Restoration: Birtles Hall, Birtles Lane, Over Alderley, Cheshire
LISTING TEXT Mansion: c.1790 for the Hibbert family, balustrade early C19, interior rebuilt by, Henry Sellars after fire in 1938, and some demolition. Ashlar buff sandstone Welsh slate roof and 3 brick chimneys. 2 storey symmetrical 5 bay south front (2:1:2). Plain frieze and projecting cornice supporting balustrade. End bays have 12 pane sashes in plain reveals with carved classical panels between each pair of windows. Central bay steps forward and has a Ionic porch in antis approached by 4 steps with a pair of doors behind in a simple architrave with a flat hood on consoles. Semi circular headed niches in the side walls of the porch. Balustraded parapet has Hibbert arms and 12 pane sash above. East front has canted end bay windows and 4 continuous steps between them. Interior: Original stone well staircase with plain cast iron balusters containing simple tracery and a mahogany handrail. Pair of good Georgian mahogany doors with original brass furniture and a reset cast iron grate. Remaining fireplaces are a collection from other Georgian houses. Remaining interior of 1938 in a good but restrained Classical style.
The Norton family also acquired a number of pieces of furniture designed by Sellers (sold by Sotherby’s in 1994). In a curious review of the sale the Observer seemingly dismissed Sellers as a mere designer of reproduction furniture noting “Sellers loved antique furniture so much that he designed his own, commissioning master craftsmen to work in mahogany and ash. In the end Birtles had everything from “Sellers- William and Mary” to “Sellers – cubist” to “Sellers - Arts and Crafts,” [Observer 1 May 1994 page A12]