Elizabethan, Tudor & Reformation
Northenden, Manchester M23 0BA . Tel: 0161-998 2331. Fax: 0161-235
Wythenshawe Park covers some 250 acres of prime parkland to the immediate
south of the city. It constitutes a major leisure facility for the
people of south Manchester, and in particular, the vast Wythenshawe
housing estate which surrounds it. Beautifully maintained, it has
numerous facilities and sporting attractions including several football
pitches, tennis courts, bowling greens and children's play areas,
Horticultural Centre, as well as excellent walking facilities and
a café restaurant adjacent to the Hall.
Wythenshawe Hall was built by the Tatton family who lived their between
1540 and 1926, when Robert Greville Tatton sold the hall and park
to Lord Simon of Wythenshawe, who immediately donated them to the
City of Manchester. Several rooms are open to the public, including
the Dining Room and the Drawing Room, the latter being the oldest
surviving part of the original 1540 house. It has wall paintings celebrating
marriages between the Tatton and Booth (of Dunham Massey) Families
in the late 16th century. (See Dunham
Massey). The Hall also contains many fine paintings and drawings,
now administered by the City Art Galleries, as well as hosting frequent
and regular visiting exhibitions. A new display records the history
of the house and family through memorabilia, documents and paintings.
Recently, the external timbers have been restored and the black and
white paint removed to show the facade in its near-original condition.
To the rear are beautifully maintained Victorian gardens. Facing the
Hall stands a monument to Oliver Cromwell whose troops occupied the
Hall in 1644.
Self-service drinks and snacks are available in the Horticultural
Centre within the Park. A small range of items inspired by Wythenshawe
Hall is on sale at the Hall reception desk. The Hall welcomes disabled
visitors wheelchair access is only possible on the ground floor. There
is parking immediately outside the Hall. The nearest accessible toilets
are situated in the courtyard of the Park offices 200 yards from the
Hall. Guide dogs and hearing dogs are welcome. Photography is not
permitted within the Hall. Regretfully there are no baby changing
facilities. The Hall is available for corporate entertaining, receptions
and meetings - contact telephone: 0161-234 3039.
Open from end of March to the end of September from Thursday-Sunday
and Bank Holidays. The Park is open to the public all year round.
Please note that times may change - check before setting off.
Located in the centre of Wythenshawe Park, 5 miles south of Manchester
city centre. Accessible by car from the M56 Motorway - take the B5167
Wythenshawe Road (junction 3) to Wythenshawe Park. From the A5103,
take the B5166 exit to Northern Moor/Sale Moor, and bear first left
onto the B5167. The park main entrance is on the left. There is free
parking outside the Hall.
Green Way, off Crompton
Way, Bolton BL1 8UA. Telephone: 01204-332 370
This small but fine Tudor manor house, one-time dwelling place of Samuel
Crompton, the inventor of the spinning mule, has recently undergone
significant restoration. It is located in the northern suburbs of Bolton,
just off Crompton Way, the town's main northerly by-pass road, and is
well signposted. It has been preserved as a museum to the memory of
Crompton, thanks largely to Lord Leverhulme, another Bolton man who
made his fortune in soap manufacture and founded the town of Port Sunlight
in Birkenhead. Leverhulme purchased the house and rescued it from complete
dereliction in 1899, after which he presented it to the Borough of Bolton.
He continued to by 16 and 17th century furnishings for the house right
up to the time of his death in 1925.
The house is an odd mixture - to the right, the original building, a
black and white half-timbered structure standing on sandstone footings,
built by Lawrence Brownlow in 1483, and on the left a stone wing built
by a later resident, Alexander Norris in 1648. Norris had demolished
the west side in order to do this. There are 10 rooms to view, including
the dairy, which houses a collection of old household and kitchen implements.
Upstairs is the Crompton Room, where he built his prototype spinning
mule, while his family lived downstairs.
Also exhibited are copies of Crompton's letters pertaining to his battle
to obtain a parliamentary grant for his invention, a spinning wheel
which he used for spinning flax yarn, his favourite armchair, his grandfather
clock, a trunk in which he kept his papers, and an organ which he built.
Other Crompton relics are to be found in adjacent rooms, including his
violin. Unfortunately, the house is difficult for disabled visitors,
and only the ground floor is feasible for wheelchairs.
Open from the beginning of April until the end of September from Wednesday
to Sunday and from October to the end of March on Saturday and Sunday
- phone to check exact times. There is an entrance charge, plus children's
concessions and family tickets.
Bibliography - Books about Manchester