Tatton Park is a country estate in the county of Cheshire situated between Knutsford and Manchester. Owned by the Stanley family in the 15th century, a hall was built on the land which was bought by Sir Thomas Egerton, the Lord Chancellor of England, in 1598. One of his descendants, John Egerton, built the present house at the end of the 17th century and this hall, the deer park, formal gardens and a farm passed to the National Trust in 1958 when the last Lord Egerton died without issue.
The hall and park was the destination for an outing of Coronation Street's women in August 1967 while the menfolk enjoyed themselves on a canal boat on the waterways of Cheshire. Annie Walker and Emily Nugent organised the trip which saw Elsie Tanner, days away from being married to Steve Tanner, being pursued by lecherous coach driver Frank Hoyle and her and Irma Barlow having to be rescued from his attentions by Ena Sharples and Emily Nugent. Annie was entranced by the interior of the hall which has all the trappings one would expect of a stately home but Hilda Ogden scandalised her by offering her opinion that it would look better if it was decorated to make it look more modern! The men and women of the two parties were surprised when they came across one another when the canal barge reached the grounds of the park.
In April 1984, Ken and Deirdre Barlow had to put off a visit to the park when Christine Glover, a mentally-ill woman who had contacted Ken through his editorship of the Weatherfield Recorder and who was threatening suicide was hospitalised. Twenty-seven years later, Steve McDonald offered wife Becky a trip there to try and placate her over the loss of custody of his daughter Amy Barlow.
Tatton Park was the site of the location videotaping for the first ever episode of Coronation Street to be made entirely on location - Episode 700 (30th August 1967) - which made full use of the house, both interior and exterior and the famous Japanese Garden within the grounds. In reality, no canal or navigable waterway goes through the park and recording for the canal boat sequences probably took place on the Shropshire Union Canal several miles south of Tatton Park using the boat Iona which is still available for hire from the Godalming Packetboat Company on the River Wey in Surrey. The episode was devised as a treat for the cast by producer Jack Rosenthal as an alternative to the weekly routine of rehearsal and studio recording. He was staggered to find that the members of the company disliked the location shooting intensely, complaining about all manner of things, such as having to walk on grass, and far preferring to be inside their normal routine in their Manchester studio base.
The programme returned to the park in 2010 when rooms inside the hall were used for the fictional Shawbrooke Country House Hotel where Roy and Hayley Cropper were married (Heaton Hall in Manchester was used for other scenes.
The park had a long association with Granada Television who used it extensively for the shooting of their acclaimed 1981 adaptation of Brideshead Revisited in which the interior of the house stood in for the interior of Marchmain House, fictionally located in London, while the conservatory was used for a sequence set in Brideshead Castle though the remainder was famously filmed at Castle Howard in Yorkshire. The exterior of the house was seen in a sequence in the seventh episode where Charles Ryder captures it on canvas from a vantage point in the gardens.