The earliest record of habitation on the site is 1335 when William de Radcliffe built the great hall which is a typical Lancashire fortified manor house.
In the 16th Century the hall passed by marriage to the Barton family and it was during the tenure of Robert Barton (1524 – 1580) that the hall achieved its paranormal notoriety.
As Mary 1st attempted to restore England to the Catholic faith using fire and the sword, the Reverend George Marsh was brought to Smithill’s Hall to account for his refusal to recant his Protestant Faith and embrace the Catholic religion being foisted on her subjects by the notorious persecutions of the Queen “Bloody Mary.”
Throughout the interrogation, which is believed to have taken place in the “Green Room,” George Marsh remained steadfast in his beliefs until, exasperated, he rushed out of the room and down the stairs, where he stamped his foot so hard upon the floor that its imprint is still visible today, and cried “if I am true to my faith, God shall leave his mark.”
Marsh was later tried for heresy and burnt at the stake at Spittle-Boughton near Chester on April 24th 1555. But reverberations from those long-ago events still echo around this old and atmospheric house with its rough timber-beamed interior, uneven floors and stone fireplaces.
The ghost of George Marsh has been seen gliding across the Green room and disappearing through a wall whilst the footprint now preserved beneath a metal plate bears a dark stain which is said to turn red and sticky each April 24th.