Historic Houses Cheshire: Adlington Hall

There are several fine stately homes in Cheshire, but the incongruous mixture of architectural styles at Adlington Hall, plus a fascinating Wilderness Walk in the parkland, make it, for me, the most interesting to visit.

Adlington Hall - East Wing
Adlington Hall – East Wing

As long standing National Trust members, my wife and I have visited many stately homes in the Cheshire/South Manchester area, including, Dunham Massey, Lyme and Little Moreton Hall.

However, it is only recently after joining Historic Houses, that a new group of properties in the area opened up to us. This includes Adlington Hall and Bramall Hall just five miles to the south, which we visited earlier in the year.

Our delay in visiting Adlington Hall is in part because of its limited opening times – only on Sunday afternoons between June and September. However, we managed to fit in a visit on a sunny Sunday in August.

We were surprised with our first view of Adlington Hall. We had seen pictures of what looked like a typical Georgian building with a large portico, but what we saw on arrival from the car park was a much older timber-framed structure.

Adlington Hall - South Wing
Adlington Hall – South Wing

We learned that the Hall has four wings as a quadrangle around a central courtyard with the east and north wings being in 15th and 16th Century timber-framing (the north being covered by brickwork) and the south and west wings in brick dating from the mid-18th Century.

Touring the Hall can be equally confusing with, for example, a Georgian Drawing Room directly next to the 15th Century Great Hall.

Adlington Hall has been occupied continuously by the Legh family for twenty-four generations, with the sole exception of about ten years when Cromwell’s Parliamentary forces took control.

The gardens are relatively small, but include many interesting features, as does the parkland alongside the River Dean.

Adlington Hall Tour

Georgian Drawing Room
Georgian Drawing Room

The Hall tour starts from the north wing and is free flow but with informative guides along the way. Eight rooms are accessible to the public, but this includes the most impressive in the Hall.

From the entrance hall, the tour route proceeds upstairs to the Georgian Dressing Room, built in 1756, with the original crystal chandelier, and three smaller rooms, the Deed Room, the Chinese Room and the No 10 Bedroom.  The Great Hall can be viewed from the Minstrels’ Gallery.

Returning to the ground floor via the Oak Staircase leads to the magnificent Great Hall which dates back to 1480-1505. Dominating the room is a massive organ dating to the 17th Century.

Great Hall
Great Hall

This leads through to an oak-panelled Dining Room with a beautiful dresser made from wood from the estate and a large central table set for twenty people.  A Writing Room and small Chapel on the ground floor complete the Hall tour.

What adds interest to the tour are the many portraits and other paintings relating to the Hall and the Legh family and the original furniture in many of the rooms.

The Tea Room is worth visiting to see the interior of the timber-framed part of the house and of course also to enjoy the refreshments served there.


Entrance to the Maze
Entrance to the Maze

The Gardens in front of the north wing of the Hall are approached across through a Laburnum Arcade over what remains of a moat.

The main garden area is the Rose Garden which was in full bloom when we visited in August, even after a long dry spell of weather.

At the back of the garden is a well kept Maze with the yew hedges high enough to make it a challenge even for adults.

There are further gardens to the east of the Hall including a Parterre overlooked by a statue of Napolean and a small water lily pond.

Parkland – Wilderness Walk

Shell Cottage
Shell Cottage

The Wilderness Walk is to the south of the house with woodland pathways along both banks of the River Dean, connected by three bridges.

What makes the walk particularly interesting are the many features along the way, mostly dating back to the 1750s. This includes the Rat House Folly, the Temple to Diana, the Hermitage, the Cascade, the T’Ing House and, most impressive of all, the Shell Cottage with its walls decorated with intricate shell patterns.

We took about an hour to amble along the various pathways, including an ancient Lime Walk, and found we had walked about two miles in total by the time we arrived back at the Hall.

Entry to Adlington Hall and gardens is £10 for adults and £5 for children, entry to the gardens is £7 for adults and free for children. However if you take up annual membership with Historic Houses, you will get free entry, plus free entry to 300 other heritage sites. Enter our unique code STEW05 at ‘Add discount code’ and new members will receive a £5 discount. This also applies if you wish to give annual membership as a gift.

We have reviewed several other properties under Historic Houses and see also Historic Houses versus National Trust – Which to join?

Additional Photographs of Adlington Hall

Adlington Hall - Dining Room
Dining Room
Adlington Hall - Tea Room
Tea Room
Napoleon overlooking the East Wing
Napoleon overlooking the Parterre
Aldington Hall - Water Lily Pond
Water Lily Pond
Entrance to the Wilderness Walk
Entrance to the Wilderness Walk
Bridge over the River Dean
Bridge over the River Dean
Adlington Hall - T'Ing House
T’Ing House

POSTED 24th AUGUST 2022 by STEVE HANSON. The photographs of the gardens and parkland were taken by BARBARA HANSON.