Hulme Hall was demolished around 1845. It had been long out of use as a manorial residence and was in a dilapidated state when it was knocked down by the Duke Of Bridgewater to make way for the canal and rail expansion rapidly encroaching Manchester.
The 1848 Ordnance Survey only shows the site, the building having recently disappeared when the map was drawn up. It was built around a quadrangle with the front facing the left bank of the Irwell, surrounded by a large forest.
The hall stood on red sandstone, overlooking the Irwell near the confluence of the Medlock. In 1795 Aikin described it as old and half timbered. The gardens were a celebrated beauty spot in the 18th Century, and displayed Roman antiquities that had been found in the vicinity.
The manor of Hulme was held by Jordan, the Dean of Manchester in the 12th Century, after that its ownership is unclear until the owners took the surname Hulme. The Hulme family were succeeded by the Rossendales in the 14th Century until it fell into the hands of the Prestwich clan. During the reign of Henry VI, Ralph De Prestwyche granted the manor to Henry De Byrom, and five years later the transaction was reversed.
Thomas Prestwich, a Catholic, refused to accept the authority of the Church of England and had two thirds of his estate sequestered as a result, with and annual fine of £6/13s-4d. During the Civil War he fought on the King’s side, and this initally served him well as he was knighted, but was captured at Ormskirk in 1644 and this lead to his downfall at which point the Estate was conveyed to Edward Mosley of Rolleston in 1660.
Sir Thomas had been persuaded by his mother to support the Royal side, she is said to have hidden a large treasure on the grounds, but was struck dumb and motionless after an illness and unable to reveal the whereabouts of the booty. Many attempts were made to find the treasure in the following years, gifting fortuned tellers a valuable industry in relieving gullible Mancunians of their hard earned cash in return for clues as to its whereabouts.
Sir Edward Mosley’s daughter Ann married John Bland of Kippax and conveyed the estate to him. Sir John’s son was forced to sell the estate to pay off his gambling debts and the property was bought by George Lloyd FRS (1708-1783).
George was born on 1 August 1708 in Manchester, he went up to Queen’s College, Cambridge where he studied medicine in 1726, becoming a bachelor of medicine in 1731 and FRS in 1742. He first married Eleanor Wright of Offerton Hall at Mobberley on 16 February 1733 and leased Alkrington Hall from the Lever family. He had one son with Eleanor, John (1742-1777) who also became a surgeon.
After Eleanor’s death he married once more to Susannah Horton (1718-1797) of Chadderton Hall on 24 March 1742. George was described as a gentleman well skilled in mathematical knowledge and natural philisophy. He became a trustee of the Cheetham Hospital and was one of the early promoters of the Infirmary at Manchester.
He lived at Hulme Hall between 1751 and 1764 after which he moved to Leeds, lending his support to the infirmary there. He died on 4 December 1783 at Barrowby Hall in Yorkshire.
George and Susannah had six children, five of whom were born at Alrkrington Hall and one at Hulme Hall. Gamaliel Lloyd (1744-1817) became Mayor of Leeds between 1798-1799. Anne Lloyd (1745-1830) never married and died at York. Susannah (1747-1830) married the Reverend Henry Wray, the rector of Newton Kyme, Tadcaster. George Lloyd (1748-1804) became a barrister with chambers on Quay Street in Manchester. Thomas (1750-1828) lived at Horsforth Hall and Elizabeth (1752-1840) married Thomas Bateson of County Down.
Seeing an opportunity to make money, and realising that the rural idyll of Hulme Hall was short lived, George sold the property to The Duke of Bridgewater in 1764. The Duke was keen to build his canal into the centre of Manchester and he was forbidden by Act of Parliament to cutting within thirty yards of Hulme Hall. He paid £13,000 (£2.4m in 2021) for Hulme Hall and the Castlefield Estates.
By 1807 the hall was falling into decay and let out as tenements to poor families, one room had a series of 16th Century oak panels were rescued and taken to Worsley Hall in 1833, nearly being lost in a fire at Worsley two years later, but recovered and can still be seen at the hall.
Bridgewater completed a canal link with the Irwell around 1837 and that year having no further use for the estate, put it up for sale. It only lasted a few more years before demolition. The following year the junction was officially opened when his wife, The Lady Francis Egerton and her children entered the first lock to great cheers and travelled through the locks to the river in eight minutes. This link now joined The Bolton and Bury Canals with The Worsley, Ashton Rochdale and Peak Forest Canals.
