Who lives in eaton hall chester
IN the reign of Henry III. the manor of Eaton was possessed by Hamon de Pulford, whose son
RICHARD took his name of ETON from the place itself, and it continued with his descendants, the Etons, till after the death of
JOHN ETON, whose daughter and heiress,
JOAN ETON, by her marriage with Ralph, second son of Sir Thomas Grosvenor, conveyed it into the family of the present owner.
At the close of the last century Eaton Hall was a heavy brick mansion, built by the architect, Sir John Vanbrugh, on whom the sarcastic epitaph was written,
The gardens, too, were formed on a corresponding model, diversified with straight walks and leaden statues, In the year 1818, it was transformed into a sort of ecclesiastical Gothic, and enlarged by Mr. Porden, for the first Marquis of Westminster. In 1846 and following years it was altered for the second Marquis by Mr. Burn, the well-known architect. In 1870 extensive alterations were again commenced for the present Duke by Mr. Alfred Waterhouse, and were completed in 1882. The style adopted by the architect is Gothic, but of a widely different type from that of the mansion of 1818. The plan of the building is in some respects materially changed and enlarged by the addition of a wing for the accommodation of the family, by that of a chapel thrown out on the north-west side of the mansion, and a clock-tower about two hundred feet high. The tower contains twenty-eight bells, cast by Van Aerschadt of Louvain; and a clock, with machinery for playing on the bells.
Some fine iron gates, which formed the entrance to the court of the old mansion, having been repaired and added to, again form the entrance to the enclosure iu front of the main portion of the mansion.
The entrance hall has a dado of green Genoese marble, with large slabs of Derbyshire alabaster; and the floor consists of a fine pavement of ‘‘ opus Alexandrinum. ”
In the saloon are some large paintings decorating the walls; these are subjects from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, painted by Mr. Marks, A.R.A. A new library, placed at right angles to the principal suite of rooms and extending along the south front, is a handsome apartment, measuring ninety feet by thirty feet, furnished with walnut wood fittings and enriched with five historical paintings by West. These were painted for the first Earl Grosvenor, and originally hung in Grosvenor House.
The drawing room is elaborately decorated; and on the walls are silk embroidered panels, designed by Miss Jekyll, and executed by the Royal School of Art Needle-work, at South Kensington. The chimney-piece was executed in Rome in 1868: the columns were copied from some examples in the cloisters of St. John, Lateran. The ante-drawing room is decorated with paintings of birds by Marks, A.R.A. This apartment is fitted with walnut wood, and contains some family portraits.
The dining room is also furnished with walnut fittings; and has a fine old marble chimney-piece from a Palace in Genoa. Here are two pictures by Snyders from the Grosvenor House collection-life size portraits of the first Marquis and Marchioness, by Jackson; and those of the present Duke and the late Duchess, by J. E. Millais, R.A.
A long corridor paved with ‘‘ Roman ”marble mosaic, leads to the private wing and the chapel. The fittings of the chapel are made of walnut wood. The reredos is of alabaster and Devonshire serpentine. The painted glass windows and the glass mosaic illustrate the Te Deum, from the designs of Mr. Shidds
The flower gardens cover fully fifty acres of ground, and they, too, when tho house was pulled down, received the like share of alteration and improvement.
The views in the neighborhood are very fine, embracing towards the west the Welsh mountains; towards the east the Pockforton Hills, with the crag on which stand the ruins of Beeston Castle; on the south the Dee follows its winding course, the gardens sloping down to its bank; and at the distance of a mile and a half the parish church of Ecleston, a beautiful Gothic building, adds the last feature, which may be said to be wanting to no country house in England.
There is a large collection of valuable pictures, among which are, –Our SAVIOUR on the Mount of Olives, by Claude Lorraiue, said to be the largest picture ever painted by that artist; a View of the Mediterranean, by Rubens; David and Abigail, by Vernet; Rubens and his second wife, by himself.
The family of Grosvenor is of French extraction, and is stated to be composed of the words "gros" and "veneur." It deduces from Gilbert Le Grosvenor, a companion to the Norman William I.
In the year 1874, the present possessor was further advanced in the peerage, and created Duke of Westminster.
Transcribed from "A Series of Picturesque Views of Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen, of Great Britain and Ireland"
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