OS grid ref:- SJ440657
Winner of the best kept village award in 2011, the small attractive village of Christleton lies on the eastern outskirts of Chester. It is mentioned the Domesday Book, where it is referred to as Christletone. The name means "the village or place of Christ", or alternatively "Cristentum" the "enclosed farm of the Christians".
The Shropshire Union Canal passes through the village. There is also a large and attractive pond on Little Heath Common known locally as Christleton Pit. It is not known when the first excavations were made on the common. In the eighteenth century it provided a source of clay for brickmaking, gravel for roadmaking and marl, a form of clay which was spread on farmland to improve the quality of sandy soil. The Pit was the largest of these excavations. Coots, moorhens, mallards and swans now nest on the Pit.
The characterful timber framed Dixon's Almhouses, which overlook Christleton Pit date from 1868 and were built to provide homes for the poor and needy of the parish in memory of James Dixon of Littleton Old Hall. They were designed by J.Oldrid Scott, son of the famous architect Sir George Gilbert Scott who was responsible for the repair and rebuilding of Chester Cathedral. The building is Grade II listed.
Dixon's Almshouses and the Manor House
Christleton Old Hall dates to the early seventeenth century and was once owned by a member of the Egerton family, who had their main family seat at nearby Tatton Park. Once a timber framed building, during the nineteenth century it was encased in red Ruabon brick. The interior of the house contains Jacobean plasterwork and panelling. During the Civil War it was occupied by Sir William Brereton, the commander of The Parliamentary army. Parts of a tunnel still surround the building, which legend states was used by the Parliamentariary army.
The Manor House which was originally a farm, is one of the oldest surviving houses in Christleton, and is believed to date from around 1560. The cellar of the building is said to have been connected to the Old Hall and the Church by a tunnel made during the Civil War. The house is constructed of local hand made brick, from clay extracted from Christleton Pit. A coin dating from the reign of Elizabeth I was founded in the garden.
The village church of St James dates to 1877 and was designed by William Butterfield. Recent investigations suggest that a church has occupied the site since soon after the Roman occupation of nearby Chester.
Nearby Rowton Heath was the site of a Civil War battle.
Nearby places of interest
Chester, historic city founded by the Romans.
Eaton Hall, the country house of the Duke and Duchess of Westminster, is situated just outside the village. The hall has been the home of the Grosvenor family since the 15th century. To the north of the hall is Eaton Chapel, with its handsome clock tower, which is a Grade I listed building. The house is surrounded by formal gardens, parkland, farmland and woodland. The gardens at Eaton Hall draw thousands of visitors each year. The gardens are only open to the public three times a year to raise funds for charity.