Dunham Hill Railway Station

Dunham Hill Railway Station

The Old Pump

Dunham Hill home Guard

Wood Farm on the A56

Dunham Hall 1917

Dunham Hill

Dunham Hill Football Club 1914

Old Cottage Dunham Hill

The Old Smithy

The old Village shop 1970's


War Dead

Rifleman James Cecil Williams

S/10489, 9th Bn., Rifle Brigade who died on 15 September 1916 Nephew of  Amelia and Charles Edwards Dunham Arms 

Private John  W Blackburn

40391, 20th Bn., Manchester Regiment who died on 04 May 1917 Age 24.  Son of John Richard and Emily Blackburn, at Corn Hill Farm, Dunham Hill.

Private Leonard Schofield

40364, 20th Bn., Manchester Regiment who died on 15 May 1917 Age 20. Only son of Frederick William Winfield Schofield and Mary Ellen Schofield, of Ivy Cottage, Dunham Hill,

Private Arthur Griffiths

19368, No. 3 Coy. 1st Bn., Coldstream Guards who died on 21 September 1917. Son of Mary Eileen Griffiths, of Hapsford, Helsby, Warrington.

Private   Samuel Antrobus 

58260, 16th Bn., Cheshire Regiment who died on 22 October 1917 Age 19. Son of John Antrobus, of Oldfield Cottages, Dunham Hill,  

Private John Edgerley Kay

46325, 16th Bn., Lancashire Fusiliers who died on 10 August 1918 Age 23. Son of Thomas and Edith Kay, of Cherry Tree Farm, Dunham Hill

Private Joseph Antrobus

302728, 1st/8th Bn., Manchester Regiment who died on 29 September 1918. Son of Esther Antrobus, of Church View, Dunham Hill,

Private Fredrick Fairhurst

 10831, 4th Bn., The King's (Liverpool Regiment) who died on 26 November 1918

Private John K. Worrall

14755163, 2nd Bn. The Glasgow Highlanders, Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) who died on 15 April 1945 Age 24 Son of Earnest and Bertha Worrall, of Hapsford, Cheshire; husband of Nancy

Flight Lieutenant Pilot George Henry Calveley

134561, 19 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 30 August 1944  son of  Harry and Ann Marie Calveley Hob Lane Dunham Hill


The Domesday Book 

In 1086 the Domesday book records Dunham on the Hill or Doneham as it was known in 1066

 The Harrying of the North

William 1  in 1069 he marched up again with an army. This time he engaged in a protracted campaign euphemistically known now as the Harrying of the North. In practice, this involved sending troops out to kill people, burn buildings and crops, smash tools, seize wealth and devastate large areas. Refugees fled north and south, from the killing and the resultant famine. More castles were built. The idea behind the slaughter was to show conclusively that William was in charge, The Domesday book  created in the mid-1080s, may still show traces of the damage in the large areas of ‘waste’ in the region.


Total population: 11 households

Total tax assessed: 3 geld units

Taxable units: Taxable value 3 geld units.

Value: Value to lord in 1066 £2   . Value to lord in 1086 £0.8.

Households: 7 villagers. 3 smallholders. 1 smiths.

Ploughland: 9 ploughlands (land for). 0.5 lord's plough teams. 1.5 men's plough teams.

Other resources: Meadow 2 acres. Woodland 0.5 * 0.25 leagues.

Lord in 1066: Aescwulf <of Landican>.


 Troutbeck, of Dunham The family seems to have originated from Westmoreland, their ancient coat of arms being three interlaced trouts. Later a wreath of trouts encircled their crest.Our story begins in 1412 when Prince Henry commissioned William Troutbeck, Chamberlain of Chester. By purchase, William became Lord of Dunham-on-the-Hill, near Helsby. Stoney Dunham, as it was called, had been held up to this time by the Earls of Arundel. In 1415 the Earl died at Agincourt and William Troutbeck came to own a third of Dunham. He too fought at Agincourt. By 1444, the whole manor of Dunham was vested in the Troutbecks. William was succeeded by his son Sir John Troutbeck, Chamberlain of Chester and Sheriff of Cheshire in 1447.

