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  Address:
  Churche's Mansion
  150 Hospital Street
  Nantwich
  Cheshire
  CW5 5RY
  United Kingdom

  Contact:
  Sandy Summers
  Tel. 01270 625643

The Tour Continues...

Just before the first floor landing is a decorative stained glass window, commemorating the Mansion's 400th anniversary on 4th May 1977.
(There's a closer view on the history page).

 

With wonderful thick wide original oak floor boards throughout, and almost all walls with
original Wainscot oak panelling it really does feels like you are stepping back in time.

This room, in the North West corner of the building would have been the Guest Bedchamber.

Oliver Cromwell is reputed to have slept in this room around the time of the English Civil War.

It features an open fireplace, and window with commemorative stained glass pane and bronze plaque on the frame below.

 

Over on the other side of the building, in the North West would have been the Main Bedchamber.

Again the oak panelling to all walls, and original oak floor boards stand out.

Particularly interesting is the floor board running diagonally into the far corner of the room. Called a dragon beam, it is a feature of the construction of timber-frame buildings where the first floor overhangs the ground floor, as was typical of the period. The diagonal beam projects from the corner to support the jetty.

 

Here is a view of how the bedchamber many have looked in the past:

 

Let's have an overview of the first floor rooms:

 

Located upstairs in the South East corner of the building, is a bright sunny room, enjoying strong sunlight for a large part of the day.

In Tudor times this was known as the Solar Room (or sun room), and would have been one of the most important rooms in the house, used by the head of the house, and the senior women of the household as personal living space, providing privacy, peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the Great Hall.

 

The room's importance is demonstrated by the extent of wonderful decorative detailing. The Wainscot oak panelled walls shows fine examples of Elizabethan carving, including nulling, and egg and dart moulding.

The central open fireplace has an elaborately carved over mantle, and is flanked by carved columns,
which are mirrored elsewhere in this room, and in the Long Withdrawing Room downstairs.

To the right of the fireplace is an oak panelled door leading to a walk through closet, or garderobe, which can also be accessed from the Main Bedchamber.

 

The central panel is inlaid with bog oak, and shows the initials for Richard and Margerye Churche, entwined in a love knot.
(Remember the same design was used in the commemorative window in the Great Hall?)

Behind this panel is a time capsule where successive generations of owners have left mementos. This practice dates back to medieval times when people where highly superstitious, and was done to bring good fortune to the household. Later owners have kept the tradition alive, leaving a little piece of their times to become history for future owners.

 

You can easily imagine Richard or Margerye sitting here, enjoying the sunshine, and a pace of life lost to modern times:

 

Moving into the large Central Room, called Dormitory Landing on the plan, here is another view of bygone times.

Notice the cupboard on the left of the photo below. This piece was made for Richard and Margerye Churche, to go with the house. It features many design aspects also seen in the Mansion, and is a testament to the wealth and importance of the Churche family that it was ever made.

It is extremely rare to find pieces of furniture clearly attributable to specific people, and a specific house (except in Royal residences and stately homes). Sadly, having been sold by a previous owner, it is no longer at the Mansion.

 

Here is the same room today. The wide oak floor boards, running the full width of this large room are outstanding,
complemented by floor to ceiling Wainscot oak panelling.

An interesting feature of this room is a coffin hole, where a section of the floor boards lift out.
This was primarily a convenient way for moving large pieces of furniture up and down.

 

Notice the recessed area on the far side of the room in the photo above. Here is a view of the window in the recess.

It features a commemorative stained glass window pane, and bronze plaque on the frame below.
There is a similar window, and plaque, in the Guest Bedchamber.

Both plaques record that the windows were restored to commemorate the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and were unveiled by Lord Leverhulme, the Lord Lieutenant of the County Palatine of Chester (the ancient name for the region now called Cheshire).

 

Just off the large Central Room is a small Prayer Room, sitting directly above the entrance vestibule,
and featuring the only original Elizabethan leaded light window surviving.

Do you recall the panelling inlaid with six-pointed stars on the ceiling of the entrance vestibule? This is directly under the floor here.
The design here is very deliberate, and would have been highly signifigant in Tudor times: the stars are made up of two triangles, one pointing up and one pointing down, and one aspect of their meaning is "as above, so below".

This is one of the few areas upstairs which is not panelled, but shows exposed timber-frame walls.

 

The inscription on the oak beam below the window records that Edgar and Irene Myott saved the Mansion in 1930.
Given the huge role the Myott family (Edgar and later his son Richard) played in protecting and restoring the Mansion,
it is fitting that their contribution is recorded in the very fabric of the building.

Churche's Mansion had remained in the Churche family for over 350 years when Edgar Myott bought it in 1930.
The Myott family owned the Mansion for almost 60 years.
It is remarkable that there have been so few changes of ownership over such a long period.
The current owner is only the fourth after the sale in 1930.

 

 

The room to the South West corner, thought to have been the Nursery also has original oak floor boards, and exposed timber-framed walls. It is not pictured here at present.

Now, returning to the spiral staircase, let's make our way to the very top of the building.

 

The second floor attic rooms have exposed beams and roof timbers, revealing the construction of the building.

Cecil Hewett, a world renowned expert on timber-framed buildings, documented the entire framework with architectural drawings and a hand written report. (This work was commissioned in 1977 by the then owner of the Mansion, and is protected under copyright by Cecil E Hewett).

His drawing showing the structure of the top floor is reproduced below.

 

Unfortunately that is as much of the top floor available on this tour.

So let's head back down. Hang on to the rope bannister.

 

We hope you enjoyed your tour of Churche's Mansion

Continue to explore the rest of our web site, starting with some of the Mansion's History...


To contact the owner, Mrs Sandy Summers, telephone 01270 625643
(+44 1270 625643 from abroad)   or email
sandy@adams-antiques.com

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