Music And More At Ordsall Hall

Ordsall Hall is a bit of a gem. Right in the middle of a housing estate, it is an unlikely location for a Grade 1 listed Tudor manor house that dates back to 1177. However it harks back to a time when there was nothing but countryside in this urban sprawl and is a lovely place to visit. A long time since our last trip we ended up coming here three times in the space of almost as many weeks for a mix of poetry, opera and music.

The house is beautiful, it has been home to all sorts of interesting characters down the years including Tudor nobility, Catholics loyal to the crown, mill workers and (rumour has it) several ghosts. It had been in a bad state of disrepair until major restoration and redevelopment work which finished in 2011 – now it looks completely splendid again.

A local legend states that Ordsall Hall was where Guy Fawkes hatched his plot to overthrow King James. No idea if there is any truth in this but the street right beside the hall is named after that famous traitor.

We didn’t spend too long in the gardens but they are gorgeous, particularly the Tudor style knot garden. There is no longer a moat but its original location is outlined and some wooden swans set it off to perfection.

We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the building. The Great Hall is very impressive and the Medieval Star Bedroom, the oldest part of the hall has the Radclyffe bed, made in the 1570’s with ornate carvings and decoration, this is the only piece of furniture on display that is original to the hall.

A week later and another lunch break and we were back, this time for a most wonderful hour with fourteen members of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra – a delight indeed we both thoroughly enjoyed this. Thumbs up all round to Ordsall Hall for not only being a great place to visit and explore but for staging these superb lunchtime events, a great way to break up the working day.

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