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Little Moreton Hall is a moated 15th and 16th-century half-timbered manor house southwest of Congleton, Cheshire It is one of the finest examples of timber-framed domestic architecture in England The house is today owned by the National Trust. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building, and is protected as a Scheduled Monument So picturesque is the house that it has been described as "a ginger bread house lifted straight from a fairy story or even the crooked house of Grimms fairy tales" The earliest parts of the house were built for the prosperous Cheshire landowner Sir Richard de Moreton around 1450; the remainder was constructed in various campaigns by three successive generations of the family until around 1580. The house remained in the ownership of the Moreton family for almost five centuries.

The building is highly irregular, with asymmetrical façades that ramble around three sides of a small cobbled courtyard, with "bays and porches jostling each other for space
While the building technique of Little Moreton Hall is unremarkable for Cheshire houses dating from this period – an oak framework filled with wattle and daub set upon stone footings– the architecture is interesting because although medieval and provincial in concept, the long period of its evolution encompassed the Renaissance era. As a result, Renaissance motifs can be seen in the carving of the beams and some of the interior fireplaces However, any Renaissance ornament is overpowered by the patterning of the wooden framework. Diagonal black oak beams creating chevron and lozenge patterns adorn the façades. The geometric shapes formed are filled by white painted wattle and daub or windows. Higher in the façades under the eaves and in the numerous gables a recurrent quatrefoil motif is evident on the woodwork.
Today, fully restored, the house still buckles and tilts under the weight of the long gallery perched precariously on top of the south wing..The Long Gallery seems to have been an afterthought, conceived during the construction of the gatehouse on which it sits. Arch-braced roof trusses support the weight of the heavy stone slates on the roof, while the gallery itself is loaded directly onto the first-floor ceiling joists. The fact that the entire South wing has little or no foundation goes someway to explain the lopsided appearance of the house. Iron-tie rods were inserted at the end of the nineteenth century as a further precaution against collapse, but the crooked and bowed windows, floors, panelling and beams all combine to make visitors to Little Moreton feel somewhat seasick. It has been suggested that the heavily decorated fireplace in the Upper Porch Room, just off the Long Gallery, is the only true vertical in the house The garden has been restored to its heyday; flowerbeds in their original planting schemes a carefully clipped knot garden and an orchard. Biblical wall paintings, which were discovered behind Georgian panelling, can be seen in the Parlour, while the drawing Room houses a round table on an octagonal base that may have been made to fit the window. Much of the hall's interest lies in the architectural details on display, such as the plasterwork in the Long Gallery depicting Destiny and Fortune and the console bracket in the Guests' Hall.Little Moreton Hall is regarded as one of the best preserved timbered houses in the country. We just loved it and can recommend a visit to anyone in the area....

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Jul 28 2012 22:06 GMT wijnie58
WOW Fantastic story you tell us, Joan...
Beautiful Morton Hall....:-))
Jul 28 2012 22:21 GMT superJoan
It sure is beautiful Wijne, and so well preserved..... lots of money spent over the years to keep it in it's present condition. The windows were especially wonderful...when you think that we had a tax on windows, the family must have been very wealthy...thanks
Jul 28 2012 22:23 GMT pauli3522
what a beautiful building....wow..amazing
Jul 28 2012 23:47 GMT gtc126
Beautiful architectual Series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jul 28 2012 23:54 GMT MargNZ
Fascinating building and lovely capture Joan :)
Jul 29 2012 04:15 GMT sini
Great building images!:)
Jul 29 2012 07:51 GMT Annamaria
Stunning architecture!! I love this kind of buildings! I read you had a tax on windows in England? Why was that, Joan?
Jul 29 2012 10:06 GMT hans55 PRO
very nice captured !!
Jul 29 2012 14:18 GMT FRIESIAN
Fantastic photo and story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jul 29 2012 16:12 GMT clintonfolks
a fave.!!!
Jul 29 2012 19:15 GMT elsje323
beautiful architecture
Jul 29 2012 19:18 GMT Papagena
Stunning series and informations Joan !!

In Switzerland we have also this kind of houses: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Andwil_Dorfkern.jpg
Jul 29 2012 22:23 GMT superJoan
Annamaria...The window tax was a property tax based on the number of windows in a house.18th and 19th century. It was a significant social, cultural, and architectural force in England To avoid the tax some houses from the period can be seen to have bricked-up window-spaces (ready to be glazed later.The tax was introduced in England and Wales under the Act for making good the Deficiencies of several Funds therein mentioned and for enlarging the Capital Stock of the Bank of England
The term "daylight robbery" is thought to have originated from the window tax as it was described by some as a "tax on light
Jul 29 2012 22:25 GMT superJoan
Ruth thanks for the information...