Townships: Childwall

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

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'Townships: Childwall', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907), pp. 108-111. British History Online [accessed 21 June 2024].

. "Townships: Childwall", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907) 108-111. British History Online, accessed June 21, 2024,

. "Townships: Childwall", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907). 108-111. British History Online. Web. 21 June 2024,

In this section


Cildeuuelle, Dm. Bk.; Childwall, 1261; Childewelle, 1291; Childewalle, 1212, 1332; Childewall, 1354 and onwards (common form); also Chaldewall, 1238; Chaldewal, 1305. The terminations 'wall' and 'well' appear indifferently. Childow is the local pronunciation.

The township of Childwall, containing 831 acres, (fn. 1) is principally situated on the slope of a low hill, the highest point of which is 223 ft. above sea-level, commanding an extensive panorama of a wide, flat plain lying to the east. The district has an agreeable park-like appearance, with plantations and pastures, diversified with cultivated fields, where crops of corn, turnips, and potatoes are raised. There are but few dwellings, besides the hall and the houses which cluster about the church. The geological formation consists of the bunter series of the new red sandstone or trias; the pebble beds to the south-west of the Cheshire Lines Railway and the upper mottled sandstones to the north-east. The soil is loamy.

An interesting road is that through the centre of the township from Liverpool through the Old Swan to Gateacre and Hale. (fn. 2) It is joined at the church by a cross road from Wavertree; another road from Old Swan to Huyton runs along part of the northern boundary. The Cheshire Lines Committee's Railway from Manchester to Southport passes through the centre of the township, and there is a station in Well Lane, about a quarter of a mile east of the church. The population in 1901 numbered 219.

Jeremiah Markland, a celebrated classical scholar, was born here in 1693, son of the vicar of Childwall. (fn. 3)

'The roads from Liverpool,' wrote Samuel Derrick in 1760, 'are deep and sandy; consequently rather unpleasant; but the views are rather extensive, particularly from a summerhouse on Childwall Hill, about three miles distant, where you have a prospect of fifteen counties and a good view of the sea. In the skirts of this hill are several small villages with gentlemen's seats scattered about, well covered and for the most part delightfully situated.' (fn. 4) Gregson also says: 'The views from the neighbourhood of the church, from the hall, Gateacre, and as far as Woolton Hall … are extensive and particularly fine. On the west are seen with more distant eminences, Aughton Hills, near Ormskirk, traversing a line of country to the north-east. The prospect from Prescot to Farnworth terminates on the south-east with a distant view of the ruins of Halton Castle—now fast mouldering away—a range of hills beyond, and Norton Priory … A large portion of the Mersey water forms one of the features of this scene, and gives great interest to a landscape that extends nearly fifteen miles … This highly cultivated vale is interspersed with more churches than are usually seen at one view in Lancashire.' (fn. 5)

A cross formerly stood on the roadside near Well Lane; the base is still there. (fn. 6) Another cross stood on the boundary of the township, near the entrance lodge of the hall; on the opposite side of the road are a number of 'seats' cut in the rock.

Well Acre is the name of a field in Well Lane just below the church. Another well or pool at the bottom of the slope to the north-east of the church was known as Monk's Bath; it was well protected by an interior four-sided wall of masonry, and a stream from it used to flow into the Childwall Brook a short distance away. (fn. 7) Ashfield is the name of the land round this well; Mire Lake and Coneygrey are fields near the railway and the Little Woolton boundary.

A local board was formed in 1867; (fn. 8) since 1894. the township has been governed by an urban district council of five members.


Four Radmans held CHILDWALL in 1066 for four manors; it was assessed at half a hide, and its value beyond the customary rent was 8s. (fn. 9) The place is mentioned again in 1094, when Roger of Poitou gave the church to St. Martin of Séez. (fn. 10) Afterwards Childwall, with the adjoining Allerton, was given to Albert Grelley, baron of Manchester, and in his successors the superior lordship of the manor continued to be vested. It is recorded among the members of the barony down to 1473. (fn. 11)

Grelley, Lord of Manchester. Gules, three bendlets enhanced or.

