The origins of Bowden are somewhat obscure, but by 1477 one Nicholas Bowdon (sic) was of Bowden Hall, and in all probability this family had held their freehold estate there from at least the time of the Black Death. The Bowdons, gradually increasing their estate (qv Beighton Fields), lived in what (in 1833) was described as 'an ancient mansion', which they sold to Sir Simon Degge of Derby in 1680. The trustees of the last Degge sold in 1765 to Robert Hibberson, whose descendant James, reversing the trend of over a century when it was tenanted as a farm, was living there himself in 1833, described as a 'farmer and gent'. In 1836, the house - which was probably no more than a traditional H-shaped small manor, having been taxed on eight hearths in 1670 - was sold, with the estate, to John Slack(e), a kinsman of the Slackes of Slack Hall (qv). In 1844, he demolished the old house and built the present pretty seat, which was designed by Richard Lane of Manchester.
It is delight- fully situated in a bold acclivity and the main front is of five bays, with a central two-storey porch projecting between two straight coped gables, one of two bays, the other of one, with prominent kneelers. The porch has a four-centred arch, with full mouldings, and there is a similar window above with a hood mould. To the left of the entrance is a ground floor canted bay with terrace windows. It is of ashlar throughout of millstone grit sandstone, probably Kinderscout Grit, with similar dressings. A rear Georgian wing with flat roof is of coursed rubble of the same stone. The roof is Welsh slate.
The house remained in the ownership of the Slackes and the Barnes-Slackes until at least World War One, although for most of the time it was tenanted: Joseph Wainwright, a Wormhill quarry owner was there from 1890 until 1900, when he moved into Hargate Hall, which he built for himself; he was followed by Robert Parsons Earwaker, a son of a Manchester merchant, and though the period between the wars to 1963 it was occupied by Francis Alexander Lauder. In 1963 it was sold to Dr D D Matthews, a structural engineer, who saved the house from collapse, removing some portions, the North bathroom and East nursery and remodelling the North entrance. In 1979 it passed into the ownership of GE Roberts, a Chartered Accountant and Tobacconist from Audenshaw, Manchester.
Pevsner, 125; Colvin, 596; Lysons, V 73; Glover II 247; Bagshaw (1846) 464; BOWDON of Bowden/Rel;quary VII (1866-7) 70, Glover, II. 338, FMG 1111034 &sub GREYde RUTHYN,B/BP (1956) 970-2; DEGGE/Le Neve (1873) 231; SLACKE/BLG (1898) II. 1853-4 & DerbyLocal Studies Library MS 8271, peds. 84, 87.