CORRESPONDENT Kevin Heneghan has been in touch about Bernard Wood’s puzzle of Parr Hall, which we featured earlier in the year.

He wrote: “I remember it well, as the Hursts of Stanley Bank Farm, who were the last to farm it, were close friends.

“It was demolished by Wimpey in 1955 and the site is now bounded by Singleton Avenue, Parbold Avenue, Longridge Avenue and Frodsham Drive, Blackbrook.

“There had presumably been a manor house there since the Middle Ages, but it was rebuilt in the 1660s and, by the 1950s, all that remained of it was one wing and a small gatehouse.

“The Parr family may be traced to Henry de Parr in 1318. His grandson William married Elizabeth de Ros, grand-daughter of Baron de Ros of Kendal in 1383.

“When he died in 1405 his estates were inherited by his eldest son, Sir John Parr, who also had a mansion, formerly called Laghok, Leafog and later Laffak, as part of his inheritance.

“Sir John married Agnes, the daughter of Sir Thomas Crophull, and from them were descended the Parrs of Kendal, which family produced Katherine Parr, sixth and last queen of King Henry V111 (1543-47).

“It’s highly probable that Katherine would have stayed at Laffak Hall on her trips to and from London rather than at Parr Hall. By the 1930s, Laffak Hall had become Moncrieffs’ Farm.

“Miss Ruth Moncrieff has told me of the blackened roof-beams in what had been her father’s barn and other indications that it had been the original hall.

“A later member of the family, William Parr, Esq. became Lord of the Manor of Parr in 1559 at the age of 19.

"After marrying Catherine, daughter of Thomas Eccleston of Eccleston, he became involved in litigation with his step-father John Byrom and others, concerning the family property and estates.

“Though he was succeeded by his son Bryan and grandson Henry, Parr Hall was no longer in their hands by 1621. 

“It was now owned by the Byrom family of the self-styled manor of Byrom in the township of Lowton. By the mid-1600s it seems that the Byrom family had been producing many lunatics, a condition which persisted, so that Samuel, the last of the Byroms, squandered his inheritance and died in 1741 at York Castle.

“By about 1710 the Manor of Parr had already been sold to Liverpool merchant William Clayton (c.1645-1715) and was passed through him to his daughter Sarah, who developed the Parr collieries as the main source of coal for Liverpool. 

“By the early 1770s, however, Sarah was in serious financial difficulties, being declared bankrupt in 1778. 

“As a result of this financial crash, in 1781 coal owner James Orrell Jr of Blackbrook House was able to acquire the Parr Hall estate, conveniently situated close to his Blackbrook estate, which his grandfather, Humphrey Orrell, had bought from the Byroms in 1674. 

“James Orrell’s daughter Elizabeth, one of three sisters who succeeded to the estates and had built St Mary’s Church Blackbrook in 1845, had leased Parr Hall to a Mr and Mrs Morgan as a ladies’ boarding school.

"After their deaths in 1855, Miss Elizabeth Orrell was looking for a new headmistress for the school in her patrimony. 

“At the suggestion of the Passionist rector of St Anne’s Sutton, Sister Elizabeth Prout (1820-1864), Foundress of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion, accepted the invitation to take charge of the school, though the work of her congregation was with the children of the poor and not the middle class. 

"She opened it as the Convent of the Holy Family in August 1855 and also ran a school for poor girls in part of the Orrells’ coach-house adjoining Blackbrook House until a new school was ready just after Christmas.

"Because of her great work for poor girls in Manchester and St Helens, her Cause for Canonisation is now in progress.

“Parr Hall finally became the Tyrers’ farmhouse, Mr and Mrs Tyrer living with their daughter Belle in the main rooms while a son and his family had an apartment in the building.   

"They were tenants of the Liverpool Archdiocese, to whom the last of the Orrell sisters of Blackbrook House had bequeathed their entire estates.”