The history of Beeston Castle stretches back more than 4,000 years to its origins as a Bronze Age hill fort. Perched high atop a rocky crag, the castle ruins are fun to explore and offer incredible views of the surrounding countryside, all the way to the Pennines and Wales.
Not really of the ancient kind but well worth a visit. A medieval-style castle built in 1850 and made famous as the set for Kevin Costner's Robin Hood. It is a top class hotel and wedding venue, but that's not all. You can stroll through the corridors, experience the birds of prey and demonstrations, visit the Land Rover Experience, segway and archery are also available.
It was in 1840 that John Tollemache bought the land that would become the home of Peckforton Castle. 36,000 acres of sprawling green Cheshire countryside. The plot included the villages of Peckforton and Beeston, plus the rolling hills destined to house this grand project. Tollemache dreamt of a palatial fortified home in the style of a medieval castle and so work commenced in 1842 and the castle’s story began. With the sheer magnitude of such an imposing build, it was not completed until 1851.
In 1876, Tollemache was awarded a Lordship in recognition of his services to agriculture. Throughout his life he was married twice, father to an impressive 25 sons and one daughter until he passed away in 1890 at the ripe old age of 85. Only 12 of his sons survived him. The last member of the Tollemache family to live in the castle was Lord Bentley; who left Peckforton in 1939 and took up residence in Eastbourne. During World War II, in Lord Bentley’s absence the Castle provided care and a safe home to disabled evacuee children.
In 1952, the Castle was recognised and rewarded by English Heritage when it was granted Grade I-listed status; as a building of exceptional interest and importance. In the 1980s the castle welcomed new tenants hosting a private members club known as The Treasure Trap. Visitors would don medieval costumes for live action fantasy games and once again the incredible setting was at the heart of all the fun. In 1989 the castle was sold again, becoming a venue for business conferences and wedding receptions.
By 2001 its history had yet again blended with modern times and was one of the government’s first venues to be licensed for civil ceremonies held beyond the traditional registry office. Over the years, its stunning vista has proven popular as a filming location for TV and film producers. The likes of Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who have all graced the grounds and the enchanting surroundings of the castle have provided the backdrop for many an adventure.
Cholmondeley Castle & Gardens
The romantic gothic Castle - a product of the early 19th century - stands on a high rise above a lake. The Castle is surrounded by sweeping lawns and a variety of mature trees, including Cedars of Lebanon, Oak, and Chestnut.
The Cholmondeley Family have lived at Cholmondeley in Cheshire since 1200.
Lavinia, Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley, wife of the late 6th Marquess resided at Cholmondeley Castle until her death on the 7th November 2015, her Son David, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley and Lord Great Chamberlain with his wife the Marchioness of Cholmondeley and their children live at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, built in the 1720’s by Sir Robert Walpole. The 7th Marquess divides his time between Cheshire and Norfolk.
The gardens at Cholmondeley are currently being extensively developed through many exciting new projects and improved planting schemes. Across the gardens we are 'editing' the planting and renovating borders. The Rose Garden was completely replanted in Spring 2017 with 250 new roses and is establishing nicely. Planting of the new Lavinia Walk borders commenced in the Spring of 2018 with completion and final planting planned by the Autumn The Folly Garden has newly renovated woodland borders, which are awaiting large scale planting in the Autumn.
Chirk Castle & Gardens
A stark symbol of power, Chirk Castle was completed in 1310 during the reign of the conquering Edward I to subdue the last princes of Wales. Built on an outcrop above the meeting point of the rivers Dee and Ceiriog, the imposing silhouette of the castle was a brooding statement of English intent in these disputed lands.
With over 700 years of history, and as the last castle from this period still lived in today, Chirk Castle's many occupants have left behind lavish interiors and a beautiful and eclectic collection. The state rooms include a 17th-century Long Gallery, grand 18th-century saloon with rich tapestries, servants' hall, and the restored East Range, containing the library and 1920s style Bow Room showing off Chirk Castle’s connections to high society.
The award-winning gardens cover 5.5 acres of manicured lawns, clipped yews, herbaceous borders, beautiful rose, shrub and rock gardens, and the wooded pleasure ground – perfect for a stroll. Don't miss the terrace overlooking the 18th century ha-ha at the bottom of the garden, with stunning views over the Cheshire and Salop plains.
Chirk Castle has over 480 acres of estate parkland for you to explore, with wild ponies, sheep, veteran trees, and a beautifully preserved section of Offa’s Dyke. The estate is located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has also been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest as an important habitat for rare invertebrates, bats, fungi, and wild flowers.
Bodnant Garden, one of the great British gardens, is a great day out for Garden lovers. Amongst the magnificent features there are no less than 5 terraces including lily pond and beautiful herbaceous borders.
The gardens were started by Henry Pochin an Industrial Chemist in the late 1800's when he employed a well known designer called Milner who was an apprentice to Joseph Paxton. Over the next 50 years many plants were sourced from famous plant hunters. The garden is of interest all year round and there is a colourful winter garden.