8 great days out in Cheshire’s country houses
PUBLISHED: 00:00 10 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:29 10 September 2018
Our county boasts a whole host of historic properties, each complete with fascinating stories, beautiful grounds and lavish interiors.
The Bromley-Davenport family reside in this 18th century estate, the site on which they and their ancestors, the Wards and Capesthornes, have lived since Domesday.
The present house was built between 1719 and 1732, and it sits in acres of idyllic parkland and woodland, a haven for flora and fauna.
Capesthorne Hall, Congleton Road, Siddington, Macclesfield, SK11 9JY. Open on Sundays, Mondays and Bank Holidays, admission charges apply. www.capesthorne.com
ADLINGTON HALL AND GARDENS
Although it is now a beautiful country home, Adlington Hall began life as a simple hunting lodge for Earl Edwin and his men. During the Norman Conquest, Earl Edwin was thrown off his land by William the Conqueror, meaning that the site was in Norman hands until 1221.
Today visitors can wander around the gardens and view the grand interior of the house. A particular highlight is the 15th century Great Hall, where the Great Organ is situated; on Thursday September 13th there will be an evening organ recital here with Jonathon Scott.
Adlington Hall and Gardens, Mill Lane, Adlington, Macclesfield, SK10 4LF. More information about the recital is available at www.adlingtonhall.com
Lyme Park is a spectacular location on the edge of the Peak District, this 1,400-acre estate offers endless opportunities for exploring. Once home to the influential Legh family, the house saw great rejuvenation during the Regency era, and its lavish interior is today open for visitors.
Lyme’s library is home to an edition of the Sarum Missal, the only surviving, largely intact, copy printed by William Caxton in Paris in 1487. Visitors might also recognise Lyme as a result of its appearance in the BBC dramatisation of Pride and Prejudice.
Lyme, Disley, SK12 2NX. Admission charges apply. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lyme
It has been said that to see Cheshire, you must see Gawsworth, and it is easy to see why! The glorious black and white hall was built in 1480, and was once home to Mary Flitton, maid of honour to Elizabeth I and the ‘Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
From May to mid-September the house is open to visitors, and from September 11th there will be weekly garden history classes run by Jane Roberts. These will take place in the settings of the Orchard tea room, and the hall courtyard and garden.
Gawsworth Hall, Church Lane, Gawsworth, Macclesfield, SK11 9RN. Further information regarding the classes can be found at www.gawsworthhall.com
LITTLE MORETON HALL
Engineers in 1900 could not believe that Little Moreton Hall was still standing, so visitors today have the chance to view a spectacular Tudor property that has been defying logic for 500 years. Surrounded by a moat and with a traditional manicured knot garden to the rear, this property gives a real feel of 17th century life.
Autumn was the time in which Tudor families would hire their servants, and on Saturday September 22nd Little Moreton Hall will host their Tudor Mop Fair in commemoration, featuring the living history group, Amicorum.
Little Moreton Hall, Congleton, Cheshire, CW12 4SD. Admission charges apply. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/little-moreton-hall
A Grade 1 listed Jacobean House built between 1616 and 1621, Dorfold is the perfect place to escape to from city life. Originally built for King James I to visit, the house has a fascinating history, with a chestnut tree standing in the grounds that is believed to be over 1,000 years old.
The name ‘Dorfold’ stems from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘deofold’, signifying a cattle enclosure or deer park. The house is open for visitors between April and October, and guided tours are on offer throughout the day.
Dorfold Hall, Chester Road, Nantwich, CW5 8LD. Admission charges apply. www.dorfoldhall.com
ARLEY HALL AND GARDENS
This impressive 19th century country house stands on the same site as the original hall built in 1469; the property has been inhabited by the same family for over 500 years, and Lord and Lady Ashbrook continue to reside here today.
Arley Hall boasts elaborate ceilings and beautiful stained glass windows, whilst the gardens were awarded a gold medal at RHS Tatton.
Arley Hall and Gardens, Arley, Northwich, CW9 6NA. The hall is open on Tuesdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, admission charges apply. www.arleyhallandgardens.com
This 18th century house is a treasure trove of secrets, and has recently been transformed to tell the fascinating tales of three women from its past – Lady Mary Booth, Ms Collins and Penelope the Countess, who opened the house as a World War One hospital.
The stunning gardens at Dunham Massey are home to period features such as an orangery and pump house, and lasting until September 5th is the ‘Midnight Garden’ event, where visitors will be taken back to the year 1906. Games and garden parties are promised to be in full swing.
Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 4SJ. Admission charges apply. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunham-massey