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LITTLE   MORETON   HALL   (I)


Little Moreton Hall, which now belongs to the National Trust, is undoubtedly the most famous of Tudor timber-framed country houses in England and should rank high on the list of any tourist wanting to discover places of interest in the county of Cheshire and certainly deserves to be better known generally.

As the visitor approaches the Hall from the car park. The first impression he has is one of peace and tranquillity where the only sounds to be heard are those of the cows in the field, the birds perched on the trees, the ducks in the moat and perhaps the not so natural background noise of a motorised lawnmower to remind him that he is still in the 21st century.

[Little Moreton Hall Thumbnail Image]

Little Moreton Hall
a view from the car park
(click the image for a larger size picture)

 

The visitor immediately acquires the meditative frame of mind necessary to appreciate the sense of weirdness as he gazes on the irregularly shaped south wing of the building standing magnificently before him.

On the left of the building a mound leads up to a tree. There is a clear track made revealing that many have made their way up that mound. Why on earth have visitors ventured up this mound? We learn from our guide that it was the tendency of the 15th and 16th century female guests of the house to go up the mound to survey the grandeur of the building from this vantage point.

[Little Moreton Hall A view from the mound Thumbnail Image]

Little Moreton Hall A view from the mound
(click the image for a larger size picture)

 

This impressive black and white timber-framed building immediately captivates the attention of the visitor. It is worth while just spending a few minutes dwelling on the details of this irregular-shaped building even if it is only to become fully aware that something is not just as it ought to be.

[Little Moreton Hall A view of the crooked gateway Thumbnail            Image]

Little Moreton Hall
A view of the crooked gateway
(click the image for a larger size picture)

 

A similarly strange feeling strikes the visitor once again when he enters the upper floor of this south wing. The typical "crazy" effect of the outside of the south wing is matched by a corresponding feeling of "drunkenness" as the visitor treads over the uneven floor of the wing struggling at times to keep his balance.

In the rectangular well preserved moat, the gentle rippling of the waters reflects and enhances the distorted shape of the timberwork adding to the overall magic of the scene. The ducks and fish are oblivious of the tourists' fascination as they swim in the moat that encloses both building and gardens. The water in the moat is not stagnant but is linked to a flowing stream that ensures a renewed supply.

[Little Moreton Hall: the moat Thumbnail Image]

Little Moreton Hall
A view of the moat
(click the image for a larger size picture)

The visitor immediately senses that it was a most fitting and wise choice for the background of Granada TV's adaptation of Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders in 1996.


RJW


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latest update: 29/3/04