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#747136 - 1st Dec 2012 12:18pm Priory lands query
derekdwc Online   content

Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4936
Loc: Birkenhead
I'm trying to work out whereabouts they used to farm.
I thought I had info on my pc that it may have been around the area where the maternity hospital was in Grange Mount
Presumed the route from the Priory would have been what became Grange Lane, Grange Road, Grange Road West, Grange Mount
Priory lands

Christ Church C Of E
Bessborough Road, Oxton, Birkenhead , Merseyside

It is known for instance that in the 13th century Hugh de Domville made grants to the Birkenhead Priory of Knavenebrec, a dwelling house in Oxton, together with some land, in what seems to have been an attempt to secure a place in Heaven for himself and, of course, for his heirs. Later in the same century, in 1282, a boundary dispute arose between Isabel, the lady of Oxton, her son Roger de Domville and the Prior of Birkenhead. This particular dispute ended with the Prior paying the Domville's 20 shillings in silver and with him agreeing that the boundary between Oxton and the Prior’s land in Claughton would be "from Bottislowe to Swalewelowe and from thence by stones placed there in “Lingdale to the Raggedstone". Lingdale Lane ran from Oxton to Claughton very roughly where both of the Kingsmead Roads (North and South) now stand and was known that name until recent times. It is today remembered in Lingdale Road, Claughton, which is not in the same place.


Philip Sulley in 1907 writes the following about Claughton:

"Of the manor of Claughton little or nothing is recorded. It does not occur in the Doomsday book, but formed an
appanage of the priory of Birkenhead from which it may be concluded that it was previously a part of the lands of
the Barons of Dunham Massey. The grange or Monastery Farm, was mainly situate within its bounds, although
the farmhouse was in Birkenhead. At the dissolution it was passed to the Worsleys, and from them to the
family of price, in the same manner as Birkenhead. The greater portion was purchased by Sir William Jackson
who erected the manor house, a large building in Italian style, now occupied by Thomas Hughes Jackson Esq".

"An old hall which stood on what is now called Cannon Hill until about 1840, and which appears to have" been of
some antiquity and interest, was occupied early in the century by David Claughton, a member of the Lancashire
family, of which the Bishop of St Albans is the chief representative".

The land on which Christ Church stands was originally part of monastic property and belonged to the monks in the Priory near Woodside. When Henry VIII closed the Priory he sold the land to Ralph Worsley who had been a page at his court. Ralph Womley's daughter married Thomas Powell, a merchant in Liverpool and in 1713 the land was sold by the Powell's to John Cleveland. His daughter married Francis Price and a large pan of the land on which Birkenhead was built remained in the Price family for over 100 years. In November 1836, a Mr Ball purchased thirteen acres and three perches of land for £7195-15-0 from Mr Price, including several cottages. He then sold William Potter a portion of the land on the west side of Slatey lane. This lane ran from near the Grange Farm to the stone quarries just beyond our church. It was a very narrow track and was widened about the time the church was built.

The outside of the original church building was shaped differently at the east end. The present cloakrooms, kitchen, staircases, organ chamber and choir vestry were added later.

The church was built of red sandstone from the quarries nearby and finished in 1849. It was the largest church to be built in Wirral and was designed by Robert William Jearnard, an architect from London.

It had 1209 sittings - 414 were free and were "to remain unappropriated forever." The pews and free sittings have no distinctive difference in appearance except the former have very low doors. The architectural style is of the date of the latter part of the reign of Edward I. The reading desk and the clerk's desk were on the south side of the chancel and the pulpit which had carved canopies, pendants, and quatrefoil panels, on the north side.

The pulpit was much higher than the present one and Canon Robson commented on how far away from the people he felt when preaching.

Notes about pew rents

Last century pew rents were common in most churches. Parishioners chose where they would like to sit and paid for each sitting. The cost of a sitting might vary from one to five shillings, old money. Families were large in those days and some had more than one pew allocated to them.

The name of the family was printed on a card attached to the end of the pew and no-one else was expected to sit in those seats. Families often left their Bibles, prayer books and cushions in the pews.

A few seats were free for visitors. In Christ Church, 414 seats, chiefly in the galleries, were free while the remaining 800 were rented. In St Michael's Church, all the seats on the north side of the centre aisle were rented and those on the south side were free.

when people visited another church, perhaps when they were on holiday, they usually asked the Wardens or Sidesmen at the door where they might find a free seat and the sidesman would escort them to a place.

