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A Brief History

Its history can be traced with certainty to the Domesday Book, which contains an entry for "Christletone", though there is evidence of earlier occupation.

According to Hemingway, it was during abbacy of Simon at the Cathedral that:

  • A cistern twenty feet square was made at Christleton and another formed within the cloisters and a communication established by pipes which a patent from Edward I enabled the monks to carry through all intervening lands permitting even the city walls to be taken clown for the purpose It is observable that a forester of Delamere Randle de Merton whose estate was trespassed on in consequence of this order ventured on cutting off the pipes which the abbots had laid for which he was ordered to make reparation by a royal mandate (13 Edward I)

The site of the well at Christleton was long known as "The abbot's well" and lies some short distance from what is now the the Abbot's Well Hotel.

The Witch

Elizabeth, wife of yeoman William Lightbone, was accused of several counts of witchcraft against her Christleton neighbours. On 30 May, 1613, she was believed to have bewitched Richard Rider so that he became lame until 20 September of that year. Prior to that, on 8 August, 1606, she had bewitched Richard Burrowes, causing him to languish until December. Finally, Elizabeth was accused of bewitching Mary Cotgreave on 20 May, 1611, causing her to become lame, a condition that continued until the time of the indictments made against Elizabeth at the Chester Quarter Sessions of 27 September, 1613, when she was found guilty on all three counts, but notably none of the victims died.

Elizabeth pleaded pregnancy, and although she was still in prison on 25 September, 1616, she was pardoned on 9 September of that year and is presumed to have been released. Due to this, it is assumed that Elizabeth was indeed with child, although evidence of the whereabouts of Elizabeth or her child after her pardon is frustratingly lacking.

The Sewage Pump

Christleto is the home to a disused "sewerage lift" which often confuses visitors and those passing through. The lift was installed around 1900 by Adams of York, and the visible part consists of a tower with a tank housing at the top. Clean water is supplied from the mains and fills up the tank. Once full, the water is released (rather like flushing a toilet) the energy of the falling water is used to lift the contents of the local sewers a few feet upwards, and get them over a rise in the ground. This means that the sewers can discharge "uphill" into the Chester city sewers rather than "downhill" into the River Dee.