Nunsmere Hall and Newchurch Common

Some steep and unsurfaced paths.

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Nunsmere Hall was built around 1900. The extraordinary location, bounded on three sides by a 60-acre lake, strongly appealed to its first owner, Sir Aubrey Brocklebank. Sir Aubrey was chairman of a famous shipping line dating back to the 1700s. The Brocklebank Line played a vital role in maintaining the nation's food supplies during the First World War. Soon afterwards the firm merged with Cunard and Sir Aubrey set about designing a magnificent new Atlantic liner - the Queen Mary. Sadly, he did not live to see the Queen Mary's maiden voyage in 1934.

Nunsmere's lakeside setting proved an inspiration for Sir Aubrey, and for his wife Lady Grace. In its heyday, Nunsmere became the venue of glittering parties attended by the great and the good of Edwardian England. Now it's a luxury hotel, so the grounds aren't open to the public, but the nearby Newchurch Common and Abbotsmoss Wood offer a taste of the area's distinctive landscape.

Photo © Rob Rylands