Situated on the edge of the Peak District close to the town of Disley in Cheshire you’ll find the magnificent Lyme Hall Park & Gardens. This wonderful grade-I listed building and estate are now managed by the National Trust and make a wonderful day out!
Read on to find out the history of Lyme Hall Park, how to get there, entrance fees and facilities as well as all the wonderful things to do whilst there!
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History Of Lyme Hall Park:
Lyme Hall Estate was owned by the Legh family for over 600 years. They first came into possession back in the 14th century when the land was given to Margaret Legh by her father Sir Thomas Danyers.
Sir Thomas Danyers was given the Lyme estate by the Black Prince (King Edwards III’s son) for his help in rescuing the Prince’s standard during the Battle of Crécy in 1346.
Margaret Legh married the first Piers Legh in 1388. Sir Piers was favoured by King Richard II who granted his family a coat of arms in 1397. However, this loyalty resulted in his execution 2 years later by the Kings rival Henry Bolingbroke (King Henry IV). His head was thought to have been put on a spike, displayed on the Chester city walls and remained there until the Carmelites of Chester (monks) took it down and interned it with his body in their church.
During the early years, there were another four knights within the Legh dynasty. Sir Peter II died from wounds sustained in the Battle of Agincourt. Sir Peter III was knighted in 1460 by the Duke of York following the Battle of Wakefield (War of the Roses). Sir Piers V, another warrior who later became a priest. Then finally Sir Piers VI was wounded at the battle of Flodden Field in 1513.
The first record of a house on the estate dates back to a manuscript dating back to 1465, however, this was demolished to make way for the house you see today. Sir Piers VII was the first to make Lyme a home, he was knighted for his efforts in England’s last attempt to conquer Scotland and later became the High Sheriff of Lancashire.
The Elizabethan house that Sir Piers VII built during the 1570s, was L shaped by design and built using Lyme’s pinkish-grey stone from quarries on the estate. This impressive home was no doubt viewed with sheer amazement by its many illustrious and distinguished guests of the time.
The house was then extended and refurbished in the 1720s by Peter XII and Venetian architect Giacomo Leoni who remodelled the Elizabethan house in an Italian Renaissance style. They added the impressive south front with its giant pilasters set between 15 bays. The building felt more dramatic than similar buildings of the time, however, it did show some resemblance to the nearby Chatsworth House from which Peter may have drawn influence.
During the early 1800s, further additions were made to the house by Thomas Legh and architect Lewis Watt. They extended the dining room, added the library and further developed the entrance hall. One of their more interesting additions was to add the ‘squint’. A huge portrait of the Black Prince could be swung out from the dining room to allow people to peer down into the entrance hall below.
Although further decoration and alterations were added in the early 1900s by the Newtons and the Jouberts, not everyone was happy with the result and much of it has since been reversed. Therefore the house you see today is very much the way it would have been seen back in the 1800s.
In 1946 the estate was given to the National Trust by the 3rd Lord Newton to ensure the future of Lyme Park and the estate. However, it was managed by Stockport Council until 1994 when the National Trust took back full control.
How To Get To Lyme Hall Park:
Address: Disley, Stockport, Cheshire, SK12 2NR
What 3 words: Entrance gate – awaiting.amps.fatter
The entrance to Lyme Hall can be found directly off the A6 from Disley. As you enter the estate you will find the admissions hut, it’s here that you can buy tickets or show your pre-paid tickets or National Trust membership.
The car park can be found 1 mile further down the road, close to the main entrance of the hall.
By public transport:
Bus: The 199 bus service stops on the A6 and runs from Manchester Airport to Buxton. If travelling by bus please check the TFGM website for up-to-date bus times.
Train: Disley Train Station ½ mile from the entrance. Please check the National Rail website for up-to-date train times.
By foot or bicycle: Entrance by foot or bicycle can also be made at the main entrance on the A6. A minibus operates 7 days a week and can collect pedestrians from the admissions hut and bring them up to the house and gardens.
Lyme Hall Park Entrance Costs:
Since 1994 Lyme Hall has been owned and looked after by the National Trust. The site is free for those with a National Trust membership, which I defo recommend buying. Membership gives members free access to over 500 sites throughout England and only costs individuals £6 and couples £10 a month. You can even buy a family pass with either 1 or 2 adults for an extra 50p with each adult able to include 5 children free.
If you don’t have a National Trust membership then the entrance to Lyme Hall House, Park & Gardens will cost adults £14.30, children £7.15, families £35.80, 1 Adult family £21.50
Facilities At Lyme Hall Park:
Cafe and picnic spots:
- You’ll find the Timber yard cafe by the lake near the car park serving a good variety of hot and cold drinks, lunches and of course delicious cakes.
