I'd always presumed that the Hall was a Victorian folly built for the linoleum magnate and MP James Williamson (Jnr.), Lord Ashton. However, there's been a manor house/baronial castle on this site since 1066 and parts of the current building may date from the 14th Century. The Lawrence family were awarded the estate for 'valiant deeds' performed at the siege of Acre in 1191. It later passed by inheritance to the Dukes of Hamilton; the then-Duke visited in 1648.
Substantial additions were made in 1856 (which may partly explain my mistake!) and in 1884 the Hall was bought by Williamson for £100,000. I presume his ownership of the Hall was a prime reason why Williamson chose the title 'Ashton' when ennobled in 1895, but he didn't actually spend much time here – his main Lancaster home was in Ryelands Park, in the city itself. That said, he did have a station built on the adjacent Lancaster-Glasson railway line, for his own private use.
The Grade 1 Listed building is now the clubhouse of Lancaster Golf Course.
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