Welcome to Little Moreton Hall, a spectacular example of Tudor craftsmanship. This tour will provide an insight into the Hall, the people whose influence shaped it and how the National Trust now cares for this iconic treasure.
Little Moreton Hall took shape during the 16th century. Building began in 1504 when William Moreton I built the Great Hall and part of the East Range. The appearance of the Hall today owes much to William’s son, William Moreton II who installed the great bay windows and built a new domestic wing.
William II also planned the building of the South Range, the first side that visitors to Little Moreton Hall encounter. Proud of his achievements, William had his name inscribed on to the barge boards above the bay windows in the courtyard. He instigated the construction of the South Range which included a fashionable Long Gallery. The last major building work took place under the ownership of William Moreton III in the early 17th century when the bakehouse and brewhouse were added.
The Moretons had made their money through farming and several generations of the family made prudent marriages. During the Civil War the family fortunes began to wane as the Moreton’s support for the King’s cause saw lands confiscated, heavy fines imposed, and Little Moreton used as temporary accommodation for Parliamentarian soldiers. After the Civil War ended the Moretons gradually moved away. From the late 1600s to the early 1900s Little Moreton was let to tenants who farmed the estate. With no Moreton family members living here permanently, little modernisation took place.
In 1892 Little Moreton Hall was inherited by Elizabeth Moreton, who did a great deal of work to stabilise the structure, repairing and restoring throughout the building. Elizabeth had no heirs and left Little Moreton to her distant cousin, Bishop Charles Abraham. Bishop Abraham continued the preservation work begun by Elizabeth Moreton and opened Little Moreton to the public. Entry cost 6d (2 ½ p) and visitors were served afternoon tea in the Withdrawing Room. In 1938 Bishop Abraham gave Little Moreton Hall to the National Trust.
Produced for the National Trust by Corvidae Ltd.
Richard Crowest (Corvidae)
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