A brief history of Dunham Massey

Over 400 years of history have unfolded at Dunham Massey. Home to two ancient families, the Booths and the Greys, their stories of international fortune and friendship can still be felt across the estate today.



A medieval park

Seat of the Massey barons, the park at Dunham Massey was first mentioned in 1362, but wild deer and boar were hunted there many years before. Deer parks were a prominent feature of the British landscape after the Norman Conquest, a symbol of elite power and privilege. Today only a handful remain, most broken up or converted for agriculture or landscaped parkland.

A fallow deer grazes in the Park at Dunham Massey


Robert Bothe of Barton

The Estate passes through the female line in marriage to the first Booth, Robert Bothe of Barton.


Booth's Rising

In August 1659, the final year of the Commonwealth, ‘Young’ Sir George Booth (1622-84) led a royalist uprising in the north, taking Chester on 19 August. Marching towards York, Booth was intercepted by the Protectorate spymaster John Thurloe and eventually defeated. He escaped, allegedly disguised as a woman, but was later imprisoned in the Tower. After the Restoration Booth was freed and rewarded, given the Barony of Delamer and £20,000. Staunchly Protestant, George’s son Henry, 1st Earl of Warrington (1652-94), was in the 1680s also sent to the Tower – three times – for sedition against James II.