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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
- Other Reference - Author: DOE - Title: List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest - Type: LIST
- 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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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1014937.pdf - Please be aware that it may take a few minutes for the download to complete.
This copy shows the entry on 02-Aug-2014 at 03:27:29.