Under the lords of Manchester a subordinate fee of 6½ plough-lands was created, of which a portion was Childwall, being held in 1212 by Richard son of Robert (de Lathom). (fn. 12) In 1282 and later the regular statement is that the Lathoms held half a fee in Childwall. (fn. 13) In 1473 Thomas Lord Stanley, heir of the Lathoms, held Childwall for half a knight's fee, paying yearly for 'sake fee' 4s. 6d. and for ward of the castle 5s. (fn. 14) Later it appears to have been consolidated with Rainford and Anglezark, and these were held together of Lord la Warre by Thomas second earl of Derby, who died in 1521, by fealty and a rent of 3s., the value being estimated as £44 17s. 6d. (fn. 15) A similar statement is made in the inquisition after the death of Ferdinando, fifth earl, who died in 1594, but the value had declined to £30. (fn. 16)

Lathom of Lathom. Or, on a chief indented azure three bezants.

In 1596 Childwall formed part of the lands settled on Thomas Stanley, (fn. 17) but reverted to the earl of Derby in 1614. (fn. 18) During the Civil War the earl's estates were sequestered by the Parliament. The manor was contracted for sale in 1653 to Henry Nevill and Arthur Samwell; the mill, then in the occupation of Isabel Broughton, to George Hurd and George Leaf, and other land there to John Broughton. (fn. 19) From another case before the parliamentary commissioners it appears that Childwall House had been leased to Hugh Houghton, deceased, but the lease had expired. (fn. 20) The succeeding earl of Derby was able to repurchase Childwall among other lands; (fn. 21) and in 1657 he obtained an Act of Parliament to enable him to sell several manors and chief rents at Childwall, Little Woolton, part of Dalton, and all Upholland, &c., whereby he raised a sum sufficient to free his estates from certain charges. (fn. 22)

The manors of Knowsley, Much Woolton, Little Woolton, and Childwall, with lands there, and the manor house of Childwall, lately occupied by Isabel Houghton, were in August, 1657, sold or rather mortgaged to Dame Elizabeth Finch and Edward Bagnell. (fn. 23) A year later, on 14 October, 1658, the purchasers, in conjunction with the earl and countess of Derby, for £4,700 transferred to Peter Legay the younger and Isaac Legay, who are described as 'of London, Merchants,' their right in the manors of Much and Little Woolton and Childwall, with the lands and mansion house, (fn. 24) and in the following February Peter Legay released his right in them to Isaac. (fn. 25)

From this Isaac Legay, who died in 1690, aged sixty-five, and was buried at West Stoke in Sussex, (fn. 26) the estates descended to his son Samuel, who appears to have resided at Childwall House, and died at Warrington in 1700, being buried at Childwall on 23 July in that year. (fn. 27) The heirs were his two sisters, one of whom, Hannah, was married to Thomas Hollis, and the other, Martha, to Nicholas Solly. These joined in 1718 in the actual sale to Isaac Greene of Prescot, an attorney practising in Liverpool, (fn. 28) of all three manors and the house known as the hall of Childwall or Childwall House, together with lands in Much and Little Woolton and Childwall. (fn. 29)

Isaac Greene (fn. 30) married Mary, surviving daughter and heir of Edward Aspinall of Hale, and thus became lord of Hale as well as of the manors of Childwall, Wavertree, Much and Little Woolton, and West Derby. He built a new Childwall Hall, but it was demolished by his grandson, and a castellated building from the designs of John Nash, the popular architect, substituted for it. (fn. 31) Of the three daughters of Isaac Greene the eldest did not marry, and the inheritance was divided between her sisters, the elder (Ireland) having Hale and the younger (Mary) Childwall and the other Derby manors. The latter married Bamber, son of Sir Crisp Gascoyne. (fn. 32) Her eldest son Bamber Gascoyne, who was member of Parliament for Liverpool (1780–96) (fn. 33) had an only child Mary Frances, who married the second marquis of Salisbury. Her grandson, the present marquis, is now lord of Childwall and the other manors. Mr. Hugh Schintz is the present tenant of Childwall Hall.

