<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cheshire Life today click here

Hankelow Hall, Cheshire, back to glory days

PUBLISHED: 11:30 17 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:11 20 February 2013

Hankelow Hall, Cheshire, back to glory days

Hankelow Hall, Cheshire, back to glory days

A lengthy project to rebuild historic Hankelow Hall is gradually taking shape, as Paul Mackenzie reports

It took quite some vision for the Shenton family to see a future for Hankelow Hall when they bought it in 1989. The hall had stood empty for many years and when they first arrived it was possible to stand in the cellar and see the sky through the collapsed ceilings of five storeys.
Now, 21 years on, some of the 14th century building's floors still need to be replaced, sections of roof remain missing and only a tiny corner of the imposing hall is habitable, but Kirk Shenton, the property developer who owns the hall, can see real progress.
'We are gradually working our way round the building putting floors back in and restoring what used to be here,' he said. 'When we bought the hall it was in a perilous state. If we hadn't come in and started work straight away, the place would have fallen down by now. Two years from now it should all be finished.
'We lived in caravans when we first came here. We said that would be for no more than two years but we ended up staying in there for six years.
'Bits of the roof would fall in during storms and one night we heard a strange noise coming from inside the hall and found someone's sheep had escaped and were running around in the ballroom.
'In spite of all the obvious problems I knew when I first saw the place that it could be a beautiful house and a beautiful place to bring up the family. I could see there was terrific potential here.'
Working with his son James, a joiner, Kirk is now starting to realise that potential and return the once grand hall to its former glory. Using English oak and following the original design, they are restoring the hall one room at a time.
'We had been told the house was early Georgian but we have had the windows dated to the 1600s and staircase is Tudor. The first record of the hall is from 1369 and we have found some sections of wattle and daub wall. We have also found within the walls - some of which are up to three feet thick - the remains of what was once a timbered building.
'Our original plan was to restore the hall into a family home and to build five dwellings in the grounds. It has taken 21 years but that is what we finally have the planning permission for.
'We bought it for 328,000 and at today's prices we have spent more than 1.8million on the hall and the grounds. The hall is in five bays and so far we have made three structurally sound.
We've done the worst of it and we have completely re-built the chimney - that alone uses 25,000 bricks, that's enough for two semi-detached houses.'
The hall stands in rolling parkland just outside the picture-perfect village of Hankelow five miles south of Nantwich and while a lot of work has been done inside the hall, greater transformations have taken place outside.
Thousands of trees and shrubs have been planted and a new lake dug which Kirk and Beverley have named in memory of their first grandchild, Ava, who died when she was just ten weeks old.
'We also dug a frog pond which children from the local school can come and use for study sessions 12 times a year. The wildlife we have here is fantastic and we are also building a 20 foot wildlife tower to attract even more creatures.
'We have had ravens and buzzards nesting in the coppice and we've had a red kite here too.
'We put bird boxes and bat boxes and barn owl accesses in the roof spaces in various buildings and we've re-done the kitchen garden where we have tried to retain the original gardening techniques.
'Once we have completed the hall we will build five luxurious homes in the grounds. When the hall was at its peak there would have been buildings in the grounds and that is what we are restoring, lodges and barns, all in character with the surroundings and the hall.
'I am working seven days a week and James is doing a lot of the work too. Hopefully it will all be completed in two years.
'I have always been enthralled by the building industry. I love the trade so doing seven days a week isn't a hardship, it's more like a hobby.'

0 comments

More from Homes & Gardens

Friday, November 17, 2017

Cheshire-based Crystal Living explain why home-owners have so much choice when it comes to transforming their property.

Read more
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Character and charm

Read more
Thursday, October 12, 2017

Su Hurrell, from Alsager, launched her mobile art enterprise Ladybird Garden Safari to inspire children, writes Kate Houghton

Read more
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

When it comes to property, the old adage is location, location, location. For many though, size is important. We take a look at what areas give you more for your money in terms of house size.

Read more
Sunday, October 1, 2017

Period perfection

Read more
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Founded in 1970 by Julia Jones, this wonderful furniture, lighting and homeware store is now in the sure hands of Julia’s son Rob and daughter Zeta. Here Rob has some advice about how to choose the right sofa for your needs and your space

Read more
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Pupils at an Alsager primary school show off their award-winning garden. Words and pictures by Linda Viney

Read more
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jo Deas’ Wilmslow house is a blend of art gallery and family home, says Kate Houghton, where her two worlds collide and meld to 
create perfect harmony.

Read more
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tweedmill, in Flint, is a British success story that began in Wales, but found international fans. Kate Houghton reports.

Read more
Sunday, September 10, 2017

Plenty of space

Read more
Thursday, September 7, 2017

Living in a busy urban area needn’t stop you creating a little quiet corner for yourself. Linda Viney visits Didsbury.

Read more
Didsbury
Monday, September 4, 2017

This family home in Chester has a wonderful outlook onto the River Dee

Read more
Thursday, August 3, 2017

Garden setting

Read more
Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The winners of our Garden of the Year competition have a new shed to shelter in when it rains on their glorious garden in Neston
Words and photographs by Linda Viney

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Cheshire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cheshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search