Manchester History during the Reformation





Country Houses in Greater Manchester & Lancashire

During the Tudor & Reformation Period

Rufford Old hall

Near Ormskirk, Southport, Lancashire L40 1SG. Tel: 01704-821254.
Reckoned by many to be one of the finest 15th/16th century timber construction frame buildings in Lancashire, with a particularly magnificent Great Hall with its very large moveable screen. There is a fine collection of 17th century oak furniture, as well as collections of 16th century arms, armour, furniture, costume and tapestries. The traditional home of the Hesketh family, many 18th and 19th century domestic and agricultural relics survive and are on display.

Rufford hall Rufford Hall near Southport, Lancashire

Garden of special interest - 14 acres. Picnic area. National Trust property, with souvenir and book shop. No photography allowed, but amateurs may apply direct to National Trust for out-of-hours permission. Female visitors are requested not to wear high heels so as to protect the floors. A "Living History Education Service" operates on the property, specialising in the Tudor period - by prior arrangement with the Administrator. Regrettably, disabled access to Gardens, Great Hall, Entrance Hall and Restaurant only. Refreshments available for lunches and teas in the Restaurant, with a limited Licensed Menu. No dogs allowed inside - gardens only, and on leads.
Garden, shop and hall open afternoons beginning of April to end of October, daily except Friday. Times may change - please check before setting off.
Located close to Rufford, 7 miles north of Ormskirk on the east side of the A59. By bus: Ribble, North Western service 101 from Preston to Ormskirk, or ABC Service 754/8 from Liverpool to Blackpool. By Train: Rufford Station (except Sundays) about a half mile walk away. Or Burscough Bridge about 2½ miles.

Smithills Hall & Gardens

Smithills Dean Road, Bolton BL1 7NP. Telephone: 01204-332 377.
Email: Website:

Smithills Hall & Coaching House, Bolton Smithills Hall, Bolton, Manchester

Smithills Hall dates back to the 14th century, and is in a first-class state of preservation as one of the oldest manor houses in Northern England. Huge oak beams support the Great Hall which has been fully restored to its original state. Oak panelling is distinctive. The house originally belonged to the Barton family, and later the Ainsworths. Living Rooms are available to the public, as is the chapel, which has Tudor panelling and heraldic stained glass - services held on Sundays, and for weddings.
Bought by Bolton Corporation in 1937, and opened to the public in 1963, restoration work having been halted by the Second World War. The converted stables opened as a Coaching House Restaurant in 1967.
Smithills Hall has been granted Accredited Museum status by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.
Smithills is open Friday and Sunday afternoons, but please phone to confirm this before setting out.
Due to the age of the building there are uneven floors and steps and wheelchair access is to the ground floor only
By road: from Bolton town centre, take the A666 north, turn left onto Halliwell Road and follow signs to Smithills Hall. By bus: take bus numbers 525, 526 or 527 from Bolton bus station

Sources: See Bibliography - Books about Manchester

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This page last updated 18 Jan 13.