Rookery Hall was built in 1816, which at that time was known as "The Rookery, Worleston". It was the home of William Hilton Cooke who was a wealthy land owner, owning over 500 acres in this area.
Baron William Von Schroder purchased the Hall in 1867 together with the park, farms and greenhouses where vines were grown successfully. He was the son of Baron John Henry Von Schroder, the founder of the Merchant Banking firm of J Henry Schroder and Company. It is now known as J Henry Schroder & Company Limited and is one of the most reputable in the City of London today. Baron William became a Justice of the Peace, Lieutenant of the County of Cheshire and, finally, High Sheriff in 1888. He was a keen sportsman and loved hunting. He died in 1912, having lived to the age of 71 years and is buried in Worleston churchyard.
His son Baron William the younger sold the Hall in 1947. The Von Schroder Crest and Coat of Arms can be seen on the beautiful barreled ceiling in the main dining room. The Baron changed the traditional Georgian mansion into a small chateau. Further more, he was responsible for substantial additions to the building and gave the house the unusual character which makes it almost unique in this country.
Guests should not be deterred by the legend of the ghosts. The Grey Lady, whose portrait hangs in the Drawing Room, was an elderly maid of the Cookes, the builders of the Hall some two hundred years ago. She had a fatal fall whilst hanging curtains and is said to roam the corridors leaving a sweet smell of flowers in her wake. Another tale refers to young master Schroder who sometimes materialises in the Salon crying because he has lost his dog.
After the hall was sold in 1947, it continued to be used as a private house until its purchase in 1979 by Harry and Jean Norton. These renowned hoteliers embarked on the successful transformation of Rookery Hall into an exclusive hotel with 12 en suite rooms and an acclaimed restaurant. In 1984 the Marks family bought the hotel when the Nortons retired and the reputation for fine cuisine and wines was continued under the new management.
The sympathetic addition of the west wing in 1990 magnified the elegance and timeless beauty that had given Rookery Hall the highly acclaimed reputation as one of the most unique country houses in Britain. The style and build, blended with the character of the existing building and enhanced the already magnificent features of the house, whilst providing another twenty-one luxury bedrooms for the hotel.
Rookery Hall Hotel became part of The Hand Picked Hotels Group, when it was created by Julia Hands, a former city lawyer, in 2001. Her vision was to create a collection of individual hotels, where guests could enjoy welcoming and charming service delivered in inspirational surroundings.
The lovely setting of the hall amidst 38 acres of gardens and wooded parkland, fringing the banks of the River Weaver, ensure complete tranquility and the atmosphere of a bygone age. The front entrance looks across sweeping lawns with fine specimen trees to a small lake. To the rear there is a magnificent terrace overlooking a large fountain and a lawn garlanded by well-stocked flower borders. From this side of the Hall there are lovely views across timbered parkland to attractive meadows and woods.
The architecture is impressive, with external walls of fine mellowed sandstone under a Westmorland slated roof and a fairytale tower at the Northwest corner. Internally, the beautiful proportioned reception rooms are notable for the elegance of the Salon, the splendid Oak Staircase and the wood paneling in the Sitting Room/Study.
Most memorable is the highly polished mahogany in the Dining Room; it is here that the skills of the craftsman can really be appreciated in viewing the magnificent ceiling which features four crests, nine coronets and a frieze of winged cherubs. In the Salon there is a fine marble fireplace which dates from the original house.
2007 saw the continued growth of Rookery Hall with the development of new luxurious conference suites and 39 executive bedrooms, providing state of the art facilities for our conferences, events and weddings. A luxury health spa was also developed providing 8 beauty treatment rooms, an 18 meter swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool with sauna and steam room, gym, aerobic studio and Café Bar.
Rookery Hall is a luxury 70 bedroom country house hotel which has been awarded Four Red Star status by the AA, achieved a Deluxe grade from the English Tourist Board and a 5 bubble award from ‘The Good Spa Guide’.
Book a stay at Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa here.