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ORDSALL HALL SALFORD REOPENS
 

Star date: 16th May 2011

ORDSALL HALL OPEN AFTER £6.5MILLION RESTORATION

`The £6.5million restoration of Ordsall Hall has been timed to fit in with the whole tarting up of parts of Ordsall estate, which stands between Salford Quays and MediaCityUK on one side, and Manchester city centre on the other. It's just another piece in a bigger jigsaw…'

Salford's oldest building, Ordsall Hall, has now reopened following a massive restoration of the Grade 1 listed building which dates from the 14th Century. What's it like? Why has it been done up? And is there really a ghost haunting the place?

Full details here…


Ordsall Hall Ordsall Hall Ordsall Hall
Ordsall Hall Ordsall Hall Ordsall Hall
Ordsall Hall Ordsall Hall Ordsall Hall
Ordsall Hall Ordsall Hall Ordsall Hall
Ordsall Hall Ordsall Salford Ordsall Salford
Ordsall Hall
click image to enlarge

"Perhaps we frightened the poor White Lady away or Sir John Radclyffe or whoever but we never saw a thing…" John Finley

Walking into the `new' Ordsall Hall is a bit of a shock really. The creaky floors, and darkened rooms have gone. And Les, the friendliest museum worker in the world, is no longer there to captivate kids' imagination. They've been replaced with the new Ordsall Hall `visitor attraction' – complete with learning rooms, spotless wooden floors and geometric gardens that have not a leaf out of place. It suits the image of the `new' Ordsall.

The £6.5million restoration of Ordsall Hall has been timed to fit in with the wholesale re-making of parts of the Ordsall estate, which stands strategically between Salford Quays and MediaCityUK on one side, and Manchester city centre on the other. It's just another piece in a bigger jigsaw.

Millions of pounds of both public and private money is being spent around the outer boundaries of Ordsall – over £1million on the `Ordsall River Park', destroying the famous Graffiti Palace in the process (see here); over £200,000 `greening' the two streets - Guy Fawkes Street and Warburton Street - next to Ordsall Hall; and well over £150million on new `town houses', apartments, hotels, a supermarket, schools and offices in the LPC Living led masterplan that aims to make the area more comfortable for BBC workers and professionals. Meanwhile, the indigenous Ordsall community remains one of the most `deprived' in the whole country, never mind Salford.

As Ordsall Hall opened its doors to the press last week, one of the last industrial units opposite the front entrance was being torn down to make way for the brave new Ordsall world.

It's a world which is desperately attempting to get the community on board. In the Hall itself, there's an opening exhibition of local people and Ordsall Hall workers decked out in period costumes, while a mural in the main hall depicts bygone school kids and local characters.

Stone plaques on the ground at the front of house etch people's memories of the place… `I came here with my mum, cousin, nana and brother. We dressed up in Tudor clothes'. Other's trace the history of the Hall (`1251 – the Manor of Ordsall on the River Irwell' `1335 – Inherited by the Catholic Radclyffe family'`1920 – Allotments and shelter for destitute people')

The restoration work itself has seen a whole new wing opened up to the public for the first time. One room is so fragile that it's behind a glass case, but another has been decked out with replicas where kids can dress up and bounce on the bed.

As you go down one of the new staircases a section of the old timbers are on show, while the Hall's exterior has been returned to its original brown and white Tudor facade. The project tries as far as possible to bring Salford's seven hundred year old mansion back to its beginnings, and even has a transparent panel in the garden where people can see the original ancient view and contrast it with the current state of the estate.

At the press opening, John Finley, who lived in the Hall for nearly ten years while his father was a caretaker in the 1960s, was thrilled with the way Ordsall Hall looks now but added that its most famous residents don't exist.

"My father and I went round the Hall on late night security jaunts but we never saw the ghosts" he said "Perhaps we frightened the poor White Lady away or Sir John Radclyffe or whoever but we never saw a thing.

"I don't believe in ghosts, I'm not a religious person" he added "I maintain that if you've been brought up on ghosts and angels and demons and all the rest of it, you believe in them but I don't – I never saw them, sorry…"

As the area changes yet again, the spectre of regeneration is currently haunting the estate with the post industrial spirit of MediaCityUK. And the 14th Century Hall is once again a selling point at the centre of the manor. But will the hoped-for prosperity find its way to the Ordsall community? That is the big question.

Ordsall Hall re-opened to the public on May 15th.

For opening times and more information on Ordsall Hall click here (and hopefully it will be updated soon - it's still closed according to this)

 

mary ferrer wrote
at 19:43:06 on 24 May 2011
I think Monks hall is not owned by the council. I do understand over the years people have put in plans for the building and all have been turned down.On the other hand they give permission for this hotel scheme to go ahead and are now looking at giving these two anothe 3 years to make a move on starting the work. It makes me wonder are they waiting for the Mansion to get that bad it has to come down.There were lots of plans to revamp Buile hill park. I remember going to meetings back in 1998 there were plans for a bandstand, the hothouse was going to be done,a pet corner, cafe craft shops visitors centre, where has it all gone.This lot up at the civic talk a good talk but can't come up with the goods. This city is far from dead,but will be if something is not done with Laurel and Hardey. They have free run of what is happening or in this case not happening. I still wonder if they don't have a hidden agenda.
 
Harry Toon wrote
at 09:41:03 on 24 May 2011
Let's not forget Monks Hall either . Another Salford asset the clouncil cretins have let rot and decay , just like Buile Hill Mansion . Anyone remember the hothouse at the back , with it's exotic plants and goldfish pond ? The clouncil cretins destroyed that as well . The rot and decay continues in this rotton and dead city .
 
Mary Ferrer wrote
at 06:24:03 on 24 May 2011
Its fantastic news about Ordsall Hall.Its a great pity the council have not looked after another jewel within this city, Buile Hill Mansion. No what they have done is grant planning permission for a 93 bed hotel 3 years ago and just sat back and waited for the builders to start knowing dam well they haven't a penny to move forward with the project. Now the planning permission is running out in June and Willkinson and Watson have applied for an extention on the application for another 3 years. What we must remember is this building is still owned by the city NO money has been exchanged. The city council are still looking after the building, how well I am not sure, but they are the owners and must foot the bill. Back in 2008 when permission was given two things were said to the panel. 1) The lottery bid of 4 million would not happen if this plan was not passed. WE LOST THE BID BECAUSE OF THE HOTEL PLANS. Don't the council want to get lottery funding for the park???? 2) Something needed to be done SOON to keep the building safe. WOULD YOU SAY 3 YEARS PLUS ANOTHER 3 YEARS WAS SOON. Why can't the council now put the Mansion back out to tender and if they do I just hope they look at a proposal that is fitting both this Grade two listed building and our Heritage park, not a tatty hotel.
 
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