Explore this stunning renovated abbey in Cheshire

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  • Taking on an historic estate is always going to be a challenge, but for the owners of this exceptional property, that is something of an understatement. Not only does the Cheshire abbey date back to the 12th century, when it was founded as a Cistercian monastery, but the intervening 900 years saw a number of remodellings, most conspicuously during the 1820s when the Tudor black-and-white manor was given a Gothic veneer.

    The 20th century was not kind to the abbey and neglect meant parts of the house were demolished or closed up. In 1990, when the owners inherited the estate, they set about reviving its fortunes through various enterprises, which enabled them to restore many of the listed buildings. The final one was the decrepit north wing, but without a substantial injection of capital, they couldn’t do much about the deterioration.

    It took 13 years and two attempts to join the Enabling Development scheme, which finally allowed them to restore the structure of the north wing and decorate two of its three floors. They pulled it apart, removing the roof and the second floor to expose Tudor oak frame, so they could replace rotten timbers before rebuilding. After 24 months of work, the wing became habitable again for the first time in many years and the results are a spectacular success.

    This house tour originally appeared in Homes & Gardens, January 2017

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