Introducing Local Historian Alison Whitham
Updated: Jan 4
We recently had the pleasure of speaking to Alison Whitham, a local historian with a tremendous amount of personal history linked to Cuerden Hall and the Parklands. Our conversation was really insightful, opening up entire chapters of the Hall’s history that we were previously unaware of.
Alison has very kindly provided us with a chronology of Cuerden Hall throughout the centuries. We hope you find it as interesting as we did:
● October 2020. New owner of Cuerden Hall announced as Mr Colin Shenton, Shenton Group.
● 2020, Sue Ryder Foundation moved out of Cuerden Hall to a newly built Care facility in Fulwood Preston, after 30 years in residence.
● 1986, The Central Lancashire Development corporation moved out of Cuerden Hall after nearly 10 years in situ and sold the Hall and grounds to the Sue Ryder Foundation, who would eventually develop it into a Care home for residents with neurological conditions.
● 1977, The Central Lancashire Development Corporation, a central government department, moved into Cuerden Hall. They took over the hall after the MOD (Army) moved out.
● 1958, After 250 years of family ownership the Tattons sold Cuerden Hall to the Ministry of Defence. It became the Army Headquarters North West District.
● 1950, Cpt Thomas Tatton, moved out of the hall to Devon. He sold a vast amount of the Cuerden Hall Estate (1,739 acres) plus buildings and left his estate manager, Mr Robinson, in charge, visiting when necessary.
● 1939 -1945 WW2, Cuerden Hall was requisitioned by the Army and was used as an Army education centre and became Number 4 or 5 Anti Aircraft command.
● 1926, Regional Tatton died and passed the hall and estate to his son Cpt Thomas Tatton. A memorial was erected in St. Saviours Church by his family and staff at the Cuerden estate. The Family bequeathed Astley Hall to Chorley Borough council.
● 1914 -1919 WW1, Cuerden Hall was used as a home for evacuees, it was then requisitioned to be used as a hospital for injured Troops.
● 1906, The last of the Townley Parkers, at Cuerden Hall, Thomas Townley Townley-Parker, son of Robert and Harriet Townley Parker, died in 1906 at age 84. His wife Katherine had died in 1900. He bequeathed the estate to his nephew, Reginald Tatton, son of his sister Harriet, as he had no heirs.
● 1879, Robert Townley Parker died. His son Thomas Townley Townley- Parker inherited the Cuerden Hall estate. He had the Christian name of Townley as well as the Surname.
● 1814, Robert Townley Parker b1793, became heir to Cuerden Hall at age 21. He moved from Astley hall where he lived with his mother and sisters, on his marriage to Harriet Brooke of Cheshire. He became High Sherriff of Lancashire and was one of the 1st MPs in the new Victorian Parliament at the age of 24. He greatly extended Cuerden Hall 1816 - 1820 and employed Lewis Wyatt to design the new buildings and Parklands.
● 1787, Thomas Townley Parker b1760 ob1794, father of Robert Townley Parker, had married Susanna Brooke of Astley. A few years after his death, Susanna married Sir Philip de Hoghton Bt, becoming Lady De Hoghton. She and her new husband preferred to live at Astley Hall rather than Hoghton Tower.
● Robert Parker and Anne Townley were the parents of Thomas Townley Parker. Robert Parker was the son of Bannestre Parker of Extwistle and Anne Clayton of Fulwood and Preston. Bannestre had become heir to the Cuerden estates, through his mother Elizabeth Banestre of Banke, who died in 1713. His father Robert Parker of Extwistle died in 1718.
● Cuerden manor had been leased, to a John Cuerden, up until 1717. The house at that time was nothing like it is today and was rebuilt by Bannestre Parker in 1719
● In 1605 Henry Bannestre of Banke Hall bought the Cuerden estates from the Langtons. Henry’s daughter Alice became Heiress; she married Thomas Haggerston. They held ownership in 1641. Christopher Bannestre’s Daughter Elizabeth became Heiress to the estates and married Robert Parker of Extwistle.
● The original house of the 17th century no longer exists. The Charnock family owned the estate until 1521, when it was sold to Richard Charnock of Cuerden and Leyland. The estate was then sold to Thomas Langton (Lord Newton).
● Cuerden is a Celtic Welsh name for Rowan trees or dwellers by the Rowan trees.
● Earliest records of the lands at Cuerden date back to 1199. The lands were given to the Molyneaux family, Earls of Sephton, by a favoured Baron of William the Conqueror called Roger de Poictou.
Thank you Alison.
Joan Langford - Author and Historian, Book 6 & 7 Farington, a Cotton Mill Village.
George Birtill, Author and historian, Over the Five Bar Gate.
Jim Longbottom, Head ranger,/Park manager, Cuerden Valley Park Trust.
John Hallam, Historian and archaeologist and John Richardson of Central Lancashire Development Corporation - 600 year history of Cuerden hall 14th -20th Century.
John Hallam The Surviving past
Sue Ryder Foundation Cuerden Hall.
Lancashire County Council records office Bow lane Preston.
Anne Ward and Alan Bartley, Times gone by, a visual history of Cuerden Valley Park - you tube.
Alison Whitham Dec 2020