A guide to Tarporley architecture

The large village of Tarporley boasts many buildings on the National Heritage list for England. From former market halls and hotels within the village, to picturesque mansions in the rural outskirts, there are many architectural wonders to witness. In the following passages, we explore this civil parish in Cheshire and reveal some of the key buildings to see.

A church full of features

While the oldest structures of St Helen’s Church are its two chapels, the building has undergone multiple alterations and restorations over the centuries. Today, it is an active Anglican parish church but still showcases a wide array of impressive architectural features.

The church is crafted in red-coloured sandstone ashlar, sports a slate roof and its southwest corner tower has a small spire, pyramidal in shape. While most of the church is built in Decorated style, an offshoot of Gothic, both its chapels are Perpendicular in style.

The church’s yard also has multiple Grade listed elements, including the Lych Gate and a sandstone cross estimated to date back from the 15th or 16th Century.

Picture perfect country homes

To the northeast of Tarporley village stands a country home called Portal. The house was built over five years between 1900 and 1905 from designs by architect Walter E. Tower. Fashioned in the Domestic Revival style, the timber framed home has Grade II listed status and was described by Nikolaus Pevsner, the architectural historian as follows:

“It is a tour de force in accurate but scaled-up imitation of timber-framed mansions.”

Another must-see country home is Rooks Nest. This thatched-roof house is built with two storeys and has dormers within the upper floor and a gabled porch. Inside Rook’s Nest is a chimney corner, sometimes called an inglenook, from the Old English word “ingle” that means fireplace.

A selection of striking facades

Within the village proper, there are numerous eye-catching building to see. The slate roofed Swan Hotel has been brick-built and features ashlar dressings. Three-storeys tall, its entrance is symmetrical and has five bays, the three most central are canted with Venetian windows.

A terrace of mid to late 19th-Century three-storey buildings can be seen at 77 to 85, on the High Street. They feature smart looking chequered brickwork with stone dressings. At ground level, they include some doorways with timber pediment as well as sash and canted bay windows.

The perfectly painted former market hall possesses a hipped slate roof and has been built in brick and features stone dressings. Constructed with two levels, its main front has five bays that were once open. The building’s front has two arches, while Tuscan columns feature both outside and within the building. The former market hall is finished at the top by a cornice along with an open pediment.

From country homes designed by master architects, to sandstone churches with stately spires, Tarporley is rife with architectural excellence. When next visiting this quaint village, let your eyes feast on the many masterpieces in and around the parish.

Posted by Mark
July 8, 2020

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