This wonderful hidden gem, nestling incongruously in a Salford housing estate, is a must. The Grade I listed Tudor Manor with origins dating back to 1210, has had a chequered, often threatened, history. However, a recent cash injection from lottery funds has galvanised a wonderful restoration project, safeguarding Ordsall Hall’s future for all to enjoy.
A friend and I visited on a beautiful sunny day with our children, both three years old. Firstly we headed to the garden; the children ran around happily, very taken with the wood sculptures of a swan family “swimming” on the grass. Once inside the Hall, there are many beautiful period features for adults to admire – the Great Hall being the most impressive. The enormous trestle table was laid out for ‘dinner’. The kids were in their element as Lord and Lady of the manor, toasting each other with silver chalices. The kitchen captured their imagination too, the Hall gives a very real sense of what it was like to live in days gone by. If you like a good ghost story, you might be interested to know that Ordsall is reputed to be haunted by the White Lady – check out the live ghost cams on their website. We avoided mentioning the ghost to our tots, but older children might be intrigued by the idea!
Further on through, the children were able to dress up in chain mail, solve some puzzles, bang about with musical instruments and be captains of a little sit-in boat.
On the top floor there’s also a small, colourful children’s zone with cute costumes to try on and various items to play with. Another highlight back downstairs was the solid glass floor over the well on which you can stand and peer down – if you dare!
On the first Sunday of each month it’s family-friendly Tudor Live day. Plenty of activities are laid on for children and the volunteer staff wear historical costumes.Mon-Thurs 10am-4pm, Fri-Sat closed, Sun 1-4pm. Admission free. Car Park 0-3 hours £2. Small café sells sandwiches and cakes (no specific children’s menu) Ordsall Hall, 322 Ordsall Lane, Ordsall, Salford M5 3AN Tel: 0161 872 0251 salfordcommunityleisure.co.uk