A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.
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This township, having a wedge-like form, lies on the west and north-west of West Derby and Fazakerley; it has a length of over 4 miles and an area of 1,944 acres. (fn. 1) At the extreme north is Warbreck on the border of Aintree; the Gildhouses were also at the north end, and along the southern border from north-west to south-east are the districts called Spellow, Anfield, Walton Breck, and Newsham; these are often regarded and named as Anfield. The natural features of the township have long since been obscured or entirely swept away by bricks and mortar, and thronged streets of small houses and busy shops and electric-car standards occupy the site of country lanes, gardens, and trees. The geological formation is the new red sandstone or trias, the ridge of higher land on the west, reaching the 175 ft. level, consists of the pebble beds, and the eastern slope towards the Fazakerley brook of the upper mottled sandstones of the bunter series of that formation. The population in 1901 was 54,615.
The principal road is that from Liverpool to Ormskirk, (fn. 2) passing close by the parish church on the higher ground; descending the hill it is called Rice Lane. (fn. 3) The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's line from Liverpool to Preston passes through the township, having a station at Walton Junction; here the line to Bury and Manchester branches off to the east, with an adjacent station called Preston Road. The branch to the docks also goes through the township. The London and North-western Company's branch line from Edge Hill to the docks crosses the southern end of Walton, with stations called Walton and Spellow. The Cheshire Lines Committee's railway from Manchester and Liverpool to Southport crosses Warbreck, and has one branch turning south-west to the docks and another with a station at Walton village.
The old village (fn. 4) lay near the church, in a street bending round its northern side. The workhouse of the West Derby Union lies about a mile to the north; close by is a cemetery belonging to the parish of Liverpool. Farther north still is the county prison; here executions take place. The cemetery for Kirkdale lies near the Fazakerley border. Greenwich Park Athletic Grounds are near it.
The principal road, already mentioned, at its entrance into the township from Kirkdale, passes through Spellow. The grounds of Spellow House, used as a nursery garden till about twenty years ago, have been covered with streets of cottage houses; the district is now urban all along this road until Aintree is reached. On the west side of the road Clayfield Lane, now Breeze Hill, led from the church to Bootle; in it there is now a reservoir of the Liverpool Water Works.
From Spellow a road led east through Mere Green and thence north to the village. Stanley Park and Anfield Cemetery now skirt the right side of it; on the left is the Everton football ground. (fn. 5) On reaching the village, the road or lane was prolonged northwards to pass Walton Hall and demesne on the lower ground near the Fazakerley border; while another road, Rake Lane or Cherry Lane, ran eastward to West Derby. Near the Everton border two roads led south-eastward to Newsham; between these Stanley Park now lies, with the Liverpool football ground near it. (fn. 6) Further to the south-east the two roads are crossed by that leading through Everton to Kirkby, called Breck Road and Townsend Lane; 'Cabbage Hall,' an old-established inn, (fn. 7) has given a name to the surrounding district, which is also called Walton Breck. Here there is a disused stone quarry. At the extreme south-east, the projecting part of the township is crossed by the main road from Liverpool to West Derby, known here as Rocky Lane. Newsham House, in the modern park, is on the southern side of it. In the neighbourhood are the test house of the West Derby Guardians and a house of the Little Sisters of the Poor. This part of the township has long been urban.
At the death of Edward the Confessor Winestan held the manor of WALTON; it was assessed as two ploughlands and three oxgangs of land, and its value beyond the customary rent was 8s. (fn. 8) After the Conquest it is supposed that Roger of Poitou included Walton in a large estate which he gave to Godfrey, his sheriff, by whom it was held at the date of the compilation of the Domesday Survey. (fn. 9) Possibly Godfrey resigned his lands to Count Roger, who in 1094 granted the tithe of his demesne to the abbey of St. Martin of Séez. (fn. 10)
After Count Roger's forfeiture Walton passed with the demesne of the honour of Lancaster until William, son of King Stephen, granted or confirmed fourteen oxgangs of land in Walton, Wavertree, and Newsham, to his servant Waldeve, with the office of master-serjeant or bailiff of the wapentake of West Derby. (fn. 11) The estate, with its accompanying grand serjeanty, continued in Waldeve's descendants for many generations.
