The Oulton Estate was the ancestral home of the Egerton family, who were made Lords of the Manor by King Henry VII. They were local landowners for nearly 500 years, and when the original hall was destroyed by fire in 1715, the family commissioned the baroque style Oulton Hall to be constructed in its place. To accompany this grand manor house, formal gardens and parkland were laid, all surrounded by Cheshire farmland.
In approximately 1773, the gates that were originally built to access the estate in 1725 were removed and replaced circa 1775 by a grand lodge, designed by Joseph Turner. This impressive new entrance comprised of an elaborate archway screen with large gates, flanked by a pair of small lodge houses with two rooms in each, later extended to four, West Lodge and East Lodge.
Oulton Hall was continuously developed through the following decades until, on Valentine’s Day in 1926, a fire broke out destroying the house. Tragically, six people died in the fire because the roof collapsed. The blaze burned for several days and was so severe that it was the first fire in England that called for the services of more than one fire brigade to extinguish it.
Thankfully many of the ancillary buildings, such as the stable block and farm buildings, still stand and have been listed as buildings of special interest. The Oulton Park screen, lodges and gates were issued a Grade II* listing in 2002, after being considered of more than special interest to preserve.
The military took over the land when World War II broke out. This resulted in the remains of the old Hall being bombed and so when the land was returned to the Egerton family at the end of the war, it was covered in rubble, huts and a twelve-foot-wide roadway, which would become the inspiration for constructing a racing track.
Post-war, surplus RAF airfields were converted for motor racing as the sport sought to re-establish itself - amongst them were Silverstone, Snetterton and Thruxton. The Mid-Cheshire Motor Club saw an opportunity on their doorstep and made attempts to persuade Sir Philip Grey Egerton to lease them his land. After the last of the Polish refugees living in the army camp left in 1951, Sir Philip finally gave his consent.
Eventually a course using some of the army roadways began to take shape, passing by the ornate lodge and gates; and the first race for Formula 3 and motorcycles was held in August 1953, with bikes dominating the numbers. By the second meeting in October of that year, a crowd of some 30,000 watched on.
The popularity sparked immediate plans to extend the circuit to increase viewing areas and provide a longer lap for riders and drivers. International racing came to Oulton Park in August 1954 for the inaugural Gold Cup, a retrospective version of which still acts as the venue’s signature summer event. The Gold Cup put Oulton Park on the global map, with first Formula One, then sports cars and Formula 5000 bringing world class drivers like Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, John Surtees and Jack Brabham to Cheshire.
After a number of owners, and various track adjustments through the years, MotorSport Vision (MSV) took over ownership of Oulton Park in 2004. Immediately, a programme of improvements began to enhance the circuit experience for spectators and competitors alike. Oulton Park is now one of a portfolio of six unique motorsport venues owned and operated by MSV; each with its own distinct history.
Oulton Park West Lodge renovations began in August 2021 to restore the accommodation to its full, former glory, allowing us welcome guests to stay for the first time and revel in its unique charm.