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Newton in Makerfield

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Neuton in Makerfeld

In the civil parish of Newton Le Willows.
In the historic county of Lancashire.
Modern Authority of St Helens.
1974 county of Merseyside.
Medieval County of Lancashire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ59189522
Latitude 53.45215° Longitude -2.61613°

Newton in Makerfield has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are no visible remains.

Description

Robert Langton was granted a licence to crenellate in 1341. It seems unlikely that this refers to the motte at Castle Hill. Probably a building on/near the site of the now demolished C17 Newton Hall.

Newton Hall was originally built by Robert Banastre who came over with William the Conqueror. The earlier structure built by him is described as having two wings and being surrounded by a moat. The present building is supposed to have occupied the same site, but as a portion of it stands against rock, which rises above the level of the house, and as at this point there can have been no moat, the newer structure may not have been built on quite the same ground as the old. The present structure was built in the reign of Queen Elizabeth by Richard Blackburn, and is a good specimen of that period. The house which had become ruinous, was restored about thirty years ago by the owner, Lord Newton. In what was the great hall there is a fireplace surmounted by the coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth carved in oak. The remains of the gallery surrounding what was once the great hall were absorbed into rooms built in the upper part of the hall, and the old fireplace was completely rebuilt, the old bricks being replaced with stone (TLCAS 1909).
"Before the Conquest Newton was the head of a hundred assessed at 5 hides. One of the hides, including Newton itself, was held in demesne by Edward the Confessor, as lord of the manor..... In 1346 .... Sir Robert de Langton held the plough-lands in Newton by the service of one knights fee, paying 10s. for ward of Lancaster Castle, and doing suit at the Wapentake Court at West Derby every three weeks. The manor of Newton with its members, Lowton, Kenyon Arbury, a moiety of Golburne, and the advowson of Wigan church, was so held ..... A grant of free warren was obtained by Robert Banastre in 1257 and licence to crenellate his mansion by Robert de Langton in 1341. Manorial rights are still claimed, but no court has been held for many years..... A resident family or families took the local name one of them in the time of Edward III was known as Richard the Receiver from the office he held under the lord of the fee. Another also had an official name - Serjeant; the family remained here down to the end of the 17thc.... The Blackburnes, afterwards of Orford and Hale acquired lands here in the latter part of the 16thc. Their house known more recently as Newton Hall, was built by Thos. Blackburne in 1634 ..... a small 'H' - shaped house standing N. and S. with hall between living rooms and kitchen .....". (VCH 1911)
The name 'Newton hall' confirmed by tenant. There are no surface indications of a moat, and the topographical situation of the Hall creates great doubt as to whether such a feature over existed at this site (F1 FDC 09-APR-59).
Moat identified by documents and maps (Chitty 1982). (PastScape)

Dr Kuerden, an antiquarian of 1695, wrote '..crossed the little stone bridge over Newton Brook, three miles from Warrington. On the left hand side close by a water mill appear the ruins of the site of the ancient barony of Newton, where formerly was the baron's castle.' (quoted in Philpott), (Stephen Dowd)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1341 Oct 18 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Comments

Despite being the caput of a barony seemingly a modest moated manor house rather typical of the vast majority of houses granted a licence to crenellate. This would appear to be the typical location for the manor house of Newton, near the church and manorial mill, and the relationship with the motte and bailey castle 800m to the north is interesting. Although the name Newton might suggest the settlement has moved it was called Neweton in the Domesday Book. The modern expansion of the town has been entirely on the western side seemingly making the town centre move west but the ancient core is centred around the parish church and Newton Hall.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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