Grid Ref. SJ 905 805
18 June 2001
|The Georgian South Front completed in 1757
||The Elizabethan East Wing
of the inscription found over the door to the courtyard showing date of 1581.
East corner of the courtyard
In 2001, after a gap of some years, Adlington Hall was open to the public
on Monday and Wednesday afternoons in June and July. There is a coloured
brochure describing the main features of the house and the Legh family.
The hall is on the site
of a hunting lodge which predates the Norman Conquest. Two huge oak tree,
still rooted in the ground, remain from the lodge and can be seen in the Great
Hall. At the Conquest the lodge came in to the possession of Hugh Lupus, Earl
of Chester. In the early 13th century the hall was granted to the de Coruna
family who held it for four generations before running out of male heirs.
Eleanor the daughter of Sir William de Baggilegh was the heiress (see the
additions and corrections in Ormerod's History of Cheshire). She married John
de Legh of Booths and their son, Robert de Legh eventually succeeded to
the hall and estate. The hall has remained in the same family ever since,
albeit with succession through the female line in the 18th century, in 1888
when it went through two females, in 1940, and again in 1992. The family tree
below showing the succession of heirs from the late 17th century is drawn
in part from the hall's brochure and in part from East Cheshire Past and
Present by J.P. Earwaker, London, 1877. Stuart Raymond, in
Cheshire: A Genealogical Bibliography, Vol. 2 lists as a source Cheshire
families: Legh of Adlington in Advertiser Notes and Queries, 1,
The hall is now in two distinct parts. The north and east sides are from the 15th and 16th centuries and are half timbered. The south and west sides are in brick and were built in the middle of the 18th century. The porch shown in the photograph above has above it the inscription with the name Thomas Legh and the date 1581. Through this porch is a hall dating from 1505, built by an earlier Thomas Legh. It has a hammer beam roof and at the end for the high table a canopy, described by Nikolaus Pevsner as the finest in the county. It has 5 tiers of panels with letters at the intersections making up an inscription with the date 1505.
Arthur Mee relates the story that Sir Urian Legh, one of the family's ancestors in the 16th century was knighted for his services at Cadiz in 1596. According to a ballad of the time he captured a Spanish lady. He treated her with great courtesy and she gave him a golden chain, which he wore when his portrait was painted.
1. Thomas Legh of Adlington, Esq., baptised at Prestbury, 16 February 1643/4.
Colonel of the Militia, High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1688, buried Prestbury
17 April 1691. He was bound over to keep the peace having favoured the Duke
+ Johanna, daughter and heiress of Sir John
Maynard, Sergeant-at-Law, a well known lawyer. They married about 1666.
She died about 1700. This couple had three sons, Thomas, John and Robert,
and two daughters, Johanna and Anne. For the purpose of the succession of
the estate it is necessary to look in detail at John, Robert and Anne's
Thomas Legh, baptised Prestbury, 20 June 1667, buried there 3 December
John Legh of Adlington, Esq., baptised Prestbury 8 December 1688.
He was a Colonel in the Militia and High Sheriff in 1705, MP for Bodmin
from 1715 for seven years and was buried at Prestbury on 12 December
+ Lady Isabella, daughter of Robert Robartes,
Viscount Bodmin, and granddaughter of the 1st Earl of Radnor. They married
about 1693 and had one son, Charles and two daughters. Isabella was
buried at Prestbury on 27 December 1725.
- 3. Charles Legh of Adlington, Esq., born 17 September, baptised
4 October 1697 at Prestbury. He was responsible for building the new
Georgian frontage at Adlington. He was a Colonel in the Militia and
High Sheriff of the County in 1747. Died 26 July and was buried 3
August 1781 at Prestbury, when the male line became extinct.
The estate passed first to his niece, Elizabeth Rowlls
(see below in red) who took the name of Legh and held the estate for
25 years. However, when she died without surviving issue, the estate
went to Richard Crosse of Shaw Hill Lancashire, the grandson of Charles'
first cousin Ann and her husband, Richard Crosse of Crosse Hall in
+ Hester, elder daughter and co-heir
of Robert Lee of Wincham, Esq. They
had one son, Charles, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Lucy but
Charles died before his father and his sons died in infancy.
