It’s called Little Moreton Hall, a well-known Tudor house that you can find in the historic town of Congleton in Cheshire at about 50 km south of Manchester.
It’s difficult to believe, looking at it now, that the building is still here. It was built on marshy land and never designed for anything other than a house.
For 400 years, it has been in the hands of the Moreton family, wealthy in the countryside but not being a aristocratic family, documents are missing and we still know little about them.
Undoubtedly, they had land since 1200 or perhaps from after the plague of 1300 when they could buy it cheaply. They later bought more land after the dissolution of Henry VIII’s monasteries.
The increase in their wealth is reflected in Little Moreton Hall, in fact the house was not built in on go but it took years. This can also be understood immediately by looking at a photo of the house, in fact it looks like two houses wedged together.
The oldest part of the house dates back to the early 1500s, when patriarch William Moreton I built it. The house was later modified by his children and grandchildren, who were all named William to maintain the family tradition.
The house was impressive for the time period, even for non-noble families. It had decorations and even sculptures that had no other purpose than to display one’s wealth.
It also had a lot of glass windows for the times and back then, glass was extremely expensive and was clearly another way to make it clear that the family had a lot of money to spend.
Initially the house only had one floor, but the second floor was added in 1559 above what used to be the Great Hall.
In 1578, the Kitchen was built to the side of the house.
In 1672, a new room was added to the back of the house, which became known as the New Room.
In 1676, a single chimney replaced all of the smaller Initially, the house only had one floor, but the second floor was added in 1559 above what used to be the Great Hall.ones that had been in each of the rooms.
In 1698, a library was added to the house on the second floor.
In 1727-1728, a new staircase was constructed
The Moreton family and the Civil War
In the 1950s, when the house now belonged to the National Trust, it was discovered that behind the wooden panels there were decorations that told a biblical story and that probably date back to the end of the 1500s.
There are two fireplaces in the house, one original from Tudor times which was probably hidden and saved during the English Civil War. Another fireplace that is located in the house is from 1700..
The Civil War was like the end of the Moreton family. They supported the monarchy in an area where the majority supported the parliament. The house was then seized by the winners in 1659. Later the family managed to buy it again, but they to do that, they had to spend literally all they owned.
They had to rent and sell part of the property, and never took it back. Eventually, they no longer even lived in the Tudor house, which ended up with the Dale family. They kept it until after the Second World War, when it was given to the National Trust.
The house should be visited slowly by observing the many details. There are not many Tudor houses that are still so well preserved.