- The Servants Hall call cafe in the courtyard also sells a large variety of snacks, delicious cakes and lunches.
- There is also a kiosk at the car park serving hot drinks and snacks.
- Throughout the grounds, you’ll also find picnic benches and lots of grassy places to lay a blanket and enjoy a picnic.
Hall Shop: Filled with gifts, souvenirs and other items including beautiful scarves and bags, books, Pride and Prejudice trinkets and everything for the kitchen. There are lots of edible treats too, from jams and biscuits to fruit wines and local beers.
Timber Yard shop: The place to go for all your outdoor needs. They stock lots of kids’ toys and adventure kits to inspire young visitors to start exploring Lyme and beyond, including bug boxes, fishing nets and binoculars. You’ll also find a range of plants, outdoor decorations and gardening tools to peruse.
Pre-loved book shop: Find a hidden gem in this quaint little second hold book shop.
There are toilet facilities including one accessible available either at Timber Yard or at Lyme House.
Things To Do At Lyme Hall Park:
Explore The House:
You enter the house via the main entrance in the courtyard. As you enter the grand entrance hall you will be asked to listen to a short video about the history of the house and estate. Once finished you are then free to wander around the house at your own pace.
Inside the house, you find many wonderful rooms all decorated as they would have been in the 1800s. Some of my favourites include the dining room with its stunning views across the formal gardens and the drawing room which dates back to around 1580.
Don’t forget to look up as well, some of the ceilings are stunning!
The Caxton Missal:
The Caxton Missal is the earliest known printed book that bears the stamp of William Caxton, the father of British printing. It was printed in Paris in 1487 and is unique in having belonged to one family for over five centuries and represents the changing religious views of the country during that period.
Although you can not touch the Missal, you can turn its pages thanks to a digital touch screen version, as well as listen to the pages as they would have been sung 500 years ago!
You will find the Caxton Missal in the newly restored Library.
Take A Walk Through The Formal Gardens:
This 17-acre garden holds a beautiful lake, woodland and a variety of smaller gardens which include The Stables and The Orangery. You will find a multitude of formal flower beds, herbaceous borders, rose gardens and rolling lawns.
Originally these gardens started life as an Elizabethan Knot garden and then gradually grew into the beautiful pleasure grounds you see today.
Over 25,000 bulbs flower every spring as well as gorgeous summer blooms which may still be seen in October on the east terrace and Italian garden.
Autumn is also a beautiful time to visit Lyme Hall and Gardens, yes the blooms may have gone but the beautiful autumn colours showcase the gardens in a completely different light!
Take A Walk To The Cage:
The Cage is usually the first landmark people see as they approach Lyme Hall and Gardens. This unique building sits on top of Cage Hill and was originally built by the warrior priest, Sir Piers V in 1524.
It is thought that The Cage was used as a hunting lodge or watch tower, however, it was reported that it was also used as a holding prison for poachers awaiting trial in the 17th Century.
The Cage was rebuilt in the 1700’s making it more hospitable and later became the home to estate workers.
The walk out to the cage can be a bit of a challenge, especially on windy days, however, the views from the top are spectacular! You can see right across Manchester and The Peak District on a clear day.
The Cage is usually shut for visitors but occasionally it is opened to the public. Dates can be found on the website.
Check Out The Deer Park:
Lyme Hall and Gardens has a long hunting history and the red deer you see in the park today are part of the ancient heard.
The deer roam freely around the park, however, they usually stay within the deer sanctuary where visitors are not allowed. Occasionally you will find them roaming around other parts of the grounds. If you do come across them though make sure you give them space and take care not to spook them out. Hinds have been known to lose their calves when feeling stressed so please treat them with respect.
From April to late autumn you will also find Highland Cattle within the park. The best places to spot them are Park Moor, Close Hay, Turfhouse Meadow and around Paddock Cottage.
Other Places To Visit Nearby:
Dunham Massey – Another beautiful country house where the deer are as friendly as the staff!
Tatton Park – Tatton Park is one of my favourite country houses in Cheshire. Explore this beautiful house, its 50 acres of gardens, deer park and animal farm. It really does make a great day out!
Quarry Bank Mill – Learn about the history of one of the best-preserved textile factories of the Industrial Revolution.
Lyme Hall Park is worth a visit! With beautiful scenery, interesting historical features and tons of things to do, it’s the perfect place to spend a day (or afternoon) exploring. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your picnic basket and head on over to Lyme Hall Park!
Thanks so much for stopping by, I appreciate every one of you who takes the time to read and make it to the end! I have lots of exciting new content coming in the next few weeks so make sure you pop back to catch up!