A History of Briars Hall Hotel
The present hall was constructed in 1745 and was first occupied by the Ashton family, other members of which lived at Burscough Hall untill 1890 demonstrating the Ashtons were a highly established and influential family in the area. Their name can still be seen inscribed on the front of the hotel to this very day.
It is said the name Briars comes from the Breres family who resided on the land in the 16th century. Early records of the Preston Guild show the prominence of the Breres family.
John Breres – Clerk to the Guild of Preston in 1602
Henry Breres – Mayor of Preston in 1611, 1618, 1627 and 1637
During the civil war, Alexander Breres (son of John) initally supported Lord Derby and was garrisoned at Lathom House. However, part way through the first siege of Lathom House in March 1644, he switched sides and became part of the Cromwellian army. His name appeared on the Recusant Roll for West Derby Hundred in 1641.
Mr J Ainscough of H&R Ainscough Ltd acquired the hall in 1902 and under his direction modifications and additions were made. In 1910 the hall was one of the first dwellings in the area to receive electricity and was supplied via overhead wire from Briars Mill which had begun generating electricity in 1885. In fact Burscough and Lathom did not receive electricity untill 1932. Clearly interested in new inventions, the Ainscoughs were one of the first families in the area to have a telephone installed with their number being ‘Burscough 1’.
H&R Ainscough was founded by Hugh Ainscough in the early part of the nineteenth century at Parbold. Joined by his brother Richard, the company built mills at Parbold and Burscough exploiting the canal. Wheat for milling was brought into Liverpool by ship from America and could be loaded immediately onto barges and transferred to the mills at Parbold and Burscough giving the Ainscoughs an advantage over other mills without the direct link.
The Ainscoughs also ran a highly successful stud farm for shire horses at the hall and many accolades were attributed to them. In 1922 they won the Shire Male Championship at the highly prestigous Worsley Agricultural Show with a four year old stallion called Burscough Premier. Other prize winning shires included Burscough Boadicea, Burscough Beautiful and Burscough Ironcladia.
In more recent times Ginger McCain has grazed some the finest horses in the hotel grounds… and the legend of Red Rum lives on!
After conversion work had been completed, on 12th Febuary 1970, Briars Hall opened its doors to guests and became Briars Hall Hotel… justifiably proud of its history and links with the past.