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Dunham Massey

©NTPL/Matthew Antrobus

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Dunham Massey is a delightful country house in Cheshire with unique gardens, fine interiors and a working sawmill. It is one of the few country house estates which has retained its old avenues of trees in the extensive deer park.

The low red-brick building of Dunham Massey is still protected by the medieval moat which once surrounded the original Tudor house. The present building was begun in the Georgian period but it was heavily restored in the Edwardian era, giving us a superb example of that period of architecture, with stunningly ornate interior detail.

The house was designed around two courtyards, one cobbled and the other a more informal garden with a fountain.

Inside this warm and welcoming family home are fine
©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel
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collections of Georgian furniture, paintings and gleaming Huguenot silverware. There are several highlights which should not be missed.

One is the three dimensional crucifix scene above the library mantelpiece, carved by Grinling Gibbons, who went on to work on St Paul's Cathedral among other notable projects. The scene is based on a well-known painting by Tintoretto.

Another highlight in the library is the magnificent hardwood model of the solar system, showing the six known planets charting their course around the sun. Uranus, Pluto and Neptune are noticeably absent as they had not been discovered at that time!

In the Great Gallery, one of the original rooms from the Elizabethan manor house, there is an interesting series of pictures of Dunham Massey showing its transformation over the centuries. Pride of place is given to the prized painting by Guercino of Cupid, Mars, and Venus with Saturn as "Time".

A fascinating guided tour introduces visitors to tales of family scandal. The 7th Earl of Stamford shocked the family when he married a bare-back circus rider. The
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2nd Earl of Warrington was clearly less in love when he wrote a book on the benefits of divorce! The tour also includes a look at the restored kitchens and depicts the grim life "below stairs".

For garden lovers, the magnificent Plantsman's Garden is a showcase of exotic plants. There is a rare Victorian bark house and a beautiful Georgian orangery. In the summer the Himalayan blue poppies and Chinese lilies make a beautiful display. There is also an impressive Winter Garden, the largest in Britain, making this a year-round attraction.

The 121 hectare (300 acre) parkland is graced with beautiful ponds and avenues of trees where fallow deer and birds may be spotted. Stroll to the estate sawmill with its restored waterwheel to see how the estate work was handled before the Industrial Revolution.

Dunham Massey has some interesting local dishes which can be sampled at the restaurant on the estate. Try the Dunham Pudding or the Lady Jane Cake and learn a little more about the history of family life at Dunham Massey.

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By Bus
Warrington Coachways No 38 Altrincham Interchange -Warrington

NCN62, 1 mile View local cycle routes on the National Cycle Network website

By road
3 miles south west of Altrincham off A56: M6 exit 19; M56 exit 7. Sat Nav: coaches please avoid Sat Nav route - low bridge

By train
Altrincham 3 miles; Hale 3 miles

On foot
close to Trans-Pennine Trail and Bridgewater Canal

Ordnance survey reference

Dunham Massey Postcode for SatNav: WA14 4SJ


+44 (0)1619 411 025
+44 (0)1619 297 508

WA14 4SJ

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