House For Sale

Barlaston Hall, Barlaston, Barlaston, Staffordshire

Guide price £2,000,000 Sold

An architectural masterpiece, undoubtedly one of the finest homes in the region.

  • A Grade I listed Palladian house attributed to Sir Robert Taylor
  • Carefully and comprehensively restored
  • Exceptional architectural features
  • Grandly proportioned reception rooms
  • Extensive and versatile accommodation
  • Stunning gardens and grounds extending to about 4.5 acres
  • Far reaching views
  • Garaging and outbuildings
  • Adjoining deconsecrated church by separate negotiation

Barlaston Hall is an architectural triumph that stands proudly on a wooded ridge above the valley of the Trent between the canal market town of Stone. It is just 5.5 miles from Stoke-on-Trent which provides for local amenities and day to day facilities.

Schooling in the area includes: St Dominic’s Priory School, Newcastle under Lyme School, Stafford Grammar School, Yarlet School, Roch House Prep School and Abbots Bromley School for Girls. Shrewsbury School, Moreton Hall and Repton are slightly further afield but within easy reach.

Communications links in the area are very good. The A34, M6 (J15 Northbound and J14 Southbound) and the A50 to Derby and the M1provide excellent connections to the wider motorway network. By rail there are main line trains to London Euston that take approximately 77 minutes from Stafford.

Barlaston is ideally placed for quick access to both Manchester City airport and East Midlands Airport both about 40 miles and also Birmingham Airport (50 miles).

There is no shortage of sporting activities in the area including golf at Barlaston Golf Club, Trentham, Trentham Park and Beau Desert.
There is horse racing at nearby Uttoxeter.

A Restorative History
Barlaston Hall can be considered as something of a phoenix from the ashes. One of the county’s most impressive restoration success stories, Barlaston Hall was once in such a perilous state of decay that it was sold for one pound having only narrowly avoided total demolition. Look through the stunning pictures in this brochure and it is clear that the Hall is very much restored to its former glory.

The exceptional Grade I Listed Hall was built in 1756-58 by the notable architect Sir Robert Taylor (1714–1788) for a local lawyer by the name of Thomas Mills who wanted the perfect venue to entertain his guests. Taylor was considered by his contemporaries as an architect of considerable note. He began his career as a stonemason and sculptor, spending time as a pupil of Sir Henry Cheere (1702-1781) at the sculptor’s yard in Westminster, London. Despite some successful commissions he turned to architecture and ultimately became one of the leading architects of the period. He was appointed as architect to the Bank of England until his death and some of his additions to the Bank, including the quadrangle containing the bank parlour, remain almost unaltered today. Barlaston Hall was constructed to replace a previous manor that had been owned by Mills’ late wife and is of red brick and features many of Taylor’s trademarks including fascinating octagonal glazing within the sash windows.

The Hall remained in the Mills family until it passed into the Adderley family following co-heiress Rosamund Mills’ marriage to Ralph Adderley in 1816. Their son, Ralph Thomas Adderley was High Sheriff of Staffordshire in 1866. In 1937, some years after Adderley’s death, the Hall and estate of around 380 acres was bought by the world-famous Wedgwood pottery company who set about creating a model village for its workforce nearby. Despite this, the rural aspect of Barlaston was maintained as Wedgwood were keen to preserve the historic parkland setting.

The house became the Wedgwood Memorial College until the building was endangered by dry rot, coal mining operations and a geological fault that caused structural damage and subsidence.
The college moved out and the property was left for 20 years at the mercy of decay. Wedgwood made two applications for the Grade I Listed building to be demolished and the second attempt, in 1981 sparked one of the most talked about conservation ‘causes célèbres’ of the 20th century.

Due to the importance of the house the application was called to public enquiry. SAVE Britain’s Heritage (SAVE), an architectural conservation group championing the cause of decaying country houses, argued the case for the restoration and preservation of the Hall. After a few days of debate Wedgewood offered Barlaston Hall to SAVE for one pound. There was one caveat; the restoration needed to be complete within 5 years, if not Wedgewood had the option to buy the Hall back for the same price.

An independent trust was established to restore the house, starting with the roof, and over the next few years the entire exterior was restored. In recognition of the work done, Wedgewood agreed to extend their original 5-year restoration period by a further 3 years. The National Coal Board (NCB) agreed to finance the subsidence damage and preventative works needed to protect the building. Further grants from English Heritage, The Historic Buildings Council, The Manifold Chariable Trust and a loan from The National Heritage Memorial Fund allowed the works to be completed to this important property in the early 1990s.

