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Smithills Hall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Smithells Hall

In the civil parish of Bolton.
In the historic county of Lancashire.
Modern Authority of Bolton.
1974 county of Greater Manchester.
Medieval County of Lancashire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SD69941187
Latitude 53.60253° Longitude -2.45571°

Smithills Hall has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.

Description

Large house, part now converted into a museum. Originally an early 14th century hall house, extended in the 15th or early 16th century and again in 1590. The chapel was rebuilt in 1858 and the house was remodelled and extended circa 1875. The north and west sides of the house were formerly protected by a moat. Mostly stone-built, with some timber framing and with stone-flagged roofs throughout. (PastScape)

The manor of Smithill Is first belonged to the Hospitallers, and was held by the Hulton family before becoming the chief manor of the Radcliffes in 1335. Although the date of 1680 is found upon a stone above the entrance door to the Hall, and tradition records a history of a house on the site from that date, the oldest part of the present building dates back probably to the earliest part of the 15th century. The Hall is situated on a naturally defensive position. The north and west sides were protected by a moat and the south and east sides by Astley Brook and Raveden Brook respectively. The house has been much altered and added to.
The Hall was originally a timber construction. The 'quatrefoil decorated open timber roof and supporting east and west walls are pre-1350; the wide walls were also possibly timber-framed. Later sections including the 16th or 17th century east wing can also be seen. During one of the numerous alterations made at a later date the pitch of the roof was raised, and the 19th century saw considerable addition and repair work. Owing to later alterations, especially those of the Victorian period, the Hall displays a rather misleading aspect; it is, in fact, one of the oldest surviving houses in the area.
Nearly all the windows of SmithiIIs Hall are modern insertions and are more elaborate than the former square headed ones. The eastern wing of the house is the least altered, but the west wing is Victorian and is now in use as an old people's home and is not open to the public. The last person to own the HalI was Captain Nigel Ainsworth, who sold it in 1938 to the County Borough of Bolton. Smithills Hall was in need of extensive repairs after the Second World War, and Government aid was granted for its restoration. The Hall is now open to the public. (Walker and Tyndall 1985)
Comments

Taylor writes the position is defensive and that there was a, now lost, detached gatehouse.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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