Armitage Park

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Armitage Park, Staffordshire drawn by Neale in 1818

Armitage Park (which has recently reverted to an earlier name of Hawkesyard Hall) is a 19th-century Grade II listed country house at Armitage near Rugeley, Staffordshire.

The estate was purchased by Nathaniel Lister, (poet and author, Member of Parliament for Clitheroe and uncle of Baron Ribblesdale) following his marriage to Martha Fletcher a Lichfield heiress and he built the house in the Gothic Revival style about 1760.

Josiah Spode IV, greatgrandson of Josiah Spode bought the estate in about 1840 and the house was much altered and extended. During the Spode occupancy the house was known as Spode House. Josiah Spode was High Sheriff of Staffordshire in 1850.

On Spode's death in 1893 the estate was left to his niece Helen Gulson who had a vision of Mary in the gardens of the Hall. This vision led to the building of the Church at Hawkesyard and the Altar was placed on the very spot where Mary was seen. Helen Gulson left the Hall, Church and grounds to the Dominican Order and moved into Gulson House on the Armitage Park Estate. Hawkesyard Priory was later built for the Dominicans.

The Hall eventually fell into disrepair and after the Dominicans left it was used as a school before being finally closed and boarded up. In 1999 the Hall was purchased by Relaine Estates Ltd., who set about restoration of the building partly by using photographs from the Shugborough collection. It was decided to use the original name of Hawkesyard. The estate which includes Hawkesyard Hall, St. Thomas's Priory Golf Club and Armitage Park is now established as a conference and events centre.

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Coordinates: 52°44′40″N 1°54′10″W / 52.7445°N 1.9028°W / 52.7445; -1.9028