Blackley Hall House
Newton Rd, WN57TD, Billinge
Part of Group:
At Risk: No
Although in St. Helens Council area, the building has a strong association with the history of Winstanley Hall.
I have evidence to show that Blackley Hurst Hall was built prior to 1530 in a detached part of Winstanley in Billinge.
It used to be the home of senior members of the Winstanley family. Thomas Winstanley and his wife Elizabeth (daughter of Sir Gilbert Gerard, Master of the Rolls to Queen Elizabeth I) built Winstanley Hall in 155-61. Thomas and his son Edmund, who inherited Winstanley Hall in 1562, spent most of their lives in Wales, where they earned good money in the woolen industry. In the 1560s Edmund returned to Wales and never again lived in Winstanley Hall, selling it to James Bankes in 1595/6. Thomas' brother, also an Edmund, took care of the hall and served as Steward to the Rector of Wigan. Thomas, as a senior member of the Winstanley family, owned Winstanley Estate.
It is my understanding that Thomas' brother James lived in Blackley Hurst, which probably was the main home of the Winstanleys after the c.13th century moated home was abandoned and before Winstanley Hall was built. I am guessing that Blackley Hurst was built in the 15th century.
As Blackleyhurst Hall was built prior to 1533, I assume that the moat was also built before this time. Moat houses were typically built from the 12th through the 15th century. Moats provided defence, security and prestige for the owners of the moat house, in this case the Winstanleys.
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