He married the great heiress, Margery, the daughter of Thomas Hulse, of Brunstath (Brimstage), the original settlement of the Domvilles. a younger line of the Barons of Montalt, and one of the most aristocratic families in the country.  John Troutbeck also passed, through Margery Hulse, the Sergeantry of the Bridge Gate at Chester, hereditary office of the Rabys.


Sir John Troubeck lived at Brimstage Hall and it was from here that he rode out, aged forty-seven, to his last battle, “beneath the banners of Henry V, Lancastrians   he fell with the flower of Cheshire on the fatal field of Blore”. John’s son, Sir William claimed innumerable hereditary rights throughout the county, amongst them sole Forester of part of Mara and Mondrem and unlimited fishing rights in the Dee for the extent of his manors of Little Neston and Hargrave. His son, another Sir William, died childless. His heiress was his niece, Margaret Troutbeck, who became the wife of John Talbot, from whom the Earls of Shrewsbury descended.

What’s in a name

 Dunham’s first name was Doneham  then it was written as Dunham  from 1265 to 1310

From 1327 the name of Stony Dunham was given ,then changed to Dunham de Hill. In

1348 it was known as Staney Dunham, then until 1534 it became Stanre Donham,

Stanrydoneham,  Stanre Dunham and Stanre Dinham.' Then we had a nice change of style

with Dunham Super Montem. In 1559 Dunham on the Mount, but not until 1860 with a


gap of over 400 years did we get Dunham 0' The' Hill. And today Dunham on the Hill. So in a thousand years the name has changed 12 times 


The parish church of St Luke was built in the 1860s as a chapel of ease. Before this villagers had to walk across the fields to Thornton-le-Moors in order to attend church services. Services are held here at 9.30 every Sunday morning.


The village also has two Methodist chapels, both now converted into dwellings. The Wesleyan Methodist church in the centre of Dunham was the first place of worship to be built in the village. Hapsford Methodist Church is on the A56 between Dunham and its neighbouring village, Hapsford.


Dunham Hill railway station was a railway station in Dunham-on-the-Hill, Cheshire. It was opened in 1850 and closed in 1952. Near to the station was a branch line leading to the former ROF Dunham on the Hill explosives storage depot ,Dunham on the Hill was the location of an explosives storage depot built during World War II

In 1675, at Dunham on the Hill, Margaret Savage cited her husband for cruelty when he threw ‘a skillet and tongs at her’ for her adultery with Thomas Stevenson in ‘a backhouse or kiln and also in a hen hurdle for gloves and money.’ Another man, Ralph Calkin, admitted that he had fornicated with Margaret Savage ‘several times and in several places within the township of Dunham and parish of Thornton.’ He submitted himself to penance by the court and the Savages were separated.”



Chester Courant, 20 November 1775


“Chester, Nov. 17, 1775. The following FELONS have,

this Evening, about six o’clock, broke out of

the Gaol of the Castle of Chester:


MARTHA HULSE, otherwise Hoose, about five feet

high, 22 years of age, fresh-colour’d complexion

brown hair, is very big with child, had on a blue

and white striped gown, came from Dunham on-

the-Hill in Cheshire, and stands charged with felony.”



Chester Chronicle, 12 March 1790


“The increasing number of robberies are become [sic] generally alarming: […] on Saturday night last, Mr. Samuel Wainwright, of Dunham-o’-th’-Hill, returning home from our Market, was stopped by three footpads, near the above place, who, after knocking him down, robbed him of 13 guineas.”


