Dorfold Hall

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Dorfold Hall: main (front) façade

Dorfold Hall (SJ635524) is a Jacobean mansion in Acton, near Nantwich, in Cheshire, UK. It is listed at grade I.[1] It was considered by Nikolaus Pevsner to be one of the two finest Jacobean houses in Cheshire.[2]

The present owners are the Roundells.[3]

History[edit]

Dorfold or Deofold means "cattle enclosure" or "deer park".[4] It does not appear in the Domesday survey, but according to some sources Edwin, Earl of Mercia, elder brother of Earl Morcar and brother-in-law to Harold II, had a hall there before the Conquest.[3][5] A manor at Dorfold is recorded in Henry III's reign (1216–72); early landowners were the Wettenhall, Arderne, Davenport and Bromley families.[6]

The estate was purchased in 1602 by Sir Roger Wilbraham, a prominent lawyer who served as Solicitor-General for Ireland under Elizabeth I and held positions at court under James I. Dorfold Hall was constructed in 1616–21 for his younger brother and heir, Ralph Wilbraham, on the site of the earlier hall.[1] [3] In 1754, the estate was sold to Nantwich lawyer James Tomkinson, originally from Bostock.[3] The Dorfold Estate passed back to descendants of the Wilbraham family in 1861 on inheritance by Anne Tollemache, the wife of Wilbraham Spencer Tollemache, who became High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1865.[3][7] The grounds of the hall were remodelled in 1861–2, with the construction of several buildings including the gate lodge.[3] In August 1896, the hall received a royal visit from Princess Louise.[8]

During the Second World War, refugees, mainly from Liverpool, were housed at the hall until November 1940, when the park became a camp for American soldiers.[4][9]

Description[edit]

Dorfold Hall is a two-storey building on a double-pile plan in red brick with stone dressings. The main façade features a recessed centre with two small wings and large windows.[10][11]

Grounds[edit]

Gate lodge of Dorfold Hall

A grade-II*-listed gateway now situated in the wall to the west of the hall formerly belonged to Sir Roger Wilbraham's almshouses in Nantwich. The wrought-iron gate features a sun motif with scrolls; it stands in a moulded stone opening flanked by niches containing busts and surmounted by lions.[12] Several other buildings within the park are also listed at grade II. The oldest of these is an icehouse with a circular underground chamber lined with red brick which probably dates from the late 18th century.[13] The reconstruction of the grounds in 1861–2 also resulted in several structures that are now listed. The Jacobean-style gate lodge on Chester Road is in red brick with stone dressings and blue brick decoration.[14] The clock tower over the carriage house features stone frames to the clock dials and is topped by a wooden finial with a weather vane.[15] A large iron statue of a mastiff with puppies oversetting a food bowl stands in the forecourt of the hall; it is attributed to Pierre Louis Rouillard and came from the Paris Exhibition of 1855.[16][17]

The National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens lists 8 hectares of the grounds at grade II.[18][19] The park includes a lake.

Estate[edit]

Dorfold Estate, from the Crewe and Nantwich Circular Walk

The Dorfold Estate covers much of the civil parish of Acton, and includes farmhouses, farmland, woodland and historic parkland.[4]

Dorfold Dairy House was formerly the estate's home farm; a three-storey, three-bay, U-shaped building in red brick dating from the late 17th century, it is listed at grade II*.[20] The adjacent red-brick farm building is grade II listed.[21] Madam's Farm (SJ625525) off Raven's Lane was the former dower house of the Hall; a three-storey, three-bay, T-shaped building in red brick, it is listed at grade II.[22]

Nantwich and South Cheshire Show[edit]

Dorfold Hall Park hosts the annual Nantwich and South Cheshire Show, a single-day agricultural show with trade stalls and ring displays organised by the Nantwich Agricultural Society.[23] In 2006, the event drew an estimated 32,000 visitors.[24][25] The show includes the Nantwich International Cheese Awards, established in 1897 and claimed to be the largest cheese exhibition in Europe.[4][24][26] The 2007 Cheese Show attracted 2250 entries from around 24 countries.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations

  1. ^ a b English Heritage. "Dorfold Hall (1312869)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Pevsner, p. 22
  3. ^ a b c d e f Latham, pp. 115–119
  4. ^ a b c d Acton, Edleston and Henhull Parish Plan (accessed 17 August 2007)
  5. ^ Moore H. A short account of Acton Church and neighbourhood (1930; revd c.1933; web published by Cross Country Group of Parish Churches) (accessed 21 February 2008)
  6. ^ Latham, p. 19
  7. ^ Latham, p. 47
  8. ^ Latham, p. 50
  9. ^ Latham, p. 56–57
  10. ^ Pevsner, pp. 201–2
  11. ^ Robinson, pp. 30–32
  12. ^ English Heritage. "Small gate in wall west of Dorfold Hall (1138564)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  13. ^ English Heritage. "Ice house north-east of Dorfold Hall (1138563)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  14. ^ English Heritage. "Dorfold Hall Lodge and entrance gates (1138563)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  15. ^ English Heritage. "Clock tower building north-west of Dorfold Hall (1330149)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  16. ^ Latham, p. 117
  17. ^ English Heritage. "Statue group in forecourt of Dorfold Hall (1138562)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  18. ^ "Parks & Gardens UK: Dorfold Hall". Parks & Gardens Data Services. Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  19. ^ English Heritage. "Dorfold Hall (1000641)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  20. ^ English Heritage. "Dorfold Dairy House (1138565)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  21. ^ English Heritage. "Farm building north-west of Dorfold Dairy House (1138566)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  22. ^ English Heritage. "Madam's Farm house (1138568)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  23. ^ Nantwich & South Cheshire Show (accessed 21 February 2008)
  24. ^ a b BBC: Stoke & Staffordshire: Nantwich International Cheese Show 2006 (accessed 21 February 2008)
  25. ^ Crewe & Nantwich Borough Council: Wet summer blights Nantwich Show (accessed 21 February 2008)
  26. ^ a b Nantwich International Cheese Show (accessed 21 February 2008)

Sources

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°04′07″N 2°32′42″W / 53.0685°N 2.5451°W / 53.0685; -2.5451