History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The medieval house was encased in brick around 1758, and remade as a fashionable Jacobean-style house. The medieval moat may have been filled in at this time. The grounds were remade as a landscape park, with a pleasure ground. The garden and park were redesigned in 1785-95 by William Emes.
He was also moved to religious fervor by the Oxford Movement, and created a family chapel in richly ornamented Gothic style. His architect Anthony Salvin offered him a choice of different Gothic styles, but Egerton-Warburton opted to have them all, all at once. Each of the chapel windows is thus in slightly different style, representing a different period of architecture.
Napoleon III lived at Arley briefly, and his bedroom is preserved upstairs, with watercolours by Piers Egerton-Warburton decorating the walls.
Unfortunately a large portion of the rear wing and service court was pulled down in 1968, though these have been replaced in a similar style to the originals.
The gardens at Arley Hall were the site of one of the first herbaceous borders planted in England (by Rowland Egerton-Warburton once again). The current gardens extend to 12 acres ringed by hedges and brick walls. The Tea Garden cottage boasts a fine collection of shrub roses, while two walled gardens provide space for open lawns, herbaceous borders, fruit trees, and kitchen produce. An avenue of pleached limes leads to the house, and nearby ilex trees are clipped into tall cylinder shapes. Woodland walks garden and a rock garden add interest to this award-winning horticultural experience.
In late June the 2-day Arley Garden Festival attracts keen gardeners from all across Britain to view displays by plant nurseries, attend question and answer sessions with top garden designers, and buy plants and garden accessories. Arley also hosts regular gardening workshops and study days from February to November.
About Arley Hall
Address: Northwich, Cheshire, England, CW9 6NA
Attraction Type: Historic House
Location: 6 miles from Knutsford and Northwich, off the M6 and M56
Website: Arley Hall
Historic Houses Association
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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