Somerford Hall

Location   Somerford   Somerford Hall, Cheshire
Gallery
County   Cheshire  
Year demolished   1926  
Reason   Unconfirmed  

Somerford Hall was one of the many large and imposing Georgian houses which used to populate Cheshire but sadly it became a victim of the first wave of country house demolitions between World War I and II.

The core of the house was built around 1720 by an unknown architect for Peter Shakerley. The Shakerleys had inherited Hulme Hall and 3,000 acres in the mid-15th century and lived there with the estate passing through the family until they decided that a grander seat was needed and moved to Somerford. The house was then extended again sometime in the 18th-century by T.F. Pritchard but was most distinctively enlarged around 1800 by Lawrence Robinson (b.? - d.1797) of Middleton, Lancashire.

Robinson's work included the addition at right angles to the existing 9-bay house of a large rectangular wing with a canted bay on the entrance front. The new front, which faced the park, boasted an elegant, central domed bow which had a distinct 'Wyatt' feel to it - unsurprising considering that Robinson had been clerk of works to James Wyatt whilst he was working at Heaton Hall and trained with James' brother Samuel.

The house was then altered for Sir Charles Watkin Shakerley in 1859-60 by Anthony Salvin, with the addition of a heavy Italianate porch. The parkland was laid out in the 19th century by John Webb (b. c.1754 - d.1828). The house was demolished in 1926 for reasons as yet unconfirmed but probably the usual culprit of insufficient wealth for a house of this size. Much of the parkland has now been turned into farmland but the chapel, icehouse and the large 18th-century stables survive.