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Dunham Massey

Dunham Massey is an Elizabethan house which was extensively remodelled by John Norris in 1732-40 for the 2nd Earl of Warrington. On the 2nd Earl’s death in 1758 the house passed through marriage to the Earls of Stamford. In 1789 the entrance front was remodelled by John Hope of Liverpool, and then again in 1905 by Compton Hall who created a neo-Caroline façade loosely based on Sudbury in Derbyshire. Hall was also commissioned to design Dunham’s sumptuous Edwardian interiors. Much to Hall's annoyance, much of the interior decoration was carried out by Perry Macquoid, an interior designer and furniture historian who was married to Lady Stamford’s cousin. The 10th Earl, who did a great deal to preserve the estate from development in the mid-20th century, left Dunham to the National Trust in 1976 – one of the most generous gifts in the Trust’s history.

Visitor Information

Address:
Altrincham,
Cheshire,
England,
WA14 4SJ

Telephone: 0161 941 1025

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunham-massey

Accredited Museum

Dunham Massey, Cheshire (Accredited Museum)

This collection has 31,818 items online

Dunham Massey houses highly impressive collections of silver, furniture and paintings as well as a library containing original books, influenced by the Booth family and particularly by the 2nd Earl of Warrington. In fact, the extensive handcrafted Huguenot silverware collection amassed by the 2nd Earl includes possibly the earliest known surviving piece remaining in Europe – and possibly in the world – an egg cup holder by Peter Archambo. It also includes a silver cistern (1741) by Phillip Rollos made for the 2nd Earl. Notably, amongst the varied paintings collection are family portraits of the 2nd Earl and his daughter Lady Mary Booth, various paintings of successional Earls by Thomas Patch, Guercino’s ‘Allegory with Venus, Mars, Cupid and Time’ (c.1624-6), and also an early and remarkable bird’s eye view of Dunham by Adriaen van Diest (1697). Stand out pieces of the furniture collection include the recently restored state bed featuring Ostrich and Heron feather plumes and curtains made of crimson silk velvet, dating from the 1680s originally made for the Duchess of Somerset, an array of beautifully crafted wooden furniture pieces such as a walnut side-table with scagliola top from c.1715 and also a grand staircase of solid mahogany made for the 2nd Earl. In addition to being home to books, the library contains a large astronomical Orrery by Thomas Wright and displays the earliest known work of ‘The Crucifixion’ by Grinling Gibbons, who later went on to work at Windsor Castle, St Paul’s Cathedral and Hampton Court.

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