Chaddock Hall

Chaddock Hall


The historic Chaddock Hall was destroyed in an arson attack in 2014 when it was unoccupied and awaiting redevelopment. The site has since been used for new house-building. A site of rich local history has therefore been lost.

Chaddock Lane is the road linking Boothstown and Astley, which was bisected in the 1930s by the East Lancashire Road from Manchester to Liverpool. The former hamlet of Chaddock, based around Chaddock Hall, lies a few hundred yards north of the East Lancashire Road on Chaddock Lane. Today, the name of this road, together with Chaddock Hall, represent the only tangible evidence that a separate place called Chaddock once existed. The photograph below shows Chaddock Hall some time between 1860 and 1878; the central part of the building is the oldest. The east wing, on the right of the picture, was demolished in 1878.

Chaddock Hall

In the middle ages, Chaddock was an independent hamlet, based on a small number of cottages and farms clustered round the Hall. It was entirely possible that the name ‘Chaddock’ could have grown to represent a modern locality, but over time Chaddock yielded prominence to its neighbouring estates, particularly Booths, a neighbouring hall. In the end Boothstown became the general name for the area. Thus, Chaddock declined, the name living on through the Hall and the road. 

Where Chaddock Lane reaches the centre of Boothstown, the road on to Worsley is now known as Leigh Road. Until the late 19th century, however, the whole road to Worsley was known as Chaddock Road, thus indicating the greater prominence of the hamlet of Chaddock in those days. The Chaddock Colliery was situated to the south of the present East Lancashire Road, and the underground canal which linked the colliery to the Bridgewater Canal was called the Chaddock Level.

Until its destruction in 2014, Chaddock Hall was secluded behind its walls and its greenery. The Holy Family church and school were to the east and rear of the site, and there remained open fields behind the Hall to the west (now, significant new development has begun to take place on these fields). On Chaddock Lane there are private houses on both sides, though large parcels of land, especially opposite the Hall, have been developed for light industrial use. Despite this mixed land-use, it is possible to gain an appreciation of the former situation of the Hall, with what would have been a commanding view across Chat Moss to the south from its position on a rise in the land. Past the Holy Family church, to the east of the Hall, is the site of the former Oliver Fold Farm and the former Queen’s Arms inn at the junction of Chaddock Lane and the East Lancashire Road.


The origins of Chaddock, and its name, are unclear. The name was spelt in a number of ways in historical documents. In the first known document, Lancashire Assizes Rolls from 1246, the name is spelt Chaydok; Lancashire inquests from 1323 refer to Chaidoke; and the Lancashire Lay Subsidy Roll (for taxation) in 1332 mentions Chaidok. Although the etymology of the name is unknown, it is likely to be a description of the place, subsequently adopted by the Chaddock family.

For centuries Chaddock, which fell under the jurisdiction of the Manor of Tyldesley, was the estate of a family of yeomen, who bore its name. Yeomen were a free-holding, land-tilling class which formed the backbone of English society. Over the centuries, the owners of Chaddock acquired manorial rights by purchase, and Chaddock, like neighbouring Booths, became a manor by repute. Previously rights over Chaddock, and other Tyldesley lands, were held from Wardley Hall, which had been obtained by the marriage in 1331 of Thurstan Tyldesley and Margaret Worsley of Wardley Hall; this marriage occured as a result of the Tyldesley family kidnapping the 3 year old Margaret from Wardley, and forcing the girl to marry Thurstan Tyldesley of Tyldesleyhurst.

The first recorded tenant of Chaddock was called Reginald. The early Chaddock deeds were copied out by the historian Cuerden, and these are now in the British Museum. Reginald had a son, William, who in the time of Henry III (1216-1272) gave one half of the Chaddock hamlet to Elias, son of Robert Chaddock. This grant had to be confirmed by Hugh (the Pious) of Tyldesley. William gave the other half of the estate to Robert Chaddock, which meant that Robert and Elias held Chaddock between them. 

In a confirmation grant by Henry Tyldesley, successor of Hugh the Pious as lord of the Tyldesley manor, two brothers of the Chaddock family, John and Thomas, were witnesses. The father of John and Thomas was also named John. The same Henry Tyldesley granted assart (an area of land cleared of trees for cultivation) near Chaddock to Robert, son of Elias, and granted other Tyldesley land to Thomas, son of John Chaddock. This Thomas was living in 1352 and 1362.