Chester Chronicle, 4 June 1790




(Son of Mr. THOMAS YOUD, of Dunham-o’-th’-Hill)

Takes the earliest opportunity of informing his friends,

THAT he purposes [sic] practising the above business in

this city and country, and humbly hopes for a share of

public countenance and favour; not doubting, but the ex-

perience he has had for more than twelve years past, under his

father, in all disorders incident to horses, will enable him to

give every possible satisfaction to all who may honour him with their commands.

Any orders sent to him at Mrs. Fowler’s, adjoining Mr.

Haswell’s, the White-lion, Foregate-street, will be imme-

Diately attended to.

N.B. Colts cut with the utmost safety.”



Chester Chronicle, 22 April 1800


“Thursday se’nnight a boy driving a waggon [sic], between

Dunham –o’-th’-Hill and Traffort [sic] in this county,

was knocked down by the horses, and unfortunately

killed by the wheels of the wagon [sic] going over his




Chester Chronicle, 16 December 1808


Mr Pritchard of Dunham Hill survived after being stabbed by a footpad.



Chester Chronicle, 13 January 1815



BEGS leave to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen

of Chester, and its vicinity, that he intends

removing from Chester, to the Old Wheat Sheaf,

Dunham o’th’ Hill, the 25th of this month, where

he intends carrying on the Farriery business in all

its branches as usual, and for the accommodation

of his friends, he will attend Chester every Wednes-

day and Saturday, at the Hop Pole Inn, Foregate-

street, where their future orders shell [sic] be punctually

attended to. And the same begs leave to re-

turn his sincere thanks to his numerous friends, for

past favors [sic], and hopes for a continuance of he same.








William Lowndes the Highwayman  The Postmaster

In the spring of 1789, the time of the French Revolution, William and Amy were staying as the "Hutchinsons" with a Mrs Ann Crow, a landlady of Beaumaris, Anglesey. At midnight on 29 June 1789 William made his way to Dunham Hill, six miles east of Chester where he robbed and attacked the Frodsham post boy. By 1 July 1789 William was back at Beaumaris but a neighbour of Mrs Crow suggested to the latter that Mrs Crow's lodger might be a fugitive. Mrs Crow then challenged

William and he packed his bags and left at 10 o'clock in the evening in the pouring rain. William managed to secure a passage on the Menai Straits and landed in Caernarfon. Here, he was spotted at an Inn, where he leaped out of a window and was last seen heading toward the Welsh mountains in his stockinged feet. William & Amy were somehow reunited. In this year they lived at Hexham, Northumberland. On 25 February William rode fifty miles across country to hold up the mail between Penrith and Keswick. On 3 June, at a bank at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he negotiated a bill for 541 pounds 8 shillings under the name of William Hope. Soon afterwards  he and his family settled in Darlington but on 7 June William had travelled to London where he negotiated a bill of exchange. In the meantime, the G.P.O. offered a reward for the capture of "William Lewins" one many of William's false names. He was described as being

"age about 35 or 36 (he was 35), 5'8/9" tall, stout made, has remarkable good black hair which he lately wore tied behind, florid complexion, large lips, rather heavy limbed and thick about the ankles."

William was so successful at the robbing of the mail that he became known as the Post Master. On the day he was arrested he had been preparing for another departure and had invited twenty members of the local gentry to a farewell party. William behaved toward Sorrell with the "greatest coolness and intrepidity" and even threatened him with wrongful arrest. William was so confident that he would be released from Exeter Castle Goal that he wrote a note from his prison cell to his guests to sit down to supper and he would join them later on. Unfortunately for William,this was not to be.

In September 1790 he left Exeter in irons and was taken to Chester to stand trial. On the way, Sorrell made William stand in various identity parades at Oxford and Derby and was generally made a public show of. Once in the Goal at Chester, William devised several escape plans. 

 There was to be no escape for William and he was finally brought to  trial on 18 April 1791. Here he was charged with attacking the post  boy James Archer at Great Budworth on 11 March 1788 armed with a  pistol and a stake with a nail through the end.

