As I continue my wanderings and exploration of Cheshire (and continue to get lost on a regular basis as all the lanes in rural Cheshire look exactly the same) I decided to visit Lyme Hall, just off the A6 south of Stockport.
I knew nothing about the place but did a little research beforehand. So a little background, Lyme Park was begun in the Tudor period but the present house was transformed by the architect Leoni into an ornate Italian palace in the 1720s. Within the house traces of the Elizabethan core remain, providing a contrast with Leoni’s work.
In 1898 he second Lord Newton decided to remove many of Leoni’s Palladian features and return the house to its Elizabethan roots. The 18th century colours on walls and doors were painted over, and chimney pieces removed. The 3rd Lord Newton tried to keep the house together as the 20th century rumbled on, but in 1946 he gave up and granted the house and estate to the National Trust. The trust, thankfully, restored the Palladian decor, so that now Lyme Park is a very pleasing mix of Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian.
The setting of the house is quite stunning and the surrounding grounds and countryside are a delight for anyone who enjoys the beauty of the Britain’s “green and pleasant land.” It is very popular with the public and the car park was rapidly filling up when we arrived at about 9,45am.
After a re-fuelling stop for cappuccino in the café, we set off up the hill behind the main house and were greeted with the most stunning views across Merseyside, Manchester, the Welsh Mountains and the Pennine Hills of North East Lancashire. It was a hard slog up the hill but was worth all the effort as the visibility was so clear, I could see the planes landing and taking off at Manchester airport.
A circular walk through a small wood (we were not where we thought we were!) provided views of the Peak District in Derbyshire until we started the descent of a rather steep hill, but with a magnificent view of the most obvious structure in the park, other than the house, which is a tower called the Cage which stands on a hill to the east of the approach road to the house It was originally a hunting lodge and was later used as a park-keeper’s cottage and as a lock-up for prisoners.
We only covered a very small part of the estate so a return visit(s) will be in order to explore the rest of the grounds, and not least the house and gardens (I really must get around to joining the National Trust at some stage!).
Photographs © Kindadukish 2018
I am grateful to Wikipedia and Britainexpress.com for some of the history of the hall.