Report - Winstanley Hall Wigan - April 2014

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28DL Regular User
Regular User
Mar 30, 2014
St Helens
Our second stop on the Preston meet was the Miley tunnel, however Im skipping ahead to our final explore Winstanley Hall Wigan, a few folk had already gone and this was on the way home (well for most of us, poor Idle Hands did have to train it back up!)

Myself, Bigjobs, Idle Hands, Albino-jay and his two friends trekked across fields, dove behind bushes and clambered over fences to have a bit of a mooch around.

Idle Hands has done a fantastic write up in his report so I will try not to duplicate too much.

Winstanley Hall​

The hall was built in the 1560s for the Winstanley family of Winstanley; the Winstanley family were lords of the land since at least 1252 and may have been responsible for building the moat on the site. Coal was mined on the Winstanley estate from 1507. At the peak of production,6 pits were in operation.

The Winstanleys owned the hall until 1596, when the estate was sold to James Bankes, a London goldsmith and banker, for the princely sum of £3100. The Bankes family retained ownership of the hall until the 21st century when it was sold for private development. The hall had been kept in good condition until the 1960s when habitation of the property ceased.

Winstanley Hall has three storeys and has a date stone with a date of 1584, but this is not in situ so may not provide an accurate date for the construction of the house. Extra blocks were added in the 17th and 18th centuries. Further and extensive alterations were made in 1811-19 by Lewis Wyatt in a Jacobean style. He moved the original entrance to the left flank of the hall replacing a window. The final additions to the hall were made in 1843 when an extra wing was added.

To the south, on land belonging to the hall, is a small stone building which was used to house bears that provided entertainment for the hall's guests.

In 1855 scandal hit the estate when a Mrs Shortrede was found drowned in the Winstanley estate well. It was later discovered that Mr Shortrede had been having an affair, his wife found out and threw herself into the well. Mrs Atherton, Mr Shortrede's extra marital interest, unable to deal with the guilt, hanged herself. Mr Shortrede, being unable to cope with the loss of both his women, shot himself in the head whilst sat on the privy.

Subsequently there have been many sightings of shadows at windows and eeire noises. In late 1800s a group of men went in search of the Winstanley Hall ghosts and were later found dead in a old building apparently having shot each other.

As the building decayed and the cost of maintaining Winstanley Hall was too much for the Bankes family and it was sold on. It was intended to develop the hall into private flats, however refurbishment was held up due to Wigan council withholding planning permission. The interior is now to say the least in a severe state of disrepair maybe even beyond repair.

The building is propped up with wooden supports, however this does not appear to provide any support for the interior.



Ivy is wrapping itself around the Hall, it creeps in through the windows at every opportunity.





Each room echoed decay and desolation, ceilings hung down precariously, entire floors collapsed on each other, floorboards were rotten and hazardous to walk on and staircase steps are forever lost.









After a rather precarious climb we made it to the rooftop. I have to say I could have spent hours up there just lying back looking at the sky, admiring the views and enjoying the peacefulness - well it would have been peaceful had it not been for boys talking boy stuff!


We finally came down from the roof and had a quick scout round the stables. Rumour has it that Winstanley Hall is also haunted by a white pony called Dick. Dick belonged to Squire Meysick Bankes and died in 1841. Dick was buried near to Winstanley Hall and his grave is apparently still there.


Finally the fountain in the stable court portrays Neptune in his chariot drawn by sea horses.


I have to say it was a really good day and I met some awesome people along the way - and who can ask for more than that!

Anyway thanks for looking and I hope you enjoyed your stay. :)


Official Smartarse
Regular User
Aug 29, 2007
St. Helens
Great shots, i can't believe it's got into the state it has.

Won't be long till it's a pile of rubble, not long at all.


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Nov 26, 2008
I went twice last year within 3 weeks of each other, one week I was in one of the lower rooms taking photos and the next time 3 floors had become one! Its in such a bad state now. I always love seeing this site, you have got some great pics there Paradox

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