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Tel: +44 (0)161 275 3764


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  1. I enjoyed my visit to Dunham Massey very much several months ago. One area I would like to see addressed– which is notably absent here on this blog and at Dunham Massey itself– is the role of the Massey family.

    Who were they? Why is their history missing?

    It is my understanding they were the first occupants of Dunham Massey until the 1400s.

    I also understand the Masseys were one of the earliest families establishing order through the feudal and medieval periods, being the barons of the Cheshire and Wirral regions and holding six estates, two castles, and nine Lordships for many hundreds of years. They received their barony and title from the King of England (William II) and the Earl of Chester shortly after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and are noted in the Domesday Book.

    They had a role in building and supporting Birkenhead Abbey on the Mersey for 400 years, one of the oldest priories in England. They maintained the ferry service there, built roads for travelers stretching from Manchester to Liverpool, and performed other functions of a barony– such as protecting borders, mustering armies when called upon, and attending the King’s Council and Parliament. To note, they built St. Nicholas Church in Burton in 1380, where Massey Chapel still exists. The Massey family also had a role in housing and protecting John Plessington, the parish priest of Burton and Puddington who later obtained sainthood by the Catholic Church.

    Later, the Massey family out of favor in England due to their strong Catholic, Jacobean, and Royalist beliefs, suffering from heavy fines and penalties and lack of a male heir.

    This is my brief understanding, all of which is absent here and at Dunham Massey. Perhaps providing more about the Massey history and their role can be a foundation for important inclusion?

    Thank you for your kind consideration in this regard,

    Steven Massey

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