The Hall lived on in the memory of the people of Manchester, in William Harrison Ainsworth’s Sir John Chiverton, Chiverton Hall is Hulme Hall faintly disguised:
It not unfrequently happens that the remains of these antique mansions are overlooked and disregarded not merely when buried in sequestered corners but even when placed in the vicinity of populous cities and cultivated districts The eye becomes familiar with them and seeks not to inquire into the origin or decó rations of structures which it has learnt to consider as indifferent and every day objects and it is in general the part of the casual stranger to discover and admire those picturesque beauties of situation and architecture that have failed to attract the observation of those who think not of looking so near home for subjects of interest or curiosity A specimen of such habitations so situated exists at this day in a fair state of perfection in one of the northern counties of England So few indeed are the changes which Chiverton Hall has undergone in its general structure that a tolerable idea may still be formed of it as it stood in the days of its pristine beauty It is true that its noble entirety has been subdivided into humble habitations whose squalid appearance differs lamentably from the gay and magnificent decorations and accompaniments which as the residence of its earlier possessors it could have boasted of the pavement is broken and neglected and rendered in many places uneven from the partial displacing of the stones by the rank weeds that have sprung up in the interstices Broken glass ruinous gate ways aud courts strewed with nameless and accụmulating litter give to the place on a near approach an appearance of neglect and desolation that jars most harshly upon the mind when reverting to the fancy traced picture of its ancient splendour But the building itself retains much of its original aspect and rising from a distance on the right imbedded in the spreading foliage that surrounds it still presents to the eye of observation an object of no common beauty and interest It is with Chiverton Hall however in its former state that our present concern chiefly lies as it stood some two centuries back Rising from the summit of a rock that sprung abruptly from the spreading waters of the river by which it was guarded on the west the building approached so near the brink of the precipice as to afford space only for a narrow foot path From the opposite side of the river the edifice presented its most irregular though not less beautiful aspect A projecting semioval turret the lower part of which was used as a chapel and in the days of papal dominion had been consecrated to the services of the Roman ritual advanced beyond the buildings that extended from it on either side and which contained the apartments usually allotted to the ladies of the family and their attendants Along the entire south side of the house opened the windows of the chief banquetting room or dining ball whose panes glowing in many colours and quaintly arranged exhibited a rich specimen of an art now little known From these windows the view lay directly into a spacious garden curiously laid out and painfully ornamented according to the heavy and constrained taste of the period The garden was bounded by a wall surrounding the mansion and which from its height and apparent strength had been probably constructed with an eye to its utility as a barrier of defence in the event of an unforeseen attack a contingency not so distant in the eventful and unsettled times to which we now revert as in the present age of calmness and security The principal entrance to the hall was from the east and was formed by a spacious archway surmounted by a square tower and opening into a quadrangular court surrounded by connected buildings To the right of the entrance were doors communicating with the banqueting room and different smaller apartments Opposite to these were the culinary apartments of the establishment and the space between forming the third side of the square was occupied by larders refectories and rooms allotted to the higher class of domestics The remaining side consisted of offices and the upper stories of the buildings contained the dormitories of the residents all more or less externally ornamented Such was the general outline of the exterior of the mansion which according to the taste of the period was far from being devoid of ornament The plastered walls were coloured with regular chequers of black and white interspersed with trefoils and other figures varied as the skill or taste of the artist had directed As usual in this style of architecture the wood work was profuse timber then forming the principal material in the structure of domestic habitations Here it had been used with an unsparing hand and wherever the situation of the beams admitted had been ornamented with elaborate carvings the chief of which were displayed on the frames of the casements and the extremities of the rafters and those solid beams which protruding beyond the walls on which they rested supported the successive projections of the superior stories or tiers of apartments But the chief triumph of art was in the execution of the massive oaken pillars that guarded the great gateway the strange representations and carvings of which claimed at least the credit of perseverance and assiduity if not of taste to the operator whilst above the arch was suspended an enormous hatchment whereon were depicted in the pomp of heraldry the armorial bearings of the Chivertons¹Sir John Chiverton: A Romance, William Harrison Ainsworth
After the demolition of the Hall, the central tower with its conical roof was reproduced fronting the Pomona Island Botanical Gardens adjacent to the Broad Walk, this gave the illusion of the Hall surrounded by trees in its original setting.
Let’s see some pictures:
¹ I’ve included a link to the book, it continues for several pages in its description.
A Booke Of Olde Manchester & Salford, Alfred Darbyshire: Heywood,1887.
Bridgewater, The Canal Duke 1736-1803, Hugh Malet: Manchester University Press, 1977
A History of The County Of Lancaster, Farrer & Brownhill: 1911
Sir John Chiverton, William Harrison Ainsworth: Ebbers, 1836
© Allan Russell 2021