A Unique Tudor Building

 

Stanley Palace stands outside the area of the Roman fortress ( Deva ) but on or near a site occupied by the Dominican friars ( Blackfriar's ) in medieval times.

The original house was built by Sir Peter Warburton, a Chester Lawyer and M.P. for the city in 1583 & 1586.

After his death in1621 the property passed to his daughter, Elizabeth, the wife of Sir Thomas Stanley of Alderley and a Kinsman of the Earl of Derby. In the 19th century the house was known as Derby House.

The building itself has suffered some changes since the late 16th century, however , original parts of the house have survived, e.g. exterior timbers on the ground floor and in the upstairs long gallery.

As have some early floorboards in the long gallery. In the 17th or 18th century two rooms were added at the rear of the house.

 

Click to enlarge photo
Click to enlarge photo
On the ground floor, the ceiling in the Queen Anne Room has the Stanley's Coat of Arms, bearing Three Stags Heads & the Eagle & Child, with the words Sans Changer, 'without changing'. Sir Peter, the second Baronet, who died in 1683 is supposed to have added this room.

 

The "Screen" upstairs in front of the office is part of the original outside wall and shows the method of timber construction using wooden pegs; behind a glass paneling the Gallery can be seen some original "wattle & daub",which filled in the spaces between the timber framing. as the house was near the old port area, some of the large timbers (i.e. the long curved piece above the fireplace in the hall) were taken from a ship that was being broken up.

Click to enlarge photo
In 1935 the elaborate stained glass window was installed on the second floor. It depicts the Coat of Arms of the 7th Earl of Derby, and quartered on it, the Arms of his wife, Charlotte de la Tremoille. The French motto is that of Knights of the Garter honi soit qui mal y ponse, 'Evil he who thinks ill of it'. 'The Eagle & Child,' forms part of this Coat of Arms.

 

 

Today, Stanley Palace has a fairly open aspect and clean cut appearance, but from about 1770 the house was entered from a courtyard surrounded by cottages on the other side. From that time it entered upon an uncertain existence it fell into disrepair and was converted into humble cottages in the hands of the builders.

In 1866 the building was almost transported to the United States. Fortunately; it was saved by the then Chester and North Wales Archaeological Architectural and Historic Society ( now the Chester Archaeological Society ) which sold it in 1889 to the then Lord Derby on the understanding that the house should be preserved.

In 1928 Edward, 17th Earl of Derby, offered the house to Chester Corporation. As a result, a restoration of the building was carried out and an extension of the front to the north in keeping with original building.As with many historic buildings, Stanley Palace is reputed to be haunted, footsteps and low voices have been heard. Stanley Palace is open to the public and welcomes visitors from all over the world.

Stanley Palace is a Chester City Council Public Building, but administered by the Trustees of "The Friends of Stanley Palace", a reg. charity formed in 1999.