Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Livesey Old Hall


Three images of Livesey Old Hall. The top one is a drawing by Chas Haworth and dates from the mid-late 1800's. The centre one is by a W. Fairclough and dates to around 1940 and the bottom one, I have no information about. The lower image pixelates a lot when enlarged, but in its condensed form it does offer another perspective of the hall, so added for that reason alone.
I know very little about Livesey Old Hall, only that it dated from c1600 and fell into disrepair in the 1950's. I'm not exactly sure where it was situated. I think it was somewhere off to the right of Preston Old Rd (when heading west), sort of where Springfield Avenue & Woodlands Avenue are now.
(Update  - With regards location, please see Jonathan's comment below)
(Please also see this link http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53120#n9  which Jonathan included ) 
COURTESY OF THE CP COLLECTION (images)

26 comments:

  1. I used to stay with my grandparents who lived on the Cresent in Cherry Tree opposite was a large field which is now a housing estate and my Granfather told me Livesey Hall was in that field and there were old passages underneath. That was in the 50s

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  2. Thanks for the info. Those are the details that get lost over time. I can well believe there would be passages below it, as it was quite a huge place by the look of it. Probably had wine cellars and other basement rooms. For years and years, I just assumed this place was up Livesey Branch Rd, so I was a bit surprised when I did some research and found out it was more Cherry Tree than anywhere. I have another image of it somewhere. I'll add it to the above when I get some time. - Cheers.

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  3. Cherry Tree would seem to be a much newer area than Livesey, which used to run as a township from the River Darwen to Tockholes. Having looked at a few old maps (old-maps.co.uk is very useful!) and correlated them to modern OS ones, it would seem that the Hall itself stood to the north of Preston New Road, and is now under roughly number 42 The Crescent (penultimate lamppost on the west arm of The Crescent heading northwards), stretching some way west and east of this, with the rest of its associated buildings heading west and south of here to approximately the last lamppost on the right before the spur on Woodlands Crescent (heading anti-clockwise). The large house 'The Woodlands' at the start of Woodlands Avenue considerably predates all the houses in the surrounding area, and in fact prior to this development, the road ran on the other side of Woodlands as the driveway to Livesey Hall(now Woodlands' driveway!), crossing (and predating) Preston New Road and surviving as what is now called Cherry Tree Lane, ultimately crossing the canal at what is still known as Livesey Hall Bridge, before petering out just before what is now The Oaktree pub on Livesey Branch Road. For more information on Livesey as an area, try http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53120#n9

    Hope this has been of help.

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  4. Thanks a lot for that Jonathan. There's a lot to get my head around there (plus I'm a little unfamiliar with the locality, particularly the Woodlands Drive / Crescent side of the main road). I'll have another read of it when I've a bit more time.

    I do have a map from around the 1930's (bought after I added this post, I should add ), which shows both Livesey Hall and Woodlands. It isn't as detailed as an O.S map, but Livesey Hall is depicted as 3 distinct buildings, so as you say, probably the house and associated out buildings (stables etc). The building nearest to the LMS rail line looks the closest in shape to the house pictured above, but I could be wrong. Woodlands appears as just one building and Preston Old Road bypasses it as it does today.

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  5. No problem- the pictures were very interesting! The building closest to the [still extant] railway line does indeed seem to be the right shape, and is marked as such on some of the maps. I did of course mean Preston Old (not New!) Road, which ran exactly where it does today- I was referring to Woodlands Avenue when I said it ran on the other side (East rather than West), and if you have a look on Google Maps' Street View it's quite apparent that the current Woodlands house drive was originally the drive for the hall, now abbreviated . http://bit.ly/liveseyhalldrive gives the picture.

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  6. I had a walk up P.O.Rd on Wednesday afternoon, as far as Woodlands, then turned left up Cherry Tree Lane and over the canal bridge. Although I've walked along the tow-path there on many an occasion over the years, I have never been over the bridge before. I did indeed (eventually, after taking a wrong turn) come out onto Livesey Branch Rd by the old pub that is now the Tesco store.

