Lyme Park - History and Facts | History Hit

Lyme Park

Stockport, United Kingdom

Lily Johnson

24 Feb 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Lyme Park

The Lyme Park estate served as the seat of the Legh family for 600 years, with their striking family home its focal point. Its stunning architecture and vast historical collections draw visitors from far and wide, while its immense grounds epitomise the beauty of the Peak District.

Lyme Park history

The Legh family first came into possession of Lyme Park in the 14th century when it was given to Margaret Legh by her father Sir Thomas Danyers. Danyers was rewarded for his exploits during the Battle of Crecy, in which he served alongside the Black Prince. However, it was not until the 16th century that significant development of the house took place under Sir Piers Legh VII, with the original seat of the Legh family a rather more modest affair.

In the early 18th century the famed Venetian architect, Giacomo Leoni, transformed the mansion into something akin to what we see it today, with its Palladian design still a marvel to those who visit.

Perhaps the most notable aspects of Leoni’s work are the Ionic portico, considered the finest example of Palladian architecture still surviving in England today, and the magnificent Italian courtyard. Leoni also added the towers to the Cage, which formerly served as a hunting lodge.

Lyme Park today

Today, Lyme Hall is owned by the National Trust and showcases the varied and often notable lives of the Legh family through the 600 years in which they occupied the estate. Sir Piers Legh II, for example, served at Agincourt, while his son, Sir Piers Legh III, fought on the Yorkist side during the War of the Roses. Sir Thomas Legh was a notable explorer and Egyptologist in the 19th Century, and the family also included numerous politicians.

Visitors can explore the mansion’s lavish decorations, including Mortlake tapestries, woodcarvings and an exhibit examining English clocks. There is a beautiful Dutch garden and ‘reflection’ lake, while visitors can also walk through vast stretches of moorland that include a deer park, the Cage, and the Lantern, an old belvedere constructed to take in the surrounding views.

Fans of the BBC’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice will recognise Lyme Park as the location of Mr Darcy’s Pemberley estate, and the lake as the setting for his famous dip!

Getting to Lyme Park

Lyme Park is located in Disley, Cheshire. The entrance is just off the A6 and there is a carpark 1 mile from the Admissions Hut. The 199 bus stops on the A6 at the Lyme Park stop, a 30-minute walk away, while the nearest train station is Disley, 2 miles from the entrance and a 40-minute walk.

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