A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Waleton, 1203, 1301; Ulveswalton, 1284; Ulfneswalton, 1320; Ulneswalton, 1321. (fn. 1)
This township is crossed by the Lostock brook, flowing south-west to join the Yarrow. Wymott brook, an affluent, divides Ulnes Walton from Bretherton. The surface is flat and lies low, there being a slight rising to the north-east and south-east. To the south of the Lostock are Barbles or Barbers Moor in the west and Holcar in the east, to the north of it is Littlewood in the west. Folds is in the north-east corner. The area measures 2,105½ acres, (fn. 2) and there was a population of 551 in 1901.
The principal road is that going north from Eccleston to Longton; there are scattered dwellings situated beside it, but they are too few and too far apart to form a village. Another road, forming the southern boundary, goes from Croston Station to Chorley. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company's line from Liverpool to Preston crosses the western side of the township.
There were sixty-six hearths charged to the tax of 1666; the largest house was that of William Gradell, with six hearths. (fn. 5)
There is a parish council. A school board was formed in 1877. (fn. 6)
The manor of ULNES WALTON was a member of the fee or barony of Penwortham, and thus passed from Bussel to Lacy and so to the Earls and Dukes of Lancaster and the Crown. Of the lord of Penwortham it was held by the service of the fifth part of a knight's fee by a family surnamed Walton. (fn. 7) The earliest known member of it, Ulf de Walton, was living about 1160, (fn. 8) and he no doubt gave the distinguishing name of Ulf's (Ulnes) to the township. He had a son Adam, occurring a little later, (fn. 9) perhaps the same Adam de Walton who had to pay a mark to the scutage in 1203–4. (fn. 10) He was succeeded by a son Adam, who gave his moiety of Eccleston to his son Warine, (fn. 11) and in 1242 Warine de Walton held the fifth part of a knight's fee in Walton of the fee of the Earl of Lincoln (Lacy), and he of the fee of the Earl of Ferrers (as lord between Ribble and Mersey), and he of the king in chief. (fn. 12)
Warine had a son Adam, known as Master Adam, (fn. 13) who, at least ultimately, inherited the family manors and estates in Ulnes Walton, Eccleston, Leyland, and Hoole, &c. He made a settlement of the manor of Hoole in 1294, (fn. 14) and of the remainder of the estate in 1301; by this the manor of Walton, 30 acres in Leyland, 30s. rent in Kellamergh, and the moiety of the manors of Eccleston, Heskin and Leyland were settled on Adam de Walton of Hoole and his issue, with remainders to Adam de Walton of Mitton, William de Walton and Margery de Walton. (fn. 15) The two Adams died without issue, so that the inheritance came to William, after some disputes with the heirs of Adam de Walton of Hoole. (fn. 16) William had a daughter and heir Maud, (fn. 17) who married William de Bracebridge, and they, in 1347, granted the manor of Ulnes Walton and the moieties of Eccleston, Heskin and Leyland to Henry Earl of Lancaster, receiving in exchange Berleye (Barley) in Yorkshire. (fn. 18)
Margery sister of Adam, who married Thurstan de Northlegh, appears to have held lands in the township, (fn. 19) for her heirs, the Radcliffes and Bartons of Smithills (fn. 20) and the Leghs of Lyme, (fn. 21) long held lands here.
The manor, however, descended with the earldom and duchy of Lancaster, (fn. 22) until in 1551 the Crown sold it to Anthony Browne, (fn. 23) who in turn sold it in moieties, in 1558–9, to William Farington (fn. 24) and to Sir Thomas Gerard. (fn. 25) The former moiety has descended with the other Farington estates (fn. 26); the latter was in 1562 sold to Edward Earl of Derby, (fn. 27) whose successor, William, in conjunction with Edward Stanley, in 1597 sold it to Sir Richard Molyneux, (fn. 28) and it descended like Sefton (fn. 29) until 1729, when it was sold, (fn. 30) and has disappeared from view. (fn. 31)
There are a number of court rolls at Worden, beginning in 1503. The manor-house seems to have been at Littlewood. (fn. 32)
The Sutton family, (fn. 33) claiming by descent from one of the Waltons, long had an estate here, which descended to Gorsuch of Scarisbrick. The Faringtons (fn. 34) and other neighbouring landowners had estates in this township, as appears by the inquisitions. About 1600 the principal residents (fn. 35) appear to have been the Stopfords (fn. 36) and Gradwells or Gradells. (fn. 37) The estate of the latter on Barbles Moor became the property of Alexander Kershaw of Heskin, by whose representative it descended to L. Hargrave, and was sold. (fn. 38) Humphrey Marsh died in 1628 holding a messuage and land in Ulnes Walton of Lord Molyneux; his heir was a brother, Evan Marsh, and the family appear to have retained or increased the estate. (fn. 39)
Under the Commonwealth the estates of James Rutter (fn. 40) and William and Elizabeth Gradell were sequestered or sold. (fn. 41) In 1717, as 'Papists,' Christopher Gradell, (fn. 42) Robert and Hugh Jump and Thomas Langtree registered estates. (fn. 43) In 1787 the chief landowners were William Farington and John Marsh, and in 1798 the same, with Thomas Gardner and Edmund N. Kershaw added. (fn. 44)
The Hospitallers had an estate in Ulnes Walton. (fn. 45)