As a result of being asked many times about the occupation of Bank Hall, I have produced this Time-line and we hope our guests and visitors to the site will find this useful. Due to the lack of historic information, the data provided for earlier years is unfortunately limited.
The Banastre family were Lords of the Manor and their seat was at Bank Hall, Bretherton.
13th The Banastre’s are recorded as being in the area at this time. In 1240 a branch of the family acquired the lands in the Bretherton area. (Reference: In the History of Lancashire there is reference to Bank Hall as pre-dating Edward II (1306-1326)
1548 Richard Banastre died – He is buried in Croston.
1555 William Banastre (Aged 55), successor to Richard died. His Son Henry, inherits the Hall.
1577 Saxton’s Map of Lancashire shows both “Brotherton” (The Old Spelling) and “Bank Hall”, then seat of the Banastre Family.
1593 Henry Banastre died at Aged 70 – He had come into possession of the Hall at age 33. His second son, William, inherits the Hall.
(On William’s death the Hall passed to his eldest son Henry. As no death is recorded for William, it is not clear whether it was William or Henry who instigated the re-building of the Hall)
1608 The core of the present Bank Hall building is completed in its early form.
1617 Henry (Son of William) died, His infant Son “Henry” inherited the Hall.
1641 Henry (Son of Henry) dies at aged 40 in London but was brought to Croston for burial.
(Henry had two sons – Henry & Christopher – Henry was murdered at the age of 28 in 1664 in Delamere Forest in Cheshire and had no heirs)
1650-60 About this time the Tower was added to the building.
1664 Christopher Banastre took over the ownership of the Hall and in this year his eldest daughter Anne was born. In 1669 he achieved the office of the Sheriff of Lancashire. He was recorded as still living in 1682 and when he died, he left two daughters: Anne and Elizabeth. He was the last of the Banastre family.
1713 Elizabeth, the younger of the two co-heirs died leaving Anne as sole heir. Anne married Thomas Fleetwood and they had one daughter Elizabeth who married Thomas Legh of Lyme in 1701. Thus the Hall passed to the Legh family at this time.
1717 Thomas Legh died leaving 10 children. The eldest Fleetwood Legh inherited the Hall.
1725 Fleetwood Legh died aged 25 on the 21st January. His brother, Peter, inherited Bank Hall. He and his wife, Martha, spent most of their time at Lyme Hall.
1787 Martha Legh died.
1792 Peter Legh died.
(There was then a dispute involving succession but the Estate eventually passed to George Anthony Legh-Keck via his wife, Elizabeth Atherton – 2nd daughter of Robert Vernon Atherton of the Bewsey Estate, near Warrington)
1832 George Anthony Legh-Keck completes extending and remodeling the Hall.
1837 Elizabeth (nee Atherton) wife of George Anthony Legh-Keck died. George Anthony Legh-Keck did not remarry.
1860 Legh-Keck died 4th September whereupon his estates passed to Thomas Atherton Powys, Lord Lilford III.
1861 Lord Lilford III died. The Hall passed to Thomas Littleton Powys (Lord Lilford IV)
1895/96 Lord Lilford’s son lived at the Hall for approximately 18 months.
1896 Lord Lilford IV (born 1833) died.
1897 9th March – Lady Lilford planted an Atlantic Cedar in the grounds of the property beyond the walled gardens at the rear of the Hall. This, we believe was to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee (60 years as Monarch) which was celebrated on the 22nd June in that year.
1899 Harcourt Everard Clare appointed Chief Clerk to the Lancashire County Council and took up the tenancy of Bank Hall.
1916 Mr. Clare was Knighted and became Sir Harcourt Clare.
1922 (1st March) – Sir Harcourt Clare died whilst still in office at the Lancashire County Council. He is buried at Bretherton Church.
1924 Lt. Col. Sir Norman Seddon-Brown took up the tenancy of the Hall.
1932 About this time Sir Norman Seddon-Brown had the swimming pool constructed on the westerly side of the Hall.
1937 The Seddon-Browns left the Hall.
1940 The Army – The Royal Engineers – took over the untenanted Hall until the end of the War. It was a duplicate communications centre for ship movements in the Atlantic.
1945 John Powys (born 1863) and now Lord Lilford V, died and the Estate and Title passed to his brother, Stephen.
1949 Stephen Powys (born 1869) – Lord Lilford VI, died and the Estate and Title passed to his kinsman, George Vernon Powys who became Lord Lilford VII.
1960’s The Lilford Estate Office occupied the East end of the building throughout this decade and through to 1972.
1971 The West wing of the Hall, was occupied by a family who had purchased the nearby Windmill. They took up residence whilst the Windmill was being restored and altered into a residence.
Since then the Hall has been empty and subjected to much Vandalism.
1995 August – Bank Hall Action Group was formed with the object of saving the Hall.