This post is a bit off the normal patch, but I owe Kate ‘get yer ganzey on girl’ Gomez from Lichfield Lore a favour, so when I was on the long ride on Saturday I paid a visit to the remains of Throwley Hall, halfway up the southern slope of the Manifold Valley between Calton and Ilam.
Kate is interested in the hall, it’s folklore and history, so this was a good chance to get the Lichfeldian history dynamo a few pictures.
It’s a remarkable ruin, and one that attracts a certain degree of folklore – it’s certainly one of the most significant such ruins in the whole of the Peak District.
Throwley Hall, also known as Throwley Old Hall, stands in ruins on a commanding height in remote hill country overlooking the Manifold valley in Ilam parish, Staffordshire (1). There was formerly also a medieval manor house and adjoining village, traces of which remain as cultivation strips and other earthworks. Throwley village was however deserted between 1377 and 1524 (2).
Throwley was held by the Meverell family from 1208 (3). The hall was built in 1603, probably on the site of the medieval manor house. The estate passed to the Cromwell family when Elizabeth Meverell was married in 1626 to Thomas, Baron Cromwell, created Earl of Ardglass in 1645. When Ardglass died in 1687 Throwley was inherited by his daughter Elizabeth, wife of Edward Southwell. The hall was thereafter leased to tenants (4). With its surrounding estate it was advertised for sale by auction in 1789 (5).
The nearby Georgian farmhouse, also called Throwley Hall, was built in 1823. The great hall and much of the old house was demolished in 1830 (6). However in 1845 old Throwley Hall was still noted as being “a very ancient house of decent gentlemen of goodly living, equalling the best sort of gentlemen in the Shire” (7). Although partly ruinous the old Hall remained inhabited and the surrounding land farmed separately from the acreage of the newer Hall farm.
Thus in the nineteenth century there were two farms called Throwley Hall: the new farm built in 1823 and occupied from at least 1841 by the bachelor brothers John Phillips and George Phillips; and old Throwley Hall occupied from at least 1836 until 1877 by Francis Allen Parramore and after he died by his son William Thomas Parramore.
Francis Allen Parramore was farming there in 1841 when the Census was taken. By 1851 he was farming 280 acres and employing five labourers and two boys. In the household was a governess, two indoor female servants, and five unmarried farm labourers, namely a shepherd, waggoner, cowman, house boy and errand boy. In 1861 the farm was recorded as 283 acres, providing employment for two labourers. The household then comprised the three surviving children (all unmarried), one female house servant, a dairy maid, and the two unmarried male labourers, namely a groom and a carter.
Francis Allen Parramore died in 1862, and his son William Thomas Parramore took over the farm. His widow seems to have continued living there until 1875 (8).
The family of William Thomas Parramore was the last to reside at old Throwley Hall. In 1877 they emigrated to Australia, and the Hall was abandoned as a farmhouse.
Its acreage was combined with that of the newer Throwley Hall farm (9).
However it may have been used, at least until the 1890s, as sleeping accommodation for domestic servants at the newer farm (10).
In 1921 the roof was removed, and the hall fell into its present completely ruinous condition.
The ruins of Throwley Old hall are now a scheduled ancient monument, while remaining private property.
There’s a reference to some of the more exotic folklore relating to Throwley on the Ludchurch blog – well worth a read, but bring your own pinch of salt.