Yes, Manchester has a country house a stone’s throw from its city centre! Ordsall Hall, located in Salford opposite Pomona Island, isn’t looked after by the National Trust or another heritage body, but Salford City Council. Consequently, it is everyone’s country house! A JustGiving page for donations has been launched to help support the building, which is temporarily closed in light of public health guidance around the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Ordsall Hall

The closure of the hall to the public means that it is no longer receiving donations of guests who come through the door (it is free to visit), make purchases in the shop, and book for events. This is a place where every donation makes a difference, contributing to the vital upkeep of what is Salford’s oldest building…a place that has survived the Peasants Revolt, the Industrial Revolution, two World Wars, and it has an impressive 800 years of history! Therefore, helping it to continue is historically crucial.

All donations will help towards the hall being able to open its old oak doors to the public again, when the time is appropriate, as well as allowing staff to put more of its activities and resources online in the meantime…so you can enjoy Ordsall Hall, at home! Donations will also contribute towards maintaining the historic building, caring for the 2.5 acres of organic gardens, and providing opportunities for future visitors and volunteers alike.

Ordsall Hall

Grade I listed by Historic England, the house is of extreme, national importance and equal to other Grade I listed buildings like Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster (known as The House of Parliament). Only eight per cent of listed buildings are considered this significant, and Ordsall Hall is a remarkable survival of the many medieval manor houses that used to be dotted throughout the Salford and greater Lancashire area.

As if its heritage required further explanation, the medieval house was rebuilt significantly in the late Victorian period, and rescued from being derelict more recently. It has layer upon layer of architectural, cultural, and design heritage. It tells, and can tell many stories about its history and the people who lived in it.

Great Hall

The distinctive Gothic design elements introduced into the wattle-and-daub structure, particularly in its stunning Great Hall, including the four-lobe quatrefoil and pointed arches, directly affected the design of other medieval houses in the region, including the National Trust’s Little Moreton Hall (here). A previous post on the building by the architectural expert of Haunt Manchester, Dr Peter N. Lindfield of Manchester Metropolitan University, is available here.

Here at Haunt Manchester, we are proud to have been involved in events at Ordsall Hall—the building after all has a rich and varied programme of events—including Gothic Manchester Festival 2019 features such as a ‘Haunted Spaces’ lecture and parapsychology experiment, family-friendly Ghost Stories…and more.

Ordsall Hall

This building is significant to Manchester’s history and needs our help to survive the current Covid-19 outbreak. Donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/keepusextraordinary

By Dr Peter N. Lindfield and Emily Oldfield

All images © Peter N. Lindfield. 

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