On this day … 19 March 1836

Walton Hall Walton-le-Dale preston Lancashire UK about 1820

The Preston Chronicle carried a report of the sale of Walton Hall (pictured in the 1820s) following the death of Sir Henry Philip Hoghton in 1835, which ended the family’s time as resident lords of the manor of Walton-le-Dale. His son and heir, Henry, had married well, acquiring the Bold estate at Wigan, changing his name to Bold Hoghton and seemingly showing no desire to return to Walton-le-Dale.

The father would appear to have been in somewhat straitened circumstances, judging by his attempt to sell Walton Hall and its estate some years earlier. And shortly before his death, his land agent had been advertising much of the estate for sale: which for the landed classes amounted to selling off the family silver.

Advert for sale of Walton Hall, Walton-le-Dale Preston UK 1835

In fact, the family silver was put up for auction shortly after Sir Henry’s death (see picture), along with the rest of the contents of Walton Hall. The auction gives a fascinating glimpse into the life of the leisured classes in the Preston district in the 19th century, as the advertisement (pictured) for the auction reveals.

Sir Henry had clearly been living comfortably, with his billiard table and his 1,500 books ‘Including most of the Standard Works usually found in a library of consequence’, his bedroom with easy chairs, bidet, night commode and cheval and dressing glasses. And, of course, his vapour bath.

But what really catches the attention is the Egyptian mummy, ‘procured on the spot and brought to this country by the Proprietor; the hieroglyphics upon the case are perfectly legible, and the body is supposed to be that of an Egyptian Princess, and that it is upwards of 3,000 years since it was embalmed.’

At the auction, the mummy ‘was knocked down at £50 to Mr. Lynch, of Chorley’.

An article on the history of the North Union Railway in the Preston Chronicle two years later records, in passing, the fate of Walton Hall, ‘To the east we behold the delightful village of Walton-le-Dale, and its church upon the hill. The woods and park of Walton Hall are likewise conspicuous. Walton Hall … is no longer standing. It was taken down a few years since by Sir Henry Bold Hoghton, Bart.’

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