Alvaston Hall Hotel History
Alvaston is a half-timbered Victorian country house five minutes from the old Cheshire riverside town of Nantwich. Close to the splendid cathedral city of Chester, this wonderful hotel promises a truly memorable experience.
In the 19th Century, Chester was the focus of Cheshire society and Alvaston Hall was the name on everyone’s lips. But what is the history of Alvaston Hall? In the early 1800s, an ageing property of uncertain provenance (which was then called The Grove) was sold by the resplendently-named Crousdon Tunstall, a Quaker banker and farmer.
The new owner, Francis Massey, undertook extensive rebuilding work before the house was purchased in 1896 by Arthur Knowles. This wealthy Manchester industrialist then proceeded to further alter the building in both name and nature.
By the close of the 19th Century, as befitted such a grand country house, Alvaston Hall had gained status as the epicentre of Cheshire society. Typical of the era, this romantic building had now become a fascinating blend of styles which endures to this day. Its idiosyncrasies and marked lack of symmetry lend a flavour that’s uniquely English, with half-timber framing, pinnacles, the crested ridge tile, an eye-catching clock tower and gargoyles above the porch.
The loving care which Mr Knowles bestowed on Alvaston Hall may also have been seen in its broader setting. It boasted a cricket pitch, extensive tennis courts and the grounds contained a huge barn-like edifice which housed one of England’s first electrical systems. Inside Alvaston Hall you’ll find no less variety.
The magnificent entrance and reception hall, originally a living room, features a superb stained-glass window and a large fireplace enlivened with Italian ironwork. As you tour the hotel you can also appreciate the Victorians’ love for Elizabethanesque panelling and ceilings, a fine ‘Baroque’ boudoir, and superb Georgian-style fireplaces and ceilings.