The Hall has an extremely rich history despite only lasting from 1846 to 1949. It was used as an officers’ hospital in the First World War and again in the Second World War when it housed Dunkirk evacuees, American soldiers preparing for D-Day, and the Lancashire Fusiliers.
Thanks to funding of £20,000 from current site owners the Peel Group, the University is advertising for someone to research and record material on the historic home of the Earls of Ellesmere.
In 1943 it was also very badly damaged by fire, riddled with dry rot and structural problems associated with mining subsidence. It was finally bought by a Mr Littler – a scrap metal merchant from Ashton-in-Makerfield who demolished it.
It was visited by a number of high-profile royals, including Queen Victoria in 1851 and 1857, the Prince and Princess of Wales came in 1869, and again as King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1909. The Crown Prince of Germany and Empress Eugenie were also guests.
The Peel Group has commissioned the University to carry out the research and to make it widely accessible using an online archive. The site will also record the results of archaeological digs which are being conducted by The Centre for Applied Archaeology at the University.
Ian Johnston is the chief archivist at the University. “This funding will let us explore a major part of local history in a level of detail which has never been done before,” he said. “We are very grateful to the Peel Group for the opportunity to conduct this research which we’ll be able to preserve in digital form for the benefit of future generations.”
Peter Nears, Strategic Planning Director for the Peel Group said: “We are pleased to be supporting this important research by the University of Salford. The Worsley New Hall Project will be looking at the future potential of the New Hall site, particularly the restoration of the terraced gardens which were designed by the renowned landscape architect William Andrews Nesfield. This research will be important in informing that process.”