Grid Ref. SJ 544 515
Date: 19 July 2000 & 8 June 2023

Cholmondley Castle in June 2023
Garden with iron gate leading to the castle at top left
Ornate iron gate
Ornamental lake with discus thrower on the iland

Cholmondeley Castle was built between 1801 and 1830.  The earlier hall, dated from 1571 was demolished about 1801.  It was a mixture of brick and half-timber and had been remodelled by Sir John Vanbrugh between 1713 and 1715.   The Marquess of Cholmondeley designed part of the castle built between 1801 and 1804.  In 1817, Robert Smirke was the architect for new work involving the turrets on the east front.  He built the large round tower and left corner tower on the south side in 1819. The park around the castle covers 500 acres and there are two lakes.



The Cholmondeleys of Cholmondeley trace their ancestry to William Le Belward, Lord of a moiety of the Barony of Malpas, who married Tanglust, the natural daughter of Hugh Kevelioc, Earl of Chester. Although no dates are quoted on the family tree in Ormerod's History of Cheshire, William Le Belward lived five generations before the time of Edward 1 in the late 11th or early 12th century. For the purposes of my study of the Cheshire gentry in the 18th and early 19th century I begin the family tree with Sir Hugh Cholmondeley because of his marriage to Mary Holford, discussed under Holford Hall. The tree goes to 1882 and is drawn from Ormerod's History of Cheshire, 2nd Edition. The heirs are shown in bold type.

Following enquiries by Peter Chomley in Melbourne I have examined several additional sources of information on Sir Hugh Cholmondeley (the elder), the father of Sir Hugh Cholmondeley (the younger) who is shown in the first generation of the tree reproduced below.

Sir Hugh Cholmondeley (the elder) was born before 1513 and died 6 Jan 1596/97. He was the second son of Richard Cholmondeley (born c 1474, died 1518) and his wife Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Randall Brereton of Malpas. He succeeded his elder brother, who died without issue in 1539 and was knighted in 1544. Sir Hugh married first Ann or Amy Dorman in 1540/41. She was the coheiress of Sir George Dorman of Malpas. She was buried at Malpas on 18 April 1571. All the children of Sir Hugh the elder are from this marriage. Subsequently Sir Hugh married Mary, the daughter of Sir William Griffiths or Gruffydd of Penrhyn. She was the widow of Sir Randall Brereton of Malpas but this union produced no further issue. Mary was buried at Malpas on 21 October 1588. (Note that there were seven Randall Breretons in succession at Malpas.) Sir Hugh the elder was five times sheriff of Cheshire and died on 6 January 1596/7 (tomb at Malpas). He was succeeded by his son, Hugh the younger. There is scope for some confusion between Sir Hugh the elder and the younger and indeed the Dictionary of National Biography has Sir Hugh the elder married to Mary Holford. The monument at Malpas indicates that it was Sir Hugh the elder who was Sheriff of Cheshire again in 1588.


1. The History of the County Palatine and City of Chester, incorporated with a republication of King's Vale Royal and Leycester's Cheshire Antiquities, 2nd Ed., revised and enlarged by Thomas Helsby, Esq., published by George Routledge and sons, Ludgate Hill, London, 1882. This is now available from the Family History Society of Cheshire on CD ROM. A reprint of the work was published by Eric Morten of Didsbury.
2. Burke's Peerage, 106th edition, 1999.
3. The House of Commons 1509-1558, by S. T. Bindoff, Secker and Warburg, London, 1982. This has an article on Sir Hugh Cholmondeley the elder.
4. The Buildings of England, Cheshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner and Edward Hubbard, Yale University Press, 2003, ISBN 0 300 09588 0
5. Old Cheshire Churches, with a supplementary survey of the lesser old chapels of Cheshire, completely revised and enlarged by Raymond Richards, first published in 1947 and reprinted by E. J. Morten, Didsbury, 1973.

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