Townships: Aintree

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

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'Townships: Aintree', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907), pp. 99-101. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Townships: Aintree", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907) 99-101. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "Townships: Aintree", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907). 99-101. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

In this section


Aintree, 1226; Ayntre, 1292—the usual mediaeval spelling; Eyntre occurs; Ayntree and Ayntrie, xvi cent.

This triangular township forms the south-eastern corner of the parish; its area is 850 acres; (fn. 1) the population in 1901 was 261.

The county is extremely flat, and in the northern portion of the township the level of the landscape is scarcely broken by even the smallest trees, and the hedges are but scanty. The surface, occupied by cultivated fields, where corn and potatoes find a congenial soil, is a mixture of clay and sand. A few farms are dotted about the district. A patch or two of undrained mossland near one of the railways discloses the nature of the surface before the time of reclamation. The geological formation consists entirely of the waterstones of the keuper series of the new red sandstone or trias, with alluvial deposits obscuring the strata by the River Alt.

The main road from Liverpool to Ormskirk passes through it. The Mersey branch of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway joins the Liverpool and Wigan line at the south-eastern corner. There are two railway stations called Aintree, but actually situated in Netherton, close to the great racecourse, which was opened 8 July, 1829.

The old village is in the centre of the township, about two miles south-east of Sefton church; but houses are multiplying on the Walton border, owing to the growth of Liverpool and the rise of industries in the neighbourhood.

The Alt Drainage Act of 1779 mentions Bull Bridge, and gives some field names, e.g. The Chew, Further Feirock, and Nearer Knots Field.

Aintree is governed by a parish council.


AINTREE is not separately mentioned in Domesday Book; from later notices its assessment is found to have been one plough-land. (fn. 2) At the beginning of the thirteenth century it was held in thegnage by Henry de Holland of Downholland in Halsall, and most of it had already been granted out, Alan de Holland, Robert de Molyneux, Henry son of Gilbert, Hawise daughter of Richard, and Cockersand Abbey holding in 1212. (fn. 3)

Nevill of Hornby. Argent, a saltire gules.

Mr. Irvine in his book on the Hollands, states that 'there is no evidence of any blood relation between the two families (of Holland of Downholland, who never rose to any important position in the county, and the Hollands of Upholland), and the strong probability is that they were not in any way connected.'

The Molyneux share, one oxgang of land, was granted in free marriage with Alice de Molyneux to the son of Richard Baret; (fn. 4) it descended to the Ridgate or Rudgate family, (fn. 5) by whom it was sold in 1490 to Lawrence son of Henry Molyneux. (fn. 6)

The remainder, or the greater part of it, seems to have been quickly reunited into the hands of a family who adopted the local name; for in 1296 William de Aintree's possession was 6¼ oxgangs of land and half of the mill. (fn. 7) The descent is far from clear. Part at least—probably including the lordship—descended to Emma, daughter of Henry and Agnes de Aintree, and wife of Henry son of Hugh de Atherton, (fn. 8) and part to William de Aintree's daughters, Margery de Wedacre and Alice. (fn. 9)

Some minor grants occur. (fn. 10)

In 1387 it was found that Sir Thomas Nevill, son of Sir Robert Nevill of Hornby, held the manor of Aintree (fn. 11) of the lord of Downholland by knight's service and a rent of 8s. 2d.; that Sir Thomas was dead, and his heir was his daughter Margaret, then four years of age. (fn. 12) As she died without issue the descendants of Sir Thomas's sisters became his heirs. Thus Aintree came to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Harrington, who married John Stanley, whose heirs —Anne, wife of John Swift; Joan, wife of Thomas Halsall and afterwards of John Osbaldeston; and Thomas Grimshaw of Clayton-le-Moors—and their descendants quickly divided and sold the inheritance. (fn. 13) A rent of £12 from Aintree descended from another of Sir Thomas's sisters to Sir Christopher Danby. (fn. 14) The Molyneux family of Sefton purchased all or the greater part; and the manor of Aintree has from the sixteenth century descended with Sefton. (fn. 15)

Molyneux of Sefton. Azure, a cross moline or.

John Bower, a freeholder, contributed to the subsidy of 1628. (fn. 16) Richard Lathom, gentleman, of Aintree, was indicted as a recusant in 1678. (fn. 17) Among the 'Papists' who registered estates in 1717 were Thomas Fleetwood and John Boyer of Aintree. (fn. 18)


