List entry

List entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Baguley Hall: a medieval great house

List entry Number: 1014937


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County District District Type Parish
ManchesterMetropolitan Authority

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Aug-1924

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Sep-1996

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27709

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Medieval great houses were the residences of high-status non-Royal households. They had domestic rather than military functions and show little or no sign of fortification, even of a purely cosmetic nature. Great houses share several of the characteristics of royal palaces, and in particular shared similar characteristics of size, sophistication, and decoration of the architecture. Great houses usually consist of a group of buildings, including a great hall, service rooms, one or more kitchens, several suites of chambers for the owners, the household and its guests, and a gatehouse. Other ancillary buildings are known to have been present but very rarely survive. Earlier examples typically comprised a collection of separate buildings, but through the 14th and 15th century there was increasing integration of the buildings into a few larger buildings. By the later medieval period, such complexes were commonly laid out around one or more formal courtyards; in the 16th century this would occasionally be contrived so that the elevations were symmetrical. Many great houses are still notable for the high quality of their architecture and for the opulence of their furnishings. Several examples contain substantially intact buildings, others consist of ruins or complexes of earthworks. Great houses are found throughout England, although there is a concentration in the south and Midlands. Further north, great houses were more heavily fortified, reflecting more unsettled political and social conditions, but their domestic purpose and status were still predominant. Fewer than 250 examples of great houses have been identified. As a rare monument class which provide an important insight into the lives of medieval aristocratic or gentry households, all examples will be nationally important.

The great house known as Baguley Hall is one of the oldest and finest surviving medieval timber-framed halls in north west England. The timber framing is a rare example of `plank construction' rather than the more traditional post and beam technique employed in halls of similar size and age elsewhere in north west England. Excavation undertaken in the 1980s revealed that the present hall occupies the site of a pre-14th century aisled timber hall, and further evidence of this earlier structure will survive elsewhere beneath the present building.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes the medieval great house known as Baguley Hall. It is a 14th century timber-framed structure with later additions which is constructed on the site of an earlier aisled hall. The building's long axis is aligned approximately NNW-SSE. The standing remains comprise a black and white open timber-framed hall of the mid-14th century built on a stone base and with a slate roof. The hall has tall mullioned lattice windows of a later date between uprights of the timber framing. There are two entrances at the hall's northern end, one on the east side, one on the west, the latter has a 16th century timber-framed porch which was partly rebuilt in the 19th century. The north wing is a brick re-facing of a late medieval timber wing, elements of which still survive. The south wing is a late 17th century brick addition. The hall has a standard plan with a cross passage at the north end, the north wing has two rooms separated by a passageway with access to the upper floor by a stairway in a later brick built addition on the north side, and the south wing has two rooms separated by two staircases giving access to the upper floor. The cross passage of the hall is separated from the main body of the hall by a timber screen (or `spere'). The placing of speres within a hall was an early way of sub-dividing the large open space within it. Often the speres separated access passageways from adjacent open living space. To allow the speres to be placed within the hall the building had to be constructed with an additional roof truss - the `spere truss'. The additional aisle posts needed within the building to support the spere truss were also used to support the spere's which extended between them and the side walls of the hall. Beyond the spere truss the hall consists of two bays divided by a massive open truss. The timber framing of Baguley contrasts with that of halls of similar size and age elsewhere in the north west; the most obvious characteristic of the Baguley timbers is their very massiveness, with the walls being of `plank construction' rather than a traditional post and beam technique. The carpentry is of high quality, particularly on the decorative cusping of the spere truss and the diagonally-set `St Andrew's Cross' bracing on the east and west walls of the hall. The hall's north wall contains three doorways which formerly gave access into the kitchen, buttery and pantry in the north wing, while the south wall contains a single central doorway giving access into the south wing. The 15th century north wing has been considerably modified, not least with brick facing. Its ground floor has two rooms divided by a central passageway which gives access from the main hall through to a later brick addition on the north side. The floor framing of the north wing's upper storey, several of the timber uprights, part of the framing of the south wall and the rafters all belong to the late medieval period. The south wing is of brick construction with a cellar at its west end. The ground floor is divided into two rooms separated by a central staircase giving access to the upper floor. Excavation of the hall during the 1980s found evidence of an aisled timber hall beneath the present structure. Although undated this early hall could be 11th or 12th century and was probably owned by the Baguley family. Excavations beneath the south wing found evidence for a chamber block which was added to the aisled hall prior to the early 14th century. The present timber-framed hall was constructed in the first half of the 14th century by Sir William de Baguley or one of his two sons, John and William. A service block was built at the north end of the hall at the same time and the existing south chamber block was maintained. The northern service block was replaced by a substantial late-medieval timber-framed wing, parts of which still survive, and in the 16th century the timber-framed porch was added. During the 18th century the south chamber block was replaced by a brick-built south wing. The hall followed the usual pattern of development with separate blocks for services and sleeping quarters before the three elements were finally united in a single building. Seventeenth century documentary sources give a list of rooms at Baguley Hall and an indication of the range of auxillary buildings and gardens which were once associated with the hall. These include a barn, lodge, kitchen, old store house, milk house, old larder, the entree, buttery, brewhouse, malt chamber, hall, parlour, closet, nursery, new building, Mr Leigh's chamber, cock loft, stairhead chamber, chamber over closet, great chamber, Mr Rich Leigh's chamber, chappelle chamber and the mylne. Baguley Hall remained in use as a farm until the middle of the 20th century after which it was abandoned. Ongoing maintenance began in the 1970s. Baguley Hall and its grounds are in the care of the Secretary of State and the hall is a Listed Building Grade I.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

  1. Other  Reference - Author: DOE - Title: List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest - Type: LIST
  2. Article  Reference - Author: Dixon, P and Hayfield, C and Startin, D W A - Title: Baguley Hall, Manchester: The Struct Dev of a Cheshire Manor Ho - Date: 1989 - Journal Title: Archaeological Journal - Volume: 142 - Page References: 384-425 - Type: EXCAVATION REPORT

National Grid Reference: SJ 81621 88746


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This copy shows the entry on 02-Aug-2014 at 03:27:29.