The house was completed by Thomas Hoghton in 1565, but Thomas, a Catholic, stayed in it only four years before fleeing to the Low Countries, where he died.
Thomas' nephew Richard earned the favour of James I, who made him a Baronet in 1611 and visited Hoghton in 1617
Sir Richard laid out the red carpet for James' visit - literally. Red carpeting was laid for the entire length of the half mile avenue leading to the house. Richard's good fortune did not last long; only a few years later he was imprisoned in Fleet Prison for debt.
Richard's son, Sir Gilbert, fought for Charles I in the Civil War, though Gilbert's own son (named Richard, like his grandfather), chose the Roundhead cause, and Hoghton Tower was besieged by Parliamentary troops in 1643. Eventually the defenders capitulated, but when the Roundheads entered the house the powder magazine in the tower between the two courtyards exploded, killing over 100 Parliamentary men. The tower was never rebuilt.
Succeeding generations of Hoghtons were fervent Presbyterian Dissenters, and the banqueting hall was often used as a Dissenting chapel.
Later generations of Hoghtons took a strong interest in parish affairs, and moved away from Hoghton Tower to be closer to the political action. Without them the house fell into disuse, and when Charles Dickens visited it in 1854 he found it in a depressing state of disrepair. The mood of the place prompted Dickens to write a story, "George Silverman's Explanation", in which the house features prominently.
Hoghton Tower was not restored until 1870, after a century of neglect. Despite the loss of many family portraits and collectibles in a fire, the work was finished in 1901, and visitors today can see several attractive rooms in a guided tour that lasts about 40 minutes. Highlights include excellent Queen Anne panelling, the galleried banqueting hall, good period furniture, and a doll house collection. You may also delve into a Tudor well house.
Today, Hoghton Tower is the regimental base of Sir Gilbert Hoghton's Company of Foote, a regiment of The Sealed Knot battle re-enactment society.