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Expansion plans too damaging

The Victorian Society is warning that plans to build a new wing at Crewe Hall hotel in Cheshire will cause lasting damage to the setting of this exceptionally important building.

Courtesy of David Quick via Flickr

Grade I-listed Crewe Hall dates back to the early 17th century but has undergone numerous alterations and extensions. In 1870 it was rebuilt by EM Barry so that it is essentially a complete Victorian mansion within a Jacobean shell.

The hotel site is also home to a Grade II*-listed stable block and both buildings lie in a listed landscape designed by the celebrated 19th century landscape architect, WA Nesfield.

The owner, Q Hotels, has applied to build an extra 46 rooms in a new wing to the north of the listed building. It says it needs the rooms to cope with an increased demand for its spa and conference facilities.

'It's hard to overstate the importance of Crewe Hall to Cheshire's heritage and yet too many decisions have been made which badly compromise its setting', said Chris Costelloe, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'An industrial estate borders the park to the east and three years ago permission was given to build an unsympathetic hotel extension to the north. It's time the hall was protected from any further damaging development'.

The steady erosion of the park and gardens has led English Heritage to place the grounds of Crewe Hall on its Heritage at Risk Register.

The Victorian Society is urging East Cheshire council to refuse permission for the scheme.

History

The original part of Crewe Hall was constructed between 1615 and 1636. It was rebuilt by E Blore between 1830-40 and then substantially rebuilt by EM Barry in 1870. The now degraded mid 19th Century formal gardens are by WA Nesfield. Capability Brown, William Eames and Humphry Repton are all said to have worked on the landscaped park which is one of only 1600 parks and gardens registered for their historic interest.

Thursday 11 November, 2010

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