A Guide To Burton
|Published: 9th May 2008 13:23|
Burton is one of the most picturesque villages in Cheshire. Although there is a sense of permanence, it has been witness to several changes over the centuries. The village today is a far cry from the trading community of the 14th Century. There is a variety of attractive buildings to interest the visitor, though unusually there is neither a public house nor general store. A circular walk is possible, taking in part of Burton Mill Wood on the hillside.
The aerial map shown above highlights specific areas of interest to any visitor. Some of the cottages in the village are genuine timber framed buildings (both cruck and box frame constructions). The best examples of these are probably Barn End (1) and Church House (2).
Barn End Cottage
Barn End on The Rake has existed on its sandstoneoutcrop since 1450 and stands out with its painted walls, timber frame and thatched roof. The cottage was formerly an ale house called "The Fisherman's Arms" and later, "Noah's Ark".
Church House was originally two dwellings and is one of the oldest buildings in the village. The panels of the external walls have been rapaired with brickwork since the original construction.
Bishop Wilson's Cottage
Bishop Wilson's cottage (3) on The Village is built of attractive sandstone with a timber frame. Inside, a ship's mast is used as one of the main beams.
Burton Manor (4) dominated the rest of the village when it was constructed as a gentleman's residence during the last century. The present building is an extension of Burton Hall which was built by Richard Congreve in 1805 on a site previously occupied by cottages and barns.
The arrival of Henry Neville Gladstone, son of Prime Minister Gladstone, led to its rebuilding towards the end of the 19th Century. The manor and its grounds are today a college.
Taking the left fork into Staion Road you come to Hampston's Well (5) a few yards down. This well was the public spring providing a vital source of water to settlements in the area, probably as far back as the Iron Age in about 900 A.D. Strict byelaws were in operation to protect this valuable water supply; these included a ban on the washing of clothes.
Retracing the route back to Neston Road, another detour brings you to the school (6) which, now a private house, was founded in 1724 by Bishop Thomas Wilson. His intention was to provide free education for the children of farmers, labourers and small traders from the village. Whilst he organised the finance for the school, Bishop Wilson also laid down the rules for its management.
A footpath leads up to Burton Mill Wood, named after the mill which once stood on the hilltop. Following the track which runs parallel to The Village, you arive at two mysterious Quakers' graves (7). It is thought they belong to excommunicates who were buried outside consecrated ground.
Church of St. Nicholas
The footpath to the village passes the Church of St. Nicholas (8) which is built on the remains of a stone church which existed after the Norman Conquest. Two large, round, scaloped capitals remain from this time. Most of the present building was built in 1721, though the North chapel window is from the 14th Century and a stone coffin lid dating from around 1300 can be seen on the inside of the porch. An unsual feature is the clock face which only has a single hand.