Legh of Wincham, only son, born 2 May, baptised 27 May, Prestbury
and died before his father being buried at Prestbury on 19 June
+ Mary the daughter of Francis
Reynolds of Strangeways near Manchester, MP for Lancaster, married
about 1758. Three children died in infancy.
Elizabeth Legh, baptised 25 July 1694 at Prestbury, died unmarried
Lucy Francis Legh, baptised 8 February 1695/6 at Prestbury, buried
Prestbury 25 November 1728. In 1725 she became the second wife of
+ Peter Davenport of Macclesfield,
who was buried at Prestbury on 27 January 1746/7. They had two children
John and Elizabeth.
John Robartes Davenport, buried Prestbury, 20 August 1727.
- 4. Elizabeth
Davenport, daughter and sole heiress, baptised 20 November 1728,
married 1752. She was the second wife of John Rowlls. Took the
name of Legh by Royal Licence on 5 October 1781. Died in 1806.
She held Adlington for about 25 years and it then went to Richard
Crosse, shown in red below, the descendant of John Legh's younger
+ John Rowlls, of Kingston in Surrey, Receiver General for that
county. Died 1779. Children were John, William, Charles, Elizabeth.
William and Charles died without issue.
John Rowlls, after the death of Charles Legh, his
mother's uncle, in 1781, John Rowlls took the name of Legh.
He married in 1773.
+ Harriet, daughter and CO-heir
of Sir Peter Warburton of Arley, born 18 February 1758.
6. Charles (Rowlls) Legh,
born 6 April 1780, died 14 November 1781.
Charles Legh, born 20 November 1782, died 3 January
Elizabeth Hester, only daughter and heiress.
+ Thomas Delves son of
Sir Thomas Delves Broughton.
Robert Legh of Chorley, baptised 7 August 1673 at Prestbury. He had
money and land from his mother's will.
+ Mary daughter of Sir Richard Standish
of Duxbury in 1704. They had three sons who died without issue and five
daughters of whom we follow on Anne, the eldest.
Anne Legh, cousin of Charles Legh of Adlington.
+ Richard Crosse of Crosse
Hall in Lancashire, baptised 1699, died 5 December 1742. This couple
had three sons, Thomas, Legh and Charles and four daughters, Frances,
Elizabeth, Katherine and Anne of whom we follow only the eldest
Thomas Crosse of Crosse Hall and Shaw Hill, Lancashire, baptised
23 September 1723, died 14 September 1802.
+ Sarah, only daughter of Robert
Ashburner of Preston, Gent., a widow, on 3 November 1750. This
couple had two sons and three daughters of whom we follow Richard.
- 5. Richard Crosse of Shaw Hill (1754-1822),
succeeded to the Legh estate in 1806. He took the name and
arms Legh by Royal Licence. He was High Sheriff of Lancashire
in 1807 and died 11 August 1822, being buried at Prestbury,
+ Anne, only surviving daughter
of Robert Parker of Cuerdon, Lancashire, Esq. The couple
married on 9 October 1797 had two sons and three daughters.
The eldest son inherited Adlington. Anne died 17 December
1807 aged 39.
Thomas (Crosse) Legh of Adlington, born September 1792,
took the name and arms of Legh b Royal Licence 18 July
1823. He was accidentally drowned at Antwerp on 25 April
+ Louisa, daughter of
George Newnham of New Timber Place, Sussex, barrister.
This couple had two sons and three daughters.
Charles R. Legh (1821-1888), succeeded to the estate
at the age of 8.
+ Mary Jane Anabella,
daughter and co-heiress of Rev. Henry Wright of
Mottram Hall, by whom he had one son, who predeceased
him without issue, and two daughters. The estate
then passed to his granddaughter, Caroline.
Florence Hester Lavinia Legh.
+ Frederick Henry
Cotton of Dalbury, Derbyshire, Esq.
Caroline Mary Florence Cotton, (1873-1940)
on succeeding to the estate she and her
husband assumed the name of Legh by Royal
Masterson Robertson Renny of Davevale, Kirkcudbrightshire,
Esq. This couple had one daughter who inherited
Adlington in 1940.
Cynthia Combermere Legh (1896-1983)
Armitage Broughton, Commander, RN
The Buildings of England:
Cheshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner and Edward Hubbard, first edition 1971,
Yale University Press edition in 2003.
The King's England, Cheshire, edited by Arthur Mee, published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1938, fourth impression 1950.
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Introduction to Cheshire Gentry
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