The historic Shropshire home of one of Charles Darwin’s friends and colleagues has gone on the market with a price tag of £2 million.
Eyton Hall at Eyton upon the Weald Moors, near Telford –which was once home to TC Eyton – is being sold along with its 27 acres of parkland and gardens.
TC Eyton wrote the book Rarer British Birds in 1836.
He corresponded regularly with Shrewsbury-born Darwin, but did not accept Darwin’s views and was reported to be ‘not amused’ when Darwin used some of Eyton’s observations in support of Darwin’s own theorem.
The seven-bedroom mansion was built for the Eyton family, one of the area’s best known and longest-established families, and belonged to them until 1962.
It has now been put up for sale by its current owners.
TC Eyton inherited the estate in 1855 and extended the ancestral home to incorporate a museum – considered at the time to be among the finest private collections of its kind.
His museum was housed in a specially-built wing of the hall and was said to contain a series of ornithological skeletons that ranked with the best in the world, while it was also home to an ‘almost unequalled’ library of books on natural science and field sports.
Much of the collection was dispersed following his death in 1880, although a Sotheby’s catalogue containing an array of items from a sale of his effects survives as a testament to its owner’s eclectic tastes.
Sporting pursuits also formed an important part of Eyton’s life and his village cricket club is thought to be one of the oldest in the county, earning him the title ’Father of Shropshire Cricket’.
Tony Morris-Eyton, selling agent for Savills Telford, said the house was on the market for £2million.
He said: “Eyton Hall is a supremely elegant Regency country house standing in its own beautiful parkland.
The grade-II listed property is noted for its fine architecture.
“The timeless style of the Regency period is echoed throughout Eyton Hall. With its oriental influenced hallway, complete with Indian inspired vaulted ceilings, much like those at Brighton Pavilion, Eyton Hall is a home of historical importance.
“The manor has a stable history as the Eyton family have been based at Eyton upon the Weald Moors since very early times and they held the manor until 1962. The Pantoff family, who married in to the Eyton family, came over with William the Conqueror.
“Sir Thomas Eyton had to forfeit much of his estate, which was vast at the time, as a result of his participation in the Civil War – his fine amounted to £967.”
The land surrounding the mansion includes 13 acres of grazing land, woodland, a lake, and outbuildings including the former coach house, which is now a double garage with loft space above, and a traditional barn with the original loose boxes.
There are also two derelict cottages in the grounds which have planning permission for restoration into accommodation.
By Pam Griffin