Salford's Ordsall Hall reveals result of £6.5m facelift

A historic Salford manor house will welcome visitors again after the completion of a £6.5m facelift.

Ordsall Hall was closed in 2009 to allow restoration and renovation work to take place on both the inside and outside of the building.

The project has meant areas of the hall will open to the public for the first time.

Walter Greenhalgh, who volunteers at Ordsall, said it was "great to see it being brought back to life like this".

Originally built around 1351 during the reign of Edward III, the hall reached the peak of its grandeur in the Tudor era.

The restoration of the building has concentrated on returning it to the way it looked in this period.

Mr Greenhalgh said work on the exterior to do this had meant working on the majority of the walls, which "Victorians, in their wisdom, decided to paint all black".

"We've stripped all that off now, which has revealed the original woodwork," he said.

Inside the hall, areas such as the Great Chamber have been opened up for the first time and Ordsall's manager, Liz McNabb, said that the process of restoration had revealed some surprising details.

"There were some paintings discovered on the roof brace which show pomegranates with oak leaves around them," she said.

"It's amazing that they have survived, but they are quite faded, so we have reproduced them on the other side."

Councillor Barry Warner, lead member for culture, leisure and sport at Salford City Council, has been key to the renovation project.

He said the hall was "one of the region's oldest buildings and is a huge asset to the city and the wider community".

"We have a great responsibility to maintain buildings such as Ordsall as a way to preserve the city's history," he said.

"In recent years, Salford has gone through a period of intense development and we have seen some magnificent new buildings arriving in the city, but we still need to protect these old treasures that give our children the opportunity to learn how life has changed and see first hand how people used to live."

He said that he had been very proud to be involved with the project and that "hopefully the work we have done will help to preserve this building for another 700 years".

The restoration project was funded by £4.1m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with a further £2.4m raised by Salford City Council, donations and other grants.

Ordsall Hall reopens to the public on Sunday.

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