Middleton Hall Restoration
The last 30 years of Middleton Hall’s history have been arguably the most dramatic. The Hall and grounds have been transformed from an unloved ruin to historic gem by the team of volunteers at the Middleton Hall Trust.
- The restoration has been carried out by volunteer labour over the last 35 years.
- English Heritage granted the Trust special dispensation to restore the buildings to the state of their original construction.
- Our next big project is the ‘Tudor Barn’ which is part of The Courtyard.
Having been a beloved family home for the Willoughby family for 500 years Middleton Hall was sold in 1925, and then sold on again in the 1966 to Amey Roadstone and became prey to the effects of the gravel extraction that dominated the stretch of the Tame before it enters Tamworth.
For the latter half of the twentieth century Middleton Hall was allowed to fall into serious decay. When, in the late 1970s, a group of ramblers came across its crumbling shell. The hall had stood abandoned for less than 20 years and yet in that time it was thought that irreparable damage had been done, by the elements and by vandals. The Grounds had become overgrown and wild and the buildings were barely standing. By the time Middleton Hall was given Grade II listed status, its grand stained glass windows had been smashed, its woodwork was rotting away and some roofs and floors were missing.
There is however a happy end to this story as for the past 30 years, Middleton Hall has been lovingly transformed thanks to the skill and devotion of a large team of volunteers. Since the Middleton Hall Restoration Trust, a registered charity, was set up in 1980, volunteers have put in hundreds of thousands of hours of work to rebuild, renovate and restore the site. And there is still a huge amount of work to be done and the Trust always welcomes new volunteers to continue its valuable historic and conservation work.
During the early days of the Trust volunteers had to become history detectives. They set about researching the history of Middleton Hall and developing an archive of drawings and photographs which were to become the blue prints on which the restoration plans were drawn up, for both the Hall, the walled gardens and the grounds of the estate. The Hall’s Georgian facia was stripped back to reveal disintegrating evidence of a once striking example of Tudor architecture. The buildings, which span 700 years of English domestic architecture, were sympathetically and painstakingly reconstructed using traditional techniques of the periods and where possible returned to the form of their original construction. The 42 acres, which include two walled gardens, a moat, evidence of the Hall’s industrial and agricultural past and the earliest man-made lake in Warwickshire has been carefully nurtured by the Trust volunteers. The grounds are noted for the variety of wild flowers and the wildlife they attract from bats, moths and a wide variety of breeding birds.