Collection Description

Collection name Adlington Hall
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Description Adlington Hall, constructed between 1480 and 1505, has been the home of the Legh family for over 500 years. Its musical items are small in number but very significant.

The Hall’s famous organ was installed in the 1690s, with its pipework believed to come from an earlier “Father Schmidt” organ. It is decorated with an elaborate coat of arms, commemorating the marriage of John Legh and Lady Isabella Robates in 1693. Tradition has it that Handel himself played this organ at one time - he and Charles Legh were certainly friends - and even composed his “Harmonious blacksmith” suite (HWV 430) at its keyboard. Adlington Hall’s archive contains historical information and original manuscripts relating to the organ.

The Handel connection is cemented by the presence of an autograph Handel manuscript, with the composer’s signature. The piece is a setting of Charles Legh’s “Hunting song”, the words first published in the Gentleman’s Magazine in 1747, with Handel’s setting being a gift to Legh four years later.

Much information about the organ and the manuscript is available on

Jonathan Frank, June 2020

Manuscript music
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Date range -
Associated People and Organisations Smith, Bernard - Handel, George Frideric - Charles Legh -
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Associated Times 17th Century 18th Century
Associated Content Organ Songs
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Adlington Hall

Mill Lane Adlington Macclesfield SK10 4LF Open Map
Building Information One of the most beautiful country homes in England, Adlington Hall lies in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, set in glorious gardens and surrounded by the impressive and picturesque 2000-acre Adlington estate.
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For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

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