Heysham’s Historical Manors

Wren Hall is now a public house close by one of the Coastal Medical centres, but it was originally built in 1598 for the Edmondson family. It was nevertheless in their possession in 1662, when Helen Edmondson was christened there. It wasn’t until 1803 that it is known that the house changed hands, as Sam Bailey rented the large house out.

In 1811, Richard Caton inherited it from Sam Bailey and he put it up for sale.

1814 was when it officially became the character of Robert Hesketh, and he used it as the Bailiff’s house.

Heysham Tower

This building was first built to be part of the Rossal Hall estates and was owned by Robert Hesketh. He lived there with his wife Maria, and their children, but only used it as their summer home.

After Robert’s death in 1824, the house passed to his eldest son Peter, but within four years he had handed the house to his sister Anna. She had married Thomas Knowlys, in 1828, and the associate spent the following two years enlarging the building.

Mr Knowlys was the driving force behind the alterations which included:

– Library

– Large dining room

– Tower for astronomy

Unfortunately, Mr and Mrs Knowlys only lived in the expanded home for ten years, before Mr Knowlys died. He suffered a gunshot wound, the reasons for this injury have not been made public record.

Mrs Knowlys lived there until the 1870s but must have left prior to the 1881 census as she was living with her daughter Florence, in Bristol. Her daughter and son in law had evidently taken her to live with them.

There were two further owners of the Tower, as in 1881 it was the character of Mr and Mrs Bennet who lived there with their daughter. By 1891 they had been replaced by the Cawthra family.

Heysham Hall

This was a large structure, built in 1839 for Ann and Thomas Rawsthorne. They were evidently a high associate, as they had ten children.

Unfortunately, Thomas, lost money due to his unwise investments while he was working as a solicitor. That might have been the reason behind why the Hall was sold in 1854.

Officially the home was meant to go to a ‘gentleman of fortune’, according to the advertisement of the sale, so it seems as though Thomas’s financial problems were the reason behind the sale.

Heysham Hall had a great many rooms

Ground Floor

– Entrance Hall and staircase

– Drawing room

– Library

– Dining room

– Breakfast room

– Billard room

First floor

– Nursery

– Bathroom

– Twelve bedrooms

– Three bedrooms were ensuite

– Servants rooms

– Attics

Basement

– Wine cellar

– Ale cellar

– Other cellars

Outbuildings

– Hot houses

– Conservatory

– Wash house

– Laundry

– Three stables

– Loose horse boxes

– Double coach houses

– Porter’s lodge

– Cottages for the gardener and three labourers

– Piggeries

– Cart house

Excellent walled gardens

The Rawsthorne family also owned the White House, which was located between Heysham Hall and Heysham Tower. The White House was a smaller residence, containing six bedrooms.

In 1879 Frederick Grafton bought the White House. He was a mill owner from Accrington and completely renovated the place.

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