Snarestone History Page

Snarestone and Swepstone's Lost Heroes of the 1st World War. Click Here



The story of the Snarestone Murder, and hanging, click here

Thanks to Andrew Vonnie for supplying the tale.

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 Snarestone's Census of 2001,Click  here for Parish profile

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Would you like to help with this page?


A vacancy exists for a 'village historian' to assist this site in the construction of these pages.

I am afraid the salary is non-existent, but the hours are short and potentially very interesting. We have had people visit the site interested in family history and names/occupations of past villagers, and so having someone as a focal point would assist in this greatly. You do not need to be "internet literate" we will do all that stuff for you, just be able to spend some time researching and creating something of interest to add to the site. With the villages agricultural past, mixed with involvement in the canals, railways and local mining, there is so much out there just waiting to be harnessed. Ideally, you will have access to a PC and the internet in order to keep in touch with us, and if you want it, you can have an email address if that helps!



The following contribution was kindly sent in by Richard Dunmore on the history of Snarestone Lodge and the former Snarestone Hall, which he came by whilst researching the Moore family and Appleby Magna.

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It is well known that Snarestone Lodge was in the ownership of the Moore family of Appleby Hall from before 1800 until the sale and dispersal of the Moores' estate in 1919.  Indeed Squire George Moore (1778-1827) made his home there.  So it may be thought that Moores had been responsible for building this rather grand house, but that is not so.  The story of its conversion from a relatively humble farm house has some surprising revelations.

The Charnells 

The story begins with the Charnell family who had held Snarestone Manor from the early 13th century until the late 18th century.   Nicholas Charnell who died in 1779 left the greater part of the lordship lands to three nieces who became co-owners.  These three died in rapid succession in 1793, 1794 and 1795.  The last to die, Elizabetha-Catharina, had  married Revd. Dudley Charles Ryder son of the John Ryder, Archbishop of Tuam, in Ireland, and she left the manor to her two daughters Katherine and Anne Ryder.   

Two Colonels 

Katherine married Colonel Samuel Madden of Hilton Park, Co. Monaghan in Ireland and Anne married Colonel Charles Powell Leslie of Glafslough also in Co. Monaghan.  At this time the property inherited by a married woman automatically became her husband's, so the two colonels became in effect the joint owners of Snarestone manor.   

They could not have been more different characters.  Colonel Leslie led a life of public service, being MP for the county of Monaghan and colonel of its militia in 1804.  By way of contrast Colonel 'Sam' Madden was a gambler and 'bon viveur' - he liked the good life.  These excesses led to a disastrous fire in the house at Hilton Park in 1803, from which he never financially recovered.   

By mutual agreement Colonel Leslie had taken the old manor house at Snarestone, by then known as Snarestone Hall, and Colonel Madden the neighbouring farm house which he enlarged to form Snarestone Lodge.  Katherine died in 1800 aged 40 years, and her memorial plaque may be seen on the north wall inside Snarestone Church. 

Colonel Madden, seems to have acquired the whole of the Snarestone estate by 1795 and after the death of his wife Katherine (1800) sold up, probably about 1802.  This sale may have been to meet some of his accumulating gambling debts.  In 1812 creditors were called in at Hilton Park and, 'much to the relief of everyone', he died in 1814 leaving his son Colonel John Madden to pick up the pieces of the Irish estate.  (Colonel John succeeded in this thanks to the foresight of his grandfather, Revd. Dudley Charles Ryder, who had kept back much of his fortune from Katherine realising that Colonel Sam might gamble it all away.) 

The Moores 

Whether he acquired it directly from Colonal Sam Madden is not clear, but the next known owner of the reunited Snarestone Estate was  John Drummond of Megginch Castle in Perthshire. Snarestone Lodge became the home of his daughter Susan on the occasion of her marriage in 1810 to George Moore (1778-1827) the heir to the Appleby Estate.  With the death of Susan in 1813, the property became an integral part of the expanding Moore empire.  Susan had produced two children, George (1811-71) who would be the next squire, and Susan Drummond (b.1813) and the Squire married again, to Elizabeth Hurt.  Elizabeth had no children and continued to live at Snarestone Lodge after her husband's death in 1827.  The young Squire moved into Appleby Hall on his marriage in 1833 and made it more grand than ever. 

Snarestone Hall 

The site of the Hall was north of Snarestone Church roughly opposite Snarestone Lodge.  A study of the irregular levels of the pastures and field boundaries may indicate the site more precisely.  Some of the stone and other building material salvaged from the Hall appears to have been used in the construction of walls around Snarestone Lodge and Farm*.   

So it appears that either Colonel Sam Madden or John Drummond took the decision to demolish the Hall and build up the Lodge as the house of the reunited estate.  John Drummond seems the more likely.  George and Susan Moore briefly enjoyed three years together at the Lodge before Susan's tragic death following the birth of their daughter. 

* I am grateful to Mrs Jane Davies of Lodge Farm for this observation


The history of the Charnells at Snarestone including their pedigree down to Katherine and Ann Ryder is given in John Nichols, History and Antiquities of Leicestershire, Vol III, pp.1043-50. 

Snarestone Records in Ireland 

The extraordinary story of Colonel Sam Madden and much more about Hilton Park may be found in the Madden Papers referred to on the web-site of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).  [Do a search of the site for 'snareston' - without the final 'e'.] 

It appears that papers are gradually being transferred to and catalogued by PRONI. 

But it should be noted that PRONI reports material relating to Snarestone Hall kept uncatalogued at Hilton Park. For example: 

‘Also present is a ‘Reference book to the map of the Snarestone property’, 1778.  Into this have been stuffed various plans, accounts etc. relating to Snareston and Swepston including a ‘Plan of the canal over Mr Farnell’s [sic - Charnell’s] estate at Snarestone’, paper marked 1794.  [This volume is kept in the right-hand compartment of the large, glass-fronted bookcase in the study at Hilton and has not been deposited in or copied by PRONI].’ 

'At Hilton Park there is an outsize parchment pedigree of the Charnells of Snareston, 1733.'  

Hilton Park today 

The Hilton estate is still in the hands of the Madden family and offers holiday accommodation.

See the Hilton Park web-site: 

Richard Dunmore March 2005


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