Ordsall Hall Ghost Investigation
Date: 14th June 2014
Time: 9pm – 2am
322 Ordsall Lane
Ordsall Hall is a historic house and a former stately home in Ordsall, an area of Salford, in Greater Manchester, England. It dates back more than 750 years, although the oldest surviving parts of the present hall were built in the 15th century.
Ordsall Hall is a formerly moated Tudor mansion, the oldest parts of which were built during the 15th century, although there has been a house on the site for over 750 years. David de Hulton is recorded as the owner of the original hall, in 1251. The manor of Ordsall came into the possession of the Radclyffe family in about 1335, but it was not until 1354 that Sir John Radclyffe established his right of inheritance.
During the 1340s Sir John Radclyffe campaigned with Edward III in France, distinguishing himself at the battles of Caen, Crècy and Calais. As a reward for his service, the king allowed Sir John to take some Flemish weavers back to his Ordsall estate, where he built cottages for them to live in. English weaving skills at that time were poor, and textiles from Manchester were considered to be of particularly poor quality, so the Flemish weavers were employed in instructing the local weavers. They also started up a silk weaving industry, the foundation for Manchester’s later cotton industry.
The Dutch humanist and theologian Erasmus stayed at Ordsall Hall in 1499, and described it thus:
The original cruck hall was replaced by the present Great Hall in 1512, after Sir Alexander Radclyffe was appointed High Sheriff of Lancashire. The hall is typical of others built at that time in the northwest of England, although it is one of the largest, and is unusual for the period in having no wall fireplace. The hall has an elaborate roof structure, as in the similar Rufford Old Hall. There is a slightly later small room above the large oriel bay, which may be an early addition as at Samlesbury Hall.
Other alterations and additions were made during the 17th century, including a modest brick house added onto the west end in 1639, perhaps intended as a home for Sir Alexander’s bailiff, as he himself no longer used the hall as his main residence by that time. The house was built at 90° to the timber-framed building, to which it was later joined. During the Civil War Sir Alexander, as a Royalist, was imprisoned and suffered financial hardship. Reduced means eventually forced his heir, John Radclyffe, into selling the hall to Colonel John Birch in 1662, thus ending more than 300 years of his family’s occupation