When the prosecution's case closed and the Judge, Chief Justice Bearcroft, asked how the defence was to be conducted, William took a piece of paper from his pocket and read a prepared speech beginning:-

"I, an unhappy prisoner, most humbly beg your Lordship and this jury, to take my most desperate case into consideration; indeed for me, for I have been entirely deprived of making any defence for my safety; likewise very unjust advantages have been taken against me, contrary I think to law and justice"

He denied that he had ever been in many of the places in which he was accused of committing crimes and claimed that the witnesses had perjured themselves for the reward money. He declared that:-

"the depravity of man is such, they will swear to anything for money"  

But this eloquent speech did nothing to save him. After a very short consultation the jury found him guilty. Mr Justice Barcroft told him 

"You have been convicted upon as clear a chain of evidence as ever appeared in a court of justice, and of a crime so dreadful in its consequences that the legislature has very  wisely thought fit to punish it with loss of life. For  if 

it were otherwise, there would be an end to all commerce. The property of individuals, as well as of the public, must be protected" 

The judge ruled that, after the execution, William's body should be gibbeted. 

The execution was at Boughton on 21 April 1791. William's brother and Amy met with the cart carrying William under the gallows. An officiating clergyman gave a prayer and it was apparently with great difficulty that Amy and the brother left William. Eventually, William dropped his handkerchief, the traditional sign that he was ready. The cart lurched forward and William was hanged, no doubt with the ever faithful Amy looking on in horror.

The next day William's body was hung in chains on Helsby Hill where it would be a grim warning to other highway robbers.







1796. “Jan. 19. – The Mail from Manchester to

Chester robbed near Dunham o’th’Hill,

by Brown and Price, who unhorsed the boy,

threw snuff into his eyes, and

tied him with his back to a tree. They rifled

the bags, and left many of the opened letters

strewed in the filed adjoining.

Feb. 1.- Thomas Brown and James

Price, castle, on

suspicion of the above committed to the Ce robbery.

April 30th 

They were hung in chains at Trafford Green and remained there until 1820. In the skull of Price was found a robin’s nest.











Chester Chronicle, 12 July 1822


“Chester Police Report –


The next case was that of William Revington,

And Joseph Bennett, from Wepre, and Joseph

Frodsham, from Dunham, and Danie Dodd,

from Chester, for making a noise, and

attempting to break open a door in that nest

of infamy, Suddrick; they had been lodged in

the House of Correction. The Mayor, said he was

determined, if possible, to put an end to these

nightly brawls and committed them in absence of


Chester Courant, 20 July 1824


“MURDER IN CHESHIRE.- We are concerned to say, that an offence of this horrid character has been perpetrated within a few miles of this city, during the last week, under the following circumstances.-On the night of Wednesday last, about ten o’clock, Joseph Fletcher, who resided at Peck Mill, about a mile from Dunham, went to the house of William Parkinson, in the latter village, with a view of seeing Parkinson’s daughter, to whom he had for several years paid his addresses. Her father, it appears, was unfriendly to this intercourse, and he had frequently been known to say, that if ever he found Fletcher upon his premises, he would do him some mischief. When Fletcher paid his visit on the above evening, he was let into the house by the young woman, her father having gone up stairs for the purpose of retiring, to rest; but it is conjectured that he had discovered the approach of the visitant from his window, and in a short time made his appearance in the house, armed with a musket, to which a Bayonet was affixed. He immediately commenced a violent attack upon Fletcher, by striking him on the shoulder with the butt end of the piece; and then turning the weapon, pierced his arm with the bayonet. At this stage of the bloody assault, Fletcher called out, “You’ll murder me” when the assailant replied, “If I have not done it, I will do it”; and while the former was attempting to make his escape by the door, he was still pursued, and received two of three other stabs on the body, one of which was inflicted on the abdomen, and which was at least five inches deep. Having reached the middle of the street, the cries of the wounded man drew around him several of the neighbours, by whom he was conveyed in a large chair to his residence at Peck Mill. Mr. Hulley, surgeon, of Frodsham, was immediately sent for, and subsequently Mr George Harrison, of Chester, by whom every exertion was in vain used to preserve his life; we understand a mortification took place; the poor fellow lingered till two o’clock on Sunday morning, when he expired, but not before he had made a deposition of the facts stated above. The deceased was 45 years of age; the perpetrator of the offence is 70.-It is a subject of astonishment as well as regret, that Parkinson was not apprehended at the time, or soon after the offence was committed; we understand he was suffered to remain at home during the whole of Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday he disappeared, and has not since been heard of. It has been stated to us, that the deceased was in a state of inebriation when he paid his fatal visit, and this may account for his comparative non-resistance to the murderous attacks of Parkinson.-Yesterday morning Mr F. Thomas left this city, for the purpose of holding a coroner’s inquest on the body at Peck Mill; but at the time of our going to press, no intelligence had reached us of the verdict of the jury, thought from the circumstances connected with the case, little doubt can be entertained of is purport.”



