Our Ethos

HISTORY OF THE HALL

The manor of ‘Swynfeyn’ is first recorded in the Domesday book of 1086 as belonging to the Bishop of Lichfield, and a manor house has stood on this site since Medieval times.

The present Hall was completed in 1757 under the direction of local architect Benjamin Wyatt, the founder of one of the greatest architectural families in English history. The Hall was originally built for Samuel Swinfen, his wife and a domestic staff of 55.

The most colourful character among the Swinfen dynasty, was Patience Swinfen, a former parlour maid who had married into the family. In the 1860’s she inherited the Hall, but the will was fiercely contested by another branch of the family. Seven long years of litigation followed and Patience became a cause célébre throughout the land, upsetting Victorian conventions of gender and class.

The last of the family to live at Swinfen Hall, was Lt Colonel Michael Swinfen Broun who built the South wing, including the magnificent oak-panelled ballroom for his daughter’s 21st birthday. It took three years to complete.  However, the celebrations never took place as his daughter eloped two weeks before the big event. He died in 1948 leaving the proceeds of the estate to the Cathedral and city of Lichfield. The surrounding land was subsequently sold and the Manor House stood empty for over thirty years.

It was eventually sold to a builder who opened part of the building as a wedding venue but unfortunately the following year the company went into administration.

The Wiser family purchased the Hall from the receivers in 1987 and after ten months of restoration and refurbishment opened as a hotel. In 2003 a further 95 acres of adjoining farmland was acquired and in 2004 the 45 acre wild deer park was established. The land has been restocked with oak, beech and horse-chestnut trees, wild hay meadows have been created and 400 metres of hedgerows planted. The Victorian walled garden has also been restored and the kitchen now has an abundant supply of fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs throughout the Summer months.

Television programmes such as Boon have been filmed at the hotel and it was also the site of the first “Blind Date” wedding hosted by Cilla Black in 1991. Since then it has overseen the weddings of a multitude of celebrities.

For further reading on the history of the Swinfen Hall we recommend The Great Swinfen Case written by Howard Clayton, a local historian and former mayor of Lichfield.

FIND US

POSTCODE : WS14 9RE

TOP