The elegant neoclassical style mansion was built in the 1770s by Samuel Egerton and designed by the architect Samuel Wyatt. Building was finally completed in 1807–16, on a reduced scale, by Wilbraham Egerton and Lewis William Wyatt, the nephew of Samuel Wyatt's.
The rich furnishings of Tatton Park mansion and its important collection of paintings and books reflect the growing wealth and status of the Egerton family at the end of the eighteenth and during the nineteenth centuries. The Mansion has sumptuously decorated staterooms and family rooms it also houses one of the National Trust's finest libraries and an outstanding collection of Gillow's of Lancaster furniture and Baccarat glass.
The attractive entrance hall (below right) is decorated in the neoclassical style with a marble floor and Ionic columns. Furniture in the room includes two late seventeenth century Italian chests of drawers, a walnut chest dating from around 1730 and a nineteenth century walnut table and chairs. On each side of a central niche are marble busts of the Duke of Wellington and William Pitt the Younger which stand on columns.
The Music Room has walls decorated with cherry-coloured silk damask, much of the furniture in this room is in the French Boulle revival style, two vases displayed on the mantelpiece are Meissen and date from the nineteenth century. Paintings in the room include two views of Venice by Canaletto, The Sacrifice of Noah by Poussin, The Martyrdom of St. Stephen by Van Dyck, and paintings by Annibale Carracci and Giovanni Battista Cimaroli.
The impressive library at Tatton Hall (pictured below left) which looks out over the Italian garden, contains over 8,000 books, many still in their original covers. The earliest book in the collection is dated 1513. Some of the books are unbound and in their original paper covers, including two first editions of Jane Austen novels. Visitors can now read carefully selected books and access digitised copies from the collection. Other than a fine portrait of King Charles II, all the paintings in the library are portraits of members of the Egerton family.
There were 24 bedrooms during the Egerton family ownership of Tatton, including six guest or principal suites and those in the family wing. The furnishings of all bedrooms in the mansion were supplied by Gillows of Lancaster in 1811 and 1812, with variations of wood and style. The suites were known by the prevalent type or colour of the original drapery – Blue, Morine, Chintz, Silk, Amber and Lemon. All except for the Lemon Bedroom had adjoining dressing rooms. In the Silk and Lemon Bedrooms much of the original furniture can still be seen, laid out as it was when first supplied.
Visitors can also obtain a vivid picture of what life was like for the hall's servants by touring the Victorian kitchens, cellars and servants’ quarters. Tatton has received royal visitors in the past, the Prince and Princess of Wales (the future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) stayed at the hall in 1887, when visiting the area for the Golden Jubilee Exhibition in Manchester. The Shah of Persia has also been a visitor.
Tatton Park Gardens cover 50 acres and reflect over 250 years of garden design. The gardens are renowned for their remarkable glasshouses, the Japanese Garden, considered the finest in Europe and the extensive Kitchen Gardens. Historic Tatton Old Hall was built as a manor house in the early fifteenth century by either the Stanley family or by Sir Richard Brereton. The hall, which is reputedly haunted, stands near to the site of the now disappeared village of Tatton. The estate hosts a varied programme of over 100 events each year.
Tatton Park had been owned by the aristocratic Egerton family from 1598 when Sir Thomas Egerton of Ashridge in Hertfordshire, the illegitimate son of Richard Egerton, purchased the estate from his half sister Dorothy Brereton. When Maurice, 4th and last Baron Egerton of Tatton, died in 1958 the house and its contents were bequeathed to the National Trust.
Tatton Park is situated in the town of Knutsford, Cheshire in the North West of England and is easily accessible from major roads and railways with good public transport links to Knutsford. Tatton Park is signposted from Junction 7 of the M56 and Junction 19 of the M6. Parking is available near Tatton Park's Mansion and Stableyard area.