Tabley Hall



With guest speaker, Nicholas Merchant

19th – 22nd May 2019

Tel: 0207 251 0045

Price: From £649 for the three-night-stay at Cottons Hotel, Knutsford

The rolling agricultural landscape of Cheshire centred on the Roman city of Chester, contains a number of highly important country houses, be they famous for their collections or their architecture they all offer something special and something individual. We shall visit six of them with a talk by myself on a time-warp house with highly important contents and history, which was on the brink of destruction.

Erdigg, the house in question, is no architectural wonder, having been episodically added to since first built in the late 17th century. It does however contain remarkable treasures including a suite of silvered furniture (as opposed to the common-or-garden, gilded), a state bed upholstered in Chinese silk, early tapestries, and a rare series of portraits of the servants. These features aside, it is remarkable as it remains a time-capsule, thanks to the long Yorke family occupancy, with all the ancillary domestic and “support services” still in place down to the last pin in the sewing-room.

For those interested in English silver, Dunham Massey is a house not to be missed. The red-brick house was remodelled in the 18th century by George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington. He assembled a collection of no less than 26,000 ounces of silver, made by the finest Huguenot silversmiths, meticulously recorded in his own hand in The Particular of my Plate, and its Weight. Much remains in the house. Particularly memorable is the silver made for the chapel and the silver made for the dining table, including a wine fountain and a cistern. This is one of the finest collections of Huguenot silver in Britain. See Country House Silver from Dunham Massey by Lomax and Rothwell. For furniture buffs there is a very fine collection of 18th century and earlier English walnut furniture, carefully arranged in the 1900s by Percy MacQuoid, one of the authors of The Dictionary of English Furniture.

Wine Fountain by Peter Archambo, 1728

Unlike the other houses, Rode Hall is still privately owned by the Wilbraham family who have been here for at least three centuries. As such it has the intimate feel of a family home, which no institutional use, however worthy, can replicate. The bow-fronted, mid-18th century brick house is linked to an earlier building surmounted by a cupola. Almost two houses for the price of one! Inside, a lovely collection of porcelain, family portraits and Gillow of Lancaster furniture. One of the family tended George III in his troubles and his medical books are still on the splendid library shelves supplied by that company.

Capesthorne Hall, nr Macclesfield


Price from £649 for the three-night-stay at Cottons Hotel, Knutsford, Please call Travel Editions on 0207 251 0045 or email to discuss your requirements.

For details of the itinerary please contact Nicholas Merchant, email