Welcome

the Grange Ellesmere


A few comments from previous guests:

‘One of the most beautiful houses I have stayed in.’

‘I feel this weekend will prove to be a turning point . . .’

‘Beautiful venue and wonderful food.’


Why come to the Grange? We can tell you a little bit about the house, its history and things we offer for guests (which we’ll do below) but we’d also like to mention the things that set us apart from some of the other places running courses. The first thing that makes us different is probably the ambience; it’s something that most of our guests remark on. The house is a happy house - although old, it feels calm, bright, warm and nurturing. It’s also very informal but at the same time comfortable. One of the big differences, though, between ourselves and some other course providers is that we don’t have multiple and diverse courses running at the same time.

Whilst you are here, the house and its grounds are your home; you will be amongst a small group of like-minded people (and if you want to take your shoes off and lie down on the sofa, that’s fine by us . . . as long as you are not trying to bookbind at the same time!). Another key feature is that whilst we have ten acres of beautiful grounds and big rooms for you to spend time in (so you don’t need to go out at all if you don’t want to) we are also just a five minute walk from the attractive market town of Ellesmere and ten minutes from its beautiful mere. And finally, we won’t ask you to cook or wash up whilst you are here - that’s all covered!

The last few years have seen the Grange develop as a vibrant centre for the study of traditional book crafts. It’s been a very exciting time and with the help of some dedicated and skilled artisans, we have developed what is possibly one of the first learning centres of its type, encompassing under one roof all the various processes of making a traditional book - from composing type to the finished bound book. We have worked with books all our working lives, and been inspired by the quality and style of beautiful books so it is a joy to work with and meet others who have the same passion for craftsmanship and aesthetics.
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So now for a little general information:

The house was once owned by William Provis (chief engineer to Thomas Telford) and parts of it date to pre-1800. It is surrounded by ten acres of lawns, woodland, vegetable garden and meadow. The house and grounds provide a wonderfully welcoming environment and we hope that you will feel at home whilst you are here. A much loved centre for many years, the Grange provides a quiet and beautiful place for people to meet.

Our bedrooms are spacious, clean, comfortable and simply furnished. Most of our 13 rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms (there are three that do not and these are priced at the sharing rate), and all have tea- (including herbal) and coffee-making facilities, and towels. Wi-fi connection is available on the ground floor.

Food is home-cooked and makes use of our own and local produce where possible. We source all our meat and free range eggs from local suppliers. Our bread is either home made or from our local bakery. Guests make wonderful comments about our food and one even said that the food was better than they’d had at a cookery school - a great compliment. We enjoy cooking for ourselves so work hard at providing good food for our guests. Meals are often buffet-style so you can help yourself but we don’t ask you to help with washing up.

The Grange is located just outside the pretty market town of Ellesmere, Shropshire, part of the north Shropshire lake district, and is a five to ten minute walk from the town, its mere (lake) and canal.

Residential weekends are held throughout the year from March to October. These are also available to non-residents. For the full listing of weekends that are open to everyone please refer to our Programme. If you would like to receive our emailed newsletter, please click here.

Availability for private group bookings is very limited but if you have a group in our focus areas of bookmaking skills and women’s retreats and are looking for a venue for a course, please contact us. We can take groups up to a maximum of 16 people (including tutors) in 13 bedrooms.

Originally a family country house, the Grange has been in our extended family since 1976 - and owned by us, Jon and Rose Ward-Allen and our children, since 2000 - and maintains the feel of a welcoming home. We are committed to maintaining this ambience whilst at the same time ensuring that standards of comfort and food quality meet, or exceed, the expectations of those who stay here. Many of our guests have been returning year on year for ten years or more and we hope that, if you decide to join one of our groups, it may be the first of many visits.

For further details of the
house, please click here, and to find out more about the gardens, click here.

You may also like to watch the
short film about the Grange here.
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