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Ask Joan
Joan Leach is a local historian, a volunteer at the Heritage Centre, a founder of The Gaskell Society, and much more besides.


Dear Joan, Please can you tell me anything about Bexton Hall. It is rumoured that the landlords of Tatton, Tabley and Toft could see their estates from the balustrade round the roof. I've also heard it is haunted! How old is it and who used to own it. I know it is now part of Tabley Estate. There doesnt seem to be any history of it in local books, so I would apprerciate any information you could send me. Thank you, S. Greenway  

Joan answers:
Bexton HallThis charming old 17th century house seems to have left by the tide of history , isolated and forgotten. It is now known as Bexton Hall Farm. In earlier times it was probably the moated manor house of the de Bexton family whose name appears on medieval documents. Gary Bexton from Tasmania is sad that I cannot find much Bexton history for him. The land was divided between the Cholmondelys and the Daniels who owned Over Tabley Hall and Bexton Hall.

Above: Bexton Hall before the removal of the cupola

The last Daniel - Sir Samuel who died, I think in 1726, left Bexton Hall to his nephew Samuel Duckenfield who added Daniel to his name. Left a widow Lady Duckenfield Daniel had her portrait painted by John Astley and found him so attractive that she offered herself as the original rather than a copy! He lost no time in spending her money and adorned Bexton Hall with a pagoda or viewing platform on the roof so that the local gentry could view the hunt. He also painted scenes round the walls.

When the hall came into possession of the Leicesters of Tabley Lady Leighton ( nee Leicester Warren) thought the scenes 'not nice' and had them painted over. They can not be recovered because the top was removed some years ago.

When I saw the house some years ago I was saddened by the lack of care as a fine old, oak staircase had loose and missing turned spindles. It now belongs to Manchester University.