Restoring Bramall Hall

15 Dec 2015

Bramall Hall’s long-awaited and comprehensive makeover continues apace!

Restoring Bramall Hall with main contractor William Anelay Ltd  on the Hall and Stable Block is really coming on well. A grant of £1.6 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, along with other additional grants, has made this £2 million project possible – and it will transform Bramall Hall’s unique heritage for future generations.

Bramall Hall - Pendle Glass 3

Founded in 1747, William Anelay Ltd is one of the UK’s oldest restoration companies, specialising in conservation of listed and heritage buildings such churches, cathedrals, stately homes and museums. The work being undertaken includes:

  • Restoration of the decorative glass windows, including stained glass
  • Installation of a platform lift in the Hall to improve level access on the ground floor
  • Opening up of 2 new themed rooms to become part of the public tour
  • Repair of the Victorian boiler house.

The conversion of the stable block will provide better facilities including;

  • Modern toilets, a new café to be managed by Mosaic Hospitality, shop and visitor area
  • A new education suite to provide learning space for school groups
  • Landscape improvements to the walled garden.

Glorious Glasswork

Expert restorers from Pendle Glass have begun the delicate task of repairing the exquisite historic glass and over the next few months, many individual panes of decorative glass and lead beading will be painstakingly removed and carefully transported to their Lancashire workshop for attention before being intricately re-instated.

Pendle Glass will concentrate on the oldest windows in the Hall and those with the most damage. The windows looking out onto the courtyard from the staircase will be first to be restored, closely followed by those in the Davenport Bay of the Chapel.  Work on the windows will continue throughout the project, using scaffolding when and where required, which will be taken down at the end of each day.

Country Houses Foundation have kindly given a grant of £100,000 without which far fewer of the windows would be able to be repaired and restored.

Celebrating the Magnificent Ceiling

Work is also underway to repair the ornate plaster ceiling in the Withdrawing Room. This involves removing layers of modern paint while carefully conserving the exquisite plasterwork and repainting in authentic shades, based on detailed historic paint analysis.

Hirst Conservation specialise in decorative surfaces and the restoration of such plasterwork using only the most traditional methods and their expert team have worked on historic buildings such as the Houses of Parliament and various historic Royal Palaces. Once this niche work is comlete, the effect will be simply stunning and the Withdrawing Room restored to the magnificence of days gone by.

Bramall Hall- Withdrawing Room Ceiling

Former Glory Restored

Many cherished and irreplaceable items, pieces of furniture and objets d’art have been removed from various rooms in the hall in order to be repaired and restored by specialist conservators. These range from small items such as a prayer book to large pieces of solid oak furniture including the Davenport Pew. Experts covering a diverse range of skills have called upon as there are items made from paper, wood, glass, marble and metal, each requiring very specific care.

Each item will be sympatheticallyarefully dual itemng very specfic , marbe anded upon as the items ared teh ored. cleaned and repaired individually, by using delicate, meticulous processes to restore them to their best possible condition – whilst also ensuring that the natural signs of wear and ageing are actually preserved before being put back on display.

Some of the unique and matchless objects being restored are oak corbels; the Lesser Hall’s suit of armour; the Heraldic Table Carpet and Pedigree Roll from the Plaster Room; the wash-stand from the Davenport Bedroom, and the King’s Oak plaque.

BH - Pendle Glass 3

Restoring Bramall Hall is truly been a labour of love and extreme care and the results will be worth every penny and every effort.

If you’d like to see behind the scenes of Bramall Hall and Stable Block as the transformation takes place, and meet the team in charge of the changes, Hard Hat tours are available on Thursday March 10 at 2pm and Thursday April 14 at 2pm. There are additional Saturday tours on January 30 at 10am & 1pm and Saturday May 14 at 10am & 1pm. These tours are FREE and last approx. 90 minutes. Places are limited to 12 people per tour and must be booked in advance by calling Stockport Tourist Information Centre on 0161 474 4444.

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Bramall Hall - Armour

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