Former Soughton Hall family member revisits wedding venue
19 Jan 2017
The great-grandson of the last people to live in Soughton Hall in North Wales revisited his family’s former home and uncovered some interesting stories
Following an historical appeal from its new owners, Will Bankes - the great-grandson of the last family to live in North Wales wedding venue, Soughton Hall, recently returned to the property.
A former Bishop's palace, Soughton Hall was built in 1714 by Edward Conway and remodelled by the famous Sir Charles Barry - commissioned by Will's fourth great uncle, William John Bankes. The luxurious hotel and wedding venue is now under new ownership by James Ramsbottom of Elle R Leisure and has recently completed a £150,000 refurbishment.
Will’s great grandparents, Wynne and Elizabeth (known to the family as ‘Te Te’) Bankes were the last people to live in the Grade II* listed building which was sold as a hotel in the 1980s.
Meeting with James, Will was shown the amazing artefacts that people had sent in response to the appeal which appeared in the local press and called for memories, photos and stories of the venue.
The treasures included photos of an Edwardian high society wedding, pictures of an appeal court judge and the tale of a 19th century family scandal.
Will said: “We used to visit my great grandmother, Te Te, and have tea with her in the library at Soughton. I also have vivid memories of driving my grandmother’s car down the long drive, sitting on her knee. It was a fascinating place to visit as a child.”
“My great grandfather’s sister Ruth held her wedding reception at Soughton in 1912," he continued. "She married a gentleman called Charles Dougdale – what a spectacular setting for a wedding.”
Commenting on Will's visit, James said: “It has been a pleasure to meet with Will and learn more about his family who have played such an important part in Soughton Hall’s grand history. The purpose of our media appeal was to find out much more about the stories and people associated with Soughton Hall and my meeting with Will has been very enlightening. It is such a grand house and it is terrific to learn that it has such a grand history to accompany it."
For more information about Soughton Hall Hotel, go to www.soughtonhallhotel.co.uk.