Pitchford Hall visit
Pitchford Hall, near Shrewsbury, has lain derelict and unloved for more than two decades. It is a half-timbered, Grade 1 listed Elizabethan mansion, parts of which date back to the 1560s which has fallen into disrepair and been prey to burglars, vandals and trespassers. In 1992, due to insurance losses at Lloyds the owners were forced to sell the mansion, which stood on part of the estate which had been in the family since 1473. The house was offered to English Heritage but the deal was scuppered by the then prime minister, John Major, who said that the house was of “insufficient national importance”.
This was the same house that had played host to Princess Victoria before she became Queen and which Sir Winston Churchill proposed as a bolt hole for the Royal family should an invasion happen in World War Two. It is rumoured that Prince Rupert hid in the priest’s hole after the siege of Shrewsbury.
The house was sold, for £700,000, to a Kuwaiti princess, who used the stables for a stud farm, but never moved into the house.
Although the hall and its contents had been sold, the previous owner gifted 1,000 acres to her daughter which she transformed in to a successful arable farm and holiday let business. But just over the hedge was the house she grew up in deteriorating badly and in 2016 they managed to buy it back.
So it’s a big renovation and refurbishment programme. We shall see what they have done since 2016 and what there is still to do.