Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Moments in Cheshire!

The truly picturesque Little Moreton Hall 6 May 2013
Well its been a bank holiday here in the UK and rather oddly the weather was great which doesn't happen very often so Mrs M and I embarked on a wee trip into darkest South Cheshire using our National Trust membership to visit Little Moreton Hall and nearby Biddulph Grange Gardens. A great little 'double-header', neither of which we'd been to before so happy to do a little exploring.

Little Moreton Hall is described as probably the best known example of timber-framed architecture in England which you can well believe, but when you seen its rickety higgledy piggledy tumbling frame for real you really wonder how on earth it can still be standing, I mean just look at it!

500 years old and still standing!!
Its earliest part dates from 1504 and its last extension around 1610, so depending where you are its between 400 and 500 years old which is just staggering - remember Columbus only discovered America in 1492 ! My imagination runs away from me when you think of everything this house and its occupants witnessed over that time, amazing. In fact the house was (I believe - not read all the guide yet!) almost singly occupied by the Moreton family over that period, until left to a second cousin in 1913 who lived there with his family until leaving it to the National Trust in 1937.
Little Moreton's 'Knot' Garden
The garden, grounds and house are not huge but interesting enough for half a day or so with a wonderful tea room and cake selection - so good we went back a second time after visiting Biddulph Grange - and the free tours are recommended as an informal informative way to hear about the family and the hall's history.

Bidduplh Grange
I can't tell you quite so much about Biddulph Grange, not being that knowledgeable about gardens and flowers etc, but its only a 15 minute drive from Little Moreton and houses a wonderful eclectic collection of plants, trees, flowers and shrubs from around the world.

It belonged to a James Bateman, a renowned Victorian horticulturist who over a 20+ year period developed the grounds to house a remarkable collection of landscaped gardens in themed global areas including China, Italy, Egypt, Woodland walk and even a Scottish Glen with many of them tucked away so part of the joy is discovering them for yourself as you walk around.

I couldn't help thinking it was all like the setting of an Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple adventure, just waiting to discover a body in the summer cottage or some secluded lawn!

Yes the body was found in the pyramid garden!
He Knows You Know!

The gardens are in the grounds of the large imposing Victorian mansion but with the exception of the obligatory tea room and gift shop this didn't appear to be open which was fine as it was such a nice day weather-wise. 
Daffys in the woodland walk
I don't think we quite saw it all as there's so many interesting little sidetracks and paths taking you away and doubling round but we had a very enjoyable afternoon walking around, with the site being large enough to absorb the busy bank holiday crowds.

We're very fortunate to have so many varied properties close by and maintained by the National Trust with these both recommended for a visit but Little Moreton's tearooms appealed more!

Big Urn!


  1. We've driven past Little Moreton hall loads of times (it's local ya see) but never actually visited it...hmmmm maybe one day.

  2. You gotta go Gary, its a great wee place, doesn't take too long to look round but on a nice day you can just chill out on the lawns and I can recommend the giant-size flapjacks the tearoom sells, yum!