Battles at Chaddock

The area around Chaddock Hall was thickly wooded, and the name Chaddock Hurst was used to distinguish the Chaddock estate from the fields and forests of the Tyldesleys to the north; the latter was then known as Tyldesleyhurst and is now called Mosley Common.

Lancashire was disturbed by factions in the reign of Edward II, when armed groups rode the countryside. It was at Chaddock Hurst on 8 December 1321 that battle was joined between two rival forces of the Earl of Lancaster. These forces were those of the Hindleys, numbering 80, and the Tyldesleys, numbering 50. In the conflict, four of the Tyldesley men were killed: Adam Tyldesley (son of Hugh), Jordan Carrington, Richard Strongbow and Adam Barton.

Chaddock was beseiged in 1331 during trouble in the County Palatine of Lancaster. There is record of many being killed.

Chaddock in the 14th Century

In the early 14th century, Henry Chaddock and his wife Katherine are mentioned in a grant. The subsidy roll of 1322 (a tax to enable pusuit of war against the Scots) shows Henry and Adam in possession, both tenants paying twelve pence tax on their moveable property. Evidently the Hall was still divided, as it had been at the time of Robert and Elias. The subsidy roll also refers to a Robert Chaddock at Westhoughton and a William Chaddock at Worsley. In 1332, Henry of Chaddock had to pay twelve pence in tax to support wars with France.

Adam Chaddock, a taxpayer of 1332, the next year took a lease of Cleworth Hall from William Waverton. Adam was an opponent of Blewbury, rector of Leigh, and paid fines to him. In 1350 the Chaddock lands were assessed for taxation at 40 pence, and Thomas, son of John was the tenant. This Thomas had taken part in the Liverpool riots of 1346. Thomas Chaddock, a free tenant, was living in 1350. A deed of the later 14th century shows Henry, son of Thomas Chaddock, confirming a grant to his mother, Alice, of certain lands at Chaddock: these were the fields and tenements occupied by Matilda, widow of William Tumcookson; the land comprised common of pasture, estover rights (access to necessities such as wood for fuel) and other easements.

In 1375 Thomas Tyldesley, Sergeant-at-Law, son of Thurstan, acquired lands in Chaddock hamlet from Agnes Sutherland. Thomas had met Agnes in London, and it was by his influence that an entry of Agnes’s warranty to him of her estate was engrossed upon the Close Rolls of the King. In 1410 Thomas charged his executors to reach agreement with the heir of Agnes over these lands in Chaddock. Agnes had died before Thomas, who paid for masses to be said for her soul.

The Archers of Chaddock Hall

The tenants of the Tyldesley, Shakerley and Chaddock lands were often summoned to do military service. Archers from Chaddock fought at Crecy in 1346 and at Agincourt in 1415. In 1360 the retinue roll of the Edward III shows William Chaddock as an archer on foot. He was noted in the roll as potens de corpore et bonis, or fit for active service in both body and accoutrements. A later muster roll of John Stanley shows Hugh Tyldesley to be an archer on horseback. Hugh Chaddock and Richard Tyldesley were both foot-archers, serving under Herford, captain. They all drew daily pay for service from 22 July to 21 October in 1391.

15th and 16th Centuries

In 1427-28, lands at Chaddock were settled upon Thomas, son of Thomas Chaddock, and his issue. In 1443 Thomas Chaddock attested an important charter with other gentry of the parishes of Leigh and Eccles. Lands in Tyldesley were settled in 1521-22 upon Hugh, son and heir of John Chaddock, and Ellen, daughter of Peter Heywood and widow of Thomas Holt. From this Hugh, the descent has been established by the historian Cuerden.

The Chaddocks could be as turbulent and lawless as their more powerful neighbours, the Tyldesleys. Sir Robert Worsley kept deer at his Booths estate. One hour before sunrise on 21 June 1547, Thomas Chaddock, Piers Chaddock and James Chaddock, described as gentlemen, along with others armed with bows and bucklers, stole a tame deer, killed it, and carried it back to Lostock Hall, home of Sir John Atherton, where they consumed it. The three gentlemen were summoned to the Duchy chamber to answer Sir Robert Worsley.

Sir Thomas Boteler founded a boys’ school at Warrington, and through his interests in Tyldesley sought to purchase a small estate south-east of Chaddock. He died before the project was completed and in 1526 his executors bought two messuages from John and Hugh Chaddock. The land was in the possession of Warrington School into the 20th century.

Adam Chaddock was a churchwarden at Leigh in 1601, and Thomas was buried there in 1607.

