Lyme Park has been in the possession of the Legh family for 550 years. The manor was granted to the first Piers Legh and his wife Margaret in 1398 by Richard II, son of the Black Prince, as a reward for the heroic deeds in battle of her grandfather, Sir Thomas Danyers. The Leghs themselves campaigned in many 15th and 16th century battles.
Colonel Thomas Peter Legh
From Lyme Park House & Garden, a National Trust Publication:
He was best known for having raised six troops of cavalry in fourteen days in 1794—following Pitt’s call to arms in the face of increasing trouble in Europe—and for having sired seven children by seven different women, none of whom was his wife.
He left the estate to his oldest natural son, Thomas.
Thomas Legh, who inherited Lyme in 1797, was one of the most remarkable members of the family. By the time he came of age in 1814 he had already followed the Nile into parts of Nubia previously unexplored by Europeans, and the following year he was present at the Battle of Waterloo. He also became a well-known Egyptologist and collector of antiquities, modernised the estate farms, exploited the industrial potential of his Lancashire lands and had Lyme itself restored and extensively, but sympathetically, altered by Lewis Wyatt.
The Leghs were notoriously fond of hunting the red deer indigenous to Lyme Park, which is no doubt the reason they made it their primary home from the late 16th century on.
The architectural style of the house varies from Elizabethan-Jacobean to Italian Palladian and baroque.
The exterior of the house was used as Pemberley in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.
The Lyme Caxton Missal
The Leghs were Roman Catholic supporters of the Stuarts in the 18th century. The missal they owned was an early printed book containing the liturgy of the mass according to the Sarum Rite, published by William Caxton in 1487. It is the only nearly complete surviving copy of its earliest known edition.
See more photos on my Lyme Park Pinterest page.