Included in the Ecclesiastical Parish of Upton are Moston and Little Mollington.
This is a small township on the Lower Division of the Broxton Hundred, about two miles North of Chester - acreage 505 acres. In 1851 we learn, there were two houses with fourteen inhabitants, seven male and seven female. In 1951 there are thirteen houses with approximately forty-five inhabitants, excluding those at the military establishment at The Dale and Moston Hall.
Its ancient name, was Moreston. About 1125 the manor was given to the Abbot and Convent of St. Werburgh, who claimed their usual privileges for this manor at their leet of Upton. Under them an estate was held here at an early period by a family who took their name from the township. After the reign of Queen Elizabeth it was possessed by the Morgell's, and subsequently by the Massey family who bought it in 1879. From this family the greater part of the estate passed in the latter of the nineteenth century to James Swetenham.
Hall. This was erected in the early part of the
nineteenth century and was the seat of the Massey family. Built of red brick it
was picturesquely situated in a well timbered park. It was partly restored and
added to in 1870. It is now a military hospital, being purchased from G. G.
Lockett, Esq. who, in turn, bought it in 1918 from the Swetenham family. The
unsold portion of the estate descended
to Miss Massey who erected upon it a handsome villa called "The Dale" in the 1880s. It was bought by Mr. Reginald Potts as a present to his wife and they moved there from The Oaks. In 1938 The Dale was purchased by the War Department from Mrs. F. M. Potts. In it is the Depot of the Cheshire Regiment and from time to time it houses various regiments. From 1946 to 1949 the Dale was used as a Primary Training Centre. In 1949 the Queen's Bays were stationed in The Dale and were visited there by Her Majesty The Queen. The King paid a visit to the Royal Dragoons there in 1950.
Little Mollington or Mollington Banastre.
This is a small township on the Wirral Hundred, two miles north west of Chester on the Parkgate Road. In 1851 there were three houses and sixteen people, eight male and eight female. We cannot give the population for 1951 as it is now Included in the civil parish of Mollington. (19)
The name Banastre came from Robert Banastre who held the manor by gift from King Edward III. After the Banastre family the manor was possessed by the Lee, Hoghton and Stanley families respectively. During the nineteenth century the Humberstons were the sole proprietors of the estate.
From the Articles of Agreement for the Commutation of Tithes in Little Mollington in 1839 we get the following Information:-
Arable land 60 acres; Meadow or Pasture 176 acres. Total 256 acres.
There was no common land.
The customary payments in this township were as follows:- "For every lamb 5d; for every score of fleeces of wool, 2/-; for every cow and calf 1 ½ d; for every colt 4d; garden. 1d."
Most of the field names are connected with agriculture; croft occurs several times. Two interesting names are Cherry Cow Hay and Hanging field. Cherry used to be a favourite name for a cow in parts of Cheshire. As regards the second name, despite the possibilities we have failed to find a story connected with it.