Ordsall Hall is something of an anachronism. Established in the 13th century, it was originally moated and surrounded by fields and trees as far as the eye could see. The hall fronted onto the River Irwell and, through the centuries, the building was added to and improved whilst being passed from one wealthy family to another.
And that is how things remained right up to the mid 19th century when, thanks to the Industrial Revolution, Salford became one of the fastest growing places in the country. The 1848 Ordnance Survey shows the hall still moated in its charming rural location. But just 50 years later the hall was completely surrounded by streets of back-to-back terraced houses and a large mill sat between the hall and the river.
Today most of the Victorian houses have been replaced by 20th century equivalents, making the ancient hall look even more out of place. But, thanks to centuries of good luck, the hall has been preserved while everything around it has changed, so we can all enjoy it today.
|Ordsall Hall today
|Early examples of stained glass
|Modern Salford surrounds the hall
|By the end of the 19th century the hall was surrounded by terraced streets…
|…but just 50 years before it stood on its own