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Heaton House

Heaton House ~1750s

With thanks to Peter Corbally of P&WHS and Colette Heavey of The Friends of Heaton Hall.

The Heaton family name first appears in the 13th century, during which they sold their lands to the Prestwich family, and others.

[Ref : British-History.ac.uk]

"GREAT HEATON, as 4 oxgangs of land, was then held by Adam de Prestwich, and of him by Adam de Heaton, by a rent of 10s. The other moiety, LITTLE HEATON, also 4 oxgangs, was held by William de Radcliffe, and of him by Gilbert de Notton, of Barton"

In 1212 The land of Heaton had been divided into two manors:

Great Heaton (later also known as Heaton Reddish, 866 acres, including Lands End belonged to the Langleys, and passed to the Reddishes, the Cokes, and the Drinkwaters)

and Little Heaton (also once known as Heaton Fallowfield,531 acres - belonged to the Hollands, and passed to the Egertons...but we haven't got to them yet!).


"John de Prestwich in 1321–2 granted to John his son certain lands in Heaton in Prestwich; and in 1329 the younger John granted to his son, also John, all his lands in Heaton, Salford, and Manchester. A few years later (1338) John son of John de Prestwich gave a rent of 40s., charged on his lands in Salford and Heaton, to Margaret, who had been the wife of Henry de Worsley. This was followed in 1343 by a grant to her of all his lands in Heaton. In 1368 and later Thurstan son of John de Prestwich made several grants and releases to Thurstan de Holland"


"in the inquisition of Robert Holland, taken in 1514, his seven messuages, 60 acres of land, &c., in Heaton were stated to be held of the king, as of his duchy of Lancaster, by knight's service"

The two Heatons were split by all this dealing, and they ppearance on the maps of 1579 and onwards. The resulting disjointed sections of each Township are shown in the below map.

Great Heaton (495) and Little Heaton(494)

Between the mid 14th century and the beginning of the 20th century just two families had owned the Heaton estate.

The Hollands, seated in Denton, traced their family back over 9 generations to when King Edward II (1308-1327), made Sir Robert de Holland into Lord Holland and summoned him to Parliament. The Hollands held land in Northamptonshire and Leicestershire as well as Lancashire.

They held the land of Heaton through generations, and another branch of the Hollands had also held the Manor of Prestwich (by force) for 14 years (1374-1389).

On the morning of the Feast of Ascension (the 40th Day after Easter Sunday) in 1374, the villainous Robert de Holland "with many others assembled with him, armed in breast plates and with swords, and bows and arrows, by force took possession of the said lordship of the duke, in defiance of the Sheriff, and to the contempt of the Lord Duke" (see the legend of The Babes in the Wood here Agecroft Hall)

Heaton ~1610

Richard Holland (1549-1618), 1st son of Edward Holland of Denton Hall and Jane Carrington of Carrington Hall, had been a "well beloved servant and councillor" to the 4th Earl of Derby, was Sheriff of Lancashire (1572-3, 1581-2, 1595-6) and also Justice of the Peace. In 1592 he was listed by the Council as one of those ‘meet for his fidelity and soundness in religion’ to be employed against trouble makers.

Before 1549, Richard had first married the daughter of Otys Reddish of Reddish Hall, and then in 1575 married Margaret, the daughter of Sir Robert Langley of Agecorft Hall Margaret's first hsuband was John Reddish, also of Reddish Hall, who had died in 1569.

This marriage in 1575, resulted in Prestwich Manor residing with the Hollands of Heaton Old Hall up until 1616, and was the only time at which the Lord of the Manor of Prestwich lived at Heaton Hall. When Maragret died, the manor passed to her son of her first marriage, Alexander Reddish. Her burial is recorded at St mary's:

25 Sep 1616 Margreta Holland vxor Richi Holland
de Heaton Armigeri
funera solemniza 8 Oct 1616

[Armigeri means the family had the right to bear a coat of arms. Knights generally had a coat of arms but other individuals who were not knighted could also be granted a coat of arms.]

