Bache Hall 6794

Chester, England

Brief Description

The current Bache Hall, built in the early 18th century, is now used by Chester University. The grounds, as recorded in the associated images, used the natural features of a valley with Bache Brook draining an adjoining pool. The Hall, situated on a gentle rise, looked over pleasant gardens, well planted with trees, a waterfall and bridges over the brook. Some of the grounds were lost in the 1980s due to road widening and then a major new road (Countess Way) was built which required landfill and culverting of the stream. The wooden bank to the south of the brook remains as a rare example of natural wooded banked area in today's suburban Chester landscape.The area of the Bache with its adjoining former Pool and Mill has a long history going back to pre-historic times.

History

The current Bache Hall was built in the early 18th century as a gentleman's estate and continued in that form until 1902 when for 10years it became Chester Golf Club with a 9-hole course. Later its grounds started to be consumed by modern roadways, housing and hospital facilities. Nothing of this once beautiful garden survives. The history of the site goes back to pre-historic times.

Features

Plant Environment

  • Woodland Garden
  • Environment

Style

  • English Landscape Garden
Water Feature, Natural Landscape
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Upton-by-Chester
History

Detailed History

The first references to the various families who have held the manor start in the 13th century with several people with Bache as a surname. It is probable that they did represent the owners but that is not definite. But by the 14th century the manor was held by the Donecaster family who had obtained land from families in Upton during the reign of Edward II. The much respected Chantrell family came next and they held the manor from the Abbot and Convent of St Werburghs and after the reformation from the Dean and Chapter.

In 1606 it was purchased by the unfortunate Edward Whitby. The property was rebuilt after the old house was demolished during the 1643 - 46 siege of Chester in the Civil War, when it was garrisoned by Parliamentary troops. Edward Whitby, who was recorder to the City at the time, was one of several who lost their houses this way around the periphery of the city. The older property is listed as having a Medieval moat, but there is no trace of it but the name Moat Field is recorded on the tithe map of 1844 (field No3, on tithe map). The site is now covered by modern houses.

From the Whitby's the estate passed partly by purchase and partly by marriage to the Cromptons. About 1716 the manor passed via an heiress of the Cromptons to the Morgans of Golden Grove in Flintshire, until they sold it to Samuel James Brodhurst of Chester.

The property descended successfully to various members of his family who as part of the will terms had to change their name from Jenks to Brodhurst (sometimes listed as Broadhurst). In 1874 Samuel Broadhurst Hill sold the estate to the soap tycoon Robert Hudson (see 1881 census return for Bache hall and Bache Cottage). After his death in 1884 his widow, Emily, continued to live at the Hall until her death in 1901. The Hall and land was then tenanted by Major John Macgillicuddy who was one of the founders of the Bache Golf Club. This became the Chester Golf Club in 1902 until 1912 when the owners of the estate sold to the neighbouring Asylum (later the Hospital). The hall recently underwent major internal reconstruction after its acquisition by Chester University.

The 1872 (revised 1908) OS map shows the extent of the gardens and grounds of the hall. Features include two lodge houses (Liverpool Road Lodge House), laid out gardens, waterfall and tree planted estate. The house marked Pavilion was also known as Bache Cottage (see 1881 census return). In 1973 Liverpool Road, from the Dale down to the Bache was widened and made into a dual carriageway. Bache Hall Lodge and Bache Cottage were demolished to accommodate the changes.

The Lunatic Asylum, lying on land between Bache and Upton Halls, was established in 1829, its steady growth into the next century as a mental hospital continued until it had grown into a large general hospital. Not only did the hospital buy Bache Hall in 1911 it has also expanded to absorb large portions of the Bache township into its complex and thereby loosing part of its boundary.

In the 1980's a new road connecting Liverpool Road with Parkgate Road was constructed, the line of Countess Way cuts through the length of the lawn of the hall and lengths of the brook were straightened or re-routed in underground drains. This work has finally called an end to Bache Hall estate in its previously recognised form, but the OS map of 1872 shows the estate in its former glory.

References

Contributors

  • Phil Pearn

  • Kate Roberts