Introduction

Hi and welcome to my site.
Cheshire is full of weird and wonderful stories of the supernatural, local heores and the mysterious.
I will take you on a tour as I look deep into the Cheshire that lies underneath the wonderful countryside and find the secrets that still hide there.
What magic and long lost secrets will we find?
So, sit back and enjoy my journey. This is a land of Magic, Knights, Dragons, Wizards, Witches, Boggarts, Murder, Ghosts and Old Forgotten Knowledge.


I would love to hear your stories as well. So if you have anything you would like me to look into and find information out, please let me know.

Friday, 25 February 2011

THE END OF OULTON HALL



Nowadays, this whole area is a racing circult, there is little evidence of the Hall and parklands that once stood here. Thousands of people come here to watch motor racing at weekends without ever knowing the history associated with this land. I too use to come here most weekends as a child. My grandfather, MR JACK THOMAS, helped run the bike racing. He was also known as MR OULTON. I would mix with all the bikers and watch the racing. I would also go and roam the whole area, knowing very little of the history I was walking on.

The Egerton Family were landowners for nearly 500 years and in the reign of Henry VII, they became Lords of the Manor. The family lived in a large Tudor house but this was destroyed by fire. So in 1715, John Egerton(1656-1731), began to rebuild his home.

During 1731, after inheriting this manor house, formal gardens and farmland from his uncle, John, his nephew Philip Egerton (1694-1766) began to build a brick wall to enclose the estate after he had enlarged it from 231 acres to 315 acres. After his death, his brother, John, took over and then succeeded by his son, Philip (1738-1786) in 1770.

Fashion changed and formal gardens were taken over by a landscaped garden surrounded by park land. Over the years, building work and improvements were made and the house containded a fine art collection.

But money was slowly running out and during the 1920's the Hall was leased to industrialist Mr F W Cooper. At 10am on Valentine's Day 1926, the family were having breakfast when the housemaid reported that the upper floors were on fire. By 10.30am the Tarporley Fire Brigade had arrived. You can imagine the scene, about 20 people were running in and out of the building trying to save the works of art and other people running for their lives, panic scenes.

Suddenly at 11.30am, the roof collapsed. Six people died either at the scene or later in hospital. The fire continued to burn for several days. The fire was reported in both the Telegraph and the Times. This fire had also been one of the first where more than one fire brigade worked together, three further brigades had to be called in, Chester City, Messrs Brunner Mond and Co and Winsford.

The ruin of the Hall remained standing until World War II, when they were hit by German bombs. General Patton was based here in the run up to the Normandy Landings. During this time, troops had used the estate but they left at the end of the war. The estate was covered in rubble, huts and a twelve foot roadway. It was returned to Sir Philip Grey Egerton in 1950.



It was at this time that two members of the Mid Cheshire Motor Club suggested that some of the roadway could be used for motor racing. And the rest as they say is history.





Very little of this great estate still exists today. The Entrance gates, lodges and screen designed by Joseph Turner in about 1775. In the grounds is a monument of 1846 to the memory of John Francis Egerton of the Bengal Horse Regiment, who died in India in 1846, designed by Scott and Moffatt. The stable block designed by Lewis Wyatt and a farm building has also survived. These are all Grade II listed buildings.

1 comment:

Richard said...

My great grandfather was butler at Oulton Hall from about 1885 to 1914. His name was William Brookfield.