The Duke of Wellington was Godfather to the 2nd son of Viscount Combermere and attended his Christening in 1820, when he planted an oak tree in celebration of the event. Now, guests can stay in accommodations on the grounds and enjoy full access the property and historic gardens.
Stone Lodge ~
A Whole Estate to Explore in your ‘back garden’!
Combermere Estate lies on the Cheshire/Shropshire border and features a 143 acre lake, the largest in private ownership in Cheshire, and a total of 1,000 rolling acres. The medieval Cistercian Combermere Abbey is set in the heart of the Estate and was founded in 1133 by Hugh de Malbanc, Lord of Nantwich. It once had 22 monks in residence. During the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 by Henry VIII, most of the monastic buildings were destroyed leaving only the Abbot’s Hall and in 1820 it was re-designed as a gothic mansion.
Famous occupants of Combermere Abbey include Elizabeth, Empress of Austria; William of Orange, Dr. Johnson and Mrs Thrale and Sir Stapleton Cotton, a brilliant General, who fought under Wellington at the Battle of Salamanca. The present occupants are Sarah Callander Beckett, who inherited the estate from her great grandfather, Sir Kenneth Crossley Bt, and her husband, Peter.
The North Wing of the Abbey is currently undergoing major restoration, following the successful enabling development award in 2013. The project will see the complete repair of the wing and transformation into a separate dwelling which will be offered as the bridal suite for wedding couples. The restoration is expected to complete in 2016.
In 1994, the restored 1837 Stables were opened as luxury holiday cottages and have since won awards and acclaim for their high standards. In 2011 the number of cottages was increased from 7 to 10, with the addition of three new stylish and contemporary cottages. The business was awarded a Gold Award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme and was Highly Commended at the inaugural Hudson’s Heritage Awards for their ‘Best Accommodation’ category.
‘Stone Lodge’, our Gothic-inspired hideaway is one of so many wonderful places, yet what sets this pretty detached cottage apart from the rest lies beyond the comfort of its stylish interiors, its own secluded damson orchard and sunny south-facing terrace – in fact the unique appeal and magic of this place starts perhaps a mile away from its front door………
A gatehouse to one of England’s most beautiful privately-owned historic estates, Combermere Abbey, Stone Lodge is set on the verdant borders of Shropshire and Cheshire. The C12th Abbey today is a family home, with its extensive grounds open occasionally to the public, and to play host to exclusive weddings, which take place within the formal walled gardens. Often cottage guests, free to explore these magnificent surroundings as part of their stay, have them all to themselves.
Largely untouched for centuries, the landscaped parklands surround a huge glacial mere, where walk ways following ancient ‘rides’ and woodlands are a haven of flora and fauna. Bird song abounds and the land surrounding the mere gives rise to wetland species such as grebe, kingfisher, heron, egret, cormorant, swans, ducks and geese, as well as the usual field and woodland birds. Frequently spotted mammals include hare, rabbit, mink, vole, dormice, squirrels, badger and foxes.
The Pleasure Gardens are found down by the mere, with swathes of native flowers studding the wooded paths under a canopy of Wellingtonia, Swamp Cypress and the aptly-named Tree of Heaven.
Garden lovers will adore the five and a half acres of Victorian Walled Gardens, which embrace the estate’s more formal landscaping. Highlights include The Geometric Garden, The Rose Garden, where many varieties have ecclesiastic names as a nod to their setting, abundant herbaceous borders and right in the heart of the walled gardens, the world’s only Fruit Tree Maze, a labyrinth of espaliered fruit trees, including apples, pears, redcurrants and gooseberries, truly a marvel to behold.
The maze was created by two gentlemen, Randoll Coate who had worked on some of the world’s most inspirational mazes and labyrinths, and whose expertise had been sought by many historic sites the world over, including the Vatican and San Georgio in Venice. At Combermere, Coate worked in tandem with fruit tree specialist, Bert Davis, giving rise to this unique planting medium and adding intrigue to the mythical symbolism within its design, such as the ‘Apple of the Eye’.
With this diversity of habitat, the sensory impact of these tranquil spaces and gardens restores one’s wellbeing and makes for a pleasurable. Have freedom to walk, amble, twitch, pause, stare, smell, languish and explore the most wonderful of natural surroundings.
Those with canine friends will particularly enjoy strolls through the woods and parklands where dogs can roam freely (we politely request leads for the more formal garden areas) There are also miles of public footpaths which cross the fields, leading to nearby villages.
Plan a natural and restorative retreat this summer at our beautiful estate. Stone Lodge is one of a collection of charming, deluxe cottages, set apart from the rest at the entrance to the estate and the others are the converted stables and coach house.
Book to stay midweek before the end of June and receive a 20% discount making a 3 night midweek stay only £360 (based on Stone Lodge and other cottages sleeping up to 4). A flat year-round pricing structure* ensures fabulous value all year long (*exc. Christmas and New Year)
Optional extras include locally-prepared ready meals, breakfast hampers, wines, spa treatments and the like. Make sure to sample the delicious local pub food at nearby Combermere Arms, just across from Stone Lodge. Bikes are available to borrow on site, as well as tennis rackets and balls. With so much to do and explore you can even give the car a rest too.
For those wishing to venture out, some of England’s most beautiful public gardens are waiting to be discovered only a short drive away – these include Arley Hall, Cholmondeley Castle, Wollerton Old Hall Garden, Bluebell Cottage Gardens, Dorothy Clive Gardens and Ness Botanic Gardens.
A warm welcome awaits at Combermere Abbey this summer.
Winner of Visit England ‘Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year, 2013’
For bookings contact: Ashleigh Taylor
Combermere Abbey, Whitchurch, Shropshire SY13 4 AJ