Lytham Hall has a colourful past and an interesting history dating back to the 12th century.
12th – 16th Century
The earliest building known to have been on the site of Lytham Hall was a Benedictine Priory dating from the 12th century. It was a small cell of monks attached to the main Benedictine Order at Durham. Richard Fitzroger granted land for the monks to build a priory and also establish a self-sufficient community at Lytham. Richard, it is said, was saved from death after being taken to the local church dedicated to St Cuthbert. He later travelled to Durham to give prayers of thanks at the Cathedral where St Cuthbert’s bones were interred. The Order remained at Lytham until the Dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in the 16th century.
16th – 18th Century
The land at Lytham was sold by the Crown to Sir Thomas Holcroft and eventually in 1606 was bought by Cuthbert Clifton of Westby, a staunch Catholic. Cuthbert was knighted in 1617 and in 1625 he built a new manor house on or near to the original priory site. Part of this manor house remains incorporated into the later Georgian building.
The Clifton family prospered, increasing their land holdings in the Fylde area but suffered personal tragedy in the Civil War when several sons were killed supporting the Royalist cause. Clifton lands were confiscated and not returned until the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. In the 1750s the family was financially able to commission the building of a new house. The architect was John Carr of York and the house, built in the Palladian style, was completed in 1764.
18th – 21st Century
The fortunes of the Clifton family remained buoyant until the 19th century, refurbishments taking place at Lytham Hall in the late 1790s and 1830s. A downturn in the family’s fortunes was exacerbated by the profligate spending of John Talbot Clifton 1868-1928 and his son Henry Talbot de Vere Clifton 1907-1979. In the 1960s Lytham Hall was sold to Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance and remained in their ownership until 1997, when it was bought by Lytham Town Trust, a charitable organisation. The Town Trust agreed a 99 year lease with Heritage Trust for the North West in 2000.