Tatton Hall

Tatton Hall

We took our first bike ride of the trip today, four miles mostly uphill (except for the bits that were uphill in the other direction) to Tatton Hall. The estate is enormous. At the gate we were told we have another mile to cycle to the hall. There is a huge herd of deer in the grounds, and according to my research assistant (Paula) the house once had a private airfield.
The Egertons (pronounced EJ-ur-ton) owned Tatton from 1598 until 1958, though the current mansion was not completed until the early 1800s. It has a boring neoclassical exterior…
Tatton Hall
… and a garish baroque interior.
Tatton Hall drawing room
It’s largely untouched by the 20th century, as Maurice (pronounced Morris) Egerton, the last Baron Egerton, preferred to spend his time slaughtering wild animals in Kenya, when he wasn’t founding boys’ clubs or getting smashed up in airplane accidents.

What shall we look at next, the room full of dead animal heads or the library with the Jane Austen first editions and the Repton Red Book of the grounds? Let me think about that for a millisecond.
Tatton Hall library

Maurice bought a 100,000 acre estate in Kenya as his personal hunting preserve, ignoring the fact that maybe Kenyan people had been living and hunting there since the dawn of time. He founded an agricultural school there that only admitted white people until after his death in 1958. In other words, he was the sort of imperialist that give imperialism a bad name. Screw him, let’s look at the train tracks in the cellars instead. Tatton Hall cellars
Nobody knows any more when they were put in or what they were used for, but it was probably delivering coal and/or beer from the goods entrance to other parts of the house.

There’s a sleigh in the grand entry hall, to entertain the kids on snowy days.
It was probably pulled by a team of peasants, because young Maurice shot all the reindeer.

The dining room, and the vast kitchen used to prepare those elegant meals. Quite a difference between upstairs and downstairs.
Dining Room

There is a little dissertation on eating turtles in a box in the housekeeper’s room. The last sentence will repay careful study.
Eating Turtle
For those of you living in the alternative dimension where Lewis Carroll wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and not Rudyard Kipling, I hope you are enjoying President Trump. He should be good for a few laughs.

There are notes from the steward scattered about the house.
Note from steward
Of course a gentleman would have brought his own valet (pronounced VAL-ET with the final T just like the Normans did in 1066 and not like your wimpy modern French who can’t be bothered finishing their words) along on a visit. A chap can’t be expected to tie his own shoelaces, can he?

There’s a bathtub with it’s own stove to keep the bathwater hot.
Bathtub stove

The ceilings were really cool.

There’s a nursery, with a table set for a doll’s tea party.Nursery

The gardens cover about 50 acres, including a formal Italian garden…
Italian Garden
… and a rose garden guarded by ominous topiary that looks like it is auditioning for Day of the Triffids.
Ominous Topiary

Because you can never have enough books, here are the bookshelves from the music room.

2 thoughts on “Tatton Hall

  1. My dad lived just below Egerton Castle outside Nakuru, Kenya, on what used to be part of the estate. One president handed out some of the estate to his cronies. Dad bought his farm from the president’s farm manager. The next president tried to get the cronies to pay for their ill gotten land. Who knows whether that happened.

    Apparently Lord Egerton proposed to some suitably aristocratic bride who took one look at his Castle and said no way was she going to be cooped up in a dingy old stack like that. No thank you. It’s now a museum, mostly empty. It may have a maze, designed by Dad, if that has been maintained.

    He actually has quite a good reputation in Kenya because the Egerton college is one of the best. He left his estate to the people. Checking your date for his death he may have intended it for the white people but now all Kenyans enjoy it.

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