Buddulph Grange across the garden
|Owned by:||Divided into apartments|
Biddulph Grange is a grand country house in Biddulph in Staffordshire. Once the mansion of the Bower family, surrounded by gorgeously planted gardens, it was sold in 1923 to become an orthopaedic hospital. The gardens were separated in 1988 and now belong to the National Trust, opened to the public as Biddulph Grange Garden.
The hospital closed in the 1980s and house was redeveloped into luxury apartments. The house is a Grade II* listed building.
The first house was built between 1848 and 1860 for John Bateman, on the site of an earlier farmhouse. Bateman sank a vast fortune into the house and the gardens, derived from the family pump business, working on it apparently with his friend, the painter E W Cooke. His funds though soon ran out after he had completed the house, and he was forced to sell it in 1871 to Robert Heath, a mine owner.
In 1896 the house burnt down, and Robert Heath engaged Thomas Bower to rebuild it in a grandiloquent manner, in the course of which the Bateman mansion was almost entirely expunged.
The house of today was completed in 1897. It is of sandstone ashlar, in Baroque revival style. The surviving parts of the Bateman house are a more restrained yellow-brick construction.
In 1923 the house was sold and became a children's hospital from 1923, in which role it continued until the 1960s: it was known first as the "North Staffordshire Cripples' Hospital" and later as the "Biddulph Grange Orthopaedic Hospital". This latter title the hospital's role expanded to accommodate adults, and it was a general orthopaedic hospital until it was closed in the mid-1980s.
The 15 acre garden in the meantime, Bateman's great work, was abandoned. Much of the estate became the Biddulph Grange Country Park. For the best part of a century the gardens decayed until passed to the National Trust in 1988, at which point the gardens parted company with the house.
The house shorn of its gardens has now been restored and converted into residential apartments.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
about Biddulph Grange)
- National Heritage List 1037835: Biddulph Grange
- Biddulph Grange is a horticultural Disneyland, The Independent on Sunday, 24 September 2006