Lady Waterford Hall History
Commissioned in 1860 by Louisa Anne, Marchioness of Waterford, the building was used as the village school of Ford until 1957.
The building’s style is in keeping with much of the village, which Louisa transformed considerably after inheriting the estate from her husband in 1859.
In 1862, Louisa began her ‘great experiment’, covering the walls of the schoolroom with scenes from the Bible. These murals took her 21 years to complete and the characters in them were modelled by children from the school and their parents from the village and estate.
A fascinating visitors’ book dates from 1865 and contains names from every corner of the world as royalty, statesmen, clergymen, artists and others have come to admire Louisa’s great masterpiece. Many names are those of the relations whose portraits are on the walls.
The outside of the building is decorated with a vine and fig leaves, the coat of arms of the Beresford family (of whom the Marquis of Waterford is the head) and two of Louisa’s monograms from the Beresford and Delaval families:
Delavals (owned Ford prior to 1827): Dieu me conduise (God leads me)
Beresfords (owned Ford from 1827 to 1907): Nil Nisi Cruce (No dependence but in the Cross)
Seaton Delaval Hall - Home of the Delaval family, who owned Ford estate until 1827