Chester Courant, 27 July 1824




Dunham-on-the-Hill, in the county of Chester

Shopkeeper, stands charged on the Coroner’s Inquest, with

killing and slaying Joseph Fletcher, at Dunham-on-the-

Hill aforesaid, on Wednesday, the 14th July inst. and has

since absconded :


That a Reward of TEN GUINEAS will be given to any

Person who shall apprehend the said William Parkinson

And lodge him in any of his Majesty’s Gaols ; and a further

Reward of FIVEN GUINEAS to any person who shall lodge

him in the Castle of Chester, to be paid by Mr. Burgess,

Police Officer, of Chester.

The above William Parkinson is about 70 years of age,

has grey hair ; pitted with the small pox ; blind of one eye ;

and lame on one arm ; about five feet eight inches high ;

rather slender, and walks upright. When he absconded,

he had on a snuff-coloured coat ; light breeches, and white

yarn stockings ; was seen at the Swan with two Necks Inn,

in Shude Hall, Manchester, on Sunday, the 18th of July


July 26. 1824.”



Chester Chronicle, 25 March 1825 and 1 April 1825




Dunham-on-the-Hill in the county of Ches-

ter, Shopkeeper, stands charged on the Coroner’s In-

quest, with killing and slaying JOSEPH FLET-

CHER, at Dunham-on-the-Hill aforesaid, on Wed-

nesday, the 14th of July last, and has since ab-


The above William Parkinson is about 70 years

of age, is grey headed, pitted with the small pox,

blind of one eye, and lame of one arm, about five

feet eight inches high, rather slender made, and

walks upright.   


That the above reward will be paid to any person

or persons who shall apprehend the said Wm. Par-

kinson, and safely lodge him in the Castle of Ches-

ter, by applying to us, the undersigned, Constables

of Dunham-on-the-Hill, and Alvanley, in the coun-

ty of Chester.   



March 12th 1825.”



Chester Courant, 8 September 1829



William Parkinson, 80, charged with the manslaughter of Joseph Fletcher.

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL stated the case to the jury. The prison was a shopkeeper in July 1824, living in a little place called Dunham-on-the-Hill. The deceased was a miller living in the same place, and was in the habit of visiting the prisoner’s house for the purpose of courting his daughter, much against the prisoner’s will. On Wednesday the 14th day of July, 1824, the deceased had been drinking at a public house, and being in liquor, went about ten o’clock at night, to see the young woman. A quarrel ensued when the prisoner armed himself with a gun, which had a bayonet in it, and inflicted such wounds as caused death. The prisoner absconded directly, and was not heard of until June last, when he was apprehended in London.


