Atherton Hall 179

Atherton, England, Greater Manchester

Brief Description

Atherton Hall has an 18th-century landscaped park to the south of Langley Platt Lane. Atherton Wood and Bedford or Hough Wood are part of the boundary plantations. Atherton Lake, which survived until the 19th century, was around 1 kilometre long and was spanned by a three arch stone bridge. This was known as the Lions Bridge from the stone lions on pedestals at intervals along the bridge. The lake has now dried up and the bridge has fallen down. Bedford or Hough Wood was presented to Leigh by Lord Lilford in 1914 and became Lilford Park.


William Wakefield designed a house for Richard Atherton in 1723. This was finished in 1743, and demolished 1825. A formal arrangement of planting was shown on the 1759 survey drawing by Francis Richardson, and probably related to work of about 1730. In front of the house to the south-west was a great lawn enclosed by groves and paired kitchen gardens. Out of this led a broad and long dummy avenue to a mouth between groves. The normal approach was a short distance from the north-west into a court between offices and the side of the house. North-east of the house was a lawn between hedges leading to a broad grass walk through a small forest garden. This had at least one circle and one 'natural' path.

  • Hall (featured building)
  • Description: The remains of Atherton Hall, of 1723 by William Wakefield, and the site of Atherton Old Hall stand on a terrace which slopes down to Atherton Lake Brook. The hall was depicted in a painting by A Devis in 1750 and also illustrated in Vitruvius Britannicus, volume 3, 1725.
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  • Latest Date:
Access & Directions


North-west of Leigh, south of the M61


  • 18th Century
Associated People



  • Lancashire Gardens Trust

  • Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit