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History of Lyme

The Library at Lyme Park, Cheshire.
The Library at Lyme Park, Cheshire. | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

The largest estate in Cheshire, National Trust Lyme has been designed on a grand scale. Sitting at over 1,400 acres, some 850 feet above sea level, Lyme is a Grade II listed landscape and now a designated conservation area and Regionally Important geological site.

History of Lyme


The Founding of Lyme – The Forging of a Legend

  • At the Battle of Crécy on August 26, 1346, King Edward III scored a decisive victory against the French, and his then 16-year-old son Edward won his spurs (i.e., the mark of knighthood). It was at Crécy that Edward of Woodstock, also then known as the Prince of Wales, became widely known as the legendary Black Prince, a commander of military ability, charisma, and cruelty. 

  • During the battle, a French nobleman seized hold of the Black Prince’s standard. Sir Thomas Danyers is said to have then rescued the standard from the hands of the enemy. As a reward for his loyalty to the crown, Danyers was given the lands of Lyme Handley. 

  • Margaret Legh (née Dayners) later inherited the Lyme Handley from her father and in 1398, her marriage to Sir Piers Legh I forged Lyme into the Legh family history. Generations later, Sir Piers Legh VII, made Lyme a home, turning the humble hunting lodge into a grand country estate. 

Two deer at Lyme Park in Cheshire with the house in the background

Discover more at Lyme Park

Find out when Lyme Park is open, how to get here, things to see and do and more.