Eaton

EATON, a township, in the parish of Eccleston, union of Great Boughton, Lower division of the hundred of Broxton, S. division of the county of Chester, 3¾ miles (S.) from Chester; containing 64 inhabitants. The manor was given by Leofric, Earl of Mercia, in the time of Edward the Confessor, to the monks of Coventry. In the reign of Henry III., Hamon de Pulford, being lord, settled half of it on his son, Richard, who assumed the name of Eaton, and his descendants appear to have been possessed of the whole manor, which, in the reign of Henry V., passed in marriage with the heiress of John Eaton to Ralph, second son of Sir Thomas Grosvenor, who continued the male line of that family, and was the ancestor of the present noble possessor. The township comprises 971 acres, of a clayey soil, and is situated on the river Dee, near which stands Eaton Hall, the princely residence of the Marquess of Westminster. This superb mansion, of which the prevailing style is the Gothic, is of modern erection, with the exception of the vaulted basement and a portion of the original edifice; it is of light-coloured stone, and has two fronts, each of which consists of a spacious centre of three stories, finished with octagonal turrets, buttresses, and pinnacles placed between large wings with similar ornaments. The entrance to the western front is under a lofty vaulted portico, leading by a magnificent flight of steps to the great hall; and on the eastern side is another noble flight of steps, terminating in three rich arches that form the middle of a beautiful vaulted cloister, which spreads along the whole centre and connects the wings with each other. The vast interior of the building is in correspondence with the architectural grandeur of its exterior: the dining, drawing, and other state rooms are of noble dimensions, and decorated and furnished in the most costly manner; the library is fitted up with elaborately carved oak, and abounds in ancient and valuable manuscripts. The entrance to the grand saloon is through the arches already mentioned; this sumptuous apartment looks down upon a terrace upwards of 350 feet in length, whence is seen one of the richest landscapes that the Dee presents in its course through the county. The plantations are extensive; and the grounds, laid out with exquisite taste, are enlivened by an artificial inlet of the Dee: the stables form a great quadrangle, and there are two lodges, in the Gothic style, with avenues of venerable trees, leading to the mansion.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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