Land in Childwall was early granted to Stanlaw Abbey. (fn. 34) Richard son of Robert de Lathom gave a 'culture' in Deepdale to Burscough Priory. (fn. 35) An early charter by Robert de Grenol granted to Robert (fn. 36) son of Simon, son of Orm land in the Dale, and Henry son of Richard of the Dale transferred it to Nicholas son of Sir Robert Blundell of Crosby. Stephen son of Adam de Ditton released land in the Dale, perhaps the same portion, to the above Nicholas Blundell in 1298. (fn. 37)

Childwall does not appear frequently on the Plea Rolls, but a dispute between Robert son of Robert del Moss and John the priest's brother continued several years in Edward III's reign. (fn. 38) Later it was found that 2s. of issue of a messuage and 2½ acres in Childwall remained in the king's hands by reason of an appropriation made by the prior of Upholland from John the priest's brother. (fn. 39) Childwall Lodge, a very quaint old building, is the residence of Mr. A. Earle, member of an old Liverpool family.

An enclosure act for Childwall and Great and Little Woolton was passed in 1805. (fn. 40)


  • 1. The census of 1901 gives 830 acres, including 2 acres of inland water.
  • 2. At present the portion to the north of the church is available for foot passengers only; from its direction and connexion, it would seem to have been in former times the principal roadway.
  • 3. He was educated at Christ's Hospital and at Peterhouse, Camb.; he is still counted among the illustrious scholars of his university. He died at Milton, near Dorking, in 1776. There is an account of him in Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 4. Letters from Leverpoole, i, 29, quoted in Baines' Lancs. (ed. Croston), v, 39.
  • 5. Fragments (ed. Harland), 189; written about 1815.
  • 6. Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xi, 237; Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xix, 198.
  • 7. The pool has now become dry, probably owing to the pumping carried on for the water supply of the district, and it is filled up. The tithe map shows a path leading down it, but this has now been closed and added to the field.
  • 8. Lond. Gaz. 28 June, 1867.
  • 9. See V.C.H. Lancs. i, 284a.
  • 10. Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 290, 298.
  • 11. See, for example, Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 54, 154; Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc.) 42; Mamecestre (Chet. Soc.), 379, 514, 479.
  • 12. Inq. and Extents, l.s.c.; Feud. Aids, iii, 81.
  • 13. Inq. and Extents, 250. In 1322 Robert de Lathom held it, and in 1482 Lord Stanley for half a fee owed homage and fealty; Mamecestre, 479. The lord of Childwall had to provide a judge or doomsman at the court of Manchester; ibid. 375.
  • 14. Ibid. 514; see also Feud. Aids, iii, 94.
  • 15. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, n. 68.
  • 16. Add. MS. 32104, fol. 425b.
  • 17. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 59, m. 214. See also Pat. 44 Eliz. pt. ii.
  • 18. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 85, m. 15.
  • 19. Royalist Comp. P. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 147–56, 166–72, 237–8. It was found that Childwall, among other manors, had been assigned in 1637 as security for the payment of £600 to Elizabeth Lady Stanley (widow of Sir Robert Stanley) and her sons, and this was allowed to her in 1646 (she having become the countess of Lincoln), and appears to have been continued after the execution of the earl in 1651.
  • 20. Royalist Comp. P. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 267–8.
  • 21. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1653–4, pp. 368–9.
  • 22. Seacome, House of Stanley (ed. 1793), 403; Commons four. vii, 471, 496, 513.
  • 23. Hatfield D. 656/12. This deed and the next referred to were enrolled in Chancery. See also Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 162, m. 122.
  • 24. Hatfield D. 649/31.