Holland Family Arms (can be seen on the ceiling of St Mary's

It is presumed Margaret was buried under the South Aisle ( the former site of the Langley Chapel ) at St Mary's. She was also probably the last Lord of the Manor to be buried at the Parish Church. Her son Alexander, kept the estate in trust for hiks daughter Sarah. Sarah married Clement Coke, their son Edward Coke, ultimately was knighted and inhertited the Manor of Prestwich.

See the descent of the Lord of the Manor of Prestwich here (large image)
Credit: Peter Corbally

Read more about The Lords of the Manor of Prestwich

Back to Richard and Margaret Holland, they had five daughters but no sons and when Richard died in 1619, the Heaton estate passed to his half brother, Edward Holland (b:~1560). One of their five daughters, Margaret, married William Brereton and gave birth to a son, William. William Jnr. was orphaned at age 6, and was made the ward of his gradfather, Richard Denton. William inherited Handforth Hall and 3,000 acres of land from his parents, he married Susaanna Booth, a daughter of Sir George Booth of Dunham Massey Hall. William was a Major General and commanded the Parliamentarian forces in Cheshire, Staffordshire and Lancashire during the Civil War, and was later made Sir William Brereton, 1st Baronet. We'll see the Booth's again soon...

Edward Holland had three sons Richard (M.P. b:1595), Henry (b:~1597) and william (b:~1600)

In 1627, a baptism recorded at St Mary's for Willmus Holland, "filius" (son) of Thomae Holland, listed the family abode as "Old Hall", indicating how the Holland family divided their time between their houses in both Heaton and Denton, but also that there may have been a "new hall" in Heaton by this date. It is thought that Richard and Margaret built the new Heaton House about 1610 on the site of the present day Heaton Hall.

Edward Holland died at Heaton in 1631, and the estate passed to his eldest son, Richard.

Here, we take a little tangent...

The grave of the children of Thomas Collier, who all died in 1641

The above gravestone is the oldest gravestone in St Mary's Churchyard. Thomas was listed as a "coquus" (cook) at his daughter's baptism of 1625, and his residence was recorded as Heaton, upon his death in 1665.

It's tempting to think that Thomas was the cook to the Hollands of Heaton House, this could also help explain how the grave has survived through the centuries, when many plots have been reused as later dates, and also how it has such a prominent position in the churchyard, close to the church. There is also a grave to the family of a gardner to Thomas Grey Egerton, 1st Earl Wilton, similarly positioned close to the East end of the churchyard which dates from 1756 (see below)...but we haven't got to them yet!

[Thomas Collier is also listed as an Inn Keeper of one of 4 Inns recorded in Prestwich in the recognizance of 1629.]

The four children listed are Richard (aged 15) John (aged 9) Mary (aged 7) and Martha (aged 5)."WHO WERE BURIED BE TWIXT THE FIRST AND TWELFTH OF DECEMBER AO DMI 1641"

There is also an interesting mention of Richard Collier (a webster/weaver from Heaton) who married Alizia Hollande in August that same year,1641, giving birth to a son,also named Richard in October 1641, Richard senior may have been a brother of the Thomas mentioned on this grave,or he may have been a father at age 15/16. Some years are +/-1 as they double dated in the early 1600's , but still pretty young to get hitched, but who knows ? Could Alizia Hollande be a daughter of the Hollands of Heaton & Denton?

St Oswald's, Malpas

[Ref: thornber.net]

But, returning back to the Holland brothers.... Eldest brother Richard (b:1595), had been a deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire, and was influential in Manchester coming down on the side of Parliament during the civil war of 1642. He became a parliamentarian officer, alongside Sir Thomas Stanley, Mr Booth and Mr Egerton (we still haven't got to them yet!), and commanded a regiment of foot in the town during the siege by the Kings Forces, who were commanded by Lord Strange. Richard went on to be member for Lancashire in Cromwell's second parliament of 1654-56, and died in 1661.

