The Manor of Allerton
A History of Allerton and Mossley Hill @ allertonOak  
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The Norman Conquest to the 12th Century
In the years immediately following the Norman Conquest in 1066, many native English nobles rebelled against William I, only to be ruthlessly suppressed and have their lands put under the control of French lords. At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, Allerton was known as Alretune and was held by Roger de Poitou. He was was quite a young man at that time as he was born in Normandy around the time of the conquest. He held most of the land between the Mersey and the Ribble in addition to many other parts of England, and later acquired all of the territory up to the River Lune. However, in 1102 he lost all of his English holdings as a result of taking part in a failed rebellion against Henry I.   According to the Domesday Book, there were three manors in Allerton each held by a thane, a low-ranking nobleman holding land for a superior lord in return for services. During the 12th century it came under the Barony of Manchester and was held, along with Childwall, by the Lords of Lathom. In the early 1200s, one of the local nobles was Robert de Lathom, whose son Richard de Allerton adopted the local surname. In 1209 Robert Grelly, Baron of Manchester, laid claim to certain services that Richard owed him, which he settled by resigning one of his holdings to the baron. He also gave half of 'Exstanefold' to the Priory of Burscough and other land to the canons of St. Werburgh of Warburton.
The 12th to the 14th Centuries
Richard's son Robert de Allerton further donated to the canons of St. Werburgh 'three acres between the Twiss and St. Mary's Spring' and 'ten oxgangs (150 acres) upon Flasbuttes in the east of Aigburth between the Stonebridge and the Moss' (a twiss is a tongue of land between two brooks). In 1241, following a legal dispute, he also resigned his right in twelve oxgangs (180 acres) of land in Allerton, half of the remaining manor, to Thomas Grelley, Baron of Manchester. From then on no resident family assumed the local name and the Barons of Manchester continued as the dominating authority until the seventeenth century, despite the Lathoms trying to reclaim land from the Grellys in 1316.   A subordinate manor of Allerton was formed for one of the members of the Grelley family, the earliest known tenant being John Grelley. His son Robert continued to hold the manor until the beginning of Edward III's reign (1327), when he was succeeded by his son John, who can be traced to about 1380. In 1382 John's widow Isabel negotiated the marriage of their daughter Anilla to John le Norreys of Much Woolton. An elder daughter may have inherited the manor but that is not known for sure. One of John le Norreys's daughters, Joan, married Henry Mossock and the Mossocks retained property in Allerton until the seventeenth century.
The 15th to the 18th Centuries
Allerton was later held by the Lathoms of Parbold, beginning with Edward de Lathom in 1441. Robert Lathom of Allerton, who married a daughter of William Norris of Speke, appears from 1472, dying at a great age in 1516. He was succeeded by his son William, then over sixty years old. The Lathoms were both royalists and recusants (i.e. Catholic), in common with many in the north-west. Allerton Hall first seems to have appeared as the home of Elizabeth Lathom, widow of Richard Lathom, who had died in 1602. Her eldest son Thomas died just before her in 1623 and the estate passed to her second son Edward on her death in 1624, and then to Thomas's son Richard when he came of age in about 1643. Richard, a Royalist, fought alongside his uncles in the Civil War. He survived the war but the estate was seized by Cromwell's parliament in 1652.
The manor was sold to John Sumner of Midhurst in Sussex in 1654 for 2,700. However, the Lathoms, against all the odds, managed to hold on to the estate for some time and it was not until the beginning of 1670 that Charles, son and heir of John Sumner, obtained possession from Thomas Lathom by a further payment. Later in the same year the manor was sold to Richard Percival and Thomas his son for 4,755. Richard Percival, born in 1616, was a Liverpool businessman and alderman. He refused to make the declaration required by the Test and Corporation Act that he was a member of the Established Church (i.e. protestant) and was removed from his aldermanship in 1662. He died in 1700, being succeeded by his other son Richard, who had three sons and four daughters. The eldest son, John Percival, failed in business about 1722, and the father, apparently overwhelmed by misfortune, retired to Manchester, where he died in 1725.
In 1736 Richard Percival, son and heir of John, sold the estate for 7,700 to the brothers John and James Hardman, the latter being distantly related by marriage, and then retired to Wavertree Hall, where he was living as a recluse in 1760 still attempting to discharge of his father's debts. It is likely that the present house originates from the brothers' time. John Hardman, a merchant from Rochdale, died in 1755 soon after his election as MP for Liverpool, his brother James having predeceased him in 1746. John had no children, but James left three sons and a daughter, all of whom died young, and the widow continued to reside at Allerton Hall until her death in 1795.
Allerton Hall in the 18th Century
This detail of an engraving by S. Goodman from The Beauties of England and Wales by John Britton, Vol IX (1807), shows the relatively small original Jacobean Hall from the time of Elizabeth Lathom in the foreground. On the right is the newer building work undertaken by the Hardman brothers c.1740. Its completion by William Roscoe to give the present symmetrical aspect involved the demolition of the original hall.
The 19th to the 20th Centuries
The estate was then purchased by William Roscoe, who completed the building of the Hall, and James Clegg, who jointly held the manorial rights. The former resided at Allerton Hall until his banking interests failed and he was forced into bankruptcy in 1820. His portion was sold to James Willasey of Barton Lodge near Preston, who subsequently took up residence at the hall. In 1824 it passed to Pattison Ellames for 28,000. In 1836 he was living at the Hall and Samuel Joseph Clegg, son of James Clegg, at Green Hill in Allerton.   After prolonged litigation among the representatives of the families of Willacey and Ellames, the manor, demesne lands and hall estate were offered for sale in 1868 by order of the Court of Chancery. It was later sold, with the manorial rights, by the Ellames trustees to Lawrence Richardson Baily of Liverpool, after whose death in 1886 they were purchased by Thomas Clarke of Liverpool and Cork. He was lord of the manor until his death in 1911. His six sons all settled elsewhere and in 1923 his son Charles Samuel Clarke presented Allerton Hall to the City of Liverpool in memory of his father.
Acknowledgements and Further Reading
I have drawn heavily on the article Allerton in the Victoria History of the County of Lancaster (1907) at
This is a non-commercial website that is intended entirely for research and educational purposes. If I have unintentionally breached copyright with any images, I hope that the copyright owner will tolerate my usage in the present context, otherwise I will remove the material. Modern colour photographs are by the author.