Set in the plains of North Shropshire, Hawkstone Hall has been called "the secret jewel of Shropshire." In the 18th and 19th centuries Hawkstone was ranked among the principal attractions in England, drawing legions of visitors who soon became admirers of its eccentric beauty. They came to see and to experience the enchantment of Hawkstone.
The House and Gardens are listed Grade I and are of unusual splendour. The ancestral home of the famous Hill family from 1556 to 1906, Hawkstone owes its magnificence to the "lucrative arithmetick" of the wealthy diplomat, Sir Richard Hill, known as the Great Hill.
The Hall and Gardens are now owned by the Redemptorists, a Catholic missionary congregation of priests and brothers. The restored house is now used as an International Pastoral Centre. For periods of three months at a time, Hawkstone becomes home to many priests, religious and lay people, who come from distant parts of the world to attend courses.
The places you are welcome to visit include:
* the Reception Room
* the Venetian Saloon
* the Billiards Room
* the Winter Garden
* the Refectory Gallery
* the Ballroom
* the Moriarty Room/Library
* the Chapel
* the Common Room
* the Corridor of Photographs
You are also welcome to wander around the pleasure gardens, originally established as a coniferous setting for the Hall in the 1720s. The grounds include the terraced lawns, the rose gardens, the azalea grove, and the leafy woodland. You can relax in the tranquil shade of the arbour and gaze across the lily pond at the majestic Wellingtonias that shelter the croquet lawn.
Returning to the House, you can visit the Courtyard Garden and enjoy home-made teas in the spacious Refectory Gallery. Books and cards are also available. After visiting the Hall, why not visit the restored Hawkstone Historic Follies? The entrance is off the Hodnet/Weston Road. Originally part of the estate belonging to the Hall, the Follies are now under the separate ownership of the Hawkstone Park Hotel.
In association with English Heritage, the Hall is open to the public each year, between 14th and 31st August from 1 - 5 pm. Admission to the House and Gardens is £4.50 for adults and £1.50 for children. Large groups are invited to phone the Guest Mistress for a guided tour.