Pew rents were paid quarterly or half-yearly. In 1899 pew rents amounted to £90 at Christ Church and £82 at St Michael's. Each year a Pew Renter's Warden was elected at the Annual Vestry Meeting. In 1882 he was paid £10 for his work.

At the consecration of Christ Church in 1854, a document was drawn up which stated that the Church Wardens were allowed up to £50 a year from the pew rents to provide salaries for the Verger and other officers of the Church and to provide vestments, books, bread and wine for Holy Communion. The sum of £50 could only be altered by consent of the Bishop of Chester.

Pew rents had been abolished in most churches by the time of the Second World War in 1939.

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#747137 - 1st Dec 2012 12:29pm Re: Priory lands query [Re: derekdwc]
derekdwc Online   content

Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4936
Loc: Birkenhead
Someone mentioned that they grow their own food at the
Carmelite Monastery not too far away so the land around there may have been good for farming clicky

#747183 - 1st Dec 2012 6:23pm Re: Priory lands query [Re: derekdwc]
granny Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 13260
Loc: Wirral
This may be of some use to you.

About three quarters down on the page, under 'EARLY DAYS'

...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.FN

#748151 - 6th Dec 2012 11:48am Re: Priory lands query [Re: derekdwc]
derekdwc Online   content

Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4936
Loc: Birkenhead
Thanks granny for link.Now I'm more confused than before.
I always thought that the monks from the Priory daily trudged from the priory to a farm of their own to work the land,but now think they may have had tenant farmers over a good deal of north west Wirral who paid their rent by crops and/or money

From granny's link

Early Days

Moreton, Lingham and Great Meols have been occupied since before Roman times. Moreton became part of the Parish of Bidston and was the wealthiest and most productive part of the area run for the Birkenhead Priory. It formed part of the Manor of Eastham in Norman times. Earl Hugh being the Lord. Holding part of his Manor is a man by the name of Hamon de Mascy, whose descendants became Lords of Bidston. During the medieval period of the Manor's History, Moreton was the most productive of the 4 towns. Moreton even paid for its own chaplain! In 1170, Birkenhead Priory was founded and a goodly portion of the tithes of Moreton were given in support of this endowment. The records of Pope Nicholas IV record the money earned from 6 curacates of land, which included Moreton.

Around 1180 -1190 Hamon de Mascy gave Moreton to his brother John, it being formerly held by Matthew of Moreton. In 1293 Hugh del Brom (Bromborough maybe?) gave William, son of Alan de Moreton rights to cultivate 3 acres of wasteland in Moreton. In 1307, Henry son of William of Moreton, prosecuted Robert, son of Henry de Salghale (Saughall) and others for trespassing on land in Moreton and for cutting his grass in Sargham Massey. In 1341, there was a murder, at least a recorded one. Simon, son of Roger del Brom, killed William, son of Henry de Moreton, in Moreton, and fled. He escaped justice but three of his accomplices were fined for aiding him! The entire village was fined in 1359 for failing to be fully represented at the Judges Eyre Court in Wirral.

In 1397, the Manor of Bidston was sold by John Lestrange to Sir John Stanley, an ancestor of the Earl of Derby.

In 1402, the Hundred Jury (Wirral was also know as the Hundred) was specially called together to hear a letter patent issued by the Prince of Wales in which Henry le Brwyn, of Moreton, Roger del Brom and others had driven cattle from north Wales into the Hundred of Wirral. The law they were alleged to have broken was probably designed to secure a supply of meat for the Kings Armies in North Wales. The defendants were taken to Chester Castle for judgement. The result is unknown.

In 1438, on November 30th, an inquest was held at Bidston on Robert Benet, killed at Salgham by William Anyon by striking him on the head with a mall. This jury, which included a Thomas Benet of Moreton, and Henry Benet of Salghall, returned a verdict of felony. Anyon, who had fled, was declared an outlaw.

The Earl of Derby's accounts for the years 1521 - 1522 show Moreton having paid:

Rent of free tenants for Military Service 5d
Rent of free tenants at will 114 6d
Rent of one house with dovecott & butt 6 8d
Rent of one tenement with 1 butt acquired
By the lord from John Whitmore to hold by
the Lord immediately after the death of
George Whitmore (note: the said George is dead) 8 0d

In 1397 the Manor of Bidston was bought by William Steele, a lawyer of some note, who also held the positions of Recorder of London, Chief Baron of the Exchequer and Lord Chancellor of Ireland.

