Country Houses in Greater
Manchester & Lancashire
Near Ormskirk, Southport, Lancashire L40 1SG. Tel:
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.
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 Dean Road, Bolton BL1 7NP. Telephone: 01204-332
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.boltonmuseums.org.uk/smithillshall.
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
Bibliography - Books about Manchester