Grid Ref. SJ 818 574
May 2000: The National Gardens Scheme Open Day & 11 September 2014

Rode Hall   Hall
Rode Hall   Visitors on the Open Day
Rhododendrons   Bluebells
Rhododendrons   Bluebell glade
Rode Hall  


The Hall in 2014   The walled kitchen garden in September

Rode Hall is the seat of Sir Richard Baker Wilbraham and is open to the public during the summer.   The grounds are open for a few days a year in connection with the The National Gardens Scheme.  The following notes are from the Lysons' Magna Britannia, Vol. 2, published in 1810, page 492.

A moiety of the manor of Odd-Rode belonged for several generations to the ancient family of Rode who had their residence at Rode Hall; this moiety was purchased in 1669 from Randle Rode Esq. by Roger Wilbraham Esq. great grandfather of Randle Wilbraham Esq. the present proprietor.  The ancient hall was taken down and the present mansion erected on the site about 1752.

A Guide to the Country Houses of the Northwest by John Martin Robinson, published by Constable, London, 1991, gives the following description.

A Queen Ann and Georgian house of red brick built in several phases.  The oldest part was built by Randle Wilbraham I, shortly after the family acquired the estate and was said to be new in 1708.  A large new house, five bays by four, was erected on the north west side by Randle Wilbraham II in 1752 and the older building then became offices.  Further alterations were carried out 1799 to 1800, to the design of John Hope, by Mrs. Richard Wilbraham Bootle.  A new entrance was created on the south west side.  Then in 1810, an extension was made on the opposite side of the house for a new dining room designed by Lewis Wyatt.  The exterior was stuccoed at that time and the stucco was removed in 1927.  The Wilbrahams of Rode inherited Lathom in Lancashire in the late 18th century whereupon Rode became the house for the younger son, passing to Sir George Baker, 5th Bt., by his marriage to Katherine Wilbraham in 1872.  He then took the name Wilbraham.  The current owner is Sir Richard Baker Wilbraham, 8th Bt., who inherited in 1980.

Sir George Baker, 1st Bt, was physician to George III.  He was born in 1722, educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge, graduating in 1745;  MD, 1756; FCP, 1757; FRS, baronet and physician to the king and queen in 1776.  (National Dictionary of Biography).  He is portrayed in the film The Madness of King George, written by Alan Bennet.  See also The Purple Secret: Genes, Madness and the Royal Houses of Europe, by John C. G. Rohl, Martin Warren, and David Hunt, Corgi Books, 1999.

There is a Wilbraham monument in the choir vestry at St. Mary's, Astbury. The photograph below has been corrected for perspective as it is high on a wall. The inscription translates in part "Richard, first born son of Ranulph Wilbraham, armiger and Mary his wife, 6 February 1757. An armiger is a person with the right to bear a coat of arms, granted by the monarch through letters patent.

Wilbraham Monument
Monument at Astbury


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