Combermere Abbey before Empress Elisabeth

September 27, 2020 1:27 pm Published by

This very old map dates back to 1707 and shows the land around Combermere Abbey which Empress Elisabeth (Sisi) twice rented for hunting.   By the time she came to Cheshire the landscape was very different.  The map was found in a book given by the Combermere family to the present owner, Sarah Callander Beckett.

By the time that Sisi arrived there was a big stable block, the abbey had been rebuilt, the deer park had gone and much woodland had been planted to replace the pasture.  The Historic Houses Association, which represents homeowners in Britain, comments ‘What’s wonderful to see are the details of nearby places and features, like ‘The Black Ditch Meadow’, ‘The Island of Freedome’ (sic), and ‘Ralph the Fisherman’.

When we were researching our book Sisi in England we had a very-enjoyable guided tour of the abbey.  Sadly, the actual rooms that Empress Elisabeth used and Countess Festetics described in her diary were pulled down before Sarah Callander Beckett inherited Combermere Abbey.   She turned the abbey into a viable business and used the money to complete an award-winning restoration programme.  

+ Although Combermere may charge,  entry is free to many of Britain’s most- famous, privately-owned homes for members of the Historic Houses Association

Map courtesy of Combermere Abbey / HHA

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