Historic picture of Burton Hall showing how unloved it was

Welcome to Burton Hall. Described by Webb in the 17th century as a “fine and fair conceited built house of brick….a square building with bay windows and stone mullions….each side rises into one large gable, the house is assumed to have been built in C1568 as a private residence for wealthy landowner, lawyer and politician, John Werden. It remained the property of the Werden family until the late 18th century and records do not indicate why ancestors of John Werden, great-grandson of the Halls original owner, were compelled to sell it.

The hall fell into local farming ownership in the late 19th century and the subsequent decline of the structure into virtual dereliction by the late 20th century, reflected the lack of investment; presumably brought about by difficult circumstances; in the general maintenance of the Hall, its grounds and outbuildings. Over the centuries, the 140 acres attributed to the hall in early records, have been lost, as have the original gardens, columbaria and ancient orchard. The property returned to private ownership in 2006, and following considerable restoration, was transformed into an Elizabethan structure to survive future centuries. Featured on Wikipedia

Burton Hall is constructed of brick and stone and is the oldest property in the area. The stone was originally locally sourced from a quarry at Kelsall, but this ran dry in the 20th century and has since been developed for residential housing. The specific stone used – Hollington Mottled – is an unusual combination of red and yellow sandstone which appears marbled in areas. The nearest suppliers of this stone was a Staffordshire based quarry, and stone for all refurbishments was sourced from this county. The hoppers and rainwater goods were all cast specifically for this house and feature the Cheshire insignia. It proved impossible to source quantities of matching reclaimed materials to replace most of the perished materials. All of the oak used was English or French. The formal drawing room has a combination of both English and European oak paneling, as it was impossible to source the quantities of English oak necessary for refurbishment.

Front of Burton Hall derelict
Beginnings of the formal Parterre

When it was bought, the house was in a very poor state. The top floor had been sealed off for over a century, and the windows bricked up. The south roof had crumbling wattle and daub walls, vast holes in the floors and roof – open to the sky in parts, and was only fit for habitation by the large numbers of birds and mice who had clearly been in occupation for some time. The considerable outbuildings affiliated to the Hall, comprising of stables, coach houses and barns had all been sold off, and developed by a local developer into four residential dwellings.

Initially, the Hall was not exactly a love at first sight sort of property. The extent of work and the prospect of enormous restoration costs, meant the current owners viewed the entire project with considerable trepidation. They started in January 2007 with the restoration of the attached annexe – known as the Cheese Cottage – an early Victorian addition to the Hall built for overwintering animals by and for the farming families who lived at the Hall.

When this was completed in June 2007, the owners moved into this wing and started the groundwork for the Hall, new outbuildings and grounds; enabling effective project management of the build while living comfortably on-site. Because of the nature of the specialist work required, it was not always possible to source craftsmen locally however, the owners used as many of the local workforce as was possible. The gardens, which were created simultaneously alongside the building work, utilized the services of numerous local horticultural suppliers, landscapers and gardeners. The formal gardens were the sole creation of the current owners who took their inspiration from researching Elizabethan gardens of the United Kingdom.

Back of Burton Hall when derelict
Destroyed inside of Burton Hall

The owners, an Architectural Engineer and Interior Designer, managed to combine the feeling of great age, grandeur and history with a satisfactory compromise of 21st century comforts and amenities. They reduced the number of bedrooms by half, and focused on maximizing those retained in the hope that people will feel a connection to the generations who passed through the Hall from the region of the Stuarts to modern day. Queen Elizabeth I was Regent at the time the Hall was constructed and the early owners lived, worked, married and died during her reign. Their issue remained in occupation during the reigns of subsequent monarchs Charles I and James II but sadly, few of the initial fittings remain and are assumed to have been removed and sold during difficult times. Remaining features include a hand carved 17th century staircase and the great oak doors to the servant quarters.

The Civic Trust Awards is not just about rewarding architecture or design excellence. They strongly believe that successful projects should also exhibit strong sustainability credentials, a high level of accessible and universal design, whilst also demonstrating how the project has provided a positive civic contribution. The Civic Trust Awards is unique and is recognised as the only 360 degree awards scheme in the world.

You now have the opportunity to own this historic house. Enter the House Prize Competition now.

Civic Award Certificate