[Alizia Hollande, mentioned above was born 1618, daughter of Johis (John) Holland and Alizia Booth]

[Richard left two daughters, one was Ann, who married Edward Kenyon, Rector of St Mary's 1660-1668. A monument to Ann (died 1706) was placed in the Nave alongside that of her husband (died 1668)]

1642 Siege of Manchester

[Ref: SalfordHistory.blogspot.com]

Second eldest Henry (b:~1597), secured a marriage which would have seen the estate pass elsewhere, but died on the very day that he'd managed secure the marriage, so William inherited the lot!

Thus, in about 1666, Rev. William Holland (b:1600), over 30 years the minister of Malpas,Cheshire (1654-1680) had found himself heir of the Heaton and Denton estates.

That same year, the Hearth Tax of 1666 records fifty hearths in Heaton liable to the tax; William Holland's house (the new hall of abt. 1610) had thirteen, and Edmund Heywood's six. For comparison, the Rectory, (Deyne Hall , where William's aunt Ann lived with Edward Kenyon, the Rector of St Mary's, had 10.)

The main Hearth Tax records from 1666 indicate the relative wealth of each recorded resident.

The property of Edmund Heywood,(Rev.James Pilkington lived in Heaton Rhodes), mentioned in the 1666 tax returns, is thought to have been the Old Heaton Hall, originally the home of the Heaton family from the 13th century, and at which the Holland family resided prior to moving to the present location of Heaton House in the early 17th century (see ref from 1627 above). This Old Heaton Hall, was reached by a driveway beside a property called Old Hall Farm, which stood until the 1960s.

Old Hall stood to the right of Old Hall Farm

Old Hall Farm (looking North)

Old Hall farm stood down Nutt Lane,Simister (or up Old Hall Lane from what was the Three Arrows Pub - the three arrows came from the crest of the Egerton Family...still haven't got to them yet). Nutt Lane turns into Old Hall Lane at the cottages of Parkwood (formerley known as Crow Alley), and the maps show the Old Hall - Heaton House - stood to the East of the farm, all now sadly under the M60.

Old Hall Lane (1922)- Old Hall is bottom right, Parkwood Cottages (previously Crow Alley) is at the top left

The Heywood family are recorded in the registers of St Mary's church, and there is a cluster of three family graveslabs on the South side of the Church. The most noteable grave stone dated October 1680, of Thomas Heywood and describes him as "honest Thomas Heywood of Heaton, shoemaker". The same stone, sadly fractured numerous times over the 350 years since it was laid, also records his brother Edmund who died in January 1680, and is thought to be the Edmund from the 1666 hearth tax.

[January 1680 was actually 3 months after October 1680 due to the New year starting in March, so the brothers died during the same winter.]

The Register entries of Thomas and Edmund Heywood (of "Peele field")

[Peelefield? 'peel' is middle English for a pole or stake, so probably refers to Polefield. It's worth noting that Parrenthorn could be named after 'Perrin' - Middle English for "Peter", however it could also come from 'patten' (ref map of 1848) which is Middle Engish for wooden shoes/clogs - and Thomas was a shoe maker !]

The grave slab of Thomas and Edmund Heywood

[The other names on the Heywood stone suggest Thomas son of Thomas, and his son John , of Cookstoll, who were both buried Nov 1690. Richard shwows no date, but may be buried April 1695, of Heaton. No Daniel Heywood is recorded in the registers].

The second stone (1733) records the family of Anthony Heywood of Heaton Fallowfield (Little Heaton). A third stone (1742) records John Heywood of Cambeshaw, which stood at the far end of Simister Lane - in the detached section of Great Heaton.

1848 Cambashaw

The Heywood families of Cambeshaw, both Great & Little Heaton and Rhodes were listed as Yeoman during the early 18th century. Upto the 17th century Yeomen typically held over 100 acres of land, and also took roles of local constables or churchwardens.

Yeoman owned their land, and could keep the profit from it, thus employing servants and staff to look after them or farm their land. They could spend their money and free time on education or other interests, but still turn their hand to labour if required. They were what we would call today, a middle class.

