Old-pictureThe Victorian Gothic style mansion was designed and built by Evan Powell, Architect of Welshpool. It was completed in 1876 to replace an earlier house on the Estate. In the Doomsday Book, Mellington (spelt Millington) is recorded as a moated Saxon House with nearby watermill, called the Hundred of Mellington, serving the estate and surrounding area. The interior of the hall retains a contemporary layout and fittings including oak panelling and carved door cases. On the north front there is a recessed bay containing a large, panelled wooden door.  A flight of stone steps, lined with a stone balustrade, connects this door with a forecourt area below.  Above the door there is a stone tympanum, which is decorated with a carved coat of arms and the date 1876.  This crest belonged to the Heap family who owned the house from 1903 to 1957 which translates as “Peace and Harmony”.

The house is dated 1866 but it is believed that it was finished in 1876.  It was built for a Mr Wright who made a fortune in import trade in Liverpool and was designed by Evan Powell.  According to the sale particulars of 1872 the porch was originally located in the north-east corner of the tower and relocated to the north front in about 1876.  This was at least the third house built on the site.  Mellington Hall had been in the hands of the Brownes, an important border family, since at least 1600.  The history of the site prior to this is unclear.  The Brownes built a brick, or partially brick, mansion to the southeast of the present house and it is surrounded by traces of what could be ornamental grounds.  The appearance of this house is unknown.  In the early 19th Century Colonel Browne built a second house to the northwest of the old hall on the site of the present house, which was noted by Samuel Lewis.  Bills for fixtures and materials, including order for Kilkenny marble fire grates survive from 1806.  According to map evidence, by 1842 the new house and associated ancillary buildings were complete and the original house had been demolished, quarried or burnt down.  From at least 1842 the family no longer lived at Mellington Hall, but rented it.  The tenant in 1842 was a John Russell.  It is unclear when the family moved out, or where they moved to.  In about 1860 they were believed to have remodelled the house just prior to its sale to Mr Wright.  In 1902 the house, gardens and wider estate were again sold.  The whole was advertised as a sporting estate and, in total, extended to more than 13,000 acres.  After the Second World War the estate was dramatically reduced in size to approximately 300 acres and was bought by a Mr John Evans of Bishops Castle resulting in the creation of the caravan park to pay for the restoration and upkeep of the hall to save it from demolition.  The house now operates as a hotel.

Abutting the house on the northwest there is an extensive stable area dating to about 1876 which creates an overall L-shape to the house and ancillary buildings.  This area was reached by a service drive, which ran to the north of the house, running along the north side of the service range, having passed underneath a large Gothic tower/bridge which abuts the north end of the staff range of the house.  The tower has three storeys and a castellated parapet, which encloses a footbridge that connects with a wood and park.  To the south of the hall, on the west, there is a large stable court in a similar style to the house.  Stables and carriage house still appear to surround the cobbled yard, but some of this area has been converted into accommodation and the yard is now used for storage. The building off the courtyard contains a deep swimming pool, which dates from at least 1900. It is no longer in use.    The mews block is surmounted by a clock tower with a play-footed spire.

The walled kitchen garden at Mellington Hall lies about 1/2 km southeast of the house and is approximately 1½ acres in size.  Four red brick walls, with stone capping, surround it.  Along most of the south face of the north wall there is a magnificent, but derelict, vine house.  About 12 meters to the east of the centre of the garden there is a derelict freestanding, single aisled greenhouse.  It has a brick base and contains heating pipes.  On the north of the northwest garden wall the buildings appear to be, from east to west, a compost pit, a potting shed, a possible root shed and two stables, which still contain their cobbled floors and mangers.  On the north side, from west to east, there is a mess room, or journeymen’s accommodation, two workshops or potting sheds, a seed room or office, which still contains a table and seed shelves, a bothy, a possible packing room or alternate potting shed and a second mess room or journeymen’s quarters.  The head gardener would have lived across the track in the small red brick cottage, which still stands.  It is unclear how many gardeners were employed at Mellington Hall at the turn of this century but it is likely, in comparison with other similar sized estates, that it could have been as many as a dozen.

The early history of the present garden site at Mellington Hall is unclear.  It is likely that no ornamental grounds were laid out to the north and west of the old house until a new house was built in the early 1800’s.  In 1872 the area around the old house included a kennel block and the keeper’s cottage.  The later water garden was also described, as “fishponds” which could well have been associated with the original house.  The general layout of the present garden, including the ha-ha and shelterbelts, was recorded on a tithe of 1842 when it was described as “house and shrubbery gardens” and is believed to have been implemented in about 1806.  In 1872 the grounds of the Browne’s house was recorded in sale particulars, which included sketches showing the east front.  At that time the grounds appear to have been simple, with lawns to the north and east, including a croquet lawn to the south of the house, and steep grass banks running down to the east garden boundary which was marked by a wooden palisade fence.  The surviving garden features, including the balustrade, steps and terracing are all marked on the 1888 Ordnance Survey map and are believed to date from about 1872, following the purchase of the site by Mr Wright.

Immediately around the hall are car parking areas and raised gardens supported by a retaining wall, which is surmounted by a palisade to the front.  The park of Mellington Hall was created across the ancient monument of Offa’s Dyke.