Ordsall Hall, 322 Ordsall Lane, Salford Quays, Salford M5 3AN
Where is it?
Ordsall Hall is easy to overlook because it lies in a heavily built up area close to Salford Quays and near to Manchester city centre. It is well worth visiting on its own or as part of a trip that includes other local attractions.
What is it?
Ordsall Hall is a formerly moated mansion the earliest parts of which date from the fifteenth century. Originally it would have been surrounded by woods and by open country close to a bend on the River Irwell. It was the home of the Radclyffe family for several hundred years.
After being owned by other wealthy families, including the Egertons of Tatton, the Hall fell on hard times and from the late nineteenth century it became engulfed by industrial development and was used as a working men’s club, a clergy training school and a local club.
It was purchased by Salford Corporation in 1959 and opened as a period house and local museum. It has recently undergone a major refurbishment and was reopened to the public in May 2011.
Why go there?
Ordsall Hall has many beautiful period features including a great hall and a well in the kitchen, it has been refurbished to a high standard and the house and gardens give a good sense of period. It is not too difficult to imagine living or working there in times gone by. It is possible to see clearly how the walls and roof were constructed and to get a picture of how the house has been altered over the years.
There is some period furniture and other exhibits as well as some modern reproductions that can be touched and which help us to understand what it must have felt like to own those things when they were new. The exhibits are well explained and interesting. It is useful to see how a historic house can form part of a modern urban landscape and serve the local community. Ordsall is said to be haunted and this is explained in the displays.
Ordsall is particularly strong on provision for the community and for school groups. It has been developed imaginatively to provide something of interest for all age groups. There are varied events, many of which are free, throughout the year.
Admission to the Hall is free but there is a charge for car parking. There is a well stocked shop and a small coffee shop.