This is the gorgeous Little Moreton Hall and it's gloriously on the wonk. I can't remember how often I've seen photos of it, but until recently I knew neither its name nor its location. Once the final bit of the jigsaw had fallen into place and I discovered it was within spitting distance of Biddulph Grange the decision was made. A visit was on the cards. I knew I would love it, but took the rather unusual approach for me and didn't look up anything about it. I wanted to experience it without any preconceived ideas. Was, to put it simply, blown away. It has everything I love in spades and is utterly charming.
The inner courtyard.
Decorative detailing and a close up of the white wyvern guarding each side of the door. This is not the first time I've seen these creatures placed either side of a door on my travels. Whilst their presence may well be heraldic, I am increasingly beginning to wonder if they didn't serve some sort of protective purpose. The house has over 250 apotropaic marks [witch marks as some call them] and 13 deliberate taper burns so it doesn't seem beyond the realms of possibility.
Some of the original carvings and the windows made by Richard Dale....he must have been pleased as punch with his handiwork as he's left his name for all to see. He was named as the head wright and workman in William Moreton's will in 1563.
The wall paintings were discovered behind the panelling by an electrician in 1976. They date from c1590. The devils looking down on me in the chapel just made me chuckle.
"Which bit of the room do you think is straight?" asked the room steward. It was hard to judge when you were there, but it's actually the fireplace apparently!
This fancy brickwork is called diapering and gets its name from the diamond shape. The American diaper was named after the diamond shape of nappies.
To round off this is the jewel in the crown. The long gallery. It has wonderful plasterwork images at either end and was used for playing real tennis in back in the day....the balls were found behind the plasterwork!