[The 1666 Hearth tax places Edmund Heywood in Heaton, so perhaps refers to Cambershaw rather than Old Hall,as Old hall actually sat in Little Heaton/Heaton Fallowfield, and Cambashaw sat in the detatched section of Great Heaton, as did Rev.James Pilkignton in Heaton Rhodes on the way towards Middleton]

But now back to the Hollands...During his later years William Holland resided on his Lancashire estates. William died in 1682 aged 70, and is buried inside St Mary's church,on the North side of the aisle (in what was the Holland Chapel,also at one time the Hylton Chantrie - founded by Ellis Hylton in the early 16th century). The Chapel was later renamed the Wilton Chapel...but we haven't quite got to them yet. His son, Edward, inherited the estate but died not long after, in 1683-84. Edward was aged just 20 and died after he "drank to excess in a frolique upon the ice". (Messrs. Bryom,Leigh and Newcom also died in the same incident)

Elizabeth, last of the family line of the Rev. William Holland, married Sir John Egerton, 3rd Baronet Egerton, at St Mary's in 1684 (during the reign of Queen Anne), passing all the estates to her husband as part of the "prenup". (yes! we finally made it to the Egertons!)

[Sir John was the 20th male descendant of David, Baron of Malpas in the reign of King Edward I, where his father in law William Holland, had also been Rector]

The Egerton's were a Cheshire family dating back to the Plantagenets. In Tudor times it claimed among its members a Lord Chancellor who was the ancestor of the Dukes of Bridgewater.

Sir Roland Egerton, had become 1st Baronet Grey Egerton in 1617. He had fought on the Royalist side during the Civil War. He married a sister of Thomas, 15th Baron Grey de Wilton who had served in the fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588,and been governor of Ireland under Queen Elizabeth I. However the Grey de Wilton baronetcy was ceased after the 15th Baron was found guilty of treason in the Bye Plot against King James I, in 1603. The Grey de Wilton Baronetcy was revived in 1784 for Sir Thomas Egerton, 7th Baronet Egerton (see below).

Elizabeth and the 3rd Baronet Egerton had six sons and two daughters. The eldest, Holland Egerton, born at Heaton House, was baptised at St Mary's on Christmas Day 1685-6. Holland inherited the estate of his father in 1729 and became 4th Baronet. However, within a few months he too had died (25th April 1730). He had been pre-deceased by his first four sons ("unnamed", John, Holland & Cave), leaving his 5th son Edward (who became Sir Edward), to inherit the estate in 1743-4,. Edward died unmarried, passing the estate to the younger brother Sir Thomas Egerton, the sixth Baronet.

Heaton House circa 1750

Heaton House, the home to the Hollands from about 1610 and what makes up the innards of the present day Heaton Hall, had been extended over the years, and the above image shows a building with three gables on the left, joining to a more stylised property (a re-faced older section?) in the centre and a further block to the right, which is believed to have been a single, large room. A bowling green to the fore is depicted with possibly members of the Holland family at play. The three storey house was converted to two stories in 1772.

Sir Thomas Egerton, 6th Baronet, died in 1756 aged 34, in the same house where he had been born in 1721, Heaton House, and he is buried inside St Mary's church. A plaque in his honour was placed on the East Wall of the Wilton Chapel, describing how he had made great improvements to Heaton House after he retired from being an M.P. in 1752. Also in 1756, a gallery was installed above the Wilton chapel. The plaque and the gallery are both no longer present.

Egerton Family Tree

The 7th Baronet, Sir Thomas Grey Egerton, served in 3 parliaments and was later made Baron Grey de Wilton (reuniting the family with their previous Baronetcy) & 1st Earl of Wilton in 1801. He commissioned the fashionable architect James Wyatt to design a new home for his young family in 1772. This is the Hall that we know today, and Heaton House was no longer the family's home.

The grave of Thomas Webster (died 1783), gardener to Sir Thomas Grey Egerton (1st Earl).

Sir Thomas Grey Egerton.[Wikipedia incorrectly has an image of the 2nd Earl]

Heaton Hall 1807

Read about the Present day Heaton Hall in this Booklet