Place:Smithills, Lancashire, England

Watchers
NameSmithills
TypeSuburb
Coordinates53.602°N 2.455°W
Located inLancashire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inGreater Manchester, England     (1974 - )
See alsoBolton Rural, Lancashire, Englandrural district of which it was part 1894-1898
Bolton, Lancashire, Englandborough in which it was situated 1898-1974
Bolton (metropolitan borough), Greater Manchester, Englandmetropolitan borough in which it has been located since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog

Other than Smithills Hall, there are no references to Smithills in any of the volumes consulted.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Smithills Hall is a Grade I listed manor house, and a scheduled monument in the township of Halliwell, Bolton, Greater Manchester, England. it stands on the slopes of the moors above Bolton at a height of 500 feet, two miles north west of the town centre. It occupies a defensive site near the Astley and Raveden Brooks. One of the oldest manor houses in the north west of England, its oldest parts, including the great hall, date from the 15th century and it has been since been altered and extended particularly the west part. Parts of it were moated. The property is owned by Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council and open to the public.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The name Smithills derives from the Old English smeþe meaning smooth and hyll, a hill and was recorded as Smythell in 1322. Early medieval records about the hall began in 1335 when William Radcliffe acquired the manor from the Hultons who held it from the Knights Hospitaller. On Radcliffe's death in 1369 it passed to his son and heir Sir Ralph Radcliffe, High Sheriff of Lancashire for 1384–1387 and twice MP for Lancashire. The Radciffes lived there until 1485, when the male line failed and Smithills Hall passed to the Bartons, wealthy sheep farmers who lived there for nearly 200 years.

In 1659 the hall and estate passed by marriage to the Belasyse family. In 1722 the Byroms of Manchester bought the manor and kept it until 1801 when the hall and estate were acquired by the Ainsworths, who made their fortune as the owners of bleachworks at Barrow Bridge.[1] Around 1875 Richard Henry Ainsworth employed architect George Devey to extend and modernise the hall. In 1938, George Ainsworth sold the hall to Bolton Corporation. Parts of it became a residential home and day centre that closed in the 1990s.

The oldest parts of the hall opened as a museum in 1963, and in the 1990s, the museum was extended into some of the Victorian extensions. The west wing was restored by the council in 1999.

In 1554 George Marsh a preacher from Deane near Bolton was 'examined' at Smithills Hall, before being sent to Chester to be tried for heresy. He was found guilty and executed at Boughton in Chester. A footprint, supposedly left by Marsh, is said to bleed every year on the anniversary of his death (24 April).


Nathaniel Hawthorne visited and described the hall when he was United States consul in Liverpool in 1855.[1]

Research Tips

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Smithills Hall. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.