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The History of Farington Lodge

A grand Grade II listed Georgian country house, it was built in the 1830s as a family home for Mr William Bashall, business partner of Mr William Boardman in the prosperous Farington Cotton Mill.After William Bashall’s death in 1871, Farington Lodge became the home of Montague Copeland and his family until 1901 when William McMinnies, the managing director of Bashall & Boardman Ltd, moved in with his family.

From 1911 until his death in 1931, the occupants of Farington Lodge were the distinguished businessman Mr James Todd and his family. Mr Todd was a wealthy accountant with offices in Blackpool, Chester, London, Manchester, Preston and even Moscow. He was also a director of the Sunbeam Motor Company and as such, Todd’s family had at least one car at their disposal. On his death, which unfortunately coincided with a huge slump in the value of cotton shares in which much of his wealth was invested, the Todd family met with financial ruin.

A friend of Mr Todd was Henry Spurrier, the first managing director of Leyland Motors. About the time of Mr Todd’s death, Mr Spurrier was looking for somewhere suitable for important visitors to Leyland Motors to stay when they needed overnight accommodation. He had an idea which he hoped would help both Todd’s widow and himself. He asked if she would be willing to allow company guests to use some of her bedrooms and for her to act as hostess – for which Leyland Motors would pay her appropriately. The Leyland Motor’s guests enjoyed their beautiful surroundings and Mrs Todd had some financial support. So popular did Farington Lodge become with the Leyland Motors guests that, when the company learned that Mrs Todd wanted to leave the area, they purchased the estate.

Farington Lodge, the happy family home of the Todd family for 21 years, became Leyland Motors Guest House. Leyland Motors used Farington Lodge primarily as a venue for visiting Directors and dignitaries which included Prince Edward and Mrs Simpson, HRH The Queen Mother and HRH Prince Philip.

The house went into private ownership in 1989 following the insolvency of Leyland DAF, with the current owners taking over in 1994. HRH Princess Diana visited in 1992 and, since March 2001, we have had the privilege of welcoming HRH Princess Anne to several dinners in aid of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers.The first of these dinners took place in a marquee situated to the side of the lodge in our magnificent gardens where the Jubilee Suite now stands. Opened in 2002, the Jubilee Suite has played host to hundreds of weddings and gala dinners.

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