Deep in the Shropshire countryside, nestled amidst 15 acres of secluded, landscaped gardens, Mercure Albrighton Hall Hotel and Spa was built as a stunning manor house in 1630, and is today steeped in history, still boasting many of the original features.
The village of Albrighton, was firstly mentioned in the Doomesday Book which was held by Warin of Archer, who appears then to have given it to the monks of Shrewsbury Abbey
Albrighton has gone through a number of name changes, from Etbritone in the Doomesday Book, Eadbutton in 1167, Albricton in 1221, Adbrighton in 1279 and then to what it is now, Albrighton in 1541.
Albrighton is situated near to the area of the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403.The village was purchased from the Crown by a local gentleman, Mr Thomas Ireland for the sum of £292.69. The Ireland family lived in Oswestry during the 13th Century. David Ireland was the first to settle in Shrewsbury, (Ireland’s mansion in High Street). David and his son Thomas built Albrighton Hall in 1630 on the site of a much older building. Five generations of the Ireland family lived in the Hall until it eventually passed back to the Crown through lack of heirs.
The Hall was then brought by Reverend Inigo William Jones and then was inherited by his son in 1809. In 1830 it was in the hands of William Spurrier of Birmingham, then on his death became the property of General Studd in 1848.
In 1853, General Studd conveyed it to William Hanbury Sparrow of Penn, Stafford. The Hall remained in the Sparrow family for many years, who still reside in the village of Albrighton.
Mr Sparrow died in 1867 and was succeeded in his Albrighton estate by his son, William Mander Sparrow who was High Sheriff of Staffordshire in 1873. After his death he left the estate to his nephew William Arthur Brown, who took by Royal Licence the surname of Sparrow and was Lord of the Manor of Albrighton.
In later years the Hall changed hands a number of times. Lady Puleston, whose finely carved heraldic emblazonment can be seen above the fireplace in the Oak Room, lived at Albrighton for several years.
The Church opposite Albrighton Hall was built in 1840/41 on the site of old chapel foundations and still has a Norman font with patterns of chevrons and horseshoes for all to see.
In 1953 the Hall was converted into The Royal National College for the Blind by the Governors. In 1955 the Hall was refurbished and opened as the College for the Blind. There is a rumour that there was a small fire at this time at Albrighton Hall, but this did not prevent the operation of the College.
One of its most famous residents was the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP who boarded at Albrighton Hall during the 1960’s.
To this day the history of Albrighton takes many paths, having being brought by Macdonald Hotel’s in the late 1990’s, and then by Mercure Hotels in April 2007, it has become Shropshire’s premier 4 star establishment boasting charm and charisma in its own individual way.