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The History of the Mansion

Tatton Park was owned by the Egerton family from 1598, when it was purchased by Sir Thomas Egerton from his half sister Dorothy Brereton.

It was not until the early 18th century when Tatton Park was inherited by John Egerton that a branch of the Egerton family made it their main residence and a “new” house was built on the site of the present Mansion and completed circa 1716.

It was his son, Samuel Egerton, who had a huge impact on the design of the Mansion. From 1758 he began to make improvements to the house and estate, perhaps the most impressive of which was the installation of an exuberant Rococo interior to his Drawing Room - later to become the Dining Room.

watercolour JP Neale views of the seats of noblemen in England Wales Scotland Ireland pd 1823 LondonDuring the 1770’s, towards the end of his life, Samuel Egerton commissioned the architect Samuel Wyatt to produce designs for a Neo-Classical Mansion house on the present site, the first stage of which was completed after his death in 1791.

The Mansion was completed and furnished in very elegant and fashionable style during the tenure of Wilbraham Egerton (1781-1856), but on a reduced scale to the original plans. Lewis William Wyatt, the nephew of Samuel Wyatt, designed many of the present interiors and Wilbraham was responsible for the purchase of many of the fine paintings and artefacts within the collection including much of the Gillow furniture for which Tatton is now famed. Learn more about our collection.

Further alterations were made to the Mansion in the 19th century. In the 1860’s an upper floor was added to the family wing, with the addition of the Family Entrance Hall in 1884, which became an informal access to the Mansion in the time of Wilbraham, Earl Egerton. This was also the year in which Tatton became one of the first houses outside London to benefit from the installation of an electrical system which was powered by a plant on the estate.

During Wilbraham’s ownership of Tatton Park, the house received many illustrious visitors, perhaps the most famous of which were their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1887, and the Shah of Persia and Crown Prince of Siam in the 1890’s. It was in the late Victorian period that the Egertons of Tatton reached the pinnacle of their social status, with Wilbraham, Earl Egerton, hosting great house parties here at Tatton.

Maurice, the last Lord Egerton, perhaps made the greatest gesture bequeathing the Mansion and Gardens to the National Trust on his death in 1958 for the enjoyment of the nation. An exhibition of some of the wonderfully eccentric and diverse collections he amassed during his lifetime can now be seen in the Maurice Egerton Exhibition Room