His son and successor, Gilbert, was outlawed after the barons' rebellion of 1173–4, (fn. 12) but in 1176 made his peace, proffering the enormous sum of £400 to obtain remission of the sentence. (fn. 13) Between 1189 and 1194, John, count of Mortain, confirmed this estate and serjeanty to Gilbert, to hold by the yearly service of 2 marks. (fn. 14) Gilbert had two sons, Henry and Richard. To the former in 1199 King John confirmed the fourteen oxgangs; (fn. 15) to the latter, known as Richard de Meath, he gave in 1200 'the whole town of Walton with all its appurtenances,' which used to render 40s. farm, for the increased rent of 60s. (fn. 16) Richard de Meath soon afterwards gave four oxgangs here to Richard son of Robert de Walton to be held by a rent of 5s. 6d., which gift was confirmed in 1204 by the king. (fn. 17) For some reason not known Walton was resumed by the crown, so that the grant to Richard de Meath does not appear in the survey of 1212, which recites the minor holding of Henry de Walton, who had made grants in alms to the priory of Birkenhead and to the hospital of St. John at Chester; Hugh son of Gilbert held one oxgang for half a pound of pepper. (fn. 18)
In 1215, however, Richard de Meath proffered four palfreys for seisin of his land of Walton, Formby, and Hale, and the offer being accepted the sheriff of Lancaster was directed to take security for the payment. (fn. 19) This was confirmed by Henry III in 1227. The succession to Richard de Meath's lands is stated more fully under Hale, which passed to his natural children. Walton was given by him to his brother Henry, whom he made his heir. (fn. 20) Henry de Walton, who thus became lord of the whole manor, died in 1241, when his widow Juliana received dower in his lands from his son William; (fn. 21) she failed in a claim against Richard son of Henry in 1246, (fn. 22) but partly succeeded in another against William de Walton for an oxgang and 20 acres of land and 8d. rent in Walton. (fn. 23)
William gave lands in the Breck to Burscough Priory, (fn. 24) and was still living in 1261. (fn. 25) Some of his grants have been preserved, including one for the maintenance of a chaplain in Walton church. (fn. 26) He died before 1266, for Robert de Ferrers, earl of Derby, gave the wardship of the heir, Richard, son of William, son of William de Walton, to Nicholas de la Hose, who assigned it to Robert de Holand. (fn. 27) The latter was afterwards charged with having permitted waste. (fn. 28) Richard died early, between 1295 and 1298, leaving as heir a son William, a minor. (fn. 29) Subsequently Thomas, earl of Lancaster, granted the lordship of the manor of Walton, with the homage and service of William de Walton, to Sir Robert de Holand. (fn. 30)
William de Walton in 1312 made a settlement of the manor of Walton, except seven oxgangs, with remainder to his son Simon. (fn. 31) Three years later he was one of the supervisors of the assize of arms and array in the county, and next year and in 1319 was returned to Parliament as one of the knights of the shire. (fn. 32) He died 1 June, 1321, holding fourteen oxgangs and the serjeanty; also the manor of Walton by the free service of 60s. a year. His mother Alice was still living and in possession of her dower lands; Simon, his son and heir, who was nearly seventeen years of age, had been married six years before. (fn. 33)
Simon de Walton proved his age in 1326 and had livery of his estates and office. (fn. 34) Between 1339 and 1343 he enfeoffed Gilbert and William de Haydock of lands worth £20 a year, which Gilbert de Haydock in 1357 recovered with damages against Simon de Walton and Eleanor his wife. (fn. 35) Already, however, Robert son of William de Walton (fn. 36) had in 1355 sued several persons for lands in Walton which he claimed against Emma, wife of Richard de Halsall, bastard; she and her husband having, as he alleged, no entry except by Simon de Walton, who had disseised Robert's father. (fn. 37) He afterwards succeeded to the manor and bailiwick, and lived until the beginning of 1400; John de Walton, his son and heir, being then sixteen years of age. (fn. 38)
The heir's claim was impugned by Robert de Fazakerley and Ellen his wife, eldest daughter of Robert de Walton, who alleged bastardy. In August, 1412, Robert with a hundred others came in warlike array to the manor of Walton and dispossessed John de Walton, his wife and children, taking away all the goods and chattels there. (fn. 39) Sir Thomas Gerard and others were commissioned to expel the evildoers and make inquiry, (fn. 40) and in 1418 the sheriff was directed to make proclamation that Sir John de Stanley, Robert de Fazakerley and others, under penalty of £100, should, by authority of Parliament, suffer John de Walton to occupy peacefully his manor of Walton. (fn. 41) The dispute was not settled until 1426–7, when a third part of the manor was awarded to Robert de Fazakerley and Ellen his wife in lieu of her marriage portion. (fn. 42) Thomas de Walton succeeded his father John about 1450–1, and his son, Roger de Walton, was the last of the name to possess the manor. (fn. 43)
Roger had issue two daughters—Elizabeth, who married Richard Crosse of Liverpool, and Margaret, who married William Chorley, of Chorley; they divided their two-thirds of the manor equally, so that the lords became Crosse, Chorley, and Fazakerley. (fn. 44) Richard Crosse left a son Roger, who died in 1530, holding lands in Walton of the king, as well as other estates. (fn. 45) Roger and his brothers all dying without issue, their mother's third of the manor was divided between their sisters Blanche and Margaret. The latter married George Garston of Walton, (fn. 46) and dying childless, the other sister and her heirs had the whole share.
