My name is Sam, and I am a relatively new volunteer to Congleton Museum.
What most people don’t realise is just how many objects we have crammed into this small area. I spend my time at the museum updating the collection archives, which is an endless task. However, I have found out a lot about Congleton in a short space of time!
Recently, I came across some accounts payslips from the Eaton Hall Estate, dating from the early 19th century. Until now, I must admit I didn’t even know Eaton Hall existed. Being curious, I did some digging and found out some things. Here are just a few of the intriguing bits…
- Gibbs Crawfurd Antrobus had a pet monkey named ‘Jacko’, who was buried in the kitchen garden. A small headstone was erected in his memory.
- Eaton Hall was the first place in the area to have an air raid siren installed.
- The lawns were cut by a large mower pulled by a Shire horse. Nothing unusual there, however, when the tennis courts were cut, the Shire horse had to wear leather boots to prevent horsey damage!
- When the family went away, the staff would meet in the house for tea and biscuits. Makes you wonder what else they got up to!
- One head gardener had a pet robin called Herbert!
Sadly, the main hall was demolished in 1980, however aspects of its history are stored in the museum’s archives, including a photo album of containing some interior photographs.
You can find out more about Eaton Hall, as well as other notable Congleton properties, in a series of new booklets by Lyndon Murgatroyd extracted from his book ‘Who lived in a House Like This?’ These are now available from the museum shop.