Combermere Abbey, Whitchurch, Shropshire
Combermere Abbey, its large mere and 1000-acre parkland celebrates almost 900 years of history. The Cistercian monastery established in 1133 was dissolved in 1536, and the Tudor manor house created for the Cotton family included the Abbots Lodge. In 1820, it was remodelled in the Gothic style following substantial redesign.
Combermere Abbey lies on the Cheshire/Shropshire border, 7 miles from the present Welsh border. It is a complex medieval and 16th-century building, with extensive pasteboard Gothic enveloping (of the early 19th century), impressively positioned overlooking a lake and set in parkland. The medieval abbey was Cistercian, founded ca.1133 by Hugh de Malbank. The Abbey began as a wealthy house, eventually owning lands of over 22,000 acres, but had a history of maladministration and indiscipline. Finally it was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1536 and given to a trusted supporter, Sir George Cotton.
Combermere Abbey was completely re-faced in the fashionable gothick style by Sir Stapleton Cotton, the first Viscount of Combermere of Bhurthpore, between 1814 and 1821. A few years later, in the 1830’s, he made the Abbot’s Lodgings into his Library and the walls were lined with bookcases, reaching right up to the coving. He also created the heraldic display. On the two longer walls there are twenty two shields of members of the Cotton family, with dates commemorating marriages. The shields which run in three lines on the north wall are of families associated with the Cottons. Much restoration work has been undertaken on The Library over the years, with a full programme of conservation running from 2011 to the spring of 2015. The ceiling was restored and re-painted by royal warrant holders Hare and Humphreys and the fireplace was rebuilt. The curtains and carpet were professionally cleaned and the portraits in the room have been conserved. Following a successful enabling development application the Abbey has won several major awards for the restoration of the North Wing which took 24 months to complete, starting in January 2014.
Tour of the main house including the grand first floor hall of the Abbot’s house (now known as the Library). Subject to availability the restored North Wing interior rooms will also be included. A walk around the exterior façade of the Abbey will also take in the service buildings including the game larder and clock tower.
Located on the A530/A525 Nantwich to Whitchurch Road. Post Code to use for Sat Nav is SY13 4AN which takes you to barn conversions opposite the estate’s main entrance.
Tea or coffee and cakes
No internal photography, no dogs (guide dogs only). Because our properties are old and fragile, unfortunately we cannot include children under 14.
The most important room in the house is on the first floor and it is not possible to accommodate visitors with severe mobility issues.