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Report - Winstanley Hall, Wigan - February 2014

Discussion in 'Residential Sites' started by old father time, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. old father time

    old father time 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    Likes Received:
    One of only 3 surviving Tudor buildings in Wigan is Winstanley Hall. The house was built shortly after James Bankes, a London goldsmith, bought the estate in 1595. The core of the Elizabethan house, with its two projecting wings, can still be seen on the garden front of the house, thought the original gables were replaced by parapets during alterations designed by Lewis Wyatt in 1818-19. A new wing to the south-west was added in 1780, with further changes, marked by keystones, in 1843 and 1889.

    The stable court is especially fascinating architecturally as it contains a range of different styles, chosen at the whim of the owner; Meyrick Bankes II. This delightfully eccentric range of buildings reflect his life as a well travelled, well educated man and includes Norman, Tudor, and Baroque motifs (and even his own likeness) in the masonry which creates a varied design which adds to the charm of the setting. The visual interest of the courtyard, combined with the house, really does set Winstanley apart as many houses have lost one or the other of these core elements which make up an estate.

    The house started declining in the 1930s (death duties to be paid for!) and was last occupied in the early 1980s, with the parkland being open-cast mined during the post-war period and later the M6 being built along the edge of the parkland.

    A local developer bought the property which tried to add additional residential units on the greenbelt land, and was always likely to fail planning consent. A further application was made which would have seen the demolition of the main house, which inevitably failed. The condition of the site has continued to deteriorate since.

    1. Iconic approach - the old girl still held together with timbers.

    2. Tradesmans entrance and family crest


    4. Once inside, it became painfully clear that the rot continues


    6. Sadly, the cantilever staircase has collapsed (as have the backstairs, making access to upper floors to old fat blokes like me too difficult!)

    7. The Family crest seems to pop up everywhere

    8. Ceiling Rose and gap in stairs

    9. Floor and ceiling collapse in the Office


    On the way home I was shown plans of the building by a kindly local who understood the need to photographically record these buildings and after a brew I togged them on the phone. Happy to post them if mods are ok with that, but understand if not.

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