Pre-history.

Over the years, only limited archaeological investigation has taken place in this parish. Nevertheless, aerial reconnaissance in 1994 highlighted evidence of a cemetery, henge, ring ditch and round barrow at Sutton Hall. The ring ditch had two opposed entrances and is thought to represent the site of a round barrow. Round barrows were a typeof burial mound. Mounds of earth and stone were placed over a burial or cremation.

A single barrow could be re-used for several later burials. The time period linked to this structure is Palaeolithic (Old Stone Age). This period was the time of the very first people and the making of the very first stone tools.

The earliest evidence of man-made objects in the village also dates back to pre-history. A flint scraper has been found near to the towing path on the right bank of the River Weaver. In addition, a flake of grey flint worked to produce a side scraper, together with flint flake, was recovered from the surface of the subsoil during work on the NW Ethylene Pipeline Project.

In addition, in 1990, the Field Archaeology Section from the Liverpool Museum undertook a field walking exercise and discovered five pieces of flint consisting of two blade cores, a probable core fragment and two chips, possibly associated with flint knapping. It is thought that these could be Mesolithic in date.

This period (also called the Middle Stone Age) in human development began with the end of the last glacial period over 10,000 years ago and lasted until almost 3,000 years BC. Mesolithic cultures represented a wide variety of hunting, fishing and food gathering techniques. This variety may have been the result of adaptations to ecological conditions associated with the retreat of the glaciers and the growth of forests. Characteristic of this period were hunting and fishing settlements along rivers where fish was
abundant.

The Romans

The resident Celtic tribe of the Cornovii (who occupied in ancient times, the lands which were later tobecome the County of Cheshire), were one of several native British tribes who succumbed and acceded to Roman occupation.

In AD60 the Roman fort of Deva (Chester) was established and this was to become the largest Roman fortified settlement in Britain. A network of roadways gradually developed from Chester.

Between AD 84–87 the road from Chester to Wilderspool (Warrington) was built. Wilderspool in those days was named Veratinum and soon became important as an industrial centre manufacturing metal products, glass and pottery – examples of which have been found as far away as Hadrian’s Wall.

The road commenced at the North Gate in Chester and continued towards Hoole, Bridge Trafford, and Frodsham. It is considered that the road through Helsby and Frodsham would have followed a line on higher ground than the current A56 as the land was very marshy from a much wider River Mersey than exists today. In Helsby it would probably have followed Robin Hood Lane and the Old Chester Road, while in Frodsham via Howey Lane, Church Road and Townfield Lane and thendropping down to the Weaver at a point close to the existing Frodsham Bridge. It is then thought to have passed through Sutton Weaver, Preston Brook and Daresbury. Sadly to this day, insufficient archaeology has taken place to enable us to be certain of the precise route.

During the construction of the Weaver canal here at Sutton in 1808, a semicircular arch thought to be of Roman date was found. A portion of mosaic pavement found buried beneath the surface is also recorded which could have been part of that Roman road.

Prior to the construction of the golf course at Sutton Hall Farm a walkover survey indicated that there was a possibility that the road passed in that direction.

Medieval History

In 410AD the Roman emperor Honorius refused to send reinforcements to help defend this Province against barbarian attacks. As time progressed, the Roman legions withdrew and eventually the country was invaded by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes.

The Romano-Britons defended themselves as best they could. Although the invaders did not kill all of the population, they did almost destroy their native Celtic language and replaced it by their own Germanic tongue.

With the new language came new placenames, many of which survive to the present day. Sutton, for example, was a very common place name which meant “southern farm or village”. Preston, another name of Saxon origin, translates as “priest’s house” or “priest’s farm”.

Water transport was used significantly in those days. Whilst there is no archaeological evidence here in Sutton Weaver, a number of Saxon log boats have been found near to Warrington, showing that the River Mersey was well used at that time.

Sutton (unlike Halton, Aston, Weston and Dutton) was not mentioned in the Domesday Book. It was of the fee of Halton. Adam de Dutton, younger son of Hugh Dutton of Dutton owned the area in thereign of Richard I. Deeds belonging to Norton Priory and dating from the early 13th century makes reference to a medieval mill at Sutton. The location of the mill (water mill and corn mill) is unknown;
however the Tithe Awards for Sutton records six plots with names containing the mill. These include Mill Meadow, Back Mill Brow, Mill Field Plantation (now Lowe’s Wood) and Mill Field in a discrete cluster between Sutton Hall and the River Weaver. The other two are associated with the mill race of the post medieval mill.

Records suggest that in Sutton Heath there was a medieval stone cross (dated 1066-1539 AD). It was thought to be a way-mark or a boundary mark between the lands of Stanlow Abbey and Ince Manor.

One interesting find in the village relates to a rather worn silver penny from the reign of Edward I. It was minted in Berwick on Tweed and dated 1298. In addition, field walking in 1990 produced 13 pieces of late medieval/early post-medieval unglazed sandy pottery and green splash-glaze pottery in one corner of a field suggesting a settlement during this time.

Frodsham Bridge (which crosses the River Weaver) dates from the reign of Henry III (1216-72). The original bridge was made of wood and records show that the forester of Delamere was requested togive one oak for its repair. It was later rebuilt in brick in the reign of Elizabeth I and again in stone with 4 arches in 1625. It was taken down many years ago to make way for the present structure.