Bordered by Staffordshire’s most beautiful countryside and residing in its own resplendent landscaped garden, lies Bishton Hall, a grade II listed Georgian Mansion.
Though the present house dates back to around the mid-18th century, there has been a manor here for a lot longer with Bishton getting a mention in the Domesday Book of 1086. The ivy-clad house features 17 bedrooms, three principal front rooms, a library and servants’ quarters, beautiful landscaped grounds that include an orangery, a rose filled parterre and a Temple Garden that features one of the best Doric screens in the country, all of which contribute to its archetypal old English stateliness.
Various important families have lived on the Estate through the centuries including the former High Sheriffs of Staffordshire but it was John Sparrow, a lawyer and magistrate, who purchased the Estate in 1776 and made it his home until his death in 1821, after which it passed onto his daughter, Charlette. Charlette was born in 1786, and she became well known for her elegance and beauty, however, hidden behind her feminine demeanour, was a tough and unwavering resolve. Bishton Hall was to become her main focus for her lifetime, and amongst other modifications and additions the most notable were the two bowed wings on either side of its main entrance. Charlotte believed all children deserved an education, so in 1827 she financed a new school, paying for everything herself including the teachers’ salaries, books, materials and repairs at an annual cost of £180 a year. All of this during a period in history where children’s schools for the poor rarely existed.
Built in the first half of the 19th century, the central fluted Doric screen, one of the largest and finest of its kind in the UK, is thought to date back to around 1830, a time when wealthy land owners and aristocrats regularly went on a Grand Tour of Europe eventually to return inspired by the wonders of Athens, Rome and Paris.
Charlotte never married seemingly to ensure Bishton remained in her family at a time when, upon taking wedding vows, a wife’s inheritance immediately passed to her husband. Instead, Charlotte avoided matrimony and devoted her energies to helping others until she died at the age of 90 in 1876.
In more contemporary times the Stafford-Northcote’s opened St Bede’s school at Bishton Hall in 1946 and it remained open until it was put up for sale in 2018. Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons antiques, is a man passionate about history, and in particular the period grandeur of Bishton Hall, so much so that he purchased it for close to £1.3m in 2019 as a perfect place to showcase and auction antiques.
There have been many reported sightings of ghosts at Bishton Hall, with the figure of a lady in white, believed to be that of Charlotte Sparrow, appearing the most. It featured in the TV series Most Haunted, and poltergeist activity is widespread with doors opening and shutting by themselves and the sound of children can be heard wafting mysteriously through the tight twisting staircases and rooms.
The hall is partially opened to the public, and although an appointment was required to see it’s interior when I visited, you were free to enjoy it’s gardens and exterior as well as visiting the adjacent courtyard shops and tea room. I got permission to fly from some volunteer gardeners who were really into the drone and we had an interesting conversations over a cup of tea after I finished flying.
Parking is a breeze as you can use the Hall's front of house area for free and stroll through the grounds at your leisure. You can take off from the road in front of the Hall but Line-of-sight isn't the best and from my experience there is little to stop you finding a quiet corner to fly from.
Land owner permission not required.
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Co-ordinates: 52.78532, -1.966215 • what3words: ///expect.aims.emeralds