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Fazakerly Liverpool -The township

Fazakerley, 1321; Phesacrelegh, 1333.

Fazakerley is the name of a town and family. It is a very old English name, originating from the county of Lancaster (now Lancashire), just North of the modern city of Liverpool.

Originally, Fazakerley was the name of a piece of land. As was typical of the time, the name was later adopted by the family that settled on the land as their surname. The name is constructed from three Anglo-Saxon words, faes, acer and leah. Faes means "border", acer means "cultivated land" and the earliest meaning of leah is "clearing in a forest". Faes-acer would be a piece of cultivated land against or defining some border, so faes-acer-leah would be when the same land was extended by woodland clearance.

Fazakerley was not mentioned in the Doomsday Book, so we can assume that no one of importance was living there in the eleventh century. The first mention of the family is in the Assize Rolls of the County of Lancaster concerning a Henry de Fasackerlegh in 1276, so it seems that the family settled on the land some time between 1066 and 1276.

The township was included in the City of Liverpool in 1905.

In the thirteenth century Fazakerley was one of the Walton town fields as the woodlands were cleared, there grew up a hamlet and ultimately a township. Extending about two miles in each direction, this township has an area of 1,709 acres.  It is separated from Walton by the brook called Fazakerley or Tue Brook, and from West Derby partly by Sugar Brook up to the point where it is spanned by Stone bridge. At the junction of these brooks Fazakerly borders the town of Kirkby in the north-east.


The Fazakerly de Fazakerly Coat of Arms

The early history of the manor is obscure, Henry and Richard de Fazakerley, the first of the local family on record, appearing towards the end of the thirteenth century. Richard had three sons— Henry, Richard, and Robert; and Henry's son Robert de Fazakerley was lord of the manor for about forty years. After his death the succession is again uncertain. Robert de Fazakerley, who married Ellen de Walton and claimed her father's manor, obtaining a third part, emerges in the first quarter of the fifteenth century;  and later, Thomas son and heir of Roger. The visitations of 1613 and 1664 place on record a few generations.  The family adhered to the Roman Catholic faith at the Reformation, and to the king's side in the civil war, Nicholas Fazakerley losing his life in the cause at Liverpool in 1643. The family estates were sold by the Parliament, though probably not much was recovered.

Spellow House

In 1426, at the same time that the arms were quartered, the Fazakerley family was awarded one third of the Walton Manor, due to the marriage of Robert Fazakerley to Ellen (Hellin) de Walton, daughter and heiress of Robert de Walton of Walton, This included 40 acres of land in Walton and Liverpool , that had once belonged to a Thomas Spellow. In particular, the land included Spellow House and Spellow Mill. Spellow House was close to the modern Spellow Lane . The original Spellow House was built in the about 1270. The property  consisted of the main house with a number of large outbuildings and a chapel. It also had numerous hiding places, for priests to hide in during the religious troubles of the 17th century.

Fazakerly House

Fazakerly de Fazakerly Coat of Arms variation The quartering meant that the original Arms were no longer in use, so they became available for another individual to register and use.

Spellow House

Spellow Mill

The principle family home

for many hundreds of years was Fazakerley Hall. The first mention of the hall was during the civil war, when it was noted that the hall had a chapel and a number of priest hiding places, but it would have existed as far back as the thirteenth century. The family rapidly declined after the Civil War and sometime immediately before 1698 the hall passed by marriage from the Fazakerley family to Percival Ryce. Although a few years later the family reacquired hall, Robert Fazakerley, on his deathbed in 1731, with no heir, left the hall to a John Hawarden, provided that John changed his surname to Fazakerley . In 1820, Joseph Hawarden went bankrupt and Fazakerley Hall was sold to a member of the Walton Family, a Richard Bullin. Richard was the Nephew of Thomas Leyland, who owned the adjacent Walton Hall. It is unclear how many times the hall was  rebuilt, but certainly at least once in 1823. There are no images of earlier buildings, but there is one photograph of the hall that was built in 1823. The photograph was taken in 1910, when the hall was nearly one hundred years old.

Fazakerly Hall 1910

Fazakerley Hall 1910
In 1930, part of the Leyland Naylor Estate was sold along with fifty acres to Liverpool council who built the Fazakerley Hall Housing Estate on the land. A few years later, the hall was demolished and the site became a park until around 1990.

Kirkby Hall

Early in history, one branch of the family settled in Kirkby. An important branch, which had their own coat of arms, and owned Kirkby Hall lands, which amounted to the largest farm in Kirkby.

The Fazakerly de Kirkby Coat of Arms

Kirkby Hall 1959
The hall was demolished in 1968 to make way for the councils Civic Buildings.

Stock Cottage

Probably the only original Fazackerley property that is still standing is Stock Cottage, in Haskayne. This is the oldest cottage in Lancashire and dates back to the 12th Century.  The cottage is located in School Lane, about 10 miles up the A59 from Walton.

Stock Cottage

Fazakerley Hall

was located to the east of Lower Lane, the opposite side to the Hospital, in the vicinity of the road now called Blueberry Fields. The map below was printed in 1927 and shows the hall built in 1823 and outbuildings.

Thomas de Fazakerleigh   became the Coroner for the county of Lancaster in 1379.
John Fazakerley became Governor of the Isle of Man 1418 to 1422. John de Fazakerley became Mayor of Liverpool in 1428. Nicholas Fazakerley was reckoned amongst the gentry of "The West Derby Hundred" in 1512. Roger Fazakerley became Mayor of Liverpool in 1530. William Fazakerley of Kirkby died in 1600 and was buried at St Mary's,  Walton. Today, his grave is the oldest surviving grave in Walton. Hugh de Fazakerley accompanied the Duke of Lancaster to Brittany in 1356/9.

Catherine Fazakerley became a Benedictine nun at Cambrai in 1662 Samual Fazakerley was Town Clerk of Liverpool in 1664~1668. Captain Fazakerley of Walton was Governor of Liverpool Castle in 1668.

The High Street in Prescot was, until 1850, called Fazakerley Street, named after Nicholas, who lived at number 3. The house is still there today.
Nicholas Fazakerly
Nicholas Fazakerley was born in Prescot in 1682, died 1767 and is famous for three reasons. Firstly, he was the Member of Parliament for Preston in the years 1732-1767,  secondly his will gave rise to the "Myth of the Fazackerley Millions"   and thirdly, he is the oldest member of the family with a surviving portrait.

Fazakerley Street

Fazakerley Street, Liverpool,  was named to commemorate a nearby piece of land, that was awarded to the Robert de Fazakerley in 1426, along with Spellow House and Spellow Mill and land in Walton.

Fazakerley Street, Liverpool 1962
Photograph Brian Saville

The land and properties, which amounted to one third of the Walton Estate, were awarded to Robert in lieu of his marriage to Hellin de Walton in 1416.The road was named together with the adjoining Spellow Place. The photograph is taken looking down Fazakerley Street with the entrance to Spellow Place approximately half way down the Street on the left. The second photograph, is taken further down the Street, at the junction with Spellow Place.

Spellow Place, Liverpool 1962
Photograph Brian Saville

Links and information

Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, England.

Portrait of Nicholas Fazackerley. Note that the portrait is not on display so if you want to see the original you need to book an viewing appointment with the "Keeper of Fine Art" at the museum.

Liverpool Central Library
Liverpool Records Office
British History Online
Encyclopedia Brittanica

Robert F Edwards

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