Eaton Hall (Cheshire)

Eaton Hall (Cheshire)

Eaton Hall is a country house set within a large park in the village of Eccleston near Chester in England. It is the country house of the Duke of Westminster. The estate covers 11,000 acres (45 km²).

The estate has belonged to the Grosvenor family since the reign of Henry VI in the 15th century, when Ralph Grosvenor, married Joan, daughter of John Eaton and heiress to the estate. The house has been rebuilt several times. In 1675, William Samwell designed the original Eaton Hall for Sir Thomas Grosvenor. [Colvin, Howard Montagu. "A biographical dictionary of English architects, 1600-1840." Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1954. ISBN 0-300072-07-4] However, this building was not completed until 1682, after William Samwell's death. Later, in 1690, the building was also attributed to Sir John Vanbrugh. Between 1804 and 1812 William Porden reconstructed the house in a gothic style. He doubled the size of the house, but retained the basement of the old house and some of the walls. . At one time, "There is no place like home" was played on the bells each time the Duke approached the house

From 1896 to 1947 the estate was served by the convert|15|in|mm|sing=on gauge Eaton Hall Railway. Part of the old railway route was re-opened in 1994.

Eaton Hall served as a hospital in both World Wars and as an officer cadet training school from 1946 to 1960. Although Waterhouse's design is now considered to have been a masterpiece of Victorian gothic, the main part of the house was demolished by the estate trustees in 1963. However, the chapel, bell tower and stable block were retained. A new house in the modern international style was built; the architect was John Dennys, the 5th Duke’s brother-in-law. Although ducal in size, its stark frontage found little favour with either architectural critics or visitors: one commented that it resembled the largest petrol station in Cheshire. In the 1990s, the house was built up and refaced in a pared-down version of French Classicism. The house contains a fine collection of furniture and paintings assembled by the Grosvenor family. The family made its fortune by developing most of Belgravia and Pimlico and a large slice of Mayfair, all of which are in London. Pimlico has been sold, but the family still owns many properties in Mayfair and Belgravia. Eaton Hall is a private residence and not open to the public, but the garden is open to the public for a few days each year. The landscaped park of around 400 hectares and formal gardens of around 20 hectares are listed at Grade II* on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. [cite web |url= |title=U.K. Database of Historic Parks and Gardens: Eaton Hall, Eccleston |accessdate=2008-03-11 |publisher=University of York ] There is a function room which may be hired by charities.

Golden Gates

These are at the eastern end of Belgrave Avenue, and were once the principal entrance to the hall (gbmapping|SJ409608). [cite book | last =Pevsner | first =Nikolaus | authorlink =Nikolaus Pevsner | coauthors =Edward Hubbard | title =The Buildings of England: Cheshire |edition= | publisher =Yale University Press| date =2003| origyear=1971| location =New Haven & London| pages =210 | url = | doi = | id = | isbn =0 300 09588 0 ] The central pair of gates and the adjacent screen railings date from the early 18th century and are by Robert and John Davies of Croes Foel. The further side gates and screens, dating from around 1880 were designed by Alfred Waterhouse and made by Skidmore of Coventry. At the extremities is a pair of lodges, which are also dated around 1880, and by Alfred Waterhouse. The entire complex is listed Grade I. [cite web |url= |title=Images of England: Golden Gates and Overthrow, screens, and pair of wing lodges |accessdate=2008-04-14 |publisher=English Heritage ]

ee also

*Duke of Westminster
*Grosvenor Group
*Eaton Chapel


* [ "The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction" No. 321. Saturday, July 5, 1828.]


External links

* [ Fine aerial photograph of the hall and grounds]
* [ Eaton Hall at Lost Heritage - a memorial to the lost houses of England]
* [ Eaton Hall estate website]
* [ A set of photos of the surviving buildings]
*mmuk phoetc|341500|360500|10

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