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Report - Pitchford Hall, June 2015

Discussion in 'Residential Sites' started by huey, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    THE EXPLORE

    Explored with Bertie-B, who has a family tie to this place - he made it happen. Thanks for the invite mate, your knowledge and research made for an unforgettable day.

    Such is the quality and size of the place i had to concentrate on keeping my jaw closed rather than looking for alterations. As you push your way through the bushes and see the 200 foot wide north range for the first time it takes your breath away. And it keep's on giving- the old Orangery, Study's, Drawing Room, Thinkery, servants wing, Great Hall, walled gardens, stables, lake..........and the cast iron firebacks, fretwork, worked windows, panelling, carving etc.

    Like everywhere it's seen changes over the years. Originally an 'E' shape and not todays 'F' shape, it's been extended and adapted to suit. The left side is mid 16th century and the right is a17th century add on for the servants.


    THE BORING HISTORY BIT

    There's not enough space here to do it justice properly so go on-line and be amazed. i'll do a Ronnie Corbett ( and keep it short,) just for you.

    The church is by far the oldest part built in 12th or 13th century, full of period features and still in use.

    The 40 bedroom Hall started life in 1560 for a wool merchant before being massively altered and extended to more or less what it is today, in the 1870's. Many royal visitors and owners ensued over time but i'm keeping it short...The most recent owners were the Colhurst family who were bankrupted in the Lloyd's stock-market crisis. With the ever increasing cost of keeping the Hall going they had to sever 500 years of family history and in September 1992 moved out. Christies looked after the sale and the estate was divided up for the first time ever. The house was used as a retirement home for a while before it too was retired .It sits graciously decaying with a dignity seldom seen, remarkably original and complete.

    The north side.
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    And south side, note the 17th century louvered bellcote and clock (more on that later.)
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    Huge chimneys everywhere, these places would've needed a lot of heating.
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    Stripped but still lovely...family crest translates to 'Honour and Glory to These.'
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    The Library in 1959 copyright Gettyimages.com
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    And today...fireplace liner dated 1625
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    The main Study, probably mid 50's...
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    And equally splendid today..
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    Stand alone fireplace and white painted oak panelling sit uneasily next to modern radiator
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    One of the two surviving servant bell boards
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    The old Pantry
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    The old servants quarters turned into staff accommodation during the retirement home phase
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    Original fireplaces in all the bedrooms still
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    The east wing cellars - huge as you'd expect
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    Several bathrooms still have lovely cast iron baths and period taps
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    One of the Reception rooms
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    Up in the attic, I fell in love. Why? Behind this beautiful little door ...
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    We found this. Original clock mechanism and bell dated 1776.
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    Lots of rooms contain bits from the stopped restoration project- the owners ran out of money.
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    Some rooms contain the un-sold at auction oak furniture. Over 40 family portraits, the family silver, furniture and land was sold off.
    [​IMG]


    WORLD'S OLDEST TREEHOUSE

    Part of the sale included selling off 76 of the 1000 acre's owned by the Hall. Included in this was the treehouse. Famous for being the worlds oldest and for being visited by many royals (as indeed was the house.) Designed and built in the same style as the main hall, it's oak frame and cornicing survive amazingly well. As does the the huge Lime tree it sits in- just as well really.

    Not mentioned is the Tar hole in the North Garden. Extremely rare in Britain the bituminous well produces sticky black tar or 'pitch,' from which the village and estate get their name. Despite our best efforts Bertie and i gave up looking for it- there's only so long you can wade through chest high stingy nettles and soaking wet knee high grass for.

    Queen Victoria watched the local hunt at work from here. Bertie and I just sat sweating and watching spiders.
    [​IMG]

    Inside is incredible
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    One of the 12th century church
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    And some personal belongings from the retirement home days left behind..


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    And as usual some randomness to end on...

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    GRAND DECLINES

    In any other country a Grade 1 listed, Elizabethan manor ( with the worlds oldest treehouse and uber rare tar hole,) would be a national treasure. Here though the commitment from the National Heritage crumbles along with the house.

    Country houses are my thing- me falling in love with a mansion is as predictable as Gregg's not having any pasties left when i get there. I've seen many, and with a childlike sense of wonder found myself daydreaming about the place. I've never seen so much panelling before or original features, or potential. But as you look closely and see wooden dowels snapped from roof movement, damp setting in, crumbling stonework and the sheer size of the task it's clear this place needs a miracle.

    If Kevin McCloud were here he'd be unable to resist declaring, no doubt just before the second TV ad break, that his main concern would be the renovation maintaining the integrity of the entire project in especially in key area's of the build. I'm not so eloquent- i just think all the people concerned should be dragged outside and blasted with elephant shit, hanging their heads in shame.

    So,if some of you are having a tipple, and why not, it is after 1pm after all, i'd ask you to raise a glass to the old place and wish her well. Britain needs places like this.

    Thanks for looking.
     

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  2. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Nice report mate and great pics as always :thumb
     
  3. Oort

    Oort The spice expands consciousness.
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    Nice one dude :thumb
     
  4. Lavino

    Lavino 28ÐŁ ƦEGUŁλƦ U$EƦ
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    Nice report did you not go into the little church at the side that has some really nice windows..
     
  5. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks guys,beautiful place. And yes Lavino,went inside the church,very nice and full of interesting pieces but I ran out of room and pic allocation! Cheers anyway mate.
     
  6. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
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    The church is actually still in use with occasional services. From the Church of England website you are actually allowed to drive up to it (ignoring the private - keep out sign on the estate's gate), park and have a look around.
     
  7. Lavino

    Lavino 28ÐŁ ƦEGUŁλƦ U$EƦ
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    I went the week before you I thought it was really nice.. Well done good report
     
  8. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks again mate, we will have to hook up one day! Yes it's my sort of place and I appreciate the feedback too :thumb
     
  9. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Some nice pics there, glad you guys got in ok :thumb
     
  10. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    That's an amazing place for sure.
     
  11. Coolboyslim

    Coolboyslim Mr Reality Hacker
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    Very stunning place kinda reminds me of smithills hall. Great report thanks for this.
     
  12. Miss Mayhem

    Miss Mayhem 28DL Regular User
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    Cracking stuff,
    it's so amazing and such a beautiful place,
    Cheers for sharing :thumb
     
  13. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Cheers, could spend all day there soaking it up, it's a criminal waste.
     
    Coolboyslim likes this.
  14. Coolboyslim

    Coolboyslim Mr Reality Hacker
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    Sometimes I do believe it's a loophole where someone buys it cheap and only needs land cause it's worth more so leaves it to become unstable so they can get past planning permission etc. It's so sad
     
  15. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
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    Sorry just seen your reply mate,yes I agree with you,it's a scandal once these places have gone they will be lost forever.
     
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