Combermere Abbey, with a history spanning almost 900 years, is a Grade I-listed building on the Cheshire/Shropshire borders with a very large mere surrounded by 1,000 acres of parkland.
Established in 1133 as a Cistercian monastery and dissolved in 1536, the property comprising 22,000 acres was gifted to Sir George Cotton, a local squire attached to the King’s household. A Tudor manor house incorporating the Abbots Lodge (now known as The Library) was created and in 1820 it was substantially remodelled as a Gothic mansion by Sir Stapleton Cotton, 1st Viscount Combermere. Following the family’s descent into bankruptcy, it was bought in 1919 by Manchester businessman and car manufacturer, Sir Kenneth Crossley and is now owned and managed by his great granddaughter. The estate has recently completed a 27-year restoration programme on all the estate’s listed buildings and saw the Abbey removed from Historic England 'At Risk' Register.
The house is a wonderful example of the region’s rich history, a complex building which illustrates the ebb and flow of a family’s fortune over almost 400 years and how buildings were altered and adapted to suit the fashion of the time. The Library is a richly decorated room encased with a decorated plaster ceiling, centuries-old panelling and lined with shields depicting marriages of the Cotton family. The long restoration project between 1992 and 2016 has uncovered fascinating aspects of the earlier Tudor manor house. The extensive listed buildings – The Stables (now holiday cottages), the Ice House, Game Larder and estate lodges are all examples of Sir Stapleton Cotton’s aggrandisement of the estate as his fame and fortune grew. William Emes worked on the design of the park and alterations to the mere in the late 18th century created superb natural vistas and walks still enjoyed today.
The Abbey is still a family home, lived in by Sarah Callander Beckett, her husband, son and dogs. The estate has a working organic farm, operates a successful wedding and event business in the restored Walled Gardens and hosts guests in their award-winning holiday cottages and North Wing bed and breakfast.
Tickets £25 including tea or coffee and home-made cakes
Combermere Abbey, SY13 4AJ
Event organiser is Historic Houses.
Disclaimer: All information was correct when the listing was prepared. Any questions about the event should be directed to the event organiser.