  • 1. 853 acres, including 12 of inland water; Census Rep. of 1901.
  • 2. It is supposed to have been part of the demesne of West Derby in 1066. Though the adjacent manor of Sefton appears to have lost a plough-land, being rated later as five instead of the six plough-lands of 1066, there is nothing to indicate that Aintree formed the missing part, the lordship and tenure being distinct.
  • 3. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 49. Aintree is not named, but the subsequent history shows that those named held in this place; Hawise daughter of Richard, however, is doubtful. The service was 8s. 2d. in all. The whole of Henry de Holland's holding being 3¼ plough-lands, and Downholland with Barton being 1¼, and Ribbleton 1, it follows that Aintree was one plough-land. The Cockersand grant was known as St. Marystead; Henry son of Alan de Holland granted it in pure alms for the health of his soul and the souls of his wife and his father. The bounds were from the Akenhead Brook, along the bounds of Efward to the Alt as far as Southfield Brook, from this following the Meneway which crosses the brook as far as Stonyford in the Alt; in breadth from Lunddel Meneway to the Alt; Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 631. This is described as 'a culture' in 1212. It was held by the Wards of Maghull in 1357; by Thurstan Maghull in 1451; by John, the chaplain of Maghull, in 1461, at a rent of 12d.; and by Matthew Maghull in 1501 and 1537; ibid. iv, 1244–5; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 4, m. 11. On the suppression it was granted to Thomas Holt; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p. m. xi, n. 46.
  • 4. In a suit between William son of Adam Baret, and William son of William Baret, in 1292, concerning a messuage and one oxgang in Aintree, it was stated that Alice, daughter of Robert de Molyneux, grandmother of the former plaintiff, was seised of them. A certain Richard Baret rendered them to Robert de Molyneux, his chief lord, who thereupon gave them, with his daughter Alice, to Richard's son William in free marriage. There were two sons, Adam and William, fathers of plaintiff and defendant. William son of Adam recovered; Assize R. 408, m. 12d. From a Haydock charter it seems that the Barets held land by grant of Matthew de Haydock, who had 1½ oxgangs in Aintree, and gave half of this to William Baret for life; Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxxviii, 236.
  • 5. William Baret dying without issue, his sister Alice inherited. She married a Rudgate, or Ridgate, perhaps of Whiston; their son William had a son Richard de Ridgate, who in 1351 had to defend his right against Gilbert de Haydock; the moiety of an oxgang had been added by this time; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 1 (Lent), m. iij d.; R. 2 (July), m. j d.; R. 3, m. ix; R. 5, m. 26d. The claim by Gilbert de Haydock was defeated; but lands in Aintree were held by him as early as 1332; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 82. The writ concerning the manor of Aintree, 'except 6½ oxgangs, &c.,' probably refers to this suit; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. p. 332. Some later notices of this family occur. In 1381 Gilbert de Ridgate contributed to the poll tax; Lay Subs. Lancs. 130/24. John del Ridgate of Aintree received the royal protection on proceeding to Ireland in 1386 in the company of Sir John de Stanley; Cal. of Pat. 1385–9, p. 156. Robert de Ridgate in 1426 granted land in Aintree to Nicholas del Lunt; and in 1454 Robert del Ridgate, perhaps the same, was in possession of one oxgang, 5 acres, and half an oxgang, about which the suit had been contested a century before; Croxteth D. B. vi, 3; i, 4. Robert's son William, whose wife was named Margery, in 1479 gave all his hereditary lands to his brother Richard, and Emma his wife; ibid. B. i, 5, 6.
  • 6. Ibid. B. i, 7–9.
  • 7. Final Conc. i, 179; William de Aintree actually held 5¼ oxgangs, 221 acres of land, 2s. 3d. rent, and the quarter of the mill, and on the death of Alice, widow of Henry de Aintree, there would revert to him another oxgang, an acre of land, 12d. rent, and a quarter of the mill. The succession was settled upon Henry de Aintree and his brothers Gilbert and Robert; probably they were William's sons, as a Henry, son of William de Aintree, occurs in 1292; Assize R. 408, m. 54. William de Aintree was son of a Henry de Aintree, as appears by a suit against him and Robert de Molyneux brought in 1276 by William son of Adam the Demand; De Banc. R. 13, m. 37, &c. He was living in 1298; Inq. and Extents, 284. William de Aintree in 1295 granted part of his land to William son of Thomas de Nateby; Croxteth D. B. vi, 2. Earlier was Richard de Aintree, living in 1255; Inq. and Extents, 201. It appears from a Melling suit that Henry, Gilbert, and Robert died without issue before 1305; Assize R. 420, m. 3d.
