The Sweeney Hall Hotel, or ‘Sweeney’ as it was 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, an 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 Sweeney Hall 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 Sweeney Hall Hotel has been owned by the Evans family since 1993, with Sean taking over full ownership in 2006. Since taking over Sean has rejuvenated Sweeney Hall, creating 13 individually styled luxury bedrooms (including the exclusive cottage and East Wing suite) and a locally-renowned restaurant. Retaining the best of the character and architecture of the original country house, Sean has refurbished the interior to the highest standards and transformed Sweeney Hall Hotel into one of Shropshire’s premier Boutique Hotels.