Clayton Hall is on Ashton New Road, in Clayton, Manchester, hidden behind trees in a small park. The Hall is a Grade II* listed building, a scheduled ancient monument, and is a rare example of a medieval moated site.The hall was probably built in the 15th century and is surrounded by a moat, making an island 66 m by 74 m. Alterations were made to the hall in the 16th and 17th centuries, and enlarged in the 18th century. Originally built for the Clayton Family, it passed on into the hands of the Byron family—of which poet Lord Byron was a member—in 1194. They lived there until they sold it to two London merchants, George and Humphrey Chetham, in 1620. Humphrey Chetham is famous for founding Cheethams School and Library in the centre of Manchester. After an eventful life, Chetham died at the Hall in 1653.
The Hall was then to be acquired by Manchester City Corporation in 1897, ensuring the survival of this romantic link with the past in a most unlikely area. The section on the right of the Hall is the older half, dating back to the 16th century. The section of the Hall on the left dates back from the 18th century and contained the dining room, kitchen, larder, scullery and pantry of the Hall.During the Civil War, Royalist cavalry were stationed here, before the attack on Manchester. Afterwards, according to legend, Oliver Cromwell was said to have spent three nights at the Hall.