The estate at Hilton Park has been the site of a grand house ever since the early 1600’s. Originally named Kilshanless, it was also called Maddenton before it was christened as Hilton Park in the late 18th century.
A fire in 1803, started by a servant, destroyed the original structure along with the renovated portion added by Samuel Madden in 1734. His entire collection of art and archival materials was also lost to the flames.
The house was rebuilt over a period of years, while the family lived in an apartment over the stable. In the 1870’s, it was redesigned and remodeled by John Madden and William Hague, a famous designer of Roman Catholic churches and cathedrals. Together, they worked to achieve an effect that resembled the Italian palazzo. The new design featured an ornate staircase, as well as new halls, a gallery, and an exquisite ballroom. The entire basement was excavated more deeply to accommodate the new ground floor of the building.
Perhaps because of the landlord tenant problems during this time period, fortification features were also added to the renovation of Hilton Park. Steel shutters and doors were added to protect the landowner and his family within.
The house at Hilton Park today looks very much the same. Modern conveniences such as electricity and central heating have been added. Some of the huge rooms have been divided into smaller ones. Period furnishings are abundant throughout, including a magnificent Erard concert grand piano that is said to have once been played by Chopin. The views are spectacular from the grounds, and the many luxurious bedrooms are occupied by a constant flow of guests.
Today, Hilton Park is operated by Johnny and Lucy Madden, of the eighth generation of Maddens to live at the estate, which encompasses 500 acres of forests, parklands and lakes. At the house, guests enjoy lodging and meals in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.