Marple Hall is probably Marple's greatest historical loss. If it had survived a few more years it may have become a tourist attraction like Bramhall Hall but sadly that was not to be and all we can do today is speculate what might have been. However, at least you can at least take a Guided Tour of the hall through these pages and learn something about the incredible history that helped shape the community we live in today and discover a few relics that people managed to save.
SCARCELY a month goes by without one reading of a venerable old home, no longer tenanted, and shorn of the revenues which for so long maintained it, standing forlorn and silent, awaiting an inglorious end. There must be many such buildings up and down the land, but usually it is to the larger and more stately houses that publicity is given.
Many of the smaller manors and halls in the country, possessing little or no architectural value but rich in historic associations, are also silently passing away without the requiem of the Press, and there are few to mourn their passing.
Charles Bellairs befriended Thomas Bradshaw-Isherwood whilst the pair were at university together at Oxford, in 1837, and the families became inextricably linked when Charles married Thomas's sister, Anna Maria Isherwood, in 1839, and Thomas married Charles's sister, Mary Ellen, the following year. During Charles's first visit to Marple Hall, in 1838, he kept a 'journal' describing in detail the events and conversations that took place, particularly between himself and Thomas's father, John, then Squire of Marple Hall. This article, written by M. A. Robson and published in Listener Magazine in 1954, describes a great deal of the content in Charles' own words and give a fascinating insight into the times and the people concerned.
No one knows exactly how long the two French Gobelins tapestries had hung in Marple Hall when they were described by caretaker Frank Tunstall in the 1920s:
"On the principal walls of the Drawing room hang two large pieces of Gobelin tapestry. The design of the piece over the fireplace represent the goddess Diana, with weapons of the chase and the god Bacchus surrounded by a vine tree and fruit, holding up a wreath of roses, lilies and other flowers. Louis XIV is also depicted on horseback hunting a stag with hounds. The piece on the opposite wall is of similar size......
Henry Bradshaw-Isherwood inherited Marple Hall at the age of fifty-six following the death of his father, John, in 1924. Henry tried living at the Hall for a short while but soon returned to London, placing it in the hands of caretakers.
Today, the shutters from Marple Hall on display in Marple Library are essentially part of the fixtures and fittings and it's now (in 2017) almost 18 years since they were recovered, restored and installed there by the Marple Website. Here's how it happened.
....my partner has in her possession shutters from Marple Hall. We would like them to go to a caring home please contact by phone or email.