The Hall as it stands today was built in the late sixteenth century – with the remains of a 15th century Great Hall – and is reputed to be the oldest dated house built entirely of brick in Shropshire. A ‘date-stone’ of 1580 can clearly be seen on the front of the house from the Moat Lawn.
From the 14th century until 1926, the historic estate belonged to the Cressett family – Shropshire landowners and royalist courtiers – and their descendants. The Cressett direct line died out with the death of Elizabeth Cressett in 1792 after which the estate passed through various branches of the Pelham Cressett and Thursby Pelham family (which included two prime ministers).
The site of the Hall is ancient. It is recorded in the Domesday Book and in nearby fields there are the remains of a second century Roman settlement. The surrounding land is also the site of a deserted medieval village, traces of which remain as earthworks. A tiny Norman church, dedicated to St Michael, stands nearby and is maintained by the The Churches Conservation Trust.
Parts of the Hall date to 1380 and are the remains of an earlier manor which belonged to the de Upton family. In the thirteenth century, the de Uptons were Verderers of the Royal Forest of Morfe and Knights and suitors to Holgate Castle, and the last of their line married into the Cressett family in the 14th century.
Grade I moated brick manor set in spectacular English countryside. The house, with its huge twisted 16th century brick chimneys and 15th century Great Hall, stands in extensive topiary gardens next to a Norman church and one of the finest turreted gatehouses in the country. In 'The Best Thousand Houses in England', Simon Jenkins refers to Upton Cressett as an 'Elizabethan gem'. The Hall and Gatehouse has a long tradition of hospitality, including hosting such historic figures as the eldest ‘Prince in the Tower’ – King Edward V - in 1483, Prince Rupert of the Rhine in 1646 and various prime ministers. After being restored by Sir Bill Cash MP and his wife Bridget in the early 1970s, the Hall is now the family home of writer William Cash and his wife Lady Laura Cash who has her millinery studio in the grounds.
Tour includes tea and cakes