Bolesworth Castle

The History Of Bolesworth Castle

LocationTattenhall, County of Cheshire, England (Google Maps)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned byThe Barbour Family
Official WebsiteBolesworth Castle
Rooms AvailableYes (Events, Filming)

Bolesworth Castle is a magnificent country house castle that has been the home of the Barbour family for over 150 years. It is situated at the heart of a splendid 6,000-acre dairy farming estate in Cheshire. The castle has a lot to offer to the visitors, including the eventful and famous Bolesworth Castle Christmas and Bolesworth Castle balloon race. 


Bolesworth Castle stands on the location of a previous gothic house, built in the 1750s. George Walmsley bought the castle in 1826 and rebuilt it at an enormous expense. He employed the architect William Cole, a pupil of the famous Chester architect Thomas Harrison. This enterprise ruined Walmsley, due to which he was forced to sell the castle in 1836 to Thomas Crallan, owner of The Sun Brewery in Ardwick, Manchester. He spent loads of time and money on improving the castle and estate but died before he could enjoy his retirement there. After he died in 1856, the castle and estate were put up for auction. 

Bolesworth Castle was purchased by the Barbour family bought in 1856. Robert Barbour came to Manchester from Glasgow in 1815 and set up a cotton trading business known as Robert Barbour & Brother. As Manchester was heavily polluted, he decided to move his family to a rural and friendly Cheshire. He was a profoundly religious man who believed God intended him to do his work there. Robert Barbour was later succeeded by his son George Barbour and later by his grandson Robert Barbour. He employed the architect Clough Williams- Ellis to modernize and remodel the castle in 1921. 

After Robert’s sudden death from falling from his horse, his eldest son Richard became in charge of Bolesworth Castle in 1928. Robert’s wife, Ida, held the family together through the Depression of the thirties. By the Second World War outbreak, the carefree family life revolving around hunting and horses was re-established.


Bolesworth Castle
Bolesworth Castle, by Jonathan Hutchins, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Bolesworth Castle is recorded in the National Heritage List in England as a designated Grade II listed building. Today, the only 18th century surviving features are the lake, with its bridge and boathouse. It was created by the previous owner John Crewe in 1780 and is known as Mr Crewe’s New River. 

The architect Clough Williams-Ellis put electricity in the house, which was previously lit by gas piped up from the gasworks in Tattenhall. He also included modern plumbing in the 1920’s style, with wonderfully large baths with lion’s claw feet. The heating system is still used today, and a telephone was also included, housed in a special telephone box in the hall at the base of the main staircase. Clough laid out the structure of the present garden from 1883-to 84. The terracing and stairs in front of the castle were built, replacing the sloping lawns. The large stone garden seat was placed at the end of the broad gravelled path running along the terrace.

Today it has transformed into a desirable location that hosts the highest level of equestrian and sporting events and championships without compromising the scenic landscape. The Bolesworth Castle Events are the most sought-after events, with visitors coming from across the globe.

Movie Features

The Amazing Race (2001): Bolesworth Castle is featured in Episode: Hei Ho Heidi Ho (2014) of the Adventure TV Game Show ‘The Amazing Race’.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Bolesworth Castle?

Bolesworth Castle is close to the major road networks and provides easy access to Chester, Manchester, Liverpool, and the South of England via the M56, M53, and M6. The Wrexham and the North Wales region are accessible via the A534 and the A55.

Does anyone live in Bolesworth Castle?

Nina Barbour moved into Bolesworth Castle with her father Anthony, mother Diana, and sister Cleo in 1987 and has lived there ever since.

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He is a versatile E-Learning Support Officer and former Academic Officer at the University of York, United Kingdom. Not just an expert in education and technology, Debayan also has a deep love for castles and mountains. With a passion for travel, having explored 168+ cities worldwide, and a keen eye for photography, He brings a unique blend of experiences to the table. Specializing in E-learning content, IT support, AR development, and software engineering, Debayan has made a significant impact, educating over 200,000 students on Udemy.

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