Prestbury Hall


Prestbury Hall, Prestbury, Cheshire, at the head of the village street



The manor house known as Prestbury Hall, Prestbury, Cheshire was built in the early years of the 15th century by the Suttons of the Hundreds of Macclesfield in the County of Chester. It was solidly constructed in hand-made brick with stone coins and lintels, windows with stone mullions and square hood mouldings. It had heavy roof timbers, stone flag covered, and cut brickwork chimneys – massive stacks carried up boldly above the roof. The style was the “perpendicular”, in vogue during the reign of the Houses of York and Lancaster 1399-1485.


In 1790 the Hall was restored in the Georgian style. It has small-panel wooden sash windows and a plastered “village front” to cover the deteriorated stone mullions many of which were left in the brickwork. Elegant Adam withdrawing rooms on a half-circular plan were added to the “garden front”, the whole manor house being washed in white.


Richard Sutton, a younger son of Sir William Sutton was born at Prestbury Hall about 1460. A lawyer by profession, he became a Privy Councillor in 1498, a member of the Inner Temple in 1515, and in 1522 was knighted by King Henry VIII. In 1509 “Master Sutton and William Smyth, Bishop of Lyncoln founded Brasenose College, Oxford on land leased from University College for 92 years at £3 per annum”. He owned considerable properties in Oxfordshire and Essex and conveyed these estates to Brasenose in 1519. A portrait of Sir Richard Sutton clad in armour and surcoat bearing the arms of Sutton hangs in the hall of Brasenose. The presence of his arms over the gateway of Corpus Christi College indicates that he also contributed to that foundation. He remained unmarried and died in 1524, the place of his burial being unknown.


Prestbury Hall later became a dowerhouse to Adlington Hall.


According to Earwaker’sEast Cheshire” (1880), Prestbury Hall was for many years the home of Dr James Hope, a physician of world-wide repute on diseases of the heart. James Hope was born on 23 February 1801 at Stockport where his father Mr Thomas Hope was in business as a merchant and manufacturer. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1832. He died at Highgate, London on 12 May 1841.


Col.P.M. Armitage purchased the Hall from the Legh Estates in April 1927. During the 1940/45 war the house was used as a maternity hospital as part of “The Country Branch” of St Mary’s Maternity Hospital, Manchester. In 1954, after standing empty and derelict for some years, it was purchased, renovated and restored as a private residence.





Text: based on notes made by Mr Victor W. Eva in July 1969, at which time he lived in Prestbury Hall

Photograph:  from the air, about 1930