Wm. Littler, was a butcher, and lived in July, 1824, at Dunham-on-the-Hill. He knew the deceased, and on the 14th of July he was drinking with him until ten o’clock at night, at Betty Gaman’s public house. The deceased was very drunk, and he went towards the prisoner’s house, and witness went home to bed. About ten minutes or so afterwards, he was called out of his bed, and went to Warburton’s house. Deceased was there bleeding very much and witness fetched the surgeon.


Cross-examined by Mr LLOYD.-Deceased did not say to witness that he would get drunk for the purpose of kicking up a row at prisoner’s house.

Martha Parkinson, the daughter of prisoner. In 1824, she lived with her father, the deceased followed her against her will and on the 14 July 1824, he visited her father’s house after 10 o’clock at night. She […] the house across the cop, and when he came near the window, her father saw him, and said he would fetch the gun to frighten him away. I never saw deceased in the house before. Prisoner went up stairs and fetched the gun from his bed side ; his wife (witness’s mother) interfered, when he said he would not hurt the deceased if he would keep off. At that time deceased was not in the house, but he said he would come in, and do what he liked, for did not care for the damned old rogue. Prisoner advised him to keep off, as the instrument which he had in his hand was a dangerous one. Deceased persisted in coming in, and got hold of the gun, and endeavoured to arrest it from her father (the prisoner.) Did not see her father strike the deceased, who went off and said he would go to Warburton’s. This took place in 1824, and her father had ever since been out of the way by the advice of his attorney.


Cross-examined.-Her brother was raving mad at the time, bound down in the back kitchen. The deceased was very […] and in the afternoon of the same day had told her father that he would have him gibbeted thirty feet high. The deceased struggled to get into the house, although her father kept cautioning him to keep away. The gun had been in the house from the time that the shop was robbed for the protection of the house. She did not see any blood, and her father was not aware that he had stabbed the deceased.


Betty Warburton recollected the deceased coming to her house about half-past 10 on the night mentioned. Soon as deceased entered he said “he has stabbed me,” and on opening his waistcoat, witness saw a wound on the left side of his breast. She went over the Parkinson’s, and asked what he had been doing. He said he had “only stabbed the deceased bit.” [sic]


George Harrison, Esq. of Chester, Surgeon, was called in on the 15th of July, 1824, to examine deceased, and saw a wound about an inch long on the right side, of a triangular shape, such as a bayonet would make. There had been a great deal of haemorrhage, and he observed two slight punctures on the right arm, one on the left breast, and a contusion on the right shoulder. He made deceased aware of his dangerous condition, and he believed deceased expressed himself convinced of the state he was in. He died on Sunday morning the 18th inst. ; on the 19th witness examined the body, and had no doubt that he died of the wound, which went through the liver, into the cavity of the abdomen.


Cross-examined.-The same wounds would have been made had the deceased rushed on the bayonet. Witness thought that deceased considered himself a dying man.


Samuel Wood was with the deceased, and heard him say, the thought he should die. This was before his declaration was taken down on paper [The deceased’s dying depositions were then proved, and put in as evidence, which said that he went to prisoner’s house, when in liquor, that prisoner warned him away, or he would kill him. Deponent dared him to do so, and he then stabbed him.]


The prisoner was called on for his defence. He stated, that he never had threatened to kill the deceased, it was not his disposition ; he had ever been a kind husband, and an indulgent father, and was never known to quarrel with his neighbours. The deceased had frequently threatened to injure him, and on the very day which the misfortune occurred, he said he would hang him on a gallows, 30 feet high. He had uniformly been kind to the deceased, and had given him credit when no one else in the village would do so. A few more suns would see him in his grave, and he averred before God and the court that he never intended to inflict the injury which had had so lamentable a consequence. He was infirm himself at the time, his wife was similarly situated, and his son was a raving maniac, confined in the kitchen in irons. The deceased had frequently assaulted his family, and in the present case, he only acted under the impulse of his feelings for the protection of his helpless wife and son.


