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here's a very old house in Salford, on Orsall Lane close to Salford Quays. A friend of mine who lives in Salford told me about it or i probably never would have found it. Check the website for hours but it's free to go in.
The hall dates from the 12th century and there are still an old wattle and daub wall that dates from there. There are rooms that are Elizabethan in age but the hall has been changed and renovated a number of times since it was first built. There aren't too many of the original rooms open to view but the one Star Chamber is the most interesting. The fireplace still has marks in the stone hearth where people might have sharpened their swords and there was one man who was dressed up in Elizabethan costume for a school class and he spent a bit of time talking to me about the Hall. There is also a good display of a restored Victorian kitchen on the ground floor.
Upstairs there are some Victorian exhibitions and a gallery. The Hall is used a lot for school visits.
The easiest way to get there is taking the tram to the Exchange Quay station which is only a few hundred yards past the Colgate factory. Go down Ordsall lane around to your right.
Note: Ordsall Hall has undergone a restoration and is now re-opened to the public.
Updated Mar 26, 2013
PostWW2, Manchester along with the rest of Britain was in fear of a 'Cold War ' nuclear attack from the Soviet Union.
This bunker was built secretly, by Polish Workers, between 1949-1954, amongst the general construction that was going on after the destruction from the WW2 blitzes on Manchester. It was fundeded by NATO at a cost of 4 Million GBP (£225 Million or there abouts today) Apparently the idea for using Polish workers was that as they didn't speak English, they couldn't tell anyone what they were doing!!!
I visited this site during the NMW 2 hour guided 'Underground Manchester' walk.
The plan was to have a place where communications could continue, and the politicians and dignitaries of Manchester would be protected here. The idea was that they would be safe if they could remain her for 6 weeks after a nuclear attack on the city!
So, there was a store of 6 weeks of food. Entertainment in the form of an upright piano and a snooker table. Walls were painted in pleasant colours, with 'outside views'
From the bunker, there were a couple of tunnels that reached Salford and Ardwick as escape routes.
Today, the building and tunnels are owned by BT (British Telecommunications) who use the tunnels etc for laying their cables.
This building is securily protected by razor wire and concreted entrances
Written Dec 2, 2012
Built in 1903,by the Midland Railway Company, this Grade 2 listed Grand Hotel was to be the 'sister hotel' to St Pancras Hotel in London. Built opposite Manchester Central Railway station, which was the northern terminus of the railway line from St Pancras Station, it attracted wealthy businessmen and traders, who had travelled to Cottonopolis. A theatre and Roof Terrace were a couple of the hotels features along with a couple of award winning restaurants.
American traders did business here, selling raw cotton to the mill owners.
In 1904, it was to be the venue for a meeting between Charles Stewart Rolls and Frederick Henry Royce, which led to the formation of Rolls Royce Limited. A couple of plaques in the entrance mark this event.
Other illustrious visitors have been Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, "who was the first crowned head to dine in a public restaurant".(The Trafford Restaurant., Lord Olivier and Judy GarlandThe Beatles DIDN'T get to dine in the French Restaurant at the Midland, due to their 'unsuitable attire'
However, one Victoria Adams had her first 'date' here with David Beckham, when the Spice Girls were playing a concert in Manchester - yes, Posh Spice and Becks would no doubt have dressed to impress!
So, Today, it is still one of the places to spot the 'rich and famous/infamous' guests that stay here.
During our 'Underground Manchester' guided walk, that leaves from the front of the Midland Hotel, we were told that Hitler had plans to use this as the North West Nazi HQ if they had invaded England.
Apparently, he had dined in the one time German Restaurant (Which hastily became a French Restaurant following WW!), and was quite taken with the building.
There are stories that he instructed Luftwaffe pilots to avoid bombing the building, and it did survive the Manchester Blitz.
How true any of this is I'm not sure, but it makes a good story.
Peter Street, Manchester M60 2DS
Written Dec 2, 2012
Phone: 0161 236 3333
There are some less obvious historical bits of architecture remaining in the city centre ro be found, if you keep your eyes open.
Look down side-streets, always look up....and look further than the modern shop frontages.