Blanche Crosse married Roger Breres. (fn. 47) Their son is said to have been Lawrence Breres, who in giving evidence at West Derby in 1570 described himself as fiftyfour years of age. (fn. 48) He died in 1584, holding various lands in Walton and Fazakerley of the queen by a rent of 20s., i.e. a third of that due from the whole of Walton. Roger, his son and heir, was fortynine years of age. (fn. 49) This son survived his father only about nine years, his heir being his son Lawrence, ten years old. (fn. 50) Lawrence Breres also was short-lived, dying in 1612, and leaving a son and heir Roger, aged nine years. (fn. 51)
The family adhered in the main to the Roman Catholic faith, and Roger Breres, as a convicted recusant, paid double to the subsidy in 1628; (fn. 52) he appears, nevertheless, to have escaped the attentions of the Commonwealth authorities, and was still living in 1665, when a pedigree was recorded at the visitation. His eldest son Lawrence was then dead without issue, the heir being a younger son Robert, who had married a daughter of John Molyneux of New Hall in West Derby. (fn. 53) Robert Breres was reckoned among the gentry of the parish in 1688, (fn. 54) but in his will dated April, 1708, is described as 'of Wigan.' (fn. 55) In this he mentions Roger his son and heir, whose wife's name was Bridget, and who had two children, Lawrence and Catherine. These last, in 1730, mortgaged Walton Old Hall to Thomas Moss of Liverpool, and subsequently to Nicholas Fazakerley, who in 1746 purchased it, (fn. 56) no doubt as agent for John Atherton. (fn. 57) John's grandson, John Joseph Atherton, sold it about 1804 to Thomas Leyland, banker, of Liverpool. (fn. 58) It descended like the other Leyland properties. (fn. 59) The hall has lately been pulled down.
The Chorleys' third part of the manor descended with the Chorley estate until 1715, when, being forfeited for Richard Chorley's participation in the rebellion it was sold to Abraham Crompton, (fn. 60) whose descendant Abraham Crompton died at Skerton in 1822, having dispersed most of the Walton estate. (fn. 61)
The Fazakerleys' third part descended in that family until the eighteenth century, when it was sold to James, tenth earl of Derby, and has since descended with the earldom. (fn. 62)
In 1328 Richard de Northbrook granted his capital messuage at Northbrook in Walton to Thomas, son of Richard de Molyneux of Sefton, (fn. 63) and in 1382 Hugh de Ince of Wigan released all his claim in the same place to Thomas de Molyneux of Cuerdale. (fn. 64) This and other lands granted to younger branches of the Sefton family (fn. 65) appear to have been purchased by the head of the family, and were acquired in the fifteenth century by Sir Richard Molyneux of Sefton, with other small holdings in Walton. (fn. 66) These were afterwards reputed a manor. (fn. 67)
NEWSHAM with its four oxgangs of land, was part of the original grant to Waldeve de Walton, as already stated. (fn. 68) In the inquest taken after the death of John Bolton of Newsham in 1613, it was found that he held a messuage, with 30 acres of land, &c., of the king in socage, and that Robert Bolton his son was his next heir. (fn. 69) Robert Bolton died 18 October, 1630, his son and heir John being only sixteen years of age. (fn. 70) The family appear to have adhered to the Roman church or reverted to it, for in 1717 John Bolton of Newsham within Walton, registered his entailed estate as a 'Papist.' (fn. 71) Ten years later it is mentioned that his daughter had married a Mr. Molyneux. (fn. 72) It was, perhaps, in this way that the estate came into the possession of a family named Molyneux, one of whom, Thomas Molyneux, held it a century ago and built the present Newsham house. 'In 1846, owing to commercial reverses, the estate was offered for sale and purchased by the Corporation of Liverpool for the sum of £80,000'; (fn. 73) an adjacent estate was also acquired, and eventually both were laid out as public parks, Newsham House being fitted up as a residence for the judges. Queen Victoria resided there during her visit to Liverpool in 1886.
