‘The Rookery’ was constructed in 1909 on the former site of ‘Bank House’, Chester Road, Tattenhall. Bank House had been the residence of Robert Oliver Orton. The Orton family were wealthy landowners and, in effect, this was their ‘country house’.
Following the death of Robert Oliver Orton in the early 20th century, the property became the home of Frederick William Wignall and Edith Marguerite Wignall who swiftly undertook a programme of extensive reconstruction, transforming the property into what is now known as ‘The Rookery’.
The house has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II building – 5.5% of listed buildings are of Grade II classification. The following entry appears against the listing:
‘…The house is timber-framed on a stone plinth with rusticated brick lower storeys to the rear. Stone-slate roof stone ridge and a massive ashlar lateral stack with Tudor-style brick stacks. Elizabethan style south front has large 2-storey gables. Coved jetties at 1st and 2nd floor. Chevron decoration below, roundels above and cross-motifs in gable with ornate pierced bargeboards. 5-light ovolo-moulded mullioned and transomed windows. Similar gable on west front and 2-storey porch on east front; extensive service range to north. Interior: Hall has oak stair with shaped flat balusters and square newels. Main room to left in ornate Elizabethan style with inglenook fireplace, panelled plastered ceiling and frieze. Dining room has Baroque ceiling with Tate and Lyle Liver Birds and an ornate early C18-style fireplace. Replaces and may include small portions of an Elizabethan original; a meticulous evocation of Cheshire vernacular. The rain-heads are dated 1909 for Frederick Wignall of Tate and Lyle …’
Since ‘The Rookery’ is located adjacent to St Alban’s Church, then one can presume that the Wignalls had direct access to the the Church from the north side of the Churchyard. The ‘Wignall Gate’ is now erected at this location.