Occasionally, you can still get a glimpse of the grimy, cramped Victorian powerhouse that Manchester once was.
Updated Nov 25, 2012
Victorian and Edwardian architecture, in its prime (roughly 1850-1910) was all about showing how wealthy and powerful you were......how reliable, how trustworthy, how 'solid'.
Even if you were only building a factory.....it had to say 'this is a solid company, one you can safely do business with'.
You can see examples of this type of architecture everywhere in England, and Manchester city centre is no exception.
The massive Gothic pile of the Town Hall is, of course, a prime example of Victorian ostentation.......but there are plenty more dotted around.
Updated Nov 25, 2012
Hollingworth Lake was built in 1804 to supply water to the Rochdale Canal, the lake is surrounded by a vast country side which includes lots of hiking trails, camping sites and a water activity centre.
There is an old rumour that the lake was built over the top of an old town and when the lake starts to evaporate in the hot summer months people have said that they have seen the top of the old church spire starting to pierce through the water.
Hollingworth Lake is very dog friendly and most people walking round the lake will be accompanied by a dog, the walk around the lake itself is 1 and a half miles long and as you walk further around the leg you will find yourself in a woodland area where you can stroll off the main walk into some of the purpose built bird watching areas.
The Water Activity Centre on Lake Bank caters for groups and individuals wanting instruction in windsurfing, dinghy sailing and other water-based sports, and also arranges training for groups in mountain biking and climbing.
The wider Country Park has plenty of walking routes, from easy strolls around the lake shore to sturdier trecks in the surrounding hills. Guidebooks can be bought at the visitors centre which will show you all of the different walks available.
Parking at Hollingworth Lake can sometimes be quite difficult, there are 2 main car parks which are pay and display. This means that you have to purchase your parking ticket when you park up your car, stick it to your car window and be back in your car before the ticket expires. The main car park is in the Fayre and Square pub which you will probably see first as you come to the lake.
2nd car park - Continue forward towards "The Wine Press" pub (Bikers pub) and turn left just before you get to it - there is the 2nd car park.
I would highly recommend NOT parking on the main road near opposite the lake or in the residential streets beside the lake as ticket wardens are almost guaranteed to be there especially on sunny days and at the weekend.
You can get the number 452, 455 & 456 bus from Rochdale bus station to Hollingworth Lake. You can get the number 17 bus from Manchester Shudehill to Rochdale bus station if you are coming from the city centre.
You can get the buses 452 & 455 if you are coming from Littleborough.
Address: Hollingworth Lake Visitors Centre, Rakewood Road, Littleborough, Rochdale, OL15 0AQ.
Written Sep 1, 2012
Phone: 01706 373421 (Visitors Centre)
Springfield park is a local park which is located between the towns of Heywood and Rochdale in the suburbs of Manchester. The park is relatively small in comparison to other Manchester parks but still has some great qualities.
In the center of the park is a lake which is home to geese, ducks and other small birds. There is a small fence around the lake and visitors are encouraged not to climb over this but the birds and geese can still be fed. There is a children's play area and usually an ice cream van on site.
There are Tennis courts and a small football court which can be used completely free of charge and over the hill of the park looking downwards there is a running track.
I come here often to walk my dogs and is beautiful in the winter months when the lake is frozen over, it is also very nice in the summer too.
There is no entrance fee to the park and there are many car parking spaces too which are free of charge. As the park is located on a main road you would also be able to get there by bus too. You could get here using the bus 471 from Rochdale bus station and you could get from Manchester Shudehill to Rochdale bus station on the number 17 bus.
It is a nice little place to stop if you are in and around the area and you want to see some town folk.
Address: Marland Fold, Rochdale, Lancs, OL11 4RF
DIRECTIONS FROM ROCHDALE
Follow A58 Rochdale to Bury. After Tesco (Sudden) approximately 500 metres, the entrance to the park is on the right opposite the 'Success To the Plough' Public House/ Restaurant.
