100 Halls Around Manchester Part 71: Denton Hall, Denton

Denton Hall was a half timbered structure on the north bank of the Tame three miles to the North East of Stockport, on the south side of is now Windmill Lane.

The Hall was first inhabited by Sir Thurston De Holland (1290-1365), the son of Sir William Holland of Upholland (1275-1318) and Margaret Worsley de Shoresworth (1270-1318). William had not produced an heir by his lawful wife (Margaret Knight of Sharples) so he formed a non legal union with Margaret Worlsey to have his son, Thurston, and endowed him with the Sharples estate, and Margaret’s uncle, Alexander De Shoresworth endowed him with the Denton estate.

Edward Holland (c1520-1570) married firstly Jane Carrington (b c 1520) of Carrington Hall, then in 1567 married Cecily Trafford the widow of Robert Langley. The Holland family owned now not only Denton but also Agecroft and the Heaton Hall Estate in Prestwich.

The male Holland line died out in 1683 with Edward Holland and the Hall then passed by the marriage of Elizabeth Holland to Sir John Egerton of Wrinehill, Earl of Wilton and the family decamped to Heaton Hall where we will meet them at a later date.

The house eventually became a farm and during the 19th century was inhabited by a series of farmers, in 1841 the Hopwoods are there, followed in 1851 by the Days, the Browns in 1861 until the end of the century when we see the Saxon family in residence and then the Oakdens.

Despite this the building was still in a good condition in the 1850s and a watercolour was painted in 1880 by Edward Arthur Phipson and J Cornish provides us with a good description and drawings of how the hall looked inside:

The great hall was 30 feet long by 23 feet wide, with short bays over the high table and a minstrel’s gallery. Like many early houses it did not have a fireplace, but was heated by braziers in the middle of the floor. To accommodate the fireplace the gallery was partially destroyed, and the end product is very similar to that at Speke Hall¹

By the nineteenth century the eastern wing had become a barn, albeit richly decorated with oak carvings, and the farming families built bedrooms over the hall, reducing the height.

By 1894 the building had been treated with such neglect that Seymour John Grey Egerton (1839-1898), the fourth Earl of Wilton was forced to build a new farmhouse and demolish the west wing.

Sadly on 19 January 1930 the great hall burned down, leaving just the East wing standing, and in turn this was demolished in 1970. The surviving timber frame was removed to be erected at Chonar Farm on Hough Lane in Wilmslow, leaving no trace in Denton of the structure².

Even an architectural excavation in 1980 was plagued by vandalism and the spillage of hundreds of gallons of diesel oil on the site. A sad end for the Hall.

Chonar Barn © Google

Lets see some pictures:


Old Halls in Lancashire & Cheshire, Henry Taylor : J E Cornish, 1884

Denton Hall in The Industrial Heritage of Britain

British History Online – Denton

Heaton House in Prestwich.org

¹ Nowadays known as John Lennon Hall. Perhaps one day I will cover Scouseland.

² At least unlike Agecroft it remained in the UK.

© Allan Russell 2021.


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