Townships: Croxteth Park

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.

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'Townships: Croxteth Park', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907), pp. 182. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Townships: Croxteth Park", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907) 182. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "Townships: Croxteth Park", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907). 182. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

In this section


Croxstath, 1228, 1297; Crocstad, 1257; Croxthat, 1330.

This township, formerly part of Knowsley but independent and extra-parochial from the twelfth century owing to its inclusion in the forest, has an area of 959 acres. The population in 1901 was 61.

It is well wooded. A public footpath crosses the park, which is pleasantly carpeted with turf and shaded by good-sized trees. The woodlands have been planted with evergreen shrubs, chiefly rhododendrons, which make cover for the abundant game. The River Alt, rising in the township of Knowsley, before it attains much volume flows through the park, and finds its way through the most level of country into the sea at Hightown. Beyond the confines of the park there are wide open fields, some pasture, but the majority arable, where some of the finest Lancashire potatoes are grown. Corn and turnips also are successfully cultivated in the rich loamy soil.

The geological formation consists of the lower mottled sandstone of the bunter series of the new red sandstone in the north-eastern half of the township, and the coal measures on the south-west.


The record of the perambulation of the forest in 1228 gives the first account of Croxteth; the jurors found that it had been taken from Knowsley and placed within the forest after the first coronation of Henry II, and that it should therefore be disafforested and restored to the heir of Robert son of Henry de Lathom. (fn. 1) This verdict was not acted upon; Croxteth remained part of the forest, being regarded as a member of the demesne of West Derby, and was committed to officers who kept the park of Toxteth and chase of Simonswood. (fn. 2)

Leases of the herbage of Croxteth were granted from time to time, (fn. 3) and in 1446 a lease of the herbage, pannage and turbary of the park for thirtyone years was granted to Sir Richard Molyneux of Sefton and Richard his son, at a rent of £5 10s. per annum. (fn. 4) Just before the expiry of this lease Richard, duke of Gloucester, as high steward of the duchy, granted the park to William Molyneux and his heirs to hold by copy of court roll at the customary yearly farm, saving to the king and his heirs sufficient pasture for their deer. (fn. 5) This grant probably lapsed, for in 1507 the park was given to William Molyneux of Sefton, then one of the esquires of the king's body. (fn. 6) From this time Croxteth has descended with Sefton, and the chief residence of the family was transferred to this neighbourhood, though Croxteth Hall is within the township of West Derby. (fn. 7) The earl of Sefton owns the whole of the land.


  • 1. Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc.), ii, 372. The jurors further declared that Egersart ought to have common rights here.
  • 2. The profits of Croxteth amounted to 11s. 6d. in 1257; Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 210. In 1330 a verderer was appointed in succession to Robert de Sankey, incapacitated by infirmity; Cal. of Close R. 1330–3, p. 74. In 1346 this park was described as being four leagues in circumference, the herbage worth £5 6s. 8d. yearly; a parcel of pasture of the Hooks, between the park and Knowsley, was worth 2s.; the turbary was not extended; Add. MS. 32103, fol. 142. Two years later the issues of the park were thus returned:—Of the herbage of Croxteth in winter and summer £6 13s. 4d.; of the pasturage of the Hooks, 2s. 6d.; of the pannage of swine, windfallen wood, and perquisites of the woodmotes, nil; Duchy of Lanc. Var. Accts., 32/17, m. 7 d. Geoffrey de Wrightington appears to have been the keeper, for in 1346 he was demanding an account of receipts from his bailiff, Richard de Alvetham; De Banc. R. 345, m. 21.
  • 3. Henry, duke of Lancaster in 1358 granted a ten years' lease of the herbage of the park to Alan de Rainford at a rent of 5 marks; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 338. In 1387 a lease for twenty years at 6 marks rent was granted to William de Bolton; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl, App. 526.
  • 4. Ibid. 538. A lease had been granted to Sir Richard Molyneux in 1437; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xviii, 72 d.
  • 5. Croxteth D. F. 1. William Molyneux was a younger son of the Sir Richard just mentioned. In the grant the park was described as ruinous, having no wood in it or near it for the reparation of the pale, so that the enclosure cost as much as the yearly farm. The grantee undertook to ditch and set wood around the park, to keep the deer at his own cost, and to pay the king the usual farm.
  • 6. Ibid. F. 2–5. The park was to be held according to the custom of the manor of West Derby, paying yearly the old accustomed farm of £6, and an increase of £6 yearly for the park and chase of Simonswood, which was granted at the same time. The grant was in 1508 enrolled upon the court rolls of the manor of West Derby. The district was described as a barren moorish ground.
  • 7. See the accounts of Sefton, West Derby, and Toxteth.