Chadderton Historical Society

Chadderton Hall & Park.

       Chadderton Hall Road,Chadderton, Lancashire, England.

Images by kind permission of John Johnson

Seven Centuries of Manorial History

In an attempt to remedy the situation a major publication on Chadderton Hall and its manorial families has been compiled and edited by the Society. Articles from a number of sources have been used whilst reminiscences of Chaddertonians who can still remember the building also find a place in the book. Whilst the number of photographs of the interior of the hall is still very limited the Society does possess a substantial number depicting the exterior of the building. It is hoped to make the publication available to the public in the near future.


Chadderton Fold c1910.
The building above became known as 'Bishop
Lake's House' and most probably incorporated the
original Chadderton Hall. It was demolished in 1962
Chadderton Fold was the site of the original Chadderton Hall, which was erected in the mid-13th century, by the First Lord of the Manor, Geoffrey de Chadderton. By 1367, the Manor had passed into the possession of the Radcliffe family, who were one of the most illustrious families in England. John de Radcliffe, Lord of Chadderton, fought at Agincourt in 1415, and was knighted by King Henry V.

Bishop Lake's House- tho original Hall, from the southeast, about 1910.

About 1454, Chadderton Hall passed by marriage to the Assheton family, who were another notable family in south-east Lancashire.    In 1620, Edmund Assheton erected a new hall in Chadderton Park and it was this house which survived until the 20th century. The manor was sold in 1684, to the Horton family of Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire, and in 1748 the hall was enlarged and improved by Thomas Horton. When Sir Watts Horton (1753-1811) married Henrietta, daughter of Lord Strange and sister of the Earl of Derby, he maintained a lavish lifestyle and furnished the hall with expensive paintings and furniture. Appointed High Sheriff Lancashire in 1775, it was necessary for him to entertain county dignitaries, and Chadderton Hall must have been a sight to behold in those days. entertainments for the gentry would continue until 5 o'clock in the morning. Archery contests were a regular event in the parkland which stretched over to Middleton Road, whilst cock-fighting place in the large barn.

The second Chadderton Hall, built in 1620; re-fronted and extended in 1748. On the death of Sir Watts in 1811, the estate passed to his brother, the Rev. Sir Thomas Horton, who died in 1821 without sons. The hall then passed to Harriet Susanna Anne, the only daughter of Sir Watts. After her death in 1827, her husband. Major Charles Rhys of Kilmaenllwyd in Carmarthenshire, continued to own the estate until his death in 1852. The final century of its existence saw the hall put to uses which the Chaddertons, Radcliffes, Asshetons and Hortons could never have imagined. From 1839 to 1860 it was a boarding school for young ladies and afterwards a school for boys, this school having transferred from Asshawe Hall, Flixton. In 1865, the hall was sold to the Lees family of Clarksfield, Oldham, and after the death of Colonel Edward Brown Lees was held by his trustees. At the end of the nineteenth century it was leased to Joseph Ball and Chadderton Hall and grounds became a Pleasure Garden with a boating lake and a menagerie, which included a boxing kangaroo and Chang, a handsome Lion which was great attraction until its death in 1897.

                                                                                                             The turnstiles at Chadderton Hall when it was a Menagerie and Pleasure Grounds.

                                                                                                  Finally, the lease was taken over by the Livsey family who lived in one                                                                                                     part of the hall but used other parts of the building for the manufacture                                                                                                   of pickles and preserves!

                                                                                    Chadderton Hall's long and glorious history came to an end with its                                                                                             demolition in 1939, the impressive  facade of pillars and balustrade                                                                                             being buried in the cellars and the site levelled.
                                                                                    Only the eighteenth century gatepost, at the main entrance to the                                                                                                 grounds, remain as a silent witness to this most significant period in                                                                                           Chadderton's history.

Chadderton Hall Park gardens as they are now.

2006 saw the awarding of Green Flag status. This is a very prestigious award, in fact Chadderton has now got two out of the six currently awarded in the Oldham Borough. The other is Coalshaw Green. Green Flag status isn't for life. It has to be reapplied for every year, so getting the park up to the is a commitment to maintain it at the standard.

Image by kind permission of John Johnson

       The Bowling Pavilion has been renovated and is now a very successful Cafe.  The Pavilion Cafe, as it is now called          is a franchised business, offering a selection of different dishes which can be enjoyed outside if the weather allows,
      or inside the well furnished interior.

      The application of New Opportunities fund, has allowed the conversion of one of the underused tennis courts into a          Multi Use Games Area (allowing football/netball/basketball) together with a teen shelter opposite. Money from the             Swallowfields development has been used to upgrade the childrens play area. Also small "garden centre" is operating         as a Social Enterprise company. The Park Department Apprentices have cultivated a shrub Garden near the main             entrance of the Park. This project was a one off design and build project as part of their training. It is now                       maintained as part of the park's on going maintenance.

Friends of the Park meet three times a year, essentially in the spring summer and autumn.Chadderton Hall Park offers ; contrasting park experiences with formal traditional features on its upper terrace such as maintained gardens, play areas and bowling greens etc, while its lower terrace by the river has the feel of a small country park. In summer eveningsthe Park enjoys the benefit of security patrols provided by Pride Security.A coalition of north Chadderton churches currently organise a well attended family fun day in the park on an annual basis usually on the Saturday before Whit Sunday, and on the Whit Sunday itself it holds an open air service.A crudely carved stone head was found in the Irk where it flows through the park and is now in the stewardship of Chadderton Hall Junior School. It is believed to be of iron age origin and is associated with pagan tradition. It has a "cigarette hole" in the mouth which is believed to enable evil spirits to escape. The went on display with similar heads from the north west at an exhibition at the Manchester Museum together with the "Pete Marsh" mummy in the late 1980's.

                       Acknowledgment: Cllr Jeremy Sutcliffe for the updating of the news Chadderton Hall Park  

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            Last Modified 10/08/16  Copyright Chadderton Historical Society 1999-2016