Daresbury Hall is a 35 acre site that stands merely 10 minutes away from where I live in the area of South Warrington yet it is something barely anyone talks about let alone visits in recent years. Daresbury village itself is of course known as being the birthplace of Lewis Carroll, and has always been the residency of many well-kept modern heritage mansions. It remains a proud part of the town of Warrington, Daresbury Hall estate once being the very centre of that pride. It was built back in 1759 where for most of its life it stood as a Georgian stately home.
For a time it was home to Lord Daresbury and his family as part of the original Greenall brewery family estate in it's prime, now known as The De Vere Group. Thereafter, during World War 2 the estate was converted to be used as a military hospital, and the Lewis Carroll unit once represented the areas local history through medical service. After the war the undoubted utility of the site meant that it was then sold to the national spastic’s society now known as 'scope' and used as both a care home and school, which is the reason as to why the estate can be seen to have many corresponding structures such as the row of 'digs' outhouse buildings and the caretakers bungalow which were evidently built not according to the dexterity of the original architecture as one might have hoped.
Many years after the spastic society had vacated the premises, it was sold to a millionaire bachelor for a sizeable fee and the manor returned to it's former use as a stately home. Sadly, due to poor maintenance following his death the buildings have fallen into a state of disrepair and the grounds are now uninhabitable. Word has it that the manor stood exactly as the owner had left it for some time, and no possessions were handed forward until the building was emptied following years of vandalism. To the present date Daresbury Hall has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II listed building and seeks planning permission to be restored, but upon visiting the site one can only imagine the mammoth task this would be. Of all the surrounding buildings, the majority would need demolishing. Especially the Lewis Carroll unit and the spastic society housing which have both become something of an eyesore.
The estate does have some hidden gems however, the swimming pool and changing rooms are still in surprisingly original condition , along with the garage to the rear where a finance company appears to have operated at one time under the name 'Rains & son'. A Ford Sierra courtesy car indicates at the very latest this was abandoned in the mid 80's. Daresbury Hall Estate has been subject to a series of 'ghost hunter' operations, with teams of enthusiasts and TV crews visiting the site to explore its apparent supernatural potential given it's history and undeniably eerie presence. There were certain parts that we were just not willing to explore, if only because due to recent safety measures many of the windows have been boarded up making it near impossible to navigate and therefore photograph. I will be revisiting this site very soon, as I feel I have only just scratched the surface. So watch this space!
Archive photograph of the manor in it's last known state of occupied use, March 2002:
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