Cholmondeley Castle
Cholmondeley Castle (pronounced Chumly) is a country house in the civil parish of Cholmondeley, Cheshire, England. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building. It is surrounded by a 7,500 acres (30 km 2) estate.

The present house was built between 1801 and 1804 by George Cholmondeley, 1st Marquess of Cholmondeley. It was designed by the local architect William Turner who was directed by the Marquess to give it the appearance of "an old Gothic Castle". In 1817”“19 added turrets and towers to give it its present castle-like appearance. An earlier house had been on the site dating from 1571. This was constructed of brick and half-timber and had been remodelled by Sir John Vanbrugh between 1713 and 1715.

Gardens and grounds
In the 18th century Hugh Cholmondeley, 1st Earl of Cholmondeley had created gardens around the house, both kitchen gardens and orchards to provide food for the household, and also pleasure gardens. The pleasure gardens would have been formal in style as they were laid out by George London. The ironworker Jean Tijou produced an iron entrance gate to the gardens, but this was moved to Houghton Hall in Norfolk by the 4th Earl. John van Nost designed a fountain for the garden. The garden also contained a bowling green and an aviary. The 4th Earl brought in William Emes to redesign the garden who, according to the fashion of the day, buried London's work under a landscape park. The 4th Earl also employed John Webb, a student of Emes, who probably designed the terrace around the house. Around this time the Temple Garden was created for the Earl's first daughter, later Lady Charlotte Seymour. During the 20th century, the 6th Marquess and his wife played a large part in restoring and developing the gardens. Lavinia, the Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley, aged 92, lives in Cholmondeley Castle.

Second World War
Cholmondley Castle gardens served as the first camp for the Free Czech forces in exile during 7th July to mid October 1940, about 4,000 Czechoslovak troops camped at the nearby park. Most had come by ship from France, but they were joined by about 300 troops already in England. The Czechoslovak Government in Exile formed two infantry battalions and many men were assigned to the Royal Air Force. Some 500 men who refused to accept the authority of President Benes, were expelled from the Czechoslovak forces and were assigned to the British Pioneer Corps. On 28th September 1940 a party was held for local people on St Vaclav (St Wenceslas) Day when a stone was erected that still stands in the grounds of the house. Some men died whilst stationed at Cholmondeley and were buried with Czechoslovak military stones in nearby graveyards in Cheshire and Shropshire. Around mid October of 1940, the camp moved to Warwickshire where the Czechoslovak Army took up locations in and around Leamington Spa. To this day, the local Czechoslovak community gather for an annual memorial service on the first Sunday in July. In July 1990, the-then recent fall of communism, allowed a great gathering when Czechoslovak and British veterans gathered at Cholmondeley for the 50th anniversary of their arrival in England. At this time a memorial stone was also unveiled in Chester Cathedral to thank the people of Cheshire for their hospitality . Another wartime role of Cholmondeley Castle was as a Royal Navy Auxiliary Hospital, treating cases of good morale, who were suffering from nervous breakdown usually as the result of combat stresses. .

The grounds of the castle now cover some 5,000 acres (20 km 2) and include two lakes. They are included in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England at Grade II. Also in the grounds is the ancient chapel of St Nicholas. The grounds and chapel are open to the public at advertised times but the castle is not open to the public. It has recently become a hovercraft race track and will be holding the fourth round of the national hovercraft championship on the 17th and 18th of July 2010.

Cholmondeley Castle was used in the role of a Scottish Castle at the ending of The 51st State . The 6th marquis died at Cholmondeley Castle in 1990.

Building Activity