As depicted in a painting of around 1710, the original building was square with sides of around 100 feet (30 m), and featured gabled projecting bays and groups of octagonal chimney stacks.
Built around a central open courtyard, the interior had a great hall and long gallery; the main entrance led to a screens passage and the main staircase was in a small east hall.
Early in the Second World War, Crewe Hall was used as a military training camp, repatriation camp for Dunkirk troops and a US army camp, becoming the gun operations headquarters for the north-west region in 1942.
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The hall was extended in the late 18th century and altered by Edward Blore in the early Victorian era. Other artists and craftsmen employed during the restoration include J. The interior is elaborately decorated and contains many fine examples of wood carving, chimneypieces and plasterwork, some of which are Jacobean in date. On the estate are cottages designed by Nesfield's son, William Eden Nesfield, which Pevsner considered to have introduced features such as tile hanging and pargetting into Cheshire.
Wellcome produced liquids, tablets, creams and antibiotic aerosols at the site; the hall itself was used for administration, but the stables block was rebuilt internally for use as laboratories and the industrial facilities were expanded.
Hearth-tax assessments of 1674 show the original hall to have been one of the largest houses in Cheshire, its 42 hearths being surpassed only by Cholmondeley House and Rocksavage, neither of which have survived.
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