Updated Sep 1, 2012
Heaton Park is located in Prestwich and is easily accessible by tram. Infact, the tram station for Heaton Park is located right across the road from one of the main entrances. Due to the size of the park there are several entrances. As a child I would reguarly come to the park with my family and as an adult I still come back to walk my dogs or to have a picnic or a game of football with friends in the nice weather.
Inside the park is Heaton Hall which is a grade listed house. The house was closed down for many years but has been recently restored and now open to the public free of charge. Heaton Hall is famous for the bronze lions that guard the old entrance to the home.
Up near Heaton Hall is also the farm which is home to farm animals such as ducklings, pigs, goats. Entrance to the farm is free of charge.
The boating lake is a popular attraction in the park and is home to many ducks, swans and other types of birds. During the hot summer months the lake is open and rowing boats can be hired and you can have a leisurely row around the lake.
Fairs are held at the Park during Halloween and Bonfire night. Bonfire night in the park can be particularly fun as each year there is a huge firework display.
During the weekends you are usually charged to park your car in the car park. This usually ranges from 50p- £1.00 so isn't very much. During the week and during the winter months parking is free.
There are plenty of places to get refreshments at the park, including cafes, hot dog stalls and ice cream vans.
Entrances to the park include: Sheepfoot Lane (Boating Lake Entrance), St Margaret's Road, Middleton Road and Bury Old Road.
Written Jul 30, 2012
Phone: 0161 773 1085
As the ending ...chester indicates, Manchester started out as a Roman town. A Roman fort named Mancunium was founded here in 79A.D. after the Romans had occupied this region which was formerly the territory of the Brigantes. The Romans left about 350 years later, but some of the remains of the settlement can still be seen in the west of Manchester, in an area appropriately called Castlefield.
You can especially see copies of the remains of the fort that was located here. There were in fact four different forts that succeeded each other, the first one being just a timber structure, the last one being a stone building with a timber palisade and surrounded by ramparts.
There is actually not that much to see here: Some stone foundations and embankments, and a big gate. This was the north gate which has been completely reconstructed. There are some plaques providing information, too.
However, although it was a bit disappointing that there was not more to see, I still found it good to visit. After all, this is the very place where the city of Manchester was born, and it is good to see this place and to remember that there is so much more to Manchester's history!
Unfortunately, it was quite hard to find the Roman sites. I went to Castefield, but then the signs just pointed to a circle, and I had to ask several locals until I finally found it. In the end, that was really silly, because if you know where it is, it is not hard to get there at all. The exact location can be found on googlemaps: Click here
Address: Liverpool Road
Directions: Castlefield, close to MOSI
Updated Jul 7, 2012
Ordsall Hall has its origins about 850 years ago, but the present building dates back to the 15th century. It is a wonderful tudor style building and former stately home, and it was fantastic to find such a historical building so close to Old Trafford Stadium and modern Salford Quays.
The first written record of the name Ordsall is from 1177 (then as Ordeshala), and the building was first mentioned in 1251. It came into the possession of the Radclyffe family in the 1330s, and remained with this family for over 300 years. In 1512, the great hall was constructed - the occasion being that Alexander Radclyffe had become High Sherrif of Lancashire. In 1599 a girl of the family became maid of honour of Queen Elizabeth I! Legends also has it that this was the place where Guy Fawkes planned his plot, but there is no proof of that.
In the end of the 17th century, Ordsall Hall was sold and from then it often changed owners. In the 19th century it became home of a Working Men's Club, and then a gymnasium! In 1959 it was finally acquired by Salford City Council and thirteen years alter, after a lot of restoration work, it was opened to the public.
The exterior of the hall is very beautiful and interesting, and it is surrounded by pretty gardens.
Inside, you can walk around the different rooms of the hall, but I must say that there is not too much to see. I was a bit disappointed because I had expected a little more furniture or other things - the rooms are almost empty. It is still nice to see the architecture, though, especially the great hall with its wooden beams and its high ceiling. I could not take more picture there because there was a school group doing a project, and there is a sign pointing out that it is not allowed to take pictures with children in them.
There is also a small café and shop, I had an avocado sandwich there. Staff in the café and at the hall in general were very friendly and dedicated.
Updated Jul 7, 2012
Phone: 0161 872 0251
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