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The Deyne

The Old Deyne Hall Residence of the Rectors of Prestwich

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The 1690 Terrier referenced to "the Parsonage House called the Deyne 5 bay" (the size of the property is measured in bays or sections)

The word "Deyne" is derived from the Saxon word "den" meaning a deep woody dell or valley. That particular site had been the seat of the rectory for over 400 years, and an ancient deed of the time of Ralph Langley, rector in 1485, is dated from the "Deyne", and substantiates this claim.

Prior to the year 1840 Deyne Hall was the rectory house at Prestwich, and was situated in close proximity to the [victorian] residence built and occupied in 1840 by the Rev. Thomas Blackburne. As near as can be ascertained the Hall stood at a point midway between the Rev. Blackburne's residence in Rectory Lane and the entrance gate from Rectory Lane, and on the side of the house not shown in the picture were a number of beech trees and ornamental lakes that greatly enhanced its appearance.

Of great antiquity, it was a half-timbered structure built in the "frost and petrel" style [a corruption of frost (upright) and poutrelle (cross-beam) the walls filled with "wattle and daub"] which ceased about the reign of Henry VIII (1509-1547), and on its removal traces were discovered of it having once extended considerably beyond its later limits.

Originally designed in the form of a square or figure bearing resemblance to the letter H, with cloisters being carried round the sides of the edifice it possessed an unusually spacious entrance hall which, though out of place in the last century, was certainly in keeping with its original style and size. One of its main features was to be found on a beam in the upper chamber where the arms of Edward Kenyon, rector in 1659, were still visible when the house was eventually demolished. As a matter of interest the arms were "sable, a chevron engrailed or between three crosses flory, argent, differenced by a crest."

About the year 1642 the rector, Izaac Allen, was forcibly removed from his living by Civil War rebels who pulled down between ten and fourteen bays of the building. It is possible that the damage sustained was never fully repaired, and that would therefore account for the discovery in 1840 of the extended limits.

Edmund Barlow, born in Prestwich, leaves the Deyne Hall behind him, as he sets off to sail on the Naseby, bringing Charles II from Holland in 1660.

Though the picture gives the date of the Deyne Hall's removal as 1837, it is unlikely that the Rev. Blackbourne would have ordered it's removal before occupying what was then his new residence, and since other sources give the date as 1840 there must remain the question of a firm date. There is little doubt however, that the hall certainly dated before 1659, and may probably have been over 300 years old at the time of its removal.

Click here to see an image of Deyne Hall ~1827 [Courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council]

Further Information

The earliest part of the building was the mid 15th century great hall, which stood in the very heart of the complex. Extending at right angles to either end of this - so as to create an H-shaped plan -were two wings. The essential arrangement of these was typical of medieval domestic design: the wing at one end of the hall would have contained the services - the kitchen, buttery and pantry - and there was a series of inner chambers for the family at the opposite end. It can also just be seen from the etchings above, that there was a chamber overhanging the (possible)main entrance to the Hall.

1894 map showing sun dial (S.D.) and a square platform beside Rectory Lane.

The Old Deyne Hall was partially destroyed in the Civil War, losing 10 bays. By the time of the Hearth Tax in 1666, the Deyne was listed as having 10 hearths. Here is an extract from The Prestwich Terrier cica 1690. Terriers are a written survey performed every few years, which act as a legal safeguard of each church's possessions and are often copied into the early Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts.

"Imprimis [foremost] the parsonage house called the Deyne 5 bay. The barn called the Barley Barn 5 bay. with an outhouse for a stable in the end of it. Stable for draught horses two bays. A barn in the Chiphill 5 little bays. The barn called the Great Barn 7 bays. The granary with a cowhouse under and a bay at one end for hay with a henhouse and a coat[cote] for swine in all 7 bays. A stable called the Common stables one bay. A garden, orchards walks and fould with the snow hill 4 acres. The cock glaory [gallery?] Etchills Little Etchills well meadow clough Damsteads Chiphills Whittacre 17 Acres." The Deyne was finally demolished between 1837-1840, replaced by a Tudor style house,facing Rectory Lane.

The Second (Victorian) Rectory - now Rectory Gardens.

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The Jacobean style sun dial (probably erected in the 1630's) has seen three rectories and now stands at the present Rectory -the tree has recently been removed providing the sunlight once again (but the dial has long since gone). See the Overlay map for the location of the Victorian Rectory/Deyne. Note also that the Rectory was on the route between Heaton Hall and the Church - with the Church having an entrance porch at it's South East corner (replaced by the North Porch in 1895).

Old boundaries

The location of Deyne Hall, the Church and the centre of the village (1848) are indicated above. The premise is that boundaries respect pre-existing boundaries, older medieval boundaries tend to be curved enclosures, it presents the shortest perimeter and can follow the lay of the land. Radial boundaries respect pre-existing curved boundaries and right angle boundaries respect each other. For example, boundaries that are at right angles to Bury New Road come after the road.

The green enclosure with at least one smaller inner encloure, with a potential second enclosure to the West of Bury New Road, represents the high ground of the present day village centre and has several radial boundary lines radiating from the enclosure boundaries. The suggestion from some curved boundaries is that there were several entrances to the larger enclosure, at Greengate and Clerks Hill. The curve of Greengate Lane suggest it honours the previous enclosure boundary. The southern and eastern side of this cirle never existed as the land drops steeply away, Church Lane would have indicated the southern boundary of the high land. The circular boundary of the Church graveyard is still evident today, and would indicate a very secure and prominent location to settle.

Other positions shown to the South East are the Old Deyne Hall location and the crest at Thorndyke.

map dated 1842-92

By 1911 the ornamental ponds had been drained, by removal of a damn on the West side, and the Dingle (as it became known) started life as as a rifle range in 1911.

The Dingle
The rifle range remained in use until 1923, and in 1927 the council bought the land from the Church and filled it in (by tipping) to construct St Marys Playing fields.

Jack Barrett of Prestwich Heritage Society 2003 Excavations by the Prestwich Heritage Society have discovered 20 metres of wall, a sandstone foundation with Medieval "herringbone" markings, and steps. All beneath the foundations of the Victorian Rectory, indicating the continued occupation at this site.

St Mary's

The Church :

A brief History for visitors to Prestwich Parish Church.

History of the Church

Deyne Hall :

The Rectors :

The Rectors of Prestwich, from 1316 to 1632