The lost canal village of Bartington

To the north of Weaverham, lies the hamlet known as Bartington.  It no longer exists as a civil parish itself, having been absorbed into neighbouring Dutton in 1936.  However before this, Bartington was a settlement with ancient origins, which once had an important position on the canal network.

Amongst the University of Salford Archives and Special Collections are the Bartington Hall Papers, which contain many letters and accounts belonging to John Antwiss of Bartington Hall, High Constable which help to tell the story of a village community.

It is mentioned in the Domesday book as below:

 “Mundret holds Bartington from the Earl.  Dunning held it.  1/2 paying tax.  Land for 1 plough.  It is there, with 1 rider, 1 slave and 1 smallholder.  Value before 1066, 3s; now 64d.

Wulfgeat holds Bartington from the Earl.  Leofnoth held it.  1/2 hide paying tax.  Land for 1 plough.  It is waste.  The value was 2s.”


The map below shows the original parish boundaries:


The manor was once held by the Kingsleys of Delamere, and the Duttons of the neighbouring parish, and by 1819 had become the property of the Aston family of Aston Hall near Runcorn.

On Tithe maps of 1841, it shows the majority of the land is owned by Arthur Ingram Aston with the rest owned by the Trent and Mersey Canal Company.  The area between the canal and Weaver Navigation is labelled ‘Demesne Lands’

Richard Amery lives at Bartington Hall, and Daniel Massey has Bridge Farm,  beyond which lies the Canal Machine House and Coal Wharf.  On the other side of the road lies another coal wharf run by Whitley Ackers and Company, based in Leigh, Lancashire. The other main  area of habitation is Dean/Dane Farm, to the north, farmed by Thomas Burroughs, with a few other much smaller tenancies clustered around Chapel Lane, the home of the local Methodist Chapel.

In 1851 87 people makes their home within the parish.

By 1878, the Post Office Directory of Cheshire gives the area as 306 acres and the population has risen to 118, among them Frederick Bower, a grocer, farmer and corn dealer, Clarke Brothers, coal merchants, and Thomas Thompson, shopkeeper.


Some of the documents in the Salford collection show Bartington with its canal wharf combined with Acton Swing Bridge Wharf on the Weaver Navigation, operating as an important inland port, trading with Salford, Liverpool, and Manchester amongst others, and providing vital dairy produce and fruit to the thriving new cities.

The population by 1910 had dropped to 75, by which time the coal merchants seem to have disappeared, signalling perhaps that the heyday of Bartington as a key destination on the canal network was finally over.


In the 1970’s Dr Hugh Malet, a historian who lectured at Salford University, and former owner of Bartington Hall  wrote a short history on the village, “Bartington and its Hall – a canal village that vanished” which is also in the collection.  Dr Malet did a great deal of work to document the history of the community.  Bartington Hall Farmhouse was granted Grade II listed status in 1975, and a road sign denoting “Bartington” was eventually placed on the A49 in 1997.

An Auction advertisement in the collection reads:

 “A valuable dairy and arable farm known as Bartington Hall Farm, near Northwich, containing 136.668 statute acres, in the occupation of Messrs. Lowe Brothers on a tenancy terminating on the 2nd February 1922, at the apportioned rent of 300 per annum. The property comprises a picturesque black and white residence bearing date 1642.”

This seems to be at odds with the description given by English Heritage, which states it is probably early 18th century, with additions a century later.

Even though Bartington does not exist as a seperate parish anymore, it’s legacy remains in the landscape in the names of buildings and fields and the continuing work of local historians.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *