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25 images from inside Manchester's hidden gem Heaton Hall

Grade-I listed Heaton Hall is currently undergoing works to restore it to its former glory. Here's 25 pictures from inside the hall - including images from within the derelict West Wing.

Ross Cummins

Heaton Hall was designed by James Wyatt, who later become a well-known architect and worked on prominent buildings across the country including Liverpool Town Hall, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It has one of the earliest examples of an imperial staircase.

Ross Cummins

The entrance hall was occupied by four statues that had been used as tealight holders. This were sold off but have been replaced by replicas.

Ross Cummins

The music room has a Samuel Green organ. It is still in working condition.

Ross Cummins
Ross Cummins

New windows are currently being installed on the ground floor.

Ross Cummins

The paintings in the billard room are by Polish artist Michael Novosielski. They couldn't be removed from the walls without damanging them, so they were not sold off in any of the sales of the hall's furniture. Novosielski was primarily a theatre scene painter and these are the only set of his works known to have survived.

Ross Cummins

The library was previously licenced for wedding ceremonies. It is home to some of the hall's only original furniture - two wooden bookcases. Some of the hall's other bookcases are currently located in Central Library.

Ross Cummins

The house is now open on certain weekends with tours led by volunteer group the Friends of Heaton Hall.

Ross Cummins

The grandest room in the building is the Cupola Room. It's a survivor of the short-lived vogue for the ‘Etruscan’ taste popular in 1770s and 1780s.

Ross Cummins

The room is full of detailed designs which are in a remarkably good condition.

Ross Cummins

There is still much work to be done to restore many of the rooms.

Ross Cummins
Ross Cummins

In contrast to the main house, the West Wing is still in quite poor condition. Access to the area, formerly the servant's quarters, is down a dark and winding staircase which is not open to the public.

Ross Cummins

The West Wing was gutted by a fire in the 1980s and is still mainly derelict.

Ross Cummins

Many of the rooms in the West Wing are boarded up.

Ross Cummins

An alcove protected by two strong doors in the West Wing was used as a safe.

Ross Cummins

Work is taking place to restore some of the rooms in the West Wing, but it is a big job.

Ross Cummins

Many of the rooms are vast spaces with skylights.

Ross Cummins

There are also plans to install new windows in the West Wing.

Ross Cummins

The large kitchen originally featured two open fireplaces for cooking.

Ross Cummins

Although most of the West Wing has been made safe, some areas are still dangerous to enter and blocked off.

Ross Cummins

The cellar runs the full length of the building and would have originally stored everything the house would have needed included grain, food and beer.

Ross Cummins

The cellars have been used for filming purposes in recent years.

Ross Cummins
Ross Cummins

The Friends of Heaton Hall have a large collection of memorabilia related to the house and its former owners - including this photograph of a suffragette rally held in Heaton Park featuring Emmeline Pankhurst.

Located in the heart of Heaton Park, Heaton Hall was built between 1772 and 1789. The building and surrounding parklands were bought by Manchester Corporation in 1902, the main purpose of which was to use the grounds as open space in a growing city. 

Althought it was formerly available for weddings and functions, as a result of budget cutbacks in recent years the building has been closed to the public but its fortunes are now changing.

Over the last two years Historic England, previously known as English Heritage, has worked with Manchester City Council to complete essential work to the building. Work to install new windows on the ground floor will soon be completed, and there have also been repairs to the roof and stonework. The Friends of Heaton Hall, a volunteer group dedicated to the preservation and the restoration of the building, have started opening up the building to the public for regular tours.

Time Out Manchester recently went behind the scenes to see both the restored sections of the hall and the derelict west wing of the building.

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