Rolleston Hall - Home to the Mosley Family

Rolleston Hall

Local historian Idris Bowen informs me that Edward Mosley bought the Hall in 1622 from the Rollestons. He believes that it was probably of timber construction and by 1665, the date of the Hearth Tax, it was occupied by a farmer called Bond and that the state of disrepair was such that only one hearth out of 17, was charged. Edward as Attorney-General of the Duchy of Lancaster would have wanted a much superior home than Rolleston Hall and it is inconceivable that he would have lived there. He was among the first of the Mosleys to escape from being associated with the 'dark satanic mills' of Manchester and his purchase of Rolleston represented a first step to becoming a 'landed gentleman'. Edward had also bought Etwall Hall some time around 1622. He sold it to Sir Samuel Sleigh some time after 1629. The latter made great additions to Etwall Hall using masonry from the ruins of Tutbury Castle. Sir Samuel was Sheriff of Derbys. 1648 & 66 and MP in 1679. Edward may therefore have lived in Etwall Hall for some years but his business would require him to have residences in Lancashire and London. He died in 1638, unmarried. Information on Rolleston Hall in the 16 & 17C is hard to find and any contributions would be greatly appreciated.

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Map c1888 showing Rolleston Hall

The map (c1888) shows the location of the Hall with its extensive lawn, Mosley Mews and St Mary's Church off to the right.

Following the 1914/18 War, Rolleston was still a small community and its village farms were still active. However, the sale of the Mosley estate in the mid 1920's - unfortunately the majority of the Hall was demolished in November 1925 after various unsuccessful auction sales to sell it either as one large house or as flats - released new land for building, but also marked the end of an era. The association of Rolleston with the Mosley family lives on however and so the village is of particular interest to people that believe they are related to this famous family.

The only remaining portions are the Ballroom (now converted into a two storey house called The Paddock) and a single storey wing built in 1870 as Sir Tonman Mosley's (a very large member of the Mosley family who was unable to climb stairs) private apartments, later used as the estate office and now known as The Old Hall (and home to Parish Councillor Paul Taylor since 1986). Why these two small fractions of the large mansion remain is still a bit of a mystery although there are theories.

The two old photos below show the hall, rebuilt c1870 after a fire and the modern two show the Taylor's present portion. Their portion can be seen on the far right hand end of the original hall pictured below right.

Rolleston Hall Meet

Rolleston Hall

The 'Old Hall' - July 2001

Choral Society Summer Concert (2001) held in the Taylor's garden

The 'Old Hall' part was owned by Mr & Mrs Cheesewright between about 1964 and 1986. His first wife, Mrs Audrey Cheesewright was a teacher at the village primary school (and taught me - Webmaster).

In the early 1960s it was owned by the Goddard family. Felicity Goddard wrote to say:

"... I was very pleased and amazed to find a web site on of all places Rolleston. My family and I lived at Rolleston Hall when I was a girl back in 1960. My father George Goddard fell in love with the village when he came to work in Burton and said if ever the house came up for sale he world buy it. It did and we did and fell in love with the house and the village. I use to go to Salisbury memorial school in Burton a small private school, which I am sure, has now gone. I now live in the United States but we have many photos and memories of that time. My Father died at the old hall and is in the village church. In those days the Bass family lived there, the Robirches, the Johnson's had the farm. I have been back, I took my children to see my home town ... but did not get the chance to stay to long. The Spread Eagle has changed but so has much of life. Anyway just wanted to let you know how much I ENJOYED your site. Keep up the good work."

George Goddard, reputed to have been the youngest major in the war, was the Managing Director of Hobourn Sales, Wellington Road. It's Chairman, Dick Howe, had been the Escape Officer at Colditz (after Pat Reid had escaped, and until the end of the war).

The Morley family owned the property in the 1950's prior to the Goddards. Mrs Morley and her daughter Margaret subsequently lived in the West Lodge until only a few years ago.

The following is a recent aerial view showing the same area as the map above - whilst the Hall Grounds and Mosley Mews area has changed relatively little, The Lawn at the front now contains two large housing developments The Lawns and Hall Road with over 200 dwellings.

Aerial view of Rolleston showing Hall Grounds, Mosley Mews, St Mary's Church, Hall Road and The Lawns

Have you heard of  Rolleston Hall, Norfolk? Discover more here.

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This site was created by Richard Bush

Last updated: 13 February 2010