Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Hough End Hall in the 1950s

Now the thing about very old buildings is that usually we focus on that very old bit.

So it is with Hough End Hall built in 1596 and for a big chunk of its history the family home of the Mosley family.

Most of the accounts of the place concentrate on its Elizabethan design and the Mosley family and ignore the last two hundred years when it was a farm house and later still an office and restaurant.

But I am more interested in its time as the home of tenant farmers during the 19th century and then its uncertain time from the 1920s when it was under threat of demolition by road widening plans.

Today there is nothing much left and so I have decided to call on the memory of Oliver Bailey whose father took possession of the Hall and surrounding land at the beginning of the Second World War and worked it in conjunction with his farm at Park Brow.

Here and over the next few weeks are short accounts of what was once three and which I hope will set off more memories from other people.

"Looking at the front of the hall on the right hand side I remember a man called John Hallsworth had a blacksmith shop in the 1950s. 

He had been an iron worker with British Road Services and rented the smithy at Hough End from my father after he retired from BRS.

There was a wooden staircase up the wall of the hall inside the smithy itself. He he made a couple of gates for Park Brow Farm. 

Sam & Jack Priday, who were farriers with a smithy in Withington,  came round and used the forge to shoe my father’s Suffolk Punch horse. 

I remember walking beside him as he used a horse drawn single furrow plough in the field next to Mauldeth Roadd, probably late 1940s. 


At the rear right hand end there were various add-on outbuildings at the back, probably nineteenth century. 

One was a cottage and another a store of some sort that had fallen into disrepair .

The left wing of the Hall suffered severe structural damage which was perhaps caused by subsidence and had to be rebuilt in the 1950s by the Egerton Estate and I remember they used artificial stone lintels and cills for the mullioned windows. 

On the upper floor there was an old mangle that was basically a large box full of cobbles that rolled back and forth on rollers on the wooden base when it was worked by turning the handle.

 I think that ended up in Ordsall Hall, definitely went to Salford as Manchester had no interest."

© Oliver Bailey, June 2014

Pictures; Hough End Hall, 1952, m47850,the hall from the south east, 1952 m 47856 and the hall and duck pond, 1952, all by T Baddeley, m47859, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass

Next, a plan a riding school and the man who kept rabbits

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