drew on architectural features typically found in castles of the period, and instead formed a very large, high-status domestic dwelling. It was probably intended to resemble the hall at Castle Acre Castle, owned by Hugh's feudal lord, Hamelin de Warenne.

Architecture of Manchester

The architecture of Manchester demonstrates a rich variety of architectural styles. The city is a product of the Industrial Revolution and is known as the first modern, industrial city. Manchester is noted for its warehouses, railway viaducts, cotton mills and canals - remnants of its past when the city produced and traded goods. Manchester has minimal Georgian or medieval architecture to speak of and consequently has a vast array of 19th and early 20th-century architecture styles; examples include Palazzo, Neo-Gothic, Venetian Gothic, Edwardian baroque, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the Neo-Classical.

Harrow Museum

The Harrow Museum, known as the Headstone Manor & Museum, is the local history museum for the London Borough of Harrow in northwest London, England.

Chorley Old Hall Grade I listed English country house in Cheshire East, United Kingdom

Chorley Old Hall is a moated manor house on the B5359 road to the southwest of Alderley Edge, Cheshire, England. The house is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building, and the moated site is a scheduled monument. It is the oldest inhabited country house in Cheshire and consists of two ranges, one medieval and the other Elizabethan.

Belmont Hall, Cheshire Grade I listed English country house in the United Kingdom

Belmont Hall is a country house one mile (1.6 km) to the northwest of the village of Great Budworth, Cheshire, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. The house stands to the north of the A559 road. It is included in Simon Jenkins' England's Thousand Best Houses, and since 1977 has been occupied by Cransley School.

Mellor Hall

Mellor Hall is a country hall in Mellor, Greater Manchester, England, 0.4 miles (0.64 km) north of The Devonshire Arms off Longhurst Lane.

Morleys Hall Grade II* listed building in Astley, Greater Manchester, UK

Morleys Hall, a moated hall converted to two houses, is situated at grid reference SJ 689 992 on Morleys Lane, on the edge of Astley Moss in Astley, Greater Manchester, England. It was largely rebuilt in the 19th century on the site of a medieval timber house. The hall is a Grade II* listed building and the moat a scheduled ancient monument. Morleys is a private residence.

Hulme Hall, Allostock Grade II* listed building in Allostock, Cheshire, UK

Hulme Hall is a house on a moated site in the parish of Allostock, Cheshire, England. It originated in the 15th century, with additions and alterations in the 17th and 19th centuries. It is now a farmhouse. The house is constructed in brown brick, and has a roof of stone-slate and Welsh slate. It is in two storeys with an attic, and has an asymmetrical plan. The northeast front is the entrance front, and has three gabled bays. The garden front is on the northwest; it has five bays, two of which are stepped back in two stages. Most of the windows are two or three-light casements. The house is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building. The bridge over the moat leading to the house is also listed at Grade II*. The moated site on which the house stands is a scheduled monument. It had been the home of the Grosvenor and Shakerley families, both of whom were prominent in Cheshire.

Lower Huxley Hall

Lower Huxley Hall is a moated manor house in Cheshire, England, located about 6.5 miles (10 km) southeast of Chester. It lies roughly halfway between the villages of Huxley and Hargrave, It dates from the late 15th century, with major additions and alterations in the 17th century. A small addition was made to the rear in the 19th century. It was originally a courtyard house, but only two wings remain. The house is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building.

Lymm Hall is a moated country house in the village suburb of Lymm in Warrington, Cheshire, England. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building.

Overton Hall, Cheshire country house in the parish of Overton, Cheshire, England

Overton Hall is a country house in the parish of Malpas, Cheshire, England. The house originated in the middle of the 16th century on a moated site as a timber-framed great hall with a screens passage; it was built for the Alport family. The great hall has since been divided into two floors, and the house was externally refaced in the early 19th century by the Gregson family. Two of the faces of the house are timber-framed with painted brick nogging. The other faces are in brick with stone dressings. The roofs are slated with tiles on the ridges. The chimney stacks, porch and bay windows are in stone. The house is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building. To the south of the house is a stone bridge over the former moat dating from the 18th century. This is also listed at Grade II. Immediately to the east of the hall are the remains of a medieval and post-medieval settlement and field system that are recognised as a Scheduled Monument.

Shotwick Hall

Shotwick Hall is a former manor house in the village of Shotwick, Cheshire, England. It replaced an earlier manor house that stood on a moated site some 150 metres to the west. The hall and four associated structures are listed buildings, and the moated site is a Scheduled Monument.

Gayton Hall, Wirral

Gayton Hall is a country house in Gayton Farm Road, Gayton, Merseyside, England. It was built in the 17th century and refaced in the following century. The house is constructed in brick with stone dressings, and has an Ionic doorcase. William of Orange stayed in the house in 1690. In the grounds is a dovecote dated 1663. Both the house and the dovecote are recorded in the National Heritage List for England as designated Grade II* listed buildings.

Thurstaston Hall country house in Thurstaston, Wirral, Merseyside, England

Thurstaston Hall is a country house in the village of Thurstaston, Wirral, Merseyside, England. The house is built in stone and brick, it is in two storeys, and it has a U-shaped plan. The oldest part, the west wing, was built in the 14th century, the central block dates from 1680, and the east wing was added in 1836. The hall is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building, and the gate piers in the drive leading to the hall are designated Grade II.

Mawdesley Hall Grade I listed building in the United Kingdom

Mawdesley Hall is a country manor in Hall Lane, Mawdesley, Chorley, Lancashire, England. It consists of a central hall with two cross-wings. The central hall was built in the 17th century, its lower storey being timber-framed and its upper floor plastered and painted to resemble timber-framing. The cross-wings were added in the late 18th or early 19th century. The west wing is in sandstone, and the east wing is in brick with stone dressings. The hall is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building.


  1. Manchester City Council, Ancient monuments in Manchester,, retrieved 29 December 2007
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Historic England, "Clayton Hall (1197795)", National Heritage List for England , retrieved 29 May 2013
  3. 1 2 Historic England, "Clayton Hall (76619)", PastScape, retrieved 29 May 2013
  4. A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4, British History Online, retrieved 26 January 2013
  5. 1 2 Historic England, "Clayton Hall moated site (1009339)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 29 May 2013