In 1536 Birkenhead Priory suffered along with most of the country's religious establishments in Henry VIII's suppression. In 1544 its lands in Moreton were leased to Edward Plankney but on the expiry of this lease the lands were sold to Richard Barnard and Robert Taylor. Also, following the suppression, the Nuns of Chester had land owned by themselves in Saughall given to the new Bishop of Chester and then, soon after, was surrendered to the Crown. Land that belonged to the Priory in Saughall was also siezed, both sets of land being sold to Sir Robert Dudley, of the Privy council, and to William Glascour.

In 1545 the earliest record of Moreton's population with 21 families living there (12 in Saughall Massie). By 1663 the figures remained the same.

In 1561, Thomas de Smythe Saughall Massie and William Rathbone de Murton are registered as keepers of Ale houses.

In 1653 the Manor of Bidston was bought by a William Steele, lawyer of some note, who also held the positions of Recorder of London, Chief Baron of the Exchequer and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. The estate again changed hands in 1662, this time it was sold to Lord Kingston of Rockingham Co Roscommon. In 1665 he undertook a highly detailed survey of his Manor. The survey contained lists of the tenants of the four townships and maps showing the houses and roads, each field bore a name and that of its tenant. The survey of Moreton shows the main street passing through the village, now known as Pasture road. A back lane running parallel, was Chapel Lane, now Barnston Lane. The geographical orientation of the main street is SW to NW. The east side of the main road, that which favoured Wallasey, had tenants Henry Robinson, William Bennett, Richard Lenaker and James Bird. The west side, favouring north Wales, had two homes of the Urmston family, Thomas Watt, William Hancock, John Rathbone. Many paths crossed between the houses. A chapel stood on the western side of the village green (the location of which is not mentioned) with a maypole to the north. Nearby was the Tithe Barn and Pound. The town bull was kept in a field on the edge of the village bordering Saughall Massie. Other prominent names in Moreton were William Dod(d). John Anderton, John Gowen, Ellen Graviner, Richard Pemberton, Thomas Urmston and john Upshon. A piece of land, outside the village boundary,was given to the village constable. Saughall Massie, in the same survey contained names Edward Wainwright, Mary Smith, John & Henry Bennett.

In 1680 Sir Robert Vyner became the Lord, and Vyners have been there right up to the 20th Century.

A Mill stood on what is now the corner of Acton Lane and Saughall Road. Little is known of the Mill. In 1598 it was sold to John & Henry Bennett. In 1719 owned by the Vyner's and occupied by Esther Martin at a rent of £6 per year. In 1762, Thomas Kirk, paying the same rent. (Inflation was obviously not a problem back then!). It stood until approx 1870, the last miller said to be a Richard Hale. The Mill actually collapsed, parts of which were taken to Bidston Hall, turning part of a steam mill for another 20 years. The names of Dod(d) and Benet (Bennett) are still prominent in modern times. I had a Philomena Bennett in my class at school in Moreton. The Dodds are a well know local building company, their yard is still at the top of Bermuda Road. I think it moved sides thats all! Joseph Kitchinghman who lived near Mother Redcaps in Wallasey, described Moreton's Mill as:

"The old mill at Saughall Massie stood about a mile from the village. It was a most remarkable wooden structure, with strong oak beams and gaunt, primitive sails, standing alone on a rough base of stone, with a large wheel to turn the wooden mill round on the ground. The mill stood entirely by itself a little way from the edge of the moss. Secret meetings of various kinds, political and otherwise, were held in the old mill, which was away from civilization. It was supposed to be haunted, and there were ravens in it."

Daniel Wilson lived at Old Hall Farm, Barnston Lane (was previously called Chapel Lane) in 1719. His home was licensed to conduct religious meetings. He was the son of Robert Wilson of Bidston Hall. Towards the end of the reign of Charles II, a troop of horse searched the Hall for arms as well as in other local places. At this time Daniel is described as "of Lingham". They took away 122 guns, pistol etc. Daniel married Mary Ensdale, and on 18th August 1689, they baptised Robert, their son. He shares the same birthday as me, but not the year!! His grandson, Thomas, was probably the next tenant of Barnston Lane following Daniel's death in 1737. Thomas' sister, Catherine Gardener was the next owner of Old Hall Farm, the Wilson connection being severed.

#748361 - 7th Dec 2012 4:06pm Re: Priory lands query [Re: derekdwc]
eggandchips Online   Reading

Forum Master

Registered: 2nd Nov 2011
Posts: 2342
Loc: wallasey
my book places the grange farm on or about alfred road which adjoined grange lane, which is grange road now
cos i'm that kinda guy...


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