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Page last updated at 14:38 GMT, Friday, 9 July 2010 15:38 UK
Historic Marchwiel Hall on the market for 2.5m

19th Century Marchwiel Hall and part of its estate
Marchwiel Hall is situated within 150 acres on the outskirts of Wrexham

The sale of one of Wrexham's historic halls gives a rare glimpse behind the front gate of the private estate owned by a family empire for almost 100 years.

On the market for £2.5m, the sale includes 19th Century Marchwiel Hall, a Grade II listed building, with five main reception rooms, a ballroom and 12 bedrooms.

Bought in 1913 by the son of the founder of the McAlpine construction business, the estate in the village of Marchwiel, Wrexham, also comes with three houses within the grounds, outbuildings, stables and arena, 150 acres and a cricket ground and pavilion.

The cricket ground is home to Marchwiel and Wrexham Cricket Club, the only part of the estate open to the public.

"It's an extremely elegant house, set in beautiful grounds," says Cynthia Rees, local historian and author of a book about the history of Marchwiel.

The sales literature by estate agents Savills, Telford, says Marchwiel Hall was originally the residence of a local family.

dining room
A view of the dining room. The hall also has its own ballroom.

It's thought there has been a building on the site since the 17th Century. The hall that stands today dates from the 1840s.

In 1883, its owner, Benjamen Piercy, a wealthy civil and railway engineer, laid the cricket ground, which could have been a big draw for its next owner, Sir Alfred David McAlpine, son of Sir Robert McAlpine, founder of the construction firm.

A big cricket fan, Sir Alfred, who, at the time became chairman of Denbighshire Cricket Club, developed the cricket ground as "one of the most picturesque settings for playing the game in the country", according to records.

Cynthia said: "Sir Alfred was a very charitable man. He did a great deal for the parish, in addition to being a very busy structural engineer, of course.

"One of the things which he's most famous for (locally) is when WWII broke out Sir Alfred presented the village with an air raid shelter which was in the school garden.

"It was underground and lined with McAlpine concrete. My father used to grow mushrooms in it after the war," said Cynthia.

Savills director Tony Morris-Eyton told WalesOnline, the estate was being sold by professional trustees on behalf of descendants of the McAlpine family.

According to the newspaper, the last of the McAlpines to live in the hall was Sir Alfred's grandson John Bell, who left to live in the Far East two years ago.

Mill cottage
Mill cottage, a Grade II listed building, stands overlooking the mill pool

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