Barlaston Hall was bought in 1992 by the current owners who undertook the task of restoring the interior of the property to exemplary high standards and as it was conceived by Sir Robert
Taylor, finishing the restoration and preservation project started by SAVE. The result is a property that offers modern amenity in a historic context. The fascinating history of the Hall and story of magnificence to decline, abandonment and restoration is an inspiring and captivating one and whoever the next owner of Barlaston Hall may be, they can proudly take their place as a custodian of an English treasure and ensure that future generations can continue to admire and enjoy this architectural masterpiece.

The Hall
This Grade I listed Palladian Hall is of a mellow red brick construction with stone dressings and a lower ground floor of rusticated stone.

The Hall has attractive octagonal glazed sash windows throughout with moulded architraves. The east facing elevation has a fine projecting pedimented gable surmounted by ball-head finials and a flight of stone steps leading to an arched door with a particularly attractive Gibbs surround with Tuscan columns and a pediment.

On the north and south elevations are two-storeyed canted bays with balustraded parapets. The south elevation has a large convex bay tiered over 3 storeys.

The splendid Doric reception hall has a high ceiling, attractive denticulate cornicing and a large stone chimney piece. Beyond the hall and at the centre of the house, the staircase hall is exceptional and features a meticulously reproduced wooden stair with Chinese Chippendale baluster passing through two floors. The landings have fine pillars forming arches and some lovely moulded plaster work. Overhead is a circular skylight. The principal reception room radiate of this hall.

The library and dining room are of equal size with symmetrical bay windows. Both rooms have exceptionally high ceilings and are perfectly suited to entertaining on a grand scale. The library is south facing with views over the garden and features beautiful built-in mahogany fronted book shelves, dado and picture rail, plain moulded cornice and round headed book recesses on three walls. There is attractive chimney piece with a log burner inset.

To the north, the Dining room has rich dentilated plaster cornice and a Rococo plaster frames to east end with contains a painting of Thomas Mills and his family attributed to Henry Pickering. The remains of a Rococo mantel piece has been retained and is flanked by panels with plaster festoons. The convex bay shows beautiful restored Rococo plasterwork.

The saloon is a lovely bright room with a convex bay window offering far reaching views over the surrounding parkland and across the Trent valley. This room has deep cornice and an elaborate plaster frieze. There an attractive late nineteenth century fireplace.

A small inner hall adjacent to the staircase hall has stairs that lead down to the ‘working’ parts of the house. The lower ground floor has an excellent layout for family use with doors directly out to the garden and the main courtyard/parking area. The principal room on the lower ground floor is a hugely generous kitchen/breakfast room with bespoke fitted units, Aga, central island and an open plan dining and sitting area with a walk-in pantry leading off. The remainder of the lower ground floor comprises an inner hall with staircase, a large laundry/boot room, store room, wine cellar and a self-contained flat.

The self-contained flat comprises a double bedroom and bathroom with a hall/study area and a living room with a kitchen off.

The first floor has a wonderful galleried landing that surrounds the stairwell and leads to 4 bedrooms, two with en suite bathrooms and also to the study.

The second floor comprises 3 further bedrooms and 3 bathrooms with a sitting room/studio that could be converted to further bedroom accommodation if necessary. There are also 2 further attic rooms accessed via a small staircase that leads to the roof.

Gardens, grounds and outbuildings
Barlaston Hall is approached from the village lane through a wrought iron fence and gateway to a large circular gravelled drive that leads to the front of The Hall and continues around to the outbuildings. The Hall stands in carefully considered and beautifully maintained grounds extending to about 4.5 acres that create a wonderful setting for the house. The gardens were originally landscaped by the well-regarded William Sawrey Gilpin and more recently, some parts of the gardens have been redesigned by the highly acclaimed, six times RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medallist Arabella Lennox-Boyd.

To the south of the house is beautiful woodland with walkways that meander amongst a variety of mature trees and extravagant flowerbeds. To the west of the house and with far reaching views is the main lawn which is bordered by a ha-ha. To the north of the house is the courtyard and a range of more recently constructed outbuildings of architectural quality including: 3 garages, stables,
stores and a garden room and greenhouse/orangery all set around a formal kitchen garden. Beyond the courtyard is a further kitchen garden and a small paddock of about half an acre.

The Church
Balaston Hall sits beside the old church of St. John the Baptist with its medieval tower and churchyard. The church is deconsecrated and is no longer used for worship. The church is in separate ownership from the hall and can be purchased separately.

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