Maria Littler, on the part of the prisoner, said, she lived next door to him. On the night mentioned, she heard a noise, and some one say, “Go away about your business, we don’t want you here.” She thought they were quarrelling. The prisoner was a good man in every respect, and very kind to the deceased.


Benjamin Ellson was with deceased some time before he died. He went with a religious view. Deceased showed witness a wound and said he did not know how he had got it, unless it was given him when he was trying to take the gun from the prisoner.


Rev. Joseph Hodgkinson had known the prisoner for nine years, he was a person of strict integrity, and quite unlikely to commit the act with which he was charged.


John Deane, farmer, had known the prisoner for eight or nine years, and always observed him to be a kind and good-hearted man.


Robert Lewis, farmer, John Reece, and several others spoke highly favourable to the prisoner’s character.


The Judge, in summing up, observed the distinction between manslaughter and murder. The point to be considered, in his opinion, was, whether the prisoner stabbed the deceased ; or whether the deceased inflicted the wound on himself by rushing on the bayonet. It was a very fortunate circumstance that the coroner’s inquest found a verdict of manslaughter only, against the prisoner, and that the Grand Jury ignored the bill for murder. The deceased’s attempt to enter the prisoner’s house was very improper, but that did not justify the use of a deadly weapon on the part of the prisoner. The jury would consider whether the exclamation, he “had only stabbed the deceased a bit,” was equivalent to saying that he had not meant to injure him; but at the same time they would remember there were several wounds on the deceased’s body, which must have been inflicted at several and repeated times. He considered the dying declaration of the deceased of great consequence, not counterbalanced by any evidence of equal importance on the other side ; although it was said by one of the witnesses, that the deceased confessed he did not know by what means he became wounded, unless it were in his struggle to take from the prisoner the gun. They would take all the evidence into deliberation, and give their verdict of guilty, but recommended him strongly to the merciful consideration of the court. The Judge passed a sentence of two years imprisonment on the prisoner, accompanied with some very severe remarks; intimating he should have sentenced him to a much more severe punishment.-The prisoner has but one eye, and will in all probability end his days in a jail.”





Chester Courant, 22 June 1830


Report of a Sabbath School in Dunham Hill – 100 children – teacher: Mr Benjamin Ellison {No mention of where this school was}


The Dunham murder

On the  first working day of the Chester races, April 28th 1866, the gathered crowds on the city walls overlooking the racecourse were hushed to stillness by the appearance of figure on the scaffold at Borough  Gaol and a few moments later the prisoner was publicly executed.

Samuel Griffiths was the unfortunate fellow and this was the last public execution in Chester. Here the story

Griffiths had been drinking at the railway inn (now the Dunham arms ) in the company of Mr Isaac Newport of long green borrow  with whom he had been pig dealing . There is little doubt that they were both intoxicated as they left at 2pm.

Isaac Newport, with whom Griffiths had been drinking ,took the way of church lane in order to make a short cut to his house whilst Griffiths , supposing him to have gone by a more circuitous route , went along the Frodsham chester road  making frequent enquiries about his, and after repeated dodging , came up with him in one of woodwards fields on the west side of Manley lane.

He then, by his own admission attacked Newport and robbed him of all his money which of course included what he  had been paid for the pig , and with a drunken mans logic began to plan a more terrible deed of violence in order to conceal the evidence of the first crime.

He followed Isaac Newport over the stile into Christians field and struck the smithy in spite of the old man's entreaties. He then completed his diabolical work by holding him down in the adjoining stream.

This he did in broad daylight in the open field at a place within half a mile of the village and almost in view of the farmhouse on the highway .

The murderer was seen slinking away from the scene of the crime and when apprehended a few hours afterwards he still had the stunning evidence of his guilt upon him in the purse made out of an old curtain by the murdered man's wife .

On the morning of his execution he was quite prepared to die.  He was glad he would not then be able to commit any more foul deeds and it was better thus.