Peckforton Castle

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Peckforton Castle is a country house built in the style of a medieval castle. It stands in woodland at the north end of Peckforton Hills 1 mile (2 km) northwest of the village of Peckforton, Cheshire, England. It is a Grade I listed building.[1]

The house was built in the middle of the 19th century as a family home for John Tollemache, a wealthy Cheshire landowner, estate manager, and Member of Parliament. It was designed by Anthony Salvin in the Gothic style. The Tollemache family continued to live in the house until 1939. During the Second World War it was used as a hostel for physically handicapped children.

The building has not been used as a family residence since 1939. During the 1970s and 1980s it was used as a location for shooting films and television programmes. The castle was bought in 1988 by Evelyn Graybill, who converted it into a hotel. In 2006 it was purchased by the Naylor family, who expanded its use to include hosting weddings, conferences, and other functions.


Early history

Peckforton Castle was built between 1844 and 1850 for John Tollemache, the largest landowner in Cheshire at the time, who was described by William Ewart Gladstone as "the greatest estate manager of his day".[2] Tollemache's first choice of architect was George Latham of Nantwich, but he was not appointed, and was paid £2,000 (£160 thousand today)[3] in compensation. Instead Tollemache appointed Anthony Salvin, who had a greater reputation and more experience, and who had already carried out work on the Tollemache manor house, Helmingham Hall in Suffolk.[4] The castle was built by Dean and Son of Leftwich, with Joseph Cookson of Tarporley acting as clerk of works. Stone was obtained from a quarry about 1 mile (2 km) to the west of the site, and a railway was built to carry the stone.[5] The castle cost £60,000 (about £5.1 million as of 2011).[6]

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