Ordsall Hall | Kidadl

Ordsall Hall

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  • Explore the Tudor history of this old and mysterious Hall.
  • Dress up as a Tudor, or try on some chain mail!
  • Take a Ghost Hunt tour around the haunted mansion.
  • Pop by at any time of year to take part in the family-friendly Ordsall Hall events.

Steeped in local history and known for its distinctive black and white Elizabethan timbering, Ordsall Hall is one of Salford’s most prized hidden gems. One of the oldest buildings in Manchester, Ordsall Hall has been around for over 750 years. The original owner, David de Hulton, was said to have lived in the house all the way back in 1251, although the Hall later became a Tudor mansion, complete with a moat. Most of the surviving parts of the hall were built after the 15th century, and other additions, including a small brick house, were added over the years. The Hall was famously visited by many historical figures, including Erasmus in 1499, and it’s even rumoured that Guy Fawkes and his associates planned the infamous Gunpowder Plot within Ordsall Hall’s walls in 1605. In the 1300's, Ordsall was inherited by Sit John Radclyffe and his family, who stayed at the Hall for many generations spanning over 300 years. Eventually, the Civil War caused the Radclyffes to suffer significant financial hardships, and the final heir, John Radclyffe, was forced to sell the hall in 1662.

Once the largest house in Salford, Ordsall Hall came under the possession of various owners until it was opened as a local history museum and house in the 1970's. Since then, the Hall has become a favourite local spot that is popular with visitors from all over the world, who visit Salford to experience this historic attraction.

On your visit to Ordsall Hall, there are plenty of things to explore. From exploring the Great Hall where past residents would have had their feasts, to trying on some chain mail or dressing up in Tudor costume, Ordsall is a top destination for families with children of all ages. Kids will be amazed to discover the different types of food the Tudors ate in The Kitchen area, which is in the midst of preparing a 16th century wedding feast. In The Star Chamber, you can see the only original piece of furniture left at Ordsall Hall, The Radclyffe Bed, which was occupied by Sir John Radclyffe and his wife, Lady Ann Asshawe. This is also a great place for kids to try their hand at the coin etching activity. Art lovers can wander through the Egerton and Frederic Shields Galleries, to discover interactive exhibitions that will teach you all about the artistic history of the Hall.

As with many period houses, there have long been rumours that Ordsall Hall is haunted. ‘The White Lady’ of Ordsall Hall is said to roam the corridors, mourning her long lost twin. For those who enjoy a bit of spooky adventure, you can actually attend an Ordsall Hall Ghost Hunt around the mansion, but be warned, it’s not for the faint-hearted!

Ordsall Hall Gardens are also a must-see on your visit, with a Herb Garden, Tudor style garden and an orchard to explore. You can also visit the area where the moat used to be, and check out the WWI allotment, where you can see what gardening techniques were used during wartime.

There are events and activities for families with kids all year round, with festive treasure hunts and craft workshops for Halloween and other events. If you’ve been looking for Christmas activities in Manchester, make sure you consider Ordsall Hall Salford too, where kids can meet Father Christmas, make festive wreaths and take part in free craft sessions. All of the areas in the house are a wonder for children to explore, as they can sit at the banquet table in the Great Hall, and if they’re lucky they might meet some real-life Tudors! You can also often find open-air performances going on, as well as kids performance workshops and family quizzes.

If you’re looking for a place to eat on your visit and you don’t feel like a Great Hall banquet, the café at Ordsall Hall is the perfect cosy spot for coffee and cake or a toastie. There are also lots of seating areas in the grounds surrounding the hall, where you can take your food or bring a picnic, and enjoy with a view of the old moat.

With so much to do and see, it’s safe to say that Ordsall Hall is one of our favourite stately homes near Manchester. If you had a fantastic day out at Ordsall Hall with the kids, why not add the spectacular Tatton Park In nearby Knutsford on to your list? Or, to soak up some more local Salford culture, head over to the Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

What to know before you go

  • Ordsall Hall Manchester opening times are from 10am-4pm from Monday-Thursday, and 11am-4pm on Sunday. The Hall is closed on Fridays and Saturdays. Group tours are available from Monday to Thursday.
  • The Hall is free to visit throughout the year.
  • There are toilets, including accessible toilets and baby changing facilities available on site.
  • High chairs and a bottle feeder are available at the café, and there are water stations around the venue.
  • There are level entry points and lifts to make the Hall accessible for wheelchairs and buggies.

Getting there

  • If arriving by car, travel to Ordsall Lane, where you will find the car park. There are designated spaces in the car park for Blue Badge holders.
  • Car parking is £2.50 for under three hours, £5.50 for three-six hours, and £9 for over six hours.
  • If travelling by public transport, the nearest Metrolink Stations are Salford Quay, and Exchange Quay, which are a short walking distance away.

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