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Orlando, the eldest son of Lord Bradford was part of the Prince Regent’s set. Lucy Byng, sister-in-law of the 6th Duke of Bedford and the 2nd Marquess of Bath, Orlando followed Royal fashions, employing Morel & Hughes to redecorate and refurnish Weston Park.
He also acquired a number of items of furniture, clocks and other works of art from France, probably using the marchand-mercier Martin-Eloi Lignereux who was also a favourite of the future English King.
Richard’s father, the 1st Earl and his brother Lord Torrington assembled an astonishing collection of Old Master paintings and also portraits of people they had known in the Civil War and Restoration era – many of them being remarkable works of art by some of the most important painters of their time.
Most of them were brought to Weston from the family’s London house by Countess Mary in 1735 and have remained at Weston Park ever since.
The 2nd Earl and Countess of Bradford’s sons died without legitimate issue and so Weston Park passed to their daughter Lady Anne Newport.
His son, Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 1st Baronet, Lord Chief Justice and Keeper of the Great Seal of England married the heiress Judith Kynaston which brought the family extensive estates in North Shropshire.
The story of the present house begins on 29th June 1651 when the twenty-year-old Elizabeth Mytton married Sir Thomas Wilbraham, a Cheshire landowner and baronet. Traditionally described as the House’s architect, Lady Wilbraham was in reality a very interested patron of the building which was overseen by the architect William Taylor, whose Minsterley Church in Shropshire has strong similarities with Weston.
Taylor was also probably responsible for the Stable Block, rebuilding of the Church’s nave and also for the re-building of Woodhey, the Wilbraham’s Cheshire seat.
The land on which Weston stands was first mentioned in the Domesday Book.
The principal survivor of those times is the park which includes one of the original medieval deer parks and some impressive trees of majestic size.
Mary and her husband were also patrons of the arts in their own right, as a fine pier table that was probably made by Royal maker James Moore and also some fine collections of silver that – like the table – are ornamented with the Newport family’s unicorn crest testify.