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Saturday, 21 June 2008

A chequered past

Peover Hall and its gardens form a beautiful, tranquil oasis in the heart of Cheshire. The original hall dates back to 1585, and for centuries was home to the Mainwaring family. Harry Brooks, a wealthy Manchester entrepreneur, acquired the hall in the 1940s, but the Second World War meant his family did not get to enjoy their purchase for some time. General Patton of the U.S. Army used Peover as an HQ, and the building was returned to the Brooks family in 1950, rather the worse for wear. Sadly, the Georgian wing added in the 1760s has not survived, but the Carolean stables (Grade I listed) are very beautiful. The stables, built in 1654, still have the original Tuscan columns and arches, with a delicate strapwork ceiling; splendid housing for the family's steeds, who must have enjoyed looking at all the beautiful architecture while munching their hay. You can find out more in my Footsteps feature for the July edition of BBC History magazine.
Image of Peover Hall gardens © Sue Wilkes

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