History and Heritage of Trentham

Trentham's recorded history stretches back to AD680 and the founding of a nunnery by St Werburgh. It has an entry in the Domesday Book in 1087 and an Augustinian Priory was built on the site of the nunnery in the 1100s. Following its dissolution in the 1500s, it was eventually bought by James Leveson of Wolverhampton.

As the family rose in prominence the house and grounds went through various transformations. In the late 1700s, Capability Brown re-sculpted the surrounding landscape. A marriage to the Countess of Sutherland in 1785 saw George Granville Leveson-Gower gain immense wealth and in 1833 he was created the first Duke of Sutherland. This wealth allowed his son, the 2nd Duke of Sutherland, to invite Sir Charles Barry in the 1830s to plan a grand Italianate mansion and extend the flower gardens, which became famous throughout Europe. But by 1907 the Hall had been completely abandoned by the 4th Duke, and was finally demolished in 1912, although remnants of the former buildings remain.

The gardens, however, were opened to the public in 1910 and over the decades "Trentham Gardens" were transformed into a popular and celebrated venue and visitor destination. Their fortunes have waxed and waned over the intervening years and the future is again fragile.

From being a small village mainly serving Trentham Hall and its estate in previous centuries, various residential and, more recently, industrial and retail developments have greatly increased the local population and transformed the local landscape, but there remains a keen interest and nostalgia in Trentham's history and heritage.

The Trentham Heritage Project


In 2014, to mark the centenary of World War One, a small project was initiated to research the WW1 names on the war memorial. The project continued researching and recording information about local families, buildings and events, moving on to WW2, but mainly concentrating on the first half of the 1900s. The findings have been shared through displays, films, videos and community events.

In 2021 to reflect widening interests, the project's name was changed to the Trentham Heritage Project. This website is the first attempt to bring together information about Trentham from various sources. It is still very much work in progress!