Nestled quietly between Oswestry and Selattyn and set back from the road is the beautiful and imposing Oakhurst Hall. Having been used for a wealth of activities throughout the decades, the hall built around 1854, has kept it’s features and trims which you experience as you walk through the currently habitable side and the rooms that were most recently used as offices. It’s history has seen it used as a boarding school for girls during the war, being owned by Shropshire Council and the previous family owned it for approximately 35 years.

Catherine Halliday-Taylor and her family; husband Alan, their three boys and Mum Valerie, moved in to Oakhurst Hall during August 2019 with a mammoth task ahead of them. I met with Catherine, her Mum and their two gorgeous miniature Schnauzers, Bradford and Bingley to hear the story behind relocation to our wonderful town of Oswestry.

We sit in the mainly renovated side of the house with a coffee and some biscuits and Catherine explains how they found the hall. Catherine found the mansion whilst hunting for a project on the Internet that would suit the family as a forever home and give them everything they needed in terms of area and lifestyle. Having grown up in Surrey and lived the fast paced life associated with London and the surrounding areas, it was time for them to relocate for a quieter life.

Catherine explained “When I saw the hall on the agents website, I was amazed and when I looked in to what Oswestry had to offer it seemed too good to be true. The schools in the area, the beautiful countryside and the hall itself ticked every box.”

However, it wasn’t until an unusual turn of events last Christmas, that the family decided to come up to Oswestry to investigate the hall and area.

Catherine said, “December 2018 we were at the airport waiting for our holiday to Lanzarote to start, where we were spending Christmas. But it all went out the window when the drone drama unfolded and all flights were cancelled.

“So we decided, seeing as our holiday abroad had been scuppered, we would take the opportunity to travel up to Oswestry where we have friends in a nearby town, and explore the house and local area. We haven’t looked back since and we completed on the sale in the July.”

However, it hasn’t all been plain sailing as there have been a few incidences, which have tested the family.

Catherine explained, “The day we moved in, a pipe burst in the cellar which meant the water was off so we couldn’t shower or do anything until we got hold of a plumber. The trouble was, we didn’t know anyone so it took a few days to get that sorted out.”

Despite the rocky start, Catherine and her family are all chipping in with the manual labour and Catherine herself has a background in property development, which lends to the progression and changes in décor already made. Alan can be found outside planting trees and the boys have been helping strip layers of old wallpaper by hand! The Hall is going to be a long project for the family but they are here to stay and are meeting local people along their journey with this epic renovation.

Alan and Catherine are looking for the following to help them with the project: builders, plumbers, electricians and decorators.

If you would like to speak with Catherine and are interested in providing a quote, please send an email to

Follow the family’s progress on Instagram: @oakhurst_hall_renovations