Rufford Old Hall was home to the Hesketh family who originated from Hesketh village which was north of Rufford. Sir William Hesketh acquired half of Rufford Manor from his marriage to heiress Maud Fitton. The family inherited the other half of the manor from Fitton’s Sister. Looking over the 500-year-old family history of the Hesketh leaves one breathless and for history buffs it’s heaven. I was able to visit the Rufford Old Hall last weekend after celebrating my nephew’s 5th birthday. Even though I was busy the estate is small enough to enjoy a quick visit of the house and gardens.
What I have learned in the last 10 weeks of going on local adventures is that I live in the most beautiful country. Right here in my backyard I have places like Blenheim Palace, Basildon Park and the glorious Hughenden Manor. I spent most of 2016 jetting off to lands far afield and yet I had such beauty right around the corner. Even though history was never my favourite subject it’s weird to think I am enjoying learning about past lives. I walk into these beautiful and glorious manors and wonder how wonderful it must have been living in that time era. Victorian era has always been my favourite but then again I am yet to discover other eras but excited at the prospect. Visiting Rufford Old Hall definitely gave me a glimpse into the Hesketh family history and how they came to be.
Rufford Old Hall #localtourist
The history of the Hesketh family start as far back as the 13th century and increasing in richness from lucrative marriages. From the founder of the Hesketh family, sir William Hesketh to 7th Baronet who married an American heiress. Their fortune great from leaps and bounds through history which included an expansion in Fermor-Hesketh properties. Rufford Old Hall was later donated to the National Trust in 1923 by the Fermor-Hesketh family for preservation.
Things to do at Rufford Old Hall
Rufford Old Hall is a great location for families, couples and solo travelers like myself. It’s small and quaint but has lots to offer alongside the long 500-year-old family history. On top of that you can enjoy
- Tour the house. Whilst the house is small it has so much to offer from the armour used in the warm to the beautiful china collected on his adventures across the world.
- Touring the beautiful estate grounds. This autumn the leaves have made the grounds even more beautiful and perfect place to enjoy a nice autumnal walk
- Retail therapy. One of my little enjoyments in life is buying fudge, candles and little bits from the National Trust properties.
- Have a picnic. After touring the grounds you can enjoy a picnic in the beautiful gardens. The wide open spaces plus being so close to the stream makes it a perfect romantic place.
- Enjoy some nice cakes in the tea room. I always make it a point of having a nice cup of tea and cake. Since the Baronet was a traveler, Rufford Old Hall has some nice variety of worldly teas including my favourite Roibos from South Africa.
Things to know
- Free parking included in fee and in membership for members.
- Bottle warming services available
- Guided tours and talks offered at 12pm and 1pm
- Dogs welcome on some parts of the estate and in other areas only assistance dogs allowed
- Baby changing facilities available
- Mobility parking available