SPELLOW gave its name to the family who resided there in the fourteenth century; (fn. 74) afterwards escheating to the lord of Walton, (fn. 75) it was acquired by the Fazakerley family, (fn. 76) and descended with their share of the manor until 1728–9, becoming the property of James, tenth earl of Derby. (fn. 77)
Among the earlier families may be named those of Hauerbergh, Quicke or Whike, (fn. 78) Rice and Halsall. (fn. 79) Thomas Harrison, of Walton, as a 'papist' registered an estate in 1717. (fn. 80) The land tax returns of 1785 show that there were then a large number of proprietors; the chief were the rector, John Atherton, Abraham Crompton, Lord Derby, — Howard, and S. H. Fazakerley.
One of the notabilities of the village was John Holt, (fn. 81) schoolmaster, parish clerk, and antiquary, who died in 1801.
An enclosure award for Walton-on-the-Hill and Fazakerley was made in 1763. (fn. 82)
A local board was formed in 1863 (fn. 83) and a school board in 1883. (fn. 84) The township was incorporated within the borough of Liverpool in 1895, when three wards were assigned to it, each with an alderman and three councillors.
The parish church has been described already; a mission room in Rice Lane was opened in 1890. A number of churches have been built in recent times for the worship of the Established Church. These are as follows:—Holy Trinity, Walton Breck, built in 1847; patron, Mr. J. H. Stock. The old St. Peter's, Aintree, at one time the Aintree cockpit, was opened for service as an Episcopal chapel in 1848, but never consecrated. The present church was built in 1877; the rector of Sefton is patron, the marquis de Rothwell having given a large contribution to the building fund on that condition. (fn. 85)
St. John the Evangelist's, Warbreck, was built in 1881, an iron church having been used for ten years. (fn. 86) Emmanuel is a chapel of ease. The patronage is in the hands of official trustees—the bishop and archdeacon of Liverpool and the rector of Walton. St. Margaret's, Belmont Road, a large and dignified church of brick, was erected in 1873; the patronage is vested in the Preston trustees. (fn. 87) St. Luke the Evangelist's, Spellow, dates from 1882, a temporary building giving place to a permanent one in 1892; the bishop of Liverpool collates. St. Simon and St. Jude's, Anfield, is the result of work begun in a room in Anfield House, since demolished, in 1883; an iron church followed in 1884, and on the demolition of St. Barnabas', Toxteth, the money received was applied to the building of the church, which was consecrated in 1896. The patronage is vested in trustees.
The Wesleyan Methodists have several churches. Kirkdale Chapel, in County Road, dates from 1880; Anfield Chapel, in Oakfield Road, from 1885; and Walton Chapel, in Rice Lane, from 1890. There are others at Warbreck Moor, 1899, and Cowley Road, 1903. In Anglesea Road is a preaching room. The United Methodist Free Church has a school chapel, built in 1890. The Primitive Methodists have churches in Walton and Warbreck.
In 1870 the Congregationalists began to conduct services in an uninhabited house in Walton Park; a school chapel was opened in the following year, which was enlarged in 1875. Services were also commenced in a mission hall in Rice Lane in 1890. (fn. 88)
The provision possible after the Reformation for Roman Catholics is unknown; but as the three squires, down to 1715 at least, and many of the inhabitants (fn. 89) were numbered among them it is probable that missionary priests were able to minister here at intervals. A mission at Fazakerley was served from Lydiate till the end of the eighteenth century. The existing churches, however, are of recent foundation. That of the Blessed Sacrament, Warbreck, originated in 1872 in the saying of mass in a barn, generously lent by a Protestant; the church was opened on Trinity Sunday, 1878. Work at St. Francis of Sales' in Hale Road had an equally humble beginning, a stable being used from 1883 to 1887, when a school chapel was erected. All Saints', Walton Breck, also a school chapel, was opened in 1889. (fn. 90)