The Will of John Chaddock, 1627

John Chaddock was buried on 17 January 1627. He made provision for his widow, Ellen, who was to keep Gervase Chaddock, kinsman, in meat and drink, as long as he was obedient to her. If she did not, then he was to have 40 shillings at his parting from her. The part of Chaddock Hall assigned to her was to be sufficiently repaired. John Chaddock left his eldest son, Thomas, 20 shillings per year until he reached the age of 21, and he bequeathed the same to Thomas Johnson, minister of Ellenbrook, towards the maintenance of the ministry of Ellenbrook chapel until his eldest son reached 21 years. The executors were also enjoined to share with Thomas Mort of Astley the deficit in the minister’s salary for the past six months. The executors were Ellen, the widow, and John Kemp of Worsley, to whom John Chaddock left 20 shillings. Chaddock settled Oliver Fold, except five fields (Highfield, Briery Acre, Pingot, Black Acre and the Croft), then all in Chaddock hands, for the benefit of persons named in his will. He had bought from Robert Sutton certain other lands, and one of these, Bymore Meadow, was to go to Ellen, then to John, the younger son, who was to have the rest of the Sutton estate, but who was to pay his brother, Thomas, £130 in satisfaction. All Chaddock’s servants received six shillings and eight pence at his death. By a codicil he gave his son, John, a greater twenty piece of gold and three lesser pieces of gold, which were found to be in a round box in his ark. If the widowed mother parted with her tuitional rights over her elder son, then John, the younger, was to have the Long Riding, the Lower Riding and the Little Marled Earth, estimated at seven and a half acres until Thomas reached 21. There exists an inventory of all the goods of John Chaddock, made on 25 January 1627.

In 1629, Hyndforth (Hindsford) bridge, made of wood, was being replaced with a stone structure. A petition was gathered, requesting that the old planks from Hindsford bridge be used to repair a bridge, possibly Parr Bridge, at Mosley Common. Among the signatures was that of Ellen Chaddock of Chaddock Hall.

On 20 February 1641, John Atherton convened all men aged over 18 in Shakerley-cum-Tyldesley to Leigh church, to administer the Oath of Protestation. This was not concerned with religion but was a protest against the government by the gentry. Among those present were Thomas and John Chaddock. 

In 1680, a Thomas Chaddock Jnr. witnessed the will of James Parr, a chapman who specialised in soap manufacture.

The Will of John Chaddock, the Younger, 1654

The younger John Chaddock, whose father died in 1627, himself died in 1654. He read his will to witnesses standing round his deathbed. He gave the lease of Oliver Fold to his nephew, John, then turning to Thomas Coupe, who stood beside him, he said that the debt he owed was some four or five shillings short of £10. To John Mann he left a suit and ten shillings. He forgave the debts of his sister-in-law, Mrs. Jane Holcroft, and left everything else equally to his brother’s children, Thomas, John, Anne, Elizabeth and Emma. He asked Geoffrey Shakerley and Adam Mort to be executors. As it was during the Commonwealth period (the period of a republic in Britain from 1649 to 1660), these two had to burden themselves with the probate of the will in person at Westminster; this was on 29 March 1654. In token of his gratitude for the expense and trouble they would incur, he gave to Geoffrey, the royalist, his belt and rapier, and to Adam his watch.

Other families sometimes lived at the Hall. Geoffrey Holcroft was buried at Leigh from there in 1665, and in 1683 Thomas Haughton was living there. Roger Lowe, the diarist, mentions John Chaddock who was lying ill at Mr. Whitehead’s in Astley on 12th April 1663.

Thomas Chaddock and the Arms of Chaddock

A pedigree given by Thomas Chaddock to Dugdale (the heraldic officer) on his visitation of 1664 records four descents (generations in a lineage). The family is described as an heraldic family of inferior gentry, connected by marriage with the Tongs of Tong (in Bolton), and with the Chathams of Nurhurst. Thomas entered his arms at the time of this visitation: eight martlets (heraldic birds, derived from the French word for a swift – martinet); gules (red background); an escutcheon argent (a white shield), charged with a cross of the field (a cross in the field colour, red); within an orle (border) of martlets of the second (birds, martlets, of the second colour, white). 

The Chaddock arms are also on a stone plaque on the wall of the barn at Chaddock Hall. The plaque, now severely weathered, is pictured below. The coat of arms is now barely visible in the centre, though the outline of the shield with three martlets above may be recognised.

