Most Haunted Tatton Mansion
The Mansion is the jewel in Tatton’s crown. It offers a truly fascinating glimpse of the style, taste and history of the Egerton family with lavish state rooms, family memorabilia, fine collections and the domestic realities of the extensive servants’ quarters. It is a house offering contrasting moods and experiences.
The state rooms and most of the family rooms still contain the paintings, furnishings and contents purchased by the Egerton family over a period of some two hundred years, including the original furniture designed for them by the renowned cabinet makers, Gillows of Lancaster and London. With over 200 pieces specially commissioned for Tatton, many still in the mansion, it remains one of the largest and most important collections of furniture by this firm in the country.
Samuel Wyatt (1737-1807) completed the first stage of his ‘Grand Design’ for William Egerton in 1791. After his death and following a gap of 17 years his nephew, Lewis Wyatt (1777-1853) scaled down the original plans to complete the present mansion.
A tour of the mansion takes you through the state rooms first. Each of these has its own attributes, from the neo- classical appearance of the Entrance, the luxurious warmth of colour in the Music and Drawing Rooms, the obvious importance of the Library and the refined splendour of the Dining Room.
Gillow furniture, paintings by Chardin, Nazari, and Van Dyck among others. The two Canalettos which are normally on display in the Drawing Room are currently on show at an Exhibition in Rome and will be returning to Tatton Park at the end of June.
The large library collection, Minton dessert service and Baccarat glass are among the collections in this part of the mansion.
Upstairs in the mansion, the bedrooms include the guest or principal suites with furnishings supplied by Gillows of Lancaster in 1811 and 1812. Many distinguished guests have stayed at Tatton Park, including their Royal Highnesses, the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1887, the Shah of Persia and the Crown Prince of Siam in the following decade. The south-facing rooms enjoy a magnificent view over the Italian gardens to the Park and Cheshire countryside beyond.
What were originally the Blue Bedroom and its adjacent dressing room, are now displayed as exhibition rooms. The first of these two rooms has been devoted to a history of the Egerton owners of the estate from the late 18th century to the early 20th century, highlighting their personal contributions and interests through the display of artefacts and personal memorabilia. The second room displays part of the Egerton picture collection including early Italian and Flemish works of art, hung in a way that encourages close inspection of each painting in turn.
After passing through part of the family wing of the house you come to the contrast of the servants’ quarters and domestic offices. Their completeness gives a striking picture of the world of the servants ‘below stairs’ and the scale of household management which was required to run such a large establishment with efficiency and precision.
First Broadcast: 13th March 2007