  • 8. Henry de Aintree married Agnes, daughter of Richard de Molyneux of Sefton, and her daughter Emma was defendant in various suits in 1301. Gilbert son of William de Aintree brought a writ of novel disseisin against her, but did not prosecute it; Assize R. 419, m. 3; also m. 8d. Then Alice, widow of Henry de Ain- tree, claimed dower in certain lands held by Emma; Richard de Molyneux, her grandfather, Simon de Balderston, and Emma widow of William de Aintree being joined as defendants, the grandfather in his capacity of guardian to Emma, who was a minor; Assize R. 419, m. 6 d. In one statement of defence it was alleged that William de Aintree held the parcel in dispute for life, by grant of Henry; ibid. m. 7 d. In 1323 Henry son of Hugh de Atherton and Emma his wife complained that William de Molyneux of Sefton and others had disseised them of part of their tenement in Aintree; Assize R. 425, m. 6. Two years later he proceeded against William the Demand of Netherton and others, for cutting his turf; De Banc. R. 255, m. 207. Henry de Atherton contributed to the subsidy of 1332; Exch. Lay Subs. 27. John, son of William de Cowdrey, Otes de Halsall, and Alan, son of Alan de Cowdrey, were accused of taking Emma, widow of Henry de Atherton of Aintree, from Sefton church on 10 November, 1343; they were acquitted; Assize R. 430, m. 13. There appears to have been a daughter and heir Joan, who married Robert de Nevill of Hornby. The latter in 1346 is found claiming various lands as the right of his wife, daughter of Henry, and granddaughter and heir of Hugh de Atherton of Hindley; De Banc. R. 346, m. 349. In 1356 Joan, widow of Adam de Aintree sought dower from Henry, son of Simon de Bickersteth and Agnes his wife; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 4d.
  • 9. Margery and Alice, daughters of William de Aintree, were plaintiffs in 1305 respecting land in Aintree which should have descended to them after the death of Gilbert their brother; Assize R. 420, m. 5. In 1307 they claimed lands from the above-named Emma, daughter of Henry de Aintree; De Banc. R. 164, m. 142. Twenty-five years later Roger de Wedacre and Margery his wife claimed messuages and lands in Aintree as of the wife's right; De Banc. R. 280, m. 115; R. 282, m. 13; R. 288, m. 55d. In one of the Randle Holme pedigrees it is stated that Alice de Aintree married Richard de Maghull. This family had land in Aintree from about 1300, for in 1301 Richard de Maghull and his wife Alice warranted to his son Richard and his wife certain lands in Aintree and Melling; Harl. MS. 2042, fol. 46. The Maghull family continued to hold land here down to the sixteenth century; Croxteth D. B. v, 1.
  • 10. John, son of Robert, son of Hiche of Sefton in 1321 enfeoffed Richard de Lunt, clerk, of all the lands in Aintree which had belonged to his father; Harl. MS. 2042, fol. 46. William, son of John del Brooks, in 1398 granted an annual rent of 10s. from his lands in Aintree to John del Brooks; and in 1524 Thomas, son and heir of Lawrence Hareflynch, and Margery his wife, a daughter and coheir of Thomas Brooks, granted lands here to Edward Molyneux, rector of Sefton; Croxteth D. B. iii, 1 2.
  • 11. Probably in his mother's right; see a previous note.
  • 12. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 28; though his father was living, his sisters proved to be his heirs. Not long before, in 1374, Adam de Hoghton held the manor of Roger de Holland by a service of 8s. 3d. yearly; Coram Reg. R. 454 m. 13. There is a brief note of a fine between William de Aintree and Maud de Byron in Harl. MS. 2042, fol. 59.
  • 13. Sir Thomas's sisters were Margaret, who married Sir William Harrington, and Joan, who married Sir John Langton; Whitaker, Craven, 11. For their descendants see Whitaker, Whalley, ii, 509, and Craven, 234; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 330. In 1520 John Swift and Anne his wife, a daughter and coheir of Elizabeth, lately wife of Richard Beaumont and previously of John Stanley, demised all their part of the manors, lands, mills, &c., in Aintree and Melling to Edward Molyneux, rector of Sefton, for his life at a rent of 5 marks; and this was followed next year by a sale of the same, Sir William Molyneux being joined with his brother the rector in the recoveries; Croxteth D. B. ii, 1, 2, 3, 8; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 11, m. 200. Thomas Grimshaw married Margaret, another daughter of John Stanley; Whitaker, Whalley, ii, 274. In 1552 a partition was made between Richard Grimshaw, John Osbaldeston and Joan his wife, and Richard Molyneux, by which the last-named, who held one-third by his purchase from the Swifts, secured the manor of Aintree with the appurtenances, closes called the Great and Little Gos, a meadow called the Farraches, the messuages, &c., held by Thomas Heche and others, a rent of 3d. from the lands of Thomas Maghull, 1d. from the heirs of John Shurlacre, 12d. from the heirs of Robert Hey, 2d. from John Abbe, 3d. from John Hesketh, and certain messuages, &c., in Liverpool; Croxteth D. B. v, 1. See also Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 15, m. 113.
  • 14. Croxteth D. B. iv, 2. This rent of £12 issuing from Aintree and Melling is described as formerly paid to Sir Robert Nevill. Sir Christopher Danby in 1536 took lands in Holtby, Heworth, and Clifton near York, in exchange.
  • 15. In 1623 the manor of Aintree was found to have been held by Sir Richard Molyneux as the 40th part of a knight's fee; the clear value was £10 2s.; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 389.
  • 16. Norris D. (B.M.).
  • 17. Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.). 109; see also N. Blundell, Diary, 91, Probably Richard Lathom of Liverpool, surgeon, 1686.
  • 18. Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 93; some particulars of their families are given.