After Mr David Stagg acquired the remains of Sandown Hall he undertook the difficult process of finding a potential new site for the Hall.
In order to justify the enormous effort and finances required to reconstruct the Hall, it would ultimately be a flawed project if the setting for the Hall could not also be recreated. The philosophical challenge with any restoration process is 'What point in time should the restoration endeavour to focus on?' With most buildings that are restored in-situ the built fabric is left standing relatively intact. This can be of assistance but invariably the setting will have been severely compromised by modem development which in turn will compromise the result. With this project, there is the possibility of not only reconstructing the Hall, but also of recreating the setting of gardens and parkland that made the Hall so special.
In order to achieve this goal the site has to fulfil several key criteria:
- The location should be on the outskirts of a northern town. The villa style would not have been appropriate in the middle of the countryside. Conversely if the new setting were against a suburban housing estate the integrity of parkland views would be compromised.
- The housing value of the surrounding area must be sufficient to make the investment, circa £2.5m, viable.
- The land must be available. The Nether Alderley site meets all of these requirements with further added benefits:
- The site is semi-rural in character consisting of overly large fields which have been stripped bare of the best rural features, namely the structure of hedgerows, and will therefore convert easily to a semi- rural parkland style.
Nether Alderley is in the centre of a large area of Cheshire which is renowned for its collection of wealthy country houses. These houses have developed over centuries and therefore Sandown could be seen as an interesting extension of this tradition.