BERRINGTON HALL, HEREFORDSHIRE

Grid Ref: SO 511 637
Date: 19 April 2013

 

Berrington Hall lies four miles north of Leominster on the A49. While some may regard it as off the beaten track, it is a convenient stopping place if you abandon all hope of using the M5 and M6 and drive up the Welsh Marches route from Gloucester on the A40 to Ross-on-Wye then on the A49 via Leominster and Shrewsbury to Whitchurch and into Cheshire. Berrington Hall is in the care of the National Trust. The House was designed by Henry Holland and the gardens were landscaped by Capability Brown.

 

Berrington Hall
Berrington Hall
Berrington Hall
Courtyard

 

Thomas Harley became prosperous as a banker and government contractor and in 1775 bought the the Berrington estate. He employed Capability Brown to landscape the park and gardens and his son-in-law, Henry Holland to design his house classicals style. When Thomas died in 1805 he had no male heirs but his daughter had married Admiral Rodney, described elswhere on this site. Thus the property passed to the Rodney family. In the 19th century the 7th Lord Rodney got into financial difficulties and had to sell furniture and paintings. In 1901 he sold the house to Frederick Cawley, M.P. (1850-1937) a Lancashire cotton manufacturer. He was a Liberal and represented the Prestwich constituency between 1895 and 1918, served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster between 1916 and 1918. He became a baronet in 1906 and was ennobled as Baron Cawley of Prestwich in 1918. He redecorated the house and replaced some Victorian fireplaces with Georgian ones.

Lord Cawley had four sons and three youngest, Harold, John and Oswald were killed in the Great War. Harold and Oswald were both MPs. In memory of their sons, Lord and Lady Cawley endowed a ward in Ancoats Hospital in Manchester. There was also a daughter Hilda and the surviving son was Robert who succeeded in 1937. The house went to the National Trust in 1957 as part of the death duties of the second Lord Cawley.

Some National Trust properties allow indoor photography but without the use of flash which would damage fabrics and pictures or of tripods which would be an inconvenience to other visitors. As a result it has been difficult to take pictures even when allowed. The advent of a new generation of digital camera with the capacity to work in low light has made a huge difference and below I show some of my images.

 

Interior with gramophone spacer Sitting room
Library with gramophone   Sitting Room
columns   Dome
Blue Columns in the hall   Dome on the landing
Columns   Bed
Second floor landing   Bedroom
Bedroom   Butlers room
Bedroom   Butler's pantry
dairy   Garden
Georgian Dairy   Garden with Spring blossom
Sources

Wikipedia Article on 1st Lord Cawley
National Trust website

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