A "PLACES TO SEE" PAGE

Churche's Mansion

CHURCHE'S MANSION IS ON THE MARKET

Visit www.churchesmansion.com

CHURCHE'S Mansion was once nearly lost to the town when a consortium of Americans wanted to demolish it and ship it, brick by brick, to the U.S.A. However, that plan - in the 1930s - was scuppered by a local doctor, Dr Edgar Myott, and his wife, Irene, who bought the building.

   So we got to keep our famous building and the world - including welcome Americans - can see it in its original setting.

   The Grade 1 listed building is currently occupied by Adams Antiques, run by Mrs Sandy Summers and her husband, Neil, but in its time it has been a merchant's house, a hay store and a restaurant - and might have become offices after it was put on the market for that purpose. 

   Sandy told me: "Tourists are welcome to visit when the shop is open. They don't have to be interested in antiques - although we do have a donation box and appreciate donations from people who are not looking for antiques."   

   The antiques on sale are displayed in the various rooms as room settings so that buyers can see how the objects would look in their own homes! And this makes it a good way to see the rooms as you might view a stately home.

   The mansion has oak-panelled rooms and large fireplaces. And one of the first floor rooms has a coffin drop - two six-feet boards which hinge upwards so that the undertaker doesn't have to negotiate the spiral staircase to the room! 

   Likenesses of Richard (above left) and Margerye Churche, for whom the house was built in 1577, can be seen on the facade of the property along with other carvings.

    One of these is a salamander, which is reputed to have fire resistant natural properties. The carving is believed to have been added to the facade as a good luck charm against fire. That was a hazard to which the local buildings of the time were prone. In the case of Churche's Mansion it would seem to have been very effective. The building was one of those to survive the Great Fire of Nantwich in 1583.

   As with many old buildings, there are rumours of a ghost - or two! There have been reported sightings of an Elizabethan serving girl, and a male ghost with an eye for the ladies! Several people have said they felt a cold hand touch them. At other times, people have reported that a vacuum cleaner lead was wrapped round their legs and lights have been switched on and off by a  ghost.

 

   Civil War who died in the grounds of the mansion has also been seen by some people . . . or so it is reported.

   On a point of correctness, the building is Churche's Mansion, not - as some people would have you believe Church's Mansions (or any variations).

   On the other hand Richard Churche had a son, William, whose surname is recorded without an 'e', and a nephew, Thomas - son of Richard's brother, Edward. They built the black and white buildings on The Square in the centre of town. See the Places to See page for details of those buildings.

lFOR a great website featuring the Mansion, with many photographs and a picture tour of the building, click on this link: www.churchesmansion.com.

 

lLocation: At the far end of Hospital Street from town, facing a roundabout at the junction with London Road and Millstone Lane.

lOpening times: generally Monday to Saturday, 11am to 5pm.

lAdmission: There is no charge for admission but donations from people not looking for antiques are welcome.

lDisabled access?: There is disabled access for wheelchairs.

lWebsites:  www.adams-antiques.net  and   www.churchesmansion.com

 

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What is a Dabber?

 

The Mansion down the years

1577: Richard Churche, a wealthy merchant, and his wife, Margerye, have the house built.

1583: The Great Fire of Nantwich is extinguished before it reaches the mansion.

1691: Sabboth Churche is the last of that family to live in the house.

1809: After being occupied by several other families, the property becomes a ladies boarding school.

1930s: The mansion is nearly shipped to America - brick by brick - when a consortium makes a bid in an auction. But Dr Edgar Myott, a local man, and his wife, Irene, save the day when their higher bid is accepted. The Myotts restore the building before opening it as a restaurant.

1991: Mr Peter Tofalos, who owns the building, decides to put it on the market after applying for planning permission for it to be offices. Local man, Robin Latham, buys it but keeps it as a restaurant, run by his daughter, Amanda, who gains many awards.

2000: The building is bought by Sandy and Neil Summers who turn it into an antiques centre.

 

lAlthough these facts are generally known in town, I acknowledge - with thanks - that I refreshed my memory of them by reference to an article in The Nantwich Chronicle. And Mrs Sandy Summers was also very helpful in supplying details.

 

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