Whittington History Society

Fisherwick

A watercolour painting of Fisherwick Hall in the 18th Century.

Image produced from the Staffordshire Past Track service with permission of Landmark Information Group Ltd. and Ordnance Survey.

Arthur Chichester, 1st Marquess of Donegall (13 June 1739 – 5 January 1799). The greatest landowner of his day in Ireland, he was in 1790 created 1st Baron Fisherwick as a means of securing his support for the Government in the Irish House of Commons.  The following year he was also created Marquess of Donegall and Earl of Belfast. He made his country seat at Fisherwick and spent a vast fortune rebuilding the hall and landscaping the park.

 

Fisherwick Park in 1786. A manor house had existed at Fisherwick since the Tudor period, but on acquiring the estate in 1761, Arthur Chichester set about replacing it with a vast Palladian mansion set in a park of 4,000 acres. At Fisherwick, he also collected an expensive library and rare specimens of natural history

Image produced from the Staffordshire Past Track service with permission of Landmark Information Group Ltd. and Ordnance Survey.

A view of Fisherwick Park from the east with rolling pasture, landscaped by Capability Brown.

Image produced from the Staffordshire Past Track service with permission of Landmark Information Group Ltd. and Ordnance Survey.

The imposing facade with portico. In 1799 the 1st Baron Fisherwick left Fisherwick Hall, heavily mortgaged, to a younger son, Lord Spencer Chichester. In 1804, heavily in debt due to a gambling addiction, he sold the estate to George Stedman, a potato merchant of Spitalfields. Stedman failed to pay the deposit and was declared bankrupt in 1805. In 1808 Chichester sold the manorial rights, the hall, and much of the land to R. B. Howard of Ashtead Park, lord of Elford. Most of the remainder was bought by Sir Robert Peel of Drayton Bassett.

Image produced from the Staffordshire Past Track service with permission of Landmark Information Group Ltd. and Ordnance Survey.

A floor plan of Fisherwick Hall in 1808, the year it was demolished. The grand mansion stood for less than 50 years.

© 2016 Whittington History Society