    My map (Bacon's) clearly shows the drive and as you say, it was definitely the drive to the old hall.

    In George Miller's 'Bygone Blackburn' he mentions how the hall was sold in 1805 to Henry and William Feilden, who split it into two halves. He goes on to tell how in latter years (his book was published in 1950, so I'm assuming he's talking of the 30's/40's) the west portion was still inhabited, but the east half of the hall was empty and had already fallen into disrepair and was in his words ''a melancholy ruin''

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  7. It's quite a pleasant walk, isn't it! I'd gleaned the same information regarding the sale of the estate from the 1911 'A History of the County of Lancaster' (which I linked to earlier)- "About the year 1806 he sold the manor with various estates in Livesey, Tockholes, Pleasington and Balderston to Henry Feilden of Witton and his brother William Feilden of Feniscowles...".

    They then go on to describe the hall in some detail, in fact too much to post here, so I'll link again http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53120#n9, but in summary it would seem that already in 1911 the East end was in some state of decay, and had been for some time as there had already been a restoration plan for it which had never been got round to. Interestingly though, on the 1911 OS map the two halves are marked as separate buildings, whereas by 1931 the East is clearly marked as a ruin, so perhaps there was not obvious external decay until the time of George Miller.

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  8. It is a nice walk, though I had already walked up from the town centre and my dodgy knee was playing up by the time I got Cherry Tree;-)

    For some reason, links don't appear in the normal way in the comments, so I've now added the British History link to the posting, for anyone else interested.

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  9. The picture of the old hall in the snow is my favourite, i love snowy scenes generally!.
    I have visited the hall several times, it seems a shame it was allowed to deteriorate, Prince Charles would never have a place like this go to pot, he'd be onto the case before you could say Prince of Wales and we would have another Lancashire treasure house to our name like Rufford or Samlesbury halls!.

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  10. I've enjoyed reading these postings tremendously. Yes, what a shame that the hall fell into disrepair and was demolished. Thank you for keeping these precious bits of information available.

    Any information on reprints of the Haworth print? Anything available? I would love to purchase one if at all possible.

    Regards, J Livesay

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  11. Hello J. Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the other postings.

    The hand tinted/coloured Haworth print is pretty uncommon. In fact the one I have is the only one I've seen over the last 15 years or more. The monochrome version should be easier to find, as I think most of the Haworth drawings were reproduced in that format in the 1960's / 70's. I'm assuming that's the period they were issued, as most of the ones I've seen usually have a 60's / 70's frame. Local antique centres and flea markets would be your best bet, assuming you're in the Blackburn area, that is.

    I could scan a monochrome image for you and e-mail it to you, if you send me and e-mail address (your e-mail address wont be published on the site), which you could print off and frame yourself. I can't scan the coloured one, as with it being behind glass, it wont scan because of the reflection (the image on here was a photograph I took).

    Regards

    Colin

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  12. Does anyone know where there might be an inventory, listing the contents of Livesey old hall?. Most of the old halls had them, but some are lost or were destroyed for one reason or another. I'm sure the one for this place would be fascinating and i hope it still exists somewhere!.

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  13. If you're local, try the reference dept in the central library.

    Somewhere I have a photocopy of an ''auction of contents'' from 1949 for Woodfold Hall and it is fascinating reading. Not exactly an inventory, but much the same kind of thing.

    I think with Livesey Hall, they split it into two halves at some point and one half was left to fall into disrepair, while the other half was lived in and maintained for a couple of decades longer. I think I read that in one of George Miller's books.

    Regards

    Colin

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  14. Thanks for these posts, they make interesting reading. I am trying to research my family history, my grandmother came from Wales sometime after 1911 to work in service in a "large house" in Cherry Tree. That is all i know until she married in 1918. I am wondering if there may be any papers detailing information about the people in the house including servants. I will have to enquire at Blackburn whether they have anything or not.