Coat of arms

Thomas Chaddock took his sons, William, Joseph and Benjamin to be baptised at Leigh in 1674, 1677 and 1680. The spelling in these entries marks the end of the old pronunciation of Chaydock, and Chaddock henceforth becomes general. Thomas had a servant, Daniel Askew, who was involved in affiliation proceedings (a paternity case) with Margery Aldred in 1677. He was unable to obtain any sureties for his appearance at Wigan sessions, and was sent to gaol at Lancaster. While there he asked for his clothes to be forwarded on, and also for twenty shillings wages which his master owed him. It was said that he was likely to perish for want of food.

In 1696 the men of Tyldesley-cum-Shakerley were convened to swear an oath of loyalty to King William III. Sixty-five took the Association Oath, administered by the constables of the township. The list shows only one inhabitant from the former prominent families, Thomas Chaddock. Others, including the Tyldesleys, had gone.

In 1713, the same Thomas Chaddock encroached onto Mosley Common. He was given permission to enclose eight acres at the west of the common. The application had been opposed by Mr. Radcliffe and Mr. Parr, but Chaddock was also given permission to have the benefit of coal turves in his intake upon the payment of one shilling per year rent to Radcliffe and Parr. In 1711, Thomas Chaddock had been an overseer of the will of Oliver of Oliver Fold, and was bequeathed ten shillings for his pains.

Thomas Chaddock sent his namesake son to Brasenose College, Oxford, where he became BA. This younger Thomas Chaddock became Vicar of Eccles in 1692; he died in 1723, leaving an only daughter, Grace.

Grace Chaddock and the Sale of the Estate to Samuel Clowes

Grace Chaddock was the only daughter of Thomas Chaddock, Vicar of Eccles, who died in 1723. Grace married Miles Barrett, curate of Astley chapel, who died before 1728. On 1 October 1728 she mortgaged Chaddock, its lands, and two messuages to Joseph Byrom of Manchester. 

For her second husband, Grace married Jacob Marland, and on 25 September 1731 they sold Chaddock Hall, its windmill, and the two farms of Oliverson’s and Thomason’s to Samuel Clowes of Manchester for £700; also included were eight cottages and land belonging to them. Oliver’s and Thomason’s had been mortgaged to Clowes [or Byrom?] for £100, with interest, and in 1731 £108 was due. They could not pay, so it was agreed that Clowes should pay them £580, and take possession of the folds and the windmill, which was in the Tyldesley portion of Boothstown village, and all the mines of coal in Tyldesley within the Warrington school lands, with rights over the coal from these mines. The only exceptions to the transfer of rights to Samuel Clowes were a lease of 99 years made in 1690 by Thomas Chaddock and John Chaddock (his son) to Richard Battersbie for a cottage; a similar lease of 1691 to Richard Hey; and a lease of 1725 by Miles Barrett, husband of Grace, to James Hope for one ancient fee farm, for which £50 per year was to be paid to Samuel Clowes. The cottages at the time of the sale were occupied by George Higson, Margaret Bate, William Hey, James Hope (the farmer), Edmund Cheetham, Mary Hilton, William Boyd, Ellen Mort, Peter Hope, Henry Mather and James Grundy.

Jacobite Rebellion

William Bretark, relative on his mother’s side of the family owning Chaddock Hall, at 18 years of age joined the Young Pretender’s rebellion (1745) with two deacons of Astley church. They were taken to London and tried. One of the deacons was hanged in London, and Bretark and the other deacon were taken to watch. There exists a letter from 40 years later, when Bretark was evidently on a sugar plantation, in which he asks for information about his relatives at Chaddock Hall.

Smiths of Chaddock and Sale to Ellesmere Estate

The Clowes let Chaddock Hall on 25 September 1731. In 1742 John Hope paid six shillings poor rate. When Clowes died in 1773 he left Chaddock, and other local estates to his grandson, also Samuel. The Chaddock estate was valued in 1795, and a breakdown of the valuation exists.

John Hope died at Chaddock in 1798; he had an interest in Shakerley Colliery, which he left to his son, also John, and to his son-in-law, Thomas Smith.

In 1810 Chaddock was bought by Robert Haldane Bradshaw, Superintendent of the Bridgewater Trust. This led to Chaddock becoming part of the Ellesmere estates, with its sale to Lord Francis Egerton in 1835. Bradshaw also purchase Booths and numerous other local estates. He paid Clowes £47,000 in total. At this time Chaddock extended to 50 Cheshire acres; it included Oliverson’s and Coupe’s farms, Hampson’s at Mosley Common, a smithy at Stirrup Brook, two pews in Astley chapel, and one in Leigh church, and a chief rent of one pound thirteen shillings and three pence. At some time after 1722, certain chief quit rents, part of the Tyldesley Manor assigned to Wardley, had been acquired by the Clowes of Chaddock. This gave a manorial dignity to Chaddock, and the conveyance of 1810 describes the capital messuage of Chaddock as ‘the manor, lordship and reputed lordship of Tyldesley’.

