Dunham Massie Hall and Gardens is an amazing place for a day trip from Manchester! Its in Altringham and sign posted. The National Trust is doing a great job in maintaining the former home of the 10th Earl of Warrington and its magnificent gardens where families can enjoy a picnic on the manicured lawn. There are also tame Fallow Deer grazing nearby and Canada geese and assorted ducks on the adjacent pond. The former Earl's wife, Lady Stamford offered part of the house as an auxilliary hospital during the First World War and on its centenary the ward has been reconstructed complete with actors providing dramas of what actually happened when seriously injured soldiers were brought from the horrendous trenches in northern France and Belgium. There is a replica operating theatre with commentary by one of the nurses who assisted the surgeons. Most of the house is open to the public where one can see how it was furnished in the early 19th century. The rose garden is particularly worth a wander round.
Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was a guest there in 1938 in connection to the Earl's interest in the League of Nations when the Emperor was trying to get foreign powers to intervene to prevent Mussolini from invading his country. They ignored him and Italy invaded but were kicked out five years later with British assistance.
There is of course a tea room and cafe and a well-stocked shop and a huge car park.
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