The big roundabout at the junction of the expressway from Daresbury village and the point where it swings towards Runcorn, is close to the site of Norton Chains. On the north side of the expressway, at the start of Warrington Road, is an old trackway. It is believed to be the medieval route from Halton and Norton Priory to Moore and Warrington.
After the priory was pulled down in the reign of Henry VIII, the land was purchased by Sir Richard Brooke who built a Tudor mansion on the site. This was replaced in the 18th century by a Georgian mansion. The main Runcorn – Warrington road was diverted around the north of the estate and the track became the main entrance to the house.
At its junction with Warrington Road, it was marked by some short sandstone pillars and chains. Hence the name, Norton Chains. They were removed during the development of Runcorn New Town, but re-sited along a walkway on Manor Park. The area is still known to locals as ‘Norton Chains’.
Geoff remembers travelling to work in the 60’s and regularly seeing moleskins hanging from the chains, put there by the local gamekeeper.
Thanks to Nicholas for these photographs