The Early Years

The word "dell" means valley or glen. Across from the Hall and the canal, there are sheep grazing in the valley, looking towards Little Moreton Hall and the Lowndes ancestral home, Old House Green.

It truly is a most delightful part of the world, not unlike the Stour Valley where I grew up. What might John Constable have done with his easel here! There is a village called Ramsdell near Basingstoke and a Ramsdell Theatre in Connecticut ,USA.

Ramsdell Hall is situated in the township of Odd Rode in the parish of Astbury, comprising of the hamlets of Scholar Green, Kent Green, Hall Green, Rode Heath, Thurlwood, and part of Mow Cop. It has spectacular views of the Cheshire countryside, as well as being rather a memorable view itself from the Canal.

It was built around 1760 by the Lowndes Family who had been major landowners in the area for centuries. It is more than likely that William Baker designed and oversaw the building of it. Yes the same architecht who designed Baker Street in London.

This particular branch of the Lowndes lived at a smaller house called Old House Green, the family's traditional home for some time and in the heart of the area they farmed.

William and Isabella Lowndes together with their children were the incumbents of the family estates and it would seem that William started the Ramsdell Hall initiative in the 1750s. He was probably actively helped by his sons Edward and John who were in their twenties at the time.

Ramsdell Hall is best described by sight than by words. It is one of the major landmarks and mooring points on the Macclesfield Canal. The many photos of it on the internet illustrate why those who behold it often gasp in wonder at this beautiful, red-brick Georgian building with its sweeping lawns down to the canal.

The irony is that the canal wasn't opened until 1931. One wonders how this magificient house and surrounding gardens, woodland, parkland and two small lakes would have looked before then. Perhaps the ghost of the girl who is said to have lost her life—accidentally killed during a duel between her suitors—could tell us. If she did exist, she may have been one of William and Isabella's daughters.

William died in 1766, the year before Edward's marriage to Mary Slack, and Edward and his bride probably moved into Ramsdell Hall, with brother John residing at Old House Green. Edward and Mary's eldest son John was born in 1770; but it was their younger son, William, born in 1772, who became known as William of Ramsdell and would shape the destiny of the Hall and Estates forever.

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