  • 25. Ibid. 649/10.
  • 26. He was lord of this manor; see Dallaway, West Sussex, i, 110, 111.
  • 27. Childwall Reg. Samuel Legay assisted in augmenting the endowment of the vicarage in 1693; Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 166 n.
  • 28. Isaac Greene calls Madame Legay— Katherine, the mother of Hannah and Martha—his aunt; she died in 1718, aged eighty-five, just before the sale; Norris Papers (Chet. Soc.), 29; Dallaway, op. cit.
  • 29. Hatfield D. 665/2 (enrolled in the King's Bench) and 665/9. A recovery had been suffered at the assizes in which Jonathan Case, on behalf of Isaac Greene, had been demandant, and John, Lord Ashburnham, and Henrietta Maria, his wife, vouchees; the latter called James, earl of Derby, to vouch, and he in turn summoned the Hollises and Richard Solly. Thus all possible claimants—whether owners or mortgagees—gave their consent. See also Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 281, m. 121.
  • 30. His parentage is unknown. It was a saying attributed to him 'that, if he had his days over again, he would have all Lancashire in his hands'; Norris P. (Chet. Soc.), 29.
  • 31. Gregson, Fragments, 190. The house seems to have been known as 'The Abbey' for a time, leading to the popular error that there was once an abbey at Childwall.
  • 32. For the Gascoynes see the Dict. Nat. Biog. also the Gent. Mag. 1749, p. 380 (I. Greene); 1791, p. 1066 (B. Gascoyne, sen.); 1824, p. 184 (B. Gascoyne, jun.). A deed of July, 1799, between Bamber Gascoyne and Sarah Bridget Frances, his wife, of the first part, John Leigh of the second part, &c., relating to the manors of Great or Much Woolton, Little Woolton, Childwall, Wavertree, and West Derby and lands, &c., there and in Sutton, Everton, and Hardshaw, was enrolled in the Common Pleas, Mich. 40 Geo. III, R. 31, m. 138d.
  • 33. Pink and Beavan, Parly. Rep. of Lancs., 201. The 'bull beef and cabbage stalks' of Childwall, an electioneering taunt directed against the Gascoynes, arose from the failure of an entertainment offered by Bamber Gascoyne, senior, to the freemen on the occasion of his son's success in 1780; Brooke, Liverpool as it was, 370.
  • 34. Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc.), ii, 549–58. Robert son of Henry [de Lathom] gave to Richard le Waleys half a plough-land there, together with Dolfyn, brother of Edwin, the service being the twelfth part of a knight's fee. John, the son of Richard le Waleys, quitclaimed the same to Stanlaw, his father having so bequeathed it in his testament, and Sir Robert de Lathom (grandson of the above Robert) confirmed it. Alan son of Adam sold to Roger de Ireland an oxgang which he had received from his lord Roger de Warburton, the rent to be two white gloves, and Roger gave it to Stanlaw in perpetual alms for the same rent, Maud de Childwall resigning all her claim to dower. Adam son of Robert de Ainsdale, ancestor of the Blundells of Crosby, gave to John Cotty, rector of Childwall, a sixth part of Deepdale culture, for a rent of 8d., and a relief of 8d. to be paid at John's death.
  • 35. Burscough Reg. fol. 45. The bounds touched the ford at one part, and at another the road from Childwall to Walton. This road crossed the ford.
  • 36. Perhaps an error of transcription for Richard. Margery, relict of Simon de la Dale, released all her right in lands in the Dale and Childwall to her son Richard; and Cecily daughter of Simon also released her right to 'Richard son of Simon, son of Orm' of Childwall; Kuerden fol. MS. p. 96, n. 604–5.
  • 37. Blundell of Crosby evidences (Towneley), K. 199, 242, 234; see also the above note from the Whalley Coucher.
  • 38. De Banc. R. 279, m. 190; 292, m. 87d. John, son of Richard de Wavertree, is named in the remainders to the property of Henry de Wavertree, vicar of Childwall; Norris D. (B. M.), n. 329.
  • 39. Escheator's Accts. 17/45, 36 to 48 Edw. III.
  • 40. The award, with plan, may be seen at the County Council Offices, Preston.