Ann Smith of Chaddock Hall was left a mourning ring in the will of Samuel Arrowsmith. In 1825 a cotton manufacturer, J. Smith, was living at Chaddock Hall. In 1838, Robert Smith of the Delph Mill in Boothstown was the tenant of Lord Francis Egerton (later 1st Earl of Ellesmere). He was still there in August 1847, when Mrs. Whistler visited the Smiths for the second time; she had previously visited in 1830. An extract from the diary of Mrs. Anna McNeill Whistler, mother of the American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler may be found on this web site.

School for Young Ladies

In the early 1850s, four Gretton sisters returned to Chaddock and set up a school for young ladies. Mrs. Gretton paid £100 rent in 1869. In addition to 22 pupils, aged from 8 to 19, with an average age of 13, mainly from Lancashire, plus one from Cheshire and one from Leeds, the 1861 census records the following (not all full names are legible on the document):

  • Eliza Gretton, Widow of Wiggins, age 44, schoolmistress
  • Margaret Gretton, spinster, aged 36, schoolmistress
  • Sarah R. Fisher, widow, age 53, schoolmistress
  • Dorothy Tomkies, widow, age 41, governess (husband Thomas died New Zealand, 1850-51)
  • H.F., age 29, German governess, from Germany
  • Louisa T., age 25, French governess, from France
  • Sarah K., age 29, cook, from Scotland
  • Elizabeth E., age 17, housemaid, from Leicester
  • A. Worthington, age 18, housemaid, from Leicester
  • Agnes Arrowsmith, niece, age 20, teacher
  • Dora Tomkies, niece, age 11, prefect, from New Zealand

Part of the records of Mrs. Ada Ryan, nee Tomkies, dated 3rd May 1927 state:

The Gretton grandparents lived on the estate of Dower House “Grove Cottage” [no record of this place], which had 8 or 9 rooms. They had 6 daughters and 2 sons. When one of Dorothy Tomkies’s sons was a boy he used to stay at Grove Cottage and at the Hall during school holidays. The aunts taught until they felt the call of years. Then they closed the school and lived on at the Hall. This school closing was also influenced by Aunt Eliza getting married again to Dr. Hewlett, DD [later vicar of Astley], and lived [sic] near Aunt Mary at Hounslow.

Chaddock Hall in 1871

At the 1871 census, Chaddock Hall was the home of James Knott, a 30 year old cotton manufacturer, who was born in Bolton. His wife Mary (24) was born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. With them were Alice A. Slater, a friend (25) from Carlisle; Eliza Johnson (43), a cook and domestic servant from Scotland; Jane Thorp (44), a housemaid from Astley; and Samuel Warburton (22), a groom and domestic servant from Altrincham.

Later Tenants and Owners

In 1877 the Hall was let again for £112 per year, and in 1878 the school wing on the east side was demolished. The Chaddock land was run by Mr. Hurst of Yew Tree Farm in 1877, for which he paid £36 annual rent, with two cottages in the major tenancy. Later tenants of the Hall included: Rev. Richard Hopwood in 1881, R.L. Harrison, 1885, John Orme, 1890, George H. Murray, 1909, and Benjamin D. Blakemore in 1924.

Around 1930 Bridgewater Estates Ltd., the company which was established to purchase and manage the estate of the Earl of Ellesmere in 1923, sold Chaddock Hall to Mr. Harry Crow. In 1937 it was sold to Major A.J. Hutchinson. 

In 1945 the Hall was purchased by Mr. Jack Cunliffe. The Cunliffe family lived at Chaddock Hall for over half a century. Jack Cunliffe died in 1999, and his son Derrick died in 2002. The photograph below shows Chaddock Hall in November 1997. 

Chaddock Hall 1997

Chaddock Hall was then put on sale and was aquired by local landowners, Peel Holdings. The Hall was vacant for some years, awaiting redevelopment, but was destroyed in an arson attack in 2014.


This web page was compiled by Tony Smith, based on information researched and kindly supplied by the late Derrick Cunliffe, formerly of Chaddock Hall, and Mrs. C.E. Mullineux. Much of the material was originally researched by the late Dr. J. Lunn, some of which was published in his History of Tyldesley, 1953.