Tabley House, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 0HB Telephone: 01565 750151 | Fax: 01565 653230 | Enquiries & Bookings

The House

Tabley House was designed by John Carr of York for Sir Peter Byrne Leicester, Bt., and completed ca.1767.With its nine-bay central block facing south, flanked by pavilions and quadrant passages set well back and splendid Doric portico reached by curved stairs, Tabley is the only 18th century Palladian country house in Cheshire.

The following rooms are open to the public:-

The Old Entrance Hall, - the "Portico Room" - with its handsome white chimney piece procured from Yorkshire, provided the main entrance to the house in Carr's design, as it does today. The work of Yorkshire craftsmen - the plasterer Thomas Oliver and the wood carvers Daniel Shillito and Mathew Bertram - is well represented here and in the other rooms.

The Drawing Room was originally designed by Carr as the Dining Room and is in plan the mirror-image of his Drawing Room in the south-west of the central block. The simple Jonesian design for the ceiling, enriched by Thomas Oliver's naturalistic plasterwork, was intended to complement the room's original function. The white chimney piece supplied by Carr is the finest in the house.

The Common Parlour is the most characteristic example of Carr's style of interior design surviving at Tabley. Its original function was to provide a link between the 'public' rooms at the front and 'private' bedrooms and dressing rooms at the back of the house. It provides the counterbalance, both functionally and in terms of the bows in the east and west fronts, to the original Library, located where the central bay of the Gallery is today. Restrained plaster work in Rococo style by Oliver decorates the ceiling.

The Dining Room was created in 1840-45 when the wall dividing the easternmost dressing room from the adjoining bedchamber was removed. The fireplace, by George Bullock, made from Anglesey marble, replaces the original bed- or dressing room fireplace.

The Oak Hall is named for the oak trees that grew on the site prior to 1760. The leisurely ascent of the cantilevered mahogany staircase, with its triple balusters, is typical of Carr. The grandeur of the space is reinforced by the crisp carving of the mahogany by Shillito and Thomas Oliver's plasterwork.

The Gallery is one of the great rooms of Cheshire. It incorporates the Drawing Room, Library and a bedroom and dressing room from Carr's original design. Its evolution is not yet fully researched, but it appears that its development started at the end of the 18th Century, was substantially completed by 1814 and was modified further in 1840-45. The wallpaper is a modern reproduction derived from the original.

St. Peter's Chapel and the Old Hall Room: the Chapel was built in 1675-8 on the island in the lower mere, called The Moat, adjacent to the former Tabley Hall - the "Old Hall", which dated from ca. 1380. It was moved to its present location in 1927 when the foundations of both the Chapel and the Old Hall were undermined by brine-pumping. The Old Hall Room - now the Tea Room - was built in 1927 to connect the Chapel to the House. The Old Hall was abandoned and is now ruinous.

The Collection is managed on behalf of The University of Manchester
by The Tabley House Collection Trust.
Registered charity number 1047299.
The University of Manchester
Tabley House, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 0HB Telephone: 01565 750151 | Fax: 01565 653230 | Enquiries & Bookings