A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.
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This township lies between the old course of the Ditton Brook on the north and Rams Brook on the south, both running into the Mersey. Halewood Green, with a hamlet called North End, is near the northern boundary. To the south-east of this is the village. The part of the township bordering on the Mersey is called Halebank, in which is the site of a large moated house called Lovel's Hall.
The area is 3,823½ acres. (fn. 1) In 1901 there was a population of 2,095. The country is bare and flat, with wide, open fields, principally cultivated, yielding crops of barley, oats, wheat, and root crops such as turnips and mangel-wurzels. Several wide main roads traverse the country in every direction, much appreciated by the cyclist and motorist. There are very few trees, but good substantial hawthorn hedges, especially about the farmsteads. On the Mersey bank is a fringe of flat marshy fields and mud banks. Houses and farms are very much scattered. The geological formation is triassic, consisting in the eastern part of the township of the pebble beds of the bunter series, but a fault running from the mouth of the Rams Brook to Halewood Station throws down these beds, and in the central, western, and northern parts the upper mottled sandstones of the same series are in evidence.
The township is crossed east and west by two railway lines—the London and North-Western line from Liverpool to Warrington and to Crewe, with stations at Halebank and Ditton Junction; and the Cheshire Lines Committee's railway between Liverpool and Manchester, with a station near the village of Halewood, to the west of which the Southport line branches off. There are numerous roads and cross roads; that from Hale village to Widnes runs parallel to the Mersey bank, about half a mile inland, and is joined by the road from Liverpool through Woolton, which is in turn joined, near Halebank Station, by the more northerly road through Gateacre, which runs along the western boundary. A continuation of this road, which seems to be the old path from Liverpool through Childwall to Hale, has degenerated into a pathway along the boundary between Halewood and Speke; the southern part has been somewhat diverted, but an existing footpath to Hale village seems to be the true continuation of it. The fields in Halewood along the footpath are known as Portway fields, probably part of the 'Portway' occurring in the Much Woolton charters.
In the village is a small brewery. The Ditton Brook Ironworks by the Mersey have been discontinued for many years, but the buildings are used for a grease factory.
Mr. Willis of Halsnead about 1790 built a staith for loading vessels with coal. (fn. 2)
On sinking a well near Ditton Junction station in 1881 some Roman remains were found. (fn. 3)
The township is governed by a parish council.
The manorial history of Halewood has been given in that of Hale, from which it cannot well be separated. The 'wood of Hale' is mentioned in many of the early charters, and the rights of taking firewood, &c., and of pannage show that the forest was in this case woodland also. The mill upon the brook dividing Halewood from Ditton is mentioned early.
One distinction may perhaps be ancient. It would appear that the Irelands had Hale for their residence and manor house, while their superior lords the Holands fixed upon Halewood. Yet the Hutt, which became the chief residence of the former family, is within Halewood, just upon the south-west corner, forming as it were a 'mere.' It will have been noticed in the account of Hale that Maud de Holand's manor in 1423 is described as Halewood; and down to the last century the earl of Derby, as possessor of the Lovels' confiscated rights, held a manor court there about Easter. (fn. 4) The manor of Halewood was part of the dower of Charlotte, countess of Derby, in 1628. (fn. 5) There are court rolls at Knowsley.
The remains of the Old Hutt consist of a threestory gatehouse facing north-west, now used as a farmhouse, and standing just within the line of a quadrangular moat, now dry on all sides except the south-east, while behind the gatehouse is the entrance doorway of the main building, an early fourteenthcentury arch with moulded head and jambs. A length of the inner wall of the south-west wing, with an early seventeenth-century fireplace, and part of a mullioned window of the same date, is also standing; but otherwise the house, which was doubtless a quadrangular building, with an inner courtyard, has been utterly destroyed. The gatehouse is contemporary with this fragment, and is built of brick with red sandstone dressings, with a central roundheaded archway now blocked, and over it two stories of squareheaded mullioned windows of four lights with transoms. On either side of the upper window are stone panels with the arms of Ireland, Molyneux, and Handford, and the building is finished with a pitched roof having a large timber and plaster panelled cove at the eaves. The farm buildings north-west of the moated site are of stone and timber construction, apparently of the seventeenth century, though part may be of earlier date. One of the buildings has some very good specimens of heavy timber 'crucks' on a low stone base, and on a stone doorhead in the western range is a date, partly hidden by a beam, 16 . ., and the name Iohn Irelande.
The abbot of Stanlaw complained in 1246 that Richard de Hale and Alan le Norreys had disseised him of 12 acres of land in Woolton; but the jury rejected his claim, saying that the land was within Hale, not in Woolton. (fn. 6) 'Hale' at that time included Halewood, otherwise there could not have been this uncertainty as to the boundary.
In 1349 Alice, widow of Robert de Pemberton, granted two plots of land in Halewood, called the Wro and the Riding, to her son William; and they were settled on William and his wife Margery, with successive remainders to their children, John, William, Henry, and Roger; and in case of failure, to the work of St. Peter of Childwall. The lands had descended in 1402 to Henry Pemberton of Halewood, who settled them on his son William and his heirs by Margery his wife, daughter of Simon de Hale of Eccleston. (fn. 7) In 1508 John Pemberton sold all his land in Halewood to Roger Ogle, and six years later his widow Alice Pemberton made a general release. Sir William Norris of Speke afterwards purchased it from Ogle. (fn. 8)
William son of Adam, son of Beatrice of Halewood, granted to Ralph, son of Ellen, and Ellen his wife 3 acres in a field called Crosbyhouses, one headland abutting on the king's highway on the west. (fn. 9) Adam son of Richard Dawson of Denton, in 1357 sold to Henry, son of Alan le Norreys of Speke a messuage and 5 acres in Halewood, abutting towards the highway and towards Ruscar mill. (fn. 10)
Robert de Dalton had lands here in 1347, and Sir John his son, lord of Bispham, had the same; a settlement was made in 1367, the remainders being to John and Robert, sons of John, son of Sir Robert. There were a house and garden and 40 acres of land, held of Sir Robert de Holland in socage by 7s. service yearly. In 1443 Robert, younger son of Sir John Dalton, and grandson of another Sir John, sued Katherine, widow of his elder brother Richard, concerning these lands; his niece Alice was called to warrant her mother. In 1472 Robert Dalton of Bispham and Richard his son and heir apparent leased to Robert Lathom of Allerton all their lands in Halewood for thirty-nine years at a rent of 40s.; and Robert Lathom transferred this lease to Thomas Norris of Speke. (fn. 11)
John de Blackburn of Garston in 1405 held a piece of land called Holland Place, of the hospital of St. John at Chester. (fn. 12) Halewood is called a 'vill' in a deed of 1349; about 1470 the term 'lordship' is used. (fn. 13)
Among the 'Papists' in 1717 Richard Burscough of Leyburn, and Robert and Thomas Quick registered estates at Halewood. (fn. 14) Mrs. Blackburne of the Hutt contributed nearly a third of the land tax in 1787; the remainder was in small sums.
For the Established worship St. Nicholas' was built as a chapel of ease in 1839; it was made into a rectory in 1868. (fn. 15) The patron is the bishop of Liverpool.
There is a Wesleyan chapel at Halebank, built in 1861.