There has been a house on the site of Adlington Hall, Macclesfield, from as early as 1040, when the Leigh family built a hunting lodge in the forest of Macclesfield.
The first recorded building to occupy the site was a Saxon hunting lodge belonging to Earl Edwin. After the Norman conquest of 1066, the estate was given to Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, William the Conqueror's nephew. He was known by the nickname of le Gros (the Fat), he would also acquire the nickname Lupus (the Wolf) for his savage ferocity against the Welsh. The estate remained in the possession of the Earls of Chester until 1221, when it passed to the Crown. The manor was given to Hugh de Corona by the Plantagenet king, Henry III. On the death of Hugh 's son Thomas, who had no children, the estate passed to his sister Ellen, who married John de Legh of Booth in the early fourteenth century, after which it became the ancestral home of the Leghs of Adlington.
Set in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, the current building was begun in 1315, although late medieval and Tudor remodeling have since changed its appearance. The Great Hall is a late fifteenth century addition, while a half timbered Tudor manor was added in the following century.
The medieval Great Hall occupies the major section of the north wing. The hall boasts a hammer-beam roof, with carvings of angels . The roof is plastered, but has been painted in such a manner to make it appear to be panelled. At the end that would have originally been occupied by the high table is "the finest canopy in the county", according to the authors of the Buildings of England series. This is "a rare wooden version of the cloths of estate hung over the high table in the Middle Ages to give splendour to the appearance of the Lord of the Manor". It consists of five tiers of panels, divided by oak ribs into 60 compartments, each of which is painted with the arms of Cheshire families. At the intersections of the ribs, instead of bosses, there are carved letters spelling out an inscription including the date 1505.
The Georgian west wing and south front were added in 1757 with a stone portico which has four Ionic columns on octagonal pedestals. The Great Hall boasts a superb hammerbeam roof, the hall also contains an eighteenth century organ, built by Bernard Smith (c1670-80) which is reputed to have been played by Handel and is the largest 17th century organ in the country.
The house is surrounded by gardens landscaped in the style of Capability Brown in the eighteenth century, the Lime Avenue was planted in 1688, the folly Temple of Diana has a beautiful painted ceiling, there is also a rose garden and maze. The estate covers over 2,000 acres, with woodland walks and an attractive lake.
The hall and gardens are open by prior arrangement to groups, and can be booked for corporate events.