This Elizabethan house was built in 1585 by Sir Randle Mainwaring. Yet it is believed that the Mainwaring family lived on the site some time before that – the outline of an earlier moated building can be seen in the garden at dry times.
A new wing was added to Peover Hall in the 1760s by the fourth baronet, Sir Henry. Unfortunately the family line died out with Sir Henry and the estate passed to a relative, Thomas Wettenhall, who adopted the Mainwaring name. A new baronetcy was created for his son Henry, a famous Master of the Cheshire Hunt. A wealthy cotton family, the Peels, bought the hall and estate in 1919, before it was acquired by the Brooks family in 1940.
Peover Hall was requisitioned during the Second World War as an HQ for General Patton of the US Army. A POW camp was based here and the house’s condition had deteriorated badly by the time the Brooks family returned in 1950. However there is original oak panelling, a long gallery, and a fine painting collection, while the interior has been furnished with treasures from other country homes.
The Grade I listed stables, built in 1654, were a gift from Ellen Mainwaring to her son Thomas, who became baronet in 1660. Their horses were splendidly housed within carved Tuscan columns and arches, and an elegant strapwork plaster ceiling. The chapel in nearby St Lawrence’s Church has monuments to Ellen and her husband Philip Mainwaring.
The beautiful gardens at Peover Hall have an arts and crafts influence; there’s a 500‑year‑old oak tree and an avenue of pleached limes.
Don’t miss: the sedan chair used as a china cabinet.
Read Sue Wilkes’ blog
Peover Hall Garden, Over Peover, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 9HW
tel: 01565 632358