Halton village listed buildings walk

Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here on a warm sunny late March day. Lockdown restrictions have been reduced but, my human said that it would be nice for us to walk from the house up to Halton Village. He wanted to check out all the Listed Buildings in the village. I simply wanted to go for a walk. I would have to be on my lead until we arrived at Halton Castle on the top of the hill. I didn’t mind too much as I would be checking out every wall, post, gate, bush, weed and parked car wheel on the way, as I do! Also, I could do a bit of cat hunting through every open gate. So, off we went on our hunt for Listed Buildings and moggies!

We won’t go into detail about our route as most of the village’s listed buildings are fairly close to each other. We walked the length of Main Street, starting at the top of Halton Brow. When we reached the Norton Priory Lodge we turned back and turned right into The Underway to visit Halton Old Hall. We then headed up Castle Road to Halton Castle. Job done! After a mad run around for twenty minutes we headed downhill towards home. Below is what we saw on our walk and what I sniffed!

The Criteria for Listed Buildings are:

Grade I – Buildings of exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important.

Grade II* – Particularly important buildings of more than special interest.

Grade II – Buildings of national importance and special interest.

The Seneschal’s House was the first Listed Building that we came across. It sits at the top of Halton Brow and on the corner of Main Street. It is the oldest standing building in Runcorn and was built in 1598. The Grade II* Listed Building and is recorded on the National Heritage List for England. The large two storey building is made from sandstone with a slate roof. It was formerly known as Halton Brow Farm House but was built for the judge John King as John King’s New House. The judge was known as a seneschal and the name given to the house by Geoffrey Baraclough, Professor of History at Liverpool University in the mid 20th Century.

The Norton Arms is across Main Street from the Seneschal’s house. It is Grade II Listed and according to a plaque over the main entrance, was built in 1758, from rough cut brick with a slate roof.

Halton School is further along Main Street on the right and was formerly the coach house to Halton House. It is Grade II Listed and dates to the late 18th century.

Halton House is next door to Halton School and is Grade II Listed. It was built of brown brick with a slate roof in 1779. The windows were replaced in the 19th century.

Village Farmhouse is a short walk from Halton House. This Grade II building was built in the early 17th century with an extension added in the early 19th century. It is made from red sandstone with a slate roof.

Hollybank House is further along Main Street on the corner of Hollybank Road. Grade II listed and made from rendered brick with a slate roof.

59, 61 and 63 Main Street are three Grade II Listed Buildings and were built in the early 19th century. Built from red brick with slate roofs.

Photo by Peter I Vardy

Rock Farm is a late 17th century Grade II listed building. Built from sandstone and red brick with a slate roof. Later additions to the building were made in the 19th century.

80, 90, 92 and 94 Main Street are on the opposite side of Main Street to the previous buildings. Built on a sandstone base in 1827, this row of four cottages is Grade II Listed. More red brick with a slate roof buildings.

125 and 127 Main Street were originally two separate cottages built in the early 17th century. Nowadays, it is one dwelling. The ground floor is made from sandstone while the first floor is timber framed with a rendered infill. Grade II Listed again.

Norton Priory Lodge further along Main Street on the opposite side was, as the name says, originally a lodge to the Norton Priory estate. It was built in the mid 19th century from sandstone with a slate roof. The door has since been filled in.

Halton Old Hall was our next port of call. We retraced our steps along Main Street until we turned right into The Underway, then right again until we came to the building on our left. This building is Grade II* Listed was built in 1693 from sandstone with a slate roof. It has since had parts added. It replaces a house on the site that was damaged during the English Civil War in 1643.

6, 8 and 10 Castle Road was our next destination. Only a few hundred yards from our last stop and on the incline towards the top of the hill. This row of Grade II Listed cottages were built in 1718 from red sandstone with a slate roof.

12, 14 and 16 Castle Road, three brown brick cottages with slate roofs, were built in the early 19th century. They are Grade II Listed and were built on a stone plinth.

Photo by Peter I Vardy

Chesshyre Library is opposite the previous cottages. This Grade II* Listed sandstone building was built in 1730 for the vicar of St. Mary’s church by Sir John Chesshyre. It is currently linked to the church hall and used as a meeting room. The gate piers at the front of the building are listed separately as Grade II and were built around the same time as the library building.

The Vicarage is next to the library as you ascend the hill. It is currently a private residence but was built by Sir John Chesshyre for the vicar of St. Mary’s. Another Grade II* Listed building.

St. Mary’s Church is a few yards further up the hill and can be seen from miles around. Built in 1851 to replace an ancient chapel. It was built by Sir George Gilbert Scott with the money from Sir Richard Brooke of Norton Priory. It is built from local red sandstone with a slate roof. It has an octagonal bell-turret.

Castle Hotel is another Grade II* Listed building. It was built in 1737 as a courthouse attached to Halton Castle. Prisoners were held in the basement cells and tried on the first floor courtroom. It is currently a public house.

Halton Castle is the ruins of the Grade I Listed building. It stands on top of the hill and has great views over the River Mersey. Originally built in 1070, and later added to, it was seriously damage during the Civil War and fell into ruin. Walls were added in 1800 to improve its appearance. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, owned by the Duchy of Lancaster and managed by the Norton Priory Museum Trust. We have written another blog about the castle if you are interested.

On the top of the hill and outside of the castle there is a large area of mowed grass for me to play on. So, that’s what I did. My human had ‘filled his boots’ with listed buildings and now it was time for me to do what I like to do. Off-lead and doing zoomies, rolling in ‘stuff’ on the grass and chasing birds. It was a nice sunny day and we had the place to ourselves. The big feller had a sit on a rock while he moaned and groaned about his iffy knee while I completely ignored him while I looked for a large stick to chew on.

Peeping through the trees from Halton Castle toward the Silver Jubilee Bridge

My human said that he didn’t want our blog to be a history lesson. There are many more out there who know more of the history of the buildings. He said that he hopes that our ramblings encourage more people to look at and enjoy our town. Till next time!

Messing about by the castle

13 thoughts on “Halton village listed buildings walk

  1. Thank you for all the wonderful pictures and explanations of the different buildings. My Granny lived at 125 Main Street, and my Dad lived there till he passed away. Of course it was two cottages then. Brought back memories of my early childhoodโ€ฆ..Iโ€™m 73 now.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Iโ€™m sorry but I donโ€™t know the date the cottages were built. I have a book โ€œOld Runcorn โ€œ by H.F.Starkey. In there is a picture of the cottages and it says seventeen century. Iโ€™m afraid that all I can tell you. Chris

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for sharing! I didnโ€™t realize there were quite so many listed buildings in Halton- of course itโ€™s been a while since I was zooming around the castle grounds and slightly less time since I had a drink in the pub๐Ÿ˜„. Really enjoy your site

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Planning a listed building walk around Hale very soon. Nearly every building is listed ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘the pub is due to reopen soon with pandemic restrictions being relaxed ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿบ


  3. I remember when I was a child that on the wall about 20 yards to the left of the castle pub was a sign saying the castle belonged to the duchy of Cornwall


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