The Sweeney has had a long and interesting history as a family home, residential care home and night club before becoming The Sweeney that we see and love today.
‘Sweeney’ as it was first known was purchased in 1563 by Arthur Chamber from Henry Fitzlan, Earl of Arundel. The property was sold by his son in 1623 to Thomas Baker, who was in the employ of Mr Chamber, and married his housekeeper. His son Thomas, who, according to history books, erected in 1640 ‘A new fair house in Sweeney, a handsome pile of buildings‘, succeeded Mr Baker.
He supported the parliamentary side in the civil war, and was made High Sheriff of the county in 1649. In October 1649, Norry, King of Armes, issued a declaration granting Thomas Baker of Swaney a crest of arms carrying three swans’ heads and surmounted by a hand holding a further swan’s head. The name ‘Sweeney’ could have derived from the original ‘Swaney’.
The congregational church of Protestant dissenters was formed in the township of Sweeney in 1662 after ejection from Oswestry. The Pastor also acted as Chaplin to Mr Baker of Sweeney Hall in which a pulpit existed.
The ancient burial ground of the first nonconformist is still maintained in the grounds of the hall, and includes the grave of ‘Thomas Baker Esq, Deceased March 9th, aged 68, AD 1675’.
Another inscription, which is still legible, reads, ‘Here lies Mrs Abigail Chetwood, daughter of Sir Richard Chetwood, who died 1st May 1658’.
Only the pillars of the entrance gates and supporting wall remains of the “new fair house” of Mr Baker. He died without issue in 1675, and the estate passed to a relative, Thomas Browne, whose family motto ‘Dead Shame’ is incorporated into the stained glass crest above the front door of the present hall.
In the 1800s The Sweeney was owned by the Parker family, and later inherited by the Leighton family who owned it until the late 1960s. Since this time Sweeney Hall has been a hotel, night club and even a residential care home.
Bringing the story up to date – The Evans family acquired The Sweeney in 1993, with Sean and Kara taking full ownership of the hotel in 2006, from her parents who had original purchased the hotel.
Over the past 25 years, we have been officially known as the ‘Sweeney Hall Hotel’, whilst also affectionately being referred to as ‘The Sweeney’, and decided to rebrand under this name in 2018.
Since 2006, The Sweeney has undergone extensive refurbishments to create 14 individually styled luxury bedrooms (including our adjoined cottage and the East Wing suite) and our locally-renowned restaurant.
Sean has led the refurbishment; retaining the best of the character and architecture of the original country house, whilst introducing complementing modern features and décor that offer our guests a comforting and relaxing place to enjoy.
‘A home away from home’ as we like to think, and a Shropshire country house hotel that you won’t want to miss.