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    1. Hi

      Yeah, your best bet would be to contact the reference library. They'll have access to the census' and the electoral rolls / Burgess rolls.

      As Jonathan mentions above, Woodlands was also another substantial sized house in that area. I'm sure there would be others too, possibly even ones still there (though I can't think of any, off the top of my head).

      Regards.

      Colin

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  15. I did enquire at blackburn reference library. I was hoping home owners might have kept records showing servants information etc, there is nothing they know of at this time. It is possible records were kept but still held in "private hands". Electoral rolls from the time aren't much use, as back then women weren't on them

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    1. Hi there

      I just tapped in Old Livesey Hall and seen this interesting e-mail thread.

      I live in London but have strong family links with East Lancs.

      My family the Marsdens lived at Old Livesey Hall for a few years just before the start of First World War.

      It would have been my grandfather John Marsden and his 5 children including my dad Robert.

      My grandfather and his father were quarrymasters near Abbey Village and they also rented a farm on what is now West Pennine Moor. Just up from Brinscall. I'm never quite sure why they moved - possibly because all the land up there was being bought by Liverpool Water Corporation and also the quarry was not very profitable.

      Anyway around 1912 the Marsdens moved from Brinscall to Old Livesey Hall, Cherrytree way. I am 99% sure they rented it rather than owned it.

      I have an old photo which shows the old house even then in a fairly rundown state. According to my uncle (long since deceased) 'we' lived in that part of the house which was habitable and the animals lived in the very rundown part.

      Kind regards

      Peter Marsden

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    2. I lived on the Crescent (24) in Cherry Tree during the early 1950's. At that time Livesey Old Hall was used as a farm house occupied by a family called Moss. I went to junior school in Fensicowles with the daughter of the family and visited the Hall a couple of times. As I recall the family lived in only one wing of the E shaped building as the other two were in dis-repair. There was also a sunken Ice House located about a third of the way between Livesy Old Hall the the Crescent. The hall was accessed via a lane from Preston Old Road.

      I hope this has been of some interest.

      Kev Emmett

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    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  16. Thanks for the information Kev. The sunken ice house sounds interesting. That's the first mention of that, I think.

    Regards

    Colin

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  17. I lived on Preston Old Road and our house looked over fields , the ice house, the Hall and the Yellow Hills. This was mid 50"s and my best friend was Elizabeth Moss who with her and her brother James lived at the farm. We went to Feniscowles County Primary School and walked there together. One of our secrets was leaving messages in the dry stone wall on the lane to the farm. It was a glorious childhood and we spent time in the hump, apparently the ice house!

    We always spent bonfire night at the farm, roasting potatoes in the ashes. Lovely memories! Went to New Zealand last year but couldn't get a link to James and Elizabeth.

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    1. We must know each other, I lived at 24 The Crescent in the fifties and went to Fensicowles Primry School.

      Kev Emmett

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  18. Hi-
    My great uncle, Horden Howard, (1857-1915), emigrated from Livesey around 1872. Can anyone tell me the origin of the name "Horden"? I see there was an Eliz. Horden Livesey christened in 1816, and of course Horden Rake. Any information would be much appreciated.
    David Howard,
    Norwich, New York


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  19. I am a Livesay descendent here in the US. I am in the Livesay Historical Society and have a real desire to come to Blackburn to look up the Livesay homes. Livesay Hall really intrigues me and I'd like to learn more. Any help from others that know details about the house would be wonderful to visit with. Thank You in advance! Debbie Bokelman

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  20. I am a Livesay descendent and have always been intrigued with the home. I would love to talk with someone that has more information about this grand manor. I am in the US and plan to visit Blackburn to see the Livesay homes in Old Hall and Finescowles (sp) within the next year or two. Thank you for the blog on the home….I loved reading it!

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  21. Debbie - we're stateside too - I have a group on Facebook where we share stories, photos and information. If you would like to join, friend request me at Tam Logston and I can add you to the group. My mother is Barbara Livesay b 1939...we trace back through the LIVESAY A1 line.

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