When Sir Robert de Lathom, the Lord of the Manor of Rainford, gave the Manor to his brother Thomas in the early 1300’s Thomas settled at Mossborough in a moated house on the site of the present hall. Successive generations of the Lathom family occupied the hall for the next three and a half centuries. One Henry Lathom, a staunch Roman Catholic, was persecuted for his religious beliefs during Elizabeth’s reign and in 1583 the hall was ransacked by the Queen’s officers searching for medals, rosaries or other pious objects and Henry was imprisoned at Lancaster for several years. In his will of 1618 Henry desired that he be ‘buryed at Raynfforth Chappell with as much secrecy as can bee devysed’ for by this time the Chapel was under the control of the anti-Catholic Puritans.
This adherence to the Catholic faith continued long after the Reformation with a succession of resident or visiting priests saying Mass in the chapel there until as late as 1752.
Mossborough was eventually inherited by Henry’s great grand daughter Frances and on her marriage in 1664 to Robert Molyneux of Melling the estate passed into the Molyneux family. Their eldest son Robert Molyneux married Anne Poole in 1702 and it is their initials with the date 1703 which appear on a stone on the west wing of the present hall erected by them following destruction by fire of the earlier building.
On the death of Robert in 1729 the hall and lands passed to his brother William Molyneux and on his death in 1744 to his daughter Frances. She married Sir Edward Blount of Soddington in 1752 and the trustees of his estate sold the property in 1786 to the Earl of Derby whose descendants have owned it to the present day. A succession of tenants under the Earl have occupied the hall and farmed the hundreds of acres of land associated with it. The tenancy has been held by the Heyes family for the last seventy years.