Manchester History  in Tudor Times





History & Heritage of Cheshire

Tudor & Reformation Building in North West England

Nether Alderley Mill

Congleton Road, Nether Alderley, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 4TW. Tel: 01625 523 012.

Alderley Edge Mill near Manchester Millkeeper's Cottage at Nether AlderleyMill near Manchester

Dating from the 15th century, this National Trust property is often overlooked by traffic speeding along the A34, yet it is well worth a stop to visit. An overshot wheel watermill, with a stone flagged low pitched roof, the working machinery lay derelict for many years, but has now been fully restored to working order by National Trust and still grinds flour for demonstration purposes.
April to September, Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays in the afternoon. Parties catered for (maximum 20) by prior arrangement. Ladder stairs access, unfortunately not easy for disabled and inaccessible to wheelchairs. No dogs allowed. Keys and guide by the keeper - call at cottages about 100 yards opposite. Notice on Mill gives clear instructions concerning access.
1½ miles south of Alderley Edge on the A34. Buses from Manchester & Macclesfield.

Bramall Hall

Bramhall, Stockport. Tel: 0161-485 3708.
Described by Pevsner as " of the four best timber mansions in England". Visitors are often confused to find Bramall Hall is in Bramhall ! Locally the disparity was controversial too. This came about when, in 1935, Hazel Grove & Bramhall Urban District Council acquired the Hall, and in keeping with the original entry in the Domesday book, decided to retain the original spelling of "Bramall" for the house.

Bramhall: Aerial Photo Courtesy of © 2008

Bramall Hall currently is owned by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, and is one of best preserved black and white timber buildings, typical in Cheshire. Its oldest parts date from the 14th century, though the estate itself dates back to around 1070 AD when William the Conqueror subdued the North West region; dividing the land amongst his loyal followers, the manor of "Bramale" were given to Hamo de Masci ("Massey" - he became the first baron of Dunham Massey). In earlier Saxon times, (before the Conquest), the estate formed part of the much bigger two neighbouring manors of Brun and Hacun. In the 12th century the manor passed to the Bromale family, and stayed with them for 200 years until, through marriage, it passed to Davenports, who resided at Bramall for 500 years. The building shows a great deal of subsequent rebuilding and addition - much of it following current fashion of the day, though most was accomplished after it passed from the Davenport family in 1877. It stood empty until purchase by Charles Neville, a local calico printer, in 1883. Neville made many sympathetic alterations, with the assistance of architect, George Faulkener Armitage - notably, the interior was made more comfortable while retaining most of the buildings external features. In 1923, after the Great War, the family's changing fortunes compelled Thomas Neville to sell the house and contents to John Henry Davies, who lived there until his death in 1927, though his widow, Amy lived on the estate until 1935 when she sold it to Hazel Grove and Bramhall Urban District Council. Following Local Government reorganisation in 1974, the estate became the responsibility of the new Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, who still maintain it.

Bramall Hall, Stockport, Greater Manchester Bramall Hall , Stoxckport

The Park
Over 62 acres of beautifully landscaped parkland (dating from the 19th century) with lakes and waterfowl. A ha-ha, or sunken ditch separates the Hall from the park to keep cattle out. The park is a Mecca for local residents, and makes a pleasant picnic or walking site.
Guided Tours
An introductory 15 minute video about the house is offered, and is well worth seeing. There are numerous attendants who will guide you through the house, though you may choose an unguided tour. Rooms all contain plenty of information about architecture, furniture, details, etc. Open to viewing by the public are: the Great Hall, the Lesser Hall, the Banqueting Hall (pictured above), the Chapel (with medieval "Passion" painting), the so-called Ballroom (with fine wall paintings), Staircases, Neville's Room, the Plaster Room, the Paradise Room (pictured above), the Withdrawing Room, Kitchens, and Servants Quarters.
Open all year round April-September afternoons - phone to check exact times. Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Easily signposted from Stockport - follow Bramhall signs from Stockport centre. Ample free parking.
Entrance to the Park is free, but there is a charge for entrance to the Hall with concessions and family tickets available.
Shop, Stables Restaurant serving full lunches, light meals, teas and beverages. Ample free parking. Facilities for the disabled. Toilets.

Sources: See Bibliography - Books about Manchester

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This page last updated 16 Nov 12.